It's easy and healthier to make your own pet food from PumpjackPiddlewick

If you read any of my food related stories, you will know I like good food, real food here at Pumpjack & Piddlewick. So for the furry pets in my life I felt it only fair that they get good, real food as well. That is, no preservatives, fillers, etc. So I took the decision to make my own pet food. And honestly it is so easy!

What’s Good for Me

With the cats, as consummate carnivores, as well as the odd dog I have looked after, it’s quite simple~ fish, chicken or beef. When I cook for me, I make sure some is set to the side for them. Sometimes I serve it raw, sometimes I serve it cooked (and cooled).

When I buy for me, I simply buy extra for them. In figuring quantities for my grocery list, I count the cats together as another mouth to feed. And when it’s a vegetarian night? I often make double batches of meat and store in the fridge/freezer ready.


But why go to the trouble and expense? Easy, health and well-being. Their fur in particular is amazing! Especially after eating fish. So beautifully soft and shiny.

I opt for home made, natural food after checking over available wet foods (for both cats and dog) and was not happy with either the ingredients or, for that matter, value for money.

We are lucky here in France in that the butchers, whether independent or in supermarkets, don’t let anything go to waste. They all offer offcuts packaged up for animals (viande pour animaux). In fact the quality is amazing. Think Boeuf Bourgignon but with just a bit more fat. Okay, and a touch of gristle. And the cost is next to nothing for these cuts!

Sense & Sensibility

I did some research and searching around and found out it was really easy to prepare your own pet food. (I include some links I thought were helpful below.) Of course, there is a lot of ‘you must do this’, but my feeling is if you are sensible about your own diet, you are more than capable about being sensible to your own pets needs. After all you are the one who sees him/her every day.

I noticed my cats fur got softer and shinier since I have been feeding them home made, real food. My mantra, I use my own common sense as I review recipes and make sure I vary what I offer my pets.

The Favourite

My favourite pet food recipe is a simple one to make. I make it once a week in a big pot and it hardly takes any time. Then I portion into containers that are equal to my cats daily needs. (I feed them mornings and evenings.) Some is kept fresh in the fridge and the rest in the freezer, taking them out each night to defrost ready for the next day. And the cost savings against pre-packaged wet food! I just can’t beat it.

Pet Food Recipe

Sunflower/Canola oil
2 or 3 carrots
1 or 2 stalks celery
a couple handfuls of spinach, swiss chard, kale (whatever is in season)
a pinch of dried seaweed or kelp
1 liver or heart (beef, pork or chicken)
1.5 to 2 kg (3 to 4 lbs) off cuts of beef (Viande pour animaux) – you could also use any other meat or fish (which I vary by what’s on offer)

Cut everything into bite size pieces. I base the size of the pieces on my pet. Take out any bones*. (Keep raw meat bones as a treat for dogs.)
In a big pot on the stove, heat a couple tablespoons of oil.
Sauté the carrots and celery.
Add in the heart or liver and give a stir.
After it browns a bit add in the meat.
Add water until it just covers everything.
Add in spinach and seaweed, and stir.

Let simmer for about an hour or so on a low heat. You could also do this in a slow cooker, set on low for 3 – 4 hours.
Then turn off the burner and let it cool naturally.
Once cool, spoon in to containers.

Home Made Pet Food

Et Voilà! Bon apetit! Home made pet food. Dogs will eat it all. The cats will generally leave the carrots, but love the rest! Still the vitamins from the carrots will have infused into the meal.

And in case you are going to ask, yes, I do keep on hand tinned and dry pet food, for those times when I inadvertently run out. Or when my pets have been particularly active and ask for something more during the day. But they always prefer their ‘real’ food.

If you would like to make home made food for your pets, there’s so many possibilities. And honestly, it is not much effort.

Dog specific

This is my favourite site for general info and nonce about making your own dog food ~ The Bark: How and Why to Cook Your Dogs Food and Recipes

Bishopton Dog Walking Services: Dog Food Recipes

Dog Food Insider: About Making Your Own Dog Food (Book available)

The Whole Dog Journal: Home Prepare Dog Food Nutritional Information

And for those of  you who like All Recipes for finding recipes, they even have a selection of dog food ones. Just go to the site and type in Dog and scroll past the hot dog recipes. And what our dog likes, so do our cats.

Additional Notes

I don’t generally add rice or other bulk foods as my pets have dry food available during the day, but many people do add it.

Never, ever add onions or garlic. Never give your pets cooked bones, and no chicken or fish bones cooked or raw.

More (human) Food?

For more food related posts from France, check out my Food Findings.

And if you like what you read and wish to join in and support Pumpjack & Piddlewick, do check out my Nourish page.

If you enjoy cooking, for human or animal, do check out my Cooking and Kitchen Gadget section of My Shop. Here’s a taste:

Simply click on an image to see more…



  1. Nice post, I think feeding our pets good food is a sensible idea. I’ve never liked the look or smell of tinned animal food and used to give our cat (the beloved Archie) fresh food to supplement the dried food he generally had available to snack on.
    I have yet to ask our local butcher if he has scraps and off-cuts, but I suspect I am more likely to make stock for the freezer for winter soups from them!
    I hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying the slightly warmer weather now that spring is arriving.

    1. Author

      Thanks Liz

      Spring is finally springing! (Though a bit cold and rainy today, still the garden loves it.)

      I suspect any butcher will have scraps and be much happier to sell, some even give, to you rather than simply throw away. (We find getting bones a little bit harder to get, though depends on the butchers.) And your dog (or cat) will love you for it for sure. And so many uses as well, as you say. I often make stock from chicken bones and then pick off the residual cooked meat (which just falls off the bones) and give to our cat. No reason one couldn’t take the meat from the stock you make and give to you dog/cat ~ though may depend on how much you salt it prior.

      We mainly try to limit the intake of wheats/cereals against proteins and veg, wishing the dried stuff, if you will, to be the smallest portion of their diet. It certainly makes a difference in them farting ~ much, much less if they don’t eat much wheat, which we take to be better for them as gas build up, we think, means they are not able to digest it properly.

      A a dogs life… 🙂

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