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I'm new here, but I thought I'd share the "recipe" I use for my dogs. I got it from a book by Dr Martinez, a vet that is close friends with the vet I work for.

You get a whole chicken(sometimes I use leg quarters instead) and put it in a crock pot. You then add whatever vegetables your dog does well on as well as a few chopped up potatoes. He recommends 70% chicken to 30% veggies. You add a little bit of water and cook on low for about 12 hours or however long it takes for the bones to get nice and soft. I always add about a dozen eggs which makes it a bit thicker.

I hope to switch to raw someday, but this has been a nice alternative to commercial foods.
 

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That sounds terrific, love the way all the bird gets used. Do all the bones soften up? Have you had failures where the bones didn't soften up? If so do you know what went wrong?

A whole chicken is about 30% bone which is 3x the amount needed for calcium. If I was forced, kicking and screaming, to abandon raw food for Max I would love try this out but add in an equal weight of beef/pork/lamb to the chicken to balance the calcium better, add a whole lot of minerals and vitamins chicken lacks and some beef liver at about 2 ounces per pound of meat.
 

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Well i have never used the crock pot,good idea tho.Where does the dozen eggs come in,for thickening?
 

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Sounds like a good, easy alternative for somebody who doesn't want to feed commercial pet food, but isn't ready to or doesn't want to feed raw. I think the fact that you can plop everything in there in the morning and leave it while you're at work would be very appealing to people. I definitely agree with Sassymaxmom about the extra meat and organs. Are all those eggs necessary? How long does a batch last you and do you freeze meal sized portions? I may tell my friend about this, as she's feeding a low quality kibble and is willing to switch to something better but isn't quite ready for raw.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have never had problems with the bones not becoming soft. The extra meat/organ is a good idea. I just add the eggs because I have 30 hens- so lots of eggs. Plus it makes it more the consistency off canned food. I divide it into a few days worth at a time and freeze it.
 

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crock pot food

Hi,
I was wondering about the bones you mentioned. I thought the only way the dogs could eat the bones is if they were raw? Isnt cooking them in the crock pot making them cooked, therefore not good for dogs to eat. I boil chicken thighs, does that mean that my dogs could eat the bones?
thanks for you time.
kara
 

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The main problem with cooked bones is that they splinter when chewed. If a dog ingested a big shard of bone it could get stuck in the trachea, perforate the stomach or intestines, etc. I've never cooked bones in a crock pot, but apparently when they're slow cooked over a very long period of time they basically turn to mush. In that form, they wouldn't be a hazard. But no, you should not give your dog boiled bones.
 

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This might need to be in a tread all it's own. If so, mods, please feel free to move it.

My friend has considered slow-cooking meat and bones until the bones become mush and feeding the cooking water as well. I told her that she would be cooking away many of the vitamins. She said, "well that's why I would feed the cooking water."

My question is, don't many of the nutrients evaporate? Or at the very least, the cooking process changes them? Everything that starts off in the crock pot can't still be present in it's original form after cooking for hours, right? Raw chicken quarter ≠ cooked chicken quarter and cooking water, right? Isn't that why many home cookers need to supplement?
 

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Great recipe followed by great input! I am currently feeding a very picky pregnant poodle. She had been eating Orijen until she just quit. It seems if I totally change up every meal, she will eat a little.
Then, yesterday my husband boiled pheasant..........BINGO! Shredded the meat and poured the liquid over the kibble and she ate! Had not thought of the crock pot, it's perfect, since it looks like I will now be cooking for the picky poodle momma.
I welcome any advice and input.
 

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Wow, sounds like a good recipe. I would add pork/beef/more meat to it like sassymaxmom said. It sounds a lot like what I do to add broth and extra meat to the dogs kibble. :] If I weren't going to switch everyone to completely raw I'd probably try this out. Thanks for the recipe!! I know I'll definitely show it to our friend when she gets a puppy as she doesn't want to do raw feeding but wants to home cook.

sassymaxmom, since you're really good about knowing the vitamins/minerals in cooked foods, would you think that there are foods you could supplement in for the dog that are cooked instead of adding supplements that are powdered? I'd rather give my dogs natural foods than powder, but not veggies really...So, to add back in the omega-3's would canned sardines be an okay idea every few days? Separate from the crock pot cooking that is.

