Are you tired of wondering whether commercially prepared dog food is good for your pet? As a pet parent, you may be also worried about the artificial ingredients, preservatives, grains and chemicals that your baby may be getting through commercial dog food. Or perhaps, you might just be looking for cheap, yet nutritionally complete homemade dog food recipes that will keep your pet healthy and happy and also help you save money in the process. In any case, you have come to the right place! Today we will be discussing homemade dog food recipes that are vet approved and some of them are also grain free.
Homemade dog food nutrients
Vets are often wary about homemade dog food because they suspect that average recipes may be missing vitamins, minerals and proteins. Too much of proteins, on the other hand, could stress the dog’s kidneys. So it is very important to find the right balance between these nutrients. An average adult dog needs about 18% protein on a daily basis while puppies and lactating mothers need about 28%. Dogs do not need too many carbohydrates and many low quality commercial dog foods are filled with carbs. Dogs need a little amount of fiber (about 5%) as excess could cause gas. Good quality homemade dog food must also supply healthy fats, trace minerals and minerals. Here is a breakdown of nutrients along with their sources to ideally feed your pets:
- Proteins (50-75%) – Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, tuna, salmon, sole, anchovies. Hard boiled eggs are also good.
- Fats (15-18%) – Chicken heart, liver, kidney, gizzards.
- Complex carbohydrates (25%) – Brown rice, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, cornmeal, couscous, barley.
- Vegetables – Pureed seasonal, local and organic vegetables-artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and kale. Fruits like bananas are also great for your dog.
- Essential fatty acids – Salmon oil, cod liver oil, coconut oil, flaxseeds oil, safflower oil.
- Calcium – Bonemeal supplement.
- Probiotic – Feed yogurt daily/regularly.
- Parsley – For fresh breath and healthy oral cavity.
- Garlic – This is a controversial ingredient. Use it in small amounts to ward off ticks and fleas.
- Pumpkin – Helps the digestive system and prevents gas, indigestion etc.
- Extras – Apple cider vinegar, wheat germ.
How much food does your dog need?
For most homemade dog food recipes, you can feed about ½ to ¾ cup per 25 pounds of body weight. You can also start with 2% of homemade dog food per body weight.
Foods not allowed for dogs
- Grapes and raisins
- Seasoned meats
- Cooked bones
- Macadamia nuts
Always ask your vet if you are unsure about an ingredient.
Homemade dog food recipes
Here are some easy homemade dog food recipes your pet will love.
1. Dog food recipe with chicken
This recipe makes about 4 servings for a 50lb dog.
- 2 ½ lbs chicken breast, skinless and boneless
- ¾ cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 small beet
- In a pan, boil chicken breasts in enough water on medium high heat for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, cool and dice it into pieces.
- Prepare rice as per label instructions.
- Cook the beet in enough water for about 15-20 minutes until soft. Cool, peel and puree the beet.
In your dog’s food bowl, combine rice, chicken and beet puree.
2. Dog food recipe with beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lb ground beef
- 1 cup uncooked couscous
- ¼ cup chopped broccoli florets
- In a pan, heat oil, add beef and cook until browned.
- Prepare couscous as per packet instructions and set aside. You should have about 2 cups of it.
- Puree broccoli to yield about ¼ cup.
- Take about 1 ½ cups of beef, ½ cup cooked couscous and 1 tbsp pureed broccoli. Mix everything in dog food bowl.
3. Grain free dog food recipe
- 2lb ground beef
- 5 ounces spinach
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 3 lb sweet potatoes-cleaned and cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp salmon oil
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- Cook sweet potatoes in adequate water in microwave.
- In a skillet, heat some olive oil and brown the beef.
- Add the spinach and ginger and fry for some time. Next add the water and cook for 6 minutes.
- Once potatoes are cooked, add them to the beef mixture.
- Take required quantity in dog food bowl.
- Drizzle salmon oil and sprinkle fresh parsley on top.
- You can also add 3000 mg of crushed glucosamine supplement to this food.
4. Dog food recipe for large and active breeds
This homemade dog food chicken is ideal for large and active breeds.
- Chicken 3lb whole with bones
- Russet potatoes- diced 3lb
- 1 ¼ sweet potatoes diced
- 4 cups water
- ½ lb chicken liver, hearts or mixture
- Swiss chard 1 bunch
- In a stockpot, add the chicken, potatoes and sweet potatoes and cook on low heat for 1 hour. With about 15 minutes left, add the organ meats and vegetables and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool completely. You will now need to remove the meat from the bones. Chop chicken into smaller pieces. Add the pieces to the stew and transfer to containers for storage. The stew will last for 3 to 4 days.