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Top 20 healthy homemade dog food recipes your dog will love

by Lorna Ladd 2 Comments
Top 20 healthy homemade dog food recipes your dog will love

If you’re looking for recipes your dog will love that are super healthy and nutrient-rich you’ve come to the right place.

As you know, there’s no shortage of dog food recipes. We looked through literally hundreds of recipes and separated the wheat from the chaff to give you the absolute cream of the crop in one article.

Whether you’re a new pet parent of a rambunctious puppy paving the waprey for a healthy future or have a senior dog with special needs, these recipes are nutritious, wholesome and dogs love them.

There’s no better way to ensure that your dog is getting exactly what he/she needs in their diet than making meals for your dog. But for some the idea of hand making meals is just another thing we don’t have enough hours in the day for.

That’s why when selecting the top 20 recipes we ensured that they were simple enough to make, both in regards to the ingredients and the time and steps to make them.

And we’ve already done the research for you so click through our list of amazing recipes and bookmark your favorites! Remember to keep any dietary restrictions (like food allergies) in mind, and be sure to talk to your vet about the switch to homemade meals and how it could affect your pup.

Now, onto 20 of our favorite homemade dog recipes available online!


Photo by DamnDelicious.com

1. The Old Standard

We call this meal by Damn Delicious the “Old Standard” because it’s made up of ingredients you’ve likely seen in many a homemade dog meal – brown rice, turkey and veggies. It’s healthy, easy to make and inexpensive. This is also the perfect meal to make in large batches and then freeze as single servings you can thaw for days and days! Damn Delicious was started by Chungah, a foodie without any formal training who turned her passion into a popular website and cookbook. She lives in California with her Corgi Butters, who we think it’s safe to assume inspired her foray into dog food recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned,
    about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
  • Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated
    through, about 3-5 minutes.Let cool completely.

Chungah

This recipe was created by Chungah, the creator of the blog Damn Delicious. She’s a self-taught foodie who loves dogs.


Photo by Happyandyummy.com

2. Scooby’s Stew

These colder nights have us dreaming about soups and stews, which lead us directly to this doggie style stew created by Happy and Yummy. The story of the stew begins the way a lot of homemade dog food recipes do – Happy and Yummy creator Michelle’s pup got sick and she had to get creative with her meal making in order to right their upset stomach.

The bug might have gone away, but the kitchen bug remained, and now their pups (adorable Finnegan and Buford) often receive homemade meals whether they require it or not! Michelle knew she wanted to create something she could whip up once a week and serve all week (another common thread we found across our recipe digging) and settled on a stew that that only takes about 15 minutes of prep and then 5-8 hours in a slow cooker. She says it stays fresh in the fridge for a couple of days and thaws beautifully while she makes human food the other nights of the week. She hilariously writes, “Be warned that it smells really good, and once you make it the first time, the dogs will stalk the crock pot and leave piles of drool on the floor in front of it while it finishes cooking. I recommend a strategically placed washable rug to address this situation to keep you from stepping in a giant puddle.” The stew is named after the sweet pup she originally made it for, Scooby, who lost his battle with cancer over a year ago. We’re so glad he’s forever immortalized with this delicious stew, sharing some of his favorite ingredients with puppies far and wide!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped

Directions:

  • Place ingredients in slow cooker in order listed, covering chicken completely with vegetables
  • Cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  • Remove from slow cooker, shred chicken and stir into rice and veggie mixture until evenly distributed.
  • Store covered in fridge for up to three days or freeze in single-serve portions.

Melissa Heller

Melissa Heller is the chef and author over at happyandyummy.com. The kitchen is her happy place even when it comes to cooking for her two dogs Finnegan and Buford


Photo by DamnDelicious.com

3. Beef + Veggie Crockpot Creation

We obviously love Damn Delicious and Chungah’s creations, as two of her recipes made our list! This crockpot version of her previous recipe includes veggies that hold up a bit better in the slow cooker. We also love that she used beef, a protein we saw used less often in other recipes available online. She advises that the veggies in this recipe can easily be swapped out with anything your dog prefers (just be sure it’s something you know they can have!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned

Directions:

  • Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
  • Let cool completely.

Chungah

This recipe was created by Chungah, the creator of the blog Damn Delicious. She’s a self-taught foodie who loves dogs.


Photo by Pearlsandsportsbras.com

4. Chicken + Veggie Slow Cooker

We had a lot of luck with excellent dog food recipes found on sites not specifically catered to dogs. This gem is courtesy of lifestyle blog Life in Pearls and Sports Bras (cute!), run by a PA and lover of DIY and health and fitness tips who goes by A. A provides another chicken and veggie slow cooker recipe, it’s true, but this time – with apples! Yep, you read that right. When A’s pup Aylah started having issues with diarrhea, she switched her to a high-grade mix of wet and dry food that was breaking the bank and not always appealing to her pooch anyhow. After consulting her dogs vet, she came up with this recipe, Aylah licked her bowl clean and neither have looked back! She also has a few alternative recipes on her blog if you like this one and are looking to spice it up. We love the inclusion of fruit here, which we didn’t see much in the recipes we found elsewhere.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts
  • 2 c. frozen peas
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 large or 2 medium apples, cored and cubed (no seeds!!)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. frozen green beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • Place meat in the crockpot and add water so that it just covers the chicken. Then, add potato, carrots, kidney beans, green beans, and apple.
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours, when it is about finished, add the frozen peas and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • When finished, drain off excess liquid, add olive oil, and stir to mash (or place in a food processor).
  • When cooled, scoop daily servings into individual ziploc bags and freeze. Each night, remove one bag from the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost overnight.

A

Blogger and Chef known simply as A, is a twenty-something fashionista with a career in medicine and a creative side. She writes about style, health, and beauty and decided to create her own dogfood recipe to make a completely natural food, that was less expensive than store bought food.


Photo by Skinnyms.com

5. Turkey + Veggie Mash

With this recipe, we switched to a new protein – turkey! The Skinny Ms. site is a full service site for all people looking to transform their health and wellness, and that extends to the lives of their pets. This mash is made with 100% natural, human-grade ingredients and the lean, ground turkey and nutrient rich veggies are sure to be a hit with your pup. We love the addition of Safflower oil here, which is added to help give shine to your dog’s coat and provide needed fats for a healthy diet. It’s important to remember that when you consult your vet about making your own meals for your dog, that you ask about supplements that might work well for them as well, and anything else you might provide to be sure they’re receiving all the nutrients they need! This can differ a lot from dog to dog.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons raw turkey or chicken liver, finely diced or pureed
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets

Directions:

  • Add 1 1/2 cups water to a double boiler, place carrots in a steam basket over the pot and cover. Heat until boiling, reduce heat to a low boil and steam until carrots start to get tender, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, add the turkey and liver to a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat until done and there’s no more pink color. Drain off any fat and discard.
  • Add broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini, and continue steaming until all vegetables are tender, but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Allow vegetables to cool slightly then either chop in a food processor use a knife. The size of the vegetables will depend on the consistency preferred. We usually pulse about three times in the food processor and get the vegetables to a finely chopped consistency, similar to canned dog food.
  • Add chopped vegetables to the turkey and liver, stir to combine. Add the olive oil and toss to combine with the turkey & veggie mixture. Allow to cool before dividing into freezer safe containers.

