Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Experiment in Canning Dog Food

Smokey cracks me up... he rests his chin on the bottom shelf of the coffee table while he
observes the action in the kitchen.

When I buy a whole chicken to use in making chicken salad or chicken and dumplings, I have, in the past, simply thrown out the little "bag" of "innards"... we don't eat necks, gizzards, hearts and livers. I got to thinking about this waste, and seeing as we have a new canine member of the family (our 7 year old rescue German Shepherd, Smokey), I started reading up on the nutritional needs of the dog... it seems most (if not all) commercial dog foods contain a LOT more filler ingredients than is really healthy for dogs.

Now, I'm NOT fanatic about this, our Smokey still eats his store-bought kibble and commercially canned dog food... but after my reading, I thought instead of throwing out chicken parts and the skin and bits I have left after cooking a chicken, I'd save it up and try my hand at a balanced, canned dog food of my own.

I learned from my research that a dog's digestive system is shorter than humans and has different needs... they don't need to eat just like we do. Here's the basic "formula" I came up with...

Protein... a dog should have at least half (preferably more) animal proteins... such as muscle meat, heart, liver, kidney, eggs, dairy (e.g. yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese), fish (like salmon, mackerel, sardines)

Carbohydrates... dogs really have no nutritional need for carbohydrates, they are added as filler and additional calories (no more than half should include carbohydrates, preferably much less).

Fat... Unlike humans, dogs have no cholesterol issues and need fats in their diets to keep their joints lubricated. Fats also provide palatability of food, and are needed for even-tempered energy levels, healthy skin and coat, digestion, and a stable body temperature. Fats are an important part of a dog's diet... and should comprise 15-20% of their food.

Fruits and Veggies... Can be fed in fairly small amounts to add variety and vitamins.

Calcium... Necessary for bone and tooth health.

Now... after saying all that... here's what I did to mix up my first dog food concoction...


I cooked up all my saved chicken parts... livers, hearts, gizzards, muscle meat bits, skins, etc. I ended up with about 3 cups of chicken parts.


To this I added 2 cups of cooked rice (rice is a fairly easily digested grain for canines)


2 cooked carrots... for flavor and vitamins


Next I added a whole boiled egg for and additional bit of protein and fat... with the shell left on for calcium


I ran this mixture through my meat grinder attachment (coarse grind blade) to my KitchenAid mixer... it was pretty gross looking but honestly smelled delicious... DH kept coming in and asking what I was cooking that smelled so good... "Dog Food" I replied... "Oh." I think he was disappointed!


After all the grinding, the mixture looked like this...

Appetizing huh?

In a saucepan with the meat mixture... I added a few more ingredients...


2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (good for joint health, our middle-aged pooch is already getting a little stiff in the leg joints, the cider helps)


One Tablespoon of garlic powder (helps guard against fleas and ticks)


2 cups of chicken broth (the liquid from cooking all those chicken parts)... for added flavor, fat, and to help get the consistency desired


I heated the mixture up and began ladling it into my prepared pint jars (heat jars, lids, and rings in boiling water, keeping hot until time to use them)


I got rid of any air bubbles...


Wiped the jar rims, and tightened the lids on to fingertip tightness...


I processed the jars in my pressure canner (follow directions that come with your own brand of pressure canner)


... at 10 pounds of pressure for 70 minutes...

After the process was complete, I removed the canner from the heat and let the pressure drop to ZERO before removing the lid and taking out the jars...


... and setting them on a folded dish towel on the counter to wait for the PING of each successfully sealed jar... of DOG FOOD!!!


I wonder if Smokey will savor the gourmet delight I cooked up just for him? or will he inhale it without even chewing like he does most other foods? I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that question!






















94 comments:

  1. Interesting, and good use of food stuff. Let us know how Smokey likes it.

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  2. Can't wait to hear more about this!

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  3. Thanks for reading folks! ~~Granny

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  4. Wow, that's one of the most creative things I've ever seen canned.

