PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Feeding Your Four-Legged Loved Ones

Recipes for making your own pet food

With the recent pet food scare and the recall of millions of cans of dog and cat food, many people are beginning to reconsider the wisdom of feeding their pets commercial pet food. Andi Brown reminds us, in her book The Whole Pet Diet, that “there’s no watchdog ensuring our companions are getting even minimum nourishment” from their pet food. “The pet food industry,” she goes on to eaxplain, “is entirely self-regulated and, sadly, most companies are focused on the bottom line. The government doesn’t regulate the quality or sources of pet food ingredients, and pet food companies are allowed to use poor-quality and even dangerous ingredients that barely sustain life and almost never promote good health” (14). Pet foods are composed of by-products (foods rejected for human consumption like beaks, feet, feathers, hooves, hair, eyeballs, and bones), fillers like corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes with corn the number one ingredient found in pet foods today, and chemicals, including preservatives like BHA, which has been shown to be carcinogenic in laboratory studies. And this is the food that is never recalled. Many people are deciding, given the questionable nutritional value of commercial pet food, to restrict the amount they give to their pets or to abandon commercial pet food altogether and make their own.

Following are a few recipes from The Whole Pet Diet that not only contain healthy basics like meat and vegetables, but also vitamins and minerals contained in herbs and other supplements. The most important thing to remember when it comes to feeding your pet is to try and get them as many whole foods as possible, some uncooked, food that would be suitable for you to eat yourself.


Spot’s Chicken Stew (for dogs and cats)
yields 20 cups with serving sizes as follows: 1-1/2 cups to 10 pounds; 2-3 cups 11-20 pounds; 4 cups 21-40 pounds; for each additional 20 pounds add 2 cups

2 ½ pounds whole chicken or turkey (bones, organs, skin and all)
¼ cup chopped fresh garlic
1 cup green peas
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
½ cup coarsely chopped sweet potato
½ cup coarsely chopped zucchini
½ cup coarsely chopped yellow squash
½ cup coarsely chopped green beans
½ cup coarsely chopped celery
1 Tbsp kelp powder
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
11-16 cups springwater

For dogs only: Add 8 ounces whole barley and 6 ounces rolled oats and adjust the water content to a total of 16 cups or enough to cover the ingredients (I don’t recommend the grains portion for cats).

Combine all of the ingredients in a 10-quart stockpot (stainless steel, please) with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat as low as possible and simmer for 2 hours (the carrots should be quite soft at the end of the cooking time). Remove from the heat, let cool, and debone the chicken. With an electric hand mixer, or using a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients into a nice puree; the stew should be slightly thicker for dogs and more soupy for cats. Using ziplock bags or plastic yogurt containers, make up meal-sized portions. Refrigerate what you’ll need for three days and freeze the rest.


Jack the Cat’s Turkey Tetrazzini
yields about 10 cups w/serving size ½ cup

1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
½ pound yellow squash or pumpkin, coarsely chopped
½ pound celery, coarsely chopped
¼ pound chicken or turkey liver
1 Tbsp kelp powder
5-7 cups springwater

Combine all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. With an electric hand mixer, or using a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients into a nice puree. Using ziplock bags or plastic yogurt containers, make up meal-sized portions and freeze whatever you won’t use within 3 days.


Bravo’s Bodacious Hearty Burger Stew
yields about 8 cups with serving sizes as follows: 1-1/2 cups to 10 pounds; 2-3 cups 11-20 pounds; 4 cups 21-40 pounds; for each additional 20 pounds add 2 cups

1 pound ground beef or turkey
½ pound millet
½ pound spinach, chopped
½ pound carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp kelp powder
4-6 cups springwater

Combine all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. With an electric hand mixer, or a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients into a nice puree. Using ziplock bags or plastic yogurt containers, make up meal-sized portions and freeze whatever you won’t use in 3 to 4 days.


Special Treats for Your Pet

Voyko’s Paw-Lickin’ Liver Treats
yields 40 1-ounce servings

3 pounds chicken or turkey liver
Fresh or dried oregano (optional)
Fresh or dried rosemary (optional)
Minced fresh garlic (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place the liver on a large baking pan and sprinkle the herbs on top. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, then dice the liver into 1-inch cubes. Put a few ounces into individual ziplock bags and freeze the portions that won’t be eaten right away. Your healthy, homemade treats will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, and up to a month in the freezer.

Voyko’s Liver and Greens Shake
yields 4 ½ cup servings

1 Tbsp butter
½ pound fresh liver (beef, chicken, turkey or duck)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried rosemary
¼ cup chopped alfalfa sprouts
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup yogurt
¼ cup grated carrot

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the liver, turning frequently until lightly browned all sides. Add the garlic powder and rosemary, then turn off the heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to a food processor, add the alfalfa sprouts, parsley, yogurt, and carrot, and pulse until thick and creamy.

Other healthy treats:
For dogs and cats

  • Cantaloupe balls
  • A whole, raw organic egg beaten together well with yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Organic baby food
  • Yogurt mixed with a few raspberries or blueberries
  • Sardines (fresh or frozen)
  • Organic cheese on a salt-free cracker

Veggies for dogs:

  • Celery sticks (plain or with unsalted peanut butter or cottage cheese)
  • Carrot sticks (plain or with yogurt)
  • Apple slices (with or without peanut butter)
  • Green beans

The Whole Pet Diet: Eight Weeks to Great Health for Dogs and Cats by Andi Brown is available no in The Food Co-op’s book section in the Wellness Department

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