Kiss Kibble Goodbye: Homemade Dog Food Recipes

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Bowl of homemade dog food veggetablesImagine 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?

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 eggshells; 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 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 StripsRaw chicken breast in slices

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 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 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 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.

Don’t Feel Like Cooking?

If you want your pup to experience homemade food, but you don’t have time, give PetPlate a shot. With this service, you can have natural, fresh dog food sent right to your house! 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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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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Cat
I have 3 dogs, a border collie, poodle mix and a daschund. They get along very well and we take them daily for at least an hour and 1/2 walk. Lately though, the two smaller ones refuse to eat at their normal feeding time. Dennis, the collie, happily eats, but Teddy and Murdog shiver and hide. I work from home and make their gravy from fresh veg. We spend plenty time together and they are loved and very well taken care of. Why have the little ones behaviour changed so drastically in such a short time?
Sylvia Zammit
My 9 year old dog has diabetes. I refused dietary dog food but what can i give her? What do I avoid? She used to love cooked chicken breast but getting bored of it
sam
Beans are not good for dogs to hard to digest
Phail owens
I cook 1 lb ground turkey, then partially heat ground beef, 1/2 lb chopped carrots and 1 lb unsalted sweet peas. I divide this into one cup containers. Is this enough nutrion for my 50lb mixed breed?
Mark
I’m always preparing food for my dogs per week, and put in freezer.
What can i add to avoid bad smell after freezing 3 days.
Amber
It would probably be a good idea to mention that many grocery store peanut butters contain xylitol, a chemical that is poisonous to dogs. Always read your lables and always do your research!! There is more that’s bad for them than grapes and garlic.
Louis mum
She did say there was more and there is a link to the list of them
Ann
These recipes are Not appropriate for dogs.
Andrea D Davis
What a load of crap. There isn’t a single good recipe that is appropriate for dogs here. Have you even watched the Canine Cancer Series? I’m looking for a good recipe for my sister’s dog (I feed raw & wouldn’t feed this garbage to any dog). 40% protein is crap. 80% protein is required. 10% offal 10% bone (added after cooking or a good bone meal supplement) any add ins like green leafy veggies & a very few berries would be in addition to this. Oats & rice are grains, sweet potato, apple, beets, peas. Nothing I’d feed my carnivore ever.
Chad
I wondered why they cooked everything too when do dogs find cooked meat in nature
TCBe
When do dogs live for 14 years in the wild? Cooking meat kills pathogens found in nature, as well as in your favorite grocery store or your favorite butcher. It also kills a few vitamins, but not so many as to cause a problem if you get all the ingredients correct. I don’t trust recipes from amateurs, most of them prove themselves inadequate to the job by anyone with some basic knowledge. I particularly don’t trust rice because of it’s arsenic content (read Consumer Reports, unless you are skeptical about education).
Mary F. Gibbs
why so cranky…the Canine Cancer Series has just come to light so give folks time to know what it is. YOu were looking for help in feeding…so give others a chance to learn too.
Judy Eklund
I am thinking about cooking for my 4 year old husky and I am just starting to do the research. My question is can you do a combination of dog food (she eats Blue Basic grain free) and a combination of homemade meals.
Nichole
From what i have read on line, substituting half and half is a good start for that.
Dog@Dog
That’s fine. I think that as long as you are feeding a high-quality dog food, you shouldn’t worry about feeding that alternately. Your listed dog food is not perfect, but hardly any are. Most of the questionable ingredients are unsure in their claims.
Louis mum
I have read an article that says you shouldn’t if you are RAW feeding … Otherwise yes you can xxx
Brittney
So in the beginning of the article it does mention supplementing with a calcium supplement or crushed egg shells.
The recipes that follow do not call for any added calcium.
I always add 900mg calcium per pound of homemade food (or 1/2 t crushed egg shells).
The recipes as written would be phosphorous heavy- and would require the calcium to be added to be complete and balanced and replace dog food.
Terry
My Cockapoo is my best friend, my hearing (I am deaf), and just precious to me. She has seizures which I believe are a result of recommendations from my vet to give her preventative Ivahart. I stopped giving her all drugs except the phenobarbital which she will be on for the rest of her life. I say this because she almost died last year from a very severe seizure. She has had hip surgery from a fall from my porch chasing other dogs. That is the background. Now, after wasting money on commercial dog food I have thrown away many times. After watching my dog not eat at all, vomit, loose bowls, and dull coat – I decided to cook for her and have been for many years now. She weighs about 15 pounds, feels heavy when I pick her up, but she is all muscle, not fat.

When she poops on her pads, (she is a house dog mostly), I can reuse the pads after dumping. Of course with a microscope you will see the residue, but to the naked eye, clean. Yes her poop smells, but not like it did when she ate kibble or canned food.

I don’t give her dog treats. She gets carrots, watermelon, celery (doesn’t like celery too much), and once in a while a smear of natural peanut butter on a carrot. I pretty much cook for her like the recipes in this article. No flour though. And no seasoning of any kind. When she gets an occasional upset stomach, I give here white rice and chicken only.

