***Please note, I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes that we feed our dogs under our veterinarian's careful supervision. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human-grade food diet for your pup. This post was updated 8/23/2022.***
We get asked a lot, "Why do you make all of your dog's meals?"
Making meals for our animals wasn't something I always did. This, like many lifestyle changes, came after a medical scare that opened our eyes and changed everything.
Why homemade dog food?
At the end of 2019, during our yearly vet check, we received the devastating news that our then 11-year-old dog's blood work showed that he was in stage 4 kidney failure!
He had shown no symptoms other than just seeming to slow down due to being older and seemed to be thirstier more often. However, it is important to note here that Hooch has always been a water guzzler - so this was not an alarming uptake in water consumption. The behavior just seemed pretty normal for him honestly.
Our worst fears were realized.
Hooch's diagnosis was coupled with a 3-6 month life expectancy that really rocked our world, and the prescription diet he was placed on rocked our bank account too! To add insult to injury - he wouldn't eat the prescription food at ALL. So, my new fear became whether he would actually starve himself.
He was miserable, hungry, and growing more depressed by the day.
So, I did what any good dog parent would do - I researched, recipe developed, and consulted my vet. Then together we decided to take a different approach to feeding him that at the very least might provide wholesome meals Hooch would enjoy eating in what time he had left with us.
I am happy to say....
That the decision to place Hooch on a 100% human grade diet was made in late December of 2019 and now as I sit here in August of 2022 sharing our journey with you I am happy to say that Hooch is not only still here with us, he is in full remission with zero indicators of kidney disease at all.
In fact, Hooch has now surpassed the life expectancy for his size and breed of dog! As far as we (and our vet) are concerned - this is nothing short of the miracle that is real food.
Food is medicine friends, even for our 4-legged friends!
When people find out we make our dog's food at home they always ask us, "What about a raw diet?", so let's get that out of the way first...
There are LOTS of thoughts and theories on feeding your dog a raw diet, especially a dog that is living with kidney disease. Our vet, however, was personally opposed to feeding a raw diet due to the fact that dogs, just like us, are very susceptible to food poisoning. Besides that, a raw diet can be tricky to get just right!
You run the risk of giving your dog a horrible belly ache by mixing a raw diet with cooked treats, so if you decided to go raw it is important to have both raw meals and raw treats planned for your pup at all times. NO MIXING the two! Since raw and cooked foods digest at different rates any combination of the two can wreak serious havoc on your pup's gut which can lead to some pretty unpleasant situations for you - if you get my drift.
Hopefully, your pup doesn't have many tummy issues as noted in the paragraph above, but if they do - this post is for you!
Of course, you don't have to go all in like we did; you can simply make a few wholesome treats or dog food toppers to increase the nutrient and yum factor of your dog's high-quality kibble too.
All of our pup's favorite Homemade Dog Food recipes are only a scroll away!
The Easiest Dog Food Recipe
My easy homemade dog food recipe combines lean ground sirloin, wholesome brown rice, fresh vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and tender herbs for a healthy, vibrant alternative to traditional dog food!
Anti-Inflammatory Homemade Dog Food
The best anti-inflammatory diet for dogs is one that consists of high-quality proteins, good fats, vegetables that are high in fiber, and nutrients with low levels of sugar and carbohydrates.
Easy and delicious dog food toppers for boosting your pup's meals.
There are LOTS of healthy and delicious ways to top your dog's meals. From mixing in fresh berries or shredded carrots to pouring over a bit of bone broth to soften the food while increasing hydration, vitamins, and nutrient intake. There are lots of reasons dog food toppers are a great addition to your pup's daily mealtime routine.
The Best Easy Dog Food Toppers To Give Your Pup
The best way to change up your pup's meals is with easy dog food toppers that you can make from ingredients you probably already have!
Homemade Dog Food Seasoning
I keep a BIG batch of this homemade dog food seasoning blend on hand at all times because it's fast and easy for me, but you don't have to go as big as I did. Simply combine equal parts of the herbs you are using in a jar and shake to combine. I use this on top of my 100% human grade homemade dog food, but you can also use it over kibble or canned food.
Calcium For Dogs: A Simple DIY Eggshell Supplement Recipe
If your dog eats homemade food, ensuring plenty of calcium in the diet is a must. A simple way to introduce more calcium is by making your eggshell supplement for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Bones? A Simple Dog-Friendly Bone Broth Recipe
Bone broth recipes for dogs, should be very different than those for humans! But, when the recipe is right you can boost your dog's immune system, improve liver health, support healthy digestion, and help to relieve joint pain by adding homemade bone broth to your dog's daily meals.
Is coconut oil good for dogs & should you give it to your dog?
Is coconut oil good for dogs? The answer is yes! According to certain holistic and naturopathic vets, coconut oil has properties that can help with a variety of illnesses.
What Fruit Can Dogs Eat? Nature's Dog Treats
Do you know what fruit dogs can eat? We love our dogs and love to pamper them as if they're our own kids. It's also fun to enjoy a handful of our favorite fruit with them, especially when they give you those adorable begging eyes. But as members of our family, we also have the
Our tried and true homemade dog treat recipes.
Once we had a solid dog food recipe that Hooch (and our vet) seemed to love we started toying around with dog treat recipes in the kitchen too. Now we have a literal library of dog treat recipes from frozen to bakes and everything in between. We have even now shared a few softer baked treats that both of our dogs love that are perfect for dogs with sensitive teeth and gums.
A Fast and Easy Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe
You and your dog are sure to love this 5-ingredient peanut butter dog treat recipe. These easy treats bake up fast, & are great for your pup!
Can Dogs Eat Bananas? Easy Banana Bread Dog Treat recipe
Ever wondered can dogs eat bananas? This simple 3-ingredient dog treat recipe for your furry friend is inspired by homemade banana bread. This recipe for soft dog treats is perfect for dogs that require a softer treat but are actually delicious enough that humans can eat them too.
Can dogs eat blackberries? A Soft Baked Blackberry Dog Treat.
Can dogs eat blackberries? The answer is yes! Blackberries are in fact a delicious, antioxidant-rich fruit that your dog will love.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes? A Simple Treat They'll Love!
If you've ever wondered if can dogs eat sweet potatoes? I've got the answer! Plus my secret one-ingredient treat your pup will beg for!
Can Dogs Eat Apples? A Simple No-Cook Apple Dog Treat
This 2-ingredient no-cook dog treat is a BIG hit with our dogs and keeps them entertained for quite some too!
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? A Sweet Summer Snack with Big Benefits!
Consider this a non-recipe recipe. If your dog is smaller you will use less melon; if your dog is larger you will use more.
The size of the mold you use to freeze the treats in will also change based on your dog's size.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? The Ultimate Canine Superfood
Can dogs eat blueberries? YES and they totally should! Blueberries are one of the most nutritious foods that dogs can eat.
Have a dog with food allergies? Check out the post below!
While our dogs thankfully do not have food allergies, some of our pal's pups do. I know the recipes below have been well researched and tested, so I am happy to share them here with you.
Allergen-friendly dog food recipe.
Elizabeth's sweet dog Rascal suffered from all sorts of health issues which led them to having him allergy tested. Turns out Rascal was allergic to all sorts of things - even beef! So, Elizabeth developed a homemade dog food recipe that is just perfect for Rascal's sensitive belly that is filled with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini squash and macaroni noodles!