 Dogs Treat


Photo by Blog.sumikakan.com

6. Meatballs

Meatballs – how fun! We loved discovering recipes that felt close to actual human meals, or that were presented in an interesting and fun way. Sumika, the writer behind the Mrs. Pacman blog, created this recipe while searching for a way to please her then 11-year-old pup Maru, who had grown tired of her usual dry food diet. At first, she tried simply switching her to a wet food diet, but Maru had difficulty licking her mushy wet food up, which is where the idea for meatballs originally started. After that first meal, Maru and Sumika knew they’d found just the right solution! Beyond the meatball styling, this recipe is great for it’s use of pumpkin (a stool softener, important for any seniors) and oat bran (fiber, which helps with a healthy digestive system).

Ingredients:

  • 10 lbs ground beef (lean)
  • 3 slices of bread, cubed small
  • 2 cups of oat bran
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cans pumpkin puree
  • Some salt
  • 4 carrots, boiled/steamed and mashed
  • Flour
  • Leaves of 4 kale stalk chopped finely

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix them all together and form them into any size of balls you’d like.
  • Dredge the balls lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Put them in 400 degree oven until done. Bake time will depend on the size of your balls; usually mine only take
    about 25 min. (Mine are about the size of a muscadine or those donut holes)


Photo by Waterearthewindfire.com

7. Raw Food Cakes

We fell head over heels for the blog of an artist named Maureen in Montana called Water Earth Wind Fire. Here, she houses recipes, DIY projects, poetry, photos and more! Contained in all that magic is a magical raw dog food recipe. Why do we think it’s magical? Well, Maureen created the recipe for her large breed dog Sam and the flat coated retriever lived to be 20 years old! Pretty impressive, and likely largely attributed to his healthy diet. She developed the diet with her holistic vet sister after observing what Sam loved to eat and doing a bit of her own research. The food cakes she came up with were a hit, and she now feeds the same diet to her new canine companion, Charlie. A bit more labor intensive than some of the other recipes, but positively chock full of amazing ingredients and a real dream meal for any dog. We’re happy to have found a raw recipe to share and are thankful to Sam for the inspiration!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice (brown or white)
  • Other fruit: peaches, pears, plums are all okay for dogs and nutritious.
  • 4 cups unsalted, no-onion chicken broth
  • 1# green beans (sometimes more.)
  • 2 large yams, steamed or baked (I use the microwave to make it quickly)
  • 1# snap peas, or whatever peas in the pod you have around
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (in season)
  • 1# snap peas, or whatever peas in the pod you have around
  • 1 large bunch parsley
  • 12 eggshells or more (baked to dry, grind in small “coffee grinder”)**
  • 8 large carrots
  • 9 eggs, poached lightly then cooled
  • 1/4 head cabbage (optional — warning: ground up cabbage has a strong smell!)
  • 1 c. peanut butter (more or less — I use this as a binder & for protein)
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast (lots of vitamins) or 1/3 cup dog multiple vitamin powder
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 1 cup flax meal (if you just have the seed, finely grind it in food processor)
  • 1 large zucchini and/or yellow summer squash (in season)
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds or raw almonds (finely processor)
  • 4 large apples (more is good)
  • 2 cups rolled oats, optional (1/2 ground in food processor, 1/2 whole)
  • 1 # cranberries (in season, sometimes more)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 # blueberries (in season. These turn food gray. If it bothers you, skip blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup rose hips, dried and ground in coffee grinder

Directions:

  • Cook rice in broth til done (the way you usually cook rice — I use a rice cooker) Then, let cool
  • Puree the yams in food processor, skin and all.
  • Finely chop or grind the fruits and vegetables in a food processor (the finer the more digestible.) I do one thing at a time in my Cuisinart and save time by NOT washing it out between ingredients. It doesn’t matter anyway since all of the ingredients get mixed together.
  • Put all of the ingredients into a very large bowl (I use a huge bread bowl my brother gave me over 20 years ago) Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. (I use my hands to mix it — there is a lot here.)
  • Mix with your hands or a spoon til all the ingredients have been incorporated into a squishy, moist glop.
  • Put waxed paper or parchment paper on 2 large cookie sheets. Scoop out measured amounts of the mixture in “balls” or “cakes” and place on waxed paper close together. Freeze until hard. Put the cakes in airtight freezer bags and thaw as needed.

Maureen Shaughnessy

Maureen Shaughnessy a full time artist and co-owner of 1+1=1 Gallery in Helena, Montana. The diet she is sharing here is the very one she fed her dog who lived to be 20 years old!


Photo by Stories.barkpost.com

8. Chili

Chili, for a dog!? Yep, you read that right. We found this fun recipe over on BarkPost, where it seems to have been written by a six-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog named Shirley. Impressive skills, Shirley! Shirley had us from the first paragraph with this line, “I have a master’s degree in hiding people’s’ shoes and socks + driving my two-legged sidekick Shell crazy. (That’s my mom.)” Ha! We love how different this recipe is, utilizing both cheese and pasta, not something you see often in dog food recipes. You’ll definitely want to do your research before trying this one out, and it shouldn’t be your go-to meal for your pup. But it’s the perfect meal to treat your pup with from time to time, and a fun meal to share with your pup, since you can easily make a side-by-side version for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 Can of tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Beef Broth (NO SALT)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Optional Can of Corn

Directions:

  • First you need to boil the macaroni. In a frying pan, cook the beef.
  • Add butter, carrots, corn and tomato paste to your beef and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Then add your beef mixture to your casserole dish, add your beef broth.
  • After that, put in oven at 350 degrees and cook for half an hour.

Shirley Girl

Shirley Girl is a 6-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog living, working, and playing in Mont-Tremblant. A former obedience school dropout, best friend, model, and blogger she created this recipe out of boredom of eating the same food everyday. She gets really hungryy when she gets to run around the forest with her 8 Bernese co-workers.


Photo by Allrecipes.com

9. Meat Cakes

We snatched this tasty recipe straight from All Recipes, an uber popular human recipe site that has a surprising number of homemade dog food recipes snuck in. This one comes from Shelly, who started looking for ways to cook for her four dogs after facing a bit of a dog food scare (recalls will do that to ya!) She says her favorite thing about the recipe is that, like the chili above, it can be consumed by humans as well! It’s a bit on the rich side to be an everyday meal, but is a perfect now and again treat meal for that special pooch in your life. The recipe is a hit on the site, with 42 reviews and nearly a five star rating! Users raved in the comments about how much their dogs loved the recipe, and many relayed how they adapted the recipe for their own tribe. We love recipe share sites like this, and are so happy to see dog recipes up in the mix!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • Market Pantry Ground Beef 1-lb Pkg
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 large potatoes, grated
  • 1 dash salt
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease 36 cups of 3 large muffin tins.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, and cook 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool several minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, celery, ground beef, and eggs. Mix ingredients together using your hands or a sturdy spoon. Add salt, olive oil, rolled oats, and rice; mix well.
  • Fill each muffin cup with some of the meat mixture, and pat down the to make it firm. Bake 45 minutes, or until surface feels set. Cool on a rack 10 minutes or longer.
  • Remove the meat cakes by turning the muffin tin upside down over a sheet of aluminum foil. Tap each muffin cup to release the cake. Refrigerate or freeze in sealed plastic bags.


