At the start of 2015, we had one dog - Mister Brown. He was a beagle mix I'd had since university. He was my first long-term roommate, my security system, and my first baby. He passed away in early March, and it was a very difficult loss for us. We drove home from the vet, bawling, saying we'd never get another dog because it was just too hard to lose him.
Fast forward a week, and hubby says "I don't know how long I'm going to last!"
I was unsure what he was talking about, when he said "without a dog."
We had to face the facts. We are dog people. All of the things we thought we'd take advantage of not having a dog - playing in the yard more, day trips, vacations - we knew we wouldn't do, and if we did want to go away somewhere, having a dog wouldn't stop us.
So, we started our search for a new family member at the Humane Society, and after a few weeks, we came across Ruby. Hubby has always wanted a boxer, and she was a 5 month old boxer mix in need of a home. The girls loved her, so a week later, she moved in.
Now for the part you're here for!
I've included 4 recipes that we use - but to be honest, we alter and switch them up based on what we have on hand. I did run these past our vet, and he didn't have any concerns - but said it is important to ensure with large breed dogs (any dog over 50lbs as an adult) that you monitor calcium-phosphorous ratio, and don't over-do protein or calcium. It is important that with each variation, you pay attention to the number of egg shells in the recipe, because the calcium-phosphorous ratio has been calculated and adjusted in each. Check our spreadsheet for nutritional information here.
He also recommended, FYI, that male dogs remain intact for as long as possible - preferably 2 years, as they need the hormones to develop bone strength and muscle. Female dogs, it is not an issue, but with male dogs, leaving them unaltered can prevent cancers and other health issues as they age.
2 Med sweet Potatoes - Chopped
1 1/2 cups Pot Barley
1 Small-Med Zucchini
2 cups Spinach
1/4 cup Ground flax seeds
1 Can low sodium wild pacific salmon
1lb Extra Lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey
8 washed and dried egg shells (Use this method for preparation)
Slightly cook your meat - not entirely through - in a large pot (I actually use a wok). Without draining (unless you are not using extra lean, you may want to drain some fat), add in your sweet potato, barley, and 3 cups of water.
Allow to cook until potatoes and barley are nearly cooked entirely. Add in your zucchini. Cook 3-4 more minutes, then add in Spinach. Once your water is all reduced, and spinach is wilted, remove from heat.
At this point, add in your drained can of salmon, flax seeds, and ground up egg shells.
Put everything into two loaf pans, and bake for 20 min at 350. Using the spreadsheet here, determine the serving size for your pup. At our dog's size (each over 60lb pups) I divide each loaf pan into 4... so each loaf pan is 1 day's worth of food here, plus they get some kibble mixed in.
2 med Sweet Potatoes
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups Kidney Beans (if using fresh, leave to soak overnight or a few hours in the crockpot - this is the best way to limit sodium)
6 whole eggs
1/2 cup egg whites (if you go to Costco, get egg whites here. Much cheaper.)
4 egg shells (use method linked above)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, add steel cut oats, sweet potatoes, beans, and 3 cups water. Allow to cook, and reduce. In meantime, mix together eggs and egg whites in separate bowl.
Once most water is gone and oats are cooked, mash mixture with potato masher, and add in coconut oil. Then slowly mix in egg mixture, stiring as you add. Remove from heat.
Add in egg shell powder. Divide into 2 loaf pans. This mixture will rise a bit, so make sure it's not too full. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes to ensure eggs are cooked.
Portion out based on your pup's weight, taking into account if you're also giving any store bought food.
1/2 Butternut squash (about 1 cup when cooked)
1 bunch kale (about 1 cup chopped)
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
1/4 cup Coconut oil
1 can low sodium wild pacific salmon
1lb extra lean ground turkey/turkey meat (raw weight)
6 egg shells in powder (see link in recipe #1)
Start out slightly cooking your turkey, then add in your brown rice, carrots and squash, along with 3 cups of water. Allow to cook and reduce - this takes some time for brown rice. Once nearly cooked, mash everything with potato masher.
Add in kale, and coconut oil.
Remove from heat. Stir in drained salmon, and egg shell powder.
Divide into 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 20 min. You'll notice it take more of a loaf shape, rather then just being mush.
1/2 a cooking pumpkin (about 1 cup) - canned pumpkin will suffice, but watch sodium content - try to find organic.
1 small head broccoli - cut into small florets
1 apple, shredded
1 1/2 cups Long grain brown rice
1/2 cup natural Peanut Butter (be sure it contains no xylitol)
1/4 ground flax seed
6 whole eggs
1/2 cup egg whites
8 egg shells ground into powder - see link in recipe #1 for directions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, add brown rice with 3 cups water. Allow to reduce until half-way cooked (15 min). At this point, add in broccoli florets, pumpkin, and apple. This will create more water, so you'll need to let it reduce some more.
In the meantime, mix your whole and egg whites in a separate bowl. Grind your flax seeds and egg shells.
Once your rice mixture is cooked, remove from heat. Slowly mix in your egg mixture, peanut butter, flax and egg shell powder.
Divide into loaf pans, and bake at 350 for 50 minutes to ensure eggs are fully cooked. (raw egg can be fine for dogs, but must be cracked and fed immediately - because this is being stored, it is important they be thoroughly cooked.)
I will try to add some step-by-step photos at some point - as I've been making them, I haven't been taking pictures, as originally I didn't think to share the recipes, but our dogs have been loving them, and thriving on them, so I wanted to share what we use. I hope your doggies love it too! If you try it, let me know!