Several people have asked me about the homemade diets I feed my dogs, so I thought I would share what I do. I feed my dogs under the supervision of Dr. Donna Kelleher, Bellingham’s fabulous holistic vet. Personally I only feel comfortable feeding homemade diets under her supervision. I know there are a number of books on the market about homemade and raw diets, but I prefer to tailor a diet to my dogs’ individual needs. Several of my five dogs have health issues and/or allergies, so what I share here is just for them and I don’t advocate adapting my recipes for your own dog(s) without consulting with someone like Dr. Kelleher. WHOLE DOG JOURNAL is an excellent resource for high quality kibbles and also for books on homemade dog foods.

Are homemade diets a lot of work? Yes and no. Now that I’ve been feeding homemade diets for a couple of years, it’s just what I do. I prepare the veggies and meats a couple of times a week (multi-tasking helps a lot! I can cook up the meat while I puree the veggies to save time). I’ve seen a wonderful improvement in my dogs’ coats, health and behaviors since they’ve been eating homemade food. I’m finding that I’ve become more and more interested in canine nutrition as a result of my own experiences, especially when it comes to integrating herbs into their diets.

The “3 Schipperkes” Diet (Guiness, Bizzy and Juno eat this) – 2x a day

1/2 cup (plus a little extra) cooked ground turkey or beef
1/4 cup pureed raw veggies (all organic)
1 tsp or so of canned organic pumpkin
1 tbs of goat yogurt (Skyhill is the only brand from the Food Coop without tapioca)
1 tsp ground flax meal
1 300 mg capsule (broken open) Twin Labs calcium citrate with magnesium
1/2 capsule Blue Bonnet Quercitin
At dinner they also get 1 vitamin chewie (Canine Plus Senior from Vet Labs)

A couple notes: Bizzy is allergic to chicken, fish, and grains, which is why I seek out the Skyhill Farms goat yogurt since it doesn’t contain tapioca as a thickener). The beef I buy is currently from Whatcom Natural Beef, which is all grass fed and humanely raised, very lean, and free of hormones and antibiotics. I switch proteins every three weeks or so from beef to turkey. Veggies include a mxture of several of the following: carrots, Swiss Chard, kale, parsley, cauliflower, broccoli, fennel, yams or sweet potatoes, beets, celery, and the like.

Tripp, my beloved blue Schip, is on a version of the above, but with the addition of multiple herbs and heart medications (about 15-18 items go into a bowl of food for him).

Jolly, my rescue chihuahua, is also on the version of the Schip diet, but also with his own meds and herbs.

My dogs never gain weight on this diet; in fact, I periodically increase the quantity of meat to keep Bizzy and Juno from losing weight (they compete in agility and are pretty active).

Periodically Dr. Kelleher adjusts the above, but this is what we’re doing for now. Works for me! And more importantly, it works for my dogs.