Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes: Vet Approved And Nutritionally
Imagine if you had to eat the same food every day of your life. Beyond being painfully boring, wouldn’t you question whether you’re getting a nutritionally complete and balanced diet? Welcome to the life of a dog. Long ago, before commercially produced dog food, dogs ate many of the same foods as humans. There’s a reason our dogs ask for our food: they’re meant to eat a variety. We’ve prepared some tips on how to make dog food, nutrition guidelines, and our favorite homemade dog food recipes.
What are the benefits of homemade dog food?
Homemade dog food can benefit your canine companion in a number of ways, especially if you have a pet suffering from allergies, skin problems, or gastrointestinal sensitivity.
Highly processed foods also lose nutritional value, while making dog food from scratch keeps more vital nutrients during the cooking process. With fresh food, you know exactly what your dog is getting instead of reading the label and getting confused with all the additives and preservatives.
said, homemade dog food can require a significant amount of time and effort to get it right. Homemade dog food should contain nutrients that dogs need to be healthy. But those nutrients must be correct amounts so you don’t get too much or too little of any nutrient. A veterinary nutritionist has specialized training to help pet parents like you prepare nutritionally balanced meals for their dog. The recipes in this article have been reviewed by our veterinary consultant with this goal in mind.
It’s a good idea to keep the recipes in this article handy in case you run out of dog food. Treat your dog like any of the other members of your family by preparing nutritious food with reliable ingredients.
What nutritional guidelines should you follow?
Like humans, every dog is different, so this isn’t a one-puppy rule for everyone. Serving size, your dog’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level are all factors you should consider when determining what is right for your dog.
However, in general, dogs need six basic nutrients to maintain a healthy and balanced diet: water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. A mixture of these nutrients provides energy for your dog’s body to metabolize and grow.
To make sure your dog gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs, you may want to add a fully balanced nutritional blend, such as one of these Just Food For Dogs blends. And in addition to meals, you may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to make sure your puppy gets the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.
Check with your veterinarian before adding any type of supplement to your dog’s diet because excessive vitamin and mineral supplementation can sometimes have serious consequences for dogs’ health.
Here are the benefits of needed nutrients and why it’s essential that your puppy has adequate amounts of each (listed in order of priority).
- Protein (chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish and boiled eggs) – Helps with the growth and maintenance of cells, tissues, organs, antibodies, hormones and enzymes.
- Fat (from oil and meat) – Helps absorb specific vitamins, protects and insulates internal organs and promotes good skin and hair growth.
- Carbohydrates (rice, corn, and beans): Keeps the intestines healthy and supplies glucose to critical organs, including the brain.
- Minerals, including calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc . – Give dogs structurally healthy bones and teeth, among other benefits.
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K: promotes eye and skin health, immunity and more.
Water accounts for 60-70% of a dog’s body weight, so it’s critical that your dog stays hydrated and eats a well-balanced diet. Dehydration can lead to some health problems, so give your dog access to plenty of clean, fresh drinking water throughout the day.
Before embarking on a homemade meal plan, consult your veterinarian to ensure that your dog’s diet sufficiently meets all of his nutritional needs.
recipes listed below are low in calories, but should be consumed in moderation (serve sides similar to what they currently eat). Work with your veterinarian to make sure the amount you feed matches your dog’s daily caloric needs.
age of UberEats, DoorDash, and having just about anything you want to deliver, you also have the option to buy fresh, natural dog food for home delivery. It can be a huge time saver and can be worth the cost after adding all the ingredients you’ll need to buy to cook a recipe.
The farmer’s dog is shipped frozen, which allows you to keep it on hand or serve it daily as a regular meal. This food is made with fresh, healthy and easy-to-pronounce ingredients of human grade. And you can spend your time on more important things, like rubbing your belly and walking.
Our Favorite Homemade Dog Food Recipes
To jump into a recipe you’re interested in, click on the link below. We also have some delicious organic recipes for dog treats and treats made with leftover Thanksgiving. You may want to have a collection of pet food recipes on hand at all times, which makes a cookbook a great choice. Dinner PAWsible is one of our favorites.
- CBD-infused treats
- dog-style turkey
- vegetarian mix
- slow cooking Beef & Rice
- Pumpkin Cookies for Dogs
- Strips of grain-free chicken jerky Treats
, rice, and
Frozen Banana Note: The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on your dog’s breed, weight, activity level, age, and health. One recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what he would normally feed in kibble BUT check with your veterinarian to be sure.
treats You can buy ready-made CBD dog treats, but if you want to make your own, here’s a recipe. Be sure to tell your veterinarian that you are adding CBD to your dog’s diet. Check the dosage guidelines of the manufacturer of the CBD product you plan to give your dog to verify that you are giving him the proper amount.