Photo by Petguide.com

10. Meatloaf

From meat cakes to meatloaf! This recipe comes to us courtesy of Amy Tokic’s pet website Pet Guide, where she reviews pet products, gives tips and advice and blogs about dog health and insurance. She also, from time to time, posts dog food recipes! We love this meatloaf recipe for it’s creativity and beautiful presentation. It looks good enough for us to eat. We love comfort food during the fall and winter months, and we know our dogs won’t mind chowing down on something heavy and wholesome too. Amy offers this up to her pup Oscar around every four days, splicing his diet up with less rich fare on the other days. Amy is always looking for new recipes to try out and feature on her blog, so if you’ve got one to share, hop over and fill out her contact form.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups grated mixed vegetables (use your dog’s favorite veggies – Amy used broccoli, carrots and apple)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Hand-mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined thoroughly. Press evenly into a loaf pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Refrigerate or freeze in slices for easy serving.

Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross. She writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with Oscar).

 Dogs Butter


Photo by Wagthedoguk.com

11. Dinner Layer Cake

When it comes to food, the word “cake” will definitely get our attention. Wag the Dog UK is a blog run by Maggie the Beagle (her “peep” helps out from time to time, wink wink) where she shares stories of her travels, tips and a few recipes too. We fell hard for this savory cake recipe, which looks gorgeous but is easy and cheap to make. We think it’s the perfect thing to whip up for a doggie birthday party! Like chicken pot pie without the crust, you’ll be drooling over this one yourself. If you like the recipe, check out Maggie and Trina’s other recipes on their blog!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Chicken
  • 1 medium Apple
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1 Egg shell and all
  • 1/2 cup of peas
  • 1 cup of Brown rice
  • 1/2 cup of sweet corn

PREP:

  • Preheat oven to 170º C
  • Pop the chopped carrots, peas, and sweetcorn in a pot to cook and soften.
  • Peel and chop apple into small pieces
  • Minced the chicken in a food processor (or just buy it already minced)
  • Cook brown rice according to package
  • Mush vegetable mix
  • Pulverize a whole egg so that shell is totally crushed.
  • Blend chopped apple, egg and chicken together in a mixing bowl
  • Mix vegetable melee and rice together in bowl

Directions:

  • Grease a cake pan or line with baking paper.
  • Take 1/2 of chicken mixture and place in bottom of cake pan.
  • Take about 2/3 of the veggie and rice mix and place on top of chicken base
  • use the rest of chicken mixture and place on top of the veggie and rice mix
  • Top up the cake with the last of the veggie mixture
  • Pop it into your pre-heated oven and cook for 35 minutes or until juices run clear
  • Let cool and then remove from pan and slice a piece of posh chicken heaven for your dog.

Trina Cooper

An expert on traveling with a pet, Trina has brought her beagle Maggie to the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and all over the United States and other European cities. Her successful blog Wag The Dog UK features advice, tips and stories from how to take your dog abroad, pet care, and recipes for home cooked dog food.


Photo by Pets.thenest.com

12. Crunchy Kibble

The makers of The Knot and The Bump created The Nest, a blog helping new couples navigate their new life and it’s chock full of home, food and relationship content. Which, lucky for us, extends to dog food recipes like this divine crunchy kibble recipe. This recipe is perfect for the pup who just so happens to love their standard dry food and for whom you’d just like to fancy-up the old standby. Herbs and
spices may also be added to your dog’s kibble, as long as they are not considered toxic to your dog (such as onions or garlic). This is a perfect first recipe to try if you’d like to dip your toe into making at home meals but don’t want to go too over the top and would rather ramp up to the meats and veggies seen throughout the rest of the recipes featured here.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of flour — white, whole wheat or oat
  • 3 large eggs or four medium eggs
  • 1 cup of powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup baking oil
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 2-1/2 cups of milk, broth or water
  • 2 wooden spoons

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with a light coating of baking spray and set it aside.
  • Pour the flour and powdered milk into a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients and set the bowl aside.
  • Mix the eggs, baking oil and liquid choice in the second mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix into a thick, moist dough, similar to bread. Add any additional ingredients that you wish to mix in, such as the cheese, shredded meat, pureed fruits or vegetables. If the dough is too dry, add some additional liquid; if it is too wet, add some additional flour to get a smooth consistency.
  • Use the wooden spoon to spread the kibble dough onto the greased cookie sheet until it is approximately one-half inch thick. Place the tray in the oven.
  • Bake the dog food for approximately 45 minutes until Trit is brown and firm to the touch. Pull the cookie sheet from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Remove the baked “cookie” from the tray and break it into bite-sized pieces for your dog. Store the crunchy dog food in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Photo by Rachaelray.com

13. Spinach and Salmon Scramble

Fish oils are excellent for pups, and surprisingly it was tough to find many recipes that incorporated fish in their ingredient list. That’s why we were pumped to find this spinach and salmon recipe! This yummy dish from Rachael Ray is another dish you can share with your canine companion, as the meal works perfectly well for their
human counterparts. Dinner for two, coming right up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 can skinless, boneless salmon (3 ounces), drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  • In a small nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO over medium heat.
  • Add the spinach and salmon and cook until heated through.
  • Add the eggs and stir continuously until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly and serve in a dog bowl.

Andrew Kaplan

Andrew Kaplan is Director of Special Projects at Rachael Ray. Andrew went through both culinary school and the hospitality program at Florida International University. He then worked in the hospitality industry in Miami and under Lee Schrager at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which led to his current role with Rachael Ray and her Yum-O! Organization.


Photo by Vegannie.com

14. Vegan Happy Dog Bowl

Vegans and veggos rejoice, we’ve uncovered the perfect vegan meal to whip up for fido! This beautiful dish comes courtesy of VegAnnie, a blog run by Annie, a holistic health coach and PhD student in Austin. She shares several vegan dog food recipes on her site, but her happy dog bowl is by far our favorite, and it’s not just because the name screams pure joy! We love the wholesome ingredients, ease of cooking and the fact that it’s a favorite of Annie’s dog Ginger. Annie notes that switching her pup to a vegan diet has helped with her digestion, but it’s always best to use trial and error and talk with your vet to determine what’s best for your pup. Either way, using a vegan diet from time to time certainly can’t hurt! And with a 64 cent cost of serving, it won’t hurt your bank account either.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cups uncooked brown rice + 1 1/3 cup water (yields 2 cups cooked)
  • 6 kale leaf stems, broken into 1 inch pieces

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line baking sheet with tin foil.
  • Pierce sweet potato with a fork multiple times around the sweet potato.
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for one hour.
  • While sweet potato is baking, cook rice: Bring rice and water to a boil in stockpot. Lower temperature and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
  • Chop sweet potatoes into small pieces when cooled.
  • Combine rice, beans, sweet potatoes, and kale stems and separate into 3 equal servings.
  • Serve your pup this delicious and nutritious meal and see how much they love it!

Annie

Annie is a Holistic Health Coach and PhD Student at UT Austin who loves creating and sharing simple plant-based recipes for both humans and pets!


