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Dog Food Recipes: Kaptin's Crunchy Kibble
Makes 20 to 30 servings for a 25 lb. dog

Cooking for your dog is not only healthy and affordable but rewarding too. From stews, stir-fries and other one-pot delectables recipes abound that make it easy—but have you ever thought about making your own kibble? We were happy to find a great kibble recipe from Wendy Nan Rees’s cookbook, The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats. Try it out—it’s delicious and nutritious!

This is my basic kibble recipe. I keep 8 cups in a sealed container in the refrigerator and freeze the rest in vacuum-sealed food storage bags. The kibble will keep in an airtight container for two weeks in the refrigerator, or three months in the freezer.

4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
2 cups nonfat milk powder
2 teaspoons bone meal
1 cup plain wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 2 1/2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 eggs
1 cup safflower, olive or corn oil
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water
4 cups cooked ground beef, pork, lamb, duck, chicken or turkey
2 cups cooked and puréed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped dried apples
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, milk powder, bone meal, wheat germ, parsley and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs and blend them with the oil. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
4. Add the water to the flour mixture and mix well.
5. Fold in the egg mixture and combine it all evenly.
6. Add the meat, sweet potatoes, dried apples and spinach and press them into the dough.
7. Spread the dough on cookie sheets (18" x 13" work best), making it very flat and thin. Use a knife to cut it into small squares.
8. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the kibble is golden brown and not doughy when you break a piece open. During the baking process, take a wood spoon or spatula and move the kibble around on the cookie sheet so it bakes evenly. Then turn off your oven, keeping the door closed, and let it dry out in the off oven for at least 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
9. When you remove the kibble from the oven, it will still be slightly warm and moist. Let it sit on cooling racks for another hour or two until it is completely dry and cool.

Variations: Here are some other ingredients I like to add for flavor and nutrients: alfalfa leaf, barley, basil leaf, beets, broccoli, brown rice, carrots, flaxseed meal, green beans, kamut, nutritional yeast flakes, peas, potatoes, rolled oats, rosemary leaf and zucchini.

This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 59: Apr/May 2010
Wendy Nan Rees, author of four pet cookbooks, has served as lifestyle advisor on Animal Planet's Petsburg, USA, and hosts an Internet radio show, Wendy's Animal Talk. wendynanrees.com

From The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats, by Wendy Nan Rees with Kevin Schlanger, DVM; © 2008 by Wiley Publishing and used with permission.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Kristen | March 24 2010 |

How much are you supposed to feed of this?

Submitted by Anonymous | January 13 2011 |

use a smaller amount than regular kibble + add fresh veggies and fruit

Submitted by Anonymous | March 24 2010 |

I like this recipe. However, for dogs who have issues with gluten, I might substitute brown rice flour, teff, quinoa or other non gluten grains ground finely for the flours and wheat germ. And for variety, I'd change out pumpkin for the sweet potato once in a while. Thanks for this.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 28 2010 |

What is the protein/fat/moisture/etc content for this recipe?

Submitted by Anonymous | April 17 2010 |

Any one have a good vegan recipe for kibble?

Submitted by Dr. What | September 24 2011 |

Dogs are not herbivores. Nature made them to require meat in their diet.

Submitted by jack | May 3 2013 |

no. they're omnivores. and "nature" doesn't 'make' anything one way or the other.

Submitted by lindsay | August 28 2014 |

A dog's digestive system requires protein from muscle and organ meats. Their diet should consist of at LEAST 60% meat protein. If you can't sacrifice part of YOUR preferred life style for a dog's needs, you shouldn't have a dog.

Submitted by Burgan | May 15 2013 |

Vegan? Your are a fool.

Submitted by jason | April 10 2014 |

Unless your dog has been diagnosed as alergic to all meat protiens, you should not feed vegan. Don't push your morals on your poor dog.

Submitted by Heather Crotsley | July 15 2010 |

Calories 7,605
Calories from Fat 2613

Total Fat 290.3g
Saturated Fat 47.9g
Trans Fat 0.6g
Cholesterol 1218mg
Sodium 5159mg215%
Total Carbohydrates 862.2g
Dietary Fiber 107.0g
Sugars 170.1g
Protein 401.2g

Vitamin A 194% • Vitamin C 231%
Calcium 370% • Iron 388%

From http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

It didn't include the calcium from the bone meal. From the research I did it could use some more protein, less carbs, but that will probably alter the texture of the food.

