Recently a lot of people have been asking me how they can make their own dog food at home. Here is the recipe that I use. Its very easy, healthy and actually costs less than store bought, mass produced dog food. This diet is based on the BARF diet.

I’ve been the lucky and proud mom to a Bichon Frise named Winston that I rescued from Happy Tails Dog Rescue about 5 years ago. Since then its been a match made in heaven and I’ve enjoyed every minute of having him.

Strangely, around the time of the pet food recall back in 2007 Winston went off of eating his dog food. At the time I was buying him the best food I could buy but it was made by Menu foods (like most dog foods) and I don’t know if there was something wrong with it… but after several days of not eating I got scared and decided to start making my own dog food. I read a lot of web-sites and books about what I can and can’t feed my dog and finally came up with a diet that suits his needs and palette.

Recently a lot of people have been asking me how they can make their own dog food at home.  Here is the recipe that I use. Its very easy, healthy and actually costs less than store bought, mass produced dog food. This diet is based on the BARF diet.

One of the deciding factors that this diet was healthy for Winston in general was the fact that he had started to develop a small tumour under his left leg (in the arm pit area) and after a few months of feeding him his new diet the tumour completely disappeared! His health also improved as did his energy level. He seemed like a much happier dog overall.

Some people have commented that their dog tends to beg a lot now that they make his own food. I’ve never had that issue with Winston. He is eager to eat and often sits with me while I put together his food.

Hint – if you feed your dog 1 cup of dog food kibble, the equivalent is to feed him/her 1 cup of fresh food packed down.

Recipe: (makes about 14+ portions of food based on feeding Winston 1.5 cups of food a day, divided into 2 meals)

In a large slow cooker pot set to Low to cook overnight combine the following:

1kg of frozen mixed vegetables (contains peas, carrots, corn, beans, etc.)
1 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (also called flax seed meal)
1 3/4 – 2 cups of Brown California Rice
1 apple cored and sliced (be sure to remove all of the core as it is poisonous to dogs)
1 can of pure pumpkin
1 tin of Bean Medley (thoroughly washed and drained)
2 fresh carrots sliced and chopped thinly
6-8 small potatoes sliced and chopped
2 cups of chicken or beef broth

Mix together in the slow cooker bowl all of the above until all ingredients are spread evenly throughout for cooking.

Add 1-2 cups of water poured over the top to ensure adequate moisture
Add 2 chicken legs (with backs attached) to the top of the above ingredients

Cover with lid and cook overnight (approx 6-8 hours on low)

When the food is done cooking remove 2 cooked chicken legs from the top of the meal (using tongs or a fork) and de-bone them (be sure to get the small bones too).  Add chicken meat back to food and discard bones.
Take 1 pound of lean ground beef and brown it in a frying pan. Drain excess grease. Add browned ground beef to the rest of the food and mix together.
Allow food to cool and done!

From here we usually portion out the entire batch into several small plastic containers with 1 days worth of portioned food in each. We then freeze them all and remove from freezer to fridge 1 day in advance (to thaw) as needed. I usually put the food in the microwave for about 40-60 seconds to warm before serving. Be careful it is not too hot for your pet to eat to avoid burning his/her mouth.

Winston loves it! He gave it 4 paws up!

If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment.

Here are also some handy lists of foods not to feed your dog:
Foods to Avoid Feeding Y0ur Dog
Dangerous and Toxic foods to Dogs
25 Human Foods Toxic to Dogs


I don’t know if it’s because we went on a vacation recently, or if it’s because we’ve has such terrible weather all summer but recently we’ve been venturing out as tourists in Toronto to explore the area and see what this big beautiful city has to offer.

With our travels we’ve discovered that Steam Whistle Brewery serves free beer! All you have to do is walk in the door and they give you a couple of free coupons for 2 glasses of beer at their brewery!

We also ventured over to the new “Urban” Leon’s to look around. It’s a nice place – especially since it caters to us Condo folk. 🙂

We also went over to Centre Island and even rented a quad-ricycle! Winston, Kenny and I peddled around the island and saw some of the sights we haven’t been able to see this summer because of the City workers strike.

