Our Tasty Low Carb family not only consists of Joanie and Chris, but also two Havanese Sisters – Lulu and Kiki! If you have pets you know how they become part of the family and an integral part of your life. Our dogs are dependent upon us for virtually everything – in return they offer unconditional love and lots of fun. For that reason, we only make them Healthy Homemade Dog Food! We use only the best ingredients with no fillers or added sugars or spices. We also make all of their dog treats at home. Their food is very low carb!
Our furry family members are Chocolate Havanese. Often called “silk dogs,” most in this breed are white with brown or black markings. Many are brindle in color. Lulu and Kiki are 9 1/2 and 9 pounds in weight, although they look heavier with all their fur. They do require frequent brushing, but they are hypoallergenic and they do not shed. As you can tell, they are very much a part of our low-carb family – you do get attached to your pets!
Why Homemade Instead of Purchased Dog Food?
Myths and misconceptions abound on the Internet regarding homemade dog food. Also, there are a myriad of conflicting nutritional recommendations ranging from the 30-70% carbs found in commercial dog food to raw frozen foods that contains no carbs. Some owners feed raw meat and bones and say their dogs thrive.
However, many raw materials that are unfit for humans are legal for dog food. These may include spoiled supermarket food, slaughter house waste such as organs, heads, hooves, beaks, feet and other appalling ingredients. Ingredients often have vague names such as “animal by-product meal” and “meat by-product meal.” Read the article, “The Shocking Truth About Commercial Dog Food” by Dog Food Advisor. It will convince you that making homemade food is a safer alternative to much of the commercial food.
Before commercial dog food, dogs ate table scraps – real food. During the Great Depression dog food companies marketed their products as an economical alternative. To boost their market, dog food companies advertised that their food was required for good health. Table scraps and real food suddenly became harmful. Pet food companies stepped up the onslaught and began using veterinarians to endorse their products.
Today, commercial dog food is a multi-billion dollar industry that is often more concerned with profits, marketing gimmicks, and cheap ingredients. Dogs are hardy, resilient and capable of handling foods that may not be biologically appropriate, but just because they are alive and surviving does not mean they are thriving! There are some more conscientious manufacturers who do take pride in using better quality ingredients. If you must, search for those; we prefer to know exactly what our dogs are eating and know what they are not by making their food at home from scratch!
Since the rise of commercial foods dogs have suffered from chronic allergies and infections, obesity, digestive issues, cancerous tumors, diabetes, and a range of other health issues. Dogs do not need processed foods containing carb-heavy fillers, by products, plant proteins, artificial colors and flavors and preservatives. The bottom line is, if it isn’t something that we would eat, then do not feed it to your dogs!
Healthy Homemade Dog Food Ingredients
According to WEBMD your dog needs protein from animal meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. They need fat from meat or oil and carbohydrates from grains or vegetables. In addition, essential fatty acids from plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods. The question is in what amounts? After much research, we created a recipe that our dogs love – they are healthy, have tons of energy, and their coats and eyes shine!
The listed ingredients are used most of the time. Fresh meats like lean ground beef, ground turkey, and chicken gizzards provide a heavy dose of protein. Tuna, salmon, or sardines are always used. The eggs also add protein and essential oils. There are fruits and vegetables in the mix and even rice for digestion, although no wheat grains or sugars! Our homemade dog food is human grade. The main point is we know and control what goes into their food!
Joanie does vary the fresh meats and fish, sometimes using fresh pork, chicken livers, or boiled chicken. She will often substitute pumpkin for sweet potatoes, oatmeal instead of rice, and other combinations of vegetables including green beans, celery, and carrots. The only constants are the eggs, apple, cottage cheese, and coconut oil.
Lulu and Kiki are active and fairly young. The charts tell us that to maintain their healthy weight they need approximately 275 calories per day. We feed them twice a day. They do get healthy homemade reward treats for good behavior. Our recipe below provides them with approximately 260 calories per day – the rest comes from those healthy treats.
To get an idea of the nutrition level our recipe provides we used FDA standard calculators we use for all of our recipes. We worked on the assumption that since their caloric intake was approximately 13% of the standard label guidelines for humans that their nutritional needs, as outlined by the FDA Daily Values would mirror similar percentages. For their size, multiplying the FDA Daily Values by 13% would yield a normal carb intake of 39g per day, normal fat would be 8.45g per day, and normal protein would be 6.5g per day., However, we disregard these norms since we know we want a low-carb, high protein, moderate fat intake. We focus on these key nutritional elements.
If you double the numbers below for 2 servings each day you find that their food is low in carbs (10.4g), high in protein (25.4g), and provides moderate fat (10.4g) intake. The recipe is a bit low in calcium, so we do give them a calcium supplement and vitamins for balance. Most of the literature today for dog nutrition calls for a high-protein low-carb diet – we think our recipe is perfect for their health.
The normal portion for each meal is only 1/4 cup since our dogs are small. It would be a challenge to cook for two 90 pound dogs!
Joanie loves to cook for Lulu and Kiki. She says, “they never complain, are so grateful and are always aware when I am cooking for them. They know at the end they will get a sample. It is truly a labor of love!” They are happy and healthy and living a Tasty Low Carb lifestyle!
Healthy Homemade Dog Food
- 2 pounds Ground beef
- 2 pounds Ground turkey
- 14 ounces Tuna (2 cans, in water)
- 1/2 pound Chicken gizzards
- 1/2 cup Cottage cheese
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup White rice (cooked)
- 6 ounces Sweet potato
- 6 ounces Green peas (cooked)
- 6 ounces Cauliflower
- 6 ounces Broccoli
- 1/2 Apple (medium size)
- 3 tablespoons Coconut oil
- Cook rice per label instructions. In a second pot boil the chicken gizzards until cooked thoroughly - about 10 minutes. Add eggs to this pot for the last 5 minutes to hard boil.
- In a third very large pot cook the ground beef and ground turkey until browned. Drain off most of the fat and remove from the heat.
- Use a food processor to grind the raw peas, raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, 1/2 apple (cored and seeded), cooled gizzards, and peeled eggs. This may take two batches.
- Microwave sweet potato for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Add all ingredients, including the canned salmon or tuina, to the large pot with the beef and turkey. Add cottage cheese and coconut oil at the end. Mix well with a wooden spoon to incorporate.
- This will make two weeks food for two nine pounds dogs. Place in freezer bags, label, and date.