The more my husband and I learn about the negative effects of sugar, the more he and I want to keep our family away from it. Of course, not all sugars are created equal but some sugars represent empty calories that can easily be eliminated from one's diet without sacrificing valuable nutrients.
One of these types of sugars is the sugar in white rice. White rice is so processed that it offers little in terms of nutritional value yet increases caloric intake and causes blood sugar to spike in both humans and dogs alike. For these reasons, humans are advised not to eat white rice daily, yet Chris and I were feeding our dogs rice daily, twice per day, at every meal, to be exact.
While I still think white rice still has a place in a dog's diet - namely when an illness or medical condition requires the dog be placed on a bland food diet, when a dog has a severe bout of diarrhea, or when a lactating mama dog needs extra energy, for example, rice can be very helpful. But, since none of our dogs fall into these categories daily, Chris and I set out to find a better alternative.
Lucky for us, the creators of the homemade dog food recipe that I've shared in the past have a low carb, low yeast recipe option, their Yeast Starvation Diet, which can be fed for a period of 3-4 months when treating a yeast infection or yeast overgrowth but can also be fed for life. This diet option includes all the ingredients that we used in our previous recipes but eliminates the rice altogether. We started there.
As you can see in the graphic above, the folks behind homemadedogfood.com don't believe that rice is absolutely necessary in their recipes. They offer it as an option for pet parents looking to transition their pet from commercial dog food and for those looking to save some money when making their dogs' food at home.
Meanwhile, because we've been learning about the many benefits of adding fresh, raw vegetables to dogs' diets, we wanted to add a little something green to replace the rice-derived sugars in our latest recipe. Again, since our dogs do not have a yeast infection or overgrowth and we didn't choose the Yeast Starvation Diet for that purpose, adding a more nutrient-packed carbohydrate like green veggies was safe to do in our case.
Following is the recipe we've currently decided on. We've been feeding this to our dogs for about a month now and they seem to like it just fine. They have not shown a huge change in behavior or health - all bowel movements remain the same, no intolerance has been perceived - but we feel like we're doing what we can to prevent cancer, diabetes, etc. by having made the switch to a "better carb" diet.
Please note that Dr Billinghurst, famous for creating the concept of BARF (Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw (or Real) Food,) recommends that vegetables be fed raw for maximum benefits, but you’ll need to crush or pulverize them in a juicer or blender, or your dog won’t be able to digest them. Chopping or grating isn’t enough to make them digestible, per Dogs Naturally Magazine.
In addition, please note that we do not use organic produce for our dogs. Because we already invest a bundle in their homemade dog food, we purchase conventional veggies for their meals. That said, we will clean all veggies in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar (ACV) for about 10 minutes and then rinse them thoroughly before using.
Arata Homemade Dog Food Recipe - Better Carb Version - April 2017
Yields a lot of dog food. You can cut this recipe down if you have fewer/smaller dogs. Keep in mind that you don't want to keep ground beef frozen for longer than 4-months
- 1 large head raw broccoli, well cleaned in ACV and ground up including stems (makes about 4 cups)
- approximately 12 oz raw spinach, well cleaned in ACV and ground up (makes 2 cups)
- 4 29-oz cans pumpkin (equals just under 15 cups)
- 36 eggs, hard boiled and ground up with the shell (we buy certified humane eggs when we can't get them from a local, small yield home or farm)
- 4 cups Dinovite (mixed in 6 cups water to make it easier to blend equally with the rest of the food, we use distilled water because one of our dogs is susceptible to crystals in her bladder, tap water can also be used if you trust its quality)
- 1 cup Lickochops
- 1 cup Supromega
- 20 lbs ground beef up to 20% fat but we mix 93/7 (15 lbs) and 85/15 (5 lbs) because we prefer their food be more lean since we have seniors that don't need as much fat, you can certainly base this decision on budget but do not exceed 80/20
MIX all the ingredients WELL and portion out into freezer-friendly storage containers. You can keep up to three-day's worth in your fridge but should freeze the rest immediately. When thawing, it is always best to practice safe food handling and thaw in the fridge instead of leaving it out.
We feed our dogs the following portions but often have to play with their portion sizes, especially when tweaking recipes to prevent weight gain or loss due to varied ingredients. Their portion size may be less if you have a higher fat beef or more if you have a leaner beef. Be open to playing with portions and keep a close watch on weight loss. Our dog, Sox, lost a bunch of weight pretty quickly because she wasn't being fed enough. We quickly upped her portion size and she was at an ideal weight only a couple weeks later.
11 lb pomeranian mix: 1/2 cup per day (in 2 feedings)
45 lb border collie mix 2 cups per day (2 feedings)
50 lb hound mix 2 cups per day (2 feedings)
65 lb hound mix 2.5 cups per day
The opinions, recipes, and experiences shared on this blog do not constitute the practice of medical or other professional health care or behavioral advice, diagnosis, prevention or treatment. Always talk to your veterinarian before considering alternative diets, supplements, etc.