Friday, October 11, 2013

They Love It!

The homemade dog food was a success.  The dogs love it!  We are mixing it in with the old kibble to allow their bodies to adjust to the new food.

Dogs enjoying their meal

We have already seen some improvements like excitement at meal time and better breath.  I am pleased with them having better breath.  Their fur might be improving as well, but its hard to tell if its the food or the change in season.  Below is the recipe that I used.

Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients Ratio:

4 oz        Cooked Chicken
1 3/4 C   Cooked White Rice
1/4 C      Cooked Brown Rice
3 T          Cooked Vegetable Puree - see recipe below

Blend all ingredients in food processor until it makes a well blended paste.  Makes a little more than 2 cups of paste.

Homemade dog food paste
My two boys are currently getting 1/2 C and the little one is getting 1/4 C mixed with their kibble. Next week we will increase the ratio for the boys to get 3/4 C with kibble and keep the little one at the same ratio until the kibble is gone.  After the kibble is gone we will give them just the homemade food and adjust servings as need.  I estimate the boys (55-60 lbs) will eat about 2-2 1/4 C and the little one (20 lbs) will have 3/4-1 C a day.


We have a FoodSaver so we are storing the food in sealed canning jars.  If you have a FoodSaver I highly recommend purchasing the jar(s) attachment. We freeze 90% of our food with jars, quick easy and reusable, we use both the wide mouth and standard.

We have the dog food we are currently using in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer until we need it. The dog food should have a refrigerator shelf life of a week and in the freezer 3 months.

FoodSaver and Canning Jar with Dog Food
Lessons Learned:

  • I made a huge batch of this because I knew the dogs would go through the food.  I do not recommend making a huge batch (20 times the ratio) it was a long day and I did not get it all completed. Also the rice was tricky cooking at that scale, I had to put some in the Crock-pot and some on the stove, it was a mess. I am going to make it in smaller batches and use my Crock-pot.  
  • Crock-pots make awesome rice steamers
  • Blending several batches of this food in a Ninja processor puts a lot of strain on the motor.  Do not recommend using a Ninja for this, my motor got hot after 3 jars worth of food.  I stopped using it and went for my Kitchen Aid food processor.
  • Do not fill the jars completely full when freezing.  Fill it up to the bottom rung of the jar max, so the food has room to expand.  
  • Recommend using wide mouth jars for the food, scooping the food out is easier, no weird scrapping under the mouth to get the last morsels out.

Vegetable Puree:

2 C       Carrots
1 C       Sweet Potatoes
1 C       Spinach
1/2 C    Peas
1/2 C    Tomatoes - remove the seeds and stems

Put vegetables in a sauce pain, add water to cover, about 1 inch above vegetables.  Cook until tender. Pour cook vegetables (do not drain) in blender, blend until smooth.  Makes about 4 cups.

You can research what vegetables are good for your dogs and create your own puree.  My next batch will be vegetable and fruit puree, it will include beets, pumpkin, apples, and blueberries.  I will experiment with more foods after more research.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quick Peek 10/8

It has been busy around here, been cooking up a storm.  Here is a quick peek on what will be posted this week.

  • Homemade dog food recipe and lessons learned
  • No sugar apple pie
  • Cards
  • DIY side table - this may fall into next week

Friday, October 4, 2013

Birthday Card - Simple Male

This male birthday card is really simple to make.  All you need is paper, a circle punch and letter stamps, handwritten or die cuts work as well.  The hardest part of this project was evenly spacing the rectangles.  I eyeballed it, put you can always use a pencil and ruler and erase any marks when done.
Birthday Card
Simple Male Birthday Card
Base - A2 Card - Brown
Rectangles - 1 1/4" x 1 1/2" - 3 different prints of dark brown paper (swirls, stars and dots)
Circles - 1" circle punch - Brown
Fiskars Alpha Basic Clear Stamps - Careful washing these stamps, I lost the "I" down the drain.
Brown wooden button

Hope you enjoyed today's card!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Intro to Our Pets

In our household we are outnumbered by the pets that share our living space, most days are normal, some are chaotic.  At least our lives are not dull.

