Kiss Kibble Goodbye: Homemade Dog Food Recipes

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Bowl of homemade dog food veggetablesImagine if you had to eat the exact same food every meal, every day of your life. Beyond being painfully boring, 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?

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. Here, we’ll give you 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.

What Nutrition Guidelines Should You Follow?

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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 basic nutritional needs. Here are some daily must-haves with general balance guidelines. Serving sizes depend on your pup’s weight, size and activity level. Learn more about how much food you should feed your puppy.

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

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.

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 Thankgiving leftovers.

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

Beef Stew, Doggie Style | Turkey, Rice and Veggie Mix | Easy Crockpot Beef & Rice Meal | Pumpkin Dog Biscuits | 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 a great 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 ounce) 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 easily 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 chopped 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

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 home-made)
  • 2 cups whole grain brown rice flour
  • 1 large egg (you can omit this if your dog is allergic to eggs)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoonful flax-seed 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 just smooth 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 for the cookies.
  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.

Low Carb Dog Food Recipe: Chicken Jerky StripsRaw chicken breast in slices

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 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 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 together 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 freezer for up to two weeks.

Tips on 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, PhD, a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. First published in 1999, the book is now free online and 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.

What About BARF?

No, we’re not implying your new canine culinary skills will cause your pet harm; we’re referring to the raw diet, more affectionately known as BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), which 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. While you can find a lot of raw dog food recipes online and some veterinarians may recommend it, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is not on board with BARF. Citing a number of studies, the AVMA’s policy discourages feeding raw or undercooked animal proteins as they contain potentially deadly pathogens that not only can sicken your pet but also can be secondarily transmitted to humans. Yikes!

 

 

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 major 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.

Don’t Feel Like Cooking?

If you want your pup to experience homemade food, but you just don’t have time, give TopDogDinners a shot. With this service, you can have customized, fresh dog food sent right to your house! Or read our article on dog food delivery to have healthy kibble arrive at your doorstep when you need it.

Do you have any homemade dog food recipes to recommend?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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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123 Comments on "Kiss Kibble Goodbye: Homemade Dog Food Recipes"

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Colleen
Colleen
I made some homemade food for my 2 Labrador dogs. I made a 2 canners full using meat trimmings when we butchered our deer and elk. I added only 1 cup of brown rice to each canner of meat and a bag of chopped carrots to each. I have been using Rachel Ray dry dog food – 3 cups per dog and 1/2 cup of my home made food per day . The dogs are producing an ENORMOUS amount of poop! Is it the combo of the 2 & will it stop once I run out of the dry food? My husband is going nuts!
Doreen
Doreen
I have a 17 month Black lab/fox hound mix. I would like to start feeding him homemade dogfood. What are the amounts I should feed him? For example – the Doggie Beef Stew or the Beef and Rice Dinner – How often and how much?
Canine Journal
Admin
Canine Journal
Doreen, the quantity of food depends on the weight of your pup. Please refer to our puppy feeding guide for a chart that shows you how much food to give him. Thanks!
Mary Keetch
Mary Keetch
Doreen,here’s an easy way to figure how much homemade food to feed your dog.
Feed 2-3% of your dod’s weight daily.
Your dogs weight x 16=
Multiply that number by .02 or .03.
That’s how many ounces you feed him daily.
For example,my dog weighs 35 lbs.
35 x 16=560
560 x .03=16.8
That’s 16.8 ounces I feed my dog a day. I roubd it up to 17 ounces&I feed him about 8 oz. in the morning&again at night.
I also give him a couple of homemade dogs snacks during the day.
Dog mom
Dog mom
Thanks Mary for helping Doreen!
Doreen
Doreen
Thank you so much, Mary. That is exactly what I’ve been looking for- a formula.
Sydney Weller
Sydney Weller
Hello, I was just wondering if I could feed my 9 week old Golden some of these recipes? He currently eats puppy kibble. He eats 2.5 cups a day. Would the recipes provide enough of the nutritional needs that he needs?
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Sydney, that’s a great question. I would recommend asking your vet. Send the recipe to your vet in an email and I bet he/she will get back to you asap!
Sarah
Sarah
These recipes are great! How much do you feed?
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Depends on your dog’s breed/age/size. I would try to match up the calorie count to what your dog currently gets.
Shelley lundstrom
Shelley lundstrom
Does any one have a recipe for low fat diet my boxer was just diagnosis with pancreatitis the food they gave me is really not good
Sydney Weller
Sydney Weller
The Rice and Veggie mix says its for ” pooches who need to keep their pounds off ” so I would say its got to be low fat.
Kirstie
Kirstie
Opened my eyes and had the realization that it can’t be healthy to eat slimy, greasy canned meat and meat-flavored cereal every day of your life and no wonder at 6 months, my pup is already refusing to eat even the highest top shelf dog foods… I haven’t even switched his diet for a full week yet and his stool is finally firm. No more diarrhea. His eyes are brighter and twinkling brighter than I’ve ever seen before. He’s excited to eat. He jumped up and down. It’s so worth the time and effort and is cheaper than the expensive can food. He still gets a sprinkle of kibble in his food just to make sure he isn’t lacking any minerals or vitamins. I regret not doing it sooner…
Pupper
Pupper
“After a long walk in the hot sun…”

