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Recipes For Dogs: Barbara Laino’s Homemade Dog Food
Healthy home-cooked meals for your dogs

In the April/May 2011 issue of The Bark, we interview Barbara Laino about the nutritional benefits of feeding your dog home-cooked meals in addition to, or in lieu of, commercial dog food (see “Home Cooking with Barbara Laino” April/May ’11). Here are two more recipes cooked up at Laino’s Midsummer Farm in Warwick, N.Y., that are sure to please your pup’s taste buds and keep her healthy:

Homemade Dinner Recipe for Dogs

This recipe feeds 2-3 large dogs for 7-10 days.

Grind the following ingredients in a meat grinder. Alternate ingredients so the grinder does the mixing for you. For instance, grind six necks, one carrot, a handful of garlic and pumpkin seeds, then six more necks and so on. Mix with a large spoon as you grind.

• 40 lbs of chicken neck without skins
• 10 lbs of chicken hearts
• 5-10 lbs of organic chicken livers
• 2 cans of pink salmon (optional)

Can be interchanged with other vegetables and fruits (no grapes or onions). Dogs and cats usually do not like citrus.
• 2-5 lbs carrots
• 1/2 a bunch of red cabbage
• 1 beet
• 2 apples
• 1/2 a bunch of spinach or other dark greens

Other ingredients:
• 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

Add a couple of the following items. Have these ready on hand as you are grinding and add a sprinkle here and there of each so you can thoroughly mix the batch of food.
9-12 raw whole eggs (optional)
• 2,000 mg of vitamin C powder
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Thorvin kelp powder
• 1/4 cup of tumeric powder
• 1/2 to 1 cup of dried parsley
• 1/2 to 1 cup of dried oregano
• 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup of tahini
• 1/4 cup of raw honey

After grinding and mixing all ingredients thoroughly, keep the food in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Midsummer Farm Homemade Fish-Based Dog Dinner

(The below recipe is for 1 medium dog for 3 days, about 10 1-cup-size meatballs) This recipe can be made in larger batches for efficiency sake. This raw food can easily be frozen in meatball shapes appropriate for the size animals you are feeding.

Serving Sizes of Raw Meatballs:
• For a large 50-100 pound dog – three to five 1-cup-size meatballs per day
• For a 20-40 pound dog - two or three 1-cup-size meatballs per day
• For a 1-10 pound dog – one to two 1/2-cup-size meatballs per day
*Remember – this is a concentrated and efficient food source and is power packed. You won’t have to feed as much bulk-wise as with a commercial food; most commercial foods have a lot of fillers.

• 2 pounds of Frozen Fish Fillets. I like to use an oily fish like Mackerel or Whiting.
• 1-2 cans of Alaskan Wild Pink Salmon
• 1/4 - 1/2 pound of Beef Liver
• 1-3 Eggs (optional)
• 2 cups of Chopped Veggies (can be any combination of carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cooked squash, green beans, cooked yams, apples, berries, kale, spinach). Do NOT use onions or grapes of any kind.
• 5-10 Cloves of Garlic (optional)
• 1/2 cup of Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
• 2 tbsp Honey
• 2 tbsp Dried Parsley
• 2 tbsp Dried Oregano
• 2 tbsp Tumeric Powder
• 2 tbsp Thorvin Kelp Powder
• Optional: 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, barley, or brown rice

Alternate putting frozen (still frozen grind much easier), liver, vegetables, garlic, and seeds through a meat grinder. As you grind into a big bowl, add and mix in the canned salmon, eggs, honey, dried herbs, powdered kelp.

Keep in a well-sealed container in fridge. Scoop out appropriate amounts for your pet, or if you made a very large batch that is more than can be consumed in about 5 days, roll into meal-sized meatballs and freeze. Then you can just take out whatever number meatballs you need and defrost them a couple days before you need to feed them. Meatballs will last at least 3 months in the freezer.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Anonymous | February 3 2012 |

I don't understand what keeps bacteria from growing on this food with the raw meat and raw eggs?

Submitted by Anonymous | February 7 2012 |

Nothing. That's why you need to freeze whatever you can't use in a couple days.

