Kiss Kibble Goodbye: Homemade Dog Food Recipes

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Person cooking hot dog food in pan Imagine if you had to eat the same food every meal, every day of your life. Beyond being painfully dull, wouldn’t you question whether you’re getting a nutritionally balanced diet? Welcome to a dog’s life.

Long ago before commercially produced dog food, dogs ate a lot of the same foods as humans. There’s a reason our dogs beg for our food – they’re meant to eat a variety. Table scraps anyone?

We’ve cooked up some tips on how to make dog food, nutrition guidelines and our favorite homemade dog food recipes. We guarantee your pup will benefit from your efforts and could even improve behavioral problems that stem from dietary deficiencies.

Article Overview

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 who suffers from allergies, gastrointestinal sensitivity or skin problems.

It’s also a good idea to have these recipes handy in case you happen to run out of dog food. Treat your dog as you would any of your other family members by preparing nutritious food from trusted ingredients.

What Nutrition Guidelines Should You Follow?

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Here are some general guidelines for a balanced diet. But just like humans, every dog is different, so this is not meant to be a one-pup-fits all rule. Serving size, your pup’s weight, size and activity level are all factors you should take into consideration when determining what’s right for your dog.

  • 40% Protein – animal meat, seafood, eggs or dairy
  • 10% Carbohydrates – grains and beans
  • 50% Vegetables
  • Fat – from oil or meat
  • Calcium – crushed or powdered eggshells; a supplement
  • Fatty acids – cooked egg yolks, oatmeal, plant oils and other foods

Before embarking on a homemade diet, consult with your veterinarian to make sure you’re not barking up the wrong tree with your dog’s unique nutritional needs.

Low-Calorie Dog Food Recipes

A note about calories: all the recipes listed below are better for your dogs than canned dog food or kibble because they are made from all natural products with no additives or preservatives. That being said, they are relatively lower in calories as a result but should be consumed in moderation (service side similar to what they currently eat). See serving size recommendations above.

Homemade Dog Food Delivered

In an age of UberEats, Caviar and having just about everything you can think of delivered, we are lucky enough to have the option to purchase fresh, natural dog food that can be shipped to your doorstep too. It can be a huge time-saver and worth the cost after you add up how much buying all the ingredients is.

Pet Plate ships frozen so you can keep it for when you want to treat your pup or serve it every day as a part of regular meal time. No dog will complain about this tasty meal made with fresh and easy to pronounce human-grade ingredients and you can spend your time on more important things, like belly rubs and walks!

Our Favorite Homemade Dog Food Recipes

We’ve written up some of our favorite dog food recipes to share with you. To jump to a recipe you’re interested in, click on the link below. We also have some yummy organic dog treat recipes and treats made with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Note: Serving size is not included because portion sizes vary depending on a number of factors including breed, activity level, age, and health of your dog. We recommend feeding your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups that you would usually feed your dog.

Beef Stew, Doggie Style | Turkey, Rice and Veggie Mix | Easy Crockpot Beef & Rice Meal | Pumpkin Dog Biscuits | Grain-Free Chicken Jerky Strips | Frozen Banana Treats

Beef Stew, Doggie Style

Diced carrots

A much healthier alternative to canned dog food, this recipe is loaded with fresh protein and vitamins and can be stored in your fridge for most of the week.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of beef stew meat
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup of green beans, diced
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of water or organic vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying

Total: Makes approx 4 cups (or 32 fluid ounces)

Directions

  1. Cook the sweet potato in a microwave for 5 to 8 minutes until firm but tender. Set aside.
  2. Slice the stew pieces into smaller chunks, about the size of a nickel.
  3. Cook the stew pieces in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until well-done.
  4. Remove the beef chunks from the pan, reserving the drippings.
  5. Dice the sweet potato.
  6. Heat the drippings over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and water into the dripping while whisking to create a thick gravy.
  7. Add the meat, sweet potato, carrots and green beans into the gravy and stir to coat.
  8. Cook until the carrots are tender – about 10 minutes.
  9. Serve cool.
  10. Store remaining stew in the fridge for up to five days.

