Affordable DIY Dog Food

I don’t know if you guys know this, but we are animal people. We try to feed our pets the best quality food, but dry pet food can be incredible expensive. We found ourselves settling for low quality, grain-heavy dog food. We looked in to making our own dog food, but we were discouraged because feeding dogs human food seems so expensive. Right? Not really! It is actually cheaper to make your own food that to buy a bag of dry dog food.

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Some/All images come from – the royalty free collection of stock photos.
Please do not actually give your dog food that is in this photo. It is for decoration only. 🙂

We initially tried DIY dog food because our Boxer, Emma, started getting sick from several dry dog food brands. She ended up losing a lot of weight and having lots of tummy troubles. After spending a couple hundred dollars at the vet, we realized she was just allergic to the harsh dyes and chemicals in her dog food.

Our sweet puppy, Emma!

After Emma was put on a strict, temporary rice and chicken diet, we delved into experimentation of DIY dog food. The average dogs needs calcium, carbs, protein, fat, and vitamins found in veggies. Dogs do not need their food to be a specific color to enjoy it; big brands dye foods so buyers will be more interested. Dyes are actually the number one culprit for tummy troubles in our household.

Not only have we gone away from dyes and chemicals for our dog’s diet, but our cats also have dye sensitivities that caused us to reevaluate their food needs. We use this cat food and love it!

We created our own dog food using these ingredients:
white rice (carbs) $1.30 per pound
olive oil (fats) $0.30 per ounce
– carrots (vitamins) $1 per freezer bag
– peas (vitamins) $1 per freezer bag
– spinach (vitamins) $1.50 per freezer bag
– chicken (protein) $3.37 per pound
– eggs (protein) $2.50

The great thing about most of these ingredients is they can be stored or frozen for later use.

For two weeks worth of dog food for one medium sized dog, I use:
– 1 chicken breast ($1.70)
– 4 eggs ($0.82)
– 2 TBS olive oil ($0.30)
– 2 lbs white rice ($2.60)
– 1 small freezer bag of carotts, spinach, and peas ($3.50)

I throw all of these ingredients in a slow cooker with enough water to cover everything. I cook this on low for 6-8 hours. Once everything is fully cooked, I shred the chicken and divide the food into 1 cup intervals. I store this dog food in Ziploc bags in the freezer. I thaw out the food in the microwave before feeding our dog.

In total, this dog food costs us about $18 per month/per dog, and it doesn’t make anyone sick! If you, like us, have more than 2 dogs, this may seem steep for dog food. $60 a month for dog food is a lot, but our dogs go through 2 48 lb. bags of dog food a month. If we went through Rachel Ray or Blue Buffalo, like the vet recommended, we would be spending $140 a month on dog food! With that in mind, this doesn’t seem so bad after all!

Just a reminder: never give your dogs chocolate, onions, garlic, avocado, coconut, raisins, grapes, nuts, coffee, dough, or xylitol. Be careful with dairy and other human foods that might cause upset tummies.

Please leave your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions below! I would love to hear what you do in your home.

You should always discuss diet changed with your vet prior to following this recipe.

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