Satin Balls appear to have developed in the show community, as an uncooked, homemade dog food to improve coats and put weight on a skinny dog, quickly. Many recipe variations have proliferated on the internet, but a few are mentioned frequently. The dog rescue community also uses Satin Balls to put weight on underweight dogs.
The following recipe combines the best elements of two of the most common recipes circulating on the internet.
10 pounds raw ground beef, 70%-85% lean
18 ouncesTotal Multi-grain cereal (or other vitamin-fortified, unsweetened cereal)
2 pounds oatmeal, uncooked regular or quick oats (not instant oats)
20 ounces wheat germ
1¼ cup canola oil
1¼ cup unsulfured molasses
10 hard-boiled eggs and shells, crushed and minced
10 envelopes unflavored gelatin
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Divide into freezer bags in daily ration portions (some divide into 10 equal portions, others 14, and I divide it into one-pound packs). Flatten out the filled bags to expel air and completely fill the bags, and to reduce freezing/thawing times. Seal and place the bags in the freezer in a single layer. Once frozen, the bags can be stacked. For travel, the frozen bags can be placed in a cooler and used to chill other items until needed. Break thawed meat mixture into chunks or roll into meatballs. Feed raw as a meal or supplement.Yield: approx. 17 pounds @ 1275 calories/pound.
About the Ingredients
Beef: If the goal is to improve the coat, then use leaner ground beef. If the goal is to put weight on, quickly, then use ground beef with higher fat content.
Cereal: The original recipe calls for Total cereal, but another fortified, unsweetened cereal could be used. Some competing recipes discourage the use of Total cereal “due to its high sugar content”, but since it is unsweetened, the sugar content is low. Total was chosen for the original recipe because of its vitamin content.
Molasses: Some recipes criticize the use of sugar (molasses) in the recipe, however the molasses contributes minerals and calories. If the Satin Balls were being fed on a regular basis, long-term, then one might want to omit the molasses.
Eggs: The original recipe for Satin Balls calls for 10 raw eggs. Apart from concerns about salmonella, raw egg white contains avitin which blocks the use of the B vitamin, biotin. While there is a lot of biotin in the egg yolk, to offset the avitin in the egg white, dogs do not digest raw eggs as well as they do cooked. Cooking neutralizes the avitin, allowing full use of the biotin. Cooked eggs are more nutritious and easier to digest, with more usable calories per egg, so our recipe calls for hard-boiled eggs. The shells are included for their calcium.
Gelatin: Some recipes call for unflavored joint health supplement gelatin.
Some of the competing recipes, variously called Satin Balls or Fat Balls, call for subsets of the main Satin Ball recipe, and often add cream cheese or peanut butter. The high dairy content of some of these recipes may cause digestive upset in some dogs. Here are some of the other, popular recipes for Satin/Fat Balls.
Fat Balls #1:
10 pounds ground beef
10 ounces uncooked oatmeal
6 raw egg yolks
10 ounces wheat germ
10 ounces molasses
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Roll into one-inch balls and freeze.
Fat Balls #2:
1 pound ground beef (high fat content)
1 package cream cheese
1 jar all-natural peanut butter
12 raw egg yolks
1 cup rolled oats soaked in milk
1 jar wheat germ
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Freeze into meal-sized bags and thaw as needed.
Fat Balls #3:
1 half-pint container heavy cream
12 raw egg yolks
2 blocks cream cheese (at room temp)
5 pounds ground beef
1 small box Total cereal (crushed into crumbs)
1 cup wheat germ
Mix dry ingredients, add heavy cream, add cream cheese, mix together. Add ground beef, and mix together. Roll into balls and freeze.
Fat Balls #4:
2 cups dry dog food,
2 packs cream cheese
1 ½ cups peanut butter
½ cup corn oil
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pound ground beef, browned (reserve some of the fat)
additional crushed dry dog food, as needed
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Work to a doughy mixture, adding more crushed dry dog food meal as needed, if consistency is too thin. On wax paper spread some crushed dry dog food meal and roll out mixture into log shape. Refrigerate until firm and slice as needed. Feed them a slice or two several times during the day.”