Photo by Prettyfluffy.com

15. Kale + Quinoa Creation

We won’t lie – we’re obsessed with Pretty Fluffy, a lifestyle site for dogs created by fluffy dog owner and lover Serena. Here you’ll find everything from the most wanted new products, chic DIY projects, pet-friendly home tours, product reviews and behind the scenes glimpses into your favorite pet brands. Serena has created many homemade meals for her dog Soda (lucky pooch!) and this kale and quinoa creation is a favorite for it’s ease of making and for how excited Soda gets every time the bowl comes down with this stuffed inside. Bon appétit!

Get the full recipe at PrettyFluffy.com

Serena Faber Nelson

Serena Faber Nelson is a writer, television producer and fluffy dog owner. In 2010 Serena created Pretty Fluffy as a place where dedicated dog owners could find stylish products, modern advice, and inspiration for living well with their pets.

Dogs Bar


Photo by Mommyimhungry.blogspot.in

16. Chicken Rice Balls

A blog called Mommy? I’m Hungry! – how could we resist? Created by mommy of three Rachelle, the gluten free blogger shares recipes she whips up for her family, including a few she’s created especially for the family dog Winks. She writes, “Having a dog hasn’t always been in our family future, I am more of a cat person, so I thought. We always told the kids they can have a dog when they’re grown.

Well, that all changed one day at the kid’s race banquet when our friends brought one of their fosters with them to hang out. His name is Winks. He’s a mix chihuahua (we think Chipuggle) and he’s had eye trauma sometime before in his short 2 years so he only has use of his right eye, thus he’s called Winks. We decided to try out the 2 week foster to adopt with him. We loved him from the get go as well as he loved us! So he became ours.”

There’s nothing we love as much as a happy ending, but a beautiful dog food recipe comes close. These chicken rice balls are gorgeous and full of so many things pups love – chicken, sweet potatoes and eggs. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 C. cooked brown rice
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 2 plain whole chickens, about 4 lbs each
  • 2 small bunches fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 medium orange sweet potatoes (yams), chopped
  • 2 small-medium bunches kale, stems removed
  • 8 whole carrots, chopped
  • 8 eggs

Directions:

  • Roast chicken in 350′ oven for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until juices run clear. As chickens are roasting, cook the rice (4 C. water & 2 C. rice) and let cool.
  • Peel and chop yams, and carrots, add to a large stock pot with about 1/2 cup water. Add in peas, kale and apple. Allow to boil then simmer until carrots and
    yams are tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to remove any liquid to a food processor, add fresh parsley and pulse until pureed.
  • Cook scrambled eggs, plain.
  • Cool chicken, then pick apart and add meat to a large stand mixer. On medium speed, mix until chicken is shredded. Add in cooled
    rice, veggie puree and eggs . Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out portions onto a lined baking sheet. Flash freeze then place
    portions in a freezer safe container/baggie.
  • To use, keep a day or two worth in your fridge to thaw. I microwave thawed portions for 22 seconds, frozen for about 45 seconds. Feed to your furry baby.

Rachelle Shockey

Wife, mom and blogger of Mommy? I’m Hungry! Rachelle enjoys blogging about food recipes for people and pets.


Photo by Healthfulpursuit.com

17. Food Pucks

Holistic Nutritionist + keto enthusiast Leanne runs Healthful Pursuit, a women’s website aimed at recipes and meal plans to help the busy lady keep her diet (and therefore life) on track in a healthy way. She recently added this dog food recipe, creating food pucks that are packed with nutrition for pups and are easy to eat and dethaw. These raw food pucks use much of the food scraps you would normally throw away, saving you money and improving your dog’s health. She knew she wanted to try out making raw food for her two pups, but didn’t want to shell out the $7
per meal for the premade stuff.

Her pup Pebbles was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in May, which catapulted her original slight interest in feeding the dogs a raw food diet to an all out obsession in figuring out how to make raw dog food happen for the least amount of money. That same week, she spent oodles of hours formulating the perfect homemade dog food
for both of them. Lexy is 50 pounds and Pebbles is 5 pounds. So already, there had to be a drastic difference in the food she made for each of them. Combined with Pebbles’ thyroid condition, she set to work and created this gorgeous recipe that works for both pups. While you can do this 100% raw, after chatting with a couple of vets
about it, she developed a 50/50 raw to cooked formula. Raw where it counts, cooked where it benefits them and their little bodies! Her little ones have been on this food for 6 months and have visited the vet for bloodwork and Pebble’s thyroid is now within normal range again, both of them are energetic, their dry skin has vanished and they have perfectly formed bowel movements twice a day. Score!

Ingredients:

Raw Base Recipe
  • 3 cups raw grass-fed beef
  • ½ cup coconut oil or grass-fed tallow
  • 6 eggs, whole (you use the shell, too!)
  • Dog multiple vitamin powder
  • ½ teaspoon grey sea salt
Cooked Base Recipe
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • ¾ cup ground flax seed, pumpkin seed or hemp meal
  • 1 (300 gram) sweet potato
  • 6 chicken livers or 2 calf livers
  • 2 apples, seeds completely removed

Get the full recipe at HealthfulPursuit.com

Leanne Vogel

Leanne. is an ultra passionate Holistic Nutritionist and food blogger in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who has two dogs, a 9 year old German Shepherd Border Collie Cross whose loyalty runs deep. And Pebbles, a 6 year old Pomeranian with an attitude that just won’t quit. She was inspired to create this recipe because she knew she wanted to feed her dogs raw, but didn’t want to pay $7 per service twice a day, per dog that the pet store was offering.


Photo by Popsugar.com

18. Woof Loaf

This recipe comes from Popsugar, the popular lifestyle site. Just take one look at the photos of this doggie approved woof loaf and see why we fell in love – divine! Not that you need worry to much about presentation, yours is for eating not photographing, after all. Loafs are a great way to ensure ease of making while stockpiling a large amount of food for the week and turkey and veggies with eggs and oats are a great combo for most canine pals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, mix together the lean ground turkey, chopped carrots, and peas. Both are healthy for cats and dogs, giving them the nutrition they need for strong eyes and good digestion.
  • Add the oats and eggs. Mix until the loaf mixture comes together. Oats help your pet’s coat shine, and eggs offer extra protein. Lightly grease a loaf pan with olive oil and then add half the mixture to the pan.
  • Place the three hard-boiled eggs along the center of the loaf and then cover with the other half of the ground turkey mixture. Pop in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Cut a half-inch slice from the cooled loaf and offer it to your pet. He’ll be woofing for seconds! If feeding a slice to your feline, it’s a good idea to chop it up before adding it to her feeding dish.


Photo by Pawsh-magazine.com

19. Mini Omelettes

Calling all breakfast for dinner lovers! Pawsh Magazine is a philosophy site about celebrating a life lived well with dogs. For four years it produced 10 stunning volumes in a traditional magazine format and in 2014 Pawsh changed
its format to serve as a beautiful blog catering the same top-notch dog-loving content in a more convenient digital package for readers. Today Pawsh is a lively blog that is read worldwide. Basically they gush about dogs on a daily basis. Pretty nice, right? We’re loving this egg-centric recipe, a three ingredient dish that is a wonderful source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for both you and your dog — and it takes only ten minutes to prepare! This healthy recipe is incredibly easy to make and can be whipped up at a moment’s notice. It is also incredibly versatile — not a fan of green pepper? Simply replace it with tomato instead, or broccoli or shaved smoked ham. Whatever your little pupster loves to gobble up! The egg offers your pup a wonderful protein boost, but just be sure that the egg is cooked all the way through as uncooked eggs can cause an upset stomach for canines. This recipe also makes tasty bite-sized treats if you cut it into smaller sizes once cooled.