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  5. Thanks Cherish, Smokey loves it! ~~Granny

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  6. When my Yorkie was but a pup she had some digestive trouble after getting a round of inoculations--she couldn't keep her expensive kibble down and was getting weak. Her vet told me to boil her some chicken breast, add some cooked rice, some cooked carrot and stir in some non-fat cottage cheese after it cooled. She was so happy to have something tasty and healthy and something that didn't make her sick. I never in a million years thought I'd be cooking my dog food... I think I'll give canning dog food a go to put with the rest of my 'blizzard' preparations.

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    1. My dachshund has had stomach issues his entire life. I've tried everything from least-to REAL expensive food. Wet food seems to work best for him (i mix in kibble for his teeth). This sounds very good, and actually it's real food. No fillers, preservatives. I will have to try this. Thank you!

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    2. we also added yogurt or buttermilk at the time of feeding to help with stomach issues. Our dogs liked a few bacon fat pieces from the bacon ends and pieces we get that are all fat we add that to the dog feed. Also add things like tripe, liver, lungs from the chickens we processed. Time to time we butcher and keep the green tripe to feed to the dogs. They love it. older cheese grated into it at the time of feeding does help use things up rather than tossing them too. Our dogs love, and the cats too, the chicken and chickpea (cici, garbanzo beans rather then all rice) to their food. sweet potato and winter squash add to their diet also.

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  7. Go for it Oney! I've since made more from chicken livers and ham mixed with rice and veggies and stuff... Smokey loves it! I mix it with his kibble. ~~Granny

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  8. What kind of rice? brown or white? I'm partial to brown for my people family, but do dogs need the whole grain/brown rice? I hope you labeled it properly, it really does look good! thanks for sharing!

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    1. any rice, will work make sure it is cooked would be my concern in canning it. In fact any dried bean, or odd "newer" things like teff, do not forget oatmeal, sweet potato, winter squash, or even rye berries work if the dog eats it go for it.

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    2. I use black rice. It's supposed to be high in antioxidants. I also put in a bunch green beans from the garden that have gotten a little bigger than I prefer. One of my dogs has intermittent anal gland issues so I skim some of the fat from when I boil the skinless chicken breasts with bones (bones removed after the breasts cool), then add the black rice to the skimmed broth for 25 minutes, then the gizzards, livers, hearts, organic carrots and green beans...if I have an organic sweet potato I might add some of that. They love it and Bob hasn't had many episodes in months...thank goodness! I do this every 5 days for my 3 dogs and I think having a huge dog food making day and canning is a great idea.

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  9. I used white because it's what I had on hand, either would be fine. I did label it, yes, LOL! And thanks for reading. ~~Granny

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  10. You know what, Pamela, I'll can anything that isn't moving and I sometimes make homemade pet food but I don't think it would EVER have occurred to me to can homemade pet food. Thank you for the fabulous idea!

    BTW, Smokey is adorable and I wish I could give him a big hug. He looks like a seriously huggable dog.

    I found you through the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Blog Hop and I'm glad I did.

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  11. Thanks Grace... He IS indeed quite huggable!!! Thanks for finding me! and for reading ~~Granny

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  12. finally some with acual directions.thank you so so much

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  13. You are very welcome! ~~Granny

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  14. I am somewhat distrustful of canning meat, that's
    just me. Why couldn't I freeze it in an ice-cube tray for my little guy? Have you tried this?

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  15. I have not tried freezing it, but I'm sure it would work nicely. ~~Granny

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    1. I make dog food to add to their dry kibble and most of it is frozen into cubes (or muffin tins) and once frozen placed in gallon bags. I do pressure can some dog chow when I make our chicken broth because the canner etc. is already out. It is uber convenient when we take our camper out.

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  16. You wrote that you leave the shell on the egg ... does it soften during the canning process? I am curious about the sharpness of the shell being swallowed ...