- cups gluten-free flour
- (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- tablespoon coconut sugar
- carrots, peeled and grated
- egg, smoothie
- olive or coconut
- /2 cup water
- pinch sea salt
- 120 mg
1/2 cup oatmeal 1 cup pumpkin puree
1 apple, cored and grated 1/2 cup
1/2 cup peanut butter 1
: Yields 24 treats
How to Use
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a baking sheet for dog biscuits with coconut oil.
- apples, then peel and grate the carrots
- In a medium bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oatmeal, and coconut sugar. In another medium bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix thoroughly. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once again.
- Using a measuring spoonful, divide the dog biscuits and press them on the baking sheet for dog treats.
- Bake for 32-37 minutes or until cookies are firm and golden on the outside.
- Store in an airtight container.
Rinse and grate the
Recipe by: Truth Theory
This recipe is loaded with fresh protein iron and can be stored in your refrigerator for most of the week (or frozen and heated later).
1 pound beef
- small sweet potato
- carrots, diced 1/2
- cup green beans, diced
- flour 1/2
- tablespoon vegetable
cup water 1
Total: Yields approx. 4 cups (
32 fl oz) Nutrition information (
per 1-cup serving):
- Calories: 301
- Protein: 36.7
- Fat: 8.4
- Carbohydrates: 17.4 g
- Minerals and vitamins : vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium
- Cook the sweet potato in a microwave for 5 to 8 minutes until firm but tender. Reserve.
- Cut the meat into small pieces the size of a nickel.
- Cook the pieces of meat stew in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until well done.
- Remove the pieces of meat from the pan, reserving the drips.
- Cut the sweet potato into cubes.
- Heat the drops over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and water to the drops while whisking to create a thick sauce.
- Add the meat, sweet potato, carrots and green beans in the sauce and stir to top.
- Cook until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Let it cool and serve.
- Store the remaining stew in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Recipe for: Money Crashers
Turkey, rice and vegetable mix
This is an excellent, low-calorie, low-fat recipe for dogs who may need to keep the pounds off. With a good balance of lean animal protein, healthy carbohydrates and vegetables, it produces 12 cups of dog food and can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- water 1 pound
- ground turkey
- raw brown rice
- teaspoon dried rosemary
- packet frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower
1/2 (16 ounces)
Total: Yields approx. 12 cups (96 fl oz)
Nutrition information (per 1-cup serving):
- Calories: 97
- Protein: 11
- Fat: 4.3 g
- Carbohydrate : 4.7 g
- Minerals and vitamins: iron, potassium
Place water, ground turkey, rice and
- rosemary in a large Dutch oven
- Stir until the ground turkey breaks and is evenly distributed throughout the mixture
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low
- Add the frozen vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Recipe by: Allrecipes
Easy Slow Cooker Beef & Rice Meal
We love this recipe for its nutritional value, fast preparation time (10 minutes) and easy cooking pot. It produces 12 cups and, like meat stew, can be frozen for future feedings.
2 1/2 pounds ground beef 1 1/2 cups
- raw brown rice 1 can (15 ounces)
- beans, drained and rinsed
- chopped pumpkin
- diced carrots 1/2
- frozen peas
- fluid ounces
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups
4 cups water Total: Yields approx. 12 cups (or 88
) Nutrition information (per
- Calories: 400
- Protein: 39.1g Fat: 7g
- Carbohydrates: 44.2 g
- Minerals and vitamins: iron, potassium, calcium
- all ingredients with 4 cups of water in a slow cooker
- Cover and simmer for 5 to 6 hours or over high heat for 2 to 3 hours
- Stir as needed and cool to room temperature.
Recipe for: Damn delicious
Are you looking for a digestive aid for dogs? Pumpkin is easy on a sour stomach and can help relieve your dog’s digestive problems. These homemade dog biscuits are a great way to introduce an all-natural stomach aid into your puppy’s diet.
1 can of pumpkin puree (
- NOT pumpkin pie filling
- oatmeal (optional if your dog is on a
- brown rice flour, or gluten-free flour 3
- tablespoons peanut butter (make sure it contains no xylitol
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
grain-free diet, sub an extra 1/4 cup grain-free flour) 3 cups whole-wheat flour,
Total: Yields approx. 24 treats
Nutritional information (per 1 serving of biscuit):
- Calories: 27
- Protein: 1.3
- Carbohydrates: 2.8 g
- Minerals and vitamins: vitamin D, iron
g Fat: 1.5g
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a small bowl, stir the flour, oatmeal, and cinnamon.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs, pumpkin, and peanut butter until combined. Stir wet ingredients to dry.
