Not content with how terribly spoilt the dog was, I thought I’d up the ante by giving her homemade food.
While it was family tradition to feed the dog human meals that would make most people howl with pleasure, it had not been a terribly successful move. Particulary not for my Grandmother who has reared some spectaular fatties.
Fortunately the sensible sister among us developed a recipe for the canine in the family that we’ve been using for years now. It’s super simple and goes like this:
500-750grams mince meat (the fattier the better)
1-2 tablespoons gravy mix (optional)
At least 2 carrots grated, or the equivalent in other vegetables
1 to 1-1/2 cups of cooked brown rice
In a large pan bring enough water to cover the mince to a simmer. Add mince. Sprinkle on gravy mix if using and stir through. Add grated vegetables. Simmer until liquid is reduced but still fairly runny. Add rice, simmer for a further five minutes. Makes enough for a small dog to have one generous meal a day for a week.
Homemade dog food is a great way to use up those veges that are just on the wrong side of serving to humans (but if in doubt, throw it out!). I recommend cooking a large batch of brown rice and keeping some of the pre-cooked rice in the freezer to speed up future efforts. It must be brown rice for the fibre, and it’s added at the end so the starch from the rice firms up the food a little and gives it that bitey texture dogs seem to like.
The dog yums it up. And more importantly the vet seems more than happy with the dog’s health. To be on the safe side, I supplement the dog’s diet with dried biscuits, just to round out her vitamin intake.
This recipe (surprisingly, as they’re usually so fussy) went down a treat for my friends’ cats. The only difference for cats was I finished it off with a quick whizz in the blender so it had a smoother texture.
Another benefit to homemade dog food is cost. It compares favourably to buying tinned food. You may become obsessed with looking for bargain mince at the supermarket or butcher, but if you use pet mince it can bring the cost down further. By far the best deal I have found for pet mince is at Doorstep Organics, which delivers all through Sydney and up and down the coast. You do need to order and pay delivery fees though).