If you are interested in preparing your own pet food, start by talking to your vet and researching the best food mix for your pet. There are great charts to be found online as well to provide amounts based on your pet’s age, weight, and activity level.
Once the basic guidelines are in place, the next step is pricing and purchasing the components. Buying in bulk and freezing is a great idea for this plan, as you can explore sales and buy your proteins when they are cheaper. The same is true for some non-meat ingredients, such as rice. The rice will store for the right amount of time in your pantry, but things like potatoes obviously have a semi-ticking clock and can’t be frozen very well. Shop and cook accordingly.
Once you start, you can cook in small batches or you can cook in large quantities and freeze for future use. If you’re using previously cooked frozen meals, you’ll need to take them out of the freezer to thaw the night before, but if you’re using a fresh chilled meal, you can warm them up a bit. Microwave or leave it on the counter for a few hours to warm up to room temperature before feeding your pet. You can always mix in a little water when serving to slow their veils for lunch.
Some other tips about pet food: Rethink feeding them table scraps. Meat and vegetables are fine, but sugary and carb-heavy products are not good for them. If you want to give dogs treats for training or rewards, small pieces of cheese work great, as well as pieces of hard-boiled eggs. If you include eggs in recipes or treats for dogs, feel free to leave the shell on them. They are full of nutrients and great for digestion. Other foods that dogs enjoy are small amounts of peanut butter and jerky. (I recommend buying bacon made for people. It probably has better ingredients and a cheaper price.) Cats also love dried protein, as well as small bits of tuna or sardines.
Below you will find basic cat food and basic dog food description. They are just the tip of the iceberg. You can stay with the primary or get involved with it as you choose. There are many research sites and recipes to be found online for use as guidelines or inspiration, but be sure to monitor your health and weight, as well as keep in touch with your vet to ensure your pet is thriving. Good luck and God bless you! Your fur baby will appreciate it.
Basic cat food recipe
Mix in a food processor:
3 ounces cooked protein: tuna, beef, pork, eggs, tuna or chicken
1/3 cup of complex carbohydrates: oatmeal, barley, cooked white rice or peas
1/5 cup of fiber: sweet potatoes, cooked without the skin
1/4 tsp. Fat (optional): vegetable oil, olive oil, or fish oil
2.7 grams or ½ scoop of a supplement powder called Balance IT Feline. This is a commercial blend of vitamins and minerals that ensures your cat gets everything it needs.
Makes a one-day food amount for a 10-13 lb cat without health issues. Make sure to mix all ingredients well before serving. Food should be kept in the refrigerator or frozen in between meals.
Basic dog food recipe
Mix in a food processor:
1½ cups complex carbohydrates such as cooked brown rice
3 pounds cooked protein, such as ground turkey, beef, or chicken
1 T. olive oil
3 cups chopped spinach, cooked until wilted
2 medium carrots, grated
Half a medium sized zucchini, grated
¼ cup cooked peas
You can heat spinach and other vegetables in a skillet before blending to speed up the process that makes the vegetables more chewy. This will total about 8 cups. Divide the finished product into portion sizes for your dog and freeze or refrigerate them based on how long you will need them.
Miranda Beverly is the Front End Manager and Marketing Coordinator at Maple City Market in downtown Goshen.