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Top 8 homemade dog food recipes

Woman with Poodle in the kitchen advice

8 tasty homemade dog food recipes.

© Shutterstock

Making sure your dog stays fit and healthy is really important and there's no better place to start than their diet. So let’s look at the best homemade dog food recipes.

By Ashley Murphy

Updated on the 09/12/2020, 13:30

Thinking about switching your pooch over to a healthy homemade dog food diet? Well here’s what you need to know about the best homemade dog food, and how to make it yourself.

A homemade dog food diet needs to be complete and balanced. A complete diet includes all the major food group. A well-balanced diet includes the right food groups in the right proportions. So a complete and balanced homemade diet consists of:

  • 40% Protein
  • 10% Carbohydrates
  • 50% Vegetables
  • Healthy Fats
  • Calcium
  • Fatty acids

But don't worry about balancing out every single meal. The aim is to create an overall balance. For example, a high protein breakfast can be followed by a dinner high in carbs, veg, and healthy fats. You can do this on a daily or weekly basis. Whatever you prefer is fine. A complete and well-balanced diet is all about long-term consistency.

Two dogs in a kitchen
How to make homemade food for your dog©Shutterstock

How to make homemade dog food

So we know that a dog needs protein, carbs, healthy fats, nutrients, and essential fatty acids. Sounds simple enough, but what food should you actually be feeding them?

The first thing your dog needs is meat. In fact, meat should account for around 40% of their diet. Unless your dog is extremely active, opt for leaner meats like chicken, venison, and game. Meat is full of protein, iron, and B vitamins - vital stuff for your dog's short and long-term health. Alternative protein sources include eggs and fish. Canned fish like tuna, mackerel, and pink salmon are good choices. They’re full of protein and vitamins.

This might take a bit of getting used to, but feeding your dog raw liver and offal is a really good way of making sure they get the right nutrition. Don't worry though, you won't have to do this every day! A few portions each week is enough to keep them on track.

Now its time to make sure they get enough healthy fats. The right kinds of fat help the body to absorb nutrients from other foods. They also maintain healthy brain function, as well as reducing inflammation throughout the body. Cream cheese, eggs, and flaxseed are excellent sources of healthy fat.

Fruit and vegetable are full of good carbs, antioxidants, and a whole host of vitamins. These support the immune system, aid digestion, and improve overall health and well-being. “Good” doggy fruit and vegetables include:

  • Carrots
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelon (Seedless)
  • Strawberries
  • Fruit and vegetable to avoid include:
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants
  • Onions, garlic, and chives
  • Avocado
  • Persimmons, peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries
  • Tomato plants

Are there some foods that my dog should never eat?

Definitely! Some foods are toxic for dogs. At the very least, your dog will feel very unwell. Some foods can even be fatal. Foods to avoid at all costs include:

  • Chocolate
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw bread dough

Remember, a well-balanced homemade dog food diet isn't about the right foods; it's about the right foods in the right proportions. Feed them too much protein, and they probably won't be getting enough carbs or fats. If they're munching on too many vegetables, they might be missing out on essential vitamins and nutrients like iron and calcium. It really is all about the balance. So find some good recipes, buy and cook in bulk, and then fill the freezer with some well balanced and comforting homemade doggy dinners.

Benefits of homemade dog food

With the right ingredients, a homemade dog food diet can be very beneficial for your dog. With the wrong ingredients, it'll be a complete waste of time and a detriment to your dog's health. Switching to homemade diet is about controlling what food goes into your dog; there's no point cheating or doing it half-heartedly. It does require some time, effort, and commitment, but the long-term benefits are numerous. Your dog is likely to be much healthier and so less prone to serious health issues. Such things are extremely distressing for you and your dog. They can also be very expensive to treat.

Many owners buy and cook in bulk. This saves time and money. For example, a big batch of doggy stew made from 500g of mincemeat can feed a dog for a few days, or even up to a week depending on size and breed. Just make sure you've got plenty of space in the freezer!

Homemade puppy food

If you're lucky enough to have a litter of puppies at home, you can certainly raise them on a homemade dog food diet. The right balance of foods is important for any doggy diet, but it's super important for a group of growing puppies. So do plenty of research and speak to a vet for more advice.

