When Scooby started showing tantrums while having Royal Canin, the vet suggested homemade dog food for an entire week. Came as shock to me because I never thought we could feed him a bowl full of homemade dog food easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy recipes.
It has been a constant dilemma in the minds of dog parents of whether or not to feed them homemade food. But imagine having the same food for a lifetime. Can’t, right?
Long before commodity production of dog food existed, dogs ate human food. Now you know why all the drools while you’re eating?
The genie is out of the lamp, presenting to you a wholesome guide to homemade dog food.
Table of Contents
Homemade Dog Food Benefits
Cooking food from scratch is being aware of the ingredients you add. You will not only have confidence in what you are feeding your dog but also can cook a nutritionally complete homemade dog food.
Homemade dog food has proven to work wonders for dogs that suffer from internal or skin allergies and gastric problems.
DIY dog food can be a savior when you run out of dog food.
Make sure that you prepare nutritious food from trusted ingredients.
Making Homemade Dog Food
Making a homemade dog food healthy and nutritious is not a piece of cake. It takes a lot of patience and research to fulfill the bodily requirement of your dog. Though homemade dog food is cheaper than the store brought food but you will have to consider a lot of points while changing your dog’s diet.
1. Select a Wholesome Recipe
Many dog food recipes lack certain requirements like calcium, zinc, and manganese. A lot of homemade dog food recipes vet approved also fall short of these necessary nutrients. The best way to do so is to take the guidance of a dog nutritionist. Your dog not only needs proteins, fats, and vitamins, he also needs certain fatty acids and oil. Additionally, if your dog as health issues, he may need a different diet altogether.
2. Prepare the Recipe Right
You may like to experiment with ingredients but do not risk your dog’s life for the sake of the experiment. Stick to the given recipe. A little here and there can have harmful effects on your dog’s body. Do not swap ingredients unless told a substitute. To be on the safer side buy a food scale. They are more accurate than measuring cups
3. Add the Right Supplement for Homemade Dog Food
A lot of people give curd regularly to increase their dog’s calcium intake but these are just myths and misperceptions about homemade dog food. Do not add random supplements on assumption. Get your dogs examined from the vet and take guidance from a pet nutritionist before including supplements for homemade dog food. If you are feeding homemade dog food to a puppy, he will need supplements that might be missing in the recipe.
4. Keep a Track of the Effect of Diet
Make sure the diet is working on your dog. After almost 2 to 3 weeks of feeding him your homemade dog food creation, take him to the vet to get his weight checked. The vet can also check if he has conditions on his skin, coat, or internal body which may be due to the diet.
Note: Do not change your dog’s diet suddenly. You can initiate mixing kibble with homemade dog food and then slowly changing his diet over two weeks.
What Do You Put In Homemade Dog Food?
|Ground Chicken||Kidney Beans|
|Green Beans||White Rice|
Suggested: 52+ Human Foods For Dogs
What To Avoid? (With Poison Alert)
Before you start giving your dog human food research the ingredients for homemade dog food. There is a list of toxic food for dogs which is a big no-no.
|Potato leaves and stems (any green parts)||Ice Cream|
|Grapes and Raisins – POISON ALERT||Macadamia Nuts – POISON ALERT|
|Garlic – POISON ALERT||Walnuts|
Chocolates are poison for dogs.
How-much-ever he stares at you with puppy eyes,
DO NOT GIVE THEM CHOCOLATES.
|Alcohol, or alcoholic beverages – NOPE, DON’T EVEN THINK!|
4 Homemade Dog Food Recipes
When in doubt, crock-pot it out. As the saying goes, crockpot recipes are quick and easy homemade dog food. There is just not one but an entire bunch of delicious and quick homemade dog food crockpot recipes.
Brownie points – You can store it for 3 days in the refrigerator.
1. Crockpot Beef and Rice
This recipe is particularly for homemade dog food with ground beef and is basically steamed white rice and beef.
- 2.5 pounds of ground beef
- 1.5 cups of brown rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1.5 cups of chopped butternut squash
- 1.5 cups of chopped carrots
- ½ cup of frozen peas
- 4 cups of water
B. Nutritional Info (per 1 cup serving):
- Calories: 400
- Protein: 39.1g
- Fat: 7g
- Carbs: 44.2 g
- Minerals & Vitamins: Iron, Potassium, Calcium
- Place all ingredients including water into the crockpot.
