Skip to main content

Make your own, cheap, but good, dog food!

A few weeks ago we got ourselves a new (to us) dog!


She is a 12 year old Kelpie happy. They called her a Kelpie cross in the ad but she wags her tail so much that she must really be a Kelpie happy!

Sue is a rescue dog and had spent 12 years tied up in some ones backyard before she went to some carers who helped her put on a bit of weight and learn a few manners before we came along and she chose to live with us.

For her first few days with us, she didn't want to eat much as she was pretty anxious. Everything was strange and exciting and she had so much to explore. Cupboards that needed examining, chickens that needed to be sniffed, drawers that needed looking into and mirrors that needed to very cautiously checked out.


She needed to learn to walk on a lead (she still needs to learn to walk on a lead mind you!) and be friendly to other dogs. She is getting there but its a slow process but fun to be part of.


The other thing that needs to be done is to find a way to feed the dog that is good for the dog as well as good for the pocket and mental health of the owners.

We played around with commercial food for a week before I decided that I would "make" some dog food for her and hope that she liked it.

Here's what I did...

I went to the butcher and bought a bag of frozen pet mince for $1, bought it home and defrosted it.
and popped it into a big pot with a couple of litres of water and set it to cook on the stovetop


I added what ever veges were handy, some garlic and a blob of vegemite as she seemed to like to lick it off my fingers... (she is an Australian dog after all!)


I had some herbs in the garden that I popped in as well - might as well make it flavorsome for her since I'm going to the trouble...


I also popped in a couple of handfuls of rice and one of pasta.
The rice soaked up a lot of the water, which was handy but unintentional once it had cooled.


Then I spooned it all into old takeaway containers, labeled them...


And put them in the freezer until they are needed.

Sue is a medium sized dog and eats about one of these containers a day on average (depending on how much rubbish she has managed to con out of people during the day) and I'm getting at least seven containers out of the kilo of meat I get from the butcher. She gets various dog biscuits with her dinner (and during the day if she is really lucky!)

I don't really know what the current thinking is on dog food is, but our last dog got table scraps (meat and veg) sandwich crusts, raw meat, cooked meat, bones, the odd bit of birthday cake, some commercial dog food, some homemade dog food, whatever he could find in the garden including, sadly, the odd blue tongue lizard. He lived to be sixteen and a half so we will be keeping the same regime for this pup (minus as many blue tongue lizards as possible)!

The butcher told me that the kilo bags of meat were the ends and scraps that they couldn't sell, just thrown through a coarse mincer. He reckoned the type of meat varies from day to day depending on what they are cutting up at the time so each bag is a bit different. I'm guessing there's a fair bit of fat in it but I didn't see much while I was cooking and I haven't got any gel or congealed fat in the cold pot of food - so maybe I'm wrong...

At any rate - Miss Sue eats it and seems to be thriving!



Score card: 
Green-ness: 3/5 I don't think its very green to own a dog but this one is desexed (as was our last one)
Frugal-ness: $1 a week for dog food...! That's gotta be a frugal way to go!
Time cost: About an hour from defrost to pack in the freezer.
Skill level:  Just making a stew! The husband thought it was for us one night and it has been taken out of the freezer, mistaken for "human food" a few times already!
Fun-ness: Good fun to watch her eat it and knowing EXACTLY what she is eating!

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Killing cockroaches with boric acid v borax!

We live in Queensland. We have cockroaches. Lots of cockroaches! Why the NSW rugby team is called the Cockroaches is a mystery to me - surely ours are not only bigger but more plentiful??? At any rate, I don't like living with them (and I'm quite sure they  are not so fond of me at the moment!!) and I have been going through the usual gauntlet of sprays, solutions and bombs to get rid of them...

But I'm not so keen on the chemical aspect of all this spraying and bombing. I hate the smell and can almost feel disease and cancer growing in me every time I spray. I'm OK with the resident cockies getting a lungful of chemicals and then keeling over but I feel its impolite (and probably illegal) if my guests and family members do the same thing!!!

We went through a faze of killing them by hand (and flyswatter and rolled up newspaper and underfoot) but its hard and frustrating work and it probably was only culling the dumb and slow ones - leaving the smart fast ones to breed!!!

What to do when your cat attacks a bird... and doesn't kill it.

We have an eight year old cat who we got as a stray about six years ago. The vet reckoned she was about two when we got her and we did all the right things and got her spayed and vaccinated and all that stuff. She loves people and no matter where you are in the house or garden, she will not be far away. She really good with kids and will put up with the squishiest cuddles and a far bit of toddler tail fascination before bolting out the door to escape. She is well fed (despite the look she is giving me and the empty bowl below...) but not fat - but still the  urge to hunt and subsequently kill still seems to be quite strong.


Last weekend, she pounced out of nowhere on a rainbow lorrikeet - thankfully my husband and a band of teenage boys were also there and managed to grab the bird before the cat had done more than pounce. Now we have a slightly mangled still alive but obviously unwell bird on our hands - what do you do?

Here's what we did...

We found a box - popped an old towel in t…

Making homemade soap from lamb fat!

At work recently, we cooked up 3,000 lamb shanks (yes that was three thousand- and it took us a week!) for a feast which gave a us a huge amount of unwanted fat.

Normally that would have been thrown into the skip but I had remembered reading somewhere that animal fat - or tallow - can be used for making soap. If you have a look on a commercial packet of soap you will see something called sodium tallowate - that's scientific speak for rendered beef fat.
I have been making my own olive oil soap for a few years now with reasonable success, so I collected up all the fat I could, rendered it and gave making soap from fat a go!

Here's what I did...

I rendered the fat, which basically involves heating it to melting point and then filtering it through sieves that get finer and finer and then adding water (don't boil the fat or adding water will make it explode) and leaving the fat to set - on top of the water. The impurities should fall to the bottom and be caught in the water -…