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic eggs
  • green pepper, diced
  • smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1 oven-safe ramekin

Directions:

  • Lightly grease ramekin with a small drizzle of olive oil. Crack eggs directly into ramekin.
  • Stir thoroughly with a fork until combined.
  • Bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned on top and cooked completely.
  • Allow to cool and serve.

Laura Benn

Laura is the founder and editor of Pawsh, an online magazine devoted to celebrating a dog-friendly lifestyle. They publish heart-melting photographs of animals and write about a life lived well with dogs


Photo by Dogsaholic.com

20. Chicken Casserole

“Homemade pet foods are less likely to lose nutrients by cooking methods. Since the food is cooked in small batches, they are cooked in less heat and water and so they also lose lesser nutrients during the cooking process. Compared to commercial food preparation, home cooking also makes use of lesser heat whereas industrial grade commercial cooking use extremely high temperatures.”

This helpful info comes from Dogsaholic, a fun and informative blog that covers all things dogs. There’s a lot to learn here! “There is also lesser stand-by time for the food before it is served to your pet so nutrients which are lost through light or air-exposure are better preserved. If you are also going to judge by the look and texture of homemade versus commercially bought dog food, you will notice the difference – commercial dog food does not resemble any normal food at all. Homemade dog food does not contain preservatives. This is perhaps one of the most valuable health aspects of making your pet’s food at home. The only way you can lengthen the shelf life of homemade food is by storing it in the freezer, which does not pose any serious health risks for your pet unless you serve the food frozen. You will definitely give a large chance for your pet to gain better health if you serve foods that are not contaminated with these toxic chemicals.” Dogsaholic posted a whole slew of their favorite homemade recipes, but we nabbed this chicken casserole as a personal favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables (carrots, green beans, potatoes, broccoli)
  • Oil for frying
  • ¼ cup rolled oats

Directions:

  • Start by chopping the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and sauté them in oil until cooked.
  • Add the chicken broth, rolled oats, and chopped vegetables in the pan and simmer from 10 to 15 minutes.

Anna Smith

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Annas passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed.

Conclusion

So there you have it! Twenty homemade, healthy dog food recipes straight from dog loving owners around the web. We hope you’ve found a few that speak to you and your pup, and that you’re excited to get in the kitchen and start cooking! We can’t wait to hear how it goes, and to get your advice on making homemade dog food.

In the comments below, be sure to leave tips and tricks, and of course include your own tried-and-true recipes that you’ve found or come up with yourself. Together, we can make mealtime a lot more pleasurable for our favorite furry friends.

DOG for DOG Transformation – Ethel from Simi Valley Missing Pets

by DOG for DOG Team 1 Comment

Today, we want to introduce you to Ethel – a pup who had a hard life that was rescued from our amazing donation partner, Simi Valley Missing Pets. Simi Valley Missing Pets was started by the amazing duo – Doug and Jenn. It started off as a place where the community can get together to look for… you guessed it, missing pets. Owners can post their missing pet on their Facebook page to see if anyone has seen their pet. If the missing pet doesn’t find their owner after 30 days, the dog is fixed and all medical needs are taken care of and sent to a foster home until they can find their forever home.

Ethel is a special pup that their volunteer Brittany fell in love with. Here’s her story:

Ethel, is now an almost 5 month old little girl who was taken in by Simi Valley Missing Pets from Bakersfield shelter when she was 10 weeks old. They called Jenn from Simi Valley Missing Pets and asked that she take this little girl who had just been brought in with some facial deformities and was malnourished. Of course Jenn agreed and then I asked to foster her. When I got her home, my husband and I weighed her and she was all of 8 pounds. You could see all of her ribs, and the fur on the end of her tail was missing. When we picked her up, it was almost as though her chest would collapse inward because she was just so frail. Ethel was immediately put on DOG for DOG Grain Free Salmon Formula (her skin was flakey and red under her armpits so grain free seemed to be the way to go!).  She eats 3 cups of DOG for DOG dry food a day as well as gets her DOGSBUTTER in her chew bones for treats. She is now 27 pounds, all of her fur grew in beautifully, she no longer has irritated skin, and she is as solid and healthy as they come! DOG for DOG helped her gain a much needed 2 pounds, on average, a week and her coat looks gorgeous! 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we couldn’t agree more with these Before and After photos.

 

Before

IMG954554

IMG954544

 

Want to hear (and see!) more heart warming stories like this? Make sure to like the DOG for DOG Facebook page as well as Simi Valley Missing Pet’s Facebook page.

Also, a HUGE thank you to those who have joined our POUND for POUND movement. As a small token of our appreciation, we are offering a $5 off coupon for any bag of DOGSFOOD at your local PetSmart store. Click here for the coupon: http://snip.ly/7wwln. To redeem, either print the coupon or show it on your phone.

DOG for DOG: Investors Wanted!

“It is time to feed every dog in every shelter across North America.” – Rocky Kanaka, founder of DOG for DOG 

Today, we have an important message from our Founder, Rocky Kanaka.

DOG for DOG was found with one mission: to feed dogs in need. With the amazing support from our friends and family and all of you that have joined our movement, we have been able to donate thousands and thousands of pounds of food to dogs in need. Though the perception of shelter dogs is rapidly changing, there are still many homeless dogs that need our food donation. So why do we need investors? It’s because we are growing so rapidly. We need your help in feeding every dog in every shelter across North America. Will you join the POUND for POUND movement? 

Are you an investor that can help us feed more dogs in need? Email Rocky directly at: rk@dogfordog.com

We can’t do this without all of you! Help us spread the word by sharing this video: https://youtu.be/dru0i9iHlf8

5 Reasons You Should Adopt a German Shepherd

When looking to adopt a dog, you’ll likely spend time researching breeds and finding personality traits and physical traits that appeal to you and your lifestyle and taste. And while we’re all for just heading to your local shelter or rescue and seeing who you connect with, we also totally support getting to know your breeds before you make any final decisions. While many adoptable pups are mixed breed, they usually have one distinguishing breed within them and most shelters and rescues are also full of pure breeds as well. You’ll want to consider obvious things like activity level, trainability, health concerns and size. To help, we like to spotlight different breeds so that you can learn a bit more why you should considering adopting one. This week, we’re talking about one of the most popular dogs in the US (and thus, often found in shelters across the states), German Shepherds!

German Shepherds, best known today for their noble service as police dogs, trace their popularity as house pets to their shining history as celebrities. After careful breeding in Germany in the late 19th century, the pups found stardom: They frequently appeared on the big screen, bringing furry fun to silent films as early as 1922. In fact, they’re still one of the top three most popular breeds to appear on film and tv.

