Homemade Dog Food
I know I haven't been on here in a long time (life's been crazy!) but I had a quick question about diet needs...

I mixed up a batch of dog food this week with some leftovers I had hanging around and the dogs are really loving it so I think I'm going to try and work this into their diet rotation. I'm currently feeding them kibble (meat based) and raw (prey model) so I wasn't really worried about making sure this batch was nutritionally balanced but in the future I'd like for the homemade food to be as complete as possible.

The recipe I used was:
5 lbs. cooked meat (used rabbit this time)
2.5 lbs raw vegetable/fruit pulp (apple, kale, carrot, celery, cucumber, lime, beet, ginger & lemon)
3 whole ground eggs (raw)
5 Tbs. bovine gelatin
Broth (I didn't measure but I'm guessing it was about 2 quarts of the liquid I cooked the meat in)
I usually top it with a raw egg (no shell), raw yogurt or coconut oil...sometimes all three.

So my question is, what would I need to add in next time to make this recipe more complete?

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I don't raw feed (yet...) so I'm not completely sure but I do believe that it's missing the liver and other secreting organs. I'm not sure how much calcium is in an eggshell so I'm not sure if it's enough or too much. Also, you should only be feeding raw egg whites twice a week?
The guide to a balanced home made food is 80% meat,sinew, ligament, fat. 10%edible bone, 5% liver and 5% other organ meat except heart as it is a muscle and considered meat. LB is right with only 2 raw eggs per week. I personally wouldn't feed any raw vegetables as the dogs digestive system is not built to cope with raw veg and feeding it can cause over production of digestive enzymes. I do sometimes add a green leafy veg to my dogs food but it is blanched first. I also would not give yoghurt too often as part of a regular diet, it's not natural to their diet and they don't really need it. I do give a tablespoon or so very occasionally or a good probiotic, particularly if they have had a tummy upset or been on antibiotics. Meat is best fed raw not cooked. I mean we don't see any carnivorous animals firing up the BBQ. Not sure about the gelatine and broth, I have never heard of that being added to dog food but I do give them bone broth to drink if they are unwell or just for a treat. I applaud you for having a go. There are some good groups on Raw feeding and a lot of info from Dr Google that is helpful to get an idea.
This could help answer some of the questions you have about a raw diet. http://www.njboxers.com/top-50-barf-faqs...nners.html

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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Thanks for the quick replies! Forgive my ignorance, but why are egg whites bad to feed more than twice a week? My vet suggested at least an egg per day. I know it's not natural for a dog to eat cooked foods and I'd really rather have them on 100% raw, but I'm only able to fit in 2 or 3 raw meals a week right now. I figured feeding home cooked (on the nights they don't get raw) is slightly better than kibble because it at least contains significant amounts of meat. As far as the calcium, I've read that a large egg shell contains about 2,000 mg calcium and that dogs need 800 - 1,000 mg per 1lb of food fed. Not sure how accurate that is but it's the best I could find. Also should have mentioned in my earlier post but the cooked meat did include heart, liver, kidneys and lungs.

Trifan, so maybe it would be a better idea to lightly cook the vegetable/fruit pulp before adding it in? I think it's really just a filler to make the food go farther. Most of the recipes I looked at used grains or potatoes as the filler but I don't feed grains and my BC doesn't handle carbs very well so that's why we're using the pulp. Oh, and the broth is just to make it moist with the collagen protein to thicken it...it's sort of the consistency of canned dog food.

Thanks again for all the feedback!
I always half cook my veggies for the dogs. They do eat raw from the garden but you can also see that in their stool the next day. Half cooked never see anything that resembles a veggie. 

I feed eggs 3 - 4 times a week. Depends on how many eggs we have on hand. I also give a heaping tablespoon of all natural yogurt every morning.

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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I believe too many raw egg whites will mess with biotin levels (stops the absorption of it or something.) Like I said before I don't raw feed (I want to though...) so I don't know for certain and would probably be wise to take my advice with a grain of salt. I believe you can feed raw egg yokes daily though. Once cooked the yoke loses most of its nutritional value.
The whites of eggs contain several inhibitory substances. The 2 main ones are: avidin which inhibits biotin and trypsin which interferes with the pancreatic protease. The good news is that like many foods, moderation is awesome and so nutritious, it's the old "too much of a good thing" that can become problematic. I just thought 3 raw eggs in the food and then one on top was too much.

Absolutely, the cooked or part cooked veggies are a good idea because you have broken down the cellulose that the short digestive tract of the carnivore dog can't do adequately, unlike the long digestive tract of the herbivore or omnivore. As OB suggested, t's best if it comes out the other end indistinguishable (by part cooking).

Oh boy, I wish I could get hold of rabbits for my dogs. What a wonderful complete package with the organs in tact. I would likely be cutting that bunny up into 4 quarters and feeding raw and intact LOL. Then sit back and enjoy watching them savour it. Yummo !

Haha, mine eat raw from the garden also. Snow peas are the thing all my dogs have stolen from the vine themselves. Sweet and tender (apparently). Can't remember when I last got to the young snow peas before the dogs did.

I reckon all attempts to learn more and to feed our dogs new and varied diets are heading in the right direction and forums such as this where ideas can be tossed around, confirmed or debunked, are fantastic. I often contemplate the diets of all the dogs I have owned and I gotta say that I shake my head at myself. In saying that I have never had a dog dog die early from illness or ailments. With the exception of a tragic accident for one dog and an anaesthesia reaction for another, 15 is so far my lucky number.
I can remember when stewing type meats were the only thing our dogs ate, that's what mum feeds the dogs so it has to be the best. We didn't have supermarkets and didn't even know commercial products existed. Enter the first supermarket, look at this dog food, the can says it is fantastic so it must be. Several dogs lived long lives on supermarket cans and kibble. The same dogs that escaped unscathed from the COOKED bone of the Sunday roast.
I thought I had stepped it up for my Staffy girl with equal parts of meat, commercial mixed veggie and pasta. SERIOUSLY. She still lived a healthy life to 15. Could she have lived longer ? We will never know. So my last 3 dogs ( two of whom are current dogs and young) have been spoiled rotten by comparison but who knows, this time next year I could have rethought it again. There are some very knowledgeable raw feeders in the forum and I have already learned a lot and debunked things I thought were so.
Off the top of my head, you need two egg shells per pound of boneless meat to meet the calcium requirement. Rabbit is a very low fat meat and needs fat added or to be rotated with a higher fat meat like pork or mutton. You need to rotate oil sources to make sure your dog is getting all the EFAs it needs. Feeding a meal of small bony fish, like sardines or herring will meet the Omega 3 requirement. Once a week adding a can of oysters will give the zinc and selenium needed. And adding nuts and seeds will give the required manganese. A lot of raw fed dogs don't get enough vit E and D, so you may want to supplement those too.
Gotta love 'em.
When you figure out a decent recipe, post it up in the recipe section for reference! You have some great advice here Smile
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014

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