The Whole Pet Diet Chicken Stew, or “Doc’s Stew,” is a healthy homemade food suitable for dogs and cats.
by Dr. Rhonda Ross
It comes from The Whole Pet Diet, a great book by Andi Brown that centers around an eight-week program to better health. Often, when pets are either not feeling well or recovering from procedures, they may be slow to eat. This is a good way to get some nutrient-rich food into them. I love this recipe and recommend it all the time. The fresh ingredients are so good for pets. Use organic ingredients whenever possible, and never feed raw or cooked chicken bones to your pets because they splinter easily.
- 5 pounds whole chicken or turkey, including bones, organs and skin (beef is fine, too)
- 6 to 8 cups spring water, just enough to cover the meat
- 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
- ½ pound green peas
- ½ pound coarsely chopped sweet potato
- ½ pound coarsely chopped green beans
- 1 pound coarsely chopped carrots
- 1 pound coarsely chopped zucchini
- 1 pound coarsely chopped yellow squash
- 1 pound coarsely chopped celery
- ¼ teaspoon kelp powder
- Dash of dried rosemary
Often, when pets are either not feeling well or recovering from procedures, they may be slow to eat. This is a good way to get some nutrient-rich food into them.Dr. Rhonda Ross
For dogs only: Add 12 ounces of rolled oats and increase the water content to a total of 10 to 12 cups. Do not use grains when cooking for a cat. Combine all ingredients in a 10-quart stock pot. Bring to boil, reduce to low and simmer for about 1½ hours. Remove from heat, cool and de-bone the chicken by hand. Working in batches, use an electric hand mixer or a food processor to blend the stew into a nice puree. Divide into meal-sized portions and store in plastic containers. Put the servings you will need over the next three days into the refrigerator, and freeze the other portions.
Serving sizes will vary depending on age, weight, activity level, current health and season. An average adult cat will eat roughly one cup a day. Because dogs vary so much in size, use this as a starting point:
- Dogs up to 10 pounds, feed 1-1½ cups per day
- Dogs 11-20 pounds, feed 2-3 cups per day
- Dogs 21-40 pounds, feed 4 cups per day
For each additional 20 pounds of weight, add two cups. Remember, all pets are individuals, so let your intuition and observations guide you on how much they need. Split the total daily amount into at least two meals. This recipe yields 20 cups for cats and 26 cups for dogs.
Dr. Ross is a 1997 graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Ross Animal Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in July 2000.