It is pretty easy to make and can your own dog food. You can use any kind meat you want, beef, chicken, venison, elk, fish, I have even used ham. I don’t do a lot of ham, and the ones I do are what we raised, butchered and cured ourselves so I know they don’t have a lot of salt or nitrites. Most of the time I will use the older meat when we put a new beef in the freezer, I will use last year’s meat. And if I have some meat that is a little freezer burned I will use it. You can also get chicken hearts and livers form the store to use.
I try to keep the ratios 60% meat, 20% vegetables, and 20 % grains.
You can use most any vegetables except onions, corn and garlic.
Your grains can be rice, wheat, quinoa, oats,beans, and barley. I mostly use rice since it is easy to come by and fairly inexpensive. The grains need to be cooked before canning.
I have seen some people who cook everything then grind it all together before canning. I don’t like doing this since the FDA doesn’t recommend canning high density foods like that since you can’t be sure the center gets hot enough. If you are wanting to grind everything together you can just cook it like a meatloaf then put in the freezer.
When canning dog food I try to follow the same rules as canning people food. I use to do a lot of stuff not recommended by the FDA, and I do still a few things. But as I learn more and more,for some things I just figure there isn’t any point in taking a chance. (I would just hate to be that person who poisoned everyone, pretty sure my family would hate it too, since they are the ones who mostly eat my stuff Haha)
I just cube everything then put into my jars. My dogs are big dogs so I don’t need to mash it before they eat it but if you have smaller dogs you might want to blend it before serving it to them just to make it easier for them to eat.
If using hard vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, squash, potatoes, ect. You want to cook them a little before canning, just to soften them a bit, they will cook more when canning.
You can either cook your meat a little before or do a raw pack. When I cook mine before I just put it all in a roasting pan, add a little water and cook for a few hours. When it is done I cube the meat put the bones and vegetable scrapes (carrot tops, peels ect) back in the pan add some water and make a broth to use in the dog food. If you raw pack don’t worry about it you will fill your jars with hot water and as the meat cooks it will make its own broth.
I also cook my grains beforehand this way they won’t be swelling up in my jars.
So now that you know what to put in it lets get started.
First I add my vegetables, I used carrots, green beans and I had some spinach that needed to be used so I threw that in also. I put in about ¾ cup to 1 cup vegetables.
If you raw pack it is easier to cut the meat if it is still partially frozen.
Then I added my meat, some was raw chicken and the other was beef and venison that I had had in the freezer (I cooked the beef and venison first) I put in about 2 cups of meat.
After you add the meat pack it down a little so you have room for the rice.
Then I added some rice that I had cooked up. About ¾ to a cup of rice. Don’t worry about the rice being a big glob on top when you add the liquid it will break up. I also like to add a teaspoon of ground up egg shells, for calcium. I dry my egg shells and then put them in the blender till really fine.
Add hot water or broth. You don’t have to strain your broth just make sure you don’t get carrot tops or that type of things in with it. A little fat or pieces of meat won’t hurt. Leave a ¾ inch head space. Let sit a few minutes then take a knife of something and run along the insides of the jars to get out air bubbles, add more water or broth if needed. Wipe the rims of the jars put on hot lids and rings and pressure for 90 minutes at the pressure recommended for your altitude.
Canning Cat Food
I haven’t really canned any cat food my cats are outside cats and are always catching mice, prairie dogs birds ( which I hate when they get a bird) even grasshoppers. So I just supplement with a little cat food, table scraps, or some of the dogs food. But most things I have seen on making your own cat food they use a ratio of about 80 % meat and 20% vegetables. I would throw in a little egg shell and a little coconut or fish oil in it also. If using chicken or fish you could can it with the bones. As I said I haven’t canned any yet but think I will have to try just to see how it would turn out.