Homemade Dog Food

Friday, December 22, 2017

My poor Winston has been through a lot. I swear there is something about purebred dogs having health issues (smaller gene pool?)
Regardless... Winston has been regurgitating his dry food since he was about 1 yr old.  We tried everything from switching food-to food-to food... and even resorted to VERY INVASIVE surgery. I am STILL upset about all of the tests & procedures we put him through.

Despite everything we tried, we could NOT figure out the issue and every vet came up blank. Hours and hours of research, talking to other dog owners...and nothing we tried seemed to help.

Fast forward to 2016, Winston develops glaucoma and loses his right eye. In the midst of trying to diagnosis him and prevent the loss of his vision, we took him to a holistic vet.  He started getting regular acupuncture treatments. I really started digging into his health & nutrition.
I've always believed in giving my pups high-quality food (PS Check out dogfoodadvisor.com to get the rating on your current dog food.) 

Our holistic vet recommended a homecooked meal plan for Winston...and voila! Just like magic, he stopped regurgitating food!

He is an 80+ lb dog so once we got him into a good place, I started experimenting with half dry food, half home-cooked food. We discovered he does really well on Orijen.  It's nice to know we have a dry food backup. It came in really handy when we had to evacuate due to Hurricane Irma! I packed his cooked food in coolors and had a bag of dry food to serve him as well.

COMMON SENSE: But I am not a vet, doctor, or certified in any type of dog nutrition. I am simply sharing Winston's meal plan that we formulated by his vet and not endorsed or approved by AAFCO. 
ALSO NOTE: If you choose to cook your dogs food, I highly recommend you read, research and educate yourself. Dogs need vitamins and minerals just like humans. I would hate for you to cook their food and think you are doing everything for them...but miss out on some of the vital things they need to thrive.


I use two crockpots to cook his food.
Once you have done this a few times, you will start to create a process for yourself. At this point, I know how much meat to buy and how many veggies I'll need to go along with it. At first, it was VERY MUCH trial and error.

Once it's cooked, I portion it all out in meal prep containers and freeze. We typically keep 3 days worth in the fridge so they are thawed and ready to serve. 

We now have a freezer in the garage so I can really go crazy and make him one month's worth at a time.

For prepping VEGGIES...I like to buy FRESH. I will spend one afternoon washing them and SHRED them in the food processor.  Then I measure them out into 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup bags and freeze. That way I can just get the amount I need and throw it in the crockpot.
This is a HUGE pain in the butt however it will save you so much time down the road!

RECIPE Breakdown
50-75% Meat (Ex: 1 Cup)
25-30% Starch (Ex: 1/4 Cup)
10-20% Veggies (Ex: 1/8 Cup)
1-2 tsp Spices

MEAT 50%-75% (ex: 1 cup)


  • Turkey
  • Bison 
  • Quail 
  • Beef
  • Venison
  • Rabbit 
  • Dark Meat Chicken (no fat or skin) 
  • Oily Fish (Mackerel)
  • Whitefish (Mix another protein source with whitefish) 
  • Clams
  • Egg
  • Organ meat of Beef, Bison or Venison (should not exceed 5% of diet)

STARCH / LEGUMES 25%-30% (ex: 1/4 Cup)

  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Yucca
  • Teff
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potato
  • Purple Potato
  • Sweet rice 
  • Butternut squash
  • Oats
  • Kidney Bean
  • Adzuki Bean
  • Lentil
  • Mung Bean

    If you choose beans, soak overnight with several water changes, boil beans and discard used water before adding them to crock pot or cooked food

VEGETABLES  10%-20% (ex: 1/8 cup)

  • Carrot
  • Kale 
  • Corn
  • Orange/ Red pepper (small & sweet, not spicy) 
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus 
  • Zucchini
  • broccoli (most any green vegetable)
  • Shiitake/ Mitake/ Enokitake mushroom (not button) 
  • Celery 
  • Winter squash 
  • Organic Baby Greens- do not cook, add small amt raw
Chop the vegetables finely, they should be fresh or frozen but you may use canned vegetables as a last resort.
Add at last 20 min of cooking (heat off) or blanch and add separately.

Spices to Add to Crock Pot:

Sprinkle Small Amounts of 1-2 choice (s) (1-2 tsp)


  • Chen Pi (VHA)
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Tuneric
  • Cumin 
  • Cinnamon bark 
  • Bay Leaf
  • Garlic or Ginger may also be used in very small amounts (¼ tsp fresh)

FINALLY, you will want to add: 
  • 1 small white turnip (cut into chunks) to the crock-pot
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar (Bragg) 
  • 1-2 Tbsp of coconut or olive oil (mix in well)
Cook at least 4 hours.


  • Citrus fruit 
  • Apples (no seeds ever & no skin if not organic) 
  • Almond 
  • Clam 
  • Anchovy 
  • Seaweed 
  • Walnuts
  • Shrimp
  • melons 
  • cow tendons (Bully sticks)
  •  Baked sweet potato 
  • Persimmons
  • Cucumber

  • Atlantic Sea Kelp= Kombu (1-2 large leaves per crockpot chopped into small pieces)-add before cooking, cut into small pieces with scissors, soak well with many water changes
  • Non-Animal based Calcium (900mg-1100 mg per Pound of Meat/Day) (1 pound of meat is about 2 cups)- Add at end of cooking to crock pot 
  • Vit-C (Bioflavenoid) –Work up to 1000 mg per daily. Start with 250mg and work up weekly
  • Vit-A – Give 10,000 IU Daily
  • Vit-E (Mixed Tocopherol)- 200 IU Daily

This diet is based on TCVM Food Energetics and is not proven to be balanced or complete by AAFCO