The Dog Food Chronicles – Part 5

“Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail.” -Josh Billings

I spent 6 hours making the biggest batch of dog food yet. 35 days of dog food in one fell swoop. Each time I’ve done this, my system has gotten more efficient. First, I’ve learned to Dexter up my kitchen. Cover everything in dishrags. This makes clean up WAY easier.

Then I get everything out and ready to go. The meat has been defrosting in the sink, meaning I’m not touching the fridge, shelves, or anything else with all this crap on my hands.

(The dog hangs out next to me the WHOLE time. I’m sure it smells amazing to him. It smells horrible to me.)

Everything goes in the food processor, except anything with bone in it – I hack that up by hand. I blend, mix, and then bag. I’ll get pics of the final product for the next one…I was too tired this time.

I said I’d post all the actual ratios and ingredients for every dog food batch I’ve made, so here we go:

Batch 1

5.5lbs of muscle meat – 41.5%
2.95lbs of organ meat – 22.1%
3.875lbs of veggies – 29%
1lbs of fruit – 7.5%

Total: 13.375lbs

Muscle meat – Chicken breasts, sardines
Organ meat – Chicken gizzards, hearts and beef liver
Veggies – Broccoli, spinach, beet tops
Fruit – Strawberries, pumpkin

Total Cost: $27
Total Days: 10
Cost Per Day: $2.70

Batch 2

16.359lbs of muscle meat – 62.1%
2.22lbs of organ meat – 8.4%
5.25lbs of veggies – 19.4%
2.5lbs of fruit – 9.5%

Total: 26.329lbs

Muscle meat – Chicken thighs (with bone), anchovies, sardines
Organ meat – Beef liver
Veggies – Chard, beet tops
Fruit – Tomatoes

Total Cost: $21.06
Total Days: 23
Cost Per Day: $0.91

Batch 3

22.43lbs of muscle meat – 39.8%
21.46lbs of organ meat – 38.1%
8.06lbs of veggies – 14.3%
4.44lbs of fruit – 7.87%

Total: 56.39lbs

Muscle meat – Whole chicken, pork chops, beef chuck, ground beef, salmon
Organ meat – Beef heart, beef liver
Veggies – Green beans, spinach, turnips, cabbage, chard
Fruit – Tomatoes, blueberries

Total Cost: $34.61
Total Days: 35
Cost Per Day: $0.98

Into this mix, I’ll also throw whatever egg shells I have (I save them), some molasses, and some Omega-3 oil (the latest batch was salmon oil.) I save egg shells and veggie tops/scraps (like the tops from beets, chard stems, broccoli stems, rutabaga peels) in a plastic bag in the fridge. Whatever is in the bag, goes in the food.

If I have random veggies from dinner in the house, I’ll throw those in his dish when he eats. He’s especially fond of broccoli stems. I’ll also serve his food with some plain yogurt on occasion.

My approach to feeding my dog healthy has been the same as my approach to my people healthy. Simple food that’s minimally (if at all) processed, fresh, local, and as cheap as possible. I want my protein to be low fat and my grains, veggies, and fruits to be as nutrient packed as possible.

If you want to read my earlier dog food posts, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

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