Ever since we published our first Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe we have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have told us that they have already made the leap and are preparing fresh meals for their pups at home! Ditching processed kibble once and for all is one of the best things you can do for your dog. We learned this ourselves this last year after our 11-year old dog had an incredibly positive change to his health once we moved to a healthy dog food! Recently, I developed a new 100% human grade homemade dog food recipe that utilizes some of the best fall produce for your dog like sweet potatoes, cranberries, rosemary, and sage! Our dogs love it so much I decided to share it here too so you and your pup can celebrate the best the season has to offer.
***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.*** Updated with video 9/4/2021
At the end of 2019, during our yearly vet check, we received the horrible news that our dog was in stage 4 kidney failure!
Honestly, I was in total shock, how did we miss this?! He is with me all day, every day!! He just seemed like he was dealing with some symptoms of old age – frequent urination, sometimes excessive water drinking, and I would notice occasionally that he would have a mild case of diarrhea. It definitely didn’t feel like life threatening symptoms to us! As much as the diagnosis was a shock, the price tag of the prescription diet that we were told he would need to eat for the remainder of his life was pretty horrifying too! When I asked our vet how long we had left with him the prognosis wasn't good, 3-6 months maybe 9 if we were lucky. We had to wait 6 weeks for a follow up blood panel to really know what kind of timeline we were looking at.
So we went to work & spent the days/weeks that followed researching canine kidney disease like Hooch's life depended on it.
After reading what felt like every article on the internet we were excited to know that there were a few really easy lifestyle changes we could immediately make at home. We hoped some of this would really help Hooch and make things easier on his kidneys. Here are a few of the biggest impact changes we've been able to make:
Filtered or distilled water only
The kidney’s main function is to filter out the toxins in our bodies. Since tap water can be loaded with chemicals and contaminants it is best to only give your dog clean, filtered water to drink. If you have a dog living with kidney disease like we do, you may also want to eventually invest in a slow water feeder. Dogs with kidney disease can get quite thirsty and will actually start drinking water too fast which causes its own unique set of problems.
Feed smaller meals, more often
Dogs with kidney problems often feel better when fed several small meals throughout the day rather than just one or two large meals. You may find that you need to adjust your feeding schedule as time goes on to keep your pup comfy! Hooch has really benefited from smaller meals throughout the day and seems to have much more energy all the way into the evening.
Luckily for us, right before Hooch’s diagnosis we adopted a puppy, Rebel. She has played a big part in making sure he is more active and on his feet playing for a good portion of the day. We still have had to make a conscious effort to get out and walk with him more than we were before though. Dogs are just like us, the more they move, the better their bodies function and the easier it is for their kidney’s to do their job.
Vitamins and Nutrients for dogs
Humans don’t get all of the vitamins and nutrients they need from a one-stop-shop kind of a diet and neither do our dogs! Whether your dog is eating a diet that consists of kibble or you are dishing up a homemade dog food recipe like this one, your pup needs vitamins and minerals just like you do! We really like and use the brand Dog Greens every single day! It is a plant based vitamin and mineral powder that we sprinkle over the dog’s food with each meal. They love the flavor and we love knowing that all of their nutritional needs have been met each day!
Now, let’s break down the recipe for this fall inspired version of my Home Made Dog Food recipe shall we?
***It is important to note that dogs can have food allergies too!!! If you notice your dog having any issues after ingesting these ingredients you should contact your veterinarian.***
The top 5 (in order) foods that dogs can be allergic to:
Ground White Meat Turkey
You may have noticed that turkey is a common ingredient in dog treats and dog food. Thoroughly cooked and drained ground white meat turkey, as long as it's plain and has no additives or salt, is perfectly healthy for dogs. However, there are some parts of the turkey you should never feed to your pup. Obviously, never feed your dog turkey bones as they can splinter and cause serious problems for them. Also, the fat in turkey skin may cause pancreatitis, a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed and swollen, so you do not want to feed them the skin either. The seasoning added to pre-cooked store bought turkey and deli meat usually contains onion and garlic which can irritate your dog's bowels and cause serious digestive issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Brown rice has all of the fiber from the hull of the rice grain still intact and it’s easily digestible. This makes it a great ingredient for homemade dog food! If you are limiting the phosphorus levels in your dog’s food due to kidney disease you can use a cup for cup replacement of white rice in this recipe instead.