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    1. NanaKate, when the mixture is ground, then canned, the eggshells do soften, and they add a great supply of calcium and other nutrients to the dog food. ~~Granny

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  17. What an AWESOME Blog! I have been having so much fun cruising it this afternoon. I am thinking about making this dog food for my dog. I think he would like it very much - plus I would know exactly what is in it (unlike the stuff we get from the market). One thing that I noticed is that you use garlic powder. A few years ago I worked at a very large shelter in Denver, Colorado and they informed us that garlic, onions (and many others) are poisonous to dogs & cats. So I looked it up on ASPCA and here is what I found: http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/ask-the-expert/ask-the-expert-pet-nutrition/is-garlic-toxic-to-pets.aspx It is obvious that your pup is not affected by the garlic - but would warn others that theirs might be. Again, thank you so much for the post! I can't wait to try some of the other recipes as well :) Blessings, Jennifer

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    1. Thanks Jennifer,
      I had heard about onions being bad for dogs, but everywhere I've read before says garlic is good and is a great way to naturally prevent fleas and ticks. I'll have to check it out.

      ~~Granny

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    2. from my reading on this, dried powdered garlic, in small amounts seems to be ok, and is added to a lot of dog foods and treats.. however, raw or cooked garlic is extremely toxic. we've had to experiment with home made dog food for a few of our little ones, either due to food allergies (one dog was allergic to all animal protein, except fish..)or lack of teeth. We also foster rescue dogs waiting to be adopted (all of the dogs we've had in the last 9 years have been rescues) so yay on your new addition and thank you for adopting an older dog.
      another idea for the egg shells: I save my egg shells whenever I make eggs. I dry them out and then crush them into powder. They can easily be added to dog food recipes that way, plus I bury some of the egg shell powder in the hole when I plant tomatoes and peppers. they love the added calcium (you can also water down milk products that are a bit older then they should be and feed your plants with that..)

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    3. You can also grind up bone and cartilage in a blender with the carrots, onion, and onions leftover from making stock. Now I realize that I can can it too! Thanks.

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  18. I found you through Pinterest. I like this idea very much! What about the chicken necks, did you include them in with the cooking & grinding or just the cooking. I am worried about the neck bones.
    Also, I give my dogs garlic tablets, sold in the doggie vitamin aisle, to help with fleas but would much rather include the real stuff. You never know what is in store bought items.
    I am off to check out more of your blog!--Sondra

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  19. I read that garlic is good for them, as long as they don't consume too much of it. The main foods I avoid with my dogs are: chocolate (obviously), onions, raisens, grapes (pretty much anything with seeds), and broccoli. I buy baby carrots and give those as "treats." They freak over baby carrots. The only other "treats" they get are very small cubes of cheese.

    I love this blog - so creative! I feed my dogs 1/2 cup of kibble in the morning and a 1/4 cup of kibble at night. I supplement their dinner with 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla yogurt, beans or peas (or sometimes potatos), and of course meat. I cook an entire chicken every sunday, debone it, and store it for use with their meals. I use kitchen scissors to chop it up fine and make jiblet gravy out of the gross parts. I add fish oil to the gravy because it's really good for their coats and treats dry skin. I NEVER throw away leftover meat, meat trimmings, or vegetables - they love it!

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  20. I too cook my dog her food. Lady is a 1 year old 40 Lb. German Shepard. I came across this blog because I am currentlt freezing her food, but wanted to see if it was possible to can it. Thank you, I see that I can, the only thing that worries me is that her food is a bit think, and I will test to make sure that I can get all of the air out. Here is the recipe that I feed Lady, with one multi vitamen and 1/3 cups of quality puppy kibble. Just to make sure that she does not miss out on any nutrients.
    4 Lbs of chicken thighs, 2 Lbs carrots, 1 stalk of celery, 2 Lbs of sweet potatoes, 1 Lb of kidney beans, 6 cups of white rice, and 12 cups of water. Boild the chicken in the 12 cups of water, remove chicken, add the carrots and celery, boil and remove, add the sweet potatoes, boil and remove (all of this in the same water). Make the beans and rice as directed by rice and bean bags. When all done, remove the bone from the chicken, and blend everything except the rice together, add the rice, and kabam your done. Your dog will love it.
    Chef Brian

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    1. I would be concerned about the beans, especially for a GSD and other deep chested breeds. These breeds are prone to bloat, which can be fatal. Bloat is a gas build up in the stomach and not escaping, can cause it to twist and cut off blood supply, killing the stomach and surrounding organs. Beans, as we all know, can cause gas.

