A General Guideline For Preparing Homemade Dog Food
My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.
However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:
- 50 percent cooked protein
- 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
- Fats and supplements
Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though weve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.
Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.
Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs joint health.
Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While well remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we dont worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.
A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet.
They tend to be the leftovers in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.
Homemade Dog Food Sources
- Meats: chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison
- Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, thawed frozen peas
- Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, winter squash
Recommended Serving Amounts
- 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog
- 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog
This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Every dog’s dietary needs are different. Please consult with your veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your own dog’s diet.
Is Open Farm Food Worth It
For dog owners who want the best possible food for their pet without the hassle of having to make it themselves Open Farm wet dog food offers optimum nutrition and tasty flavors. Plus, its ethically sourced ingredients and production transparency provide peace of mind to owners while the carefully formulated food provides satisfaction to pets.
Laura Duerr is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Recommended Reading: Where Is Natural Balance Dog Food Made
Herring & Mackerel Rustic Blend Review
Most Open Farm recipes tend to stick to the same meat and fish ingredients regardless of whether its a dry food recipe, wet food recipe, or a freeze-dried recipe.
However, Open Farm does have a few unique recipes, such as the above Herring and Mackerel Blend, which is only available as a wet food recipe.
Herring and Mackerel are oily fish and, as a consequence, are excellent sources of beneficial fats like the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The high levels found in this recipe could improve cats fur and overall health.
Thankfully the vast majority of the recipe is made up of these two fish ingredients and moisture. However, there are small portions of some vegetable ingredients, including Pumpkin, Carrots, Spinach, and Lentils.
Our Rating Of Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food
Open Farm Gently Cooked is a fresh, human-grade, grain-free dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein thus earning the brand 4.5 stars. The 2 poultry recipes receive higher ratings due to their lower and more favorable fat-to-protein ratios.
Don’t Miss: Dog Food With Food Stamps
Open Farm Dog Food Review: Must Read Before Buying
If youre like many dog owners, its hard to find healthy dog food thats free of additives and unnecessary ingredients, especially at local stores.
In response to this problem, Open Farm offers a dog food containing wholesome ingredients that are carefully selected for quality.
Their meats contain no antibiotics or growth hormones, and their fruits and vegetables are all non-GMO. In addition, they only use ethically sourced ingredients to make sure animals are treated right.
They offer a wide selection of products delivered directly to your door. You can sign up for recurring food shipments whether in dry form or wet form .
In this Open Farm Dog Food review, Ill help you decide whether their service is worth the price. I also discuss important benefits and features of their plans, the price, how customers view their products, and more. They make my list of one of the best companies that delivers fresh dog food.
As an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only recommend products I find trustworthy and you pay nothing extra.
Preparation Of Our Homemade Diet
All of the information above might seem intimidating, but I assure you that making the actual meals for our dogs takes no more than 20 minutes of actual hands-on time.
First, we cook our complex carbs, whether theyre grains, legumes, or starchy vegetables.
While that pot is simmering on the stove, we cook the meat in a separate pan in coconut oil and ground turmeric. After its cooled a bit, we add chunks of meat to our food processor and pulse until theyre broken down into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
Then, we gather whatever vegetables or fruits we have in the kitchen , chop them up as needed, and toss them into the food processor.
We also add a few clean, crushed eggshells to the mix. A few pulses turns all this food into smaller pieces, making them more digestible for our dogs.
Finally, we add the cooled, cooked carbs to the food processor and do a couple more pulses to combine. Everything should have a finely crumbled texture by this point.
Since dogs have short digestive tracts, its crucial that you break down the food to increase its bioavailability that is, making all the nutrients in those wholesome ingredients more digestible in a dogs system.
I prepare enough food to last my two pugs an entire week. Its unbelievably easy, and I like knowing exactly what goes into their food. Friends will watch us feed our pugs and remark that it looks good enough for them to eat!
Read Also: Can Chickens Eat Dog Food
Raw Food Easy To Serve
Open Farms Freeze Dried Raw recipes are packed with humanely raised meats and sustainably sourced wild-caught fish. For added nutrition we include functional ingredients like locally sourced leafy greens, squash and pumpkin seeds, superfoods like coconut oil, and antioxidants like blueberries. Mix with your dogs kibble, use as treats or rehydrate for a complete meal!
