Sweet Potato Doggie Treats

Dogs love sweet potatoes. My dog prefers these to store bought treats. I make treats by:

Cut sweet potatoes or yams into pieces about 1/2″ thick. [use 2-3 potatoes ]
Place cut pieces in a bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp vegetable oil [add a little more if you are not covering]
Lightly salt, mix again
Place in 200 degree oven on a cookie sheet, spreading out to make 1 layer.
Bake/dehydrate until the pieces feel dry.

Experiment with what your dog likes, leaving just a little soft makes them chewy, cooking until bone dry makes them crunchy.
If they are dry they will last longer unrefrigerated. If the potatoes are large cut slices in half. Use almost down to the tip.

Wild Bird Suet Cakes

We very much enjoy feeding our wild bird population, but just like anything else available commercially, bird food is expensive.

To make your own suet cakes, melt one cup of rendered beef suet over low heat, add 1 cup cornmeal, 1 and 1/2 cups wild bird seed mix, raisins if you wish, and dried egg shells if you have any! You can also add bits of any dried fruit, dry oatmeal, et cetera. Mix well. Pack into a loaf pan. Chill for about an hour or until you need it. You can also freeze these loaves for use later this winter.

Hang outside under a tree in a mesh bag that you have saved from buying lemons or limes.

Gift Idea: Pour mixture into muffin tins and give these as Christmas gifts to fellow bird watchers.

Sidenote: I render beef suet, available from my local butcher shop very affordably, in my crockpot. It’s healthier for you than you might imagine, and it’s great for frying.

Cheap And Healthy Dog Food

This is not only healthier for dogs (it doesn’t have any corn products in it) but it is so cheap! Got the idea from Grandma. I make a big batch and keep it in the fridge. We use white rice in a 50lb bag from Sam’s Club and it lasts months.

Just cook your rice in a rice cooker or on the stovetop in a pot big enough for a 1:2 ratio of rice and water (water can be substituted for water used to boil potatoes or okra or other veggies or bones). When the water starts boiling turn it down to low so it doesn’t burn and cook until it soaks up the water. You want your rice to soak up as much water as possible without being too ‘watery’ when finished.

For protein add soaked dry beans to cook with the rice or pick up some bone dust from your local butcher shop. Ask them to save it for you. We use beef only. It’s free for us but should be cheap seeing as it gets thrown out anyway. Freeze what you won’t use within a week. Dissolve your bone dust in one cup of water per however many dry cups of rice you’re cooking and add to rice (it will be soupy).

For a veggie I like to go out into the yard and pick dandelions which I wash and chop and add to the finished rice which should still be hot so as to not overcook the leaves. Pretty much anything green will work, turnip greens bought from the store during snow season is cheapest.

We also buy a big bag of GOOD dog food at the Family Center or on sale and give them a small amount everyday with their rice for additional nutrients.

Make it stretch: add chopped potato peels, chopped carrot peels, and leftovers that aren’t going bad but maybe you’ve had for too long to eat yourself. Mix it all in with the rice.

We have two 65lb dogs and this saves us a lot of money. Adjust the amounts of all ingredients for the needs of your dog.

Make Your Own Kitty Litter

I found this recipe on another site, sorry can't remember where!

This 'recipe' is a clone for 'Yesterday's News' cat litter. I first tried it because I got tired of lugging 20 lb bags of Feline Pine home and paying $$ for something that was going to be thrown away. I like to be as self sufficient as I can and this is eco friendly and uses just a few cents worth of baking soda.

Shred or tear up a bunch of newspaper (no slicks). Soak in a bucket of water that has a bit of dish soap. I found that soaking for several hours produces a better end result. I just use my hand to goosh it all up to make sure the fibers are all breaking down. Then I drain it using an old colander. Back into the bucket with clean water to rinse. Drain again, pressing out as much water as you can. Mix in some baking soda, then crumble it over an old window screen to dry.
Newspapers use soy based inks now, but you will NOT be able to get the bucket or colander clean again, so use old ones. Do not drain this into your sink. The cellulose in the paper could potentially clog up your pipes.

Every day I pick out the poops from the litter boxes. This seems to control urine odors as well as any purchased kitty litter. I live in the country, so I just scatter it around where I have had moles and voles in the past.

Almost Frosty Paws – Dog Ice Cream Recipe

My dog LOVES these!

Almost Frosty Paws “Doggie Ice Cream”

  • 32 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 large mashed banana (or a large jar of baby food banana)
  • 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey

Blend together and freeze in small Dixie Cups or plastic “take out” containers. If using Dixie Cups, just peel away the paper and put directly into their food bowl to serve. My dog prefers that they “warm up” for 10-15 min. before serving. My cat likes it unfrozen!

Dog Food Recipe – Molly’s Food

Molly’s Food

This is a frugal but nutritious recipe for dog food. Take 1 kg of chicken pet mince and place in a soup pot. Fill the pot up to about three quarters full and with a potato masher, mash the mince into the water. Add a pkt. of cheap, frozen vegetables and cook. This doesn’t take long. Turn off the heat and add a packet of cheap pasta. The heat of the mixture will cook the pasta. When it is cold I pack it in margarine containers in serve size portions and freeze. It smells pretty good – I am almost – almost – tempted to try it.