Dog Food Company Shares Spot’s Stew Recipe

For Thanksgiving, Halo gives pet owners chance to replicate an original.

Posted: November 27, 2008, 5 a.m. EST

On Thanksgiving, when everyone feasts on turkey, they’re also talking recipes. This year, Halo decided to give away the recipe for Spot’s Stew, the original inspiration for the pet food company.

Unlike other pet food companies that prefer to keep their recipes under lock and key, Halo said it wanted to help people and their pets have a healthy Thanksgiving by sharing their Spot’s Stew recipe.

The formula was developed when Halo founder Andi Brown’s pet cat, Spot, was struggling with allergies and other health issues. Spot’s Stew was created in her kitchen in 1986 using ingredients found at the grocery store.

The recipe below can be tweaked to accommodate cats and dogs.

Spot’s Chicken Stew from Halo
2 ½ pounds whole chicken
¼ cup chopped fresh garlic
1 cup green peas
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
½ cup coarsely chopped sweet potato
½ cup coarsely chopped zucchini
½ cup coarsely chopped yellow squash
½ cup coarsely chopped green beans
½ cup coarsely chopped celery
1 tablespoon kelp powder
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
11 to 16 cups spring water

For dogs only: Add 8 ounces whole barley and 6 ounces rolled oats, and adjust the water content to a total of 16 cups, or enough to cover the ingredients. According to Halo veterinarian Donna Spector, cats require zero carbohydrate content in their diet, so this would be an unnecessary addition for cats.

Combine all of the ingredients in a 10-quart stainless-steel stockpot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat as low as possible and simmer for two hours – the carrots should be quite soft at the end of the cooking time. Remove from the heat, let cool, and debone the chicken.

With an electric hand mixer, or using a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients into a nice puree; the stew should be slightly thicker for dogs and more soupy for cats. Using zip lock bags or plastic yogurt containers, make up meal-sized portions. Refrigerate what you’ll need for three days and freeze the rest. Seek your pet’s advice (and your vet’s) on ideal meal sizes.

Serving size:
Amounts will vary depending on age, activity level, health, weight, and season, but here are some guidelines: The average adult cat will eat roughly one cup a day. Because dogs vary so much in size, consult the table below. The amount shown should be split into at least two meals daily.

Dog’s Weight
Up to 10 pounds
11 to 20 pounds
21 to 40 pounds
Total Daily Portion
1 to 1½ cups
2 to 3 cups
4 cups

For each additional 20 pounds, add two cups. Remember, pets are individuals, so let intuition and observations guide you, and always consult your vet.


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Eric   Kissimmee, Florida

10/12/2016 11:51:46 AM

Is anyone going to point out that garlic is poison for dogs?

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Regina   St. Simons Island, GA

12/31/2011 4:22:00 AM

I found the same problem as Katherine of WA. I spent hours cooking the Stew and ended up with a very liquidy puree or soup. Can this be rescued by adding some kind of thickener? And what should I do differently next time?

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Angelia   San Mateo, CA

2/14/2011 9:32:53 PM

I skim off the fat, save the broth and mix broth back in to warm it up on the stove to bring it to room temperature before feeding it to my puppy that has health problems since coming from a puppy farm. She is thriving well, and has a beautiful coat. If cooked in presure cooker you only need about 3 cups of water. And make sure cooked til bones crumble when pressed by a spoon. Otherwise where are you getting the calcium they need.

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Angelia   San Mateo, CA

2/14/2011 9:22:22 PM

If you put this in a pressure cooker with a whole chicken, liver, gizzards, liver included, leave out the garlic, for about two to three hours, the bones will become soft and safe so the dog gets the marrow and calcium from the bones and you don't have to debone, and it becomes more of a complete nutritional meal. Add the kelp and and efa or fish ( salmon) oil after cooled down to feed to the dog or cat. The dogs do not need the grains, it's a filler, the are carniviours

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