How to Make Your Own Healthy Pet Food on a Budget

Written by axl j. amistaadt
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Pet owners are becoming more and more convinced that commercial pet foods are not the healthiest diets for their best friends. Even so, those preparations, particularly the "better" ones, are often far too expensive for the budgets of many pet lovers. This dog kibble is not only a much healthier diet for your best friend, but costs much less for you to make as well. Easy to prepare, this project will yield 20 to 25 cups of dog food, depending upon whether or not you decide to add meat. Any of the food that isn't going to be used right away can be safely frozen. You'll have the added bonus of peace of mind knowing how fresh the kibble is, and that it has no questionable fillers or preservatives or dangerous artificial sweeteners.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups dry milk
  • 3 cups cooked brown or wild rice
  • 2 teaspoons bone meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup melted bacon grease or lard
  • 3 cups meat juices, water, meat drippings, milk, gravy or broth
  • 1 to 4 cups ground or shredded leftover meat, fish or fat (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup cooked carrots
  • Plastic food storage bags
  • Airtight plastic containers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Combine the rolled oats, whole wheat flour, dry milk, brown or wild rice and bone meal in a large mixing bowl. Blend the dry ingredients very well, and set the bowl aside.

  2. 2

    Beat the eggs lightly in a separate large bowl. Whisk in the melted bacon grease or lard. Add the meat juices, water, meat drippings, milk, gravy or broth and blend everything together very well.

  3. 3

    Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients slowly, blending well. A stiff dough will begin to form. Add 1 to 4 cups of meat, fish or fat if you wish, although it's not really necessary. Stir in the peas and carrots, mixing gently to avoid squashing them.

  4. 4

    Spread the dog food dough in well-greased baking pans or dishes. Don't spread the dough much more than 1/2 inch thick, or it will take longer to cook.

  5. 5

    Preheat the oven to 79.4 degrees C. Bake the pans of dough for about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove them from the oven when the kibble browns lightly and pulls away from the sides of the pans.

  6. 6

    Cool the pans completely on racks when they're through baking. Break the baked kibble into pieces the right size for your dog. Store enough for 4 to 5 days in sealed plastic food storage bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator.

  7. 7

    Store the rest of the kibble in sealed plastic food bags or airtight plastic containers in the freezer.

Tips and warnings

  • You can vary the cooked vegetables and optional meats with each new batch of kibble that you make.
  • Never give your dog chocolate, which can kill canines.

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