She eats two small meals a day, about a half cup each. And a small amount to take her med with at the end of the day. I brush her teeth because soft food sticks. After what she went through with a pro cleaning, I don’t want her to be sad and hurt again. So never will she go to bed without a cleaning. I try to remember to brush after breakfast as well. I was giving her Dancing Paws vitamins but I can’t seem to get them anywhere anymore. So now I am researching organic vitamins.

It’s funny, my family has had dogs all my life and they ate what we ate, and they lived long lives. We could not afford dog food being poor, so most times they ate scraps, but they were never sick or in need of a vet. Things have really changed.

I take charge and responsibility for my dog. I realize Vets are so called professionals, but my dog is very dear to me. I do what I think is best. And because she has seizures I am researching an opt out for rabies shots. She is healthy, runs like a puppy and since I don’t give her chemicals besides her meds, she seems happier. She was given to me about 7 or 8 years ago so I don’t know her exact age. She is all muscle and strong. I hope this helps someone. Thanks for reading.

Hope
My little dog is 8 years old I have had her for about 2 months she is a rescue dog, we have bonded very much and she is health. A few days ago she stopped eating I have tried changing her dog food but she will have nothing to do with it and I have tried to give her chicken and hamburger but she wont eat that either. What should I do? Help I am getting very worried about. Thanks for your help.
Roxy
Hi I hope your dog is eating now but if not I have a recommendation for you, my 8 month puppy stop eating kibble so I started cooking for him, this is my first dog so I don’t have so much experience. Weel after some months eating cook chicken with vegetables and other snacks he stopped eating again I think he got bored (again) so I bought greek gods greek yogurt (plain) and he love his food again, maybe you can try something like this.
Dog@Dog
So dairy products may not make you dog drop down dead, but they’re still not good for dogs! It’s annoying because SO many dog products have dairy in them EVEN IN HOME MADE RECIPES! Dairy, through studies, has lactose in it–which may cause a real stomach upset in some dogs! Although some dogs are fine with dairy (tough stomachs!) I prefer to avoid it along with the risk of sickness and stomach upset.
Michelle M. MacDonald
I make my own yogurt/greek yogurt. When I strain the whey from the yogurt to create Greek yogurt, my dog loves it mixed in his food as well as yogurt itself from time to time.
Linda Gallant
Poor baby could be teeth are bothering her . I recently had the same trouble & It was her teeth .
Jason
These are not balanced for a dog. They should receive much less grain more lean protein and organ meat.

Love the idea for chicken jerky though, thanks.

Michelle
My 5 year old boston terrier is getting a bit gassy on the homemade recipies. Will this go away once his system adjusts?
Kimberly Alt
With any diet change, your dog will experience a transitional period where he may be extra gassy. This should subside after about a couple weeks. 🙂
Adam
No, it won’t if you are feeding the dog styff like the recipes above. Dogs digestive tracts are not meant for grains and veggies. These recipes are suitable for humans, not carnivores, like dogs. You dog is gassy because the grains and vegetables are fermenting in its digestive tract, not being broken down by the digestive process.
Valerie
I have Bostons too, they are kind of known for their gassiness. 🙂 Anytime there is a dietary change, it can cause some gas, especially if you’ve gone from kibble to fresh. It usually lessens after they get used to the new food. You can try adding some digestive enzymes and perhaps plain unsweetened yogurt or probiotics, which can help if the gas is bad.

Separately, I noticed a lot of negative comments on here about the recipes. Dogs have lived with humans for thousands and thousands of years. They ate what humans ate and thrived, including grains, veggies, fruits, meats and bones. Dogs are more like scavengers and adapt to eating whatever food is available. There is a lot of misconception out there for what kind of food is best, things are usually based on whatever fad is current. Right now paleo and ketogenic diets are popular and you can see that reflected in people’s opinions for dog food. However, some of the oldest living dogs were fed vegan diets— not advocating, just saying. People have a tendency to jump on band wagons without much real evidence to support them. Then after some time, it comes out why that band wagon wasn’t so great after all. The key seems to be to get them off kibble and onto fresh healthy foods and to be balanced. Even the Canine Cancer Series, referenced in another comment, mentioned the need to add fresh veggies to dog food. They said just adding fresh veggies alone to kibble reduced a dog’s cancer risk by a significant amount.

With the way a lot of meat is contaminated with residues of antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides, hormones, etc. and how unhealthy so many animals are in these feed lots, it makes sense not to go overboard on regular grocery store meats.

When is the last time you ever saw a Boston Terrier chasing down a cow to eat it? That doesn’t seem very natural or true to wild behaviors to me. Animals in the wild eat other wild animals who have been eating natural diets, kept in natural conditions, and are not exposed to man made drugs, hormones, chemicals, vaccines, and antibiotics. So to argue for a diet heavy in proteins that a dog would never eat on its own as being better than the recipes here seems unbalanced and not looking at the whole picture.

Whatever allows someone to feed as fresh as possible— I say do that. Whatever that is will be way better than kibble, or some other processed food.