Here are some of the photos we took on our journey to the island! You’ll also see some photos of the crazy storm that hit about an hour after we got home!

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There are some days when I wake up and have to remind myself of this very point… it’s not all bad news.

It’s been a really hard year for most of us (if not all of us) and some days it’s hard to pick myself up out of bed every morning and go to work. The company I’m currently working for recently did lay-offs in my office. I was one of the lucky ones who was spared my job but was informed that I will be moving to a new division of the company. I’m currently in music and am moving to the film division… an area that I’m not unfamilar with having worked in music licensing for TV shows and films.

My brother works for General Motors and has been lucky enough in his career to have advanced through the ranks into a management position. He currently is doing the job of 3 people and has the job titles of 3 people to go along with it! With GM declaring bankrupcy my parents (who are both retired) and I are waiting to see what the future has in store for my brother and the entire city of Oshawa.

The good news is that we are all pulling together and understand that this is what we have to do to get by until bigger and better things come our way. We are both in our 30’s which is lucky for my brother and I… being young in times of economic uncertainty does have its advantages.

To cheer myself up I spend a lot of time with family, friends and loved ones. DJing also keeps a nice bright smile on my face. It’s such a great escape to get behind the decks and just throw down an awesome set that everyone on the dance floor enjoyed just as much as me. I also spend a lot of time outdoors (I know it’s hard to believe with how busy my life and my schedule is!). Here are some photos I took on a recent walk with Kenny and Winston.

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I just got a new digital camera which I am already in love with. It is a simple point and shoot digital camera that also takes HD video! I’ve been looking for a camera for a while and with so many on the market I honestly didn’t know where to begin. Do I want one with various lenses? Do I want one that focuses on video? Do I want to buy both a video camera and a digital camera? The choices are endless. For me the choice became clearer by someone who I never thought would have an influence on my life let alone any decisions that I made in it. That person was Avril Lavigne.

Her commercials have been appearing on TV for a while now featuring these colourful little cameras called “elphs” (an acronym for Electronic Physics). Avril Lavigne is just so cute and her music is so catchy… you can’t help but watch the commercials when they come on TV (or at least I can’t, being a fan of her music). I especially loved the commercial [youtube]yEWIv-wIBG8[/youtube] where she is going through a trunk of fun clothes trying them all on and taking photos of herself. The latest commercials feature Avril surrounded by a wall of cameras and she finally picks a little red one that also takes HD videos! When I saw this commercial it sealed the deal for me.

I am now the proud owner of a Canon SD780 IS Digital ELPH and I love it! It allows me to take HD videos of my much loved dog Winston [youtube]QYJ1iYvcXf4[/youtube].  It will also allow me the ability to create an audio, video and photo blog that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  So welcome to the first post of my new blog!

This isn’t the first time that Canon has enticed me with their advertising. You’ll all remember the Anna Kournikova commercials featuring the tennis star taking photos of her ‘oh so adourable’ long haired Chihuahua. That almost got me to buy the camera… almost – although I still fully intend to create my “wall of Winston” featuring Winston in various poses, surroundings and enjoying life. 🙂

This leads me to my question – how influenced by advertising are you? I have to say that I am very influenced by advertising. In this vast marketplace in which we live none of us have the time to research every single product we buy.. so for me advertising lets me know what is new in the marketplace and helps me to make a decision on what to buy. Am I alone? Somehow I don’t think so. If a company like Canon can afford spokespeople like Avril Lavigne and Anna Kournikova to help make my decision on what camera to buy a little easier, then I can say with some certainty that I am definitely not alone.

Another purchase I have made recently based solely on advertising – Covergirl Eyelights Mascara. Who wouldn’t want a mascara that brightens your eye colour? Especially for all of those photos I’m going to be taking with my new digital Elph camera! That Wall of Winston is only a few more clicks away!

To celebrate (and to say thank you for the gift of my beautiful camera)… Kenny and I went out for dinner!


  • profileLisa Bassett is a Digital Marketing and Social Media professional from Toronto, Canada.