Saturday, December 8, 2012

Frugal Friday: Homemade Dog Food

I mentioned in a previous post that I was saving scraps of meat and vegetables to make homemade dog food. I've made it several years ago but this time I wanted to pressure can the jars instead of freezing it. I was motivated to try making it again after I read CANNING GRANNY'S approach. She saves the meat skin,cartilage and other parts of meat that normally would be thrown away. That idea sparked my interest since I'm always looking for new ways to stretch what I already have on hand.

So, I've been saving extra scraps of meat and skin for the past month and came up with quite a bit. I was amazed how much meat I would have thrown away. I ended up with about 12 cups of scraps. I also saved carrot peelings and some celery that I would have normally thrown away.                                                                                                                               

The first batch was made just as CANNING GRANNY suggested. As I was doing a search online to double check the processing time I ran across several warnings to not pressure can rice or noodles because the mixture becomes too thick and you take a chance of the meat spoiling. Since I had already made a batch with the rice I went ahead and froze 2-3 serving sizes per baggie and then put each baggie in a large freezer bag. I just didn't want to take a chance on canning it.

I deleted the rice from the next batches and added extra celery. I tripled the recipe since it didn't go as far without the rice.  I think I will be able to get through a month without buying canned dog food. We will still use the dry food to mix in with the canned.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups cooked carrots
3 cups meat scraps
2 cups chicken broth (Most of the meat scraps were already cooked except for the turkey gizzards and neck so I used the broth once they were cooked. I added 2 teaspoons of chicken broth granuals).
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (I only used 1 tsp. to see if my dog would like it).
(I omitted the garlic powder because of mixed reviews and also the white rice and boiled egg).

You could add rice or noodles before you give the food to your dog if you want to stretch it. I do not have a food grinder so I used my blender instead. 

I followed CANNING GRANNIES instructions for the processing. (Always check with your Vet if you're concerned about changing your pet's diet)

This should save me around $10 a month which is a lot of money when you are on a tight budget.  I had all the ingredients on hand  so I didn't have to put anything out of pocket. My husband gave her the first batch tonight and my dog loved it!

Have you ever canned anything that was unusual?

* Be sure to check out more money saving tips at Life as Mom's Frugal Friday!