Through my previous articles, you have learned about the damage our commercial dog food can do to our dog’s body. But, a home-based diet (homemade dog food) requires adding many ingredients to your dog’s routine. Clearly, it’s easier to buy dog food in a bag from the store, but I have compiled a few simple recipes for you to replace that old, smelly commercial diet. To ensure your dog is receiving all of the necessary nutrients, a multivitamin like EverPup can help.
How Can a Homemade Diet Help my Dog?
Homemade dog food can help your furry best friend significantly — especially a dog who suffers from allergies, gastrointestinal issues and/ or skin problems.
In addition to reducing health problems, you can feel at ease knowing you have complete control over what your dog is eating. You know what ingredients are in there. When you buy food in a bag, you really don’t know what’s in that bag. You just hope the manufacturer is making the right decisions. But, as you can see, the recall list continues to skyrocket.
If you cook food in large quantities, you can also save money by feeding homemade dog food. Most people are ‘turned off’ to the idea of making their dog’s diet themselves because they’re afraid of how much it will cost. They aren’t worried about the time- they just aren’t sure if they can afford it. But, the good part is, most of the ingredients you would cook for your dog you probably already have in your home. After all, they are omnivorous (eat plants and animals) just like us.
But unlike when we cook for ourselves, we can’t add spices to our dog’s food… and there are some ingredients that can’t be added at all that we will talk about in a few minutes.
Be Sure to Consult with Your Vet
Before implementing a homemade diet, consult with your veterinarian or canine nutritionist to make sure you’re not barking up the wrong tree with your dog’s nutritional needs.
Each dog has their own requirements, but there are some general balance guidelines you can keep in mind. Serving sizes depend on your pup’s weight, size and activity level.
Essentially, their diet should consist of the following:
40% Protein – animal meat, seafood, eggs or dairy
10% Carbohydrates – grains and beans
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
Homemade dog food is generally better for dogs than their kibble or canned dog food from the store. Because there aren’t any preservatives or additives, homemade dog food is also lower in calories. As with everything though, food should be given in moderation (and never any more than 10% scraps/treats).
Our Favorite Homemade Dog Food Recipes
We’ve written up some of our favorite dog food recipes to share with you. We hope you like them! Here you go!
Doggie Beef Stew: The Alternative to Canned Dog Food
Beef stew is a great dinner to feed our dogs… why? Because it naturally contains both meat and veggies. And, our dogs will happily eat the veggies found in the stew.
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)
Cook the sweet potato in a microwave for 5 to 8 minutes until firm but tender. Set aside.
Slice the stew pieces into smaller chunks, about the size of a nickel.
Cook the stew pieces in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until well-done.
Remove the beef chunks from the pan, reserving the drippings.
Dice the sweet potato.
Heat the drippings over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and water into the dripping while whisking to create a thick gravy.
Add the meat, sweet potato, carrots and green beans into the gravy and stir to coat.
Cook until the carrots are tender – about 10 minutes.
Store remaining stew in the fridge for up to five days.
Easy Crockpot Beef & Rice Meal
This is a great recipe to cook if we don’t have a large amount of time during the day. If you’re thinking, ‘oh my goodness, I have such a long day,’ and are wondering when you’ll have time to cook food for your family and your furry family, this is a great recipe for the day.
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)
Stir in all ingredients with 4 cups of water in a crockpot.
Cover and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours or high heat for 2 to 3 hours.
Stir as needed and cool to room temperature.
The Pumpkin Dough Treats: For When Your Dog Has an Upset Tummy
Pumpkin is extremely beneficial to our dog’s body… and can help keep her healthy!
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)
Preheat the oven to 320 – 350 degrees.
Use two baking sheets and baking paper to avoid sticking.
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.
In a larger bowl, combine flax-seed oil and brown rice flour.
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.
Hand mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Using two pieces of baking or waxed paper, roll dough out to desired thickness.
Remove the top baking paper.
Evenly pour rice flour onto the top of the dough and lightly press it to the waxed baking paper.
Remove the paper and cut to desired sizes.
Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is completely dry.
Cool and store in a dry plastic or glass container until ready to be served.
Homemade Chicken Jerky Strips
You should never trust store-bought raw hides, many contain a ridiculous amount of additives and preservatives. Plus, we have a recipe that tastes even better-homemade chicken jerky strips are a perfect replacement for rawhide. And, they’re easy to make. Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks (if they last that long!).
2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Total: Makes approx 10-20 strips
Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Trim all excess fat off the chicken breasts
Cut into 1/8 inch thick strips using a paring knife
Bake for 2 hours on a baking sheet until strips are dry and hard
Cool completely before presenting to your pooch.
Frozen Banana Treats
These treats are perfect for those hot days. You know, the days where your dog is reluctant to even go outside? Or, is excessively panting because they’re so hot. And, it’s oh so simple. All you need is yogurt, bananas, and peanut butter.
4 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed
Total: Makes approx 8 1 oz treats
Blend all ingredients together into a puree.
Pour into 4-ounce plastic cups (ice trays or toddler popsicle trays work well).
Freeze until firm.
Can be kept in freezer for up to two weeks.
Tips on How to Make Dog Food
It’s important not to feed your dog the same dinner you’re eating. Dogs have different nutritional needs than we do. And, our food is considered “table scraps” when we’re discussing it from our dog’s standpoint. Your dog’s diet should never be over 10% table scraps or treats.
What Foods Should Your Dog Never Eat?
As a dog lover, you’ve probably seen these foods on the ‘no-no’ list before, but it’s always good to have a reminder when you’re cooking homemade dog food. The most toxic foods to our dogs are the following:
Onions and garlic
Grapes and raisins
Raw bread dough
To see what else they’re not allowed to eat, click here.
Learn About the Dangers of Commercial Dog Food
Click the video below to learn why dog food is so dangerous to our dog’s health. You’ll be shocked, I know I was.
Get to Cookin’
Now that you have some recipes on hand, it’s time to get to cookin’. Have fun, and keep a watch on the Dog Behavior Blog for more recipes!