- Stir all ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours or high heat for 2 to 3 hours.
- Stir as needed and cool to room temperature.
2. Homemade Dog Food with Chicken
Just a little bit of chicken to satisfy your dog’s taste buds! No dog will ever refuse to succulent homemade dog food with chicken.
- 2 pounds of chicken breast
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 2 cups of broccoli
- 2 cups of carrots
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 4 eggs
B. Nutritional Info (per 1 cup serving):
- Calories: 172
- Protein: 122g
- Fat: 64g
- Carbs: 0g
- Minerals & Vitamins: Sodium, Manganese, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, B6, B12, Zinc
- Spray or oil the crockpot insert.
- Add the meat, vegetables, and water to the crockpot.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
- Add the remaining ingredients before serving.
2. Scooby’s Stew
What’s In The Name?
When Scooby was diagnosed with cancer, his mother made him this stew. Though they lost him in 2015, he shall be remembered in the hearts and tongues of every dog through this delicious homemade dog food.
Also, it is made of all Scooby’s favorite ingredients which means, it is going to be your dog’s favorite too.
This is one of the best recipes, you know why? Because you can cook and keep it for an entire week.
- 1 1/2 cups of brown rice
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 3 pounds of ground turkey
- 1/2 cup of peas, canned or frozen
- 3 cups of baby spinach, chopped
B. Nutritional Info (per 1 cup serving):
- Calories: 301
- Protein: 36.7 g
- Fat: 8.4 g
- Carbs: 17.4 g
- Minerals & Vitamins: Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Potassium
Place ingredients in a slow cooker in the order listed, covering chicken completely with vegetables.
Cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Remove from slow cooker, shred chicken and stir into rice and veggie mixture until evenly distributed.
Store cover in the fridge or freeze in single-serve portions.
3. Rosemary’s Baby
This is a great basic recipe, and homemade dog food, healthy and delicious. It is high on proteins and carbohydrates and is a perfect recipe if working dogs like a German shepherd, or Border Collie. It is a homemade dog food with ground turkey. You can also add kibbles to eat for a little more flavor.
- 6 cups of water
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 2 cups of brown rice
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- ½ (16 ounces) of packed frozen broccoli, carrot and cauliflower combination
B. Nutritional Info (per 1 cup serving):
- Calories – 440.1
- Protein -23.1g
- Carbohydrates – 64.1g
- Fat- 9.8g
- Cholesterol – 71.7mg
- Sodium – 118.3mg
Place the water, ground turkey, rice, and rosemary into the crockpot.
Stir until the ground turkey is broken up and evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the frozen vegetables, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Refrigerate until use.
Note: The food should be cooked until entirely tender. Dogs do not chew their food 100 times and tend to swallow it. The food should be soft enough so that your dog does not choke on it.
Here is a little bonus.
5. Birthday Cake, Doggie Style – Homemade Dog Cake
You can celebrate your pet’s birthday with a healthy and hazard-free homemade dog birthday cake. It is a pet-friendly, sugar-free, and lactose-free recipe. Time for you to host a canine birthday party and carelessly give this your doggie and his friends this cake to lick off.
1. Birthday Cake
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of peanut butter – spread or pure
- ¼ cup of oil – canola, vegetable
- 2/3 cup of milk or water
- 1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup or apple sauce (optional)
- 2 ½ cup of shredded carrot
- 2 cups of whole-wheat flour
- 2 ½ teaspoon of baking soda
2. Cake Frosting
- 1.2 – 1.4 lb potatoes – peeled into chunks
- ¾ – 1 cup of yogurt (plain unsweetened) or water
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm/8″ cake pans.
- Whisk together eggs, peanut butter, oil, honey, and milk (little peanut butter lumps is al’right).
- Stir in carrots. Then add flour and baking soda, stir until just combined (over mixing = hard cake = sad birthday boy).
- Divide batter between the cake pans, spread, and smooth surface.Bake 25 minutes.