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  21. I have been reading your blog all night! (I work weekends so this is one of my two nights 'off' - I am so glad I could spend some of my time off here, you are amazing!)

    I have to make food for my dog often (blonde Shepherd - skin trouble and allergy issues)

    Until I read this post I (for some reason) never considered canning my own dog food...

    It makes way too much sense to actually do it that I wish there were more people who would try it and share their experience.

    Thank you for doing so.

    You have a wonderful blog - I have enjoyed my time here very much and wanted you to know that I will be sending folks your way in the days to come.

    Be well,
    M.L.

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    1. I made some for my dogs (2 German Shepherds) they love it. I loosely followed Granny's recipe. I don't have a food grinder so this is what I did. In a pot put chicken skin & scraps (after prepping our dinner), 2 whole eggs and lots of water. Brought it to a boil and boil til the eggs were hard boiled. Scooped the chicken pieces and eggs (keep shells on)into the food processor and added a little of the broth to process to a puree. To the broth (at least 6 C was left) on the stove I added 2 C rice, a couple of carrots, a small diced, but unpeeled potato 2 TB flax seed, some cider vinegar. As it began to cook I stirred the processed chicken mix into the rice. Then I ladled it into hot sterile jars & followed Granny's processing guidelines. I plan on doing the same basic recipe when I make canned browned hamburger (for us)and use the drained fat for them. This was the first I canned the dog food-- I usually just freeze it. The only reason I canned it was because I was already making Granny's grab & go chicken soup and had space in the canner. Although the dogs dream about eating it just like that-- I mix it with dry kibble (just under 1/2 C per dog)because it is high in fat. People comment how beautiful their coats are all the time--even their vet. The one dog is rounding 15 years, the other is 18 mos. They are both very healthy dogs. Hope you decide to try this. Let us know your results.

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  22. do you put them in the fridge? or on a shelf? how do they not spoil?

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    1. They are shelf stable... they won't spoil because they've been pressure canned. ~~Granny

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  23. All I can say is wow! I have been going crazy trying to find a recipe with nutritional requirements for dogs and this by far is the best. I thank you and my girls Gracie and Molly say "it's delish".

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  24. really want you to reconsider the garlic, as a dog breeder for 40 years, its considered toxic in large amounts, and onions are worse..see this link..
    http://www.holisticdog.org/badfoods.shtml

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  25. your directions are so well written! When I make a turkey or chicken, I throw any scarps and carcass in my pressure cooker. After it's done and cooled, I 'mush' around in it by hand to make sure all the bones are softened. Lots of nutrition in the bones. I then add about the same as you did for your dog food and run it in the food processor. Never have canned it though....

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  26. Great idea! Right now, I make up a batch (mostly of raw) and freeze part of it, and refrigerate what they will need immediately.

    I had been worried about what I would do if I traveled (by car) or something happened to where I could not make up their food. This is a perfect solution.

    My dogs "dance" for their home made food. They never did that for their (expensive, premium) store bought food.

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  27. This recipe and instructions reminded me of a family story that I thought maybe you all would get a laugh out of.

    My grandfather sat down for breakfast one morning and began eating. He mentioned that because he wss very late getting home the night before he had gone into the butlers pantry and had found the most tasty "pate'". He questioned who had made it. My Aunt Fee looked at him with some distress and said "Oh Daddy, you ate the cat food again". It seems that in the 1920 it was common for the cook to save scraps and cook it up and grind it for the family pets. Grandpa had a liking for bending his elbow a bit, so I am sure he had done this a number of times.

