Making your own dog food allows you to control ingredients, quality and freshness, and lets you put your own spin on Grover's grub. Rice and oatmeal are user-friendly bases to healthy dog diets. Several types of rice and oatmeal are suitable for making dog food.
Rounding Out a Meat-Based Diet
Oatmeal and rice are healthy accents to a meat-based diet. Indeed, dogs' diets should consist largely of meat, rounded out with vegetables, fruits, healthy oils and starches like rice and oatmeal. Dr. Greg Martinez, DVM, of Gilroy, California, shares, "If you vary meat and veggie ingredients and use 50 percent to 80 percent meat and organs in the mix, your pets will be healthy." Using the percentages he suggests as a guideline, you'll use rice and oatmeal in lesser proportions than meat ingredients.
Types of Oats for Oatmeal
Several types of oats are suitable for incorporation into dog food recipes. Whole oat groats are the entire grain minus the inedible hull; they cook in 45 to 60 minutes. Steel cut oats are whole oat groats cut into pieces, shortening cooking time to about 30 minutes. Scottish oatmeal is similar, but groats are ground instead of cut. Rolled oats, both regular and quick-cook, are a result of steaming and rolling groats into flakes. These cook in one minute to 10 minutes.
Types of Rice
Rice comes in many forms, including white, brown and others. Brown rice is the healthiest, as it is a whole grain that includes its hull, bran, endosperm and germ components. White rice is stripped of nearly all its components, leaving only the soft insides. White rice is softer and may be gentler on sensitive bellies, but brown rice is more nutritious. In recipes, white rice takes about 20 minutes to cook, brown rice about 40.
In general, grains should make up only about 10 percent of a dog's diet. This recipe contains about 5 percent oatmeal and 5 percent rice.
16 oz. chicken 4 oz. mixed vegetables 1 oz. oatmeal 1/2 oz. uncooked brown rice 1 tablespoon olive oil
Bring 8 oz. water to a boil. Add oil, chicken and rice. Cook for 20 minutes. Add vegetables and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for another 10 minutes.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.