I think for this one we need to immediately address the elephant in the room... Yes, it could be said that cooking for your dogs is, as my kids would say, a little bit "extra," but that's not the elephant I am eluding to. The "elephant" is actually a plural and refers to my dogs, Diesel and Maverick. The picture bellow, happy as they may seem to be, was taken four years ago at the beach. At the time, we were already going above and beyond to try and get their weight down; limiting food intake, daily walks, diet dog food (that was really expensive). None of it worked. Finally, I decided that we were going to try cooking their meals and having a say in what exactly our dogs would be eating.
It totally worked, and in hindsight, knowing what I know now about their health and wellbeing and what amazing shape they are in, doing this for your pets in not the least bit extravagant.
Once you get this down to a process, by which each of the ingredients are kept separately refrigerated in stackable containers, the flow becomes fairly easy. And in terms of cost, if you buy the ingredients online from amazon fresh, you can search "ground turkey" or "ground beef" each time and usually find something that is priced fairly well. And if you just don't have the energy to make the food yourself there are companies who sell fresh whole foods for dogs and deliver right to your door.
[To determine how much your dog should be eating for their size and breed, you can check websites such as justfoodfordogs.com.]
meat - We do this once a week in a huge pot and freeze some in containers and put the rest in the fridge. Super easy. Sometimes we do turkey and sometimes beef.
brown rice - Same process as meat. Also very easy.
potatoes - This takes more energy because the skin needs to come off for dogs. we bake the potatoes and then take the skin off afterward and then freeze some and keep some in fridge.
butternut squash - I don't give them butternut squash everyday, more like 3 times a week. We purchase it already cubed and then steam it.
broccoli - We never cook this so it is super easy. We feed this in morning and night with their meals. I just make sure it is washed and break it up with my hands and add it into their bowls.
carrots - We never cook these. we buy the pre washed and peeled kind, usually organic and feed them whole in each meal, morning and night.
spinach - Once a month I will cook up some spinach for them and give for 3 days in their food bowl.
Powdered nutrients- I use Just Food For Dogs Nutrient blend. I usually don't cook it into the food but instead put it into each bowl mornings only. I don't even stir it in...just put it right on top.
Fish Oil - I use Just Food For Dogs Omega oil. I just pour this on top, mornings only.
eggs - 4 times a week I give the dogs 1 egg each. except for Tango...he just gets a little bit. Sometimes I give it in their food scrambled with olive oil, with the shells in it for extra calcium. Or I soft boil them and crush it into their food in the bowl with the shells. You can also hard boil them and give as a treat midday or mash it up in their food bowl.
liver - I do this in moderation. Read up on this and your dog size because too much liver is not good for them.
snacks - You can read up on good snacks but we like to give these here daily in moderation....Banana. Red apples, no seeds. Almond butter. Eggs. Avocado, use the flesh only. These are all small amounts as treats.