I home cook for my dog, out of necessity now, but I wish I'd done it from day one. At least he got high quality food back then anyway! He has kidney disease..so the secret is to get a high quality protein, good fats, and as low phosphorous as possible. Most kidney dogs (and cats) can lose a lot of weight when they get sick. THat wasn't the case for us. So when I would research kidney recipes..they all had a lot of carbs. Great for a sickly, frail dog. But he was a little chubby to begin with and had gained weight on the vet rx food on top of it.
so I had a big struggle. It took time, and some math. But I figured out a great recipe. The first few times I'd mess something up.
. but I got it down now. I make a big batch every two weeks, and seperate 3/4 of a lb in a baggie. he gets half in the a.m, half in the p.m. It worked out amazingly. His stools are much smaller, his coat is shiny, he's perky, and best of all..we are stalling the disease.
I think my recipe can work for a normal dog too. It's high in protein, low in carbs. The recipe is mostly protein, the rest is grain, veggie and fat. It is paw licking delicious! and soo easy to make! some meaty bones can be added to add phosphorous for a healthy dog..we can't go near bones because of the phosphorous--bad for kidneys.
The meat consists of cut up chicken thigh meat (w/skin if possible)
The other half of the meat is high-fat ground beef..(73/27 or higher fat possible), I leave the meat raw.
I use Farina (cream of wheat) as the grain (cooked), Veggie is spaghetti, acorn, or butternut squash (steamed), fat is 2 packages of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, he also gets a full egg and one egg white a day. So i go through about a dozen and a half per batch, cooked as well. I crush the eggshells from all the eggs for calcium and to help as a phosphorous binder. Mush it all up together, and I freeze the baggies.
He also gets daily supplements: coQ10, fish oil (omega 3 only), glucosamine, vitamins B & E, and a probiotic.
You may find stuff online but in the end, you will need to come up with your own recipe based on your individual dog's needs. For some CRF dogs, my recipe may not work. I took the crf recipes and tweaked them accordingly. I used the daily nutrient needs of a 30 lb dog, although Al is closer to 40. The recipe is so low in phosphorous that I still have 100mg to spare..which can be used for treats.
This recipe truly satisfies him, he gets carrot sticks or a cookie (depending what I found at my local doggie health store) and that's about it. He leaves them sometimes even..which tells me he isn't necessarily hungry.
When you first enter the home cooking world..it can be intimidating..to hear percentages, milligrams, ounces, everything is measured. Now I do it with my eyes closed! I never thought I'd need to use a food scale, but I depend on it! I ramble off the percentages and milligrams now like second nature. I can look at something and know if it's a low phosphorous food or not, if he can have some..how much phosphorous has he had already for the day, etc. It will become second nature I promise!
It is sooo good for our furkids! You get to control all the ingredients, and you see an immediate improvement in their health. Nothing is processed, nothing artificial..you just can't beat it!!