Homemade dog food recipes are one of the more controversial topics among pet owners and veterinarians. Depending on who you ask, you may hear that homemade dog food is a waste of time and no more nutritionally beneficial than commercial diets or that the best homemade dog food recipes can have an extremely positive effect on your dog's health and well-being.

It’s important not to stray from homemade dog food recipes or substitute ingredients as you might for yourself and your family. Dogs have different nutritional needs that require cooking recipes exactly as instructed. 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 pooch to digest.


I needed to help my 10 yr old, 100 lb dog lose weight. I found that he loved cooked vegetables, especially green beans, that are filling yet low in calories. So I bought the huge (1 gal) can of green beans and added a large scoop to his regular kibble when I didn’t have other cooked vegetables left over from my meals. He love sauerkraut too! I was working full time and didn’t have a lot of extra time to cook his meals from scratch.
However, homemade dog food isn’t risk-free either. A 2013 study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Association from a while back showed that more than 90% of homemade dog food recipes found online may be bad for your dog. The study went over 200 recipes from reputable veterinary textbooks and certified veterinary nutritionists, as well as other pet-related sources, and of the 200 recipes, 191 weren’t up to par with the Association’s standards. That’s ~96%!
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 the beef dinner recipe below. I combine three pounds of 90 percent lean ground beef, frozen peas, and chicken broth in an Instant Pot LUX80 and put it on the Meat/Stew setting for one hour. Separately, I prepare two dry cups of Jasmine rice.
If your pup loves to chew, make your own chew strips with fresh chicken. Slice chicken breasts into 1/8" thick strips and dehydrate in an oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours, or until the chicken is dried and chewy. Sprinkle with anise prior to drying for extra flavor. Turkey also can be substituted. Poultry chews make a nice alternative to rawhide treats, which could contain chemicals or preservatives. Store extra chews in the refrigerator or freezer. Chicken jerky can also be made in the microwave by cooking the strips for 20 minutes on medium power until they are chewy.
I’m assuming you are changing over to a homemade diet because you have health concerns related to commercially produced dog food. Please research the contents of ALL commercial foods. You will be appalled. It ranges in offensiveness from low quality, to poisonous and downright carcinogenic. Proteins are frequently comprised of beaks, feathers, and high temperature steamed bonemeal. The most common source of “animal protein” is actually a meal that is produced using euthanized, ill farm and COMPANION animals…..as well as the medications that were in their systems when they were eventually determined to be terminal. There are a multitude of articles online with which you can educate yourself about the heinous nature of commercial dog food (yes, even the “premium” foods) so I guess the short answer is…..NO, if you care about what your dog is eating, don’t feed anything that you purchase human grade ingredients and prepare yourself! Btw, organic is best if you can afford it. The chemicals in human food are just as detrimental to your dog as they are for you, although having a shorter lifespan, they obviously won’t suffer some of the cumulative affects that humans do.
The easiest way is to throw everything in a large slow cooker. 5 pounds regular ground beef, 3 pounds chopped beef liver, three cups of frozen or fresh veg and/or fruit, (carrots, peas, butternut squash, broccoli, blueberry, pumpkin etc.) 4 cups parboiled rice, 8 cups of water. 5 hours on high, longer on low and its done. A weeks worth in the fridge in what it was cooked in for an 80 lb dog. (substitute liver with any other organ, or rice with oats, quinoa, egg noodles, rice noodles).
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.
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It’s also common to find by-products and fillers (check the labels of any treats you might have in the cupboard) in dog biscuits rather than natural, organic or high-quality ingredients. When you make small batches of your own doggie biscuits, there’s no need for extra additives or preservatives, another great reason to tie on an apron and get creative in the kitchen.
Thank you to the readers who have mentioned the issue with using bacon fat for dogs. A trace amount of bacon grease (two tablespoons divided amongst 30 biscuits = less than 1 gram of bacon fat per serving) shouldn’t be a concern. Of course, we’re not veterinarians over here, so please check with your vet or use an alternative type of oil if you are concerned.
Find out from your vet how much insulin she needs for 10 grams of carbohydrate. Then to the chicken or other meats add turnip greens and sweet potatoes. You might add a small amount of rice Cook the rice in 7 times more water than rice. ( 1 cup of rice to 7 cups of water or 1/4 cup rice to 1 and 3/4 cups if water. 1/2 cup rice to 3 1/2 cups water. I know every rice chart says less but dogs like it better with more water AND dogs drink less water if there is more in the rice.
Even if you’ve never baked a thing in your life you can make these simple dog treat recipes. It’s hard to go wrong with five ingredients or less, and there’s comfort to be found in knowing exactly what’s going into your dog’s food. I make homemade dog treats when we’re working on any new training behaviors – the extra focus they bring is priceless.
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