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How To Make Natural Homemade Pet Food

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This page is meant for those who have both *mature* dogs and cats in the house and want something easy, quick and simple that can be fed without the hassle of making separate meals.

This page is also for those who are new to feeding a wholesome raw meat diet and feel a little bit overwhelmed with information — it's not uncommon for people to feel slightly overwhelmed or tense, not because this is difficult or anything like that, but because people are afraid to make errors. Thus they put extra pressure on themselves to get things perfect. The reality is, you will never create a perfect diet anyway. All we can do is create a diet that is as close to perfect as licking is to kissing!

For those who are feeling a little bit overwhelmed, then this page will serve you well until you get your feet wet and are feeling like a pro. Once you are feeling like a pro, then you might decide to feed your dogs and cats more based on their individual needs — or — you might find that you are extra lazy and want to keep feeding your pets this way because it is so easy, quick and simple!

The information on this page is only for *mature* dogs and cats. If you have puppies or kittens, then you will want to read the information about how to make homemade puppy food and homemade kitten food.

Some of the information on the following pages will overlap and repeat itself, but I am assuming that those with dogs will only read the page for dogs, those with cats will only read the page for cats and so on. But if you are curious and read all of the pages, then yes, there will be some overlapping. However, the repition will also reinforce the information.

Think of Dogs Like Cats

Okay, the secret to feeding both dogs and cats together in a quick and simple manner is to think of dogs like cats. What I mean by this is that dogs don't usually mind vegetables added to their foods. Cats, well most cats will only tolerate a small amount of vegetables. This is because cats are highly carnivorous animals and really need a lot of meat in their diet. Dogs, well dogs can survive with less meat but dogs enjoy their meat just as much as cats do. So to quickly summarize:

  • Most dogs like vegetables.
  • Most cats will only tolerate a small amount of vegetables. Some cats won't tolerate any vegetables at all.
  • All cats like meat.
  • All dogs like meat just as much as cats like meat.

Realizing the above, to make things quick and simple, we feed our dogs like they are cats. This way, the cats will eat their food and the dogs will eat the food too. The sacrifice is that dogs get perhaps slightly less vegetables than what they would normally get. However, at the end of the day, that's not such a big deal. In fact, I have fed many dogs no vegetables at all and they have done really well too.

Vegetables, while providing some benefits, are ultimately not as important as meat in the diet of our carnivore friends.

So although dogs and cats have slightly different needs you can also, for the sake of simplicity, feed them the same way. If, however, you want to make food separately for both your dogs and cats, then you can do that too. The coming pages will explain how to make homemade dog food and homemade cat food.

Make sense? Good, let's continue.

How To Make Natural Homemade Pet Food Using *Ground* Meat

How to prepare ground meat and vegetables has already been explained on the second and third pages of Part 3. Read them again if you have to.

Assuming you have prepared the ground meat and finely chopped some vegetables already, do the following when it is time to feed your pets:

  • Remove the containers of ground meat and finely chopped vegetables from the fridge.
  • The following is a guide for you to use and is presented in a ratio format. Therefore, increase or decrease the amount needed based on the ratio.
  • Please remember, this is only a general guideline. If you think your pet will need more specific guides, consult a holistic veterinarian that is familiar with a fresh food program.
  • Mix 3 parts ground meat to 1 part finely chopped vegetables.
  • Once you have the necessary amount of food in the bowl, add hot water until the food becomes the consistency of a thick stew.
  • If you make the food too soupy, your pets probably won't eat it — thick is the consistency you want.
  • The hot water takes the chill off the food, replaces the water naturally found in the prey, and volatizes the odour.
  • Once you have added the hot water, then add other nutritional supplements.
  • Mix and serve.
  • It's really that simple!
  • Your dog or cat should decide when they have eaten enough and they should walk away with some food still left in the bowl. Read the page on how much to feed your dogs and cats for more information (found in Part 1).
  • If you are feeding eggs, then the eggs replace the meat. Read how to prepare eggs for dogs and cats for more information on eggs.

The combination of food does not have to be accurate, just close. You can use a spoon, cup, or whatever you want to use for measuring based upon your requirements.

These are just guidelines.

Some pets may like, need or want more meat or vegetables — give the body what it needs and the body will do the rest. Watch your carnivore friend as they will provide clues to what they need. Also, if on one day you are short of vegetables then don't worry about it as meat is the most important part of the meal.