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  28. What an awesome idea! This could work well for emergencies or if you are traveling as well.

    We cook for our pups as well, one has an allergy to chicken and the other to beef, but they are well fed dogs.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the garlic, you aren't feeding them the amount that would be considered too much.

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  29. I've been thinking about canning dog food. I'll need to buy a pressure canner, though. :) My dog is on a low-fat diet, and he's allergic to grains, so he gets chicken breasts or thighs with no skin or visible fat and green beans, carrots and potatoes. Right now I make it up about a weeks worth at a time and freeze it, but it would be so much easier to make a huge batch and can it and just open a can for him.

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  30. This is an awesome idea! Every year before hunting season, I tend to have alot of extra venison given to me when people clean out their freezers. I generally add the same things, just venison instead of chicken. Never even occured to me to can it up. I use garlic powder in my homemade foods all the time...dogs seem to be fine and rarely have flea or ticks. Thanks for the info.

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  31. I have been using the leftover chicken parts for our dogs for some time now. I pressure cook the all the left over part then run it thru my ninja blender add chicken stock and dry dog food grind it till it looks like canned dog food add brown rice, couple of spoons of olive oil , a smidge of vinigar and carrots. They love it!! I hadn't thought about canning it. What a fabulous idea. It's got to be healthier for them than the can food you buy at the grocery store.

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  32. How many pint jars do you get from one batch/recipe? Just asking, since so many are concerned about the garlic issue. If you're getting 12 or more jars of food for and only adding 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder and you're not feeing the whole pint jar to your pet in one sitting they really wouldn't be getting that much per serving. Just a thought. So glad I found this. Thanks.

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  33. Just remember that with any homemade dog food to make sure and add a multi vitamin formulated for K9's. People food is not always as nutritionally balanced for dogs as it needs to be.

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  34. http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/garlic_for_dogs.html

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  35. Although I've never canned my own dog food (scardy cat of a pressure cooker! But, I WILL try) I make up a lot and freeze it. I get meat scraps from the butcher, lots of gristle thats got good stuff in it, depending on the shape of their coats rice or oatmeal, cooked, lots of carrots and green/yellow beans, lots of parsley and a good amount of garlic, plus last year I did a lot of ice fishing and ended up with skins, bones and guts. Cooked well and added to mix, all through a grinder and put it into quart bags and froze it. I feed it to my 3 medium sized dogs (50-75 lb girls) as often as I remember to take it out of my freezer, usually I split a quart between 3 bowls and add about 1 cup regular Beneful, 2 times a day. A rough estimate of foods: about 8-10 pounds of beef scraps, about same for fish, 1/2 cup parsley, 1/4 cup dried garlic (it gets cooked in oatmeal) and about 3 quarts veggies. I also make a gravy out of fish and beef stock to juice it up. I don't remember how many quart bags I get but it lasts quite a while. Also, once a week, I add an Omega 3 gel cap to their meal.
    I do need to get over my fear of pressure canners and try that method...so TY so much for posting your info on jar sizes, times and pressure. Awesome article!
    Not sure how to create an account but if anyone wants to get in touch... diamondwillow@tbaytel.net and it's Mary :)

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    1. So I've gotten over my pressure canning fear....got one for Xmas and I LOVE it! I toss in fish and chicken carcasses (loads of meat left on a fileted fish, btw) and pressure cook it at 15 lbs for 70 minutes, skin, bones and all. It comes out like mush, so no need to grind. I also use some venison and/or beef when available, then freeze it in sandwich bags. My 3 girls get 1/3 of a bag mixed with commercial kibble, so I do not worry about adding carbs or veggies any more (still get left overs) plus Omega 3 and a Tsp of sunflower oil 1X per week. I will probably switch to canning it in pint jars (my canner takes about 20) My girls LOVE it and have lost weight (a good thing...one was about 25 lbs over, another about 15) and are super healthy....gloss in coats, bright eyes and loads of energy.

