We Make Our Own Dog Food…That The Family Also Eats!

No, we aren’t those uppity people that spoil our dogs with gourmet food.  Last summer, we got a kidney disease diagnosis for our 14-year-old doxie, Angel, and one of the potential causes was the bag of dry dog food we were feeding them.  The vet said it would be better for her if we could give her a homemade dog food in addition to starting her on a regiment of medications.  We didn’t expect her to make it to Christmas.  As we are rolling into summer, we still have her and, other than her hearing and vision a bit worse, she is a happy pup.  When she got a check up in December, her numbers were lower, so it seems to be helping her kidneys a bit.

Our recipe started out pretty simple—rice, chicken breast, mixed veggies.  We added in scrambled eggs a few months later when they started getting bored with the flavor. Last month, we noticed they were sleeping all the time and almost lethargic acting.  Since we weren’t sure if it was pollen or diet, we added in  blend of turkey and beef. Their spunk seems to have returned and they are enjoying the additional flavor.  The multiple flavors and textures also help us hide their medicine in, although we due add a dab of peanut butter for the pills to hide in if they aren’t eager for dinner to entice them a bit.

It takes us about 30 minutes to prepare and a batch lasts about a week, or less, if the family eats any of it.  Yep, you read that right.  It is a quick and easy “stir fry” recipe that heats up in about 30 seconds and is healthier than most of the other quick prep food. 

The best part is how much it saves us.  We buy everything in bulk and freeze it.  We purchase rice in 10-pound bags from our local store, but when we can, we will go to the local Asian store—the rice is better, and it helps a small business.  We purchase family packs of beef, chicken, and turkey.  The chicken breasts get frozen individually.  The beef (usually market ground) is split into ½ pound portions, and the turkey into ¼ pound portions, then we combine the beef and turkey portions into one bag that we will cook together.  We buy our eggs in bulk already, as well as a large bag of mixed veggies. With buying in bulk, it will last us about 2-3 months, depending on how fast it gets eaten, and we only spend about $50.  We do still buy a small bag of the dry dog food for an occasional treat, or if we will be gone for the day and may be home a bit later than typical dinner time.

So, I thought I’d share our recipe, in case you were looking for an alternative to packaged dog food, a special treat for your furry friend, or a cheap and easy recipe for you, or for you and your family.

Puppy Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of rice, prepared (white, brown, or a blend)
  • 1 large chicken breast, boiled
  • 2 cups of frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • ¾ pound of lean ground beef and turkey
  • 6 large eggs, scrambled

Preparation:

  • Fill pot with measured water for rice, turn on high to bring to a boil
  • Fill pot with enough water to cover chicken, drop in chicken breast and heat on high to bring to boil
  • Put 2 cups of veggies in a bowl and cover with warm water to thaw
  • Brown beef and chicken, drain
  • By now, rice water should be boiling, so add rice, lower temp to low/medium heat, and cover to simmer per package directions
  • Scramble 6 eggs (in same pan as meat for added flavor, and less dishes)
  • Drain veggies
  • Mix beef/turkey, eggs, and mixed veggies in large storage bowl that will hold the stir fry
  • Drain chicken and dice or shred, depending on preference
  • Add chicken to bowl, mix
  • Add rice to bowl, mix well (I find it is easier to use 2 utensils and “toss” like a salad to get it mixed well without making a mess.  The dogs do NOT prefer this method, though, they like the mess to “sample” dinner).

Makes 14 1 cup portions

So that’s it, our family’s “Puppy Stir Fry” Recipe.  It’s a super simple way to feed from one person to the whole family on a budget, or to feed your dog for a week and give them fresh dog food instead of something packaged.  For some reason, they seem to like the fact that they are eating what we are . I don’t know how much longer we will have our dogs with us, but I do know that this recipe has given us more time with our oldest pup, so it is totally worth it for us.