Please don’t walk your dog in the hot sun. Early morning or evening is much safer for them during the warmer months.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Sorry, we don’t mean you should walk your dog in 100 degree weather. What we mean is that the sun is always hot, and most of us walk our dogs when the sun is out. So you could say that you always walk your dog in the hot sun, even when it’s 40 degrees out.
James
James
This may be obvious but I am just starting out. How do I determine how much of each item goes in. For example I would like to make enough for a week. You say 40% of protein and 50% veggies and so.. how do I determine that percentage? Do I weigh it all and then figure it out?
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
It doesn’t have to be an exact percentage. Your dog’s diet should be approximately those amounts of protein, veggies, etc. As long as the recipes are made up of about half veggies, 40% protein and 10% carbs you’re on target. Take a look at the recipes we’ve listed and they’ll give you an idea of a wholesome meal for your dog.
Concerned
Concerned
Many good ideas here, however, I am absolutely appalled that you would suggest a dog eat dairy. A does not suckle a cow, a calf does. Dogs should also not be fed grains “as their ancestors did”. Wolves do not and have not ever eaten grains and as they made the transition to an omnivorous diet, still have never eaten grains. Dogs should ONLY be fed meat and vegetables, and fruit is also okay. Please correct this on your website as soon as possible so avoid giving false information to dog owners and potentially damaging their canines health.
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
To be fair, humans do not suckle a cow either but we still eat dairy. 🙂 We have found sources online that say it’s ok to give a dog dairy as long as they’re not lactose intolerant, the same goes for grain. Each dog is unique so it’s important to know what is ok for your dog’s digestive system and to talk to your vet if you have any questions. I know many dogs who have eaten dairy and grain and have been completely fine.
Squash
Squash
I’ve raised my Shih Tzu since he was 10 weeks old, and he is currently 3 years old. Everyday he eats a different fruit/vegetable, typically with chicken, but he also occasionally he eats salmon, beef, pork (very sparingly since it can cause worms), and turkey. He also eats lentils, rice, beans, and oatmeal. I also add eggshell powder, nutritional yeast, Vitamin C, a small amount of garlic, and fish oil to their food. Variety is good — they need it to get proper nutrition. I’ve never had any dietary problems with him, his skin is healthy and he is energetic. I recently adopted a 8 yr old Llasa Aapso who was religiously fed so called high quality grain free kibble his entire life (I know this because I am related to the prior owner). He developed chronically itchy skin (with blisters and black scar tissue from scratching), and his owners did not know what to do with him. I immediately switched him over to a home made diet (like my Shih Tzu) and he immediately improved. I did give him the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial medication and prednisone the vet prescribed to initially improve (but not get rid of) his skin condition. The vet wanted me to give him the prescription diet and cortisone shots to keep the condition at bay. However, I refused because I know personally based on my own diet changes (I used to be 100+ pounds overweight and I lost it by eating better—not less— food) how feeding your body higher quality food can drastically change your condition. It has been a couple of months, and the Llasa is almost unrecognizable. I truly believe that feeding dogs commercially prepared dog foods leads to many ailments down the road. No human doctor would prescribe eating Total cereal, and a multivitamin to obtain optimum or even mediocre health. I don’t know why people think it is any different for animals and kibble (even high quality ones).
hjden
hjden
Excellent article. Thank you for your great ideas. I love to cook for my family so why not for my furr-mily?
One tip that I have found rather useful; rather than cutting meats with a paring knife (which, by the way, it helps to lightly freeze the meat before slicing), I have found it useful to cut meat with kitchen scissors.
Just an FYI,
hjden.
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
That’s a great tip! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Audra
Audra
The Pumpkin dog biscuit recipe is incomplete. It calls for cold water, but does not give you instruction on where/when to use said water. It also calls for you to reserve some of the “rice mixture” but then asks you to add the pumpkin mixture (w egg(s), even though recipe says 1 egg). How then would you reserve the mixture to which you are adding? It also says it makes 24 “balls,” but details instructions to roll out on parchment paper. Just overall very unclear.