Turkey, Rice and Veggie Mix

Brown rice in jar

This is an excellent recipe for pooches who may need to keep the pounds off. With a good balance of lean animal protein, healthy carbs and veggies, it yields 10 cups of dog food and can be refrigerated for up to five days.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 (16 ounces) package frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower

Total: Makes approx 12 cups (or 96 fluid ounces)

Directions

  1. Place the water, ground turkey, rice and rosemary into a large Dutch oven.
  2. Stir until the ground turkey is broken up and evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the frozen vegetables, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and cool.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Easy Crockpot Beef & Rice Meal

Kidney beans

We love this recipe for its nutritional value, its quick prep time (10 minutes) and the easy crockpot cooking. It yields 12 cups and can be frozen for future feedings.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups diced carrots
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups of water

Total: Makes approx 11 cups (or 88 fluid ounces)

Directions

  1. Stir in all ingredients with 4 cups of water in a crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours or high heat for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Stir as needed and cool to room temperature.

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Textured pumpkin puree

Are you looking for a doggie digestive aid? Pumpkin is easy on sour stomachs and can help alleviate your dog’s digestive issues. These homemade dog biscuits are a great way to introduce an all-natural tummy aid into your pup’s diet.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extremely cold water
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 2 cups whole grain brown rice flour
  • 1 large egg (you can omit this if your dog is allergic to eggs)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon flaxseed oil or olive oil

Total: Makes approx 24 1 oz balls (or 24 fluid ounces)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 320 – 350 degrees.
  2. Use two baking sheets and baking paper to avoid sticking.
  3. Mix lightly beaten egg and pumpkin in a separate container until smooth. (If you don’t want to use egg then smooth out the pumpkin puree separately and proceed to the next step.)
  4. In a larger bowl, combine flax-seed oil and brown rice flour.
  5. With constant stirring, add the pumpkin mixture to the rice mixture and slowly add water. Be sure to leave some of the rice to be used as some sort of toppings.
  6. Hand mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  7. Using two pieces of baking or waxed paper, roll dough out to desired thickness.
  8. Remove the top baking paper.
  9. Evenly pour rice flour onto the top of the dough and lightly press it to the waxed baking paper.
  10. Remove the paper and cut to desired sizes.
  11. Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is completely dry.
  12. Cool and store in a dry plastic or glass container until ready to be served.

Grain-Free Dog Food Recipe: Chicken Jerky Strips

Don’t trust store-bought rawhides, 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 air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks (if they last that long!).

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Total: Makes approx 10-20 strips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Trim all excess fat off the chicken breasts
  3. Cut into 1/8 inch thick strips using a paring knife
  4. Bake for 2 hours on a baking sheet until the strips are dry and hard
  5. Cool completely before presenting to your pooch.

Frozen Banana Treats

Creamy peanut butter

After a long walk in the hot sun, what pooch wouldn’t want a refreshing treat? We absolutely love this simple recipe – yogurt, banana and peanut butter. It’s a frozen smoothie for your dog. Need we say more?

Ingredients

  • 4 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed

Total: Makes approx 8 1 oz treats

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients into a puree.
  2. Pour into 4-ounce plastic cups (ice trays or toddler popsicle trays work well).
  3. Freeze until firm.
  4. Can be kept in the freezer for up to two weeks.

How To Make Dog Food

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.

When in doubt, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. First published in 1999, the book is considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade pet nutrition.

For even more cooking options, be sure to check out Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.

We strongly emphasize discussing your dog’s specific nutritional needs with your vet first as every pup is different. And remember that switching your dog’s food to homemade from kibble is a slow process so patience is key.

What About BARF?

No, we’re not implying your new canine culinary skills will cause your pet to throw up. We’re referring to the raw diet fad, more affectionately known as “BARF” (which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). BARF has gained a lot of popularity among dog owners over the last few years. The basic idea is to feed your dog raw meats, grains and veggies just as his canine ancestors did millions of years ago.

Learn more about the benefits, risks and get a raw dog food recipe to try at home in our raw dog food diets article.

