Making your own dog food, biscuits and treats is not only the best way of ensuring health and happiness for your treasured pets, but with the current ban on importing dog food, it has become absolutely essential. Don’t be daunted, as the following recipes are simple and easy to make:
1kg minced or finely chopped beef or lean scraps of beef
1kg rice/broken rice or 500g pasta (broken up spaghetti or macaroni will do fine.)
500g split lentils of any kind or a mix (Do not use whole lentils/beans as these are difficult for dogs to digest)
1kg seasonal vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, turnips, spinach, courgettes, squash/pumpkin
A little oil
Water as necessary
Simple, super-affordable homemade food is better for your pet than expensive, processed kibble
Clean and pre-soak the rice and lentils. Wash/peel and chop the vegetables into small pieces.
Put all ingredients (except pasta) into a large pan, cover with water, bring to the boil then simmer until everything is well cooked. Add either the rice or pasta, plus, more water if needed, and cook until that is done too. Serve warm or cold. Freeze in individual portions.
If apples are in season and being sold cheaply, add a few of these too as dogs all seem to love their sweet taste.
Light diet for elderly dogs
Everything is the same as above but leave out the meat and boil up 1kg meaty bones instead, simmering until all the meat and bone goodness has been extracted. Strain out the bones and use this bone soup in place of actual meat. Perfect and easily digestible for elderly dogs, dogs recovering from illness and dogs with digestive problems.
Same as the main meal but use 1kg of liver, kidney and other offal instead of meat. Offal is very rich and not suitable for dog food during hot weather.
1 tin sardines in oil
500 ml left over gravy/oil from curries/from frying (but not from frying onions) or from the bone soup as used in making wet dog food.
Warm water if needed.
Put the flour in a large bowl, add the sardines and mix thoroughly, breaking up the sardines into tiny pieces. Add the eggs and mix some more. Add the gravy/oil/soup, a little at a time and knead until you have achieved a firm dough. If the dough is still crumbly when you have used all of the gravy/oil/soup, you can add warm water until the correct consistency is reached. Lightly flour a work surface, turn the dough onto this and knead for another 5 minutes to ensure that all ingredients are mixed well. Divide into 4 pieces and then roll each one out, about half an inch thick. Lay them on lightly greased baking tray/s and bake in a medium to hot oven until lightly browned.
This will take approximately 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little and then, using a large, sharp knife, cut the biscuit/s into bite size pieces. Spread these cut pieces again on the baking tray and return to the medium to hot oven for a further 15-20 minutes until the chunks are baked hard. Allow to cool completely and then store in an airtight container. These biscuits will stay hard and crunchy for at least 2 weeks at room temperature.
Feed as part of your dog’s daily diet and do feel free to experiment by adding/substituting ingredients to meet your pet’s specific taste buds and to prevent them from getting bored by being served the same tasting biscuits day in, day out.
Adding in a tablespoon full of cod liver oil, especially during winter helps ensure that your dog gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs, to maintain healthy skin, hair and teeth.
1 tin sardines
A small amount of left-over cooking oil/gravy/soup
Mix together flour, sardines and eggs, ensuring that everything is well blended and that the sardines are flaked into tiny pieces. Add the oil/gravy/soup, a bit at a time and knead until a firm dough is formed. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 or more pieces, rolling each one into a stick shape. Spread out on lightly greased baking tray/s and bake in a medium to hot oven for 20-30 minutes until the sticks are crisp and hard. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and when fully cold, store in an airtight container.
Award these treats for tasks well done.
You can vary the taste by using cooked, ground up, chicken livers, beef or mutton liver or flaked, cooked fish without bones.
Fish bones, chicken bones and cooked bones of any kind should never be fed to your pet. Fish bones are needle sharp and cooked bones can splinter, any of these is potentially lethal for your pet as they can seriously damage their intestines, stomachs and bowels resulting in an agonized death.
Published in Dawn, EOS, June 26th, 2022