I remember us talking about vitamin a not being water soluble...Liver could be a good thing to add in to the recipe, right?

The eggs sound good to me, up the protein and since they are in their cooked form they are more digestible. I do give my dogs eggs, the raw yolk(whites excluded) or boiled and mashed for kibble meals.
 

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Yes, canned sardines are fine. If you can find ones without added salt that would be really great. Max needs about an ounce of sardine a day for his omega 3 needs. Liver is a great idea. Add in 1-2 ounces of beef liver per pound of meats used for vitamin A and copper. You can add in an additional amount of other livers, but no more beef liver or you might be feeding too much copper.

Here are my secret sources of information.
Nutrition facts, calories in food, labels, nutritional information and analysis – NutritionData.com
And
http://www.netrophic.com/misc/NewPersonalDogFeedingGuide.xls
 

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sassymaxmom-What supplements do you recommend?? I'm looking into canning homemade dog food for a disaster kit and the only thing left I need to find is supplements.

Edit: I don't know if you know about this for cats or not, but if I was to make something like this for cats, would I need to add more taurine as well as a multi-vitamin supplement?
 

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If it is for emergencies you really just need it to be safely canned as it is for short term feeding. The basic need is for calcium. Add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered egg shell per pound of meat or food if you use whole grains in the food. If you use mostly red meats plus a little beef liver then there is no need for vitamins. Have a couple cans of sardines, mackerel or salmon in your kit and omega 3 and vitamin E are provided. Not sure taurine survives the canning process or not but it would be a good thing to add for cats. Safer would be to have some capsules in the emergency kit and sprinkle some of the powder on the food and mix in before feeding.
 

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Channeledbymodem,

Hi. Have you ever tried putting chicken bones back into the crockpot and cooking them until they are really soft? You will actually be able to squish them between your fingers, and then you can add them back into your recipe (if you want to). I did that with a pressure cooker before, but I know it can be done w/a crockpot too--will just take longer. :)
 

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If it is for emergencies you really just need it to be safely canned as it is for short term feeding. The basic need is for calcium. Add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered egg shell per pound of meat or food if you use whole grains in the food. If you use mostly red meats plus a little beef liver then there is no need for vitamins. Have a couple cans of sardines, mackerel or salmon in your kit and omega 3 and vitamin E are provided. Not sure taurine survives the canning process or not but it would be a good thing to add for cats. Safer would be to have some capsules in the emergency kit and sprinkle some of the powder on the food and mix in before feeding.

Thank you thank you thank you!!

I would not be adding any grains to it. Spike reacts horribly to them. What I was thinking was to cook the chicken in the crockpot with the water and cook the extra meat, liver and veggies separately. Would flash-seared liver and meat be fine if I canned it?

Do these amounts look okay? Everything would be combined and then canned using a pressure canner and canning jars.


1 four pound chicken
3-1/2 pounds cubed beef, flash-seared(?)
14 ounces cubed liver, flash-seared(?)
7 tbsp. steamed vegetables, pureed

Also, you are completely right about the taurine. I didn't think about that, but I would absolutely just add a bottle of 500mg taurine to the kit and add it before serving.
 

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I would cook the beef meats and veggies until they reach whatever temperature is supposed to kill bacteria and then can. To be sure this recipe works gut wise you might try it out without canning first. If you aren't cooking the bone until soft it isn't a lot of veggies and that is quite a lot of liver too.

Are you cooking the chicken until the bones are soft? Hope it works!
 

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I would cook the beef meats and veggies until they reach whatever temperature is supposed to kill bacteria and then can. To be sure this recipe works gut wise you might try it out without canning first. If you aren't cooking the bone until soft it isn't a lot of veggies and that is quite a lot of liver too.

Are you cooking the chicken until the bones are soft? Hope it works!
Yeah, I'd be cooking the chicken until the bones are soft. How much should I reduce the liver? In half? I'll certainly cook the beef meats longer than flash-searing. I didn't think about the bacteria in canning versus freezing. I'm definitely going to try it before canning.
 
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