5 reasons to consider adopting a GSD:

  1. They’re smart. It’s no wonder GSD’s are the choice service dog for the police, as they are an extremely intelligent and quick learning breed. Training them will be easier and more rewarding than with many other breeds. Schutzhund, a German word for “protection dog,” is a sporting event that tests talents, such as tracking, obedience and protection. Originally created to test German shepherds, your pup is bound to outperform their friends at the dog park. They also love to please their owners, making them less likely to engage in negative behaviors.
  2. They’re perfect for active families. GSD’s make the perfect running and hiking partners, as they love exercise and are strong and adventurous.
  3. They’re healthy. With the proper diet and enough exercise, German Shepherds have few major health risks. The main risks are canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and elbow dysplasia, both of which are preventable. They generally live around 12 years, so you know you’ll plenty of time with them too.
  4. They’re highly adaptable. Though German Shepherds prefer larger yards, they easily adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise each day (at least a 30 minute brisk walk). Plus, with proper socialization, a German Shepherd will make a great playmate for children and will exhibit extreme loyalty to the family. Though German Shepherds are often aloof toward new people, they follow your lead and are likely to warm up to the people you love.
  5. They’re heroes in dog form. Often recognized for heroic acts, German Shepherds relentlessly serve their special humans. In fact, Filax of Lewanno, a canine soldier, was honored in 1917 for bringing 54 wounded soldiers to safety during World War I.

Need some other quick reasons? They don’t shed badly (only seasonally and nothing crazy), they love water (beach day, anyone?), they don’t need to be bathed much and they come in a wide range of color combos, making each pup a little unique. And have you seen how cute they are as puppies!? If you’re considering adopting a GSD, you’ll want to check out this handy guide on things to look for as you meet GSD’s.

Not quite sold yet? Check out the amazing German Shepherds that are available for adoption from German Shepherd Rescue – Burbank and see if you can resist their charms any longer.

In the comments below tell us why you’re thinking about adopting a GSD. Or maybe you already have one or two? Help others with tips on what to expect and why they should definitely consider having a German Shepherd in their life!

How to Help the Displaced Dogs of Fort McMurray Wildfire Crisis

Help the Displaced Dogs of Fort McMurray Wildfire with DOG for DOG

On behalf of DOG for DOG, our hearts go out to those impacted by the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire crisis. We know during a crisis, many dogs are displaced and we need YOUR help! Visit any PetSmart store throughout Canada from now until May 20th and purchase any DOG for DOG product. For every product sold, we will donate an equal amount of DOGSFOOD to the displaced dogs of the wildfire. Find your nearest PetSmart Store here.

Not in Canada but still want to help? You can donate directly to our donation partner, PetSmart Charities.

Thank you for joining our movement and making a difference with us, pound for pound.

3 Reasons you should Feed your Dog Strawberries

3 reasons you should feed your dog

As the internet has taught us, there’s a holiday for just about everything. And as it turns out – fruit is no exception, as May is national strawberry month. National Strawberry month is when we celebrate the pure love of strawberries and take notice of all the value this delicious fruit has to offer. Did you know – one cup of strawberries constitutes approximately 45 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids? A favored fruit of many, strawberries are both fun to eat and an excellent way to enjoy a healthy dose of sugar. This week, we thought it would be fun to talk about why – and how! – you should feed your dog strawberries.

 

Strawberries are a healthy treat for both dogs and humans alike. You know that summer is almost here when a bounty of strawberries starts to makes its way into local grocery store, or if you’re lucky, your own garden! These sweet berries pack a tasty and healthy punch for humans and dogs alike. And that’s why they’re the star of this amazing Strawberry Sensation Dog Treat Recipe. Check it out below!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup strawberries diced
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/4 cup Whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup whole grain rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

 

Steps:

 

  • Put banana and strawberries in a blender. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add flour, oat flour, whole grain rolled oats, and The Honest Kitchen Perfect Form. Mix until combined.
  • Add strawberry and banana mixture, and almond milk to the dry mixture. Stir until dough is moist but firm, knead with hands if necessary.
  • On a parchment paper lined surface, roll out dough to ¼ thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on cookie sheets.
  • Place cookies in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and place on cooling rack overnight.
  • Store cookies in airtight container or bag and keep in refrigerator or freezer.

 

 

Summer (and any warmer times) can be tough on dogs, and making them a delicious frozen treat is an excellent way to ensure they get their needed dosage of H2O and stay hydrated. Why not try one out that includes strawberries?

 

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Strawberries
  • DOGSBUTTER
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • Knife
  • Blender
  • Ice Cube Trays

Steps:

  1. Cut off strawberry tops.
  2. Add strawberries and water to the blender.

  3. Blend together until smooth.

  4. Pour into ice cube trays.

  5. Add a dollop of DOGSBUTTER to the tops

  6. Freeze and serve.

Strawberries are an excellent way to indulge canine sweet tooths without the dangers of chocolate or processed sugar overload. Fresh fruit offers a natural sweetness to dog treats, along with all the benefits of fresh fruit- strawberries for their phytonutrients and antioxidant properties, while bananas offer potassium and amino acids. You can feel really good about slipping your beloved pet these treats knowing they are made with wholesome ingredients and no additives, food dye, or preservatives.

 

Ingredients:

Steps:

  1. Mash bananas and strawberries.
  2. Add in flour, oatmeal, and yogurt. Stir until well combined.
  3. Turn dough out onto well floured counter, dough will be sticky.
  4. Flatten to 1/4” with your floured hands or rolling pin.
  5. Cut shapes with cookie cutters or use a small cup for circles.
  6. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake in oven preheated to 350° F for 15-17 minutes until golden and still slightly soft.
  8. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Strawberry fun facts:

  1. Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  2. Strawberries are the only fruit with the seeds on the outside.
  3. Strawberries are actually a member of the rose family.
  4. Strawberries are low fat, low calorie; high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid and potassium.
  5. In medieval times, strawberries were served at important functions to bring peace & prosperity.
  6. Americans eat approximately 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries each year.
  7. Ninety-four percent of U.S. households consume strawberries.
  8. Strawberries, as part of a five-servings-a-day fruit and vegetable program, can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart attacks.
  9. Unlike some other fruits, strawberries don’t continue to ripen after being picked.
  10. California produces some 80% of the strawberries in the U.S.

So, dog lovers, what fun ways are you looking forward to celebrating national strawberry month with? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below, along with any dog-friendly recipes you’ve got that involve the celebrated fruit!

Benefits of Adopting a Specially-abled Dog

Benefits of Adopting a Specially-abled Dog

 

Did you know: May 3rd is National Specially-abled Pets Day (formerly Disabled Pets Day)? Now here’s a holiday we can get behind! Specially-abled Pets Day celebrates these amazing and heroic animals, helps to educate the public about caring for disabled pets and finds homes for orphaned, specially-abled pets. Founded in 2006 and internationally embraced, the decision was made to change the original name when founder Colleen Paige felt that it just didn’t fit. “The name held too negative a connotation… because these pets are very able! Pets that become challenged due to disease, birth flaws or injuries, tend to develop greater senses than your average pet. Most of the time it’s as if they never had to readjust to life… and we need to keep up with them!” Celebrated on May 3rd annually, National Specially-abled Pets Day encourages adoption always and hopes that people who would like to bring a new furry family member home will consider a specially-abled pet.