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  36. I've never canned, but I'll freeze mine in daily portions in my seal a meal.

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  37. I've been making dog food for years but have never canned it.........no need to, it doesn't last long enough with 4 dogs. But I do bake it instead. I boil the meat, strain the liquid off and refrigerate overnight to take off any excess fat ( one dog is little on the "plus" size ) I use the liquid to make the rice, add any leftover veggies and if the chickens and ducks have over produced, I will throw some eggs in there to hard boil, meanwhile I debone the meat. When the rice/veg mix is done I put that in a large foil tray, layer the meat on top, run the eggs through the food processor ( with the shells) and layer that on. Sprinkle on some rolled oats, ground flax, wheat germ, and if I didn't have the extra eggs to start with, some ground egg shells. Throw it in the oven at 200 for however long it takes to dyhydrate more so than to bake, stirring occasionally. I store it in the fridge in Dentastick bags,( as a clue) or a big pot that is clearly marked with large black permanent marker........DOGS- YES / YOU- NO..........because it's happened before ;) and it really does look that good. I serve it over bought kibble and the dogs love it.

    I never add onions or garlic but I certainly don't throw out any meat/veg that has been cooked with that. I do make a point of buying the biggest sweet potatoes I can find because I am the only one that eats them and that leaves LOTS for the dogs and I add any dairy products that need to leave before we get to it......apparently dogs seem to think that blueberry yogurt goes just fine with chicken and cheese. But I NEVER add dry beans...............that would just be suicidal for us with 4 large dogs in the house.

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  38. Years ago I took my perfectly healthy Shepard to the vet for the annual rabies shot or some other non-medical issue. He was doing the routine basic exam and then asked the dreaded question... " Do you feed her table food? " I couldn't lie so I said yes, and expected a blast. But what he said was eyeopening. He said...........

    "if you are eating a well balanced nutritional meal and there are leftovers, then there is no reason to not feed the leftovers to your dog, the more meat and vegetables you can get them to eat, the better. BUT, if you have put it to the side of your plate because you refuse to eat it, like that big strip of fat off a steak, then it's really not a leftover is it? it's garbage, so garbage for you should be garbage for your dog.

    So that really made me think about the whole "people" food is bad for your dog issue.................chicken, fish, beef, lamb, rice, all people food, and supposed to be the first ingredients in dog food when it's labelled that way, and yet the first ingredient is usually corn, a filler, and GMO corn to boot.

    I've spent ( once ) over $80 for 2kg of a special dog food for a dog with a skin issue......it was fish, sweet potato and rice. It did noting for his skin but it did make my house smell like a sardine factory...and how much fish, rice and sweet potato can you by for $80.........he's now 11, and over 110 lbs, I would have gone broke feeding a 110lb dog a food that cost $40/kg...........and thats why I make my own version of that, with real ingredients, fit for him and me...........it's not Twinkies, that's "people" food.

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  39. I have truly enjoyed thiss blog. I have just one question. Do you have any recipes for canning Dog food with use of just a canner? I do not have a pressurer canner and just process them in hot water. Kind of afraid of the pressure cookers. I would love to start cooking for my lil baby. She also has a food allergy to corn. Scratches like ceazy as if she had fleas.

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    1. NEVER use a water bath canner for meats! A pressure canner MUST be used to reach a temperature high enough for safe preservation.

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  40. I cook for my dogs all the time. The favorite meat source here is venison. I always use brown rice over white rice. They need a certain amount of fiber as well. Two things need to be pointed out here - one already was - if you wouldn't eat it - don't feed to the dog. That said I would feed them gizzards and hearts type thing but not that big hunk of fat. The second one is - I too am not a big fan of pressure cooking so I freeze mine and it is just fine for a couple months that way. I need to learn to use on though as you never know when you will get a long power outage here.