Eggs are one the top 5 allergens for dogs and the yolks are very high in phosphorus -which you want to limit in dog’s with kidney disease. But, eggs are also one of the highest quality forms of protein you can feed your pet! Ultimately, a hard boiled egg is Hooch’s favorite thing on the planet so, with our vets approval we opted to leave them in his food for now.
Cooked sweet potatoes are a great addition to bulk up their meals too, just never feed your dog raw sweet potato as it can cause serious blockages! Cooked sweet potatoes provide an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps the digestive system function more effectively. However, it is important to note that the AKC says, 'for dogs that are diabetic, overweight, or less active, owners should proceed carefully and only give their dog a minimal amount of sweet potatoes. “They should be incorporated with caution in the diets of diabetic dogs, due to a high glycemic index,” says Dr. Barrack.'
This fall inspired dog food recipe has a fragrant blend of rosemary, sage, and curly parsley. The curly, not flat-leaf variety of parsley is great for preventative kidney health because it has cleansing properties. Don't have fresh herbs on hand? Take a look at what is in your spice cabinet instead! I recently wrote an entire post about the nutritional benefits of dried herbs for dogs and shared the recipe for my homemade dog food seasoning!
Omega Rich Oil
It's important to add an oil that is high in Omega 3’s and 6's into each batch of dog food you make! I usually just stick with olive oil or safflower oil because I typically have them on hand and they are affordable. There are great Omega oil blends available on the market too that contain Omega’s 3,6, & 9 but they tend to be a bit pricier.
Superfoods aren't just for humans - our dog's can benefit from them too!! If you have ever wondered, “Can dogs eat hemp seeds?” the answer is yes! Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat and have the perfect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. These super seeds have a ton of benefits for dogs, like cancer prevention and reduced joint pain. Ingesting hemp is shown to strengthen the immune system, support healthy organ function, and have positive effects on brain function and fertility!
Wondering how much homemade dog food your dog needs each day?
This will obviously vary from dog to dog, but a general rule of thumb is for every 10 pounds your dog weighs they should be fed roughly 1 cup of prepared food. If needed you can always call and consult with you vet about transitioning your dog's diet and the amount of food your dog should eat each day. Just remember, if your pup is living with kidney disease like ours you will want to break up the amount of food they receive into smaller meals throughout the day. Instead of one big meal each day you will need to divide meals up into 2-3 smaller feedings. This will make it much easier for your dogs' kidneys to do their job.
What kind of snacks can I feed a dog with kidney disease?
Our dogs seriously LOVE snack time, but snack time has had to seriously change! Dog’s with kidney disease should avoid meat based chews/treats that are high in phosphorus, so you may find that you need to explore new types of treats for your dog instead. My probiotic rich Pumpkin & Yogurt Bowls are our dog's favorite treat these days! They also really enjoy thin apple slices, blueberries, and fresh banana chunks. When it comes to crunchy chews they both are SUPER into dehydrated banana chips, pumpkin, and sweet potato. I swear, our dog's drool for them like they are the jerky chews we used to treat them with!
Blood tests don’t lie
Hooch’s numbers shifted drastically when the vet drew labs only 6 weeks after we made these diet and lifestyle changes! Those stage 4 kidney disease blood levels he had at his yearly checkup had climbed back up to to midrange stage 1 kidney disease blood levels in the first 6 weeks! He was happy, had more mobility thanks to less inflammation, was having more regular poops, and for the first time in his entire life Hooch had ZERO gas and no bloat in his belly!