- Pour a floured surface and roll the dough to 1/2″ thick. Trimming with a cookie cutter.
- The dough will be a little sticky; add a flour powder to your hands and roller to help. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.
- Place on the cooling racks and let cool well. They will harden as they cool.
My Baking Addiction
Grain-Free Dog Food Recipe: Chicken Jerky Strips
Don’t trust store-bought raw hides, which often have a ton of additives and preservatives? Homemade chicken jerky strips are a perfect replacement. This grain-free recipe is a much healthier alternative and very easy to make. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (if they last that long!).
- 2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 3 oz
- Total: Yields approx. 10-20 strips
Nutrition information (per 1-bar serving):
- Calories: 33
- Protein: 7.8
- Fat: >1g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Minerals and vitamins: vitamin D, potassium
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Trim all excess fat from chicken breasts.
- Cut into 1/8-inch thick strips with a peeling knife.
- Bake for 2 hours on a baking sheet until the strips are dry and hard.
- Cool completely before presenting it to your puppy.
Recipe for: Top Dog Tips
Frozen Banana Treats
After a long walk in the hot sun, what dog wouldn’t want a refreshingly cool treat? We love this simple recipe: yogurt, banana, and peanut butter. It is a frozen milkshake for your dog. Need we say more?
- 4 cups plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol)
- ripe, peeled and crushed bananas
Total: Yields approx. 8 1-ounce treats
Nutrition Facts (per serving of 1 treat):
- Calories: 150
- Protein: 8.5
- Fat: 3.7 g Carbohydrates: 19.5 g
- Minerals and vitamins: Calcium, potassium, iron
- Mix all ingredients into a puree
- Pour into 4-ounce plastic cups (ice trays or toddler popsicle trays work well).
- Freeze until firm
- It can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by: Dr. Marty
Practices It’s important not to stray from homemade dog food recipes or substitute ingredients as you would for yourself and your family. Dogs have different nutritional needs that require cooking recipes exactly as directed. Be sure to cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria and cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier for your puppy to digest.
When in doubt, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a longtime expert in veterinary medicine. First published in 1999, the book is considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy home nutrition for pets. For even more cooking options, be sure to check out Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
We first emphasize discussing your dog’s specific nutritional needs with your veterinarian, as every puppy is different. And remember that switching your dog’s food to homemade kibble is a slow process, so patience is key.
Cooking For Canins: Online Help
There is no shortage of homemade dog food recipes that you can find online. We found this series of fun and informative videos that give you weekly recipe tutorials, tips, and more. Check it out in case you want to subscribe through YouTube.
What about BARF?
You may have heard of a raw diet fad, more commonly known as “BARF” (biologically appropriate raw foods). The basic idea is to feed your dog raw meats, grains, and vegetables like their canine ancestors ate millions of years ago.
BARF has gained popularity among dog owners in recent years. However, the FDA and major veterinary organizations strongly advocate against raw dog food diets. Therefore, we suggest that you speak with your veterinarian before starting this path. Learn more about the benefits and risks and get a raw dog food recipe to try at home in our article on raw dog food diets.
What foods should your dog ever eat?
As a dog owner, you’ve likely come across this essential list before, but it’s always good to have it on hand as a reminder, especially if you’re cooking dog food from scratch. The main toxic foods include:
- Avocados Grapes
- Raw bread dough
Onion and garlic
For a more extensive list, check out this article on non-dog feeding foods.
Did you know that most pet insurance policies cover accidental injuries and poisonings? Find out what else is commonly included in our pet insurance comparison.
Tired of cooking?
If that all sounds like a lot of work, but you want your puppy to experience homemade food with the convenience of having it delivered to your doorstep, give The Farmer’s Dog a try. With The Farmer’s Dog, you can send natural, fresh dog food straight to your home (we’re big fans and customers)!
While DIY dog food recipes can be fun to make and a healthy alternative to consuming canned food or kibble, they may still lack all the essential minerals and vitamins needed. In addition to fresh food from The Farmer’s Dog, we recommend checking out these other dog food delivery options that are specially formulated by dog nutritionists and shipped directly to you for your puppy to enjoy. Also, visit our dog food reviews for all types of diets, ages, and health issues.
Tagged With: DIY, Prescriptions, Reviewed by Dr. Pendergrass, DVM