New puppy here soon. Considering homemade dog food.

last year
last modified: last year

Our new puppy will be here within a month, an English Cream Golden Retriever and a relative of my precious one whom I lost on Veteran's Day at 14 years of age. I want our puppy to live a long and healthy life and started thinking about homemade dog food - boiled chicken, rice, peas?

Any thoughts from the experts here?

Comments (16)

  • woodnative

    Congratulations and good luck with your puppy! Hope you are getting sleep now LOL! I don't currently have a dog, but my daughter is a nurse in a vet hospital, and I have had dogs in the past. Anyway I just wanted to say don't take a casual approach........if you want to make your own food, good, but it is not that easy and you will need to read/learn more about getting everything properly balanced. This is especially true of getting enough calcium and vitamins in there. She has seen too many dogs that have problems (particularly bones) from incomplete/unbalanced diets over long periods of time. The good thing about the commercial dog foods is they are already balanced. You may be able to do as good or better for your dog on your own but it will be some work.

    PeaceOfHome thanked woodnative
  • Ninapearl

    would you consider feeding raw? it can be daunting at first but once you have a few weeks under your belt, it's easy peasy and an excellent diet!

    congrats on your puppy and post lots of pictures when s/he arrives! have you picked out a name yet? boy or girl?

    PeaceOfHome thanked Ninapearl
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  • socks

    I feed a combination of kibble and a couple tablespoons of homemade. Improves palatability, provides some fresh food and veggies. I throw in a cooked egg occasionally. I feel I cannot be sure of the completeness of any homemade recipe

    We have the AAFCO to set standards for commercial dog food, and while some say the standards are inadequate, it seems to work as pet dogs tend to lead long lives.

    In time you may tire of the chore of cooking for your dog, especially as it matures and eats 2-3 cups a day.

    Good luck with your new pup, and sorry about your loss.

    PeaceOfHome thanked socks
  • nannygoat18

    Congratulations on your new arrival! Due to severe GI issues, I feed mine only human-grade food which I purchase from an animal nutritionist or JustFood4Dogs. Both offer free classes on preparation for those who wish to save money and make their own. After observing one, I decided that my time and effort was worth more than paying for ready-made.

    PeaceOfHome thanked nannygoat18
  • PeaceOfHome

    I've never heard of JustFood4Dogs. Thanks, I'll do some research and take everyone's advice on making sure she gets the right nutrients.

  • Jim Mat

    Cook a whole chicken in 3 qts water. Discard skin and bones, chop and shred meat.

    use some of the broth to cook 3 cups rice.

    chop or shred 1 lb each: sweet potato, broccoli, green beans, carrots. Cook in chicken broth.

    combine cooked rice, cooked chicken, cooked veggies, mix, heat until 180 to kill the bad things or not. Makes about 16 pints.

    This is a supplement food, there is not enough calcium in this for a puppy. There are those who add calcium to a puppies diet using supplements.

    I used the above food, combined with commercial kibble, and cottage cheese.

    PeaceOfHome thanked Jim Mat
  • Patrick Blackmon (8a)

    First I want to congratulate you on the (soon to be) new addition to your family. To have one from the same bloodline as before is extra special and will greatly add to the joy. I never could breed my Gizmo due to an open pyometra that necessitated an emergency spay. Not only was she a rare breed, but her bloodline is now gone as well. You are very fortunate. I have searched far and wide (in America and all over Europe) and contacted complete strangers and come up empty.

    So, dog food. I understand what drives you to seek an alternative to commercial foods. One thing I have found that helps is to join a Facebook group (yes, Facebook is not just for ego gratification) related to your breed. I was extremely fortunate to find the group I'm in and it has been invaluable in some respects. Your breed may have certain nutritional requirements that even commercial foods fail to meet. Or not. It's just good to find out.

    In the breed group I'm in the issue of food has come up and I've learned quite a bit. Not enough to attempt it myself, but enough to know that it's not a half measure to take on. Along the way I've learned about some commercial preparations that are better than others, as well as some tips on incorporating home cooked supplemental meals and snacks into the routine to keep things interesting and, hopefully, help ensure a healthy and happy dog. Chatting regularly with other owners will help you find out so much about their health and habits that you need to know.

    A word of caution: be careful with fat content on homemade meals and snacks, as some breeds are more prone than others to pancreatitis. All dogs, to my knowledge, are susceptible to it when they have sudden spikes in fat content. Vets often mistake it for something else, which adds to the suffering (and bills).

    It makes me happy you got the dog you wanted. Wish I could have answered your question more directly. I will look through my notes and write back if I find anything specific.

  • Jody
    I never thought I would be the person that made my own dog food, but after all the recent dog food recalls (the one we were using was on the list!), I felt I had no choice. I found this recipe on multiple websites and have been using it for several months now. It contains the appropriate balance of protein vs. veggies. I either use the 3 lbs of chicken in the recipe or 2.5 lbs of beef. I do add coconut oil, greek yogurt, ginger, and probiotics as well. My 9 lb cockapoo absolutely LOVES it!!

  • PeaceOfHome

    Thank you so much.

  • Kathy Yata

    Sounds like a special pup. Are you sure you want to add in hours of cooking, calculating and general brain power when you have a new baby in the house? Even my adult rescues do a great job scrambling my brain waves......

    See dogaware.com for a lot of information on feeding a dog fresh food. Good reading, books to refer to and so on.