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Audra, in step 5 it says to slowly add the water in. You reserve some of the rice mixture to be used as topping for the cookies at the end. As for it saying egg(s) that was a typo, our apologies, we’ll be sure to fix that. It says it makes 24 1-oz balls to give you an idea that you will get 24 oz of these treats. However, everyone has different size cookie sheets and desired thickness so saying you’ll get 24 treats isn’t very clear because some people may make the treats larger or smaller than others. Sorry this was confusing for you, I hope that clears some of the confusion up. Please let me know if I can help any further.
Julia
Julia
Dog has very high triglyceride what should I feed him
Sara
Sara
Would these receipts b ok for a 7 month old puppy??
Leslie
Leslie
These recipes for dinners are not balanced at all. I would never dream of feeding this many veggies and carbs with such low protein amount. What about calcium? What about fish oils, Vitamine E? And that you say never to change them up? Wow… I hope no one feeds this long term. There are reliable facebook groups with formulas for calculating the correct percentages of food.
Robert
Robert
I am cooking the Beef Stew Doggie Style as I type …The flour measurement is not right I ended up adding a lot more water to get the lumps of flour to dissolve. Now there is way too much gravy compared to the solids. I am not sure if I did this right. Also the method of cooking is questionable at this point.
Kimberly
Kimberly
What about the calcium and other fatty acids?
Emma
Emma
Hey! This is awesome!I atill go to school though and can only make this on weekends. Is it alright if I freeze it in poetuons and just heat it up during the week toe feed them and then make fresh ones on the weekend? That is the only option I have right now. Would that ve alright?
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Emma, yes I think that’d be fine. You can put it in the refrigerator the night before to start thawing it out some. Be careful heating it up so you don’t give it to your dog too warm! Good luck!
Lab Lover
Lab Lover
Awesome recipes! Our yellow lab loves the turkey/rice/veggie mix and the chicken jerky strips! Was surprised that our dog loved the rosemary spice in the turkey recipe. Just made the beef/rice meal in the crock pot yesterday and it passed the taste test! Thank you for sharing these great nutritious recipes. Our lab has a lot of energy with these well rounded recipes!
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Glad to hear your dog loves them!
Kelsie Kemp
Kelsie Kemp
Hello, thank you for all your suggestions they are wonderful. My 6 year old boxer has mast cell cancer and now is dealing with cachexia. I already feed her fully home cooked meals of cooked ground beef, fruit and veggies 3 times a day but she continues to loose weigh and muscle. I was told to switch her over slowly to an high protein and fat diet of 1400 calories a day. Wondering if you have any suggestions of new fats or protein, high in calories that is not super expensive but safe to feed. Thanks so much
Savannah
Savannah
Peanut butter has protein and good fats in it. Try that.
Sharon
Sharon
The peanut butter has to be natural, otherwise there is too much sugar and other undesirables.
Jen
Kelsie- My 10 yr old lab has mast cell. I met with a holistic vet after my vet wanted to keep her on steroids (which are not good). I am now cooking her food and this recipe does not give everything that’s needed and flour is not good. I also just started her on a drink for humans called NingXia Red. It’s expensive, but the holistic vet recommended it (she does not sell it either so she had nothing to gain from telling me this). Check with your vet or a holistic vet in your area on what you should be feeding. A lot of foods give off histamines which are not good for mast cell patients. Good luck!
Jaaon
Jaaon
How much of this i should make for a dog up to 40 pounds and another dog that is a dachshund
Rose
Rose
The Turkey & Rice Recipe takes much longer than 20 minutes to cook. Brown rice takes over 40 minutes to make. Cooking time is more like 1 hour & 20 minutes
Saagar
Saagar
Brown rice need to be put in water for an overnight
Sherry
Sherry
Can the meals be frozen?
Nency
Nency
for my kitty (she is a cat) , I am looking for some good recipes. Please do write someday 🙂
Patti
Patti
I have a very obes,e dog, Jack Russell named Charlie. His owner ,myself experienced an accident while at work which caused me to become wheel chair bound for four months which limited Charlie from any exercise.. Living by myself no one could walk him. His exercise became no more. Now Charlie is very over weight Doctor said he needs to lose weight, Vet suggested Metabolic dry food by Hill’s Science Diet . Is home made recipes for dogs better for weight loss or this Rx dog food . Can someone give me some good advice . I am really considering home made. I invested in Science Diet healthy weight, Charlie refuses to eat. Is not appealing at all.
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
