Making homemade dog food isn't very convenient, but it's a much healthier option than most commercial dog food products. It may be a lot easier to swing by the local pet store and grab a bag of food from the shelf, but homemade meals can be catered to your pet's exact nutritional needs. This slow cooker beef stew for dogs isn't just healthy for your pup, it would make a tasty meal for your human family members too!
Research has shown that there are some pretty dangerous ingredients in commercial dog food. Making your pet's food is the only way to know exactly what goes into each meal and how it is prepared.
The best part of making homemade dog food is that you can substitute ingredients if you'd like. If your dog is allergic to beef or just prefers a different meat, feel free to use something else instead.
I use carrots, squash and peas in this recipe as well. You can substitute other dog-friendly fruits and vegetables if you want to. When I’m planning which homemade dog food recipe I’m going to make, I try to choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. They’re cheaper and easier to find at most local markets.
Some healthy substitutions include:
- green beans
- sweet potatoes
Be sure to do your research before substituting ingredients in homemade dog food. Look for reputable sources online or make a call to your veterinarian before adding in any ingredients that you're not sure about.
Similarly, most homemade dog food recipes are not nutritionally balanced. Be sure to consult a canine nutritionist if you're planning to switch to a homemade diet. This recipe won't provide balanced nutrition for all dogs, so it's likely that your vet may recommend adding supplements to this food.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew for Dogs Recipe
- 2.5 lbs. lean ground beef
- 15-ounce can of dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1.5 cups dry brown rice
- 1.5 cups chopped carrots
- 1.5 cups chopped squash
- 1/2 cup chopped green beans
- 4 cups water
If you don't have a lot of extra time to prepare meals for your dog, using a slow cooker may be helpful. Slow cooker recipes only require a little bit of prep work. There is no need to tend the food while it's cooking.
For this slow cooker beef stew, all you have to do is add the ingredients listed above to the slow cooker and turn it on. Most slow cookers are programmable, but if yours isn't you'll have to keep an eye on the time. This meal should cook on low for about 6 hours.
If you work outside the home, this recipe is a great alternative to meals that you have to fix daily. You can put the ingredients in the slow cooker before you leave for work, and by the time you get home Fido's food will be ready. Plus, you can make the food in bulk so you only have to cook once a week or so.
You can serve this food to your dog as soon as it has cooled. I recommend feeding about 1/2 cup of food for every 20-25 pounds of body weight. This is just a guideline. Some dogs, like working dogs and very active breeds, will need more calories than this. Lazier pets and senior dogs may not need as many.
It's best to consult your veterinarian about the appropriate serving size for you dog. They will also help you evaluate meal to make sure it will meet your pet's unique nutritional needs. If necessary, they will assist you in choosing the best supplements and/or multivitamins to add.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also prepare this food in bulk and store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.