Cooking for your dog?

A healthy hack for furry friends that just aren’t into kibble

| 12 Sep 2023 | 03:25

Last year I brought my overanxious Border Collie to the vet for a teeth cleaning. He was 13 and had never had the nicest breath, and we were way overdue to clean up his act. That was when I learned that my trusted companion was suffering from kidney disease. I was shocked, scared and unsure. Cooper was prescribed a kidney diet low in protein and salt, which he wouldn’t touch. For weeks, he moaned, hungry. He was up all night yelping. It disrupted the whole balance of our household. I felt helpless.

I sought out new veterinarians who had a compassionate bedside manner. On their suggestion I checked out (which also has recipes for cats). I could not be more grateful. The recipe that follows is a result of trial and error following this website’s nutrition guidance.

I know, “cooking for your dog?!” I hear it all the time. My answer is, “Yes, I do! It’s easy!” What’s more, it rescued my friend from dry, strange kibble he refused to eat. Here we are, 18 months later, and he has only had a slight progression of disease. The following dog food contains balanced nutrition that’s perfect for any dog. It is amazing to feed my best friend this food. I hope you feel the same. Sending love out to all our furry friends.

Cooper’s healthy hack dog food

4 cups organic white rice
1 can pumpkin
1 pound lean protein. We use lamb because he loves it and is allergic to chicken. You can try beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, salmon or combine based on your pet’s tastes.
1 bag frozen butternut squash
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 bag frozen carrots
1 bag frozen sweet potatoes


Rinse the rice until no starch can be seen in rinsing water. Place rice in a large soup pot and add plenty of water to about three inches above the rice. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer. There is no need to cover or worry about overcooking; the more the rice is cooked, the better. Sometimes, I add a little extra water to keep from sticking. Once super soft, about 45–50 minutes, add can of pumpkin and mix. I do this once a week or so and then divide into three or four to-go containers, freezing two of them for later use.

For the main event, get a large storage container and place a layer of frozen vegetables on the bottom, then a layer of small rounded meatballs. Then add another layer of frozen vegetables, then small meatballs, until the container is full. Freeze completely.

To serve: In your dog’s bowl fill with frozen vegetable-and-meatball medley (quantity depends on size and weight of your dog). I break it up with my hands and make sure there is a bit of everything. For Cooper, because of his kidney disease, he can have no more than three meatballs per day. If you have a healthy young animal, feel free to load up on protein. Microwave 3-5 minutes until the meat is just cooked. Then mash with a potato masher until it resembles dog food. Top with pumpkin rice and mash again. This cools the whole mixture so it is not too hot. Sometimes I omit the rice if I am lazy and then go wild with vegetables and add a bit more sweet potato. The whole idea is to make this as convenient as possible, so it becomes a regular diet. Enjoy, woof!