So many of you comment on how much you appreciate my blogs giving step-by-step instructions on how I make dog food for my two French Bulldogs, Bête Noire and Crème Brûlée, and my two Chow Chows, Empress Qin and Emperor Han.
Every few weeks, I set aside time to make my dogs a good supply of home-cooked food. Preparing my own dog food has many benefits – fewer preservatives and additives, more varied and better ingredients and, of course, more of what I know my dogs will enjoy. I also know the food is from wholesome, organic, reputable, and local sources – that is very important to me. Last week, we took photos of some of the great shops near my home here in Westchester, New York. And over the weekend, I prepared a giant batch of food filled with excellent quality chicken, fish, pork, quinoa, and a variety of vegetables.
Enjoy these photos.
I love to shop locally whenever I can. It is good to support small businesses in one’s neighborhood and the proprietors are often very knowledgeable and helpful. This is La Marqueta, a meat and produce store in Mt. Kisco, New York.
La Marqueta carries a large variety of products popular in Spanish communities. This aisle was filled with many types of rice.
Here is my Operaitons Manager, Stephanie Lofaro, looking over the list of what we need. From here we got broccoli, carrots, and quinoa.
I also go to Mt. Kisco Farm. This shop is a very well-stocked specialty grocery store with lots of produce brought in fresh every day.
Here, they have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Stephanie picked up a few butternut squashes.
Mt. Kisco Seafood is another great gourmet food shop that focuses on sustainable seafood.
Inside is a wide variety of fish as well as other organic produce from area farms. In one area was a specialty sushi counter.
We were able to get the “racks” or “off-cut” pieces of five large salmon.
Here’s the salmon. I also included chicken and beef. Salmon is very low in saturated fat and a good source of protein. All my dogs love it.
The squash is cut and then roasted. Butternut squash is filled with antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
Here are the carrots. Carrots are low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins. Occasionally, crunching on raw carrots can also be good for the dogs’ teeth.
Four large broccoli heads are cooked until fork tender. All my food is completely organic and full of flavor.
I used six bags of organic frozen peas. Green peas are a good source of the B vitamin Thiamin, phosphorous, and potassium. Don’t overcook them – they only take a couple of minutes.
Sweet potatoes are also great for digestive health because they’re high in dietary fiber. They’re low in fat and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese, and they’re rich in the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene.
Quinoa is an amazing gluten-free superfood with high levels of essential amino acids. It is a high protein grain type food, so give it in small amounts. When preparing homemade diets, be sure it is well-balanced. Always take time to research and discuss with a veterinarian what your pet needs.
After the foods are cooked thoroughly, they are distributed equally into large stainless steel bowls.
Next, I run everything through the food processor. This step may seem extraneous; however, I have found that my dogs prefer their food ground rather than in big chunks. And watch out for bones. While some of the bones will be ground in the processor, it is a good idea to always carefully check for potentially dangerous bones. Making my own dog food takes a bit of time to complete, but it is well worth the effort to feed my dogs the best food possible.
Here’s one giant bowl filled with nutritious food ready to be put into the quart containers.
These quart-sized containers are pulled from the rack and laid out. This step of filling the containers is done in a production line process, so it can be completed quickly and efficiently.
Here, the quarts are filled and left to cool slightly before closing.
If planning to freeze, only fill up to the first line around the container so it has room to expand.
And here they are – 49 quarts of good, delicious food. Some of the food will be stored in my Winter House kitchen refrigerator, so they are easy to access. The rest will be stored in freezers elsewhere until needed. At meal time, which is once in the morning and once in the evening, my dogs get about a half cup each of this food mixed in with a good, well-balanced kibble. They devour it all. Making food for my dogs… it’s a good thing.