Submitted by Dustin | April 11 2011 |

Thanks, great recipe! My dogs always love the recipes I find on your site. If anyone is looking for more homemade dog food ideas and other info there are tons of healthy recipes here also.

Submitted by Anonymous | December 11 2011 |

I feel like this recipe is terrible for dogs. Far to much processed grain material, not enough calcium/phosphorous sources (ie 2tsp bonemeal), and the spinach should definately be cooked to increase digestibilty. I applaud the desire to make your dogs a healthy homemade meal, however, we need to be more realistic about the nature of their digestive tracts. The best case scenario for this food is an overweight dog with wet green diarrhea.

Submitted by Lisa | December 25 2011 |

I don't think BONE MEAL should be included. If a human would not normally eat something, I'm sure as heck not going to put it in my pet's diet. Alot of dog treats (including Milkbone) I am surprised use this cheap questionable source for protein and I've changed dog treats because of this. The more and more I read the top main ingredients posted on dog food bags(even the high end high priced ones) the more I wish to go to making my own dog food. In the meantime I look online for personal recipes and you should be ashamed of adding this cheap-o product to your recipe.

Submitted by Anonymous | July 8 2012 |

The bone meal is not a source of protein. It is a source of calcium. Dogs eat bones in the wild.

Submitted by Chris | January 4 2014 |

Dogs do need bone meal as a source of calcium. Dogs are NOT HERBIVORES, but meat eating in the wild. Too many calories from carbohydrates is too much sugar in their diet. This recipe definitely needs to be tweeted a bit to accurately replace any food source for our puppies. I truly believe the crap that is sold as dogfood is such a farce, and causes so many health problems in our pets. In my dad's era, his dog lived to be 18. Never saw a vet, and was a "pot licker", meaning the dog ate what was left over from the family dinner. Just make sure that onions, garlic, avacado, grapes, raisins, etc. I am sure I am forgetting a few things.

Submitted by Mochi | January 2 2012 |

This sounds like a delicious recipe. Thank you for posting it here. I do have a question about the milk powder, though. What is its purpose? I am concerned about the lactose in it which dogs cannot digest. As to the comment about the bone meal; it is not a source of protein but an important source of calcium. My holistic vet recommends it, especially for dogs that eat homemade meals as most of us do not include bones or enough calcium in their food.

Submitted by Gayle Walker | October 28 2013 |

You can also use egg shell powder for the calcium. After cracking the egg immediately wash the shell and lay out on a baking sheet to dry. Then put in a coffee grinder and grind into powder. Or you can put the egg shell on a baking sheet with oven on 300 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Then grind into powder. Put the powder in your recipes and that will give your pooch extra calcium he/she needs.

Submitted by Kella | April 20 2012 |

My Viszla-mix, Sam, has a very sensitive stomach and most treats don't agree with him, but we need treats for his obedience training and I was really at a loss. This recipe is great! No junk (I couldn't believe what goes into most commercial treats...), and I can choose what goes into them..

Thanks once again. If anyone is looking for more Homemade Dog Food Recipes ideas and other info there are tons of healthy recipes here also.

Submitted by kimann | January 30 2013 |

I make my own dog food,a chix stew and my dog love dry knibble and know the bad stuff that is put into the dogs foods so I will try this and see if he likes it

Submitted by Anonymous | February 5 2013 |

Crushed egg shells are good, too, instead of powdered milk or bone meal

Submitted by Szabo | August 31 2013 |

I use "whole eggs" when it's convenient, too! I'm delighted to see someone else does the same. Great recipe. THANKS!

Submitted by Alice Palfrey | January 31 2014 |

May I ask how long does this kibble last? I love the idea of using crushed egg shell instead of bone meal as I was wondering where I would get that! I've read a lot of bad things these past couple of days about manufactured dog food and am very eager to start making my own. My pup has flaky skin and the vet couldn't seem to wonder why I honestly think its lack of protein and nutrients in normal dog food. Thanks

Submitted by lindsay | August 28 2014 |

This recipe is great except one thing, I would cut out a lot of those grains.

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