If regular scratching, hair loss or dry skin drives your pooch crazy, a wheat allergy may be to blame. Even if he has been eating the same food since he was a pup, allergies can develop. Making your own homemade dog food allows you to avoid those possible allergens.
Making Dry Kibble
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with a drop of vegetable oil. Set aside. Brown a pound of the ground meat in the skillet. Set aside. In the food processor, puree 2 cups cooked vegetables. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 5/8 cups rice flour and a cup of dry milk powder. In another bowl, mix 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth. Slowly add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the meat and vegetables to form soft dough.
Spread dough onto the cookie sheet so it is about 1/2-inch thick. With a knife or pizza cutter, score the dough about 3/4 down and into bite-sized pieces. This will make it easier to break up after cooking.
Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for two hours or until golden brown. Turn the oven off but leave the cookie sheet in until cool. This will result in crunchy, dry kibble. After cooling, remove cookie sheet and break kibble along score lines. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for three days. Freeze any excess kibble for up to three months.
Preparing Moist Food
Place a cup of brown or white rice into the bottom of a slow cooker. Cover with 2 cups chicken or beef broth.
Cut 2 to 4 cups mixed vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli or green beans, into bite-sized pieces. Add into the slow cooker. Place 2 pounds of ground beef, ground turkey, chicken breasts or other meat on top of the vegetables.
Turn slow cooker on to the low setting and cook for six to eight hours or until meat is cooked and vegetables are tender. Allow to cool before serving. Store food in airtight container in the refrigerator for three days or freeze for three months.
- The slow cook method for the kibble reduces the risk of burning. If you are pressed for time, cook the dough at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow to cool in the oven.
- Divide food into meal-sized portions. Store what you need for three days in the refrigerator and freeze the remaining food. Take frozen food out 24 hours before serving and place in the refrigerator to thaw.
- If you have been making homemade dog food with wheat for some time and your dog recently developed wheat allergies, you still can make your favorite recipe. Substitute rice flour for the wheat flour. Rice flour does not substitute directly though. Substitute 7/8 cup rice flour for 1 cup of wheat flour.
- Before changing your dog’s diet, consult a veterinarian or canine nutritionist to make sure your planned meals will meet your dog’s nutritional needs. The veterinarian will advise you on serving size based on your dog’s breed and any medical conditions, as well as recommend any necessary supplements.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.