If your vet suggested Hill’s Science Diet we recommend sticking with that. It will take Charlie some time to adjust to the new food. If he continues to not eat it I suggest talking to your vet about other options.
Holly
Holly
My dog was diagnosed with cushings disease in Feb. Vet had him on prescription hills l/o. Not good for a cushings dog who is not to have grains. His poo was like dried wood. I took him off it and put him on raw. Hills prescription would have killed my pup. Too dehydrating. He’s doing much better now.
Twyla
Twyla
All vets recommend Hill’s Science diet. The reason was stated above. I told my vet I won’t use it. He didn’t have a problem. I think it’s healthier for ur fur babies to have homemade food. If u can use organic, even better.
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Interesting, my vet didn’t recommend Hill’s to us but I believe you. Now understanding the point made, I agree with you Twyla. If a dog food isn’t working for your dog and you’ve introduced it to them slowly then changing food is a good idea. As you said, homemade food is a good option as well as organic. In the end, each dog is different so you’ll need to play around with it until you find a healthy balance for your dog. Thanks for the comment and input Twyla!
Lori
Lori
You can always add some warm water to the Hill’s Science food. Makes a gravy.
Shonna
Shonna
Most vets recommend Hills brand because Hills writes the nutrition books for the vet classes… I would go with a different brand and do some research on it…
Mel
“Prescription diets” like Hills Science Diet and Royal Canine are pretty much a scam. I used to feed it to my dogs who over the years often developed disease such as cancer and other ailments. The state of Ca has sued these companies for false advertising and collusion with certain vet chains where the vets get kick backs for “prescribing” these brands for your sick pets. When examining the ingredients, youll see they can include inferior protien and starch sourses such as corn, and meat byproducts. Plus, as this article explained, kibble itself is a nutritionally compromised food (due to the production method of high heat and extrusion). Sure, its convenient and less work for the human, but over time, will likely be damaging to a dog’s (or cats) organs. Google yourself to research… if you dont know where to start, try Dr Karen Becker, a holistic and traditional vet who provides excellent information and advice on pet food and ailments, weight controll, and prevention. I have been very happy feeding a commercial (Honest Kitchen) nutritionally ballanced dehydrated raw food mixture (add water) with supplimental fresh foods. These recipes sound great too!
Good luck!
Shannon
Shannon
So when the vet tells you that your dog’s protein to creatine ratio is 5.8 (off the scales by the way) and tells you to feed a low protein, low phosphorus food you ignore the recommendation to feed Hills, Royal or Purina? I have yet to find a recipe online for this kind of situation. Got a recipe handy?
KMK
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.
Shellie
Shellie
On the Easy Crockpot Beef and Rice Meal, do you put the ground beef in raw? Just wanted to make sure I don’t need to brown it beforehand…..
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
No, you do not need to brown it beforehand.
Vicki
Vicki
Can I substitute the beef for ground turkey? My Dorgi is allergic to beef.
Jess
Jess
I substituted ground organic chicken, and it worked out beautifully
Ricky
Ricky
You turned me off in your introduction. Your information is a little screwed up. You cannot change up your dogs diet daily. Their systems are a lot more sensitive than hours and can cause all sorts of problems. Any vet will tell you that. Pick yourself up and try again.
Sara
Sara
Interesting comment but not completely true. I go between three different recipes for my dogs and it’s fine. They are used to eating different meats and guess what… it’s not a problem. Chicken one night and beef the next is no issue for a dog used to eating that way. ‘Any vet will tell you that’.
Chris
Chris
My experience with my maltese- shih tzu cross is that she can eat different meats and vegetables everyday. I think the idea of changing foods over slowly to avoid GI issues refers to commercially manufactured dog foods. Homemade foods are easily interchangeable, and the dog enjoys the variety!
Andrea
Andrea
I have a 5 month old puppy who will not eat unless beyond starving, I have tried every brand of dog food on the market, wet and dry. Making my own was the only choice I was left with and she eats a different meal every day. Dogs only get “sensitive” to food if you stick with one kind morning, noon and night, then they have issues. If they have a varied diet from young, they have no problems. Mine has boundless energy perfect poos, glossy coat and bright eyes.
Jenna Kay
Jenna Kay
I mean really think about it. Wolves, dogs, and animals in the wild eat anything they can hunt and kill that day. And if they cannot hunt and kill, sometimes for days at a time, they eat whatever they can find that they deem edible.

