Chicken N’ Gravy Dog Food Topper Recipe

Chicken N’ Gravy Dog Food Topper Recipe

I think everyone knows that we share our home with a very spoiled and finicky almost 2 year old Siberian Husky named Cannoli.  For the last few months we’ve been trying to put some weight on her.  This has proven to be a difficult task, not only is she finicky, she’s very active too!

We’ve tried everything to get her to eat her dog food, including switching brands from Merrick, to Blue Wilderness, and now to Solid Gold. All very good dog food, and all on the high end of the spectrum as far as dog food costs.  We’ve tried both wet and dry food, and a mixture of both, not to mention a variety of flavors.   Nothing seems to work, she turns her nose up at them.  In desperation we tried Blue Wilderness Dog Food Toppers.  She liked those and picked the toppers out of the dry food.   But she can’t live, much less gain weight on toppers alone.

Toppers are meant to make dry food more appealing, they come in small 3 oz. packets which cost almost $2 each.  If I had to feed her just toppers, she’d need almost 6 packets a feeding, and she gets 2 feedings a day, that would cost over $20 a day!

Then I noticed the toppers looked like meat cubes in gravy.  After discussions with our trainer and breeder we decided that homemade toppers would work.  The toppers aren’t meant as a meal, just about 1/4 cup added to her dry food should work.  So I started making her toppers and she loves it! It’s even gotten her to eat the dry food mixed in with it!

Chicken N' Gravy Dog Food Topper Last month I made her beef toppers in my crockpot, it was so easy!  This month I made her Chicken N’ Gravy Dog Food Topper and she loves it too!

Since it was chicken I didn’t make it in the crockpot, I didn’t want the chicken to get too soft and mushy, she doesn’t do mushy!  I told you she’s finicky!  I basically stir fried chicken cubes, added some mixed veggies and low sodium chicken broth.  I thickened the broth with a bit of corn starch and voila a new topper for Cannoli.

I make a large pot of toppers, put them in freezer safe containers, and thaw them as needed.  One recipe lasts a month, best of all it cost lest than $10!

I must add that this recipe is for dog food toppers.  It is not meant to replace dog food.  Dogs need the balanced nutrients in commercial dog food.  However if you want to make your pet homemade dog food you sure can.  But before you rush to the kitchen to cook up a batch please do your research, there are many recipes out there.  You may also have to give your pet vitamin and mineral supplements to make up for the nutrients homemade dog food may me lacking.  Better yet consult your vet before you switch completely from commercial to homemade dog food, he or she will be able to tell you what nutrients are best for your dog.

Chicken N' Gravy Dog Food Topper

Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe for Adult Dogs with Bison 22 lb. Bag $64.99

I also have to add that I know it’s tempting to give your pet left over stews but don’t!  Most of us season our stews with onions and garlic, these ingredients are toxic to your pet.  That’s why I cook for Cannoli, her food is  unseasoned and definitely don’t contain onions and garlic.  Before you cook anything for you dog check the list of human foods that are toxic to pets so you can avoid them.

Having said that here’s my recipe!

Ingredients:

1 Lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins, chopped into small cubes

1 Tbsp.  Olive Oil

1 Can Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1 Can Organic Mixed Vegetables – make sure it has no onions, garlic, or other ingredients that aren’t dog friendly

1/4 Cup Water

1 Tbsp.  Corn Starch

Directions:

Heat oil in pan.

Add chicken cubes and cook until done.

Add mixed veggies and broth.

Let simmer about 5 minutes.

Dissolve corn starch in water.

Stir into chicken mixture to thicken.

Cook until broth is desired thickness, but no more than 10 minutes.

Let cool and transfer to freezer safe containers.

Thaw when ready to use and stir into dry food.

If you have a favorite recipe you like to make for your fur baby drop us a line.  We’d love to hear from you!

