Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Making your own dog food with our homemade dog food recipes can improve your dog’s health, and help them live longer. Once you understand the balance of protein, grain, veggies, and fat you need, you can make endless recipes with what is already in your kitchen.
How to Make Your Own Dog Food
If you decide to make your own dog food (first of all, good for you!!) you’ll need to know the balance of macronutrients that your dog needs. But once you get the formula (below) and get used to making food with that balance, you can create recipes depending on what you have in the house. In fact, variety is one of the best ways to make sure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need. So, don’t worry about doing it wrong.
Just follow the simple steps, and make sure to avoid the few pitfalls in the tips below. Soon you’ll be able to make nutritious food for your dog at a fraction of the price of buying packaged food.
If you would prefer to follow specific recipes, there are several included below as well.
***Please note I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes recommended by our holistic vet. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human grade food diet for your pup.***
What Foods to Add
So what is the split you need to use for your food, and what foods can you add? This is what the holistic vet I have talked to recommend:
Eggs, Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Fish, Beans, and or Legumes
Meat: Find the protein that works best for your dog. Some dogs prefer some kinds over others or might have mild reactions to certain ones. Do a little experimenting, and see what your dog prefers. Also, if possible go for organic meats or meats labeled that they have not had antibiotics added.
Avoid overly fatty or processed meats such as bacon, sausage, cold cuts, etc.
Beans/Legumes: Beans and Legumes are highly nutritious and packed with protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and other key vitamins and minerals your dog needs.
Best to cook beans instead of using canned beans since canned beans have preservatives that are taxing to dog’s systems. Either way, blend them before serving them to your dog. It will make it easier for them to digest. Make sure there is no salt added.
¼ Vegetables with a Little Fruit
All except Mushrooms, onions, garlic, leeks, avocado, grapes, raisins, currants, lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, raw potatoes, rhubarb
You can choose a variety of vegetables and fruits except for a few things listed above. You can mix different vegetables together depending on what you have, but make sure that about 75% of the mixture is vegetables, and only a small portion is fruit.
In order to make them more digestible, and closer to the way they would eat them in the wild, put all veggies and fruit into a blender or food processor with some water and blend them before you add them to your recipe.
It’s best to have a wide variety with a lot of different colors included (each color fruit and vegetable has different phytonutrients that are excellent and necessary for a dog’s health).
Avoid feeding them parts of the plant that humans don’t consume like seeds, pits, stems and leaves, including apple seeds, cherry pits, and tomato stems and leaves.
Rice or oatmeal, or if you want to get fancy you can use barley, millet, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, or amaranth. NO wheat, barley, and corn.
Although they are very good for a dog’s health, go easy on the grains. You don’t want to give dogs too much grain at once.
Making The Transition to Home Cooked Food
When switching your dog’s food, you’ll need to make a gradual transition to get their system used to the new way of eating. You know best how sensitive your dog’s system is, so if you have a dog with health issues or a finicky stomach, you can take this transition slower, but for most dogs, this will be a good schedule to follow:
25% Home Cooked Food and 75% Previous Food
50% Home Cooked Food and 50% Previous Food
75% Home Cooked Food and 25% Previous Food
Days 7 on
100% Home Cooked Food
Homemade dog food Recipe
Choose Your Own Ingredients
(Specific Recipes In Next Section)
Once you know what foods dogs can have, and how much protein, fat, and grain to add, you can make your own dog meals with whatever you have in the kitchen by following these easy steps:
- Cook 4 lbs of meat – choose from the list above
- Choose your veggies and a little fruit – blend them and add about 4 cups of the mixture to your cooked meat.
- Choose your grain and add 1 – 2 cups of cooked grain to your mixture.
- Blend cooked legumes and add 1 cup to the mixture
- Add olive oil – About 2 Tbsp
Stir, cool, and serve. Portion size will depend on the size of your dog, and how many meals you feed them per day. I feed my dogs (which are 80 and 45 lbs) 3 small meals a day each about 1-1.5 cups of this recipe, and one batch lasts me 2 – 3 days.
