Dog Food Recipes: Kaptin's Crunchy Kibble

Makes 20 to 30 servings for a 25 lb. dog
By Wendy Nan Rees, March 2010

Cooking for your dog is not only healthy and affordable but rewarding too. From stews, stir-fries and other one-pot delectables recipes abound that make it easy—but have you ever thought about making your own kibble? We were happy to find a great kibble recipe from Wendy Nan Rees’s cookbook, The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats. Try it out—it’s delicious and nutritious!

This is my basic kibble recipe. I keep 8 cups in a sealed container in the refrigerator and freeze the rest in vacuum-sealed food storage bags. The kibble will keep in an airtight container for two weeks in the refrigerator, or three months in the freezer.

4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
2 cups nonfat milk powder
2 teaspoons bone meal
1 cup plain wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 2 1/2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 eggs
1 cup safflower, olive or corn oil
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water
4 cups cooked ground beef, pork, lamb, duck, chicken or turkey
2 cups cooked and puréed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped dried apples
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, milk powder, bone meal, wheat germ, parsley and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs and blend them with the oil. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
4. Add the water to the flour mixture and mix well.
5. Fold in the egg mixture and combine it all evenly.
6. Add the meat, sweet potatoes, dried apples and spinach and press them into the dough.
7. Spread the dough on cookie sheets (18" x 13" work best), making it very flat and thin. Use a knife to cut it into small squares.
8. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the kibble is golden brown and not doughy when you break a piece open. During the baking process, take a wood spoon or spatula and move the kibble around on the cookie sheet so it bakes evenly. Then turn off your oven, keeping the door closed, and let it dry out in the off oven for at least 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
9. When you remove the kibble from the oven, it will still be slightly warm and moist. Let it sit on cooling racks for another hour or two until it is completely dry and cool.

Variations: Here are some other ingredients I like to add for flavor and nutrients: alfalfa leaf, barley, basil leaf, beets, broccoli, brown rice, carrots, flaxseed meal, green beans, kamut, nutritional yeast flakes, peas, potatoes, rolled oats, rosemary leaf and zucchini.

Article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 59: Apr/May 2010

From The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats, by Wendy Nan Rees with Kevin Schlanger, DVM; © 2008 by Wiley Publishing and used with permission.

Wendy Nan Rees, author of four pet cookbooks, has served as lifestyle advisor on Animal Planet's Petsburg, USA, and hosts an Internet radio show, Wendy's Animal Talk.