Am I doing this right?

So I have decided to try my hand at cooking fresh ingredients for my 3 year old 20kg Eurasier.

After looking round I tend to make the same thing but with differing meats.

I normally use the following with the meat/protein:

1 cup of white rice (may change to brown when this runs out).
1/2 cup of pearl barley (no idea what the ‘pearl’ part is but all that ASDA had.
2 carrots
handful of fresh kale
1 sweet potato
1 white potato
green beans
Herbs: Rosmary, thyme and parsley.

This usually makes around 8 portions which I freeze.

I basically cook it all in boiling water on the stove with OXO cubes in water or a stock pot thing.

Can anyone tell me if this is ok, and if it’s going to hit all of the nutritional targets?

Dexter does not have any health issues or allergies (that I know of)

Many thanks,

The ingredients you are using all sound good. Would that be what you would use all the time or would it vary? Personally, I would avoid the stock cubes as they can be very high in salt. Brown rice would make more sense that white as whole grains are likely to keep hunger at bay longer than the more processed white rice.

I would also do some research into calcium if you are going to home cook. It is very important to ensure you are including enough. You can add baked and ground eggshells for this. It may be a good idea to look for some of the home cooking for dogs, groups on facebook if you have an account. You can get lots of helpful advice from people who do home cook.

I too would avoid the stock cube. I also agree about the rice - wholegrain is more nutritious but make sure you cook it very well. You have three types of carbohydrate in the recipe - barley, rice and white potato. I am not sure that you need so many. Sweet potato has more nutrients so I would be inclined to substitute with that.

You need to add some sort of oil because dogs need fat for health. There is an article here about this. Also, as Tinyplanets has said, calcium supplementation is a necessity if your dog doesn’t have bones. I don’t know the exact amount but it can be provided by tablet, dried, ground eggshells, bone meal. There is an all round vitamin supplement called SF50 that contains calcium.

To make it easier for yourself, you might want to consider Pure Pet Foods Vegi Plus Mixer because it has the required additives and all you have to do is add the protein and any extra fruit and vegetables. Also, We Cook for Dogs would be worth thinking about because they sell the necessary supplements and provide advice/recipes for you to cook your dog’s food at home.

Thanks for sharing your recipe! Ive been scouring the internet for dog food recipe. Ive been doing some experiments in my kitchen when the lockdown started. Hopefully my dog will love your recipe.

I occasionally fresh cook for my dog, she likes lentils, oats, sweet potatoes, parsnips, fennel bulb, celery , leafy greens amongst other things. I also use a slow cooker and a mix of herbs either dried or fresh. Dogs can also eat fruits with pips or stones removed. You can dry eggshells for the calcium. I don’t have any set recipes but I use an app to check I’ve covered all the vitamins.

That sounds like a good mix. Regarding the calcium, if you see white, chalky stools it indicates an excess of calcium. Eggshells should be washed and dried slowly in the oven, then ground into powder. It’s useful to do some research on the exact amount needed. The protein (meat, fish, poultry) is usually circa 60% of the recipe.

I have been following this thread, may I ask a question

I see that 60% protein is recommended, is this raw or cooked ingredient?

If you are home cooking for your dog it should obviously be cooked, as should the other ingredients except for fruit. Food that is prepared for raw diet eg raw completes is different and and should not be cooked. Raw food might have higher meat content and the fat and protein is usually higher.

For a home cooked diet 60% fish, meat or poultry is fine for an average pet dog although some people might give nearer 75%. It allows for the addition of useful foods such as vegetables and fruit as well as carbohydrate.

Home cooked diets need the addition of calcium and oil so it is best to take professional advice on this. I have previously provided links to companies that can assist but please ask if you need further guidance.

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Thanks for the reply Dottie. I was thinking along the lines of meat or fish shrinks when cooked (mine does anyway), so when working out the dog food recipe and gauging amounts, it is ok to work it out on raw weight before cooking for both protein and veg. I would probably put it in a slow cooker.

I need to discuss madam’s diet with the vet I think before I do anything drastic. I do wonder if the high carbohydrate content of the Purina HA has anything to do with the increased itching - cannot blame it entirely as she was it itching when I first got her.

The drinking water in SW Suffolk is very hard, could that have any affect on itchy skin?

The high carbohydrate/itching might be linked. You will only know if you try a low to average carb diet. One of my dogs has a skin problem, thankfully now in remission and I have found that high carb food is a trigger factor. She has been on fresh cooked food for coming up to one year and it seems to be keeping her in good health at the moment.

I don’t know anything about water quality and itching but I often wonder why my two would prefer to drink rain water from a puddle than water in their bowl. Ours is a hard water area. I guess you could try filtered water and see how she gets on.

Regarding the weight of the food, if all ingredients are weighed in the natural form ie before cooking it should be ok, especially as they are all going in the slow cooker.

There are some Facebook groups on home feeding which might be helpful. Also, maybe have a look at VetChef. I sent for free recipes a while ago and they were nice and simple. Also, they included explanation about nutritional elements.