The method of above is a basic and simple concept that can be modified based on your preference for doing things, your likes and dislikes, etc.

Watch Your Cat

The pros and cons of feeding ground meat instead of meat chunks and vice versa was discussed at the beginning of Part 2 and also on the previous page (how to prepare meat. But to quickly summarize, I've noticed that some cats eat ground meat too slowly. I've also noticed some cats don't eat as much as they should because each bite of ground meat is smaller than what they can swallow if they were eating meat chunks. This in turn can perpetuate a cat's free feeding habit. With dogs, this is not going to be a problem because dogs will just lick, and in many case, just inhale the food regardless of whether the meat is ground or chunks. But remember, cats determine how we feed dogs and cats combined.

So, if you find your cat is not eating enough, eating too slow or having a difficult time eating ground meat, then definitely feed meat chunks as described below.

Ultimately, meat chunks are my preferred method of feeding.

How To Make Natural Homemade Pet Food Using Meat *Chunks*

You know, I have to admit, feeding homemade pet food is so easy and so simple, I sometimes wonder why I even have to write a book about it! However, as you have learned by reading my book thus far and as you continue to read my book, there are lots of things to learn, some more important than others and some things are learned more just for fun and/or for curiosity reasons.

But when you read the following, you are really going to see just how ridiculously easy it is to feed wholesome homemade pet food.

How to prepare meat chunks and vegetables has already been explained on the second and third pages of Part 3. Read them again if you have to.

Assuming you have the meat chunks already thawed in your fridge and some finely chopped vegetables ready to go, do the following when it is time to feed your pets:

  • Remove the meat chunks and vegetables from your fridge at least 1 hour before feeding.
  • The amount of meat you remove from your fridge will depend on how many mouths you are feeding and ultimately, how much they will (or can) eat.
  • Add the supplements to the meat chunks.
  • Although there are numerous beneficial pet supplements you can add to the food, the single most important supplement is a calcium supplement for pets.
  • A guide to pet supplements can be found in Part 1.
    • Read the tips on the first page of Part 2 for some tips on mixing supplements in with the met chunks.
  • Let the food sit on the counter for at least 1 hour to remove the chill.
    • If you don't have time to remove the meat and vegetables from the fridge at least 1 hour before feeding, that's okay. The only reason why this is done is to help remove the chill. But if you are in a rush and must feed the food cold, it's okay. It's not the end of the world.
    • Remember, when letting the food sit on the counter that cats (and some dogs) have been known to eat the food before it's time to eat. So you might need to cover or somehow protect the food.
  • One additional benefit of letting the food sit on the counter for about 1 hour before feeding is that your pets can smell the food. This gets many pets excited and so when it comes time to eat, they're ready to go.
  • When feeding meat chunks to your cat, just put some meat chunks onto a plate — no vegetables.
    • Some cats will eat vegetables and so if your cat likes vegetables, then put a small amount of vegetables next to the cat's meat.
    • If your cat will tolerate vegetables and you put a small amount onto their plate, don't bother measuring. Just put a small amount onto the plate and your cat will eat what it wants. If your cat eats all of its vegetables and wants more, then put some more onto the plate. But the reality is that the chance of this happening is slim. Those cats that will eat vegetables separately, and there are some like this, then they will only eat what they want regardless of how much you put onto the plate.
    • Cats have the ability to cut chunks of meat into a size that they can swallow. Cats will chew the meat chunks with their molars and literally cut the meat into the size they need to swallow. As a result, the size of the meat chunk you feed to a cat really doesn't matter. As long as the cat can get its mouth over the meat, the cat will begin to cut off a piece of meat. Although cats can cut their meat themselves quite well, feeding them reasonable size chunks of meat does help them eat more faster.
  • When feeding meat chunks to your dog, put some meat chunks onto the plate and put some of the finely chopped vegetables to the side.
    • If your dog does not eat the vegetables, then don't worry about it. Just feed your dog only meat.
    • Unlike cats, dogs can't as effectively cut meat into the size they need for swallowing. A dog can and will chew its food into a smaller size, but nowhere near as efficiently as a cat. If you sit and watch, you will observe cats are real experts at cutting through meat using their molars while dogs try to be experts. But in a dog's excitement to eat their food, they are more likely to swallow a piece that might be too big for them.
    • For the most parts, dogs rip meat off their prey while cats cut meat off their prey. If you watch a wolf or coyote feast on its prey, then you will notice they sink their teeth into their prey and then begin pulling and ripping meat off their prey. Realizing that dogs can't cut their meat as well, I like to cut meat chunks into an appropriate size for dogs.
    • Dogs don't need really small meat chunks. They can, in fact, swallow relatively large pieces of meat. But if you notice your dog is having to chew its chunks of meat before swallowing and is getting tired doing so, then that piece of meat is too big and you will need to cut it.
    • When the meat chunk is the right size, the dog will just grab the meat, open the mouth and swallow — instantly gone like a magician's disappearing act.
    • If you are feeding a bull mastiff, don't feed it tiny meat chunks that are meant for a Chihuahua and vice vera.
    • Don't feed your dog as if it is an human infant. A dog doesn't need you to cut the meat up into super small sizes. Doing so will just waste your time. Dogs can swallow, relatively speaking, large pieces of meat.
  • When adding vegetables to your dog's plate or bowl, for every 2 parts of meat, add 1 part vegetables.
    • The combination of food does not have to be accurate, just close. You can use a spoon, cup, or whatever you want to use for measuring based upon your requirements.