Karen
Do I still add dry food with these recipes
Kimberly Alt
These are meant to replace your dog’s kibble.
Dog@Dog
It’s optional. Most people seem to love having HIGH QUALITY store-bought (I’m assuming that’s what you mean when you say dry) dog food to mix with the homemade, just when they’re in a hurry or something. It’s your choice.
Bonnie
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.
Good luck!
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!
Adam
If you are adding deer and elk, you are over feeding the dogs. Meat from wild game is more dense and naturally has more nutrients the dogs body requires. They make more poop becuase their systems can not digest all the food.
Melinda
They don’t need the kibble. This is meant to replace it. If my dogs eat kibble they poop a TON.
Bonnie
In my experience that is odd. I have experienced the exact opposite in my dogs, and I have more rice and a ton of vegetable matter. Is the Rachel Ray food also a new thing for your dogs? Because kibble is typically associated with voluminous stools. Meat and carrots certainly wouldn’t cause this problem on their own. Are you cooking the game meat? I sure hope so…introduction of a raw protein might also cause loose as well as voluminous stool, not to mention being a potential source of parasitic infection, but that’s a whole nother issue.
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

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
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
Thanks Mary for helping Doreen!
Doreen
Thank you so much, Mary. That is exactly what I’ve been looking for- a formula.
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
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!
PirateFoxy
Many homemade dog food recipes don’t have a full range of vitamins and minerals. Unless you want to get very into adding supplements and so on to make sure your homemade is nutritionally balanced, I’d feed a mix of homemade and high quality kibble – kibble is already fortified with the necessary vitamins and minerals. I’d also double check the recommended protein/carb/fat balance for a puppy – what puppies need and what adult dogs need aren’t the same, so you might need to tweak the homemade food recipes to add or subtract rice and other carb sources to make the ratios right for a puppy. (This is particularly important for larger breed dogs as they need the right balance for joint and bone development for long term health.)
Sarah
These recipes are great! How much do you feed?
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
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
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
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…
Dog@Dog
I have to wonder what you mean when you say “top-quality dog food.” Did you check the ingredients on the label or just go with the well-know brand (like Pedigree, for example). A lot of well-known dog foods have horrible ingredients. I’m a fan of home made, don’t get me wrong, but if you were buying a “brand” dog food with horrible ingredients, no wonder your puppy got sick!
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
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.
Dog@Dog
Great point! Plus, I walk my dog when it’s 80* F. Sure, go ahead and call it abuse. I just make sure she has plenty of water, and the walks are very short (15 or 20 minutes). She is a short-haired dog and the only reason we go inside is that I’m burning up!
Kimberly Alt
I personally don’t consider 80 degrees F to be a bad temperature to walk your dog in. I live in Iowa and our summers days are often hotter than that, even in the evening around 5:30pm when I walk my dog. Like you said, I make sure to bring water with us and give her rests in the shade if need be. Overall, it’s important to know your dog’s tolerance level. For my dog, Sally, she is perfectly comfortable in those conditions. However, there are some dogs who may struggle in similar conditions.
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
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
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
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.
Dog@Dog
I mean, yeah they have lived healthy lives, but who really knows? They may have suffered digestive troubles that never surfaced and were never spotted. Perhaps they would have lived 2 years longer if they hadn’t been fed dairy!
Valerie
Just because humans eat dairy does not make it a healthy food for dogs. You can find anything online to agree with a particular viewpoint. I would say cow’s milk is a species inappropriate food for both dogs AND humans— that’s my online viewpoint. 😉 Each dog may have minor variances from each other, but each dog is not THAT unique. Both humans and dogs seem to adapt to whatever they eat, but that doesn’t mean that what they are eating is exactly the best for them. Dogs can’t tell us when they don’t feel well after eating something. And unfortunately, a lot of dietary intolerances come out as health issues down the road instead of being an immediate reaction.

I don’t feel grains or occasionally having certain kinds of fermented dairy are necessarily that bad. They have been in human diets, and therefore dog diets, for thousands of years without harm. I think goat dairy is supposed to be more digestible for dogs and humans if someone is insistent on that kind of a product. But, for whatever reason you want to choose, there are digestive issues coming out in our day to these products that have not existed before and so some care isn’t necessarily unwarranted. Balance is always key.

Kimberly Alt
I agree with you that just because humans injest something doesn’t mean it’s safe for dogs. We have an entire article dedicated to human foods you should not feed to dogs. And again, I agree that cow’s milk isn’t appropriate for humans or dogs (I am vegan myself), however, I understand and respect that others may drink cow’s milk.

I appreciate you taking the time to state your opinion on the matter. It’s always good to hear others’ opinions on various subjects and as you said, balance is always key! 🙂

Melinda
Whelping bitches eat plain ice cream for calcium …cottage cheese, plain yogurt.. All fine to feed. As a matter of fact they are good sources of protein. Don’t confuse white rice with oatmeal and brown rice. There are differences in good and bad grains. I would rather feed oatmeal than broccoli, potatoes, peas…Peas and potatoes are no go here.
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).
Jason
Please do not feed garlic or any related plant in the allium family do anything but a human. I think it is delicious, dogs think it destroys their liver.
Dog@Dog
True about the garlic, except for one point: Dogs think garlic is delicious to. They don’t know it destroys their liver!