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Homecooked diets

November 22nd, 2006, 09:17 PM
Hi Everyone,
I've read a lot about raw on this forum, but I was wondering if anyone out there actualy cooks for their dogs? I don't mean just searing the outside of the meat...I mean COOKING it. A friend of mine is uncomfortable with feeding raw but she doesn't like feeding kibble either, so she has opted for cooking for her two dogs. She feeds things like cooked chicken (no bones of course), baked potatoes, finely chopped veggies and fruits, and tins of sardines. She uses supplements like alfalfa and kelp too. I was hoping to give her some feedback from anyone here because this is the first time she's attempting to feed this way and could use some reassurance.
Any homecookers out there? If so, how are your dogs doing on this type of diet?

November 23rd, 2006, 11:23 AM
I tried homecooking for a while but Dodger did very poorly on it (bad poops and gas - wasn't really digesting it). I find that most people who homecook tend to follow recipes that have a lot of grains (which I think is unnecessary). Also, since dogs need more cooked food than raw, there was no benefit for Dodger since he wasn't handling it well.

I still have books about it and try to keep up to date on homecooking because I do think its better than kibble. Actually, last month a friend gave me some meat that I wasn't fresh enough to give raw so I put it in the slow cooker with some herbs and veggies. Then divided into mini-portions so Dodger could have VERY smally amounts a couple of times a week. He has been fine with tiny portions and does LOVE the smell!:D

A few useful links:

When a friend of mine needed info on homecooked this is what I typed up:

EFA’s – essential fatty acids: generally pets need a 1:2 ratio of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Without getting too technical – there’s 3 important omega 3 fatty acids “alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)! Just remember that dogs and cats cannot use ALA so EPA and DHA are the one’s you need to supplement with! The best sources of this are cold water fish – I use fish body oil but I also have a bottle of cod liver oil that I use sparingly…It’s probably the best source of EFA’s BUT is very rich and easy to “overdose” so its not that main source of Dodger’s EFA’s!
Dried beans like kidney beans are also inexpensive sources of EFA’s and protein (but they need to be presoaked overnight and you have to change the water at least once – the longer you soak the less gas they are liekly to have!)
Fish of course are another source, Dodger usually gets herring and mackerel.
I refrigerate Dodger’s oil so it doesn’t go bad and with home-cooking do NOT heat the oil – add it after!

When Dodger was on home-cooked (and even now that he is on BARF) I add garlic, rosemary and parsley to his meals. Garlic stimulates digestions and boots the immune system and is rich in vitamins and minerals (it also helps keep fleas and worms away and other diseases because it’s antifungal) Rosemary is also good for digestion, gas, fatigue because it has a high concentration of antioxidants. He also gets a little organic human-grade brewer’s or nutritional yeast, kelp and Vitamin C/E/B (not everyday). Most dogs on homecooked need to be supplemented with calcium, raw bones are best but most people use egg shell powder!

Lean Meats: turkey and/or giblets, liver (beef, chicken or turkey), mackerel, most chicken and/or giblets, tuna, heart (beef, chicken or turkey), lean hamburger, duck (with skin), rabbit and fish.

Fatty Meats: chicken with skin, fatty beef heart, regular hamburger, sirloin steak, lamb or pork (I don't trim off fat so that Dodger can use it as a carb source)

Dairy products like eggs, cottage cheese, kefir and yogurt are high in protein. There are some concerns about the avidin in raw egg whites cause protein deficiency, so to be safe you can cook the white to kill the avidin and leave the yolk raw (cooking the yolk will kill the good stuff - biotin, vitamin B and omega 3’s oh and I’d give the shell too).

Vegetables – well this is almost limitless and pretty much down to what your dogs likes. Alfalfa sprouts, carrots, zucchini, lettuce and bell peppers can be fed and digested raw. Veggies that should be cooked or steamed beforehand are peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflowers and potatoes. Dodger gets spinach on occasion but you can’t give it too often because it can interfere with calcium absorption!

Most fruits are safe but I always feed them alone (and not in the meal) for proper digestion.

"Spot's Stew" from Andi Brown author of the "Whole Pet Diet" (Spot was her cat that developed almost every heath problem in the book from skin and coat problems, to IBS and diarrhea, fleas, kidney malfunction etc.... All of his health problems disappeared when she started homecooking)

yields 20 cups
2.5lbs whole chicken or turkey (bones, organs and skin)
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
1 cup green peas
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped yellow squash
1/2 chopped green beans
1/3 chooped celery (I would omit this because I find it causes gas)
1 tbsp kelp powder
1tbsp dried rosemary
11-16 cups of spring water

*For dogs add 8 oz whole barley and 6 oz rolled oats and adjust the water content to 16 cups or to cover the ingredients

Combine all ingredients in a 10 quart stainless steel; bring to a boil then turn down heat as low as possible and simmer for 2 hours (carrots should be soft). Remove, let cool and debone chicken. With an electric hand mixer or food processor, blend all ingredients into a nice puree. Make up meal sized portions, refrigerate what you will need for the next 3 days and freeze the rest. (Again, I have to disagree - I wouldn't puree Dodger's food but it might make it more digestable for a senstive dog at first).
Serving Size - for dogs split it into 2 meals per day (just guidelines)
Up to 10bs: 1-1.5 cups
11-20lbs: 2-3 cups
21-40lbs: 4 cups
For each additional 20bs add 2 cups.
*aside from Dodger not doing well on homecooked, this is why I don't do it - the dog needs so much more to sustain itself!

