How to Make Homemade Dog Food: 10 Simple Recipes to Follow

Dog owners are willing to do anything for their pets, including making their meals from scratch. Making a homemade dog food may appear to be a task for a pet owner, but you would realize that it isn’t that tall a task at all given the numerous homemade dog food recipes that you can try.

Why do dogs need homemade food?

Dry Dog Foods

Makers of commercial dog food products may want you to believe otherwise, but feeding your dog with homemade food is actually good for him.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that you can personally choose the ingredients to be used in the dog food. This is very critical if your dog has allergies, or you just want to spare him from consuming certain ingredients.

You can also be assured that the food you are giving him is 100% safe. In times when dog food recalls due to possible contamination have become a very common occurrence, you will have peace of mind knowing that the food your dog is eating won’t make him sick.

It is also possible to save time and effort when you prepare your dog’s food. Preparing foods in large branches would let you do so, as you would be able to freeze smaller portions which you can feed to your dog later on.

Of course, you get to benefit from preparing your dog’s food, too. While preparation may take up time, you can save a lot of money in the long run especially if you buy ingredients in bulk.

What nutrition guidelines should you follow?

Dog in kitchen

While there are many benefits that you can get from preparing your dog’s food, this doesn’t mean that you just give him whatever food that you have at home.

And please, don’t even think of giving him table scraps particularly oily and fatty foods. Doing so can increase his risks of health problems like diarrhea and pancreatitis. Worse, he might end up eating toxic foods like onions.

Just like us, our dogs need to have a complete and balanced diet. This means that the food you give to your dogs must meet all of his nutritional needs.

The following is a general nutritional guideline you should follow in feeding your dog:

  • 50 percent of his diet should consist of vegetables
  • 40 percent should consist of protein from animal meat, eggs/dairy and seafood
  • 10 percent should carbohydrates composed of grains and beans

Yet this should not give you the impression that you would feed your dog with the same meal every day. Like people, dogs want variation in their food.

But you may wonder—what are the ingredients that I can use in making dog food?

For protein, good sources are ground or small strips of beef. I also recommend turkey as it is very easy to digest. It is also widely available and cheap.

You can also give your dog with chicken. Just like turkey, you should have no problems getting it. Lamb is another good source of protein. You may also give beans and eggs, although in moderation.

As for vegetables, safe choices include carrots, spinach, green beans, peas, celery, pumpkin, and cucumber. Be wary of giving them broccoli and cauliflower as it may cause gas.

For carbohydrates, good choices are rice, cooked potatoes, yam, and oatmeal. You can also give him pasta without oil or salt.

Important reminders in preparing dog food

There are many things that you need to consider in preparing a DIY dog food for your pet. But here are 10 reminders that you should keep in mind when you are to plan or make food for your canine friend:

1

Whatever recipe you might want to prepare for your dog, you should prepare the recipe correctly by avoiding experimentation. Follow the recipe to the T, so to speak. Don’t experiment by adding recipes, as it can cause unintended effects on your dog.

2

Be careful when swapping ingredients. Because there are some ingredients that may have the same flavor or taste, but don’t have the same nutrition. Whenever you use ingredients in lieu of another, be sure it can be accepted.

For instance, olive oil should not be substituted for corn oil which contains essential fatty acids that are beneficial to your dog’s health. Doing so could lead to him being fed with an unbalanced diet.

3

Invest in a food scale. This can help you in accurately measuring cups.

4

Don’t add seasoning. Unlike many of us who can’t cook without adding a lot of seasoning to their dishes, dogs don’t need seasoning. As such, you don’t have to use salt or pepper for your dog’s homemade food.

5

Certain foods are considered dangerous and even lethal when given to dogs. Aside from onions, don’t give chocolate, raisins, avocado, grapes, walnuts, and raw yeast dough to your dogs.

6

Use large pots in cooking vegetables like potatoes, especially if you intend to cook in large quantities. This should let you make your dog food once or twice a week and let you save time.

7

One mineral that your dog needs fairly high levels of is calcium. Adult dogs need 50 mg of calcium for every kilogram of body weight. So a 10-kilogram dog will have to take in about 500 mg of calcium every day.

8

If your dog’s stool becomes loose following consumption of homemade food, you should switch back to bland meals. You can also cut back the amount of food that you give him by about 30 percent. If the condition doesn’t improve within a few days, might as well bring him to a vet.

9

If you want to get tremendous savings, ask the butcher at your local grocery if he can give you inexpensive cuts of meat such as large knuckle bones and organ meats.