Transitioning To Homemade Dog Food
Most dogs dont have a problem making the switch to homemade food. If yours is prone to digestive issues, start slowly by mixing a little bit of the homemade food with the commercial food.
Over the course of a week or two, gradually increase the amount of homemade food while decreasing the commercial food.
If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, try introducing only a couple of new ingredients at a time until their systems are well adjusted to the fresh diet.
For dogs with health issues, please consult with a veterinarian if you arent sure what kind of supplements are needed. Use your best judgment, the way you would when feeding yourself or your family.
Don’t Miss: How To Soften Dry Dog Food
How Much Are Their Other Food Options
Open Farm offers an array of food options beyond the Gently Cooked fresh food and the Rustic Stews.
- Freeze-Dried raw food: $9.99 for 3.5 oz. up to $49.99 for 22 oz.
- Dry kibble: Prices vary widely depending on recipe from $18.99 for 4 oz. of chicken and ancient grain to $119.99 for a 24-lb. bag of lamb.
- Treats: Prices range from $9.49 per bag to $10.99.
- Bone Broth: $20.99 per 3-pack.
- Goat milk and kefirs: $10.99 a bottle .
As with fresh food, you can get discounts on all these products by subscribing rather than placing a one-off order, and by using discount code DOGTALE15. Subscriptions can be changed or canceled at any time.
Open Farm Dog Food Is Now Available In The United States
Weve been counting the days to share this news and wanted you to be the first to know!
Open Farm dog food is now available in the United States!
As you may recall, Open Farm, a Canadian-based pet food company, launched their Certified Humane® dog food products in stores across Canada in late 2014. Now the first ethically-sourced dry dog food to receive the Certified Humane® label arrives in select states across the U.S. this month.
Pet owners have been clamoring for pet foods with meat and chicken that were Certified Humane® and were excited to see such a product finally hit the marketplace. Under the Certified Humane® label, Open Farm will use only meat and poultry products in their pet foods that come from Certified Humane® farms and ranches.
This is a huge first step for a pet food company to take and another success story for Certified Humane®. You can read more about Open Farm here.
Does a store near you carry Open Farm dog food?
Thanks to your support, were changing minds about the welfare of farm animals.
You May Like: Blue Buffalo Vs Nutro
How Much Does The Supplemental Plan Cost
Some of Open Farms products work great as a meal topper. This is a great way to boost your dogs nutrition without paying the full cost. They dont offer a specific supplemental plan per se, but they provide you several ways to supplement your dogs food.
You can choose to top your dogs regular food with any of Open Farms products, but they offer small 5.5 oz. boxes of Rustic Stew for $31.99 for this purpose.
You are also given the option to add bone broth to your dogs regular kibble to add extra nutrition, moisture, and flavor to your dogs diet. It costs $20.99 for a 3-pack of bone broth.
Finally, Open Farm suggests using their Freeze-Dried Raw food as a treat or topper, since the large, airy pieces add a nice, crunchy, nutritious boost to any food. It starts at just $9.99.
Open Farm Dog Food Pros
Unlike some limited-ingredient or high-quality wet dog foods, Open Farm is shelf-stable, so it does not need to be kept refrigerated. Each individual carton of Open Farm dog food says where its ingredients came from, so you can be confident in exactly what youre feeding your pet. It contains no artificial colors or preservatives, and the protein comes from animal sources. Open Farm dog foods work on rotational diets, so you can add variety to your dogs diet without worrying about upsetting their stomachs. The packaging is resealable and recyclable for easy portioning and storage.
Read Also: Which Dog Food Is Better Pedigree Or Purina
Open Farm Is The First Major Pet Food Company In Canada To Receive The Certified Humane Label
First ethically-raised and sourced pet food product hits Canadian market
November 10, 2014 Humane Farm Animal Care , the leading international non-profit certification organization improving the lives of millions of farm animals in food production, announced this week that Open Farm will be the first producer of Certified Humane® Raised and Handled® pet foods in Canada.
Open Farm, a Canadian-based pet food company, launches their Certified Humane® dog food products in stores across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes this week .Open Farm works exclusively with farmers who share their commitment to exceptional quality and sustainable practices in order to make better food for pets while doing good for family farms, farm animals and the environment.