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Chicken N' Gravy Dog Food Topper Recipe
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Chicken N' Gravy Dog Food Topper Recipe
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in pan.
  2. Add chicken cubes and cook until done.
  3. Add mixed veggies and broth.
  4. Let simmer about 5 minutes.
  5. Dissolve corn starch in water.
  6. Stir into chicken mixture to thicken.
  7. Cook until broth is desired thickness, but no more than 10 minutes.
  8. Let cool and transfer to freezer safe containers.
  9. Thaw when ready to use and stir into dry food.
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Homemade Dog Food Topper

Homemade Dog Food Topper

Homemade Dog Food Topper

This post contains affiliate links

Do you have a finicky dog?  Do you have to mix canned dog food or toppers with dry?  Are you tired of buying expensive toppers or cans?  If you said yes to one or all of these questions read for my homemade dog food topper recipe!

We have a 20 month old Siberian Husky named Cannoli.  For months now we’ve been trying to put some weight on her, the vet told us she’s about 8 pounds under weight.  I’ve read that putting and keeping weight on a Siberian Husky of this age can be challenging, it’s even more challenging when said pup is a picky eater.

Her regular dog food is Blue Wilderness, the vet tells me this is a great food for her.  I keep several flavors on hand to mix up the taste as she seems to get tired of having the same one for every meal.  I know she’s spoiled, but all out critters are.  Well a few months ago she basically stopped eating all her dry food, we ended up feeding the wild birds. (Cannoli lives on our covered patio).

I tried to change her feeding times thinking she just wasn’t hungry as soon as she woke up, she’s a late starter and prefers to lounge as soon as we let her out of her crate.  (Yes we crate her at night for her own safety, she gets into things and we don’t want her to eat a frog or some other dangerous thing she may find around the yard.) Well, that didn’t work and instead of gaining weight she was loosing.

I finally decided to try mixing some wet food with the dry, first trying out Blue Wilderness Toppers, little pouches of wet food you put on top of the dry food.  She liked that, but it cost almost $2 a pouch!  Since I feed her twice a day that cost $4 a day!  Ok, so mixing wet with dry worked, just had to find a cheaper alternative.

I tried cans of Blue Wilderness, there are 2 types, the pate and the grills.  The pates are ground paste of wet food, she didn’t like it.  The grills are chunks of meat and veggies in some sort of gravy, she loved them.  So the cans cost just under $4 each, and a can will last for 2 days.  I only use about a half cup per meal.  Cheaper than the Toppers, but when you add up the cost it’s about $60 a month and that’s on top of the $60+ we spent on dry food.

I still thought I could get the cost down, so I chatted with our dog trainer.  We agreed that making toppers would be just as good if not better than buying canned food.  I was hesitant to make my own food even though I know many folks do.  If you’re going to feed your pet strictly homemade food you need to get recipes that will address your pet’s nutritional needs and supplement what is missing.  Good quality dog food is nutritionally balanced for pets, homemade dog may not be and you may need to give your dog supplements.  Having said that, we agreed that toppers are just for taste and Cannoli would still get all the nutritional benefits of Blue Wilderness dry food.

I found that making the topper in my crock pot was real easy.  It’s pretty much like making stew!  I managed to cook up a pot that should last about a month for less than $15.  That’s a big savings!  Best of all Cannoli loves it!

A small caveat just in case you’re tempted to make a big pot of stew for dinner and use the leftovers as dog food toppers, don’t!  Most of us use onions, garlic, and salt to make our stews taste good, those ingredients are not good for your dog!  In fact onions and garlic are on the poisonous list!  (If you don’t use any of these ingredients in your stew, then I suppose you can give the dog left overs.)  For the most part you add no seasonings to dog food.

On the bright side, a homemade dog food topper is probably healthier than anything you buy in a can.  After all you’ll be using real meat and veggies, not by products and no additives!

I froze my dog food topper in small plastic containers, each one with enough topper to last a few days.  I defrost and store a container in the fridge as I need it.

Again, this recipe is not meant to replace store bought dog food.  It may not meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs.  It is meant to be used as a topper or wet mix in to your regular dog food to make it more appetizing for finicky pups.  If you want to replace your pet’s food with homemade dog food please talk to your vet and do your research for recipes that will meet all your pet’s nutritional needs and if needed give your pet supplemental vitamins and minerals as directed by your vet.