Submitted by Anonymous | June 10 2012 |

Nothing keeps bacteria away from these foods....you can ask ANY vet and they will tell you DO NOT feed your dog raw food (or people food). The most important factor in your dogs health is their diet, and most will suggest a salmon based DOG food....

Submitted by Anonymous | October 29 2012 |

Raw diet is the best food you can feed dogs...

Submitted by Christa | March 13 2014 |

We switched from dry high quality kibble from the store/vet to raw and will not look back! Vets (not all) will tell you to stay on kibble but that is so they can sell more of it. Handle stuff properly and it is fine, dogs naturally eat raw in the wild and eat stomachs of their kill for the greens that are in it. Our youngest dog had bad yeast from the sugars in the kibble and since we switched, she has been fantastic and healthier. Rosemary helps with naturally preserving. Great recipe :)

Submitted by margarita | December 4 2013 |

I have been feeding my dogs and my cats raw food for years now including raw meaty bones (dogs) and raw eggs (dogs). They are absolutely fine, and I feel better knowing that they are eating real food.

Submitted by Dana | April 7 2013 |

Nothing keeps the bacteria away but you must be meticulous about washing hands and utensils and work surfaces AND the dogs bowls before every meal, The bacteria would likely affect you but not the dog. They have a very short digestive tract and the bacteria does not have time to sit there and make them sick. RAW diet is the best thing you can feed your dogs as long as you make sure that all the nutrients that are needed are there. AND it is hard to find a regular veterinarian to agree with the feeding of a RAW diet because they do not know any better. They only know what very little they were taught in that 1 semester, 1 class on nutrition for animals and they also are in cahoots with the (ahem) makers of the more expensive "special diet" manufacturers to make money off of recommending and selling the customers those foods. Find any holistic vet and they will tell you the truth. The site I bought my supplements from says DO NOT USE RAW EGGS because raw egg whites contain something that causes issues in a dog.. not sure but I think it causes vitamin deficiency... but says to use boiled eggs instead, shell and all. You must pulverize the shells up in to a powder almost before adding them but that they are a very good source of calcium for the dog. You should freeze the raw homemade food for at least 3 days to minimize the chances of bacteria enough to make you or dog ill.
I am so impressed at how my pup that is almost 1 yr old has turned out muscular and energy wise on a RAW diet and my older dog that never played anymore now has much more energy and actually tries to keep up with the young'un. He actually wins games of tug-o-wars over toys with the young'un quite regulary.

Submitted by Mary Ellen | January 14 2014 |

You might want to learn about the difference in canine stomach acid/digestion vs. human digestion. This is why most animals other than man can eat spoiled food without problems. Most Americans aren't accustomed to preparing food and eating it within a day or two since these foods have no preservatives compared to the typical American diet.

Submitted by Anonymous | April 9 2012 |

This article is subtitled "Healthy home-cooked meals for your dogs" . Either this article is missing "cooking" instructions or it's to be fed raw? I'm thinking raw, but guessing you could cook it too?

Submitted by Gooddogs | April 28 2012 |

Bark Magazine Recipes for Homemade Dog Meatballs & Meatloaf are "fabulous"!
We do cook both, and then freeze. Our Labrador Retrievers love the food and are very healthy - we mix 1 cup high quality dry food with 1 serving warmed meatball or meatloaf...and they inhale it!
For wariety, we make dog chicken stew...using boiled chicken brasts, carrots, celery, green beans & potato or brown rice. We divide into portions & freeze in plastic containers or keep cold in fridge for up to 3 days of dinner topping w/ dry food.
Our dogs thank you....Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!

Submitted by Anonymous | August 8 2012 |

Dogs should not be consuming Garlic, gastrointestinal problems and red blood cell damage can occur as a result of feeding garlic to pets and therefore should not be used in dog food.

Submitted by Anonymous | January 28 2013 |

DO NOT feed your dog garlic! It can actually lead to anemia. If you choose to go with a raw food diet make sure to choose high quality meats (organic, grass fed, etc.) Remember that this type of diet can be very expensive, but do not skimp on the quality of ingredients. You could be doing more harm than good. Always consult your vet before beginning any new diet & introduce it gradually into your pets regular food. If you are looking for more recipes try searching them on pinterest they have alot of great info there too.

