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Home made (homemade) dog food


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I apologize if this is a tired, old question, but I would like to get advice on up-to-date recipe sources for making home-made dog food.


I have found at least 3 groups on FB, but don't know if any are 'good' i.e. with knowledgeable people. Does anybody follow a FB group? And which one?


Does anyone recommend any other pages/blogs/forums etc. on the internet?


Any book recommendations? "Real Food for Dogs and Cats" by Clare Middle has been recommended to me.


I will be checking the archives, but just wanted to post a fresh question to get as much info as possible.


Thanks in advance,


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Just out of curiosity, what is the reason you want to make home made dog food?

My youngest dog (2.5 years old) now has cluster seizures. She is on levetiracetam ( generic name) AKA Keppra - brand name. I have consulted a local TCVM vet who has had great success with other dogs using diet changes and herbs - in addition to the Western meds. With the positive results being reduction of dosage of Western meds (and thus reduction of side effects), and in a few cases, no longer needing Western meds.


The issue with seizures is that there is not a "one size fits all" approach so I will be going through some experimentation with my girl to see what works - and that applies to both Western and Eastern approaches.


Are you looking at raw food or cooked?

At this point, I am considering both, but this post was more for the homemade/cooked variety - even though the vet encouraged raw. From her point of view, raw is best, but homemade/cooked can also work. Grains are bad, but I already feed a primarily grain-free diet.


With raw, I will need to find suppliers - as I have read on these Boards before - and of course, learn how to balance meat/bone/offal.


Feel free to pm. Lots of learning ahead.

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If you are cooking the food or feeding raw, you can buy the meat at any grocery store. I have no clue how to feed a cooked dog food diet but there is not need for a special supplier. I would assume a cooked diet is mostly the same with lots of meat but they probably add in grains, veggies, and lots of supplements. I have seen cooked recipes before online and it looked way too involved (so much grinding!) and time consuming for my personal tastes.


I buy chicken and liver mostly from Save-a-lot, Aldi and Wegmans, depending who has what on sale. This week Save-a-alot had whole chickens for .79/lb. I usually get quarters for .49 on sale too. I can get pork roasts for a good price at all 3 stores too (sometimes .99 for bone-in and 1.69~ for boneless).

I get turkey, pork hearts, beef hearts, liver and kidney from a local Polish meat market that sells all kinds of meat, packaged goods, produce, etc. If I call ahead I can get a better price by asking to order a case vs just coming in and buying 10lb or whatever like normal people do. We used to have a great restaurant supply place with cash/carry but they closed.


I am also lucky to have family members who hunt and give me venison and I do run a CL ad in the summer/fall before the new season starts. I was lucky this year to get about 80lbs of free venison from 2015-2016 seasons off of local people.


What I am getting at, is that you can buy whatever you need for a raw diet in human-food stores without having to go out of your way to find some kind of dog-meat supplier.


If you were interested in raw, the facebook group "raw feeding (rf)" is a good place for the simplest version of raw feeding. The group is a bit militant on what can be advised or said, it can induce some heavy eye rolling, but they offer pretty straight forward information for getting started/troubleshooting.

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Thanks waffles. It is good to hear that by keeping your eye out for sales at certain stores, the prices can be reasonable. I was hoping that I could find decent prices locally as I know that buying raw from dog food companies can often be more expensive (but at least it is readily available at a local pet store).


I will definitely expand my search beyond my normal grocery stores. I will have to check and see if there are any ethnic grocers that might carry offal. At one time, I was buying raw pork necks at a Food Lion in one part of town. There are 5 or 6 Food Lions around, but this one Food Lion was the only one that carried the pork necks. And when I was in there, I think I remember seeing turkey feet and some other animal products not usually seen at white-bread grocery stores.


How many dogs do you feed raw? And what do you think your daily cost per dog is? And what size is your freezer? :-)))


Do you trust the advice on the "raw feeding (rf)" FB group?


Thanks again,

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Most run of the mill grocery stores sell beef liver. Kidney can be hard to find and for that I just order it by 15lb cases at the meat market. It lasts a long time too.