The extra time and energy invested in researching and making his food coupled with the other small changes we made to his lifestyle have given us more quality time with our beloved Hooch! 9 months ago when we received his diagnosis we thought he might not be here with us this fall - it was an awful, gut wrenching reality that we were trying to wrap our heads around at the time. But, here we are - 3 months shy of the 1 year anniversary of his diagnosis and instead of his health deteriorating we are watching him thrive! Just yesterday, I watched him run at top speed in circles around our property with his tail tucked for wind resistance! He was literally zooming like a puppy with his big floppy tongue hanging out of his mouth and it literally brought tears to my eyes watching him have such a good time.
If you’ve made our Home Made Dog Food recipe for your pup I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours.Print
DIY Dog Food Recipe
Don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you and your pup think about this Home Made Dog Food recipe in the comments below, I just love hearing from you and your reviews/comments really help other people that visit This Mess is Ours!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 13 cups 1x
- Category: Dog Food
- Method: Stove top/Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Dog Food
- Diet: Gluten Free
2 pounds ground white meat turkey, cooked thoroughly and drained
6 cups cooked brown rice, white rice if your dog has had a kidney disease diagnosis
6 hard boiled eggs
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean, peeled, cubed, and steamed
1 (15-ounce) bag frozen peas
½ cup fresh cranberries, sliced thin
¼ cup hemp hearts
¼ cup parsley
6 sage leaves, minced
3 tablespoons minced rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil, Udo's omega-3 and omega-6 oil blend, or safflower oil
Combine all of the ingredients together in a large container and stir to combine completely. Store in the refrigerator in-between feedings.
How much 100% human grade food to feed your dog:
This will obviously vary from dog to dog, but a general rule of thumb is for every 10 pounds your dog weighs they should be fed roughly 1 cup of prepared food. If needed you can always call and consult with you vet about transitioning your dog's diet and the amount of food your dog should eat each day.
Time saving cooking tips
To make prepping this homemade dog food a cinch and to save LOTS of time and dishes in the process I like to cook the hard boiled eggs and the rice in my Instant Pot!
I start with cooking the eggs first, then while the rice is cooking in the Instant Pot I brown the meat and get all of the fresh ingredients together. It really does help make the process of meal prepping homemade dog food so much easier!
Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs: Place the metal trivet into the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water. Add uncooked eggs on top of the trivet. Place the lid on top, lock to sealing, and cook high pressure for 5 minutes. Release pressure valve manually at the end of the cooking time and carefully remove the hard boiled eggs to a water bath to cool
Instant Pot Brown Rice: Combine the desired amount of rice and water in an Instant Pot. Place the lid on and set the pressure to sealing. Pressure cook on high with the venting knob in the sealed position for 15 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. Then carefully quick release (turn Venting Knob to Venting position) and remove the lid. Fluff the brown rice with a rice paddle or fork. If the rice still seems a bit wet, let it rest a bit for the moisture to escape before mixing with other ingredients.
Keywords: homemade dog food recipe, home made dog food, dog food recipe, how to make dog food, dog food recipe for canine kidney disease
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Want to see more of the delicious homemade dog food recipes we make for our dogs?
How to make our original Homemade Dog Food recipe
It’s a fact, feeding your pup a diet of 100% human grade dog food is easy, cost effective, and WAY better for them than a traditional doggie diet of processed kibble! My easy homemade dog food recipe combines lean ground beef, wholesome brown rice, fresh vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and tender herbs for a healthy, vibrant alternative to traditional dog food that has given our 11 year old dog a new lease on life!
Pumpkin and Yogurt Bowl for Dogs recipe
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for all of us, even our dogs! Get your dog’s day off to a great start with a healthy dose of protein, vitamins, and minerals by feeding him/her a delicious Pumpkin and Yogurt Bowl for Dogs. These yogurt bowls are filled with good for your dog ingredients like fat free Greek yogurt, 100% pure pumpkin puree, plant based vitamin and mineral powder, and my Homemade Dog Food Seasoning which is a blend of 5 herbs that have extraordinary health benefits for your dog!
Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend recipe
It’s no secret that fresh herbs and spices are beneficial to a person’s health and diet, but did you know that your dog’s diet could benefit from the addition of them also!? In the summer months, it’s easy to include green leafy herbs like parsley and basil in our dog’s fresh homemade food because I have lots growing in the garden. But, when fresh herbs are sparse I turn to my spice cabinet where I keep a little jar of spices labeled ‘Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend’. This easy to make custom spice blend combines dried parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, and oregano for a seasoning blend your dog is sure to love!
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We aren't the only people that have converted to making homemade dog food and are LOVING the results! Check out the links below for more homemade dog food recipes your pup will LOVE!
Homemade Dog Food Recipe from College Housewife || 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!
DIY Homemade Dog Food from Damn Delicious ||Chungah's dog Butter's battle with stomach issues led her to start making dog food at home. This recipe is easy to make and super good for your pups too! It combines a delicious blend of 50% protein, 25% veggies and 25% grains and is made of ingredients like ground chicken, brown rice, shredded zucchini, spinach, carrots, and peas.
O'tion (ocean) VanOhm says
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for your generosity with your blog.
We are feeding an italian mastiff, so she's quite a big girl.
Today, we are going to go shopping to meal prep for her.
What are your thoughts on raw eggs cracked over the meal instead of hardboiled?
THANK YOU for your generosity.
It's not very clear from your recipe instruction about how to cook the veggies. Looks like you have to cook the egg, veggies and rice separately but from the same instant pot once at a time? It sounds very time-consuming! Are you able to offer a recipe that all the ingredients can be cooked at the same time with a IP?
Eliza Clendenin says
Only the rice, eggs, & meat need to be cooked. We add in all of our veggies raw/frozen!
Thank you for sharing. Once your pup is diagnosed with kidney disease there is a lot to learn. I have been soaking up any resource available on that subject. Your blog and recipes are great. My Golden doesn't handle chicken nor beef so I have him primarily on a fish protein with egg whites and small amount of blended beans as protein option. We are in the beginning of our battle so finger crossed this diet will help him stay by my side for a bit longer ❤️.
Eliza Clendenin says
I am so sorry to hear about your pup! We hope that this food will change both his & your life like it did ours!
Traci H says
So glad I found your recipe!! My 2 dogs were recently diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease at the same time. They’re 14 and brothers. We were and still are devastated! I began searching different sites for any way possible to help them, and I found your recipe. They love it!!… and seem to be feeling much better. 🙏❤️
Is boiled chicken ok to use? Also, Could you share the brand & type of turkey you use?
Thank you so much!
Hi Traci! I am sorry to hear about your dogs, but I am so happy that they are loving the food, and that they seem to be feeling better!! If it were me I would not use boiled chicken since chicken is a top allergen for dogs! As for the turkey, I don't use a specific brand I just use some from my local grocery store meat department.
Deborah B says
I am just assuming that after cooking that u use a blender to grind up the ingredients?
No need for a blender. You can if you would like though.
Hi, so glad to have found you! I have been reading how dog food companies use questionable minerals. Will I have to add supplements to the recipe? How do you know your recipe has the needed nutrients?
Eliza Clendenin says
We did tons of research on all of the ingredients that we added into this dog food recipe. I would recommend talking with your vet just to clarify that this meal has enough nutrients that your pup needs.
We love adding probiotics & supplements from native pet to our dogs foods, but they are not needed!
I hope this helps,
Hi Deborah, once all of the ingredients are ready to be mixed together you just simply combine them into a container and mix away! There is no need to use a blender to blend everything unless you or your pup prefer it!!
I made this Turkey-Veggie recipe, I used Blueberry's since i cant get Cranberries and I used half sweet potato and half Carrots. Our Dog Rolfie just Loves it. I do mix it with some dry food and I also add the eggshells for calcium.
Thanks for that great recipe!
I like your update. Thanks for sharing!
Connie Castro says
In your recipes, are the vegs. cooked? If they are, how would I prepare them?
Hi Connie! The vegetables are not cooked.
