Puppy Love = Healthy Puppy Food (The Raw Way)

Meet Phoebe!

Meet Phoebe! All 1#13oz of her!

YAY, ME!! I just finished making my first homemade batch of dog food. Yes, I said dog food… I know… crazy! I don’t even cook most of the dinners in our house (Thankfully, my hubby is a great cook)! I didn’t even make my kids’ baby food. Have you read the label on baby food? Carrots have carrots in them, that’s it, just carrots. Green beans have green beans, and so forth… not a big deal. Have you read the label on some dog foods? We’re talking too many ingredients and big words that nobody can pronounce.


She really is too cute! 

I want to give my puppy the best food I can. So, as any good mom does, I started my research. I spend a lot of time and money trying to decrease the amount of chemical exposure my family gets. I don’t go overboard, everything in moderation, but I do what I can. Why should the puppy be any different? My brother’s Boykin Spaniel had oral melanoma. How does that happen? It had to be something that he ate, right?! I could be wrong, but dogs seem to have a lot more health problems today than they did when I was a kid. Maybe I didn’t notice it so much, but it just seems like there are a lot more dogs with seizures, diabetes, cancers, anxiety, etc. Not delving into that topic right now, there are certainly multiple theories.

So, not far into my searching, I started reading about raw diets for dogs. There are multiple resources, so I read all that I could, and learned that raw for dogs is kinda like Paleo for people. Back to the basics of what our ancestors ate. Wolves are the closest ancestors to our modern canine companion, so that is what the raw diet is based on. Think about dogs killing and eating rabbits and other varmints; they ate the entire animal, bones, organs, muscles, all of it. FYI-Raw bones are not at risk for splintering like cooked bones, cooking dries out the otherwise pliable tissue.

One of the important things I learned was that you need to go ALL raw meat or ALL kibble, mixing them is when problems arise. Kibble is digested slower than raw meat. Raw meat is digested quickly and therefore doesn’t allow harmful bacteria (like Salmonella) enough time in the gut to cause harm. Canine stomachs have a very low pH which helps kill any harmful bacterial too. There are quite a few rules to raw, so I would recommend doing your research before starting, and making a plan with the proper transition time.

Now, about Phoebe’s new food! Turkey with spinach and carrots, yum! This little puppy must have known I was doing my research. I tried multiple puppy foods, and she didn’t like anything. (She did however like the sweet potatoes I gave her. 😉 ) All raw food has to have a protein base, I chose turkey because it seems to be the least allergic. Phoebe is itchy, and we have ruled out everything but food allergies. So, I wanted to avoid the most common food allergens for dogs, and my vet and another friend recommended ground turkey. I wanted to add something that was green (think about how often your dog eats grass) and another veggie.

My recipe, which is a first time try (and is very bland because of the allergy thing), may need supplementing, but it’s a start for us:


  • 2 – 48 oz rolls Jennie O ground turkey 85/15 (has rosemary extract added)- higher fat content than lean
  • ~2-3 oz of fresh organic spinach – chopped
  • ~8 oz of organic shredded carrots – blanched and chopped. Our puppy is little, only 3.5# right now, you probably don’t need to chop for big dogs.IMG_9406
  • Add a small amount of coconut oil to the food when it is served, >few drops, but <1/2 tsp. This is a great supplemental essential fatty acid (EFA). I will probably add more supplements as we go.

This recipe was developed from reading multiple raw food recipes and figuring out what might work best for Phoebe, so far, we’re good, she cleans the bowl! 😉

Loves it!

Loves it!


I mixed everything together and stored it in BPA free Freezer Safe Gladware. The storage options took a short amount of research, GLAD did a good job with the BPA free labeling (Thanks, GLAD!)

Phoebe's section of the freezer :-)

Phoebe’s section of the freezer

I stored enough for 2+ days worth of meals in each container. I have projected that the above will give me enough food for 2 weeks. This is for a 3# puppy, so obviously would be different for bigger dogs and will increase as she grows.