Whats more is my 7 month old chi-pin has been eating a variety of different meats, bones, fruits, and veggies since she was 8 weeks old. Shes in beautiful shape. Healthy poops, beautiful coats, tons of energy, and so on.

So I actually think your information is a little screwed up.

chang nguyen
chang nguyen
Too much protein in beef. Your dog will be fat. How many meals per week is enough?
Jaime
Jaime
my dogs eat Merrick freeze dried bits with kibble and then organic wet dog food and i change it every other day and noticed they have diarrhea so i called their vet and she said i need to feed them white rice and chicken until it gets solid again. well today it looks more solid but i know they wont go back to what i was feeding them so how can i add in the healthy beneficial foods to their diet without hurting their tummies again.
Ann
Hi I am new to this site and have an Anatolian Sheperd and a Heinz 57 that I am going to start supplementing their kibble with your great recipes. I have a question on the yogurt and since I know it is a great probiotic how is it that dogs can eat it and not have digestive issues since it is dairy? My big guy weighs about 110 lbs and the gal about 60. She can eat anything he has a sensitive gut and I have been told a little yogurt wil help. Thanks
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, but you don’t want to purchase yogurt with artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Yogurt has active bacteria, which acts as a probiotic and is good for dog digestive systems.
Nicki
Nicki
I have a German shepard/malaumute giant puppy…Is coconut yogurt good or bad? Its all natural ingredients, no sugar added..? We add a little coconut oil to his food once a week and his coat has gotten so much healthier (along with some veggies) but not sure about coconut yogurt. He loves plain dairy yogurt though!
Emma
Emma
Sure it’ll be fine just make sure it’s organic and don’t feed it too often and see if it doesn’t upset her tummy
Robb
Robb
Hi, I’ve cooked the turkey/rice/verge recipe using pork mince. I have a 6mth old King Charles Cav, who we feed twice a day. How much should I be giving him? We also give him 125g of dry food at each meal
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hey Robb, there’s a puppy feeding chart in this article. I suggest asking your vet about any questions you have regarding dietary needs for your dog. Best of luck!
Beth
Beth
Do you recommend any supplements, ie vitamins and minerals?
I started feeding my cats a high quality homemade diet, and it’s been an eye opener- much easier than I expected, but there are a LOT more supplements involved.
If I make the switch, I want to be sure she’s getting all she needs.
Thank you!
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
We haven’t researched any supplements and it can vary based on breed. I suggest asking your vet about any deficiencies your pet may have and what supplements you could add to the food to help him/her. Hope that helps!
Carrie
Carrie
Quick question…. I’m considering switching to homemade food for my dogs – one is a senior and one is moderately overweight – so I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. I notice there are certain ingredients listed in the Nutritional Guidelines for Calcium and Fatty Acids but none of the recipes include these things. Are these added as needed or should be part of each recipe? BTW…thank you for the great article and recipe ideas!
Denise
Denise
Hi…I just recently started making my own wet food to add to the grain free kibble for my dogs. My older dog seems to have a definite allergy to wheat. We adopted a new dog and in my effort to entice him to eat, I introduced him to a regular wet food with his kibble and let my older one have some as well. Within 2 months, we noticed that he was showing signs of atopic dermititus around his eyes. So now I am making their food with ground turkey, kidney beans, peas, carrots and brown rice and adding some fish oil once it is cooked. Within a week, we are seeing an great improvement to his eyes…plus, they love it! Less expensive than anything from the store!
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Denise, thanks for sharing and I’m so happy to hear your dog is doing better!
Kathleen Parker
