Pets need to eat good food, too! (And a recipe your dogs will love!)

The three stooges.
Over the last few weeks I've read some news stories about the harmful and even fatal contamination of a couple brands of dog food. Most recently PetSmart issued a recall of its canned dog food due to a potential metal choking hazard. Prior to this story, I came across an article about pet food manufacturer Evanger having to recall its products due to contamination by pentobarbital, which is a chemical used in the euthanasia of animals. This instance saw the sad death of at least one dog and illness of several more. I cannot stress enough how important it is that we look out for these members of our family who can't do it themselves. They rely on us for everything from food to shelter to love.

Over a year and a half ago we started a journey towards eating better by steering away from processed, GMO, and junk foods but we also began looking into how our own three dogs could also benefit from these changes. So much of our food has been manipulated for the worse and contributes to the decline of our health and wellbeing. This is true in both "people" food and pet food and goes hand in hand with the for-profit industries of pharmaceutical development and healthcare. These are billion dollar carousels even for animals. I personally know of dogs who are on medications, and this is or was completely preventable by the implementation of a good and proper diet. Remember, medicine is food and food is medicine. There should be no reason why anyone should pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for unnecessary treatments when easy natural solutions are just waiting to be used. 

With all that being said, we had decided that the disgusting mass produced pet food was no longer acceptable for our furry family members and dived into researching how to cook for them. I'll admit there was some experimentation that happened and we had some bowel issues to deal with. Many times this is expected when changing diets and figuring out what our dogs' systems can personally tolerate. However, we've finally leveled out and have achieved an excellent and consistent quality in their nutritional regiment. Your dogs may differ from what ours prefer or can handle but I would like to finally share with you our "family" recipe that we cook weekly. Keep in mind the amounts of ingredients I've listed are for three dogs and feeds them for about five days. 

*12 lbs fresh ground lean turkey(90/10)
*2 cups organic quinoa 
*2 16oz cans of puréed organic pumpkin 
*1 cup raw aloe vera plant gel
*2 lbs organic carrots
*1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar 

1. Start by adding the ground turkey into a large cooking pot with some water and put it on low-medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally throughout the process to break up the meat as it cooks. 
2. Add quinoa and 4 cups water to a medium saucepan and cook on high until boiling. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for 15 minutes. 
3. Chop carrots and put into medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover all of them. Cover with a lid and cook on low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes. 
4. Take a large aloe stalk, slice off the spiny sides and the yellowish bottom end, and then slice the stalk horizontally. You can then scoop the aloe gel from it quite easily. Put into a small container. 
5. When the turkey is done, pour into a colander to drain the liquid and then add the meat to two large mixing bowls. 
6. Evenly add the quinoa to both mixing bowls and mix well. 
7. Drain carrots in colander. Purée the carrots, aloe gel, and apple cider vinegar. Add a little water if needed to make it blend easier. Evenly add this mixture to each bowl and mix with the turkey. 
8. Lastly add a can of pure pumpkin to each bowl and mix thoroughly. 

A couple things: There's no need to add any seasonings or spices as they can actually be harmful to your pet. Please refrain from doing this! Also, for food safety, it's important to store the food in the refrigerator in uncovered containers for 3 to 4 hours after it's done. After this time you can cover it.

This recipe provides your dogs with tons of healthy protein, vitamins, and other nutrients that are important to their overall health. If your dogs are anything like mine, they will go crazy for this food and lick their bowls clean! You will also have peace of mind in knowing that you are greatly reducing the risk of them consuming something harmful or poisonous. 

Recommended Books:

Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog

The Healthy Hound Cookbook: Over 125 Easy Recipes for Healthy, Homemade Dog Food--Including Grain-Free, Paleo, and Raw Recipes!

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, Revised Edition: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals


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