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Responsible Dog Owner Takes Dog’s Food to Whole New Level of Quality

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My inquisitive canine Poncho and I recently received an email from an inquisitive dog guardian who has taken her dogs meals to a who new level of yum! I myself would enjoy having a meal at her home – I’m sure her dog loves every morsel. She was wondering if the meals she was cooking for her dog were adequate for her diet.

Since her question had to do with nutritional requirements, as opposed to the general topic of enrichment for behavioral concerns, I thought it’d be best to direct her to her dog’s veterinarian – after all, providing medical or nutritional advice would be operating out of my scope of practice. I am a certified professional dog trainer, not a vet.

I was so impressed by her recipe that I wanted to share it with our inquisitive canine audience – It might inspire others to think outside the box of additional ways to provide meals for our dogs. Not to say that dog specific foods are inferior – on the contrary, many are absolutely fine. But, there are choices and it’s nice to have options available. And as I mentioned (as well as the vet nutrition specialists I queried) in my inquisitive canine blog posts on canine nutrition, we’re no longer limited to feeding our domestic dogs the same kibble every day for every meal.

This is our conversation, we hope you enjoy and are inspired! Who knows, maybe someday I can have a cooking program devoted to enrichment and the art of stuffing Kong’s!

Dear Inquisitive Canine:

I have a question about making homemade dog food. I have been making my Jack Russell terrier’s food for a few months now, but am concerned that she is getting everything she needs nutritionally. Here is my recipe:
Two cups brown/white rice
7 good sized boneless chicken breasts
1 medium zucchini (fresh from my garden)
2 small cloves garlic (I’ve read onion and garlic are not good for dogs but that garlic helps with fleas..)
4 eggs – freshly laid by my chickens!
2 cups carrots
1/2 apple
4 TBLS Olive oil
I then pressure cook all of this for 20 min. – then I add 4-5 TBLS brewer’s yeast, about 4 TBSP powdered calcium, and 4TBSP flaxseed oil.

I then put it into 1/2 cup portions and freeze it. I give her a 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup in the evening. This makes enough for two weeks of food. She LOVES it and seems more fit than when she was getting regular dog food. Is there anything I should be on the lookout for? Thank you!
~ Christa

Hi Christa!
Wow, this sounds delicious! If you’re dog doesn’t want it I’ll take it! 🙂

I appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken to contribute to your dog’s well-being and good health. As for giving nutrition advice directly, in all honesty I consider it out of my scope of practice – To determine nutritional needs for your dog you’d really want to discuss this with your vet. An honest vet will give you sound advice without promoting products they sell.

I had recently queried canine nutrition experts and posted a complete blog series on this topic (I too am inquisitive and cautious about my dogs health). This is a direct link to the introduction blog post on canine nutrition. There are a total of six posts – five of which are Q&A with nutrition experts. Please feel free to share and comment.

Lastly, as far as the fresh eggs you get a special thumbs up!!! Not sure where you live, but I’d buy some from you 🙂 Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you prep, split and freeze portions – my one suggestion might be to freeze these lovely meals in food toys – something like a Kong would be great – this way it’ll keep your dog busy and tap into those predatory skills 🙂

Thanks again for writing in Christa!

Hi Joan

Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, by all means use my letter in a blog post. It is a topic that needs more attention.

I really like your idea of putting the food in a kong as I leave my Jack Russell for about 6 hours each day to work. She is very well behaved, but would certainly enjoy a treat like that to occupy herself.

I looked at the blog posts on nutrition – thank you. I am taking my dog to the vet soon for her rabies shot and checkup, so I’ll ask about the homemade dog food.

Thanks again – I always enjoy your columns!
~ Christa

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