I’m straying a bit from my people recipes on the blog here, as you can tell from the above photo, but it’s not unlike me in real life to make food for my dogs. I really do. I buy them top-of-the-line dry dog food, but I still feel that occasionally some meat and vegetables are in order.
Recently I came across a website called DogVacay.com. It’s a fabulous resource for people looking for dog sitters. The dog sitters actually dog sit your dogs in their homes, and the website provides the links to those who provide this service.
But then, the website had this post: 8 Holiday Recipes for Your Dog! I was very amused by it, because all of the 8 recipes look like actual people food, including a doggy eggnog that’s actually made with yogurt. Of course, all photos that have dogs in them get me excited.
So just because I’m a dog lover and I love dog lovers, I decided to make one of the recipes from that post – Mini Muttballs. I have three fairly mini dogs, and they’re all mutts – rescued mutts – so it all made perfect sense.
The original recipe came from the website Entirely Pets. I’m not going to follow the recipe exactly, because I never follow a recipe, but if you’ve never made dog meatballs or a doggy meatloaf before, it’s a good way to start!
When I do make meat-based food for my dogs, I always include vegetables – especially spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and also parsley. I also tend to minimize dairy, but I’m not sure why. And of course you know to omit the aromatics – they can be problematic for dogs.
So following is a generalized recipe for the muttballs that I made for my three mutts – just because I love them!
Chicken livers (I had some leftover from making paté)
quick oats, finely ground, or you can use breadcrumbs
Then mix together well using a fork or your hands.
Add some of the oats; I ground mine up in the food processor.
Keep adding oats until a mixture is formed that resembles an actual meatball mixture. You don’t want it too soft, or too stiff.
Place a little bit of oil in a skillet over fairly high heat. Form little meatballs with a scoop, or just with a teaspoon. The dogs won’t care, I don’t think, if they’re misshapen. But try to keep them about the same size overall for cooking consistency.
Toss them about so that they brown on all sides, and then, using a slotted spoon, place them on a paper towel-lined platter. Continue with the remaining meatball mixture. I didn’t cook these all the way through but you can. I think a little rawness is good for dogs. But you can cook them further in the skillet, and even place them in the oven after browning. That’s a personal choice.
Serve them warm or at room temperature.
Of my three mutts, Louie is the one most crazed about food. Any kind of food. That’s why he got top billing in the featured photo.
Every summer he gains weight eating dead locusts. We can hear him crunching away, but we can’t stop him. But, in his defense, he was a puppy mill dog. Here he is again, wondering why the hell my husband hasn’t put the plate on the floor!
Then he decided to share the limelight with Roxy, our eldest. She’s so deaf she didn’t hear all of the commotion; she just happened to come into the kitchen. Her big nose still works…
Then Frankie came in, who is the most blazé about food. Except when it comes to meat. He weighs 9 pounds but rules the roost. Alpha dog. Head boss. Top dog.
Please don’t think we were teasing them with this magnificent mini muttball dinner. All three dogs got muttballs. And they loved them. People could certainly eat these muttballs as well, except for the extreme lack of seasoning.