Balanced homemade dog food recipes

1# Minced chicken, rice, and vegetables

  • 1.3kg minced chicken
  • 410g mixed frozen vegetables
  • 740g rice

Put the ingredients into a saucepan or casserole dish. Stir in 1.5litres of water until it turns into a smooth mixture. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed.
Cooking time: 35mins
Quantity: 10 meals

2# Homemade chicken heart with turkey mince

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 450g chicken hearts
  • 450g minced turkey
  • 2 apples,
    2 pears roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots,roughly chopped
  • 200g French beans
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 200g strawberries
  • 100g blueberries
  • roughly chopped

Warm up a large frying pan. Add the coconut oil and chicken hearts. Stir until browned. Revome chicken hearts from the pan and chop into little pieces. Add the turkey mince to the pan go 8-10 mins. Chop the vegetables and fruit. Add everything together and stir for 10mins.
Cooking time: 25min
Quantity: 20 meals

3# Homemade sardine and liver blend

  • 2 sardines
  • 2 tablespoons fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped apple (no pips)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped beef liver
  • 1/4 teaspoon bone meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic dried kelp
  • 1 tablespoon  chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid K-9 glucosamine

Put the sardines into a bowl and mash into a paste. Mix in all the ingredients, stir, then serve. High in nutrients and healthy omega-3 fish oil.
Cooking time: 5 mins
Quantity: one portion

4# Chicken legs with mincemeat and oats

  • 2 chicken legs
  • 190g rice
  • 450g beef mince
  • 55g oats
  • 280g spinach
  • 310g  broccoli
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 225g cottage cheese
  • 120ml olive oil

Boil chicken legs for 40mins. Remove the legs, then discard the skin and bones. Finely chop the meat, then set aside. Simmer the rice until cooked, then add the chicken. Heat the beef over a medium-high heat until cooked. Mix everything together and then serve.
Cooking time: 1.5hrs
Quantity: 10 servings

Homemade dog food recipes

5# Doggy meatloaf

  • 680g beef mince
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 80g oats
  • 115g wheatgerm
  • 170g tomato concentrate
  • 4  potatoes
  • 1 stick celery

Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a roasting tin with oil. Mix the beef, celery, carrots, apple, eggs, bread, oats, wheat germ and tomato puree. Divide into four parts and mould into loaves. Place loaves in the roasting tin and add potatoes. Cover with tin foil and bake for 80 mins. Cool before serving.
Cooking time: 1hr 20m
Quantity: 12 servings

6#  “Doggy” stew

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • chicken or turkey
  • 1 large potato or sweet potato,
  • diced 1 diced carrot ½ cup frozen peas
  • Water

Cook meat over med-high heat until browned, then add potatoes and carrots. Pour in enough water to cover vegetables, bring to the boil, simmer for 20mins. Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 more mins.
Cooking time: 35 mins
Quantity: 6/8 meals

7# Doggy omelettes

  • 2 organic eggs
  • 3 pieces of smoked salmon
  • 1 green pepper

Lightly grease an oven proof dish with olive oil. Crack the eggs into dish and green pepper and salmon. Stir together. Bake at gas mark 7 for 10-12 minutes.
Cooking time: 10-12mins
Quantity:  one serving

8# Beef and vegetable balls

  • 500g Ground Beef
  • Brown Rice
  • 1 Celery stalk
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • ½ cup of Spinach
  • 2 tbs parmesan
  • 2 organic eggs – 2 large sized

Pre-heat oven. Lightly oil a baking tin. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then form into twelve balls. Place in the baking tin. Cook for 25-30 mins.

Cooking time: 30 mins
Quantity: 6/8 meals

Balanced homemade dog food recipes

The above meals were designed to have the right balance of protein, good carbs, healthy fats, and vegetables. Still, it's worth adding a few supplements into your dog's diet. Daily dose multivitamins, omega-3 fish oils, and probiotics will help keep them healthy and vibrant.

Some foods, even in small amounts, can be toxic for dogs. Keep your pet away from onions, avocados, chocolate, macadamia nuts, garlic, grapes, raisins, apple pips and yeast dough.

Homemade dog food puts you in control of what your dog eats. It can also save you money, but you will need to put in a bit more time. Some meals take over an hour to prepare and cook,  and it's no good cheating with quick, processed foods. The whole idea of a homemade diet is to make sure your dog gets the right amount of protein, carbs, and essential nutrients. Again, this requires effort and a bit more research, but you’ll be rewarded with a much healthier and a much happier dog.