10

Consult with your veterinarian first before introducing your dog to a homemade diet. The vet may be able to help you in formulating a diet according to the growth needs of your pet. This is also very ideal if you have an older dog.


Top 10 Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The following are 10 excellent homemade dog foods that you can prepare for your dogs:

1. Beef Stew, Doggie Style

Beef Stew, Doggie Style

Beef stew is a very good homemade dog food for your pet. It is rich in protein and fat thanks to the beef and the vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. This recipe should make four cups and enough to feed your dog for 2 days.

Ingredients:

  • One sweet potato, small
  • ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • A pound of beef stew meat
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of diced green beans
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Step by step guide:

  • Start by cooking the sweet potato in the microwave. It should take around 5 to 8 minutes for the potato to become firm and tender. Once it is done, set it aside.
  • Slice the beef stew meat into smaller pieces. Then cook them in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. You would want the meat to be well done. This should take around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the beef from the pan. Reserve the drippings.
  • Heat the drippings over medium-low heat before adding flour and water. Whisk the ingredients until a thick gravy has been created.
  • Dice the sweet potato. Add this to the gravy along with the meat, carrots, and green beans. Stir to coat.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  • Let it cool before serving. You can store the remaining stew in the fridge for up to 5 days.

2. Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

This is a great snack for dogs. It will not only satisfy their cravings, but also help in making your dog regular. Pumpkin, after all, is an excellent source of fiber. In fact, a tablespoon of pumpkin mixed with their normal food is commonly recommended to dogs who have bouts of constipation or diarrhea.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of very cold water
  • 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of whole grain brown rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of flax seed oil or olive oil

You can omit the eggs if your dog is allergic to it. This recipe can make up to 24 1-oz balls.

Step by step guide:

  • Preheat the oven to a temperature of 320 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use a couple of baking sheets and baking paper to prevent sticking.
  • In a separate container, mix the beaten eggs and pumpkin until the mixture is smooth. If your dog is allergic to eggs and you don’t want to use it, simply smooth the pumpkin puree.
  • Mix the flax seed oil and brown rice flour in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture to the rice mixture then slowly add water. There should be some rice left that you can use for toppings for the cookies later on.
  • Hand mix the ingredients, then using the two piece of baking paper roll the dough out to your preferred thickness.
  • Remove the top baking paper then pour the rice flour onto the top of the dough. Lightly press it to the waxed baking paper.
  • Remove the paper and then cut the cookies to your preferred sizes.
  • Place these in the oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. You’ll know the cookies are done when the top is completely dry.
  • Cool before serving.

This recipe should last for 2-3 days.

3. All in one bowl

All in one bowl

This is a dish that should give your dog a lot of proteins, what with the combination of beef, chicken and turkey. He will also get a lot carbohydrates from the potatoes and rice included in this recipe. And I assure you that he will get satisfied with this meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ½ pound of ground chicken
  • ½ pound of ground turkey
  • 1 pound small carrots
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups of water

Step by step guide

  • Cook the beef, chicken and turkey together in a 6 quart Dutch oven. Add rice, chicken broth and chicken. Cook on medium heat for half an hour.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes and eggs. Cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Once done, put the mixture into a storage container. Serve cool.

This is a fairly simple dog food that you should have no problems preparing for your pet. I think this should be enough to feed your dog for 2-3 days.

4. Chicken Jerky

Chicken Jerky

Are you worried that commercially available chicken jerky is bad for your dog? Maybe you are concerned with those products having lots of additives and preservatives? Well why not make your own?

Homemade chicken jerky strips are the perfect replacement for those store-brought raw hides. You can be assured that there are no preservatives or chemicals. Moreover, you can store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.

This is packed with proteins that your dog needs. It is also good for his teeth as it is tough and chewy.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 chicken breasts
  • Sweet potatoes (if you want your dogs to have a healthy, vegetarian alternative)

Step by step guide:

  • Preheat the oven to a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove excess fat from the chicken. Turn the breast on the side and using a paring knife, slice it into strips that are 1/8 inch thick.
  • Place the strips on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 3 hours.
  • Once the chicken is dry and hard, remove it from the oven. Allow it to completely cool before serving.

You can also store the jerky in an airtight container and put this in the refrigerator.

You may also want to freeze the chicken first before cooking. This should make it a lot easier for you to cut it.

This should last for 4-5 days.

5. Frozen yogurt pops

Frozen Yogurt Pops

This is another excellent treat for your dog especially during summertime. You can cool down with him by giving him this delectable and tasty treat. It’s quick and simple to prepare, too.

