Monday, April 23, 2012

Can Your Own Dogfood

Canning dog food isn't so much about frugality for me as it is nutrition and preparedness. My dogs mean a lot to me and while their days are numbered just like ours, I want them to be as healthy as they possibly can each and every day. This could be a point of argument, but dogs were not really meant to eat solely dry kibble. Many of our friends and visitors can't get over the fact that we feed our girls 'people' food. My Zoe is 12 and Evie is 4. They are very healthy, happy and have the usual amount of gas that dogs do - really, they are not stinky dogs. Besides, I really like knowing what I'm feeding them. Remember what happened a few years ago with the pet food supply?

I like having jars just for my girls on the pantry shelf too.

When I order my groceries from the grocery store, I always order 3-5 pounds of beef hearts. My canner will hold 9 pint jars, so I spread out the beef hearts over the 9 jars each time.

The beef hearts get cut into cubes. This is the longest part of the process. I highly recommend using a tomato knife or knife with lots of serration for this job, it will make it easier.

This is about the time that I'll feel the island that I'm working on start to tremble. Looking down, it's always my foodie, Eve. She knows what I'm doing and that it's for her. She shakes with anticipation, actually before every meal.

"Momma, you're the best cook EVER". I know Baby.

I line up the jars on the island, and evenly distribute the cubed beef hearts among the jars. Two tablespoons of brown rice also gets added to each jar.

Next step is to boil a kettle and fill each jar with boiling water to just before the threaded rim as you can see in this photo.

Wipe the rims with a cloth moistened with white vinegar and place sterilized lids and rings on. Pressure can (ONLY pressure can this recipe in a PRESSURE COOKER) for 75 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure.

How much does it cost to can dog food? Not much. I spent $3.81 for the beef hearts, used around $.70 for rice. Each jar (there's 9) will last two to three meals and gets mixed with (our) leftovers, eggs, and yes, some dry kibble.

Enjoy the day-