**Raw meat needs to be properly handled, and the area and supplies sanitized well. Humans can easily get sick from not cleaning well after handling raw dog food.**

I look forward to trying other foods with her in a couple months. For the next 2-3 this will be all she eats. It can take 8-12 weeks for foods to completely leave a dog’s system. Hopefully, we will see Phoebe’s scratching decrease in these couple months. If so, we get to add new foods, but only one at a time (just like with babies).

Pets quickly become family. The first day we got Phoebe, I knew what love at first sight was. If you don’t, just get a puppy. 🙂 Easier said than done though…  I’ve been wanting to get a puppy (for my kids 😉 ) for a while now. Having a puppy is similar to having a new baby in the house, especially having one that is so little (with a little bladder) and has to go out at night (glad that didn’t last too long). Even with all the new chores around the house, I wouldn’t trade this part of the journey for anything, it’s wonderful! #puppylove

If you don’t have a pet, and you have kids, get a pet! If you have a pet and you don’t have kids, that pet might like a kid or 2 to run around with (just sayin’). If you don’t have either, try one, you might like it! 😉 If you’re allergic, suck it up, so am I!

It’s all about Enjoying the Journey, so come along! 🙂

One way to make ’em smile… Pets!

I have to tell you about the latest additions to our family! We brought home 2 little kittens today!! Drew and Josh are so excited! They chased the babies around the house for the first hour; until they realized that it would work better to sit and let the babies come to them. Initially, we planned on getting Drew a kitten for her birthday a few weeks ago. As we waited the couple weeks the kittens needed to get bigger before leaving the shelter, we decided we needed 2! Getting a pet for each kid in the house sounded like a better idea. Yes, dogs are nice, but, we don’t have the time at home that a dog requires right now, and in the past we have contemplated gerbils or hamsters. We have even had a few fish and hermit crabs, but that didn’t end well. Kittens are what we decided would fit best into our family.

Every kid needs a pet! It teaches a little bit of responsibility. Yes, I know I will be the one doing all the work, but a Mom can dream can’t she. 😉 Pets also give unconditional love, what more could we ask for!?! When children are stressed or down, a pet can be great therapy. Having a companion that is always there with unconditional love is very heartwarming. Having a loving pet to cuddle with can help improve self esteem and self confidence, that’s a win-win situation. And, having a kitten to snuggle and cuddle with really does make the kids smile! Drew has been giggling for hours now. Tonight, Josh and Drew are both in their respective beds, with kittens laying next to them, it’s just priceless!!

Josh has decided to name his kitten “Kwai”. This is a slant from Kawai, which means “cute” in Japanese. Josh is my out of the box thinker, so researching a name took days for him. I must emphasize the word research, because that is exactly what he did. He spent time on the computer looking up different words and their meanings. Josh has taken to Japanese ever since his fascination with Bey Blades, I’m sure most mothers of boys can relate to this phase. Josh has decided he wants to learn Japanese, and I guess this is the beginning…

Drew named her kitten “Jules”. This came from one of her favorite movies, Rio. There is a bird named “Jewel” in the Rio movie. She has asked for a blue macaw, but, that just wasn’t going to happen. We told her the bird would be living here longer than she would. So, when she first started talking about names she came up with Julie. This was very interesting because we live on property that my great-grandfather first purchased and developed in the late 1930’s, and his wife’s name was Julia. Coincidence?? hummm?? I think not… makes you wonder, now doesn’t it. Well, it makes me wonder who is still wondering around this place! It warms my heart and makes me smile. My cousin, Julie, who lives 3,000 miles away in Cali thinks it’s just a great name. You can guess where her name came from, now can’t ya?

Well, all I can say is, adding a pet to the family is a great idea. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but the timing hadn’t been right until recently. Me getting my masters, kids too young, but now that the kids are 6 and 10, it works perfectly. And, as I said, one way to make ’em smile is to get a pet! Kids love animals, and animals (usually) love kids. They just go great together, kind of like peanut butter and jelly. So, as you travel along this exciting journey called parenthood, Get A Pet!! Get whatever pet works for your family, it really doesn’t matter what it is to the kids. You will be glad you did, and your kids will be glad you did too! Just ask anyone that has a pet, and they will agree, no doubt about it!

So, if you want to make ’em smile….Get a Pet for the family to enjoy!!

As always, I’m hoping you Enjoy the Journey!! 😉