 

A PetFinder poll found special needs pets are the third-hardest animals to place, behind senior pets and bully breeds. Many of these “less adoptable” pets spend up to two years waiting for a forever home, more than four times the average wait. This is just part of why we always condone adoption over buying here at Dog for Dog, and today we’d like to talk about the advantages and key points of adopting a specially-abled dog. This is, of course, beyond the very obvious point that choosing to adopt a dog with special needs in many cases means saving the life of that dog or at the very least (if they’re coming from rescue), means that you’re taking on an amazing task that few would even consider facing. Special needs can encompass various disabilities, chronic medical conditions and behavioral issues. Some common problems among cats and dogs include missing one or more limbs, hind limb paralysis, deafness and or blindness, diabetes, allergies, urinary tract infections and lack of socialization. Some pets might require diapers, ramps, support slings, regular medication, and dog training and/or pet socialization classes.

 

One set of limited skills can bring out a whole new set of advantages. Pamela Nakamura wasn’t necessarily looking to adopt a special needs pet when she came across a beautiful yellow Lab named Max two years ago. “I knew from his photo that he was missing an eye,” says Pamela. “I didn’t want him to get passed by and I really wanted to give him a good home.” While Max is a little clumsier than your average dog (he has a tendency to bump into fences and walls) he has surprising mouth-eye coordination that makes him excellent at playing fetch, says Pamela. Learning to walk him was a little awkward in the beginning. However, she quickly learned if she keeps him on her right side that she’s within his eyesight and he feels safe and content. Overall, the past two years with Max has been really positive and Pamela says she wouldn’t hesitate adopting a special needs pet again.

 

Consider the commitment. Rochelle Michalek, the executive director of Paws Chicago, a no-kill shelter that rescues and adopts out injured and healthy pets in the Windy City, says that “Animals with disabilities are incredibly adaptable and despite their injuries can still be functional and even find a way to play. We put animals in homes where there is a commitment to succeed. People who adopt disabled pets ought to be of the proactive set. The environment at home has got to meet the needs of the pet and owners have to be committed to providing exercise, stimulation and training when necessary. Paw’s philosophy is one of education. We really talk about the cost of medical care so people in tricky financial situations know what they are taking on.” Her rescue also offers foster-to-adopt setups, where potential adopters can take their new bud home for a few weeks to make sure the new situation is one that works for both the pup and their human counterpart.

Stay open minded. In “The Power of Three Legs,” co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society Faith Maloney says that nowadays disabled animals are often the first to be adopted at the shelter. “It wasn’t long ago that any animal coming into a shelter with a defect – be it three legs or one eye – was considered unadoptable and automatically destroyed,” says Maloney. “But just as there are trends for certain breeds of pets, the trend now in adoptions is toward animals that come with publicity attached or with readily apparent war wounds.” This isn’t necessary a good thing – with the rise of so many “animal celebrities,” shelters are often overwhelmed with adoption requests for a few pets at the expense of many others. While this publicity can be a boon for the pet in question, there’s only one available for adoption; many potential adopters will leave empty-handed without considering other animals.

Blindness in a pet doesn’t mean you’ll have to hawkeye them 24/7. Actually, blind cats and dogs are no different than other animals! A blind pet doesn’t know what blindness is or that he or she has it, so they act like a regular dog or cat. “Blind cats can do pretty much everything that a seeing cat can do,” says Blind Cat Rescue, a permanent housing sanctuary in North Carolina. “They can climb trees, climb up on top of cabinets and get into places that you cannot figure out how they did it.” When caring for a blind pet, it’s important to maintain a consistent household. This means keeping food and water bowls, litter boxes and furniture in the same spots; blind pets navigate using their other senses, so moving things can confuse them. Dog trainer Cesar Millan recommends blocking off dangerous areas like stairs or pools with a baby gate, and laying down carpet runners or creating a “sniff path” of air fresheners on your pet’s regular route.

Deaf dogs are still totally trainable. Many animal shelters initially can’t tell if a pet is deaf; they look and act just like a regular pup – because they are. While many deaf dogs are easily started even by the lightest touch, with regular training they can be desensitized. “Deaf dog owners do take special measures to alert the dog to their presence before walking up to, or touching the dog,” says the Deaf Dog Education and Action Fund. A vibrating or “vibe” collar is used to train deaf dogs in a way similar to clicker training. Because dogs rely more on visual cues and body language than spoken words – they don’t understand English, after all – training a deaf dog is no more difficult than with a regular pup. One pet parent even made news for teaching her deaf Great Dane American Sign Language and many trainers teach their hearing dogs ASL commands as well.

Tripawds have an extra zest for life, in case you didn’t already know! While it’s true an animal amputee won’t be winning any races, the majority of dogs and cats get along just fine on three legs. Many report their three-legged pets are particularly spunky. Tripawds, a community for pet parents of three-legged animals, encourages strengthening your dog’s abdominal core muscles to compensate for missing limbs, rather than excessive walks or runs. Many tripawd dogs wear a special harness that allows for easy maneuvering of stairs and cars, while others can provide extra support. The location of the missing limb can make initial recovery difficult for some pets. “The front leg accounts for approximately 70 percent of the dog’s strength and balance,” says Seattle pet hydrotherapist Sheila Wells. “That is why front-leg amputees often have a more difficult time adjusting to their new state. The rear can follow but the front has to lead.” In any case, there’s no need for a long face when you spot a three-legged doggie!

Inspired and obsessed yet? Check out these six heroic special needs animals and check out the official website of NSAPD for a list of blogs all about special needs animals. In the comments below, tell us about your special needs pet or a favorite one you’ve met!

Here’s a video of our friend @underbiteunite on Instagram

“All too often I think Specially-abled Pets are overlooked because people are worried it will cost too much money to care for them or that it’ll just take too much work. That is not the case. Most animals, especially those that are blind in one eye or missing a leg, do just as well as if they had no issues at all. Dogs in wheelchairs can run around chasing balls, playing with other dogs and romping through water. Even totally blind animals can chase toys by sniffing them out. Animals are so resilient. They just need a chance to show us what courageous little heroes they are!” – Colleen Paige

High Tech Pet Products

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

High Tech Pet Products

If you consider yourself to be pretty tech savvy, often picking up the latest gizmos and gadgets created in order to make your life easier, it’s probably spilled over into your pet-parent life. And why shouldn’t it? There are a lot of great, high tech items on the market for the dogs and cats in your life that not only make their lives more interesting and fun, but can also make your day-to-day with them easier. We decided to deep-dive into the world of high tech pet products to uncover the best of what’s available now and share our findings with you. We hope that whether you’re already an avid user of tech items or a newbie to the tech game, you’ll enjoy reading about what’s available for you and your furry friends!

 


TRACKING

Tagg Pet Tracker: The Tagg pet tracker is a GPS attachment for your pet’s collar that serves two functions. First, it tracks your pet in case he or she ever gets lost. The app will send you a text message or email if your pet travels beyond its designated boundaries, then lead you directly to the animal’s location. Second, it tracks the animals activity like a canine Fitbit or Fuelband, so you can make sure Fido is getting enough exercise. The device costs $99.95, and the service costs $7.95 per month after a three-month free trial.

