How to Make Cheap and Healthy Dog Food

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Much of the dog food you find on pet store shelves is packed with corn meal and animal by-products. Healthier foods that are based primarily on meats and grains are more expensive per pound and often more difficult to locate. If you want to save a few dollars on food but you also want to make sure that your pup gets the healthiest meals possible, you can try making your own dog food. When you make your own food, you control the quality of the ingredients.

Things You'll Need

  • Meat
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Pot
  • Kitchen knife
  • Steamer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Freezer bags
  • Eggs
  • Pick up some fresh meat at your local butcher shop. You do not need the leanest, most high-quality cuts; a few bits of muscle meat, some fatty bits and organ meats will be fine. Beef, chicken, turkey, pork and fish are all appropriate choices.

  • Prepare the brown rice and let it steam in a pot while you prepare the meat.

  • Chop the meat into bite-sized pieces with a kitchen knife.

  • Steam a fresh mix of vegetables — for example, carrots and squash — with a vegetable steamer or boil them in a pot. Dogs cannot eat onions, so avoid onions at all costs.

  • Mix all of your ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Ideally, your food will be 60% meat, 20% veggies and 20% rice or potatoes.

  • Split the food into single servings and seal each serving in a freezer bag. Place these bags in the freezer to lengthen the life of your supplies.

  • Pull one of your serving bags out of the fridge and let it defrost for an hour. Once the food is soft, place it in your dog’s bowl.

Tips & Warnings

  • Raw food serving sizes vary from dog to dog. You will need to serve enough raw food to replace the caloric values offered by your original dog food.
  • A raw food diet provides most of what your dog needs to function, but it's a good idea to include a daily multivitamin to ensure that your dog is as healthy as possible. You can find multivitamin products specific to your dog's current age and health condition; for instance, specific vitamins are available for old dogs or puppies.
  • When switching your dog to a new diet, you should always start by mixing his old food with new food. This helps to minimize stomach problems along the way.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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