- Then insert a skewer inserted into the center, if it comes out clean you are on the go.Cool on racks.
2. Making the Frosting
- Boil, steam or microwave potato until very soft.
- Whip potato and yogurt with an electric beater until fluffy and smooth as possible – about 1 ½ minute on speed 5.
- Use water as needed to loosen frosting too soft spreadable consistency (like human buttercream frosting).
- Use it while it is warm (it “sets” when it cools).
- Spread ¼ frosting on one cake.
- Top with other cake.
- Frost tops and sides with remaining frosting, reserving some to pipe decorations if desired.
There you are, a perfect cake for a barking birthday party.
Homemade Dog Food For Small Dogs
You can feed your puppy homemade food too. It is absolutely healthy if you are careful about the quantity and the type of nutrients you are using. For puppies, it is also advised that you use hygienic and healthy ingredients for homemade dog food.
Dog genie presenting to you 2 of our all-time favorite homemade dog food for small dog within a smaller budget:
1. Meaty Affair
Overloaded ground meat with veggies (sometimes I wish I had so many meaty options).
- 3 quarter cups of grated veggies – sweet potato/carrots/broccoli/zucchini
- 2 lbs of ground beef – the leaner the better
- 1 ½ cups of old fashioned oatmeal
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of cottage cheese
- Ground flax seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 F°.
- Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Mildly butter two meatloaf pans and place ingredients in the pans.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 24 minutes.
- Section it out into portioned sized pieces.
- Place wax paper in between each piece stuck them into a large zip lock bag and placed in the freezer.
Guess what? This meat lasts for as long as 24 days and doesn’t cost more than $6.86.
Note: Remember in the wild dogs eat raw meat. You don’t have to fully cook the meat. You can cook it for 15-20 minutes to get the desired requirement.
2. The Old Standard
You know what I am going to write about, don’t you?…
…the same old standard chicken and veggies. You can feed that to your little one too without any risk.
1lb of lean chicken breast
¼ cup of mixed veggies – broccoli/sweet potato/carrot/zucchini
¾ cup of brown rice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cook the chicken breast (do not add any salt or seasoning).
- Cut up veggies and steam until cooked 80%.
- When cooked, chop up into bite-size pieces, mix in with the veggies, and feed your dog the required portion.
Save the rest for another day.
If your dog loves chicken we have a lot of dog food recipes with chicken which is healthy and tasty. Just to suit your dog’s needs.
Note: Make sure there is more meat than veggies.
Homemade Dog Food For Senior Dogs
It is important to give your dog a proper nutritionally wholesome food despite his age. It becomes even more necessary for senior dogs because with age their metabolism decreased and they might become prone to weight gain. There is a range of senior dog food available in the market but making homemade dog food for senior dogs is more convenient. Moreover, you can give him raw nutrients in its fresh form.
But before giving him home-cooked food, take him to the vet to have complete knowledge of his food allergies and dietary restrictions.
1. Beef Stew
This is one of the best replacements to commercially produced dog food.
- 1 lb of beef stew meat
- 1 small sweet potato
- ½ cup of diced carrots
- ½ cup of diced green beans
- ½ cup of flour
- ½ cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of organic vegetable oil
- Microwave the sweet potato for five to eight minutes until 80% tender.
- Cut up the beef stew meat into nickel-sized chunks.
- Heat vegetable oil in medium heat in a large pan.
- Add the stew chunks and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until well done.
- Take the beef out of the pan but reserve the drippings.
- Dice the cooked sweet potato.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and heat the drippings.
- While whisking, slowly add the flour and water to the drippings to make a thick gravy.
- Add the sweet potato, meat, green beans, and carrots to the gravy and mix to coat.
- Cook about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
- Let the stew cool completely before serving to your senior dog.
- The leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.
2. Chicken Casserole
So what did you think? Only you get to have delectable casserole and all your dog can do it drool over it? Nope. We’ve got it all covered for your hungry little pooch.
- 4 pieces of boneless chicken with skin
- ½ cup of carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup of cabbage
- 1 cup of broccoli
- ½ cup of green beans
- ½ cup of spinach
- 1 ½ cups of brown rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Rinse your vegetables and steam them until they’re almost soft enough to mash.
