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How and why to make homemade dog food

  Dog catches a biscuit.

Your dog will love homemade food and treats almost as much as you do.

Richard Clark / Getty Images

"Dog food" is no longer an automatically unappetizing term – fresh dog food and gourmet treats for dogs are now a big deal, but if you like home improvement, there are plenty of resources to show you how to make your own dog food can. August 26th is National Dog Day, so there is no better time to give it a try.

Yes, they eat from garbage cans. They gnaw on the crust under the fridge. They stick their noses in the briny viscera of half-broken birds. They lick each other's buttocks.

Dogs are many things, but they are generally not known as picky eaters.

That's not the point, more and more people say that despite their lack of foodies, dogs should be offered homemade food instead of commercial brittle.

The development of dog food

Cooking for your dog is nothing new: processed dog food was invented around 1860 and the now ubiquitous brittle in bags has only been popular since the 1950s. Before that, most dogs were fed leftovers and maybe some special chicken and rice porridge. In rural and non-industrialized countries many dogs still survive on such a diet.

Since the recall of pet food in 2007 (and since then there are unfortunately many more) there are books on home-style food Dogs have sold as fast as Amazon can replenish them.

Disclosure: CNET may receive part of the proceeds from the sale of the products featured here.

We talked to them in 2007 Arden Moore, author of Real Food for Dogs: 50 veterinarian-approved recipes for the reward of dog food available on Amazon's bestseller list. "It really just showed me how scared people are," she said. More and more people were wondering what was in commercial pet food. But, as is often the case, "[were] there are really more questions than answers."

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Just one of many cookbooks with dog prescriptions.


For Moore, it is a natural extension of the anti-corporate Grind mentality that has spawned the Slow Food movement and led to the termination of the employment relationship. Bakery trend. "I think there is an urge for a more genuine, simpler life, and I think pets give it to you," she said.

Although she claims she has nothing against the pet food industry, she was also pretty sure that both of her dogs like their Marvelous Mutt Meatballs and Pooch Pancakes better than canned foods.

Dog food

The meatballs, like two thirds of the recipes in the book, are also suitable for humans. The most striking thing about them is the conspicuous lack of onions, which can cause dangerous anemia in dogs.

Eggplant, chocolate, grapes and macadamia nuts are other prohibitions that just show that dog nutrition is not as simple as giving one meat and three in a stainless steel bowl. Pet food cookbook authors talk about things like amino acid complexes, supplements for bone meal, and egg shells that have been ground for calcium.

Moore teamed up with a veterinarian from the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, who analyzed all the recipes in her book to make sure they give dogs what they need to stay healthy.

Rudy Edalati, owner of Barker's Grub Dog Catering Company in a suburb of Maryland and author of a cookbook eponymous, also knows one or two things about dog food; we also talked to her in 2007.

A former riding instructor, Edalati often sounded much more like a cook in a hip eco-spa than someone who spends all day up to the elbows in puppy food.

"Can you imagine you are eating processed foods every day ?" She said in horror as she talked about dog diets.

Edalati takeaway dishes are tailored to the specific dietary needs of each dog and are packed with seasonal vegetables – pumpkin in the fall, green beans in the summer. Their customers and their own eight canines eat dishes like Dragon Grub, a simple egg noodle and ground beef preparation that is on the kids' menu in every corner bistro.

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Spot and Tango provide your dog with farm-fresh meals.

Spot and Tango

But unlike children, dogs will not wrinkle their noses at the sight of a stray parsley stain and ask for spaghetti with butter.

"One thing about dogs is that they are just so happy and just love everything they want to do for them," she said.

Even the most passionate butt-eaters have their limits. Moore remembered a dog pushing its nose off every single piece of carrot in its casserole. "I have no idea how he made it so masterly," she said. "If you can not even make food for a dog, it's kind of sad."

Sally Sampson, a Boston-based restaurateur and author of 17 cookbooks for human food, said she is approaching the recipe development process for her dog cookbook, Throw Me a Bone, as she would for any project: test, test, Test. "If a dog walked away from something, we did not include it," she said.

Most recipes in Sampson's and Moore's books contain cereals (rice, pasta, cornmeal, wheat flour). Although there are people (especially those who only feed their pets with raw food) who agree with the theory that dogs can not eat grain, many cookbook authors believe that dogs are omnivores.

All Recipes in Throw Me One Bone passed a dog jury, including Max, the Wheaten Terrier of Sampson, and Cooper Gillespie, the Welsh Springer Spaniel of Sampson's good friend, the New York writer Susan Orlean. Orlean wrote the text of Throw Me a Bone from Cooper's point of view – it's his name, not her name on the envelope.

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

While there are many people who think they cook for you dog is a sign of pathetic out of place priorities. All the authors said it was not exaggerating to give your pet the healthiest food.

"I do not sit here and put on my pets costumes," Moore said. "But I make sure that what I put in their food bowl is very nutritious."

Today, you have a variety of pet food delivery services that provide fresh, nutritionally balanced human feed to dogs (and cats). But some people will always prefer to make their own – and they have many other dog cookbooks to choose from. You can even find wildly popular people food blogs offering their own home-made dog food recipes, and of course, both Instant Pot Dog Food and Slow Cooker Dog Food recipes. For where there is a will is also a way. Try one of these goodies from Moore's cookbook, and you'll have a happy dog.

Marvelous Mutt Meatballs

(also suitable for human consumption)

From Real Food for Dogs by Arden Moore


  • 1 pound ground beef (or loin)
  • 2/3 Cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (low sodium)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

. 2 Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.

. 3 Take out the spoon and roll into small meatballs.

. 4 Place the meatballs on a baking sheet sprinkled with grease-free cooking spray.

. 5 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

. 6 Keep refrigerated and refrigerated in a container with a lid.

Leap for the liver

(For dogs only)

For dog food by Arden Moore


  • 1 lb sliced ​​beef liver (except the juice)
  • 1 / 4 cups of water
  • 1 small tin of cornmuffin mixture


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

. 2 In a food processor or blender, slowly stir the liver into slices at a time until it liquefies. Add a little water as you add each slice.

. 3 Pour the cornmeal mixture into a large bowl. Then add the liver fluid and mix thoroughly.

. 4 Spray an 8-1 / 2-by-11-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

. 5 Pour the liver mixture into the pan.

. 6 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center returns at your touch.

. 7 Allow to cool and cut into small cubes. Store the cubes in resealable plastic bags in the freezer.

This story was written by Emily Matchar and originally published by Chowhound.

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