Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

apples carrots dog bowls









Lucas, my 7-year-old shepherd mix, had a pretty serious health scare a couple weeks ago. He wouldn’t eat a single bite – not even his favorite jerky treats – for three whole days, so off to the vet we went.

They checked him out and ran labs, and the verdict was that his stomach and liver were both enlarged and his liver enzymes were off the chart. Some $750 later and we were back home with three different medications and absolutely no idea what he might have gotten into to provoke such a crisis.

Most folks who have animals know the bland-diet recipe for feeding a sick dog (rice, boiled chicken, and cottage cheese), and that’s what the doctor ordered for Lucas.

I’ve occasionally cooked for my dogs over the years – it’s a great way to use up older produce – but by and large they get a good brand of kibble twice a day, with something interesting mixed in at night (wet food, meat scraps, yogurt etc).

As Luke started feeling better and I started thinking about reintroducing kibbles to his diet, it dawned on me that I still have no idea what made him so sick. Could it have been his food? His treats?

There was a massive scandal involving tainted pet food and treats from China a couple years ago, so sadly it isn’t an unreasonable question. I have been pretty careful about where things come from for my pups, but still…

The more I thought about it, the more resistant I became to giving him anything I didn’t make myself. That’s how I ended up spending Saturday afternoon making a big pot of doggie stew, which I then put into canning jars and froze for use over the next few weeks.

Cooking every meal for my dogs is something I can’t sustain, but it will probably be a while yet before Lucas gets kibbles again.

Just like with our own diets, meals that are made at home with fresh, whole foods taste better and are healthier for our animals than processed and refined foods that come in bags and cans.

Here are a few recipes that I’ve made up for my dogs, who quite enthusiastically tell me they like them.

Bone Appetit!


Sweet Doggie Stew

Dogs love apples, cooked or raw, and this stew hits a sweet spot for them.


6-8 apples, cored and chopped but not peeled

2 bunches carrots, chopped (set tops aside)

1 medium potato, diced

2 cups carrot tops and/or other greens (optional)

2 cups rice (uncooked)

Water and/or chicken stock

Prep fruit and veggies while cooking rice separately. Simmer apples, carrots and potato in a large soup pot with enough water and/or chicken stock to cover. When the mixture cooks down and veggies get tender, add greens and then the cooked rice. Stir and let sit a while to absorb moisture. Stir again and adjust water as needed. May be frozen or pressure canned. Your dogs would like you to serve this with some cooked chicken on top.


Savory Doggie Stew

With a couple notable exceptions (onions and bell peppers) pretty much any veggies can be used to make this stew. The proportions and combinations don’t really matter much as long as there is enough potato to hold it all together.


Leftover chicken meat and carcass

6 cups potatoes and/or sweet potatoes

Celery, chopped

Carrots, chopped

Green beans

Squash, any kind, sliced or chopped

Greens and/or carrot tops


Pick chicken carcass as clean as you can and set meat aside. Simmer carcass for an hour or more with enough water to cover. Remove bones. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots to the stock (add some water too if needed) and cook until tender. Add green beans, celery, greens, squashes or whatever other vegetables you want to throw in. When it is cooked down, use a potato masher to mash about ¼ of the mixture and then stir in the chicken. Simmer longer if you still need to reduce water. May be frozen or pressure canned.


Bone Gravy

Use this as a meal topper and your pups will pretty much worship you!

Simmer a chicken carcass on low with enough water to cover for 12-15 hours. A crock pot works great. Put all the bones and bits into a blender, along with a ladle or two of broth as needed. Blend until smooth and pour into glass canning jars. Remaining stock can be used for human recipes. Bone gravy may be frozen or pressure canned but only keeps for a couple days after opening; small jars (half pint) are best. Stir or shake well before using.