Aside from being a yummy treat for your dog, this one is pretty packed in nutrition, too. It is rich in vitamins with the addition of fruit juices and carrots. It is also rich in calcium and protein thanks to the use of yogurt.

It should also be noted that this recipe calls for the use of non-fat yogurt which is a healthier choice. You would be happy to give this treat to your dog, especially if he is overweight.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. of plain, non-fat frozen yogurt
  • ½ cup of carrots
  • 1 cup of no-sugar added fruit juice

Step by step guide:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the yogurt, fruit juice and carrots. Stir well until the mixture has become smooth and well blended.
  • Drop the mixture into ice cube trays using a spoon.
  • Freeze until the ingredients have become solid.

To make it easier for you to remove the treats from the tray, use hard plastic trays. These treats should last for 3-4 days.

6. Turkey and vegetable dinner

Turkey And Vegetable Dinner

This is a dish that should give your dog the protein and vitamins that he needs. Turkey, if you haven’t known by now, is rich in protein. It also has less fat than beef, so this is a good recipe to follow for pet owners who have dogs that can afford to lose a few pounds.

The vegetables in this food-- carrots and green beans—will provide your dog with the vitamins and minerals he needs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped green beans
  • 1 tablespoon of fish oil

You should not use heavy oil for this as it can lead to your dog having an upset stomach.

Step by step guide

  • In a non-stick skillet placed over medium heat, cook the ground turkey. It should take around 5 minutes for the meat to get cooked.
  • Add the brown rice and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and cook for an extra 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice has become soft and tender.
  • Add the carrots and green beans. Cook for 5 to 10 more minutes or until the vegetables have become tender.
  • Add the carrots and green beans. Cook for 5 to 10 more minutes or until the vegetables have become tender.
  • Cool before serving.

This recipe should last for 4-5 days.

7. Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

In case you haven’t noticed, dogs are very much in love with peanut butter. We will use that spread for these cookies that should make for a very good treat for your dogs. And we’ll add some fish oil to these cookies, too.

Fish oil isn’t just any type of oil. It is particularly beneficial for your dog’s coat as it can make it shiny and healthy-looking.

However, be sure that the peanut butter you are to use for this recipe doesn’t contain the sugar substitute Xylitol. The said ingredient has been found to be deadly for dogs. I suggest you read labels first before buying peanut butter that you will use for this recipe.

The ideal peanut butter for this recipe is one that’s organic and free from hydrogenated oils and additives. I’m not really comfortable using commercial brands of peanut butter for this cookie recipe. Perhaps you can make your own peanut butter using raw peanut and peanut oil?

Anyway, I will leave that decision to you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of organic peanut butter
  • ½ tablespoon of fish oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 ½ cups of water

Step by step guide:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and oats then pour a cup of water. Continue blending until the mixture has become smooth.
  • Add in the peanut butter then honey and fish oil. Continue mixing until all of the ingredients have been well blended.
  • Slowly add water until the mixture has achieved a thick and doughy consistency.
  • Add flour to the cooking surface then roll the dough into it so that you can create a ¼ inch thick sheet.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut the cookies into your preferred shapes. Put them in the baking sheet and bake for around 40 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool before feeding your dog. This recipe will yield enough cookies to feed your dog for 4-5 days.

8. Homemade Chicken Dinner for Dogs

As you have learned from the earlier recipes, dogs can’t get enough of chicken. This explains why we are using this poultry again for this simple dinner for our canine friends. Moreover, this simple DIY food for dogs makes use of vegetables like cabbage and spinach. You will also use apples to make this recipe.

You can also swap out some of the veggies used in this recipe, like carrots for red cabbage. But you should cook carrots if you decide to use them because the orange veggies aren’t the easiest foods for dogs to digest.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds of chicken
  • 2 cups of red cabbage
  • 2 apples, skinned
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

It is up to you what type of chicken to use. You can use whole chicken which includes the heart, liver, and neck. Of you can settle for boneless skinless chicken breast, or frozen chicken breast which is best when cooked.

Step by step guide:

  • Chop up the chicken and put in a suitable sized pot. Bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer then add the remaining ingredients. Let it simmer until the chicken is done.
  • Remove the pot from the stove. Add the eggs and olive oil once it is cool then stir.

You can keep the leftover in an airtight container and then put this in the refrigerator. The meal should be safe enough for your dog’s consumption up to five days.

As for the serving, you can give a large dog up to 2 ½ cups of this food which should last for 2 days.

9. Diabetic Dog Food

Is your dog diabetic? Your dog doesn’t need to be completely healthy in order for you to make your own dog food. This diabetic dog food can help you control canine diabetes without spending a lot for your diabetic pet’s food.

