If you have a lot of dogs you need to prepare food for, or don’t have the time to cook daily meals for your pet, making large quantities at one time makes sense. This recipe makes 32 to 35 cups of food. Depending on the amount of food you need to feed daily, you could spend one day every month or two and fill your freezer with nutritious and preservative-free food for your pets.
Things You’ll Need
Get out several large stock pots, a large pot, a large mixing bowl, freezer storage containers and, optionally, a blender. Buy 10 pounds of the best-quality chicken leg and thigh quarters you can afford. You will also need 18 eggs, 10 cups of cooled cooked white rice and some water.
Place the chicken leg and thigh quarters in the stock pots and add enough water to cover the meat. Turn your burners on high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for two hours. Place the eggs in the large pot with enough water to cover them. Boil the eggs for about 20 minutes or until hard-boiled. Once the chicken and eggs are done, set them aside to cool. After the chicken is cool, remove all the bones, saving the cartilage and the broth. Put the meat and cartilage in a large mixing bowl. Crush the 18 hard-boiled eggs with the shells still on and add to the bowl. Eggshells are an important source of calcium, so run the eggs through a blender or food processor if you need smaller pieces for your dog or puppy. Mix in the cooked rice and add broth as needed to achieve a soft but not watery texture.
This recipe will not provide all the vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. Add an 8-ounce tube of fish oil and 1 to 2 cups of a vitamin-mineral-and-enzyme supplement to the food when you are making it, or a 1/2 teaspoon of fish oil and 1/2 tablespoon of supplement to each half-cup serving.
Storage and Serving Size
Divide food into meal-sized portions and store them in the freezer until you need them. Keep one portion in the refrigerator while one portion is defrosting. Feed your dog a half cup of cooked dog food for every 10 pounds he weighs, once a day. Split the portion in half if he needs to be fed twice a day. To make the switch to the cooked diet, withhold food from him for a full 24 hours. He should have plenty of water available during this fasting time. Don’t mix the cooked dog food with his previous kibble or it could cause digestive problems. Get him used to the new food by feeding him half the normal portion for the first two days he eats it, three-quarters for the third and fourth days and normal portions from the fifth day on. The adjustment period will take six days when you include the first 24 hours without any food.
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.