Here’s my recipe, hope  your pooch loves it as much as Cannoli does.

Ingredients:

*for smaller dogs cut the meat and veggies smaller

3 Pound Chuck Roast cut into small cubes

3 large Carrots sliced into rounds

3 large potatoes cut into small cubes

1/2 Pound string beans chopped into bite size pieces

2 Cups no onion no garlic broth – if using commercial broth try Fody Chicken Soup Base it has no onions or make your own from beef bones

3 cans water

3 Tbls. flour

1 Cup water

Directions:

Homemade Dog Food TopperPlace chuck roast cubes into crock pot.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Dog Food TopperAdd veggies, pour in broth and water (use the broth can to measure the water), stir.

Set the crock pot on low for 8 hours.

Half way through dissolve flour in water and stir in to stew.  Replace cover and cook until done.

Store topper in air tight freezer containers.[spacer height=”-50px” id=”7″]

 


Homemade Dog Food Topper
Homemade Dog Food Topper
Print Recipe
Healthy dog food topper to mix with dry food. Made with real chunks of beef and vegetables steeped in gravy.
Servings Prep Time
60 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
8 Hours
Servings Prep Time
60 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
8 Hours
Homemade Dog Food Topper
Homemade Dog Food Topper
Print Recipe
Healthy dog food topper to mix with dry food. Made with real chunks of beef and vegetables steeped in gravy.
Servings Prep Time
60 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
8 Hours
Servings Prep Time
60 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
8 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Place chuck roast cubes into crock pot.
    Homemade Dog Food Topper
  2. Add veggies, pour in broth and water (use the broth can to measure the water), stir.
    Homemade Dog Food Topper
  3. Set the crock pot on low for 8 hours.
  4. Half way through dissolve flour in water and stir in to stew. Replace cover and cook until done.
  5. Store topper in air tight freezer containers.
    Homemade Dog Food Topper
Recipe Notes

For smaller dogs cut meat and veggies into smaller pieces.

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Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits For a Shiny Coat!

Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits For a Shiny Coat!

Homemade PB & Veggie Dog BiscuitsLast week I whipped up a batch of homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits for my pooch Cannoli and her friends in Obedience Class.  Since class fell on Easter Sunday it was a good time to share some treats so I packed the biscuits in Easter packaging.

This time I added Brewer’s Yeast and Flax Seed Meal to the biscuits, both are said to promote healthy skin and shiny coats.  I used Peanut Butter mostly for taste, Cannoli loves her Peanut Butter, but it’s also a good source of protein, heart healthy fats, and some vitamins.  Flax seed is also a good source for fatty acids which are good for skin, heart, and immune systems.  Brewer’s Yeast is also said to be a natural flea repellent and helps improve coats, relieve stress, and helps the digestion.

Over all these biscuits are healthy treats for your fur ball, they’re easy to make, and much less expensive than commercial dog biscuits.

I used Wilton cookie cutters, you get a set of three: bone, dog, and paw.  You can order them from Amazon.  But if you don’t have these cookie cutters you can use whatever you have on hand or even roll them into balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass.

I made bones and paws, the recipe made 3 dozen biscuits, perfect for sharing!

I prefer to use organic or natural ingredients specially for the peanut butter.  You want to avoid lots of sodium they put in regular peanut butter.

Store biscuits in tightly sealed containers for up to a week.  To store longer freeze them in ziplock bags.

(This post contains affiliate links)

Homemade PB & Veggie Dog BiscuitsIngredients:

3 Cups Organic Flour

1/2 Cup Flax Seed Meal

1/2 Cup Brewer’s Yeast

1 Cup Organic Peanut Butter

2 Pouches Organic Fruit & Veggies Baby Food

Water (if needed)

 

 

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Add baby food and peanut butter.

Knead in well until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated and you can form a ball.

The dough will be stiff, if it doesn’t hold together add water a tablespoon at a time until you get the dough to hold together in a ball.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick.