This is a low glycemic dog food that can prevent your dog’s blood sugar levels from spiking. It make use of chana dal, a yellow bean that is amazingly low on the glycemic index.

This should yield 1 to 2 cups, with the food lasting for 2-3 days.

Ingredients:

  • A bag of chana dal, rinsed
  • 2 bags of brown lentils, rinsed
  • 28 cups of water
  • 2 bag of black eyed peas
  • 1 pound of pearl barley
  • 5 pounds of bones chicken breasts
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 can of pure pumpkin
  • 2 bags of frozen crinkle cut carrots
  • 2 bags of frozen broccoli cuts
  • 2 bags of frozen green beans
  • 2 packages of frozen chopped spinach

Step by step guide:

  • Pour water into a pot and bring this to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the brown lentils, chana dal, green peas, barley and black eyed peas. Reduce the heat while you stir the mixture occasionally.
  • Cut and add the chicken breast.
  • Add the ground turkey and stir in the pumpkin.
  • Add the frozen vegetables. If the pot isn’t big enough to accommodate all the vegetables, thaw the other vegetables and add them in before you store the finished food.
  • Lower the heat to medium low. Stir every now and then until most of the water has been absorbed. Let it stand and cool before storing.

10. Organic Dog Food

We love eating organic food. Shouldn’t our dogs eat the same?

By preparing this organic dog food, you can give your pet a very nutritious meal. It makes use of ground chicken as base coupled with rice. I suggest you use white rice as it is easier for dogs to digest it compared to brown rice.

There are also 2 whole eggs used in this recipe. You’d be using the egg shells too because these are very rich in calcium. Plus, dogs won’t have problems digesting them. Don’t worry as egg shells are completely tasteless, meaning your dog won’t be bothered by it.

Aside from being rich in protein with the inclusion of chicken and eggs, this recipe is also packed in vitamins and minerals. The use of ground flax seed can also give your pet the fiber he needs.

Plus you can adjust the ingredients depending on your dog’s tastes. For instance, you can replace the canned squash with sweet potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of lean ground chicken
  • 2 cups of cooked white rice
  • Carrots, peeled, steamed and diced
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup of canned butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup of low sodium chicken broth

Step by step guide:

  • Cook the chicken in a sauté pan without any oil. Drain the fat and set it aside once cooked.
  • Crack the eggs open and put it in the blender. Yes, with the shells included. Blend this until liquefied.
  • Pour the eggs over the chicken then cook over medium heat. The eggs should be thoroughly cooked.
  • Bind all the ingredients together. Using the blender container, combine 2/3 cup of chicken and egg mixture with 1/3 cup of rice, 2 tablespoons of carrots and 1/3 cup of chicken broth. Puree until the mixture has become creamy.
  • Combine the chicken and egg mixture in a large bowl with the remaining rice and carrots. Add the pureed mixture and flax seed and butternut squash. Incorporate until all the ingredients have been combined.
  • Using a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, measure servings and make rounds for individual dog servings. You can use a measuring cup for this one. Ideally, the portion must come out easily.
  • Store this in an airtight container. It should be safe to give to your dog for up to 5 days after preparation.

This recipe should be enough to feed a 13-pound dog for 4-5 days.


Conclusion

As you can see, making a homemade food for your dog isn’t that complicated at all. The recipes are very basic and not far from the way we prepare our foods.

Moreover, you can get a lot of savings if you make your DIY dog food. The recipes discussed in this article can yield many servings that there will surely be leftovers. You can simply store the leftover dog food in the fridge, and give these to your dog over the course of 3-5 days.

The other advantage of making your own dog food is that you will be sure that the foods you are feeding to your canine are safe. Since you are the ones picking the ingredients, you can be assured that your dog is eating only foods that are safe and healthy for him.

But if I were you I would also research more on a canine diet. Your vet is a good start. Ask him the type of foods that your canine should be eating more, taking into consideration the age and health condition of your dog. And try to learn more about dog nutrition before you start preparing food for your furry friend.

Once you have started getting into the practice of making food for your dog, you will realize how advantageous it is not only for your dog but also for you. You’ll get to save more and have peace of mind knowing that your dog is eating only nutritious foods.

Hey I'm Linda Butts, the girl behind Pawsome Talk. With my pawsometalk.com I hope to share the ideas and techniques from my personal experiences of what I have done with my pet research and what I love about pets and their lives. My expectation is to help you feel ease if you start to make a friendship with your pet while you enjoy your journey. Don’t be shy to ask me when you need to help or out of the idea. Let’s ask and share what you’ve got.

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