And all dog lovers of course! I've decided to add this recipe to my blog-o-dex because I often talk to other dog owners about allergies that our dogs get from food, what I do to help prevent their allergy flair ups and how to do it so it's natural and inexpensive.
This all started about half a year ago, we've always known that our fawn pug Babii has had allergies to chicken and beef formula foods and treats, but we were at the point where canned food wasn't cutting it for her allergies and our wallets. I started thinking, "I should make their food! Why not? We buy sweet potato and fish formula food, that sounds easy enough to make!" I also figured that I will at least know what I'm feeding them and it doesn't have any added preservatives or other bad things.
I really wanted to make sure that this would be the best bang for our buck, as well as the healthiest option for our pugs. We were feeding them high end store bought canned food at minimum $2.50 a can, and we would go through 1 can every 2 days. 3 1/2 -4 cans a week which ended up being $10 a week if you include taxes. I figured, if I can go and get frozen fillets of fish when they are on sale or from an Asian market, along with sweet potatoes, canned chick peas and a bag of rice at a good price, I would be paying much less than I had been buying canned dog food.
I found a good bag of rice at a great price for $6 (on sale). This bag will last us a half a year if I make their food once a week, every week. That's $1.00/a month. Off to a good start to making this more affordable.
I also picked up canned chick peas, the larger size on sale for $1 each, and I use half a can every week for their food. That's about $2/month. So far so good, I feel my pockets filling up already!
When it comes to the frozen fish fillets, I alternate depending on sales or the best deal at the Asian market. My vet advised me that it's best that I alternate the types of fish I feed them, which works fine with my method of buying whichever fillets are on sale. I am using sole fillets this time as they were on sale for $3 a bag at our local supermarket, and gave us a break from the basa and salmon. One of these $3 bags makes enough for 1 month's dog food.
The sweet potatoes I also like to buy at the local Asian market as they are usually cheaper and have larger sized potatoes. I alternate between the types of sweet potatoes as well- the white, yellow and orange and sometimes mix them together. I usually spend at most $2.50 for 2 pretty good sized potatoes and I use 4 potatoes a month. On potatoes I spend at maximum $5/month, but I spend less when sweet potato is in season as the prices are much lower.
Add this all together, I spend $11.00 a month on the natural dog food I make them in comparison to the $40/month I would spend on canned dog food. That's a huge difference! That's a mini haul at MAC, a new blouse at H&M and maybe a pair of flats on sale! To think that I could be saving $360 a year on dog food! If this isn't reason enough to reconsider making you own natural dog food, than hopefully seeing the food and how it's made will help change your mind.
I start off with a good sized sweet potato, this time I'm using the regular sweet potato where it's orange on the inside. I will go ahead and boil the sweet potato first, as it takes the longest to cook. I boil it for about 45mins- an hour (depending on how big or fat the potato), to make sure there are no raw and starchy pieces. Once it's ready, I let it cool down for a few minutes before peeling it. I cut it into pieces and put it in a large Tupperware with the chick peas. I start mashing the sweet potato and chick peas together until they are nice and soft.
Next I cook the rice. I will usually use 2-2 1/2 cups of white rice for this recipe, however I have also used brown rice and that works just the same. You can use whichever rice you prefer or whichever rice is better for your dogs diet. I cook the rice for about 10 minutes, the same way I would cook rice if I were to eat it. I don't over cook it, I don't want it to be soft and soggy. No salt, butter, NOTHING! I will go ahead and dump the rice with the sweet potato and chick peas, once the rice is done and has cooled a bit. I will go ahead and use the masher again to integrate the rice with the chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
Lastly I will boil the fish, as that takes no time at all! As mentioned, I am using Sole fillets this time and because they are smaller in size I will use 3 fillets. Usually with larger fish I will use 2 fillets or 1 really large fillet of salmon or tuna. I boil the fish down for about 10 minutes (not even), you'll know they are cooked from the foam that develops on top.
I will strain the fish from the water and add that to the sweet potato, rice and chick pea mixture and use the masher to get it all incorporated. I also like to add 2 capsules of fish oils (you can use the one you can buy at your local drugstore), as the fish oils are very good for their skin, coats and eyes. But be forewarned! The capsules will make the dish and your kitchen stiiiiiiiiiiinky! Don't say I didn't warn you! ;)
I wait until it cools and its ready to serve!
The best thing about this is not the money I save, it's how much my pugs go ape-crazy for this food! They love it! And they even know now when I'm making it and won't leave me alone until its done! Don't get me wrong, I love to save money! But it makes me feel really good that I'm giving them natural, healthy food, that makes them happy and not have allergies. If they're happy, I'm happy!
I hope you guys find this helpful and try this recipe for your pooches, especially if they have sensitive stomachs and food allergies. This will also help dogs who have problems with their coats or skin rashes. Feel free to make your own variations of this, you can use squash, carrots, beans, peas, pumpkin, brown rice, wild rice and you can add different vitamins that will suit your dogs needs.
Let me know if you will try this recipe and if it was a hit in the comments box below! I would love to hear how your dogs liked or didn't like it! ;)
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Bon appetite Bow-wows!