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We will be including tons of new and useful content, and info for cats as well as dogs!

We believe in providing all our animals at Midsummer Farm with a natural healthy lifestyle. For our dogs and cats, who contribute so much to our farm, we work to provide them with natural good food. And we find that the most economical way to do this is with a homemade diet. There are some great brands of commercial diets available, but we like to know what is going into our food and there is something intrinsic present beyond the ingredients when you mix your own.


The recipe we make the most for our dogs and cats:

40 pounds chicken neck without skins

10 lbs of chicken hearts

5-10 lbs of organic chicken livers

Veggies (can be interchanged with other vegetables and fruits but no grapes and no onions. Dogs and cats usually do not like citrus)

5 lbs carrots

1/2 red cabbage

2 apples

3 bulbs of garlic (not toes or cloves, the actual bulbs, you do not need to peel these just squeeze them to make sure there is no rot/mold)

1/2 bunch of spinach or other dark green

1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

All of the above ingredients are ground through a meat grinder.

Also add:

5,000 mg Vitamin C powder

1/4 to 1/2 cup Kelp powder

1/4 cup Tumeric powder

1/2 to 1 cup Dried parsley

1/2 to 1 cup Dried oregano

1 cup Olive Oil

1/2 cup raw Honey

1/4 - 1/2 cup Tahini or other nut paste


Here's a bibliography of our favorite Natural Pet Rearing books:


Suppliers and Resources for Homemade Pet Food


Chicken Necks, Backs, organic meats and other poultry products: Goffle Road Poultry Farm can provide bulk antibiotic free relatively free range chicken necks, backs, livers, hearts, etc. See attached price list.

We may be organizing a local buying co-op of these chicken parts which would be certified organic for wholesale prices. Email us if you would be interested.

Meats in general: Farms, butchers

Fish: Frozen whiting, Canned Salmon and Mackerel,

Grocery Store: yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, olive oil, vegetables, grains, etc.

Whole Food Supplements: NOW products / Vitaglo.com. A well-priced source for NOW products is vitaglo.com. NOW very conveniently packages a lot of their supplements in powdered or liquid form and they offer a wide range whole food supplements, including: Vit C, Vit E, Vit D, B-complex, Powdered Liver, Bonemeal, Carob, Pumpkin Seeds, EPA, DHA, Acidolphilus, probiotics

Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Osteo Bi-Flex, Super markets, Sundown brand

Kelp Granules. Thorvin is a great brand. http://www.thorvin.com/ Thorvin Kelp is the best kelp I can find at the best price can be purchased through Hoegger Goat Supply @ 8 lb for $11.95 A little goes a long way and keeps a long time if stored out of the light.

MountainRoseHerbs.com: A wonderful trustworthy company with good people good intentions. They sell a huge variety of herbs and spices all organic, ethically harvested, and fair trade. For dog and cat food, I use: Garlic Granules, Parsley, Oregano, Couch Grass, Alfalfa, Astragalus powder, Slippery Elm Powder, Elecampane Powder, Tumeric Powder, Ginger Powder, Alfalfa or Barley Grass or wheat Grass Powder, Nettle Herb, Plantain Herb

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

The Commercial Dog Food Companies I use:

Natures Variety Frozen Meals link: http://www.naturesvariety.com/

Natures Variety Dry Food

Canidae and Felidae Dry Food link: http://www.canidae.com/

Be aware that any dog or cat can be allergic to anything – so keep aware – and stop feeding anything that your pet seems allergic to.

Meat Grinders:

Home versions cost about $100 ; commercial ones are in the $300 to $600 range. I use a Villaware home version. However I think I lucked out – I’ve heard lots of complaints about newer models. I think the company got cheap and started replacing metal parts with plastic. You need a grinder with metal working parts. I have heard good things about these two:


Weston 82-0101-W Electric Meat Grinder with Storage Compartment


Making Homemade Dog and Cat Food Workshop at the Farm

A popular workshop - held several times each year - please visit our workshops page or sign up for our email newsletter for current schedule!

Healthier, Economical, Delicious. Either as a supplementary meal or as your pets' regular diet, homemade food is better, safer, and easy to make. We will mix up a batch of balanced food using raw chicken as a base. We'll go over tons of options in food bases - raw vs cooked, various nutritional additions, dogs vs cats, special needs pets, and discuss the wide range of commercial diets and brands. You'll take home recipes, a clearer knowledge of the commercial pet food available, and resources for suppliers. We'll also make up a wonderful whole foods supplement that you can add to a commercial diet using higher quality ingredients and for a lot less money than the fancy brand names. Even if you're not ready to switch over completely to a homemade diet, you'll get a lot from this workshop. Takes place in the Farm Kitchen at Midsummer Farm, Warwick, NY | $48.00 |

Here is the outline of what will be covered at our Dog and Cat Food Workshop at the Farm

I. Overview:

Natural canine and feline diet, how this can be applied to your animal (i.e. why does your cat need more than mice?)