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  41. I used to have a kennel and I would take 3 or 4 fryer chickens in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. cook for 90 min on 15 lb's . let cool Take a potato masher and mash bones and all. the bones just crumble. The marrow and calcium from the bones are excellent for the dogs.Add what ever you like rice, garlic, eggs.. I would mix with dry kibble dog food.

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  42. For those who are considering veggies and brown rice, keep in mind that dogs have a short digestive tract. If you want them to get more out of the rice and veggies besides bulk/roughage, you may want to consider cooking and mashing the veggies and using white rice. Dogs and humans do not have the same digestive tracts, so what is good and healthy for us may not bring the same benefits to your dog. Do your resarch, there are some very good sites out there that give you great recipes that match a dog's digestive tract.

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    1. oats or barley are great too. remember white rice is a processed food.

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  43. Good info Granny. I have been canning dog food for 6 months. I buy 30 lbs. of chicken breasts on sale. I fillet them and take the ribs/backs, skin and cartlidge and run it through my heavy duty grinder and freeze in 5 lb ziplocks until needed. In a food processor, chop 5 lb. carrots, 2 bunch celery, a bunch of parsley and celantro, 4 lb potato, 2 cans tomato paste, 2 cup ground flax seed, 1 lb frozen blueberry, 1/4 cup ea S&P. Sometimes canned pumpkin instead of the potato.

    Beau absolutely loves the food and more importantly has been his health. He has lost his extra weight and his allergies are gone. No hot spots. No yeasty ears. After years of switching dried foods, I finally figured out the problem was GLUTEN. Read the ingredients, your premium foods contain gluten meal. We all worry about grains. The down side is that I have to take him to the groomer now as he doesn't scratch his hair out.

    Here's my problem: I get (I think) too much syphoning. I loose too much liquid. I jiggle jars and tamp to remove bubbles. I leave a good 1-1/2" of headspace. I put all my ingredients into a big stock pot and bring to a boil. I heat my jars, lids and rings. I am canning Qt. jars at 15 lbs. for 90 minutes.

    I think the excess fat is causing a foaming problem. I like to use some fat to keep his coat looking good. Would reducing the pressure to 10 lbs help? Any other ideas?

    Thanks, Ed in Fresno

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    1. Ed, you could add a little more broth, that might help. Are you at a high elevation? I use 10 lbs. pressure here, but I'm only at 600 feet. If you're under 2,000 feet it would be fine to go to 10 lbs. ~~Granny

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  44. Thanks Granny. I'm at 285 feet. I'll try a 10 lb. weight on the Presto. I might try less food and a little water on top too. -Ed

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  45. brewers yeast is a great substitute for the garlic powder and is also effective against fleas :)

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  46. Chicken is here in this recipe. I imangne you could do the same with Turkey and Beef. I am not sure about Pork tho. Can you do this and make dog food with Pork?

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    1. Sure you can use pretty much any meat. ~~Granny

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  47. Thank you so much for this recipe.... one question, what is the shelf life of the dog food.. as in how often should make to keep a good stock of jars .. we have four dogs, two good sized and two small.. and can I double this and make it in quart jars?

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  52. As a raw feeder I can appreciate being able to can your dogs food! Awesome idea. The amount of garlic added to your mix should have absolutely no effect on the dog at all given it is mixed in the entire batch of food the amount per feeding is not to be worried about. Consider keeping the necks as a raw treat also, just keep an eye on the dog the first time to make sure she's chewing it up and not gulping (which even if she does most likely she'd regurgitate it and then chew it up as she should!) great treat and wonderful nutrition.

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  53. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  54. I tried this but I didn't put in any thing I would not eat. My dogs didn't like it at first so I tried it me self it needed some seasoning so I started heating it up and using seasoning and the dogs stand and wait for it now they just love it. I didn't use the egg shells.

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  55. How long can this recipe "keep when canned. I am new to canning, and the whole idea of canning meat is a little scary to me. But I do make my own dog food all the time, I would really like to have some of this hanging around for when I go away, the dog sitter will have it already made up when she stops by. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I'm wondering this too. Anyone have any ideas?

