Homemade Food – The Process

Jerry suggested doing a post on cooking, so here it is! It’s the recipe from the Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Dressler, hope you enjoy and it maybe shows you a thing or two that will help, and that it isn’t too hard to do!

The first time I made this, I did a single batch to make sure my dog liked it and that she tolerated it well. After both were confirmed I now make double batches and am contemplating doing triple or quadruple so I only have to do it once a month.

I will note that when I started my dog on the new food I did a 50/50 mixture of the new and her old food (dry kibble). She normally received 1 cup in the am & pm (she is roughly 78-80#’s), so I give her 1/2 cup of the old and 1/2 cup of the new with a little water and a sprinkle of digestive enzymes. I still do a 50/50 mixture and have had her on this plan for the last 2 months and she LOVES the food, and she seems to being doing better and better despite still going through her chemo treatments. She is also now on Apocaps – her weight designates 3 capsules, 3 times per day. I don’t give her that much – shame on me! 🙂 Some days I do and some days I don’t, 60% of the time she gets one dose per day, 30% of the time she gets 2 doses, and 10% 3 times a day.

***IMHO: I think they are really helping her, if you’re worrying about not being able to give your pet the full recommended dose every day, (especially if it’s 3 pills 3x per day and the cost is worrying you as it was for me a bit) don’t be. I really think that any amount will be beneficial (just maybe not over what the dose is supposed to be). Again this is my opinion and I am not a vet so please take it with a grain of salt 🙂

The BASE mixture calls for the following:

  • 2-1/2 to 3 pounds of lean meat; beef, chicken, fish, turkey, venison, duck, pork, goat or lamb.
  • 1-1/2 cups oatmeal, or 1-1/4 cups brown rice
  • 1/2-3/4 pounds of any combination: shiitake mushrooms, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mung beans, red or yellow bell peppers.
  • 1/2 – 2/3 pounds beef, chicken or pork liver
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 8 skinless chicken or turkey necks, or calcium citrate tablets (Citracal Max use 12 tablets)
  • 16,000-18,000 mg of fatty acids in the form of krill or fish oil

I use ground turkey, broccoli, chicken livers, cottage cheese, brown rice, krill oil & fish oil (alternate between the two oils every month), and I use Citracal tablets instead of the turkey necks.

I start with cooking the rice, this takes the longest of any of the ingredients to cook (about 45 minutes to an hour). It will just simmer on the back of the stove without having to mess with it so I can start that and do everything else while it cooks.

With the risk of cooking at too high of a temperature and ADDING carcinogens, I simmer the ground turkey and the chicken livers in water. I also like this way it because I don’t have to babysit the pot, I know it won’t burn if leave it for 5-10 minutes at a time. I use a large pot, add some water and once that starts getting hot I add the ground turkey. I cook it on medium/low just to get it cooking nice and slow so I can leave it simmering while I prep the chicken livers and other ingredients. Just stir a bit every so often and add more water if you need to.

I trim off the excess fat and the stringy connective tissue from the chicken livers, chop it up into small bits and toss it in the pot with the ground turkey.

I use ziplock steamer bags to cook the broccoli, I just re-use the same bag as the amount of broccoli is too much to fit in at one time. The bags can be re-used quite a few times and are very handy. I empty them out onto a cutting board and let them cool off while I start on the Citracal tablets and fish/krill oil  capsules.

Check on the turkey/livers and give it a stir! Add a bit of water if you need to

I add the cottage cheese to a large mixing bowl and set aside for now.

A coffee/spice grinder is your friend for the Citracal tablets! Or a nice mortar and pestle…. I toss them in a ziplock bag, cover with a dish towel and give each tablet an initial smack with a mallet  to break them at least in half, then toss them into the grinder to finish them off into a rough powder consistency. I break them in half first, otherwise they’ll spend an hour in the spice grinder. I add the powder to the bowl with the cottage cheese and set aside to start on the fish/krill oil capsules.

I purchased capsules of the oil and should have bought it in straight liquid form. It can get tedious, and every time I am making this I find myself trying a different method to make it easier/faster. I STRONGLY suggest finding fish and krill oil in liquid form and not in capsules. Once I run through what I have I will buy the liquid. If you’re in the same boat as I am and have capsules right now here is how I’ve been doing it: I count out how many I need and use a needle to poke a hole in the end of the capsule and squeeze it out directly into the bowl with the cottage cheese and Citracal powder. Be careful of krill oil, it’s stinky and bright orange and will stain your favorite dish towel 🙁 Mix together well and set aside.

By now the turkey and livers should be done. Strain out the water and accumulated fat and set aside to cool. I chop up the cooled broccoli and add that to the bowl with the cottage cheese, etc. and mix well. By this time the rice is usually done and I add that to bowl and mix. Once that is well mixed I start adding in the turkey in batches until all is combined.

You can keep the mixture in the fridge for about 4 days or so, so I usually keep enough out at a time to last me those 4 days and the rest goes in the freezer. You can keep it in a container all together or my favorite option is making portioned  “hockey pucks” so I don’t have to measure every time I feed my dog. I use a metal measuring cup (1/2 cup for me so use whatever size your giving at every meal) and pack the mixture into it then turn it over and smack it down on a cookie sheet so the mixture pops out into a nice disc. Once the sheet is full I throw it in the freezer for about an hour or two (sometimes overnight) and then portion out a few days worth of “pucks” into gallon ziplock bags. I put one in the fridge and the rest of the bags in the freezer and when I have only a days worth left I pull a new bag out of the freezer so they have a day to start thawing out a bit in the fridge.

At meal time I put her portion of her old food and new into her dish, add a little bit of water, add the digestive enzymes and mix it all together.

Well I hope this helps someone, I know I actually do enjoy making it for my dog and it makes me feel better about what she is eating and I really do believe it has improved her health tremendously!

Good Luck!

2 thoughts on “Homemade Food – The Process

  1. WOW! This is so awesome, thank you for sharing such great details and photos, it makes ME hunnnnnngry! Doxie is so fortunate to have such a great human looking after her nutritional needs. You bet we’ll be sharing this with the community, thank you a million times over. xoxo

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