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On Sunday I made a big batch of pet food using the recipe for Spot’s Stew from The Whole Pet Diet. The recipe is filled with fresh vegetables and real meat, including organ meats, which is all very healthy for your pets. It looked good when I was cutting up all the ingredients, fresh organic carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini and celery. I didn’t have enough fresh garlic to add a whole cup to the double batch I made, so I used some garlic powder from the pantry. I must admit, I have been using fresh garlic for so long I forgot how strong powdered garlic was. The smell was awful, way to weirdly garlicy. The house smelled terrible and the food as an overpowering fake garlic smell. I threw the powdered garlic into the compost pile and I might omit the garlic in the next batch. The cats wouldn’t touch the food, I’m guessing the overpowering garlic smell turned them off. Even the garage cats wouldn’t touch it. Lucy thinks it’s the greatest thing ever, she gobbles it down and licks her bowl clean. I did change the recipe a bit adding a few extra things I thought would make it healthier, I added those to the end of the recipe directions.

SPOT’S CHICKEN STEW
(recipe as listed in The Whole Pet Diet, my changes listed in description)

2.5 lbs whole chicken, including bones, organs, and skin, preferably organic pastured
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
1 cup organic green peas (I used 1/2 cup dried split peas)
1 cup coarsely chopped organic carrots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic sweet potatoes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic yellow squash
1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic green beans
1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic celery
1 Tablespoon of kelp powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
11-16 cups filtered water

For dogs only: add 8 ounces of whole barley and 6 ounces of rolled oats, and adjust water content to total 16 cups or enough to cover ingredients (grains not recommend for cats).

Combine all ingredients in stock pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, turn down heat as low as possible, and simmer for 2 hours (the carrots should be soft). Remove from heat, cool and debone chicken. Put all ingredients back in pot and blend with an immersion blender (or you can blend in batches in a regular blender or food processor). Distribute into containers, meal sized serving are very convenient.

I put mine in wide mouth pint jars and will be giving Lucy 3 of these per day along with some yogurt. I have been putting the next meal’s jars on the counter to warm when I feed her. So before bed I put out her breakfast and when I feed her breakfast I put out her dinner portions. This way she’s never eating cold food straight from the fridge, which is not recommended for animals.

Changes I made: Since the chicken didn’t come with the heart and liver, I added a cup of venison heart. I included 1/4 cup of raw apple cider vinegar to help bring minerals from bones (I always do this when making soups & stocks) and 1/4 teaspoon of real sea salt for minerals. I added all zucchini in place of yellow squash and green beans since I didn’t have either of those and I had a zucchini in the pantry. I also added 1/4 cup crushed egg shells for added calcium, 1/4 cup of molasses for added minerals and iron, 1/2 cup of beef tallow for some added healthy fat, and 2 Tablespoons of Vita-Blend tea mix from Mountain Rose Herbs for added vitamins & minerals. I didn’t add the grains in the mix since I was hoping the cats would eat it, but they won’t.

Serving sizes for dogs:
up to 10 pounds – 1 to 1 1/2 cups daily
11-20 pounds – 2 to 3 cups daily
21-40 pounds – 4 cups
for each additional 20 pounds add 2 cups
Adjust according up or down according to your dogs activity level.

Cats will eat about a cup of this stew each day.

I must admit I was a little less than impressed with this stew when it was finished and I pureed it. It looked just like canned dog food, only slightly more watery. It looked great while I was chopping it all up, fresh and delicious. I think I’d rather feed raw, which we do sometimes. I just need to read up a bit more and start looking for good sources of local pastured meat for the pets. Although I do think this is much healthier than store-bought food and it was actually very easy to make. The double batch I made will last about 2 weeks for the dog, not much work involved and it is cheaper than human grade pet food. I think this will cost about half the prices of store-bought food (if you’re buying a good brand like Wellness or EVO). I probably spend about $90 a month on pet food for the 6 pets living at Chiot’s Run. The one thing I do love about making homemade food is that I can make it organic, the brand of pet food we buy is good quality, but it’s not organic. By making the food at home our pets can get organic for less that conventional and I know exactly what’s in it. Making pet food will also encourage me to grow a few more vegetables in the garden which will drastically reduce the price of the food and save even more money!

Have you ever fed raw? How much do you typically spend on your pet food per month?

I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Ethel Gloves, Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.

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Nothing on this planet can grow, live, thrive, or flourish without real food. When we eat real, wholesome, healthy, and natural food, like chicken and vegetable stew, we support every single one of our biological systems at a deep, cellular level and bolster the body’s innate abilities to heal itself and resist disease and degeneration. This holds true for people, plants and animals.

Andi Brown – The Whole Pet Diet

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Here at Chiot’s Run we’re going to be focusing on switching our pets to a 100% real food diet during the Real Food Challenge. I’ve been reading a few books about cooking for your pet, the one above being my favorite so far. I’ve been wanting to transition our pets to a Real Food diet, so I thought the challenge would be the perfect time to do it. Lucy already gets homemade food on occasion and she LOVES it. She gets all the venison from the previous year after hunting season fills the freezer with a fresh batch. All the deer offals make it into her bowl as well, she’s particularly fond of these, as are the cats. We also give her raw meaty bones sourced from local pastured beef farm. Lucy is also a big fan of homemade dried squash leather treats and bacon which I make for her.

Even though we feed our pets good quality pet food, it will be interesting to see how the pets do when eating Real Food. I’m sure they’ll be much healthier just like we are when we eat real food instead of processed. We’re also in the process of transitioning Lucy from a synthetic thyroid pill to an herbal one and she seems to be doing much better on it. I think the Real Food diet will really help her with this problem and help her age with fewer problems.

Have you ever made food for your pets?

I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Ethel Gloves and Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.

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