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  57. Great photos of the process... I'd only add to use brown rice or oats to make it "clean." Easy way to ensure your companion dog doesn't get processed food :)

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  58. After much research, I started making my Boston Terrier's food from scratch eliminating all grains whatsoever. He has stopped having problems with bloating and gas, his skin and coat are improved, and he no longer suffers constant ear infections. The last time he went to the vet for his regular shots, even the vet asked me what I was feeding him because he looked so much better. In fact, he was kind of surprised that grain-free had such a positive impact and said he was going to try a grain-free diet with his Boston as well.

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  59. I have little guys and have made their food for years and hated that I had to freeze it. I am wondering how long I should process 1/2 pint jars, I am at almost 6000 feet so I will use 15 psi. I bought a pressure canner specifically for dog food. But I am now excited about trying so many other things and love all of your great info, thank you!

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  61. Salad makes a pet food nutritious. Its very necessary for pet health.
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  62. I would love to try this for my dog but I thought it was not safe to can rice?

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    1. It's not recommended to can rice (not unsafe) because rice gets extremely mushy during the canning process... consistency doesn't matter in dog food.

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  63. Can you use a water bath to can dogfood or does it have to be a pressure cooker?

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    1. Dog food MUST be pressure canned. ~~Granny

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  64. Does anyone know the shelf life of the canned food??
    I am a beginning "prepper"... I'm trying to figure out a way to start stock pyling a large supply of dog food - we have 4 dogs. I love, love, love this idea and the ingredients!! I don't plan to start feeding my dogs this food right away, but I would like to start making a few jars at a time to start my stock pile.

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    1. Bonnie, canned foods are shelf stable pretty much indefinitely as long as they are properly processed and stored, and remain sealed. There is slight nutritional loss after about 5 years. ~~Granny

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  65. Great idea for using up the chicken protein and fat. My only concern is the rice. Not that it's bad for dogs but it's not recommended by the USDA canning guidelines to use rice in home canning. Something about making things too thick therefor during processing it does not heat things up enough to kill bacteria and botulism spores. Maybe reconsider using potatoes instead and thinning it out enough so that it heats up sufficiently in the center. Even extending the pressure and cooking time when using rice or other thickeners does not guarantee it will be safe to eat.

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  67. how much head space do you allow for your jars?

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    1. An inch and a half headspace. ~~Granny

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  69. Yummmmmm! The carrots are a great addition, I'm going to make this recipe for my dog, its going to be delicious! I think it'll be even more better for small dog breeds. :)

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  71. I have been making my own dog food for years due to my rescue 2 rescue dogs I adopted years ago that had severe allergies to commercial dog foods. I soon came to realize how much better it was for them and cheaper it was for me. I buy 10 lb bags of leg quarters on sale for under .$.50 a lb. I use rice, gizzards, peas or carrots (depends on what is on sale frozen), and I use coconut oil for their coats, joints, fleas, antioxidants, etc. I do add garlic and a little sea salt just for taste and also helps with fleas but not much as it is not good for them. I also agree with the comment about not adding beans to a dogs diet as their digestive system is not palatable depending on the types of beans,. I normally just refrigerate and freeze my food but am now looking forward to canning. Oh yeah I am also getting a bone grinder as the marrow inside the bone is excellent for them and something they use to eat in the wild. Have a great day and thanks. PS I love your dog :)

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  72. I make my own dog food, though I don't grind it, as it is cooked and soft enough for them. I use chicken, gizzards, brown rice (as it is healthier), kidney beans, veggies that include spinach, lima beans, green peas, carrots, green beans, little bit of garlic, and oats. I usually use plastic storage bins and I do large batches, this taking all day, and lasts about nine weeks. Nightly, my pups get a half can of wet food (used as a bit of a binder), equal amount of homemade food, and then dry food.

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