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.

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  1. Laura says

    I have a dog with advanced kidney diseasey (she is VERY old) and the vet offered a super expensive low protein food not available commercially. Well, I decided to start making her food and, like you, use the Rice base as the main ingredient. As you do, I put in left over bits of meat. She has even had leftover oatmeal for breakfast with some bits of sausage that my children didn’t finish. I wanted to let you know that for dogs that can’t have a lot of protein, chia seeds are an excellent source of nutrition. Each two tablespoons have 4 mg of protein and they provide Omega 3 oils as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals. They are bland in flavor and fairly inexpensive. It is good for humans, too. I just put the seeds in the bowl with the rice and extra water. Finally, she gets a Flintstone’s Chewable Vitamin each day. I am not a doctor, but I see a definite improvement in her vitality.

  2. Alyssa says

    This recipe might be cheap, but I can assure you that it is definitely not “healthy”. This diet is seriously deficient in high quality protein, fats, and other crucial nutrients, more than what could possibly be provided with a small scoop of commercial food.

    Laura, protein is not the biggest issue in managing kidney failure; it’s the phosphorus. Dogs with kidney issues need higher quality protein (not lower quantity; just not plant-based) and reduced phosphorus. Fatty cuts of beef are lowest in phosphorus. Please do some research before recommending diets for specific health conditions.

    • Liz says

      I love it. We used to have free ranging dogs 75 miles from the nearest town and 6 miles from the nearest neighbor. Our dogs got a bunch of stuff my grandpa gave us that we really didn’t like at ALL or need. They got canned beans, cornflakes and dried milk, the nastiest canned beef stew you ever smelt, and a jack rabbit if they could catch it. They are scavengers, and having them in the city is a whole world different. But they will eat anything. PS, your blog is realistic and awesome.

  3. Katie says

    We all do the best we can with the knowledge and resources available to us. Keep on loving your pets and feeding them the way you know is right. You know your pet better than anyone else. Thanks for this post, I found it VERY helpful and look forward to using some of the ideas in it and adding my own little tidbits!!! Love your sight and appreciate the work you put in to pushing people towards a different way of thinking!

  4. Annie says

    I’ve read in several places the raw potato can poison dogs, especially young/small ones so I would avoid raw potato peels.
    Rice is fine to use, and often it can help with puppies with upset stomachs, but too much of it is a bad thing – it blocks their tummy and is nutritionally inadequate.
    If you’re not sure about feeding your dog homemade food or only want to part of the time, try investigating bulk bags. Often the seemingly expensive ones are actually a lot more nutritionally balanced and higher in protein and fats, so you use smaller portions and they actually last longer.
    My 8 m.o. puppy has a skin condition so we changed to a grain free (puppy suited) kibble, and it works out roughly the same as the cheaper stuff because you only need serve small portions. 3-5 times a week I mix it with a fish canned dog food and occasionally I mix pet mince (usually Kangaroo – I’m Australian) with a reduced amount of kibble or cooked rice. Most people recommend a steady diet, but my dog does best on a structured but varied diet. She also gets rawhide ‘bones’ and, to a lesser extent, smoked kangaroo or pork bones, for dental health.
    That’s another thing to remember – chewing helps keep dog’s teeth healthy. If they’re only eating a soft cooked-rice based food, they’re more likely to have dental problems which can be painful, lead to tooth loss or even abscess and is very costly to treat. Kibble as well as occassional bones/chewing treats are the easiest way to prevent this.

  5. pam says

    Feeding your dog whatever scraps you have laying around is a BAD idea if you’re not a nutritionist? Please run homecooked and raw meal recipes by your vet. There are serious consequences to feeding unbalanced meals on a regular basis.

    I recommend buying larger bags to save money. You can always freeze the food to keep it fresh.

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