Friday, January 21, 2011

Home Made Dog Food

I read labels, all kinds of labels, on the foods I eat and labels on the food that I feed my dogs.     Go ahead and read the labels on your dog food, I'll wait.    

Well, could you pronounce half the stuff they put in there?  I can't, and I'm really pretty good at this reading stuff.     Which brings me to what I do.    I make the majority of the food my dogs eat.   I've been making their food for many years.   And the end result is, I have happy, healthy dogs.   Their skin is good, their fur is nice, they have energy and very little ill health.    I used to just cook up some indeterminate meat, add some veggies and call it a day, but over the years I've refined the recipe and now I make up the same basic meatloaf each time. 

 Around here we call it Mauli Loaf in honor of our dog Mauli.     She is the reason I learned a little more and refined the Mauli Loaf recipe.
Mauli (gray poodle) and Chimi (white poodle) chasing Moose.

When we first got Mauli she was a three year old, former breeder and you could tell she needed something extra.    She'd just finished weaning her latest and last litter and it showed.   So, I started off feeding her canned food along with some dry foods.    That was ok, but the stuff in the cans stunk and made her stink as well.   (go ahead, give your dogs a good sniff, do they smell a little funky? Yup, it's the food.)    So I started making her some food, and through trial and error, came up with a basic formula.   Mauli was more than happy to eat all the different versions, some a little more happily than others, but for the most part she gulped them on down.   She thought she was eating people food, giggle.    I started off with equal amounts of ground beef, and vegetables, added brown rice and oatmeal along with some eggs, mixed it all together and baked it.   Oh and I almost forgot, 1 good tablespoon of garlic powder was mixed in as well.   I used to bake it, and then weigh out exactly 11 oz. per meal and she would eat it.   Then we got a second dog and  I was making meatloaf a couple times a week.    Our new dog is also a rescue and she loves to eat Mauli Loaf as well.   Then a couple of years ago I started using chicken in place of the ground beef and Mauli likes it even better, umm, did I mention that chicken is her favorite animal protein?    Have you checked out the price of ground beef?  Yikes, and you can get chicken leg quarters for as low as 49 cents a pound on sale.    Need I say more?
Chicken leg quarters cooking up.

Brown rice

Peas and Carrots and Eggs

Rice with veggies and eggs.

Chicken taken off the bones and added to the rest.
Oatmeal, last but not least.

All mixed up and ready for the oven.
Mauli Loaf in the oven

At any rate, for the past couple of years I cook up chicken and then add it to the frozen veggies, brown rice, oatmeal and eggs and bake that into a meat loaf style food.     I try to cook as much as I can ahead, but still end up making them food at least once a week.     I love watching the dogs play for hours, especially when one of them is over 13 yrs old and the other is 4 yrs old.   Mauli does have some older dog issues, mainly weak eyesight and her hindquarters are also weak, but her zest for living, and playing with her ball for hours, well, let me put it like this, I'll continue to make the effort of home made food for them.  My girls also like it when I just put the mixture into a frying pan and cook it that way.   Maybe because when I do it that way, I add some fat to the pan, and it cooks it up nice and brown.
Mauli Loaf frying in the pan.

Mauli Loaf Recipe

2 lbs, chicken, cooked and taken off the bone ( I either cook them in the crock pot or on top of the stove til the meat is ready to fall off of the bone)
2 lbs. Frozen Vegetables  ( I prefer Peas and Carrots, they seem to be more digestible)
4 cups cooked brown rice  (you can use instant brown rice as well)
4 cups oatmeal, (The regular oatmeal works best)
3-4 eggs.
Water or the chicken stock you cooked the chicken in.  (side benefit here, you can also use the chicken stock for yourself, just salt it later on). Skim the majority of the chicken fat off the top, some fat is good, but it can really do a number on my older dog's digestive system.    However, if you are in a cold climate, fat is good.  It burns off as energy for the dogs.   

Mix all together and place in a pan and bake in the oven for  90 minutes or until the temp reaches 180 deg.
Cut into chunks and serve them to your dog.    Refrigerate it for serving over the next couple of days.    I have to admit to warming it at this point, either by zapping it in the microwave or in a fry pan.  Mauli appreciates warm food nowadays.  

Mauli and Chimi having a well deserved nap.

For more recipes please check out   

All about food. *giggle*

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