Video Cooking For Canines: Online Help

There’s no shortage of homemade dog food recipes you can find online. We stumbled upon this fun and informative video series that gives you weekly recipe tutorials, tips and more. Check it out in case you want to subscribe through YouTube.

Most of all, have fun with your new status as your pup’s chef. We hope we’ve given you some good places to start and tasty recipes for your pooch to appreciate. Even if you’re not a master in the kitchen, homemade dog food sure beats every day of kibble!

What Foods Should Your Dog Never 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 principal toxic foods include:

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

For a more extensive list, check out this article.

Tired Of Cooking?

If all that sounds like a lot of work but you want your pup to experience homemade food, give Pet Plate a shot. With this service, you can have natural, fresh dog food sent right to your house (we’re big fans and customers ourselves)! Or read our article on other dog food delivery options to have healthy fresh meals, kibble or other dog food arrive at your doorstep when you need it.

Do you have any homemade dog food recipes to recommend?

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Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Sally grew up in a feline-only home, but cat allergies in her early 20’s made it an easy transition to dog ownership. And she couldn’t be happier with her canine shadow, who’s been at her side (literally) for years. No longer a cat person for obvious reasons, Sally is now a true bone-ified dog lover.

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Vi E
I thought rosemary was toxic to dogs.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
According to the ASPCA, rosemary is not toxic to dogs.
stacy
I don’t see when to add the eggshell or how much in these recipes.
Steve
I spent two decades as a companion animal nutritionist, and the recipes in this article are bunk. Lacking in major vitamins and minerals. If you’re going to make homemade pet food, cooked OR raw, you NEED organ meats and bone for complete nutrition. Period. If you don’t use organ meats, you need to try to find a balance of supplemental vitamins and minerals… and having just one of these ingredients out of balance can mean suffering or death for your pet.
Terri Haken
Do you have any recipes you could share? I’m very interested in getting away from the processed dog foods.
Matt
I don’t understand these instructions, specifically this bit about guidelines at the top of the article:
Calcium – crushed or powdered eggshells; a supplement
Fatty acids – cooked egg yolks, oatmeal, plant oils and other foods

But in the recipes, you never mention any of these things. How much of these should be added to each recipe?

Helen
I am have 4 100+lb dogs I make there food and fix it fresh every meal yes it is time consuming I have one female around 120 or lbs she breaks out after eating her meals in hives and it is worse if given Benadryl she is 3 yrs old I need some help I have changed diet and when I think I have found something that works I delivered these dogs so this is an old problem . HELP
Tina
Have you tried removing an ingredient each feeding to see if maybe it’s one specific thing she is allergic too …. otherwise it could be something environmental maybe the metel or plastic in the dish she eats from maybe a plant or pollen from a nearby plant materials from rugs or carpets … Also I feed honey to my allergy pup just drizzle a couple tablespoons over food as it’s anti fungel and helped tremendously with three of my allergy babies also plain yogurt I mix it with a little natural peanut butter and purred banana freeze for a treat in ice cube trey or small cups I wish you best of luck hope you find her some relief
If nothing works the vet can do a test just be sure they understand you’ve change the diet because that’s the first thing they go to !!
Adriana Srinivasan
hi everyone, I like the recipe suggested by DeAun, but I would like to add eggs because it is healthy and the shell has calcium. How many eggs a day could I feed a 80lb dog?
Lynne
I would do 1 egg per day. I’m not a canine nutritionist just based on my own research.
Katie Dotson
If you have relatives or friends that hunt/fish, they can be a great source of cheap or even free protien. Hormone and drug free. Freeze in portions that you will later use. Buy up winter squash when in season, cook up and freeze for future use.
As mentioned by others, ground egg shells are a scource of calcium. But one can add yogurt or cottage cheese as well.
Eric
As I look through the various recipes, I am impressed. However, there is one thing that disturbs me greatly.
Microwaving food. This is a big no no. Microwaving food destroys much of its food value. Microwaved water
kills plants. There are numerous studies (available on the net) that prove this. Trust but verify – that is,
don’t totally take my word for it – look it up.