R. Nichols says
You have to be super careful with eggs in dogs who have kidney disease because they are so high in phosphorus (also also protein for that matter).
Hi! Thank you for the information. As I said in the blog post, we made sure with our vet that it was okay to include in our dogs diet.
Hi, can this recipe be used for a 4 months old Shih Tzu? He’s been scratching and licking himself badly for the past few weeks. We’d gone through chicken & rice to salmon & sweet potatoes kibble which didn’t help at all! Thanks!
Hi KY! This recipe should be good for your Shih Tzu, but I highly recommend consulting your vet to double check!
Erin D. says
Meg, thank you so much for sharing your story and your recipe. My 10 year old has kidney problems and her vet has been struggling to diagnose why and what to medicate her with. The problem has evolved to giving her anal gland infections and also a staph infection in her groin now! I know she'll hate the Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein kibble that her vet recommended today. I'm going to try your recipe right away. Question, was your dog supposed to eat a hydrolyzed protein food also? If so, I'm wondering if you think the ground turkey is ok, and if so, could I roast a turkey breast and shred that instead?
Hi Erin! I am so sorry to hear about all of the health problems your pup is going through! Our dog was in stage 4 kidney disease at diagnosis and was placed on an r/d prescription diet. I read that the recommended hydrolyzed or novel protein diet is fed only exclusively for 6-10 weeks, and then is typically followed by a dietary rechallenge. I'm guessing they primarily use this type of food when dealing with food allergies. In which case, turkey is actually a highly digestible protein source for dogs and could be served to then roasted and shredded if you prefer. Just be sure it is unseasoned.
Be sure to take a bit of time transitioning from kibble to real food - slowly is best. A small percentage of change every feeding will help your dog not have any adverse tummy reactions.
Do come back and let me know how you both are doing!
Cynthia Wong says
Hi my golden retriever mix was just diagnose with renal failure about two months ago. He is now on a prescription diet from Royal Canine. He like this one better than the previous brand. But I would like to introduce a healthier diet. Is your recipe above, just given to the dog cold, or do you heat it up. Also, how much do you give him? Is there a location for your dog recipes?
Hi Cynthia! I am so glad you found our recipe! Yes, you can feed this recipe cold from the refrigerator or heat it up in the microwave if you/your dog prefers. Either way, my dogs are BIG fans! We feed 1 cup per 10Lbs of body weight - fresh food has lots of moisture, unlike kibble that has had all of the moisture cooked out of it. So, it seems like a lot of food, but actually, it's the perfect amount. Our dog that was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease is 80lbs, so he gets 8 cups per day, divided into 2 feedings.
With kidney disease the moisture in the food is important. Dogs with kidney disease need to stay hydrated, the more hydrated they are the easier it is for their kidneys to do their job. So feed smaller amounts, more times per day, and don't hesitate to add liquids like bone broth or even goats milk.
You can find all of our recipes for dogs here: https://thismessisours.com/dog-life/
I hope this helps answer your questions and wish you and your dog the best of luck and lots of healing!
Are all your recipes good for dogs with kidney issues. We started Maddie with k/d at the beginning of this year and now it seems like a struggle to get her to eat anything. We’re going back to vet and recheck her levels again and see if anything changed and then talk to the doc about making her food!
Hi! Most all of them are great for dogs with kidney disease - our dog Hooch ate them until his levels improved from Stage 4 to zero indicators for kidney disease. I only started feeding him our Anti-Inflammatory dog food once his levels were within the normal range and we were focusing on his mobility issues. Make sure you make the transition from r/d kibble-based diet to real food slowly and methodically to avoid tummy troubles and keep me posted on how y'all are doing!
Can you feed this to older dogs even if they don't have kidney problems yet?
The vet wanted us to switch the dog food to a senior dog food to prevent kidney problems.
We have two Dachshunds.
Hello Jeannette!! Of course! This recipe is perfect for almost every dog!! Just run it by your vet to make sure it has all the vitamins, proteins, etc. that your dog needs. You might have to purchase some probiotic powders if needed.