Kathleen Parker
I have a 11 year old Lab/Golden mix and she wants food all the time. She is gaining weight and I din’t want to feed her more, we give her 4 cups of store bought food a day. I’m thinking of making her dog food in hopes this will help fill her up. How much food a day should I feed her?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
How much does your dog weigh? If she weighs 80+ pounds then 4 cups of food is about the amount she should be eating. There’s a chart on this page that shows how much dogs should eat per day.
Kali Fugatte
Kali Fugatte
Hi there, I made the Crock pot Beef and Rice meal and I was wondering how many cups per day should I be feeding my basset hound? I tried home cooked dog food because she refuses to eat store bought dog food. We would just leave the bowl filled normally. I know bassets have an issue with obesity so I don’t want to start feeding her too much. She’s a year old and weighs 40 pounds currently. How much should she be eating daily? Thank you!
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
According to our chart here you should feed your dog 2 1/4 cups to 3 cups per day. If you notice she is gaining weight, lean towards the lower end of the range. Check with your vet to make sure she is getting the proper nutrients she needs as well. Good luck!
jennifer
jennifer
I would check with your vet I do home cooked for my 4 saint bernards and was told by my vet not to go by cups of food but by calories. they weigh just over 100 pounds and need to be feed 1800 calories each a day
Maggie donahue
Maggie donahue
Hello. I was wondering on the turkey and brown rice recipe for dogs if anyone knows the calorie per cup count?
Gayle
Gayle
I’m trying to find out the same thing. has anyone responded to your post?
Denise
Denise
I did the math today and using 3 lbs. of ground turkey, 2 cans of kidney beans, 1 bag of frozen peas, 1/2 bag of fresh little carrots and a heaping cup of brown rice…it comes out to a total of 2870 carolies for the batch. You would just need to figure how many cups come out of that.
Nancy Workman
Nancy Workman
I would like ti try the crockpot beef and rice….can I use something other than squash…Cauliflower,broccoli,peas???and is it ok to boil the meat a little first to remove a little of the fat…he has had health problems in the past ….
Michele
Michele
No broccoli. Look up the other ingredients to make sure that they aren’t harmful to dogs. This information is easy to google.
Judi
Judi
It is my understanding that rosemary is a dangerous if not prohibited ingredient in any dog food. I have read testing results that indicate that it can kill dogs. One of the homemade recipes included here on this site contains rosemary? I would surely eliminate it from the recipe.
Tee
Rosemary isn’t toxic. It can cause stomach issues if eaten in large amounts.
Christine
Christine
Do you ever use iodized salt in dog food recipes?
Tee
Dogs do not need nor desire salt or seasonings in my research.
Alexis
Alexis
My kids ate the dog food and they were not fond of it. They thought it could be sweeter and not as mushy. I think adding some basil would be a nice addition store bought dog food is way better than homemade dog food especially this one.
Tee
The food isn’t for your kid it’s for your dog. Dogs don’t need sweets, but some foods need to be mushy for them to be able to digest it. May I suggest you take a look at the ingredients in your store bought dog food and notice all the uses of the word ‘meal’ it may taste better to your kids, but I guarantee you it’s not as good for your dog as homemade.
Michele
Michele
Why are you feeding ant type of dog food to your kids? Dogs don’t need and shouldn’t have many of the seasonings that humans like.
Akexis
Akexis
Tried the dog food and we’re not fond of it.They said it could have been sweeter and not as mushy.I think some basil would be a nice addition. Store bought dog food is way better.
Kathryn
Kathryn
Are you stupid Alexis? Dogs don’t need sweets. That will upset their stomachs and it’s just downright not good for them? Store bought is better? You obviously have some research to do
Kathleen Murphy
Kathleen Murphy
How would these recipes change for an 8 week old retriever puppy? Amounts per meal? Extra vitamins? Calcium? Oils?

