Homemade Dog Food in a Crock Potby Martha Adams
Crock-Pot dog food is easy and convenient to make for you, inexpensive for your pocketbook and good for your dog -- so much so that it could be called the lazy man's way to a happy and healthy pet.
Put it in, turn it on and walk away -- just walk away. That's all there is to it. No stirring, no clock watching. The hardest part is deciding what to put into your slow cooker. The combination of meats, vegetables and grains is entirely up to you, but your pup is sure to love chicken, brown rice and carrots or ground beef, oatmeal and chopped spinach. Once you explore the range of suitable and available foods, neither you nor your dog will ever find puppy supper boring again.
Homemade dog food gives you complete control of what your dog eats, and it's up to you to see that he gets a balanced diet. That means considering the ratio of ingredients, as well as that of calcium to potassium. The former is easily satisfied by a 1:1:1 ratio (or the Rule of Thirds -- one part meat to one part veg to one part grain), and the second by feeding bones. With long, slow hours in a Crock-Pot, you can cook poultry bones until they disintegrate and become one with the food, thereby supplementing your dog's calcium intake.
It doesn't get much more convenient than homemade dog food in a slow cooker. It means no labels to read, impossible names to pronounce or heavy bags of kibble to lug from the store to the car to the house. It also means no slaving over a hot stove. The dog's dinner can perk along all night, while you and he pound your respective pillows. It can also simmer while you're at work or out shopping; just put the pot somewhere Snoopy can't possibly get to it, as he may not be able to resist the enticing aroma. Recipes are plentiful and easy to find, and you can let your creative inclinations run riot (as long as you stay within his dietary needs).
Homemade dog food doesn't have to break your food budget. Not all the ingredients you put into your dog's dinner need to be what you would serve company. Check with the produce man at your grocery store or farmer's market about a price break on vegetables that are a little too tired to be on display -- the dog will neither know nor care if the carrots are limp; dogs approach food with their noses, not their eyes. Grow your own veggies. Look over the meat displays at your local mega mart for special labels that mean reduced price. Check your freezer for freezer-burned meats. If you have hunters as friends, they may have some game they'd like to get rid of to make room in their freezer for this year's bag. Rolled oats, whole barley and brown rice are downright cheap.
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