    I've been feeding fresh food since 2007, that melamine scandal right when I had an elderly dog come up with kidney disease did it for me. I've fed cooked and I've fed raw. Raw is so much easier and you waste less - bone. I haven't fed a pup, understand you feed the same amount as you will the adult dog but divide the meals up so pup can physically take it in and digest it.

    I check the diet against the NRC numbers using a nutrition database and the calculator from Monica Segal's book 'Optimal Nutrition' and adding a bit of this or that to be sure it meets the goals.

    I did have success cooking a basic raw diet by cooking a whole chicken, removing skin and meat and cooking the bones in a slow cooker until the bones were soft enough to puree in a blender. Then I took double the weight of the raw chicken in liver, beef and pork cooked and blended/chopped that then mixed all the meats and the bone puree together. Any cooking liquid is part of the meal, keep it all. My raw fed dogs get a multi vitamin/mineral supplement, vitamin E and fish oil according to size as well.

    To feed I calculated 2% of the dog's ideal weight, conveniently was 10 ounces. If the raw ingredients weighed 300 ounces and the cooked 260 then I'd feed that dog 260/30 a day. You can imagine the mess doing all this but the elderly dog no longer tolerated a raw diet.

    Dogs need a lot of meat. You can add in 25% mushy rice or pureed veggies to the basic diet if you like. That dog that needed 10 ounces of raw? He needed nearly the same minerals and vitamins as an adult human but packed into 600 calories a day. Any recipe that doesn't have calcium added or isn't mostly meat isn't going to work for a pup.

    Or make up a tasty topper of meat/fish/egg/liver and substitute that for anything less than 25% of the total calories pup needs. No need to be so precise about how much bone and all that is in there if you do that but you still need to figure out the calories per ounce or cup or whatever the topper has.

    PeaceOfHome thanked Kathy Yata
  • nannygoat18

    Just wanted to add that your pup is in the critical growth period (brain and body) and it's essential that required nutrients (vitamins, minerals etc) are included in his diet. JF4Dogs has an animal nutritionist that you can directly contact for advice without committing to a purchase. All their products contain supplements and they sell them separately if you want to make your own meals.

    PeaceOfHome thanked nannygoat18
  • Kathy Yata

    Definitely make sure all the vitamins and minerals are present. Another source is BalanceIt. I just looked and they have a fancier calculator than they used to to figure out a recipe and do offer recipes for puppies through the vet link.

    PeaceOfHome thanked Kathy Yata
  • Jen K
    I'd like to add that if your family travels in such that you may not get able to maintain this diet while en route, know how to make adjustments to compensate and/or maintain.

    Aside from the challenges of time, price and resources raw is based on the 'primitive' dog concept yet if the dog ancestry hasn't done the same thing, much of their primitive digestive nature has evolved.

    Second, if your dog isn't maintaining a healthy life of fitness, vaccinations, medical updates, dental, and socialization, raw feeding is moot.

    I read five books and blogs on raw for puppy and all we're completely different. Frustrating at best. We chose kibble with fresh foods both for completeness and convenience (we travel a lot) Great results especially since our 3-yr old boy had surgery over the new year. His recovery was fantastic. He's at a healthy weight, exercises 30-60min/day.

    Good luck on finding what works. There's such a strong reaction, in the dog world, to feeding styles that I rarely get into the conversation.
    PeaceOfHome thanked Jen K
  • PeaceOfHome

    You've all got me rethinking this. I'll speak to breeder when I pick her up then I think I'll do a combination of store bought and home cooking. I want to make sure she gets the right nutritional balance in her diet.

  • SaltiDawg

    If your pup's breeder has a long record of producing healthy dogs of good disposition and conformation, why would you even consider changing from the food his adults feed - the chow your pup was weaned to.

    Of course, do your due diligence on that kibble, and maybe even seek help in doing that from the breeder!

    I'd trust a proven track record from the long-time breeder of my pup over any www anecdotal advice you'll get here! At least as a starting point!!!

  • lukkiirish

    I’m not an expert but like you, we love our dog, she’s part of our family and we want to give her every chance for a long and healthy life. Feeding the right food to her is a part of that but it’s not the only part. My experience with Vets has been that when it comes to animal nuturition they don’t seem to know a whole lot and don’t really want to either, but the Vet we have now does. When I posed the question of raw and home made foods to him his response was that he doesn’t feel they are a good option. Why? Because, he said, dogs may have decended from the wild but they aren’t wild now and wild dogs did not live as long as the domestic dogs of today do. He didn’t have statistics but said that in his practice, there’s no evidence that the specialty foods provide any advantages and in his opinion the diets could be lacking in some of the nutritional needs of the dog. His response made sense to me. We’ve been going to him now for about 3 years and so far, his feedback or advise has always rang true so I trust his opinion. I feed our dog a limited diet kibble that is sourced and produced in the USA and has no recall history. I also give her a natural probiotic supplement, both are pricey but worth it. She’s so healthy and her coat is unusually soft (especially for a Lab) and super shiney. At 6.5 she still has a lot of play and puppy in her and she’s exercised every day.

    What I think is more important that a lot of people throw to the side is to secure pet insurance for their dog. Good, thorough vet care is not cheap and it’s only getting more expensive. When faced with a health issue, I didn’t want our finances to be the determining factor for the amount of care she could receive. I got her insured as soon as she was old enough and now we never worry about how much a treatment will cost because I know she’s covered.

    PeaceOfHome thanked lukkiirish

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