Thank you!

Kris Garon Dooley
Kris Garon Dooley
These recipes are grossly inadequate. They are severely short of necessary vitamins and minerals.
Dawn Mello
Dawn Mello
Which is why this COULD be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.
Tee
This is WHY they tell you to add a multivitamin.
Shannon
Shannon
Hi,
I am new to this site and I love it! Question, do the dog food recipes have all the vitiams needed or do I have to add vitamins?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Hi Shannon, the recipes are as is. They have the nutrients your dog needs for a well-balanced diet. If your dog needs a specific vitamin you can probably add it in, but we suggest checking with your vet first. Thanks for visiting!
Kamaron
Kamaron
Thank you for this answer. I have been searching high and low for nutritional well balanced homemade dog food and advice on how to know if I’m giving my dog what she needs.
Kim
Mine take probiotics and children multivitamin each day too.
Beth
Beth
We got a new puppy and I decided she is going to get fed home cooked dog food. I’m very happy with the results. My dog is happy too but I had to share something funny. Here is a recent conversation between me and my husband:
Larry: Something smells good. What’s in the crock pot?
Me: Dog food
Larry: What’s baking in the oven?
Me: Dog biscuits
Larry: What’s for dinner?
Me: I don’t know yet. Haven’t given it much thought!
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Ha! What our dogs eat take precedence over what we eat 😉 Thanks for the laugh!
Geralyn
Geralyn
Too funny. I am currently making homemade dog food out of venison and chicken
Beth
Beth
When you have brown rice in a recipe is the measurement done dry or cooked?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Dry rice, it will cook during the process.
Sam K
Sam K
Which of these recipes can help a dog diagnosed with stage 1 kidney disease, please? She’s a 10 year old red heeler. We have kibble for the kidney diet, but would like to broaden what we offer her.
irene
irene
How much food are you suppose to feed your dog? My dog is 180lb mastiff and 110 great pyrenees. I want to supplement with cooked foods and a mix of good dog food brand and gradually go into all homemade food.
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
We have a chart on this table for how much food to feed dog: https://www.caninejournal.com/how-much-food-should-i-feed-my-puppy/ We suggest talking with your vet about how much food to feed your dog.
jennifer
jennifer
I have 4 saints all at around 110 lbs our vet told me that 1800 calories per day is what they need
Teresa Joudrey
Teresa Joudrey
I do not understand why you added flour to your dog food. Please explain. I know dogs do not care if gravy is thick. That is a human thing.
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
That is a great question, Teresa! From what we’ve found, there is no nutritional requirement for wheat in a dog’s diet, but there are benefits to its presence. Certain wheats contain fibers that help the grown of beneficial bacteria in the gut or intestines. Fiber found in wheat helps keep your dog’s bowel movements regular. Older dogs are more susceptible to develop constipation, so an increase in fiber can help keep things moving. Wheat also packs a burst of energy, the carbs found in wheat grain are great for fueling muscular and metabolic activities.
Monica
Monica
I had the same thought. The recipe just states flour… Which in my human baking/cooking frame of mind means white flour. Might help to specify wheat flour in the recipe.
Clarissa Thomas
Clarissa Thomas
I made two gallons of food a couple days ago and put them into the freezer, to serve it to my dog. Do I reheat it again and cool right?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Yes, reheating and allowing it to cool would work.
Kellie Altieri
Kellie Altieri
These diets are in no way balanced for long term use unless you add a ton of vitamins.