Our three lovable dogs:
Snoopy - The Pleaser
Leonardo - The Psycho
Annabelle - The Diva
our two cats:
Opium - The Old-Timer
Persia - The Crazy One

3D Printing - Doodle3D

What is 3D printing you ask?  The quick version is taking a 3D printer (buy or build), hooking up a computer, and through software telling the 3D printer what, where, when, why to do with the plastic filament (or whatever material it uses) to create a 3D object, layer by layer.  It really is an interesting process, see photos below.

nozzle where filament comes out
building up layer by layer

almost done creating 3D object
final object

dolphin jumping out of water 
My husband is the one that is really into 3D printing he has three printers, I like it as well, the potential to create is whatever you imagine and design. My problem is I have a love hate relationship with Sketchupa software to design objects, I love to hate it because of its little quirks.  I tried a 3D sculpting program called Sculptris, it works greatmy dolphin turned out,Kickstarter, called Doodle3D.  It was exactly what I was looking for, you draw, it prints...perfect.  So I backed the project.
but it was a one hit wonder.  I want something easier, something I could draw and print, not sculpt from a ball.  One day I came across a project on

After several updates, I got the email I have been waiting for, I shall receive the final product at the end of the month.  I cannot wait for this little box to come, I have so many ideas brewing in my head, but no toy to play with. Once I receive my box of wonder I will post my creations, stay tuned and let me know your interest in 3D printing.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Changing How My Pets Eat

My household consists of me, my husband, our three dogs, two cats and fish.  Our oldest dog Snoopy has severe allergies, his allergies were so bad that for three plus years he was half bald.  He would get an ear infection every three weeks, his skin was raw and itchy.  He was taking so many pills, he refused to take them; it was sad, expensive and frustrating.  After a very long bout of ear and skin infections our vet suggested we change medicine, something more expensive, with a 50% chance that it would work.  We could not handle the expense, close to $210 in allergy medicine a month with no guarantee, not happening.

I took to the internet to figure out what the underline problem was, it had to be something environmental or food.  After ruling out controllable environmental, yes he has seasonal allergies...spring and fall are his worst time of year, I researched dog food.  I found that some dogs are allergic to wheat, corn, and soy.  Most of the information I came across,  people either bought a higher quality dog food or they cooked for their dogs.  I opted to look for higher quality dog food, I did not want to cook for the dogs, with work and life I was too busy.  I searched labels trying to find something that would work for Snoopy and the other two; the youngest one Annabelle was showing signs of the same allergies.  I started at the highest price and worked my way down.  There were some brands that claim on the front that they did not have corn, but when you look at the ingredients there was corn meal, it was infuriating.  

Then one day I noticed that Iams came out with their Naturals line, the first bag I checked still had corn meal and wheat, then I noticed the blue bag.  Iams Prime Naturals, the front of the bag showed a chicken, crossed out corn, wheat and soy.  I was excited, I flipped over the bag and read the ingredients, chicken was number one, good sign, read on and they had carrots, peas, and spinach.  I was delighted, I purchased a bag and brought it home.  They loved it, our middle dog Leo would only eat the new food and leave the old.  We donated all the unopened bags of the old dog food to the local shelter and bought more of the new food.  The first thing we noticed is Snoopy would get an ear infection only once a month, then every few months, now he has not had an infection for over a year. The second thing we noticed he actually has hair, its thin but it covers his chest, his skin is not raw and red from all the itching, big smiles.  

Then it happened, the local pet store stopped carrying the chicken, all they had was the fish.  Not a huge problem but two out of the three would rather eat the chicken (we accidentally bought the fish before and it was not well received, yes spoiled pets).  I searched the internet for dog food delivery, and could not find their preferred food at a good price point.  I decided to search for a different brand, again I came across the same ingredient problems as before.  Then it hit me, why not cook for my dogs?  Other people have done it with great success. Bonus, I do not have to worry about dog food recalls and by rough calculations, I might actually save money as well.  

My goal is to have fun creating nutritious meals and treats for my pets, I am sure my dogs will love the experiment and will feel like royalty.  Follow along and tell me about your experiences.