Thank you for this recipe my dog is already improving after just a few days!
Do you cook the peas and cranberries? Could you use dried cranberries?
Hi Sandy - no need to cook the peas and I would avoid dried cranberries. They tend to be sweetened which isn't great for our pups.
Melanie Weinmeyer says
Also - are frozen cranberries ok? Fresh are hard to find.
Just printed your recipe and I'm planning to shop for it shortly, but should I be adding any other supplements? I know you listed the Udo's blend, but is calcium necessary as well? I've been using dried eggshells in their food for now.
Hi Brandi - dried eggshells are actually what we use - but you can add other calcium supplements if you feel your dog needs more. We have had great success with just powdered eggshells. Another great source of calcium is plain Greek yogurt - we often treat our dogs with that as well. There are other calcium supplements that are derived from seaweed that we have tried and we liked it too, but at the end of the day I am already using the eggs and it saves me quite a bit of money not having to buy another supplement. Here are the ones I have used if you want to check them out:
Seaweed based calcium supplement: https://amzn.to/3u9M7D9
Eggshell based: https://amzn.to/39w4cSk
Thank you for your recipes. I’m anxious to get started. My precious Rainbow is nearing her 13th birthday and was diagnosed yesterday with stage 3 kidney failure. Is there another blog for pet owners to share experiences with treatments such as IV fluids and subcutaneous therapy? Thank you.
Hi Patty! Oh my goodness, Rainbow, what a sweet name for I am sure a very sweet pup! Honestly. there may be, but I couldn't find what I was looking for when our dog was diagnosed which is why I started documenting our own journey through the food/lifestyle changes we were making. If you find a more medical based page where people are sharing info like that let me know.
Hi Patty -- I'm so sorry to hear that you and Rainbow are now dealing with CKD, I am as well. My boy, Dakota was diagnosed almost a year ago, when he was 13, and he's now 14. He's been doing well, although he really dislikes the canned food for dogs with CKD, so my vet put me in touch with a company in the US called Balance It, and I order a supplement from there called Balance IT® Canine K Plus, and then I make his food from the recipes on the site, and he liked that for quite some time. Now though, he's really slowed down on his eating and doesn't seem interested at all in food. I know that tummy upset can be an offset of CKD, but I really need him to eat, so I hit the net today and found this recipe that I may try (minus the eggs of course for lower phosphorus). It's just so hard, and I feel your pain. Our pets are family members, and it's hard when they get sick and there's little that we can do. Take care of your Rainbow and give him a hug from me!
Excellent recipe, thank you for the research. Did you use brown or white rice with your dogs? Is it necessary to use white with dogs with kidney disease?
Hi! If you are dealing with kidney issues stick with white rice, it is lower in phosphorous and easier for the body to process.
Karen A Brooks says
I am so excited to try the breakfast and dinner recipes. Your turkey recipe makes about 13 cups. My dog is around 10 lbs. so that would be a cup a day. How long should this be safely refrigerated? I know I can make half batches or freeze as an option. What are the measurements for the breakfast bowl also, please. I suppose if I am going to try both each meal would only be half a cup. I am can't wait to try this on my little guy...he is fussy so fingers and paws crossed.
Hi! I am so glad you are excited and I hope your pup loves the recipes. There are measurements for the breakfast bowl in the blog post and recipe card based off of weight so be sure to check that out!
Hello, not sure if my comment posted from the other day. Is this recipe safe for dogs with kidney issues? I know you mentioned that your pup had kidney
Problems. The vet recommended the science diet but my dog is so picky I’m thinking of switching her to home made foods like you are doing. Thanks for the input!
Hi! So sorry - I am not sure what happened - I will have to find your other comment. Yes, these are the recipes we feed our dog that was diagnosed stage 4 kidney disease. Honestly, making the transition to home made foods was the best thing we could have ever done for our dog. The vet gave him 3-6 months to live at diagnosis and he is still here now in great health 1 1/2 years later. It's incredible!