How to Make Cheap Homemade Dog Food

by Sandy Vigil
    Whole fryer chickens are an inexpensive protein source for a slow-cooker dog food.

    Whole fryer chickens are an inexpensive protein source for a slow-cooker dog food.

    Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

    Organic, holistic and raw foods are among many premium-quality pet food options for the discerning pet lover, and they come at a premium price. An alternative to spending bucks beaucoup for top-quality dog food is to make it yourself. A few ingredients will keep cost to $10 to $12 dollars a batch.

    Recipe

    Step 1

    Put a whole fryer and chicken livers in a slow cooker.

    Recipe

    Step 2

    Add frozen vegetables.

    Recipe

    Step 3

    Cover the meat and vegetables with water.

    Recipe

    Step 4

    Cook in the slow cooker on high for two to four hours.

    Recipe

    Step 5

    Switch the temperature to low and cook for eight more hours.

    Recipe

    Step 6

    Stir or mash the meat and vegetables together. Drain with a strainer.

    Money Saving Ideas

    Step 1

    Check your refrigerator before you begin cooking a batch of food.

    Money Saving Ideas

    Step 2

    Use leftovers from your refrigerator for ingredients. Dr. Greg Martinez says, “meat and veggies in the Crock-Pot even makes old salad taste good.” In other words, even wilted lettuce works. But stay away from avocados, dairy and the onion family.

    Money Saving Ideas

    Step 3

    Buy meat and vegetables that are on clearance or sale to save.

    Feeding and Storage

    Step 1

    Feed a 20-pound dog 20 ounces or 2 1/2 cups of homemade food a day.

    Feeding and Storage

    Step 2

    Feed an inactive 20-pound dog less; feed a pregnant, nursing or extremely active dog more. Winter may be an excuse to feed a bit more than in warmer months.

    Feeding and Storage

    Step 3

    Store the unused food in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freeze serving-size portions for up to three months.

    Items You Will Need

    • Slow cooker
    • Spoon
    • Storage containers
    • 4- to 5-pound whole fryer chicken
    • 8 ounces chicken liver
    • 4 pounds frozen vegetables
    • Water
    • Strainer

    Tips

    • Chop a whole fryer into pieces if it won’t fit into your slow cooker.
    • Uuse any frozen vegetables or combination of vegetables that your dog enjoys: green beans, broccoli, carrots, squash. Avoid using corn because of its high glycemic index. You can change the recipe flavor by using a different meat or adding fish. Add brown rice, potatoes, pumpkin or sweet potato for a change of pace.
    • Observe your dog; if he is losing weight, increase his fat intake by leaving the fat in or by adding more meat. If he is gaining weight, skim the fat off and stick with leaner cuts of meat.

    Warnings

    • Allow the food to completely cool before you feed it to your dog.
    • Avoid using onions and garlic because your dog’s system can’t digest the enzymes in them.
    • Introduce homemade human-grade food to your dog slowly so you don’t upset his digestive system. Dr. Martinez supports having “Pepcid, Imodium or a prescription of metronidazole handy in case a sensitive stomach or bowel acts up.”

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Based in Las Vegas, Sandy Vigil has been a writer and educator since 1980. She taught high school and middle school English and drama for 11 years. Vigil holds a Master of Science in teaching from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Arts in secondary English education from the University of Central Oklahoma.

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