Editor’s Notebook: Preparing homemade pet food proves easy

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For the past two weekends, an hour out of each Saturday has been spent making pet food. It isn’t my intention to spoil my three guys, it’s just that I finally started doing the math, and also became environmentally embarrassed by the number of empty cans in my recycle bin, and decided to take matters into my own hands.

I’ve been feeding my cat and two dogs some fairly expensive organic pet food for several years. I am inclined toward the “prevention is cheaper than a cure” philosophy with my own health and that of my animal buddies. I figure spending a few extra bucks on really great, nutritious food ends up paying for itself in the long run.

The facts have borne out that opinion. Bob Dog and I are healthy, despite the march of time, and the other two are pretty much the picture of robust dog and kitty health.

The pet food is expensive, though, and we go through a lot of it. So, when I started reading the ingredients – brown rice, carrots, beef, chicken – it sounded a lot like making a casserole, and who can’t do that?

At first I was a little worried, but then I began to consider the facts: Dogs and cats have been part of humanity’s extended family for thousands of years. Only recently have we even been able to can food, so somehow we all got along for a few millennia without canned pet food. Somehow, I think we’ll be all right, as long as the human in this scenario (that’d be me) continues to have the patience and time to stir up some grub on the weekends.

I do need to rework my recipe. The dogs tear into their food as though it’s Thanksgiving dinner, but the cat carefully nibbles his way around every grain of rice. I stirred in a can of tuna to make it more kitty-palatable, but this morning there was still nothing but smushed rice left after he finished breakfast. Plainly, Ace the Cat needs to be sold on the nutritional wonders of brown rice.

I’ve ordered a couple of books to help make sure I get the right combination of nutrients for both dog and cat bodies. If the project works out, we’ll have a story in a future issue of CAPPER’S, along with a budget breakdown to see if homemade pet food actually makes economic sense.

If any of our readers make their own pet food, drop us a line. We’d like to hear about your experience – and maybe swap recipes.

K.C. Compton

Editor in Chief