~Commercial industry influences

Individuality, allergies and sensitivities, bioavailability, variety

Natural, what does this mean?

II. Whole Foods and Whole Food Supplements vs. Synthetic Additives

Amounts and measurements and whole foods

Ingredients for whole food supplementation, individuality

BASICS: Kelp, Garlic, Nettle, Parsley, Wheat Grass, Other Green Herbs, Oregano, Tumeric Ginger, Sage, Pumpkin seeds, and other seeds and nuts

Other useful additives: Vit C, E, D3, Taurine for cats, herbs for specific issues or sensitivities, acidolphilus or probiotic, digestive enzymes, honey, carob, slippery elm, etc. New fancy antioxidants and herbs and nutrients

III. Elements of your Homemade Feeding Plan:

A. Meat:

Dogs and cats are carnivores and raw meat is the ultimate food for them.

Raw vs. Cooked

Types: chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, rabbit, venison, fish (canned, frozen, fresh) etc.

Breed and type of meat

Bones, calcium, dangers of bones NEVER FEED COOKED BONE

Beef marrow bones

Calcium issue

Chicken Necks: provide perfect ratio of calcium to meat and includes cartilage for joint health

Canned salmon: bones and Omega 3 oils

Use bonemeals sparingly

B. Fats:

Omega 3s, 6s, and 9s

Olive Oil, Animal Fat, Flax Seed Oil, Fish (EPA, DHA) Oil

Fat is essentially needed although in moderation. Grease is not good. Raw, non-rancid fat. Main problem with kibble is that there is really no way to keep the fat healthy and fresh even in the best brands.

Avocado: dogs can be allergic, there are certain toxins in avocados; they kill birds. So be cautious.

C. Other Proteins

Dairy: some animals do well on it, some do not, so try it out carefully.

How to try out new foods

Yogurt, probiotics / Cottage cheese

Eggs: raw are OK

Splitting up the types: Dairy, Eggs, & Grain breakfasts and Meat & Veggie suppers

D. Organ Meats:

most nutrient rich food in the world. We all need to eat more! Make pate for you and your animal.

Livers and Kidneys: organic if possible! Hearts, Tripe, Gizzards : all good!

Note: beaks, feet, heads: are not bad for your animal, although they sound bad. These scrap pieces are associated with low quality foods, but it is more how these cheaper things are processed (rendering) that make them so bad for your animals, than the things themselves.

E. Vegetables:

although your dog may like whole raw carrots and your cat may attack whole broccoli florets, vegetables are best in a more easily or thoroughly digestible state. In general, your animals will not get sick from swallowing big pieces of carrot, but you will see carrot pieces in his stool, so he missed out on a lot of what the carrot had to offer. You want him to get all he can from the carrot, so grinding it up and mixing it with raw meat really promotes better digestion.

Percentage of vegetable to meat

Fermenting veggies / Cooking veggies / Chopping veggies

Great veggies to add while grinding meat: Garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, zucchini, any squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, cabbage, celery, etc.

Fruits: berries, apples, etc. are also a great addition

Some notes:

~Avoid nightshades in older dogs and cats; no tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes.

~You may want to cook brassicas like kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.

~NEVER feed onions, scallions, leeks, shallots, etc.

F. Greens

I separate greens from vegetables because they are an important building block to your homemade dog food and need to be thought of separately from veggies. A little goes a long way. Don’t over do. Can be cooked or chopped fine raw:

Kale, Chard, Spinach, Lettuce, dandelion greens, plantain, etc.

Super Green Foods such as Nettle, Parsley, Oregano, Wheat Grass, Alfalfa, etc.

Herbs such as Mint, Thyme, Rosemary, Comfrey, etc.

G. Grains

Grains are not the enemy but should be used with thoughtfulness. Always cook grains well

Corn, Wheat, Soy, GMOS and allergies

Oats, Brown Rice, Barley, Quinoa make good grains for dog food especially; cats should have very little grain.

Medicinal Grains

IV. Table Scraps

IV. Clean Teeth

IV. Big no nos:

Do not feed your dog or cat chocolate, onions, cooked bones, ham, bacon, deep fried foods. And note that Essential oils must be used with extreme care.

Will also be available as an e-book in the near future!


Important Disclaimer: This info is not meant to replace the advice of a veterinarian. Always consult your local veterinarian for advice about your pet's health.

Copyright 2009 Midsummer Farm

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