- While your veggies are cooking, put your chicken in a pot and add water to cover it (the water should be almost an inch above the chicken).
- Bring the pot to a slow boil and boil the chicken until the meat is cooked and the water turns into an aromatic broth (which should not take more than 20 to 30 minutes).
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot but reserve the broth.Cook the brown rice in three cups of chicken broth.
- Remove the chicken skin and chop the chicken and steamed vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces.
- When the rice is finished, combine it with the veggies, chicken, and olive oil in a large bowl and mix.
- You can also add some chicken broth.
- Let the casserole cool completely before serving to your dog.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to three days
Homemade Dog Food Vet Recipes Approved
Questions like “is homemade dog food healthy” or “is homemade dog food recipes vet approved” can arise in any concerned dog parent’s mind. Though there is a platter full of human food that dogs can eat you can always go to your dog’s vet to guide you through.
There are three easy steps that you can follow if still confused about what should homemade dog food consist of.
1. Choose a Low Fat Meat
- Proteins for maintenance of tissues, organs, and to the production of hormone enzymes – Beef, Venison, Lamb, Rabbit, Hamburger, Chicken, or Turkey.
- Fats to protect organs and maintain good skin and coat – Meat Oil and Cod Oil
- Carbohydrates for healthy intestines and production of glucose for organs and brain – Rice, Bean, or Corn.
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K for the greatest benefits for skin, eyes, and immunity
2. Experiment with Veggies
- Try grated zucchini,
- Yellow Squash,
- Chopped Alfalfa Sprouts,
- Green Beans,
- Parsnips, or
3. Follow the Recipe with Proper Measurements
You must know how much homemade dog food per day can you feed your dog. The quantity and nutrients keep altering with their weight and exercise routine. Most of these recipes make enough for two meals for a 50-lb dog. For a 25-lb dog, these would make four meals. For a hundred pound dog, double the recipes.
1. Beef Gourmet
Homemade dog food recipe with beef will always remain your dog’s love at first bite.
1 lb of Chicken or Turkey
5 cups of brown rice
4 cups of veggies – Carrots, Broccoli, sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
½ tsp of salt
Daily Multivitamin in powdered form
Place your coconut oil in your pan.
Cut up the chicken and pan-fry.
Place rice into a separate pan and boil.
Mix rice and veggies of your choice into your mixture.
Stir until mixed.
Add your powdered nutritional supplements.
2. Chick ‘n’ Greens
A major benefit of this recipe is you don’t really have to bind yourself to chicken. You can easily swap chicken out and add turkey or hamburger if you think your doggie will get bored of the same salty taste of chicken.
- ¾ cup of brown rice
- 2 cups of water
- 1 lb hamburger/chicken/turkey
- ¼ cup of chopped small zucchini
- ¼ cup of broccoli, steamed and cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup of sweet potatoes
- 1 ½ teaspoon of virgin olive oil
- Vitamin and Mineral supplement
- Enzyme supplements
- Calcium Supplement
- Cook the rice in 2 cups of water. You’ll want this well cooked.
- Lightly cook your chicken in 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
- Add vegetables and continue to cook until soft.
- Add rice to the pan of chicken and vegetables, mix all together.
- Add supplements.
Note: Add more liquid, either broth or water, if the pan is dried.
3. Meaty Veggies’ Paradise
Yet another homemade dog food with beef, a paradise food for your pooch’s stomach! It has all the possibly required nutrients and is the most healthy homemade dog food.
- 10 lbs 80/20 of ground beef (fat not strained)
- 1/2 pound of liver
- 10 eggs hard-boiled w/out shells
- 1 pound of carrots puréed
- 1.5 pounds of green beans puréed
- 1 medium cucumber puréed
- 1/2 cup of dried parsley
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 1.5 cups of quinoa
- Brown the hamburger meat and liver
- Boil the eggs.
- Boil the carrots and green beans.
- Cook the Quinoa in 2 cups water.
- When everything is done, mix it all.
- Include the eggs and eggshells.
- When serving add supplements per package directions.
Indian Dog Breeds are used to having homemade dog food since puppyhood. In fact, their stomach might just fall upset if fed Royal Canin or Pedigree.
