Considering I bit off more than I could chew during last weekend’s adventure with homemade dog food, I thought I’d start small. The obvious differences between “cooking for your dogs” and “canning food” finally occurred to me. It seems that building a solid recipe that my boxer can keep down, fills him up, and provides enough nutrients, is step 1. Actually canning the food is step 2. If I can get step 1 down, step 2 should be a no-brainer since I already have the materials and a tad bit of experience.
My first attempt at cooking and long-term canning of dog food resulted in a mixture that my boxer was unable to keep down. It’s anyone’s guess what ingredient didn’t agree with his fat-intolerant condition, but I suspect it was a combination of chicken skin, pulverized bones, or the inseparable chicken fat that comes from not draining the chicken after cooking.
So… I’m not using any specific recipe found in some corner of the Internet or buried in a book. Instead I’m taking a common sense approach to feeding my boxer (and eventually both of my dogs) food that caters to his fat-intolerant condition. You don’t necessarily have to prepare it in the same order I did, but here’s today’s recipe… Continue reading Homemade dog food recipe 2.0.1 (alpha build)
I shifted to the new food and fed my fat-intolerant boxer the new mixture all day yesterday. Sadly, he vomited this morning with whole green beans coming up. Back to the drawing board.
I also followed up with a simple recipe the dogs seem to love sans the “canning” process.
I’ve become increasingly cynical about the relationship between pet food manufacturers and the professional veterinarian community. While I didn’t actually have much of an opinion on feed makers, my relationship with the vets who care for my animals has been pretty solid. Over the last several years however, as my animals have continued progressing through the geriatric stages of their lives, I’ve been increasingly frustrated with getting the specialized food my boxer requires, and the hoops my veterinarians are forcing me through.
I had finally had enough and decided to cook / create / mix my own dog food while using standard household hobby canning methods to preserve it long enough for the dogs to eat safely. My main tool for this first attempt was a 21-quart All American pressure cooker / canner. The intention was to pressure cook the food, wash the pot, then use it for canning. What follows is a list of things I did wrong and what to avoid if you’re doing it for the first time. I won’t get into pressure canning mechanics or why you’d need to do pressure canning. I assume you’ve done your own research on this. Continue reading 7 things I learned cooking and canning homemade dog food for the first time