Submitted by Anonymous | February 23 2013 |

DO NOT FEED YOUR DOG GARLIC, EVER! This all sounds great but I would expect The Bark to know this! I am astounded that they have garlic in a recipe for dog food!

Submitted by Anonymous | April 3 2013 |

According to this study: Lee, K.W., Yamato, O., Tajima, M., Kuraoka, M., Omae, S., Meade,Y. "Hematologic changes associated with the appearance of eccentrocytes after intragastric administration of garlic extracts to dogs."American Journal of Veterinary Research. November 2000. Vol. 61, No. 11, 1446-1450.

A dog would have to eat POUNDS of raw garlic every day to reach a toxic point.

Submitted by Laurie | August 1 2014 |

Not true, garlic isn't going to harm the dog & it repels fleas from dogs & cats. Actually all animals. Garlic is fine for all animals.

Submitted by Star | March 4 2013 |

Dr. Pitcairn (author of The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats) recommends the following amount of fresh garlic for dogs, according to their size:

10 to 15 pounds - half a clove
20 to 40 pounds - 1 clove
45 to 70 pounds - 2 cloves
75 to 90 pounds - 2 and a half cloves
100 pounds and over - 3 cloves

Many raw and homecooked diets safely contain garlic. Garlic boosts the Immune System, Fights Bacterial/Viral/Fungal Infections, Enhancing Liver Function, Lowers Blood Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels and helps as a Tick/Flea Repellent.

Submitted by Sarah | April 23 2013 |

Thank you for this lovely recipe.Dogs can live 27 years! I think the best thing you can do for your dog is to give them healthy food. you can find lots of healthy homemade food recipes here please don't give them commercial food. They are very precious and deserve the best.

Submitted by Tara | May 7 2013 |

How are you going to put the ingredient BEET in any dog food? DOGS can NOT digest this and it shuts down the animals liver and kidneys...Beets are a filler and source of sugar but NO ANIMAL should have it, this ingriedient alone killed my doberman...please revise your recepies before you end up hurting someomes loved one by using this and assuming its safe.. this is why we are home cooking, over 90% of dog food in stores has this in it

Submitted by Charlotte | June 2 2013 |

We have been feeding our ret/shepherd cross dogs, now 7.5 yrs a raw food diet for all their lives. The prep has to be done as hygienically as you would prepare your food, including washes their dishes after every meal. We keep a few days worth in the fridge and freeze the rest if a large batch. A wide variety of veg/fruit/human grade meats/eggs/yogurt/brown rice/pasta & supplements.
You can find lots of info re proportions on the net or books to ensure balance in the diet. We do our best to source humanely produced meats & organic veg. It is the same for our pets when we feed the processed refined foods with too much sugar, carbs & nutrients processed out, they gain weight & develop our diseases - cancers, diabetes, etc. That is not normal or acceptable in my opinion. Wholesome natural foods are always the best for us and our pets. It does take time but like feeding ourselves, we want optimal health and vitality and that does not come out of a box or a bag.

Submitted by petmeals | July 27 2013 |

Raw meat is really good for dogs and it helps to the dog to be healthy and allergy free. And you used garlic in these recipes. I have read so many articles on dog food, most of the people said do not use garlic in the dog food. Is the garlic good for dogs? if it is good, why most of the pet owners saying no for garlic?

Submitted by margarita | December 4 2013 |

I give my dogs garlic all the time. Not too much, maybe half a clove in a batch of food for three dogs. It's also in one of the herbal remedies I use for my dogs. I think that perhaps garlic in excess can be harmful (just like for humans) but that when part of a well-balanced diet, it's perfectly safe.

Submitted by Christina | January 16 2014 |

What are your recipes for dogs with Ibs?

Submitted by Rob | May 12 2014 |

Thanks for the recipe's. My dog loves the fish one.

Submitted by Lesley | August 17 2014 |

I am totally in to this natural feeding but would like to know how do you work out the amount to feed per day?
Kind regards

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