Long-Dangerous Tails

German Shepherd Dogs and their people.
December 24th, 2011 by JK

How to Make Dr. Becker’s Doggy Vitamin Mix in 6 Easy Steps

Inspired by Food Guru Karen, I decided to give this a go today. Thanks, Karen for the tips and the supply list! I put all her links, with prices and serving sizes, in this dog supplement recipe spreadsheet that you can download. Because y’all know how I love making spreadsheets about dog stuff.

The recipe I used (Recipe A) yielded 1 and 1/3 cups of mix, enough to supplement over 150 lbs of food. It costs 9 cents to supplement 1 pound of food, or 18 cents per meal for Batman. It took me an hour because I stopped to take photos at every step, and also to explain to Eric why this was important for me to do on a Friday night. (Me: “I can’t go out, I have to make vitamin mix for Batman, and then post it on the blog.”  Eric: “Oh, OK. Is this something most people do, hon?”)

Now that I have the hang of it, I think I could make it in 20-30 minutes next time. Anyway, enough of my yammering. Let’s make some mix!

Step 1) Get vitamins. Here are the 6 ingredients I ordered from Lucky Vitamin. I forgot the salt in this picture, so there are really 7 ingredients.

Ingredients: Vitamin E, Kelp (for Iodine), Taurine, Iron, Manganese, Zinc and salt (not pictured). The nice thing about getting human-grade ingredients is, you can take them too! I took some manganese and taurine. Of course, I washed them down with beer, which probably negated the health benefits a little.


Step 2) Count the vitamins. I put all of them in separate little bowls because I like to pretend that I have my own cooking show. A cooking show for a very specific audience of dog people.

Karen recommends sorting them like this because it's easier to keep count. I printed the recipe list so I didn't have to keep running back to the computer. I thought this was a nice use of Batman's dog dish.


Step 3) Grind! Resist the urge to dump all the capsules in at once — limit it to 3 Tbs at a time or it won’t grind well. It only takes 10-15 seconds per round for the capsules because you just need to split open the shells to release the powder. Make sure to UNPLUG the grinder between rounds. I would’ve had some disaster photos to share if I hadn’t done this!

Not pictured: Me inhaling manganese powder.


Step 4) Sift. I strained everything into a sieve over a bowl because my strainer was too big. The sieve works well, but you have to sift carefully, or else you get covered in a cloud of vitamin dust.

Tip: Make sure to toss out the empty capsule shells after each sifting. Otherwise, when you dump the next batch on top, the empty shells catch the powder and you have to shake them empty all over again. I learned this lesson twice before I stopped doing it.

Sifting the kelp pills, which were solid tablets that did not have a capsule like the others. The sieve was useful here because it easily caught the bigger bits that needed to be re-ground. The bowl I used turned out to be a stupid choice -- next time, I'll use a bigger, deeper bowl with straight sides.


Step 5: Mix and pour. OK, technically that’s two steps, but it’s getting late over here! I mixed very carefully with a fork to avoid creating vitamin clouds, and used a funnel to pour.

One GSD Big Batch (Dr. Becker's recipe tripled) = about 1 1/3 cups, enough for at least 150 lbs of food.


Step 6) Bottle it up, and you’re ready to serve! Following Karen’s advice, I stored about 2/3 of the mix in an airtight jar, and the rest in a smaller spice jar to scoop from daily. Batman will need a scant 1/2 teaspoon per 2-cup meal.

Ta-da! Magical doggy vitamin mix!





16 Responses to “How to Make Dr. Becker’s Doggy Vitamin Mix in 6 Easy Steps”
  1. Great post Jennie!

    Here is a source for ordering vitamins, herbs, and minerals in bulk:

  2. Jennie, you rock! Karen will LOVE you!

  3. Oh yes, Karen and I are already BFFs! I’m learning a lot from her! @Carole

  4. Hi –

    thank you for these excellent instructions and the spreadsheet. I have a couple questions:

    1. it’s been 6 years since you wrote this – do you have any additional suggestions or have you made any modifications?
    2. Recipe A is for a complete diet with organs, eggs, etc. – just want to confirm – is this a diet of 75% meat including organs/bones and 25% veg or fruit puree?

    Thank you. Helen

    • Karen Murray says

      Hi Helen!
      Dr. Becker is working on a new diet book (5th edition) but it is not out yet. You can go to the Mercola site and “get notified” when it comes out.