Cut into shapes or form into balls and flatten.

Place biscuits on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Cool on racks before storing.

 


Educational Games for 2-6 Year Olds

 

Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits
Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits
Print Recipe
Healthy dog biscuits that help promote healthy skin and shiny coats!
Servings Prep Time
3 Dozen 30 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Dozen 30 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits
Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits
Print Recipe
Healthy dog biscuits that help promote healthy skin and shiny coats!
Servings Prep Time
3 Dozen 30 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Dozen 30 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add baby food and peanut butter.
  3. Knead in well until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated and you can form a ball.
  4. The dough will be stiff, if it doesn't hold together add water a tablespoon at a time until you get the dough to hold together in a ball.
  5. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thick.
  6. Cut into shapes or form into balls and flatten.
    Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits
  7. Place biscuits on a parchment covered baking sheet.
    Homemade PB & Veggie Dog Biscuits
  8. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Cool on racks before storing
Recipe Notes

If you don't have organic ingredients you can use regular ingredients.

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Sweet Potato Dog Chews

Sweet Potato Dog Chews

Dog TreatsI was in Petco just before Christmas looking for treats for my Siberian Husky, she loves treats!  I was shocked at how expensive dog treats have gotten.  I found a small bag of “all natural” sweet potato treats priced at $12.99, my dog loves sweet potatoes, but I wasn’t ready to fork over 13 bucks for a few pieces of dehydrated sweet potato when I could buy a whole bag of sweet potato for about $5.  I decided I could make my own dog chews so I got a bag of sweet potato from Walmart and headed home to make some.

 

 

It’s super easy to make.  The bag contained 6 fairly large sweet potatoes so I got a lot of chews for $5, I already had the other ingredients in my pantry.  I made enough chews to give out to our friends who own dogs.

You can freeze these treats, they last about 3-4 months.  My dog, Cannoli, loves them even frozen!

Ingredients:

6 large sweet potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Dog treats

Directions:

1.  Scrub and dry sweet potatoes.

2.  Slice into 1/2 thick slices.  This is the hardest part!  I find cutting off a slice from one side then placing the cut side down makes slicing the potatoes easier.

3.  Place slices on parchment covered baking sheet.

4.  Mix cinnamon in olive oil.

5.  Brush both sides of potato slices with oil.

6.  Bake in 275 degree oven for 2-3 hours.

7.  Remove from oven and cool.

8.  Store in air tight containers in the fridge.  For longer storage freeze in freezer safe bags for up to 4 months.

Sweet Potato Dog Chews
Print Recipe
Easy and inexpensive dog treats!
Servings Prep Time
75 Pieces 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 Hours 2-3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
75 Pieces 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 Hours 2-3 Hours
Sweet Potato Dog Chews
Print Recipe
Easy and inexpensive dog treats!
Servings Prep Time
75 Pieces 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 Hours 2-3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
75 Pieces 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 Hours 2-3 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Pieces
Instructions
  1. Scrub and dry sweet potatoes.
  2. Slice into 1/2 thick slices.
  3. Place slices on parchment covered baking sheet.
  4. Mix cinnamon in olive oil.
  5. Brush both sides of potato slices with oil.
  6. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. Store in air tight containers in the fridge. For longer storage freeze in freezer safe bags for up to 4 months.
Recipe Notes

Raw sweet potatoes are pretty hard and can be difficult to slice.  I find cutting off a slice from one side then placing the cut side down makes slicing the potatoes easier.

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Cranberry Pupcicles

Cranberry Pupcicles

PupciclesI know most of us have been busy with Thanksgiving preparations, but don’t forget your furry friends!  They need some special treats too!

My Siberian Husky, Cannoli, loves her treats and since we’ve been trying to put some weight on her I’ve been making her plenty.  Frozen treats are her favorites, and no wonder a Husky living in Hawaii loves anything cold!

While I was shopping for holiday fixings I picked up some extra fresh cranberries.  I made them into Cannoli’s favorite frozen treat, “Pupcicles”.  I figured why not incorporate some holiday food to her favorites.  It’s so easy to make, took me just 10 minutes and she loves them.

