You know, it's kind of funny but it never really occurred to me before my move out to the country that I could make my pets their own food from ingredients I already had in my kitchen. It's really crazy now that I think about it. I mean, I make food for my family all of the time, why wouldn't I be able to make food for my pets too?
When I started researching ways to save our family money in this recession I started buying old books from the shelves at my local Goodwill store and checking out a lot of books fro our local library. It's amazing what people used to know that most of society seems to have forgotten.
One book in particular was really inspiring. It was called Home Made, Best Made and it was published by Reader's Digest in 1998. It has all kinds of things I can make it there from marshmellows to composting, home remedies to pet food, and quilting to orchards I swear it has almost everything in it that an eclectic person such as myself would enjoy finding out about. Granted, there aren't any long descriptions of any of the processes in there but it's great exposure to new ideas that may not have ever occurred to us to think about.
Today I thought I'd share with you the idea of making our own pet food and treats. It's really not as hard as one might think. Contrary to what you may have been told, you do not have to go to the store and buy specialty foods for your pets from the shelves. You can make a healthy, well balanced meal for your pet from ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
The recipe calls for 1 pound browned ground beef, 2 chopped hard cooked eggs, 4 cups cooked rice, 6 slices crumbled white bread, 2 tsp vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp bonemeal, and one crushed pet vitamin. Stir all ingredients together and add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Voila!
That's not exactly what I did to make my base food though. I had some frozen veggies that the family refused to eat and soup bones to dispose of so I used those instead. Once the meat was cooked I cut it off the bones. I also cooked the veggies. My dog does not care much for most veggies so I added the veggies and meat to our blender and mixed them together. Not only does the dog like it, but so do the cats!
Once the pet food was made and I saw that it would be devoured I decided to also make some treats which comes right after the pet food in the book. After all, I knew the actual food wouldn't last all that long from the look of things. The treats will keep for a month if refrigerated. I took pictures of the process, those are the pictures you'll see throughout this post.
Start with a base of 1 3/4 cups homemade dog food mashed to remove lumps, add 1 cup processed bran, 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal, and 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix to consistency that is easy to mold into patties. Arrange biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 3 1/2 hours or until hard.
Yeah, as you may have imagined I didn't follow that either... I had way more dog food than that to preserve for our pets. I just added stuff until is looked to me like cookie dough. I had to switch spoons in the middle because the spoon I started with wasn't moving the heavy mixture very well. I know I could have made them into a dog biscuit molded shape, but I was anxious to get on to other projects and do not know where my bone mold wandered off to so I just dropped them like cookies onto the baking sheets. They are now baking in the oven and the house is smelling rather good.
Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Please leave me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Cindy