Homemade Dog Food Serving Size: Portion Perfect
Wondering how much homemade dog food to feed your pooch? Time to polish your mathematical skills.
Follow this little formula:
Weight of your dog x 16 oz = ________
Take the resultant number and multiply it by .02 to find the minimum daily amount or by .03 to find the maximum.
For instance, if your dog is 25lbs, the formula would look like this:
25 x 16oz = 400
400 x .02= 8oz min daily
400 x .03= 12oz max daily
It is just basic multiplication and a onetime calculation. So, every time you think your dog has put on weight, quickly go weigh him and alter his food measurements.
Note: 1 cup full is equal to 8oz.
Homemade Dog Food Versus Store Brought Food – A Quick Comparison
Is homemade dog food better than store-bought? Let do a quick comparison to make it easy for you.
Homemade Dog Food Benefits:
- You are aware of what is going in the dish
- You can alter the recipe according to the special requirement of your dog – hypoallergenic homemade dog food or homemade dog food for diabetic dogs, or just maybe homemade dog food for allergies.
- No artificial flavoring or adulterants.
- No preservatives – it is freshly cooked.
- Less waste
- Homemade dog food is cheap and easy to make. A basic homemade dog food recipe will cost you around $1.21 which is half of what any high-quality dog food will cost.
Homemade Dog Food Drawbacks:
- You need to have the right ingredients at the right time.
- The ingredients need to be fresh and healthy.
- You need to have time and patience to cook the meal, following every direction minutely.
Store-Brought Dog Food Benefits:
- Convenient, especially if you are working and do not have a lot of time to cook for your dog. Easy buy and feed technique!
- Does not contain toxic ingredients for your pet if bought from a reliable source.
- It is regulated to have appropriate nutrients.
Store Brought Dog Food Drawbacks:
- Chances of tainted food.
- Can contain certain allergens that your dog may be sensitive to.
- Sometimes uses adulterants and fillers.
- May not address unique health requirements. Though there are customized dog foods produced commercially to suit your dog’s health needs like diabetic dog food brands, but it induces anxiety in the minds of dog parents.
- It may not always be convenient to pick it up from the store.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is not any proper study that supports that is homemade dog food healthy but it does have some benefits. If you cook food for your dog you would do anything to provide him a balanced and nutritious diet. Additionally, it is raw and minimally processed food. In fact, you can alter the recipes according to the body requirements of your dog. Keep into account his age, breed, weight, and health needs.
Homemade dog food serving size depends on your dog’s age, breed, weight, and health needs. Generally we follow this little formula: Weight of your dog x 16 oz = ________. Further multiplying the result of this formula by .02 for minimum serving and .03 for maximum. 1 cup generally measures down to 8oz (oz is ounces, just in case you are confused with the acronyms).
It may not be better but it is definitely not worse either. There are certain benefits and drawbacks for both homemade dog food and the store brought food. But what we can surely say is you know the nutrition needs of your dog, and you want to cut down on your budget, then homemade food is better. Before starting a homemade dog food diet go to the vet to get him a check-up and consult a dog nutritionist for a proper dog diet.
Homemade dog food is cheaper without any doubt. A 15-pound bag of high-quality dog food may cost approximately $42 and a can of wet-food which weighs 5.5oz runs approximately $2, feeding cost would come down to $5 a day, excluding the treats. While a basic wholesome homemade dog food will cost you not more than $2.25 a day. Even if you add required supplements for homemade dog food like vitamins and calcium, it will still cost less than high-end commercial dog food.
To flavor homemade dog food you can include some dog-friendly spices in the recipe. Mini amounts of turmeric, rosemary, sweet basil, oregano, or even a little chili powder can work. All you need to do is add a pinch of this flavor while the meat is cooking.
To store homemade dog food, you can simply put it in an airtight box and keep it in the freezer. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for almost three days. You can also semi-cook the meals like Scooby’s Stew, make small packets of each serving piece, and store in the freezer. This way the food can last up to an entire week.
Suggested: Can dogs eat cat food?
Hope you this article helped you plan a homemade diet for your dog.
If you have any questions or concerns, let us know in the comment section below.
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Happy Petting To You!