Homemade Dog Food in a Slow Cooker

by Joe Gordon, Demand Media
    Dogs love a homemade, slow-cooked meal.

    Dogs love a homemade, slow-cooked meal.

    Canned dog foods are often over-processed with fillers, additives and mystery meats that offer your dog little in the way of nutrition or taste. Nutritionally balanced homemade dog food, prepared in a slow cooker using fresh ingredients, can be a wholesome, rewarding way to feed your dog.

    Correct Nutritional Balance

    Before you endeavor to prepare homemade slow-cooked meals for your dog, consider consulting with your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist first. Then find recipes that will best suit her energy level, body weight, age and health requirements. Getting the correct balance of proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates is important your dogs nutritional health. A good meal normally contains 40 percent proteins, 30 percent vegetable content and 30 percent carbohydrates.

    Proteins

    Protein sources for your homemade, slow-cooked dog food could include skinless chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, salmon, lamb chops and pork loin and small amounts of chicken or beef liver. Be careful to remove chicken and fish bones after cooking to avoid the possibility of choking.

    Vegetables

    Many dogs enjoy vegetables like zucchini, celery, collard greens, spinach, carrots, or green beans, especially when they absorb the tastes of their favorite meats while cooking. Frozen mixed vegetables can be a good choice, too.

    Carbohydrates

    Too many carbohydrates are a serious issue in many manufactured dog foods, but some grains are necessary, contributing fiber and nutrients to your dog's diet. Pasta, oatmeal, rice, barley and sweet potatoes are great carbohydrates to include in your slow-cooked dog food.

    Start Slow Cooking

    Put the ingredients in the slow cooker, and slowly cook the meat, vegetables and grains together. Follow recipes to determine correct amount of cooking time (10 to 12 hours is sufficient for most slow-cooked dog recipes). Any excess food can be stored in plastic containers and kept in the fridge, or poured into muffin tins and frozen for individual "dog muffins" for future use.

    About the Author

    Joe Gordon is a writer who divides his time between Tampa Bay, Florida and Western North Carolina. Gordon has been published in local and regional newspapers and magazines, including VisitFlorida.org, "Oceanfront Magazine," "Sarasota Herald Tribune," "The Bradenton Herald," "Sarasota Scene Magazine," " Biz 941 Magazine" and "U Manatee Magazine." He studied journalism at Ohio University.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images