Pet’s Eye View Camera: Strap a camera to your pet’s collar and see what they are up to! You can set the camera to snap photos in intervals of one, five or 15 minutes. The device, which costs $40, stores 40 photos and comes with a USB cable to upload them onto your computer.

Motorola Scout 5000: This $200 device has a GoPro-like video camera built into its GPS location tracking device. Connect to a live stream of the camera anytime on your phone and – even better – a speaker lets you talk to your pup, too! There’s also a bark detection feature that notifies you when your dog is being too loud.

Trackimo: A very small GPS location device designed for both pets and humans. It costs $100 for the hardware and a 12-month mobile connection plan. You’ll also get international GPS tracking for no extra charge. Depending on use, Trackimo lasts two to three days on a single charge and comes in a waterproof silicone case. One single “SOS” button will broadcast the wearer’s location via app, email, or text.

Whistle Activity Monitor ($99): This little device snaps onto a harness or collar and communicates with the Whistle app for iOS. The device connects to WiFi, so you can see your dog’s activity in real time. Whistle also compares your dog’s activity to similar dogs, so you can keep him or her healthy. The data is sent from the Whistle over WiFi to the connected phone. While you’re away at work or on vacation, you can check in to see how your pup is doing.

Pet Chatz: Pet Chatz lets you have a video conference with your pooch, just by using your smartphone connected to their video monitor display. This makes it so you can check in on them from time to time while you are at work, or otherwise out of the house. You can even give them treats using the device, so your dog knows you’re still thinking of them. Pretty sweet!

EXERCISE

Go-Go Dog Pals: Dogs need exercise to stay healthy, just like humans. The Go-Go Dog Pal is a remote-controlled device made to look like a small critter. According to the product’s website, the remote control works at long range, and the device is capable of speeds surpassing 20 mph. Unless your dog has no interest in chasing it, in which case it just turns into a fun toy for you. Cost is $229.99.

Go Dog Go Fetch Machine: This automatic fetch machine will save some wear and tear on your arm. It launches balls more than 40 ft. You can fill the bucket with one ball or launch several in succession depending on how your dog likes to play. $139.99.

Dart Automatic Laser Toy: There are few forms of entertainment more pristine than watching a cat chase a laser beam. With this automatic rotating laser, you won’t even need to wave your arm around. For $30, just sit back and enjoy the fun.

FitBark: Pups need to stay fit, too! This $100 item is a dog activity monitor that turns your pet’s movements into “BarkPoints.” Track your pet’s play, daily active time, and rest in one app via Bluetooth. It’s light (eight grams) and designed to fit dogs of any breed, size, and weight.

Nite Ize Light Up Ball: The light up ball lets you play fetch with your dog even when the sun goes down. Night time is no reason to stop playing! Just be sure you are playing in an area that is clear of objects so your dog doesn’t get hurt. $12.

iFetch ($100): An automatic ball launcher that throws mini tennis balls. It’s awesome for energetic dogs — or lazy dog owners. Train your pup to fetch balls, then return them back to the iFetch’s ball deposit for an endless cycle of fun.

FOR FUN

Puppy Tweets: Puppy Tweets is a fun way to keep track of your dog when you’re at work or elsewhere. A sensor on the dog’s collar sends a signal to a USB receiver attached to your computer. The sensor figures out what the dog is doing and then updates the dog’s personal Twitter account with a clever tweet such as, “You at lunch? Remember the two most beautiful words in the English language: DOGGIE BAG!” Cost: The device is currently selling for about $15 on Amazon.

The Woofer: This little jacket essentially turns your dog into an iPod dock. There are speakers sewn into the fabric, and a pouch with a standard speaker jack for your MP3 player of choice. Between $100 and $120, depending on the size of your woofer.

Petcube: Feeling guilty about leaving your furry friends at home? This is a video-camera system that allows you to remotely tune in to what your pets are up to via Android or iOS app. There’s also a built-in mic so you can talk to your pup or kitty. You can even enable a laser pointer to entertain ’em! So fun. Available for $199.

Tractive: A GPS system that uses cell towers to show you where Fido is at anytime. Its waterproof collar attachment ($130) is smartphone compatible. The app allows users to set a “safe zone” and will alert your device if your pup leaves the area. Tractive’s GPS service ($6 per month) locates your pets and shows you position history.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Say hello to the smart feeder. Petnet ($199) makes sure kitty or pup is well fed. From your smartphone, you can control your pet’s feeding schedule and portion sizes. The Petnet app shows you how much of your pet’s daily intake he or she has consumed that day. You can even add multiple users and decide who is responsible for allotting food.

Rover and DogVacay: Going on vacation can be hard when you have a pet. These sites can connect you with sitters in thousands of cities around the US. All dog sitters are reviewed, and you can choose for them to watch your pup in your own home or theirs. Prices range between $20 to $75 per night — definitely cheaper than a hotel for humans.

Litter-Robot: If you hate cleaning litter boxes, this litter sifting system may be a good investment. It’s a round enclosure your cat enters to do his business. Once he exits, the Litter-Robot waits seven minutes before rotating to drop clumps into a drawer which typically needs to be emptied once or twice a week, depending on how many cats use it. It works with regular kitchen garbage bags and any clumping litter as well as alternative litters such as Litter Pearls, Crystals or World’s Best Cat Litter. One caveat: Small cats or kittens that weigh less than five pounds may not trip Litter-Robot’s sensor. $369 at litter-robot.com or Amazon.

Voyce Dog Collar: Activity monitors have helped a lot of humans live healthier lifestyles, get in shape and lose unwanted pounds. So why not give your favorite pets the same benefit? The Voyce dog collar is a wearable fitness device that measures your pooch’s pulse (via radio frequency), respiratory rate, rest patterns and calories burned. These important vitals can be tracked through your phone and shared with your vet, if desired. The app will even warn you if your pet’s activity pattern changes – a potential sign of problems. The battery on the Voyce lasts for seven days, so thankfully there’s no daily recharging requirement. You can purchase the Voyce dog collar directly through the company’s website for $199. You’ll also be required to pay a monthly service charge of $9.50 per month or $95 per year.

Wigzi Tangle Free Dual Dog Leash: The dual dog leash by Wigzi makes it so you won’t have to deal with a tangled leash ever again when walking two dogs at the same time. The solution comes from the way it is designed, so that neither leash can cross over the other, causing the dreaded tangle. Get it for $35 over on Amazon.

Pavlovian Puppy Potty Trainer: This potty trainer uses Pavlovian methods to train your puppy to go outside when they feel the urge. This will help prevent accidents and also strengthen your bond with them because you won’t have to worry about getting upset when they do their business inside on, uh, your favorite rug. $99.

Dog Cooling Bed: Keep your dog cool with this $54 cooling bed, and they’ll definitely be thanking you all summer long. Dogs can overheat pretty easily and it’s important to keep them cool, especially during those warmer months. This bed can really help with that as it diffuses heat when they lay on top of it, hitting those all important paws first.

Wanna get really crazy? Check out this $1,300 shower stall! How about an $1,100 doggie treadmill? They’ve thought of it all!

In the comments below, we’d love to hear what tech items you love using with your pup and how you found out about them. Not currently using anything this fancy? No sweat, let us know which