We have an amazing Siberian Husky named Nikko. You might have even seen pictures of him on my instagram feed. But just in case —
Doesn’t he look like batman? Here he is from the front.
Love that boy.
Why is there always a “but”? This really isn’t a “but” like we love him any less, it’s more of a matter of fact aspect of our love for him. Yeah, that’s it, a matter of fact aspect. Sold.
Nikko has a yeast allergy. It took quite a while to get to the bottom of it and it’s his tush. Oh ha ha! Pun intended. I’ll spare you all the details, but suffice it to say — he has a yeast allergy which means anything he eats with starch converts to yeast and that’s bad. So off the list are … potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, barley, really anything that is used to help fill that large tummy of his up are off-limits.
Our kindly, yet traditional vet was of no help in diagnosing him, actually he made it worse by giving Nikko antibiotics and an oral flea medicine both of which stripped his intestines of the good bacteria needed which lead to an overgrowth of the yeast. Not good.
We bring Nikko to a dog park regularly and what do people talk about at a dog park? Yes, their dogs. You sharp people you. Anyway, the discussion of dog allergies came up. We spoke about Nikko’s issue. One of the dog owners was a client of a holistic dog nutritionist in our area and had great things to say about him. We brought Nikko to see him and after giving him Nikko’s recent history, vet meds and a good look at his tush, he concluded that Nikko had a yeast issue. We bought dog food from him and while his tush improved our wallets emptied. He was great about giving us tips to make our own and off to the races we went. Making dog food is very common these days for different reasons. Our recipe is tailored for Nikko’s specific issue. You can tailor it for however you need to.
Oh and one more thing, there is really no recipe.
Which brings us to the present and this
Ok, lets begin.
Buy meat. Any meat really. It all depends on your budget. Nikko eats about two pounds of food a day split into two meals. Our needs border on “Holy Cow, we need how much meat?” We look for sales and buy 30-40 lbs at a time which might last 3 weeks. Our last buy was Top Round at $3.49 a lb.
We bought everything they had. Here it is as we cut it up.
Our goal is to cut it up in strips then a couple more chops and get it bite size. These steaks were long thin cuts so rolling them up and using a very sharp knife was the way to get through all of it, and there was a lot. After chopping it all up we started to cook! I use a commercial size stock pot since we don’t want to do this every week.
Here’s a look at the meat cooking
Cook batches at a time so you can get a nice brown on it.
Once all the meat has been browned dump it all back into the stockpot.
Grated Ginger and Tumeric are added. The amount is measured as an “essence” and not an ingredient. If you are cooking 10 lbs add just a teaspoon or so of each. You don’t want the flavor to stand out and then have Fido walk away.
Next add enough water to cover the meat by about 2 inches. Essentially, whether you’re cooking 5 lbs or 50 lbs cover the meat by about 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 45 min. Keep it covered so you don’t let the delicious stock evaporate. As it simmers I add uncooked lentils for some healthy filler. You can add sweet potato here or really anything you would like to add to your dog’s diet, remember to add sparingly the first time to see first what goes over well. I added 2 cups of lentils for 30 lbs. I might add more the next time.
Add the Veggies at the last 10 minutes so not to make mush out of everything. I have pictured here fresh shredded zucchini, frozen peas, frozen spinach, fresh chopped bok choy and the lentils which I added earlier. Once again I put in a little at a time and made sure not to over add. You know kiddies and their veggie issue.
We did add an optional item this time because we had them. We had beef bones which we roast for Nikko as a treat and I thought it would add a nice flavor to the mix. We pre-roasted these in the oven at about 450 for 30 or so minutes.
We fished them out after and still can use them as treats. Double duty!!
Here is what it looks like ready to portion out into a one meal container. Note it looks like a ton of veggies in there but they’re just floating to the top.
Let it cool some and then ladle it out into whatever portion control containers you have prepared. We fill each container with a lot of meat making sure to add stock as well. The meat soaks up the liquid in the fridge or freezer.
Whatever stock we have left, we’ll freeze and add to the next batch we make as a stock base.
We keep a few days at a time in the fridge. Dog food takes up a lot of space before and after…