As it turns out, a vast portion of the recipe is filler, like grains, followed by corn, and lastly with potatoes. Potatoes is the only one of these that has a decent amount of health benefits, and many pet owners specifically buy grain-free recipes so that there is a minimum of non-essential nutrients. There is also a small amount of added greens, and the last ingredient is meat byproduct, as the majority of dog food does not even include actual meat.
I’ve crafted my own version that mimics the average dog food. Not only does it deliver the vital components they need, but since it is made from food that has been produced and distributed for human consumption, it is far safer than buying pet brands. Also on a health note, it contains actual meat rather than byproducts (such as undesirable animal parts like hooves and bone).
Remember that buying in bulk is cheaper, but just like with store-bought food, some dogs might not eat this particular recipe well. Therefore, I suggest trying a small portion over a few days to test, before purchasing a lot of food that may go to waste. What you’ll need is:
- Enriched White Rice
- Instant Potatoes
- Thawed Raw Chicken Livers (with blood)
- Butter or Margarine
- A Large Pot (big enough to cook 3 cups of rice with room left over)
- Tupperware Containers
- Fill pot with water
- Place pot onto heated stove
- Add three cups of Enriched White Rice
- Add pinch of Salt
- Stir frequently until rice begins to puff
- Add two spoonfuls of Butter or Margarine
- Stirring continuously, gradually add Instant Potatoes until pot is full
- Remove from heat
- Without wasting the blood, cut Chicken Livers (1 tub or 1.25lbs) into tiny pieces
- Divide the Chicken Livers and blood equally into Tupperware Containers
- Add the Enriched White Rice and Instant Potatoes mixture into the same Tupperware Containers until each is full.
- Stir the contents of the Tupperware Containers until thoroughly mixed
- Allow food to cool (if necessary) before serving
- Otherwise, place tops on Tupperware Containers and store in fridge
- For maximum freshness, I suggest not to make so much that you have to freeze any of it
- When serving, warm (not cooked) is preferable as it makes it more appealing to your pooch
It is important that the Chicken Livers remain uncooked. This ensures maximum nutrition, and it is not harmful for dogs to eat raw organs ((granted that the organs are still in date and have not been recalled or contaminated)). As well, by eating their meat raw, you eliminate the need to add greens to their diet. For the same reason, be sure to use rice that specifically states ‘Enriched.’
When I say a pinch of salt, I mean a literal pinch. Dogs need an even smaller intake of salt than humans. If you have a butcher or meat market nearby where you can buy blood for cheap, it is great, but not necessary to add more of this to the recipe. Make sure you are still getting your doggo chew toys (bones and edible chews preferable) so that they can keep their teeth and jaws healthy.
FOR RAT OWNERS::
Dog food and rat food traditionally have comparable values, so many will feed their rats dog food since it is cheaper. I do NOT recommend feeding this mixture to rats, due to the fact it contains raw meat. However, should you wish to make a separate batch where the organs are cooked, I see no problem, though I would also add more potatoes or corn in place of some of the rice as well.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU SAVE?
Buying kibble that is neither at the cheapest end of the spectrum nor the most expensive, will run around $0.80-$1.00 per pound of food. I’m using this range as it is the most similar to the my recipe, albeit mine is still healthier and safer.
Rice generally triples its amount after being cooked. Therefore, a 20lb bag of Enriched White Rice translates roughly to 60lbs of food. That 20lb bag of rice will run you between $8 and $10.
A large box of Instant Potatoes is 1.67lbs for about $2.60
Chicken Livers is 1.25lbs for about $1.66
So for one batch of this recipe, you will use 1.31 lbs of Enriched White Rice (3 cups), 1.25 lbs of Chicken Livers, and approximately 0.42 lbs of Instant Potatoes, which equals to 5.79lbs of food for $2.90. This means that you’ll be paying about $0.50 per pound of dog food instead of $0.80-$1.00.
To put it into better perspective:
20 lbs bagged dog food from store = $16-$20
20 1bs of my recipe = $10