"Jasmine's Lamb Delight"

1lb ground or chopped lamb meat
1/2lb lamb kidneys
1/2lb whole barley
1/2lb chopped collard greens
1/2lb chopped carrots
2tbsp kelp powder
1 tsp dried rosemary
4-6 cups springwater

Combine all ingredients in stainless steel pot with enough water to cover. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are soft. Puree and divide into portions mentioned above!

From Ann Martin:

"Pot Roast"

1 3-4lb cut of beef cut into pieces
2 large potatoes, skin on, cut into pieces
2 carrots cut into pieces
1 cup green beans
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup tomato juice

Place all ingredients in a slow-cooker for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

"Dr. Fox's Natural Canine Stew"

6 cups barley, rolled oats or pasta noodles (cooked)
3 cloves of garlic
pinch of salt
1tbsp safflower oil
1tbsp wheat germ
1tbsp white vinegar
1tsp brewers yeast
1tsp bone meal
1tsp dried kelp
2 deboned chicken backs (remove excess fat) or pieces of meat from soup bones
1lb lean hamburger, ground lamb or turkey

Combine all ingredients and add water to cover, simmer, stir and add more water as needed until cooked. Should be thick enough tobe molded into patties (add bran to thicken). You can add well-cooked lentils, chick peas, lima beans as a meat substitute. Add a sprinkling of raw, grated carrots, raw yams or alfalfa sprouts.

Next 2 are recommended by Joe Bodewes DVM (in Martin's book)

"Healthy and Hearty" (for active dogs)

1b of meat with fat included
2 cups cooked cream of wheat
1.5 cups cottage cheese
1 hard boiled egg
2 tsp brewer's yeast
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp potassium chloride
1 tsp dicalcium phosphate
1 tsp calcium carbonate
Multi-vitamin/mineral tablet

"Raring to go" (for active dogs)

1 pound ground meat fat included
4 hard boiled eggs
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cooked potato
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup raw carrots
1/2 cup raw green vegetables
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
Multi-vitamin/mineral tablet

(I am not really a fan of the last 2 recipes)

And a friend's email to me about how she does homecooked:

I use a 20 qt pot and start with 1 lb of split peas or lentils and just enough water so they won't stick. At that point I generally go ahead and add in 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.Everything from this point on goes through the food processor and doesn't need much, or any cooking, but I toss everything in the pot and then add my meat at the end. The lentils need to be VERY well cooked.

2-3 medium sweet potatoes (if he can't have those then she'll need to use something else for a carb source)
2-3 carrots
1 lb green leafy veggies
UP TO 1 lb more of any veggie
Veggies should be either fresh or frozen, if she must use canned she needs to use the salt free type
6 (med) - 10 (large) eggs....I use these for the liquid when I puree the veggies
1 cup of fruit (optional...but mine like it)
8 oz of organ meat (chicken liver doesn't smell as bad cooking as does beef liver, but shouldn't be the ONLY thing that she uses)
1/2 tsp of eggshell powder (or the appropriate amount of human grade bonemeal) per pound of boneless meat.....this is crucial to bone health so don't let her leave this out

When this is finished is when I add in the meat....6 lbs and I typically use ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. I don't worry about it cooking since raw doesn't scare me but it needs to be cooked to HER comfort level.

I feed kibble in the morning, Innova or Canidae, and homecooked in the evening. My crew is between 65-90 lbs and they all get about 2.5 cups. I do the "I spy, I feel" diet by guaging what they need by their weights.

She can also use her leftovers....meats, veggies, whatever, so long as nothing has been cooked with onion of any sort.

Oh, she can also use canned jack mackeral for a protein source.....I use SEVEN 15 oz cans of this and don't add the eggshell powder. It has to be very well rinsed since its packed in brine, and then I smush it up in my hands, bones and all, before adding it in.

November 23rd, 2006, 01:15 PM
wow lissa, that is a very comprehensive answer! good job! :highfive:

November 23rd, 2006, 05:07 PM
Hi Lissa,
Technodoll is right...that is a very comprehensive answer. Thank you so much :thumbs up
I'll be sure to pass on the info to my friend. Maybe she'll try some of those yummy recipes for her furkids.;)

November 24th, 2006, 08:56 PM
Thanks:o... I am sure your friend has already done her research and is aware of all that but just in case anyone else comes along, its there!:)