It isn’t uncommon for a dog owner to decide to make homemade dog food. Whether you just want to save money or you want to make sure that you know what type of ingredients are going into your dog’s meals, it isn’t that difficult to do. The most important thing is to make sure they get foods that contain protein, calcium and other nutrients they need for energy. Below, find five great homemade dog food recipes that your furry friend is sure to enjoy.
1. Homemade Chicken Dinner for Dogs
Dogs love chicken, and it can be an easy meat ingredient to use for homemade dog meals. While you can swap out some of the vegetables in this recipes, avoid onions and if you use carrots cook them well. Carrots can be hard for dogs to digest.
While you can grind up the meats in any of these recipes, you don’t have to. You can also just dice up meat, into smaller bites.
- 5 pounds chicken — You can use a whole chicken, and include the neck meat, hearts and livers. You can also just use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you find a better price. You can also get frozen chicken breasts, which will be best when cooked.
- 2 cups of red cabbage
- 2 apples (skinned)
- 2 cups of spinach
- 5 whole eggs, raw or cooked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
You can cook the food, or feed your dog a raw diet. However, with a raw diet you want to make sure you are buying fresh meats which doesn’t always happen at a grocery store.
If you decide to cook it, chop up the chicken and boil in a suitable sized pot for all ingredients until it is almost fully cooked. Reduce to a simmer and add the cabbage, spinach, and apples, diced up. Simmer until the chicken finishes cooking. Remove pot from stove, let cool, then add the eggs and olive oil and stir.
How long this batch lasts depends on the size of your dog and how many times you feed them each day. Two and a half cups is usually good for a large dog around 60-75 pounds, if you’re feeding them twice a day. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.
2. Homemade Fish Dinner for Dogs
Fish is a wonderful meat choice for dogs, but your dog doesn’t need to go catch them. The healthy omega 3 fatty acids found in fish are good for your dog’s skin and coat. Some dogs may be allergic to fish, so if your dog starts to itch a lot when eating a fish diet check with your veterinarian.
- 2 pounds of fish fillets — Frozen is fine. Tilapia and swai are both great options and on a lower price scale, which saves you money. You can always go fresh, too, of course.
- 1 or 2 cans of pink salmon
- 3 whole eggs, raw or cooked
- 3 cups of diced vegetables — Some great choices include cabbage, cooked squash or pumpkin, peas, green beans and kale. You can use two or more.
- 1 cup of cooked rice (white or brown) — If your dog tolerates it well. Otherwise try cooked oatmeal, quinoa or lentils.
Again, you can grind or dice the fish then cook it. Mix the chosen vegetables into a pot of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the other ingredients. Mix and let cool. Keep in refrigerator in well sealed container for up to three days, or freeze.
3. Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Dinner for Dogs
Broccoli is a great treat for dogs, whether you feed it as a snack or in their meals. It can promote fresh breath and it’s rich in calcium. This particular meal is great to help ensure your dog has a well-balanced mealtime.
- 5 pounds of diced chicken
- 5 whole eggs, raw or cooked
- 5 cups cooked rice (white or brown), or again substitute cooked lentils or quinoa
- 3 cups of broccoli, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
Boil chicken and rice until the chicken is almost fully cooked, then add broccoli and simmer until the chicken is finished. Let the meal cool and then add the eggs and oil. This doggy dinner can also be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days.
4. Homemade Beef Dinner for Dogs
- 10 pounds of ground beef (or ground turkey)
- 10 whole eggs, raw or cooked
- 5 cups cooked rice (white or brown), cooked lentils, or quinoa
- 3 cups of mixed vegetables
There are a couple ways that you can do this recipe to make it more fun and interesting for you and your dog. You can either cook the meat and rice/lentils/quinoa up in a pot with water and add the vegetables near the end of cooking.
The other option is to cook the rice/lentils/quinoa and vegetables until soft, mix everything together with the raw beef and form them into meatballs. Cook meatballs at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until fully cooked.
You can use these for meals or as an easy to catch snack, once they are cooled. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to five days.
One of my three dogs has a very sensitive stomach, so I’ve taken over making meals for him. My typical recipe follows most closely to this recipe. I combine three pounds of 90 percent lean ground beef, frozen peas, and chicken broth in an Instant Pot and put it on the Meat/Stew setting for one hour. Separately, I prepare two dry cups of Jasmine rice.
When those are cooked and cooled, I mix everything together in a large mixing bowl and add one can of no salt added green beans and a 29 ounce can of pumpkin. It might take two batches to mix everything thoroughly (at least in the bowl I have). This feeds my 70 pound husky mix for four to five days, depending on how heavy-handed I am at feeding time.
5. Homemade Doggy Dessert Dinner
As mentioned previously, fruit is good for dogs. While they don’t normally enjoy citrus and they should not be fed grapes, there are many other fruit choices that are very palatable for dogs. Your dog might even like to snack on fresh frozen fruits just as a simple treat. Blueberries are perfect for that!
Feed entire fruit meals sparingly, since too much may give your dog a case of diarrhea.
- 2 pounds of chopped up chicken, cooked
- 3 cups of mixed fruit
- 3 cups cooked rice (white or brown), cooked lentils, or quinoa
Simply mix the ingredients together and serve. Refrigerate for up to five days. This will only yield a small batch, since you don’t want to overdo it on the fruit intake.
How to Ensure Proper Nutrition in Homemade Dog Food
You’ll want to keep an eye on health, make adjustments when needed, and don’t overfeed them. You can also check with your veterinarian to make sure you are getting them what they need or if you need to add a supplement.
There are three basic ingredients that you need to have for your dog to have a well rounded diet: some form of meat, a vegetable or two, and something for bulk such as rice or lentils.
There are also some ingredients that you should never use when make dog food at home. Stay away from bacon and ham, onion, sugar, tomatoes, grapes, chocolate or most dairy products. Since the only dairy product dogs should consume is plain yogurt, you’ll need to give your dog a calcium supplement as it is an important part of their diet.
You can also find other additives to toss in to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients they need, like Nupro Dog Supplement or Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Multi for Dogs. These supplements will ensure your dog’s homemade diet is well balanced and good for them.
Best Dog Food Cookbooks
Five recipes is only good for a start. For even more recipes than we’ve outlined in this post, consider the following dog cookbooks so you can test out other feasts and carefully round out your dog’s diet.
- Easy Homemade Dog Treat Recipes: Fun Homemade Dog Treats for the Busy Pet Lover by Vikk Simmons
- The Healthy Homemade Dog Food Cookbook by Charlie Fox
- Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs by Rick Woodford
- The Healthy Hound Cookbook by Paris Permenter and John Bigley
- Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog by Christine Filardi
- Canine Cuisine 101: Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy by Carlotta Cooper
- Dog Food the Right Way: Homemade Dog Food to Enhance Your Pet’s Health by Nancy Silverman
- Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals by Lew Olson
Raw Dog Food & Frozen Dog Food
If you read through this whole post and decided you don’t want to make food from scratch for your dog, but you don’t want to stick with conventional dry dog food either, we recommend the following options that are just about as good as homemade:
- CountryPet Naturals Pasteurized Frozen Dog Food
- Freshpet Healthy & Natural Dog Food (also available in beef)
- Wellness TruFood Tasty Pairings Natural Grain Free Wet Raw Dog Food
- Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets
- Raw Paws Pet Raw Frozen Dog Food
- Sojos Complete Natural Freeze-Dried Natural Raw & Dehydrated Grain-Free Dog Food
- Rudy Green’s Doggy Cuisine Home Cooking For Dogs Frozen Human Grade Dog Food
- The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Whole Grain Dog Food
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