I feed our two border collies that are 45lbs and 27lbs. They eat about 16 oz and 12-13 is oz each per day. In general most of what I feed is .49/lb-$1/lb plus the free venison I get. I do sometimes splurge and buy something for 1.30-$1.40 I would say I feed about 50lb per month so I would guess my monthly costs are $35-45 or so depending on what I have.
Years ago with one dog I used to feed Fromm kibble and figure raw is about the same or probably less than what I would pay for Fromm for the two dogs.
I do have a small chest freezer in the basement that I use for our own food and for dog food. It was free so not sure the size. I store their meat in 64oz freezer bins (when I get home from the store I just shove as much meat as I can in each bin, I don't actually portion out meals or anything):
Extreme Freeze Reditainer 64 oz. Freezeable Deli Food Containers w/ Lids - Package of 8 - Food Storage https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008XLE0IQ?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf
I label them with a chalk marker and keep two in the kitchen fridge and a couple in the freezer to have them handy. The rest get stacked downstairs.
The FB group I mentioned was moved over from the old yahoo groups that I think has been around for 15 or so years. Its the basic 80/10/10 prey model type feeding that they subscribe to. You can read about that specific feeding style on other sites but their files are filled with useful troubleshooting for when you first start out. Many members/mods have fed this way for decades too. Some of their advice about health/diet is a little too woo science or holistic for me personally but the feeding guidelines are solid.

It does get easier and quicker the longer you do it. I just hand them boneless meat (I sometimes weigh it sometimes dont, you get good at eyeballing it) for two days then the third a bone-in. I throw in some liver and kidney a few days per week and each day a fish oil pill. It takes about the same amount of time as scooping kibble. I dont cut or grind anything (except the whole chickens and the enormous beef hearts into 1lb hunks).

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Thanks for the suggestion of another FB group. I will check it out.


The TCVM vet showed me the Balance It website as an option. She encouraged me to play around with it sort of as an educational tool. Having said that, she still feels raw is best as she is not a fan of the synthetic vitamins used in their formulas. She has tried using it with her own dogs with very little success. They hate the taste of it. Same reaction from many of her clients, but every once in a while, a dog has no problem with it.

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I would never use a FB page, a Yahoo group, etc. for formulation of my dog's food. Interesting reading though!


I've been using the BalanceIT supplement for years. That said, the website where you can "make up your own recipe" is bunk. You can't change a single thing without throwing it completely out of whack. And I don't like the makeup - way too many carbs for the average dog, very little variety, etc.


I use a vet nutritionist who uses Balance IT in the recipe. She will formulate it based on your individual dog's health issues, what you're willing to feed (or cook), etc. I use raw - because there's way too much prep time for the carbs I do use (one older dog with early kidney issues - rice or pasta), veggies (many types, ground up), organ meat (also several types and ground up together). No way I'm gonna cook meat too!! I think she *has* to recommend cooked - but is willing to work with raw.


I have consulted with Dr. Susan Wynn (GA Vet Specialists) for many years. She will work with you - but needs a recommendation from your local vet, since she hasn't seen your dog(s). I've worked with her long distance for many years.


Good luck.


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The good thing Diane, is that the prey model or 80%/10/10 way of feeding is something thats been used long before FB or yahoo groups existed. I personally wouldnt use a website that has something to sell me or requires so many supplements. Or requires a vet to oversee it. I dont consult my doctor to make my diet or my family but completely understand why someone would like the idea that a vet made the food. To me, the entire idea of feeding whole food is that supplements arent needed. They get what they need from the food, just like myself. Unless there was a medical reason to Supplement of course.

Everyone should do what makes sense to them and what works for their dogs.

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Definitely, "everyone should do what makes sense to them and what works for their dogs."

That said....no, I don't have a doctor formulate my diet. BUT I eat a wide variety of foods (not always the healthiest, I know....), and I take a vitamin/mineral supplement. The prey model doesn't allow for much (yes, some) variation. I started with Dr. Wynn when I had a 10 year old BC; she lived to be 16 yr 4 mo and was pretty darned healthy and active. I now have an 11+ yr old who is starting to have some issues. So, yes, I want something more "specialize" (as you said). I figure if I'm buying the supplement (just one), and feeding all three dogs something similar, yeah, I'll go with formulated.


Hope yours continue to be good! (agreeing to disagree politely, OK?)



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