Since Humane Farm Animal Care launched in 2003, pet owners have been clamoring for pet foods with meat and chicken that were Certified Humane®, said Douglass. Were excited to see such a product finally hit the marketplace. It will give Canadian pet owners the opportunity to purchase pet food that reflects their humane values.
Open Farm plans to expand their Certified Humane® pet food product line into Western Canada and the United States in 2015.
To find a store near you that sells Certified Humane® products, visit www.certifiedhumane.org or download the free Certified Humane® App for iPhone or Google Play for Android, which offers English and French language options for consumers.
The Recipes And Ingredients
Open Farm currently offers 3 wholesome recipes formulated to be interchangeable in a rotational diet:
- Homestead Turkey & Chicken
- Catch-of-the-Season Whitefish & Green Lentil
- Farmers Market Pork & Root Vegetable
Each formulation contains roughly 30% protein and 14% fat. Furthermore, you wont find any meat meals in their food which are often unregulated and difficult to trace. Open Farm dog food is also grain free in addition to being free of wheat, corn or soy.
Have a question about an ingredient? Hover over any ingredient on their website and it will tell you exactly why it is there, and the benefits it provides your pet!
Finding Whats Right for You
Since switching to a homemade diet, it is much easier to know where the meat that I feed the boys comes from. While I can scream from the rooftops about the positive changes we have seen in our boys since switching to this diet, the reality is that raw/homemade feeding is not for everyone and every situation.
Kibble is an easy choice for a lot of pet parents. Dogs without health problems tend to do well on it, it does not need to be refrigerated, travels easily, and is cost effective. We strongly believe that you need to decide what is right for your family!
No matter what you choose as the right option for you and your dog, from one pet parent to another we know that you want to make a choice that is right for all animals your companion animal and the farm animals who feed them.
Peace on Earth, Peace of Mind
Don’t Miss: Dr Pol Rabbit Feed
Open Farm Healthy Dog & Cat Food
Open Farms mission is to create recipes that pet parents love because they are made with clean, nutritious whole foods and produced in a way that respects animal welfare and the environment. By working with third-party partners like Certified Humane®, Global Animal Partnership and Ocean Wise®, Open Farm ensures that all of their meat ingredients are humanely raised and sustainably sourced, and that all of their fruits and veggies are strictly non-GMO. With a wide variety of dog and cat food to choose from, Open Farm has something for every pet, no matter their allergies or protein preferences. Best of all, Open Farms dedication to transparent sourcing provides pet parents with the ability to instantly trace the origin of all ingredients in every bag of Open Farm pet food. Shop Open Farm online or in-store at Natural Pawz!
Chicken & Salmon Rustic Stew Review
While Open Farms Rustic Stew range may come in a box, it is, in fact, wet dog food. Traditionally this is stored in cans, but Open Farm has chosen to use more sustainable and recyclable packaging, which is appealing to consumers.
Most Open Farm recipes do not mix different types of meat and fish ingredients, but the above recipe is one of a few exceptions. It combines Chicken and Salmon ingredients to provide a unique flavor.
As weve discussed extensively, Chicken and Salmon are excellent additions to dog food and can provide high-quality protein and fat, including high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
The wet dog food recipes from Open Farm contain a minimal amount of plant-based material. This particular recipe uses small portions of vegetables like Pumpkin, Carrots, Green Beans, and Spinach.
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Darwin’s Dog Food
Humane Farm Animal Care Program
Open Farm only uses meat and poultry that has been certified by the Humane Farm Animal Care Program . This standards of this organization were developed by animal scientists and veterinarians from across the world. Compliance to these standards is confirmed by regular audits and inspections.
Wondering about these standards and what humane meat production actually entails?
- All animals have ample space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress
- Animals are provided a healthy diet of quality feed No added antibiotics or hormones!
- No cages, crates, or tie-stalls
- Producers must comply with all food safety and environmental regulations
You wont be surprised that all of Open Farms fish are ocean caught as opposed to aquafarmed as well. Not only does this allow for the fish to live a natural life, but it assures that they have not been fed antibiotics or artificial feed. Another important distinction is that their fish selection is seasonal. This is because Open Farm is committed to sustainable fishing practices. Simply check the bottom of the bag to see what kind of fish has been freshly caught to make your dogs food.