Some Variations Of Making Homemade Pet Food

Here are some variations on how to do the above things:

  • Instead of using hot water to warm the food, you can quickly pan fry the ground meat and vegetables. However, the word is quick. You don't want to cook the meat although some may darken due to the heat. Instead of using oil to heat the meat, use water. But whatever you do, don't use the microwave.
  • You can prepare enough finely chopped vegetables in advance and freeze in plastic bags or a reusable container of some kind. This way, instead of chopping vegetables every few days, you can chop a large amount, freeze and then thaw as needed.
  • Although some people mix the ground meat and vegetables together and freeze combined, I personally still prefer to keep the meat and vegetables separate. This way, if your pet no longer likes, wants or craves certain meats and/or vegetables, then at least not all is wasted. Believe me, it's not uncommon for our pets to change their likes and dislikes based on the needs of their body.

Suggested Frequency of Feeding

A mature dog or cat is essentially any dog or cat that is older than 1 year of age.

The exception to this rule are large breed dogs who don't stop growing until they are 2 years of age.

Mature dogs and cats only need 1 meal per day, but you can, feed two meals per day. But if you feed your pets properly and if they eat all that they want at each meal, you will find that although they may look for or ask for some food during the day (which is normal), that they will really only need 1 meal per day.

The reason why a dog or cat may still look for or ask for some food during the day, even though they are not really that hungry, is because as a carnivore they naturally and instinctively worry that maybe their next meal will not be found. Of course, your pet does not have to worry because you are going to feed your pet again. But, in the mind of your pet, they worry about their next meal — it's just in their nature to be like this.

Feeding 1 meal per day allows and encourages your pet to eat a large meal. Then after eating their large meal, your pet may play for a little before sleeping. Then, during their period of rest, their body does all of its detoxification work.

Dogs and cats are not herbivores which are constant grazers. Dogs and cats need big meals, not small meals. Feeding your mature pets more than once per day is not really beneficial and in fact can be detrimental — leading to such problems as colitis.

Remember, only large breed dogs should eat two meals per day from the age of 1 to 2. But once your large breed dog reaches 2 years of age, they too only need 1 meal per day.

Ultimately, when you feed your mature pet one meal per day, you will find that when their next meal is ready to be served, they will be hungry and ready to eat.

Feeding 1 meal per day to your mature pets makes life more convenient for us because we can leave, during the day or overnight, if necessary and not have to worry about our pets. Feeding one meal per day gives you some additional freedom and creates less work for you.

Some people don't feel comfortable feeding just one meal per day because they are thinking of their pet as if they were human — but your pet is not human, they are a carnivore. Never loose sight of this.

If you forget how much to feed your pets, please remember to read the page about how much to feed which can be found in Part 1.

When To Feed

When you feed your pets is a personal choice. Ultimately, it does not matter. But I would sugggest you feed when it's best for you.

If you are busy in the morning then I would suggest feeding your pets at night. Why? Because if you feed your pets at night then you will find that in the morning, your pets are not very hungry at all. Thus they won't be bothering you or, in some cases, waking you up at 5 AM wanting their food.

You can, of course, feed at noon, 4 PM, 8 AM, etc. It does not really matter. Find the time that's best for you.

Easy, No?

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