Dog Food for Normal, Fussy, Fat, Thin and Diabetic Dogs

"I have been making this recipe since the 1990s. It has been successfully served to at least 20 different dogs. It seems to appeal to them all. Fat ones lose weight. Thin ones gain weight. Even fussy and diabetic dogs will usually eat it. The recipe, when made as shown, is enough to feed about 30 kilos (or 66 pounds) of dog for a week. I serve this recipe once a day (in the evening) and add one large handful of hard food per 10 kilos (22 pounds) of dog. The morning feed is one handful of hard food per 10 kilos of dog. This recipe is based on a core approach given to me by a Chinese friend, Pamela, who always said tinned dog food was hard on a dog's kidneys—especially true, she said, for male dogs. The first dogs to enjoy this recipe each lived to 15 years of age. It's okay to leave out, short-change or substitute ingredients, but don't give dogs onions. The recipe form insists on an indication of servings, so I said 14 ( a serve a day for two dogs). This is the first recipe I ever submitted to Zaar. Hey, don't we all put our kids and dogs first?"
photo by TasteTester photo by TasteTester
photo by TasteTester
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by PaulaG photo by PaulaG
photo by rosie316 photo by rosie316
Ready In:
1hr 45mins


  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 2 lbs potatoes
  • 12 bunch celery (can sub zucchini when it's plentiful)
  • 2 -3 lbs beef (cheap cuts of hamburger, mince, chuck or the like)
  • 14 dripping (optional)
  • 3 -4 chicken stock cubes (optional)
  • 3 -4 quarts water (12-16 cups)
  • 1 lb pearl barley, dried


  • If you are making the recipe as shown, before you start to prepare it, make sure you have a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients. A very large stock pot is great and essential.
  • Chop or slice the carrots, potatoes, celery and meat (other than minced meat) to a size that suits your dog.
  • Add the above ingredients to the pot.
  • Add the drippings, or soy sauce and stock cubes to the pot. If you don't make roasts, see if your neighbours will save their drippings. This recipe can be made without the drippings or soy sauce/stock cubes, but I think the doggies deserve this luxury. You can freeze drippings.
  • Add the water to the pot. You may need to reduce the amount of water. It will depend on the moisture content in the vegetables and meat. These days, I use about 12-14 cups of water.
  • Put the pot on the stove top, over a high heat.
  • Let it cook for about one hour.
  • Then -- assuming the mixture has come to a boil -- add the barley. Don't add the barley until the boil happens (it doesn't have to be a big rolling boil).
  • After adding the barley, cook for another 30-35 minutes (depending on what the barley package suggests.
  • This recipe really holds its heat, so let it cool for at least four hours before serving. Better still, make the recipe in the morning (weekends are good), then dish up the servings for the evening meal and let them cool all day.
  • Store in the refrigerator after completely cooled. Freezes well.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I made a batch of this last week for my rescued dog, Rocky. He has been a fussy eater ever since we got him, sometimes not even eating for almost two days because he didn't like his food. I tried many brands of dry food, sometimes mixing it with canned, warming it up, etc. I think he was only fed table scraps before we got him because he would start barking and jumping up and down whenever we ate at the table. I made this food two weeks ago, and I can't tell you what a difference it has made at his mealtimes. He polished off the first bowl in about 2 minutes, and I've fed it to him every day since. I now mix it 1/2 & 1/2 with dry food and he still runs to his bowl right away and finishes it up. The single batch made enough for 6 large plastic containers. I put one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. Rocky is 60 pounds, and this lasts him for 12 days when mixed with his dry food. It's economical, but best of all is I don't have to worry about Rocky anymore -- when it's his dinnertime he's in dog heaven. THANKS, Peggy for sharing this recipe!!! (BTW, I wanted to post the picture of Rocky because he eats this with such gusto that all the photos of him have a blurry head and dog tag. :)
  2. My three dogs give this ten plus stars. They loved it. I will add more later when I find out if my little chubby loses some weight. (Maybe I should eat this also). Thanks Peggy for a great recipe.<br/><br/>Just got some great news from the vet - Maggie has lost a half a pound in two weeks. The vet also looked at this recipe and said it was good for them. Thanks again Peggy.<br/><br/>Just wanted to add an update - Maggie has been on this food for six months and has lost a total of one pound - a lot for a toy poodle. All four of my little furbabies love this food.
  3. I have been making your recipe now for over a year. My peekapom was way overweight and the vet had me using the frozen Bravo diet. That started to get too expensive. When I found your recipe I decided to try it. I'm so glad I did. This makes enough food for me to feed her for almost 3 months and it usually costs me about $13 to make it. I can't say enough about this recipe. She had her yearly checkup last week and the vet couldn't say enough about her. Her weight, teeth, gums, bones, everything was good on her and I credit your recipe for that. Thank you so much for saving my precious little girl. Raylene
  4. I cooked up this recipe yesterday afternoon for my little 10 lb dog, but I cut the recipe in half (7 servings). It still made a lot. I mixed a hand full of her dry food with an equal portion of the "doggy stew"? My dog was confused at first, because she only gets dry food, but then after a few sniffs and licks, she devoured it all. I actually had 3 different taste testers. Of course... "Lucy Lu" (dog)... and also "Thumper" (one of my younger duckings that is still inside the house, and she liked it also). The 3rd tester was my hubby! I had not told him I was making this recipe at the time. So when he got home from work, he saw it sitting on the stovetop. I was trying to get a photo of the "dog stew" and he made a smart little comment... so I took the photo and quietly walked away. A short time later he approached me and commented... " it's a little bland, if you ask me". Yes, he helped himself to a bowl and I still have not told him what he ate! Thanks for such a fun recipe. I will definately make this again. I will probably double the next batch so I have enough to feed my dog, the outside ducks, and maybe even hubby (if he gets smart with me again)! Made for PAC - Spring 2013
  5. Oh my it does make alot!! I used stew meat which I cut into small pieces because I have a little Maltese and Toby's mouth isn't very big. (only when he barks) He was getting tired of the food I was feeding him but let me tell you what, he couldn't seem to eat this wonderful food fast enough and licked the bowl clean which is unusual for him. I'm hoping it will be ok to freeze portions of this. Toby and I THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this healthy recipe. It deserves a thousand stars.


  1. My 4-legged baby really loved it! I scaled the recipe way back and used ground beef and brown rice in place of the barley. The vegetables were coarsely chopped in the food processor. This is being used in combination with dry dog food for a delicious treat for Brisa. This is a recipe that I will remember.


<p>Thanks so much for visiting my page.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I love to cook and travel.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I'm originally from Nebraksa and now live in Australia. Have also been lucky enough to live in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Burma.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the beginning of 2009, hubby and I have visited all seven continents. We've cooked and travelled in Africa and Antarctica, from London across Asia to Sydney, around Australia, around South America, and across India, Europe, Canada and the USA. Most of our travels have been by road and we've covered more than 150,000 kilometres. It's been fun to learn about food and recipes from all over the globe, and most of the souvenirs I bring home are cookbooks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you're interested in seeing some of our trip and menu highlights, please visit my travel blog at or my food blog at</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks also to everyone who has made, reviewed and/or photographed any of my recipes. Most appreciated.</p>
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