What To Add to Fill In The Gaps
You may have noticed that most commercial dog foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Just like us, dogs have a lot of requirements for vitamins and minerals that we might not be completely filling depending on what we choose to add to their meals that week. I spoke to my holistic vet and she recommended I add these supplements to their food to make sure my dogs were getting what they need:
- Multivitamin with Fish Oil like Dr. Lyon’s Multi Vitamin Soft Chew
- Calcium like Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium
Adding too many vegetables
Even though vegetables are great for your pet, keep veggie content to less than 25 percent of your dog’s diet. Too many vegetables can create issues, such as negatively changing the gut flora, or increasing alkalinity, which would cause kidney issues.
Not preparing balanced meals
You don’t have to be perfect, but try to keep meals around this ration – ½ protein, ¼ grain, ¼ veggies and fruit
Think about what you choose to feed your dog, and make sure it is all things you would eat.
Too much fish
Too much fish can cause dogs to have excess Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and optimal immune system function, but if they have too much it becomes a potentially fatal poison.
Too much liver
Too much liver can cause vitamin A toxicity. Also, make sure you are getting liver from somewhere you trust.
Not paying attention to what’s working and not working
Experiment to find the best ingredients for your dog – If your dog’s digestion is not liking the mixture you made, play around with different ingredients. They may be sensitive to one of the ingredients you added.
Too much fat
Higher fat intake may not be tolerated by all healthy adult dogs
Check with your vet
Rather than improvising, it’s important to run any questions by a veterinary nutritionist. That way, you’ll be able to understand the impact alternative ingredients might have on your dog.
Don’t Feel Like Cooking or You Need a Break from Cooking For Your Dog?
No problem! There are some wonderful small companies that are making healthy whole-food dog food and they will ship it to your door! We recommend some halfway down the page HERE.
Homemade dog food Recipes
GROUND BEEF RECIPE
yield: 8 CUPS
prep time: 10 MINUTES
cook time: 40 MINUTES
total time: 50 MINUTES
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup swiss chard
- 4 carrots
- 1 zucchini
- 1/2 cup green peas
- Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until lightly browned, making sure to stir so there are no big chunks
- Add frozen peas to meat and let cook for 4-5 minutes
- Blend spinach, swiss chard, carrots, and zucchini in a blender with some water.
- Add blender mixture and rice to meat.
- Stir and let cool completely.
yield: 10 CUPS
prep time: 10 MINUTES
cook time: 45 MINUTES
total time: 55 MINUTES
- 4 lb ground turkey or cooked chicken
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 3 lbs of carrots – grated
- 1 big sweet potato – peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 zucchini – peeled and cubed
- 2 heads of broccoli – cut into small pieces
- 1 bag of frozen or fresh organic spinach
- ½ teaspoon organic turmeric
- 6 teaspoons of calcium
- Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until lightly browned, making sure to stir so there are no big chunks
- Add carrots, sweet potato, zucchini, broccoli, and spinach and cook until all vegetables are soft and tender
- Remove from heat
- Add rice to mixture
- Add turmeric and calcium
- Stir and let cool
Once you know the ‘ground rules’ of cooking your own dog food, you can use the framework in hundreds of different ways giving your dog endless variety, and making it easy to create nutritious dishes for them without taking a special trip to the grocery store. Practice the recipes a couple of times, and once you have the hang of it, go ahead and substitute your own ingredients with anything in the list of okayed foods above.
Cooking for your dog can be easy and even fun with practice. And you’ll definitely love knowing there are no chemicals or hidden ingredients in your dog’s bowl.
We sometimes use affiliate links in our content for products we love and recommend. If you buy through our links, we will get a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
Other Posts You Might Like
Homeopathic medicine is an effective, safe, inexpensive, and all-natural way to treat your dog. Whether your dog gets a cut, fever, or is suddenly vomiting, there is a homeopathic remedy that can help. Although these remedies were widely used by vets in the nineteenth...
What changes can you make to improve your dog’s health? A shift to natural dog care can help your dog stay healthy, lessen your vet bills, and keep your dog happy and feeling good. It can also improve behavioral problems, and lower your dog’s anxiety. And, maybe most...
Dog’s paws go through a lot, especially in cold weather, but there are natural ways to take care of their piggies and keep them healthy. Keep an eye on your dog’s paws in the winter months to make sure they’re not dry or cracked. Once paws get dry and start to crack,...