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Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering if there are people on this forum that create their own food for their dog? I am not looking for "raw", but I am wanting cooked recipes specifically made for larger dogs, if not for Saint Bernards and German Shepherds.

I've checked a lot of different websites for recipes, but most cater for specific breeds or smaller breeds.

I would like to get some recipes together and I will discuss everything with the vet before I start her on the food.

Also, any recommendations, suggestions, or even discussing the pros/cons of doing your own home-made food for your dogs is welcomed! I am not a new dog owner, but this will be the first time I am wanting to make my own food.

I would really love some recipes for treats, especially training type treats.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Not sure why you think there is any difference feeding a small or a large dog. You feed more to the big ones and the nutrient balance is a bit different. I'd buy one of Monica Segal's books, figure out exactly what your dog needs and go from there - K9 Kitchen and Optimal Nutrition. Lew Olson's book, Raw and Natural Nutrition and Steve Brown's book, Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet are other good books. See dogaware.com, great resource for feeding dogs.

I cooked for an ill and elderly medium sized dog for 3.5 years and another elderly medium sized dog for 10 months. For me cooking the meat, freezing it in daily packets then combining the meat with veggies/grains and supplements the day of feeding was less time consuming and more space efficient. I used the information from one of Ms. Segal's book and a nutrition website to be sure my dogs were getting what they needed. Nutritiondata.com uses USDA's info and allows you to store your dog's nutrition profile, make recipes and compare the recipe to your dog's needs. Pretty nifty.

You are going to be buying a lot of meat. Buying on sale helps a lot and if you are buying for a large dog then having room in a freezer would help a great deal.

Treats. I had a lucky find of ground turkey. Mixed it raw with an equal amount of cooked pureed sweet potato and dried in a food dehydrator on wax paper until top was dry. Flipped it and peeled off the paper and finished drying. Very pretty orange and looked like lumpy fruit leather. The same process works with pureed or ground cooked meat and any pureed cooked veggies with or without egg. You can microwave or bake this stuff if you wish. Always store in the freezer and take out what you need daily so not to waste your efforts. Even if you have a fail and it doesn't stay together well enough to use for treats it would be a terrific addition to a meal.

Or simple brownies. Mix 5 ounces of meaty stuff with an egg and enough flour [somewhere between 1 and 1.5 cups is about right] to make a stiff dough. I've made it with pureed raw liver, canned tuna, canned sardines and canned mackerel and add a small amount of fresh garlic to kill the smell [I hate fish]. Spread the goop on wax paper and microwave until firm in the center or bake at 350*F for 15-20 minutes until firm. If you want to make it fancy then rolling and cutting to shape works fine but I knead the dough into a bread type so it's easier to clean up. For Max's birthday treats I cut it with a canape cutter and they puffed up like oyster crackers, very attractive.

I cooked for both dogs for about 8 months then got annoyed at wasting the chicken bones and studied up on raw feeding. Of course bony chicken is only about 1/3rd of a good diet but I didn't need to toss all those bones after starting him on raw and keeping the other dog on cooked food. Now I know that I can slow or pressure cook chicken bones until soft, puree them and use in dog food. A lot of work and cooking bones don't smell wonderful for some reason. Messy, cooked fat is greasy unlike raw fat but if that is what works then it's good. I am pretty fanatic about feeding what the dog needs so a lot more measuring and weighing and work on nutritiondata to get cooked food right compared to feeding raw.
 
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