May your pet live twice as long as you think it will,

Eric

Kathryn
Do you have any recipes for a high fibre dirt. Or similar? My 12.5 yr old English Bulldaog has developed what they think is IBS. Thanks.
Emily Patton
Hello! I am BRAND new to this and just want to make sure I don’t miss any nutrients my babies need!! I have 2 mini dachshunds and a foster chihuaha, are there any recipes specific for tiny babies? Also, I read something about determining how much of what goes in by their weight. Anyone know HOW to do that/what the equation for that is (Example:weight-10lbs:__×10÷__=
__ (amount of carrots/beef/etc)
Natasha Matherly
Don’t use any of these recipes. They are so terribly lacking in essential nutrients for dogs. For one they have almost no calcium.
George Patriarca
So, other than your criticism, do you have anything to add? No constructive at all.
Christine
Constructive: Dr. Pitcairn’s Natural Health for Dogs & Cats is comprehensive on supplements, recipes and nutritional requirements. It’s a hefty book and the layout is frustrating. But it is more complete than a blog post can be. I’ve used it since ~2005 for 4 dogs. Vet checks and blood work verify good health.
JoAnna Kuehl
Where can I find the book mentioned above by Donald Strombeck DMV free online??
Vijaya
My dogs are now spoilt. Once I started making home cook food for them, shop bought food does not get look in
Because my Sheeba called MICHI (delightful in Japanese) and Lady India Border Terrier. I needed to cook grain free food. Oh, do they love it but now no choice but cook.
When the plate is empty and when give you that ‘look’ -it is worth it
I make it 2 weeks food in to balls and keep half in fridge and half in fridge
I just made chicken strips in oven as you suggested – that is for walkies
Amd many thanks for giving us different varieties which I will try to make
Alex Paul
Homemade dog treats will have many benefits over the foods purchased from the market. First of all, you can decide the right amount of nutritional value you are going to feed your dog and even you can able to manage cook different kind of varieties and tastes that your dog prefer.
Robin
I need advice!
I do not know what discussion is going on, i do have some questions. I am new to all of this making your dog food and I wish i had done this from the start, but better late then never. I can only do Chicken or Turkey recipes, my male English Setter, can not eat beef, he has had 2 severe pancreatic attacks, once at 1 1/2, and then the camp ground managers stopped and gave him treats when we were gone, both times we almost lost him. That being said, with their weight, they get 1 cup of dry in the am & pm, should taht be what i feed to them with cooked or raw dog food?
How about vitamins & minerals, i cant find it now but i seen one recipe taht said you can not feed a home made diet without feeding them the vitamins, and is there specific ones that i should look for and is that placed in their food when you serve it, or when you cook it? And what is the best book to help decide raw or cooked, and recipes for both, along with the vitamins..
Vijaya
Hi Robin
Do we take vitamins and minerals daily? At least my friends and I don’t. If you have square meal you get from food. Same goes for the dog. Although now I am in UK, in rural india dog ate what we ate and they were working dogs. Lived to ripe old age.
If you get fresh ingredients proportion as suggested [vet says the same thing]
you should be ok. I don’t give my dogs beef as I don’t handle it, I use chicken, turkey fish eggs
I crush the eggshells and chicken bones in my vitamix. Good for the dogs and plants to in the garden
Good luck and relax
DeAun Kietzman
I just started making food for my 10 yr. old lab. Here goes: 2 lbs hamburger 1 lb chicken hearts and gizzards, 1/2 lb beef liver, 8 cups brown rice, large can of collard greens, small can of pumpkin, small can of peas and carrots, 1/2 cup blueberries. I chop up the liverand gizzards. Put it all in 16 cups of water and boli for 20 minutes. I vary the veggies and fruit. She weighs about 90 lbs and needs to lose weight so I feed her 2 lbs a day. I add chia seeds when feeding. 21/4 t a day. She was a picky eater before so she got way too many human food treats. Now she gobbles down her food and no more begging. Just started so I might have to adjust her serving size.
Elizabeth Langford
Hello DeAun, I love your recipe. I think it has a good balance.I use frozen peas and carrots because of the salt that’s included in can goods. I also use half brown rice and quinoa.I’m going to try it with fruit.
Thanks for the recipe.
Teresa