      Yes, diet is 75% lean muscle meat/organs (note that meat & organs are at different percentages in the mix) and 25% veg mostly with small amount of fruit.

      If you are not including bones in your meat mix, you need to add a high quality/human grade “Bone Meal”.

      I don’t remember which edition the recipe on here came from, but here is the 4th edition’s “single recipe A”:
      4 teaspoons Sea Salt
      13 Capsules Iron (18 mg)
      2 Capsules Manganese (10 mg)
      5 Capsules Zinc (50 mg)
      65 Tablets Kelp/Iodine (150 mcg )
      3 Capsules Vit. E (400 IU)
      25 Capsules Taurine (1.0 grams/1,000 milligrams) (also, check the milligrams on the product you are purchasing to see if they are 500 milligrams)

      Recipe “B” differs slightly.

      Feel free to email me if you have any questions!

      Karen :+)

  5. Jeremy Lapper says

    Hi so we recently switched our two dogs to home cooked diets. And still trying to figure out the vitamins and minerals.
    I purchased all the individual vitamins to make this mix and realized it doesn’t include calcium? What do you do for calcium?

  6. Jeremy Lapper says

    No sorry Lisa I don’t. I stumbled onto this website in the process of trying to find Dr. Karen Becker’s vitamin mix.

    • Lisa: -- Libby & Ziva's mom says

      Don’t know if this helps, but I make a home prepared diet for my 66 LB GSD and use 1 1/2 tsp of now calcium carbonate powder/day.

  7. Jeremy Lapper says

    Thanks Lisa. That’s definitely helpful. I just purchased it on amazon!! Is you GSD on a raw food diet by any chance? We are currently feeding our two dogs home cooked food but it’s been trial and error with them ending up with stomach issues etc. we are too chicken to switch to raw because as it is we have had so many issues even with cooked homemade food.

    • Lisa: -- Libby & Ziva's mom says

      No it is not raw, it is home cooked. She has food allergies and the raw meat gives her wicked diarrhea, but cooking it helps. Hers was formulated by a nutritionist so that it is nutritionally complete

  8. Karen Murray says

    NOTE info about Feeding PUPPIES a home cooked diet:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Libby and Jeremy are feeding a homemade to ADULT dog’s. So the supplements that they are feeding are correct.

    This comment is concerning “PUPPIES” should anyone be reading this and decides to begin a homemade diet for them that does not contain raw bones …..using a supplement instead.

    Puppies, MUST have the correct balance/ratio of Calcium (Ca) to Phosphorus (P) in their diets to develop properly.

    by Daniel C. Richardson & Phillip W. Toll: The absolute level of calcium in the diet, rather than an imbalance in the calcium/phosphorus ratio, influences skeletal development. Young, giant-breed dogs fed a food containing excess calcium (3.3% dry matter basis) with either normal phosphorus (0.9% dry matter basis) or high phosphorus (3% dry matter basis, to maintain a normal calcium/phosphorus ratio) had significantly increased incidence of developmental bone disease.

    Pet Education By Foster & Smith: It is very important that calcium and phosphorous be fed at the correct ratio of around 1.2 parts of calcium for each 1 part of phosphorous (1.2:1). Chart on article says = no higher than 1.5 Calcium to 1.2 Phosphorus.

    IVC Journal: The calcium:phosphorus ratio should be between 1:1 to 1.3:1.

    By Steve Brown: To support their growing bones, puppies need more calcium and phosphorus than adult dogs. Both the total amounts and the ratio between calcium and phosphorus are important in order to prevent growth abnormalities, especially in large-breed puppies.

    The NOW product that I mentioned contains the correct amount of Calcium (80%) and Phosphorus (30%).

    Just thought people should know! :+)

  9. Sarah Soulier says

    Does anyone have a spreadsheet or a table that puts Dr. Becker’s recipies / vitamins / minerals / calcium / fatty acids / eggs / sardines / what days to feed what / what days to supplement what in 1 simple chart? I understand each dog has different requirements. However, there must be a general simple guideline that can be used and then adjustments could be made accordingly.

    I have read this book through twice, made notes, and I’m still searching for specifics. I find myself guessing all that I think I finally have figured out. I really need to see this spelled out in a more simple form. HELP PLEASE!!!

    thanks, Sarah

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