These pupcicles are healthy too!  Cranberries are good for your pet’s urinary tract and yogurt is a good source for calcium.  If you’re watching your pup’s weight use lowfat yogurt instead of full fat.
This recipes only has 2 ingredients!  Whip some up today, it’s a great way to use those extra cranberries you didn’t use for your cranberry sauce this year.

Ingredients:

24 oz. container plain Greek yogurt
1 cup  fresh cranberries – rinsed

Directions:

Dump clean cranberries into yogurt and mix until well distributed.

Scoop into freezer shape molds.  I use paper or styrofoam cups as molds.  It makes storing and unmolding simple.  I just peel off the cup before I give it to Cannoli.  You can also use ice cube trays, I like the silicone ones they are easier to unmold!

Freeze for at least 6 hours.

Remove from mold when ready to give your pet.

Cranberry Pupcicles
Print Recipe
Great holiday treat for your furry friend using only 2 ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
8 Pupcicles 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 Minutes 6 Hours
Servings Prep Time
8 Pupcicles 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 Minutes 6 Hours
Cranberry Pupcicles
Print Recipe
Great holiday treat for your furry friend using only 2 ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
8 Pupcicles 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 Minutes 6 Hours
Servings Prep Time
8 Pupcicles 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 Minutes 6 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Pupcicles
Instructions
  1. Dump clean cranberries into yogurt and mix until well distributed.
  2. Scoop into freezer shape molds.
  3. Freeze for at least 6 hours.
  4. Remove from mold when ready to give your pet.
Recipe Notes

I use paper or styrofoam cups as molds.  It makes storing and unmolding simple.  I just peel off the cup before I give it to Cannoli.  You can also use ice cube trays, I like the silicone ones they are easier to unmold!

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DIY Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

DIY Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

A recent routine visit to the vet resulted in finding out that our year old Siberian Husky, Cannoli, is 2-3 pounds underweight.  I was surprised!  The vet assured me that it wasn’t a big deal and that a daily dose of vitamins should make her pick up some weight; that and perhaps getting her to eat a little more dog food or even switching brands.

I feed all my pets grain free dry Merrick pet food, I’ve been told it’s very good.  I also make pets healthy homemade treats and give them safe fruits and veggies.  I’ve never had an underweight pet.

Before our recent pet exam I’d been concerned that Cannoli looked a little thin whenever I bathed her. It’s hard to tell what’s under all that fur unless she’s wet.  I decided she needed to gain a bit of weight and kept her on puppy food for a while longer, puppy chow is higher in calories than adult food.  I also added a bit more food to her bowl every feeding.  She didn’t really eat the extra dog food, but did love her treats.

I called her breeder who advised me to add a third feeding and consider adding some wet dog food to the dry.  He also suggested more yogurt, that’s what he gives his pooches when he wants to add weight before they show.

I wasn’t to crazy about adding wet food to the dry, but I did start adding low sodium chicken and beef broth to make it more appetizing.  She loves it!  As for the yogurt, it’s still been pretty hot here so I thought I’d make the yogurt into frozen treats, she does love her treats.

I came up with these super easy frozen treats containing her two most favorite ingredients, yogurt and coconut water.  These treats will not only add some weight, hopefully, but also keep her hydrated, specially after our daily 3 mile walks.  Hydration for a Husky in warm climates has always been one of my concerns.  She just loves these treats!

Here’s what you need to make them:

1 large container Plain Greek Yogurt
Pure Coconut water
Freezer Molds – I use styrofoam cups, I find it easy to store them in the cups and peel them away when I’m going to give them to her.  But you can use ice cube trays, popsicle molds, and other freezer safe containers.

1.  Scoop the desired amount of yogurt into the mold.

2.  Pour coconut water on top of the yogurt to cover it.

3.  Freeze at least 6 hours.

DIY Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats
Print Recipe
DIY Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Scoop the desired amount of yogurt into the mold.
  2. Pour coconut water on top of the yogurt to cover it.
  3. Freeze at least 6 hours.
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