Is it 8 cups of uncooked brown rice? That seems like much too much
Renee Best
I don’t see sources for iodine or enzymes or calcium in the recipes, and also I think salt should be on the list of what NOT to feed our dogs. I know some folks give table scraps with good intentions but with loads of salt in it.
Lisa
Most companies that makes homemade dog food include the heart, kidneys,and liver of whatever meat you want. Do you have recipes that include these ingredients? They charge at Least$200 a month to feed my dog if I order online homemade but if I get these ingredients at the butcher it’s only about $12 for the organs so I want to do it myself. Can you please suggest recipes that include these?
DeAun Kietzman
I just posted my recipe 2/7 above. It has chicken hearts and gizzards plus beef liver.
Rita
looking for the food value kcal/100gram with your recipe
Bray
Is there an age suggestion to start a homemade diet? I’m looking to feed my puppy fresh meals but his is 3mths, is this ideal?
Kitty
Also to go along with my previous message, I add the supplements I mentioned to each serving. Dr. Goodpet has been recommended as a good source of some of the ingredients, vitamins and digestive enzymes, I add Kal Bone Meal, and The Missing Link superfood supplement. As I said earlier, do your own research to find the proper mix of real food for your pet.
Kitty
I’ve only been making my dog his food for a couple of months. In all the research I’ve done from Holistic Vets and other knowledgeable people I agree with the person who said these recipes are lacking in nutritional value for your pet. I learned that dogs have a short digestive tract so brown rice is not good for them, it will go right through them without being digested. If you want to feed your dog grains, ( I don’t) white rice is at least digestible. Bone meal should be added if your going to feed your dog any meat. Dogs in the wild would eat the flesh of pray also some of the bones. Feeding your pet veggies and fruits is good if you add canine digestive enzymes to the food. Apparently this will help to break down the veggies and make them digestible actually adding nutritional value. It’s a must to add some other nutrients like a superfood supplement containing ground flax seed, dried kelp,lecithin, the B vitamins, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and so many other needed ingredients. Adding prebiotics and probiotics is necessary also.
One of his favorite meals is chicken baked in a little water, no spices, salt or pepper, added to some steamed carrots, sweet potato, acorn squash, broccoli some raspberries and blue berries. I usually make enough for 2 meals per day for 5 days. Everything I’ve learned says keep in the fridge no more than 3-5 days….so I push it a bit with the 5 days.I hope what I’ve learned will help someone. I suggest doing a lot of research, it seems that feeding our loved little pets can harm them if we feed them the wrong things over a period of time.
Kathy
Are there any specific recommended recipes for dogs that are susceptible to yeast eat infections?
Cori
Yes no wheat,grains, dog bones are a big culprit, that will feed the yeast, even if it say’s organic wheat free, their are still hidden traces of gluten in them.
Unless you can make them yourself with Verified gluten free flour. Not all gluten free is 100% free. My dog is highly sensitive to it, and so am I. So my experience is based on my own history of dealing with yeast for my 16 year old female Cockapoo Penny.
Kathy
What are the recommended portions of food from these recipes for the various size dogs?
Kay
Hi Kathy! I believe there was a link toward the beginning of the article but, for a puppy, the general rule (from what I understand) is 1/2 a cup for every 5 pounds of weight. So, if your pup weighs 15 pounds, you’d feed it 1 1/2 cups a day, ideally splitting it into three servings (most commonly 7am, 12pm, and 5pm) of 1/2 a cup. I hope I helped you out a bit!
Lisa Printz Van Winkle
How much for grown dogs?
Keek
So if you’re dog is 100 lbs you give them 10 cups of food?! this cant be correct.
Candybar
Makes sense, split this into 3 servings & you have 3-1/3 cups per serving.
Lisa Printz Van Winkle
That’s what I want to know
Joyce
My Yorker has been diagnosed with lymphgiectasia she is not eating her dry food from the vet ear these recipes shown okay or give her has to be low fat
Maria
I love both my dog and my 4 cats. However, my dog is kind of a gourmet eater and she loves some vegetables like carrot, broccoli and cauliflower. I would not give her something I would not eat but I want to make sure to give her the right nutrition because she is dog.