Also, the things you said about a raw diet is 100% false. The AVMA may not be behind it but there are many vets that advocate a raw diet. I have been feeding my dog a PMR (prey model raw) diet for a year and just started my 7 month old pup on it and they’ve never been healthier. If you’re clean and sanitary in your meat handling and clean up, like you would be if it were for your own consumption, it’s completely safe.

Stop spreading misinformation.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Hello and thanks for the comment! We believe that having a diet consisting of 50% vegetables of assorted colors and types provides the necessary vitamins needed for any living being. Regarding feeding your dog raw: we completely respect your position and appreciate that you are feeding raw to your dog. Canine Journal has never taken a stance on raw diets. We only shared what the American Veterinary Medical Association’s position is on the matter. We only said that the AVMA is not ok with raw. This is not misinformation this is a fact to show that the AVMA is not behind this. That does not mean that other vets are not behind it. Wishing you and your pup a healthy winter!
Dawn Mello
Dawn Mello
Why would you want to feed your dog the BARF diet? You don’t know what is being put in the meat and your dogs can get ecoli, salmonella poison and God knows what else.
Kris Garon Dooley
Kris Garon Dooley
Are coyotes and wolves dropping dead from e-cool and salmonella? You realize dogs have a short digestive tract so they can handle pathogens that humans cannot. Dogs share 99% of DNA of wolves and they should be fed as nature intended.

Dogs were never designed to eat kibble.

Dawn Mello
Dawn Mello
I agree about the kibble. But our animals are not wild, they are domesticated. I Am still trying to figure this all out.
Dawn Mello
Dawn Mello
Yes, dogs CAN get salmonella poisoning.
Jenya
Jenya
Dogs, wolves, anyone can get salmonella poisoning. It’s what they call survival of the fittest. We don’t exactly keep track of the wolves that are dying and surviving. Plus, their bodies are quite used to it. And as Dawn said below, our dogs are not wild anymore. With children around the house and the way our dogs kiss us/sleep on the bed, I would not feed our dogs raw diet because as we evolve, so do our domesticated dogs. I completely agree that kibble is a big no, but would not feed my dogs raw either.
Monica
Monica
Unless you are hunting and fishing for your dog… The proteins most people use are farmed. Chicken, beef, pork, fish of all varieties, used for human consumtion, are not the same as from the wild. Even “Organic” meats are still grown on farms. This brings about complications from denser populations that wolves and coyotes dont face when they eat raw. Most people agree Kibble is not a great choice…. The question then becomes is it natural to feed your dog raw farmed meat?
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