I have been looking for a good recipe for homemade pet food for a while. The problem with most commercial pet food is that it's not healthy. And the “healthy” pet food brands you can find at the store are not cheap.
Cats and dogs are carnivores, and really should be eating primarily meat and fish. Cats and dogs should also be eating a good percentage of their food raw, not cooked. Unfortunately, most commercial pet foods are mostly made of grains, which are not good for animals. Not to mention that they contain GMOs, since they are not organic.
This homemade pet food is made with raw organ meats — livers, kidneys, hearts, and lungs from chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, goats, or cows. Organ meat is anywhere from 10-100 times more nutritious than muscle meat, such as chicken breasts and steaks. Organ meats are also very inexpensive.
I typically feed our cats natural dry cat food just because it's easy and I don't have time to give them fresh food every day. I feed them this homemade pet food as often as I can. Nutritionally, this recipe really makes up for the rest of the time they are eating dry cat food.
And did I mention that our cats LOVE it? I had tried giving them organ meats before, but they didn't really like it. With the addition of tasty ingredients such as crème fraîche or canned tuna, they go nuts for this cat food.
This recipe is suitable for both cats and dogs. Dogs may take to the organ meats easier than cats, and you may not need to add the fish or sour cream.
Note: This recipe is not for every day and should not be a substitute for pet food all the time. This recipe doesn't include ALL the nutrients that a dog or cat needs. I am not a pet nutritionist. I was not aiming at a nutritionally complete, well-balanced dog or cat food when I wrote this post. I just wanted to share a pet food that I make for our cats that they love. (See above: I only feed them this every so often and the rest of the time they get dry cat food. And please, no comments about how I shouldn't feed them dry cat food. I have no time for making cat food every day right now!)
If you add leftover bones from making broth, make sure the bones are very well-cooked. Simmer the chicken broth for at least 12-24 hours and the beef broth for 24-36 hours. The cooked bones should crumble easily to the touch. Do not feed animals undercooked bones. Raw bones are fine, though, if they will eat raw bones. My picky cats won't touch them.
This homemade pet food can be made ahead and frozen in batches. It will keep for years in the freezer. For freezer storage, ice cube trays work great — when frozen, pop out the cubes and store them in large freezer bags.
You can also make it once a week and store it in a plastic or glass container in the fridge.
Healthy & Inexpensive Homemade Pet Food
Organ meat (liver, kidney, heart, lungs) from chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, goats, or cows — organic if possible where to buy organ meat
Optional: Crème fraîche or sour cream — organic if possible
Optional: Canned tuna, sardines, anchovies, or herring
Optional: Egg yolks, ideally from pastured chickens
Optional: Bones from animals, leftover from making broth
1. Grind up the organs in a food processor or using a meat grinder.
2. Add crème fraîche or canned tuna and/or egg yolk. These are the tasty additions that cats and dogs love.
3. If desired, add leftover mashed-up bones from making chicken or beef broth.
4. Mix everything together and store in the fridge in a plastic or glass container, or make bigger batches and store in the freezer.