Jodi is a dog-lover and enjoys sharing her homemade dog food recipes with other pet parents.
Homemade Dog Food for Small Dogs
People are becoming much more aware of the hidden dangers that come in store bought dog food these days. I am definitely one of them. How I started my journey into making my own dog food is because my new three-year-old Lhasa Poo would not eat anything. Well, she did fill up on the cat food when we were not looking. Like so many people, we have a small budget, and I always bought the best food that I could that was the cheapest price.
Is Affordable Food Unhealthy and Expensive Food Healthy?
One day I was visiting a friend who works with animals on a regular basis, and I asked her if the brand I was trying to feed my dog was ok. The ingredients did not seem like there was anything I should not be feeding her. My friend let me know that that kind of food was the worst food I could feed her. I felt so bad. She explained to me that it had red dyes in it, and ground chicken meal, as well as a lot of fillers. No wonder why my new little dog did not like it. She could probably smell all the bad ingredients in it.
So after that, I went shopping and bought a holistic brand that was a good price. I was very excited to get home and let her try out the new healthier food. She did not eat it! I was not about to go out and spend $50 on vet food (no offense). There was no way I could spend that much just to feed my dog, with a family and household to take care of, so I started researching how to make my own tasty dog food.
Meat Loaf for Dogs Recipe
The first recipe I tried was a meatloaf. There was a huge sale on ground meat at the grocery store that week. This recipe is very easy and consists of only meat and veggies.
- 3 quarter cups of grated veggies (sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, zucchini)
- 2 lbs of ground beef (the leaner the better)
- 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oatmeal
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- Ground flax seeds
Note: You do not have to use all the veggies that are mentioned. I only used what I already had at home, which was 1 sweet potato, half a carrot, and some broccoli.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Lightly butter two meatloaf pans and place ingredients in the pans. Bake in the oven for 20 to 24 minutes. Note: Remember in the wild dogs eat raw meat. You don't have to fully cook the meat. I cooked it for 20 minutes and the meat was just slightly undercooked and the veggies were cooked, but a little crunchy still.
- I sectioned it out into 24 portioned size pieces. I placed wax paper in between each piece, stuck them into a large zip lock bag and placed in the freezer. I take out three or four days' worth and put it in the fridge so it's ready for my little lady every morning. She loves it, and so do I because I know what's in it. This meal lasts for 24 days and only costs me $6.86!
Meat Loaf Photo Guide
Chicken and Veggies for Dogs
This one is as simple as the title. It is just chicken and veggies.
- Lean chicken breast
- Mixed veggies (broccoli, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini)
- Brown rice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cook the chicken breast (do not add any salt or seasoning). Cut up veggies and steam until cooked, but still a little crunchy
- After chicken is cooked, chop up into bite-size pieces, mix in with the veggies, but make sure there is more meat than veggies) and feed the correct portion for your dog. Save the rest for another day.
What Is a Good Portion Size?
To find out what to feed your dog daily, follow this simple formula.
Weight of your dog x 16 oz = _______
Take that number and x by .02 to find out the minimum daily amount or x by .03 to find the maximum daily amount.
For example: If your dog's weight was 11 pounds, the formula would look like this:
11 x 16 oz = 176
176 x .02 = 3.52 oz min daily
176 x .03 = 5.28 oz max daily
The 10 Most Toxic Foods for Dogs
What You Need to Know About Feeding Your Furry Friend
While feeding your little buddy, these simple recipes there are a couple more nutrients they need to have throughout the day.
Calcium and Omega Oils
To give my dog more calcium and omega oils, I feed her one whole or half a sardine (depends on the size) a day.
Note: Make sure to get canned sardines that are in spring water—NO oils or spices.
When feeding your dog, please remember that they need all-natural food. No oils, spices, white flour, sugar, sodium or processes food of all kinds! These have been linked with cancer in dogs.
Foods to Avoid
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Fruit pits and seeds
- Uncooked spinach
- Soy and cooking oils
My little Molly has been great eating the two recipes above. Just watch your dog. If bloating and gas occurs, usually it's the broccoli.
Consult Your Vet
Please always check with your vet if you are not sure about something. If your dog eats anything that is mentioned above in a very large quantity, it's always a good idea to call your vet right away.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Lynn on December 14, 2019:
Is this ok for small schnauzers, that has uti issues?
Vinny on June 06, 2019:
I know most dogs love cottage cheese. All cottage cheese available in the market has either regular or low sodium. Is salt good for the dogs?
Missy on May 16, 2019:
Thank you so much for adding the portion calculations!! I have been searching with no luck until now! So thank you very much! I am excited to try yoir recipe for my pup too!
Marley Abraham/dog-Maggie Mae on April 14, 2019:
I would be interested to know how much flax to use also. I haven't made food yet for Maggie,but will try these recipes soon. She is an 8 lb Maltese/Bishon. mix. Not very picky, but I like knowing ingredients in food. Thank you for recipes.
Christine miller on April 05, 2019:
Vet told me my min pin is over weight. He is a little porker.
I feed him WILD WILDERNESS DOG FOOD. Vet said to only give him 1/2 cup of dog food once a day. Is homemade dog food more nourishing than bought dog food?? And can I feed him more than 1/2 cup
Paul Trevor on March 31, 2019:
I used first recipe, but it doesn't say how much flax seed to use? I have a small dog and I know it's possible for her to over dose on flax, so how much is needed?
celine derosa on February 22, 2019:
we have a yorkiepoo who is about 8 lbs she is very fussy and we are having a hard time finding something to feed her.
Jacquie Nichol on February 02, 2019:
I feed my Yorkie Hilary’s Meal Maker. Hilary lives in Toronto, Canada and is a dietician for dogs. Dogs love it, it is easy to make. There are recipes on her site and she returns phone calls. You cook the meat add the dehydrated veggies add some oils and a powder that has the rest of the nutrients a dog needs to be healthy. You can add a grain such as brown rice, potato etc. It would be expensive if you had a large dog, mine is tiny. Jacquie
Adele Aiken on January 11, 2019:
I like the two dog food recipes you posted - do you have more??
V Samuela on November 01, 2018:
Gail on June 23, 2018:
I always add Balance IT to my homemade food for the nutrition the are not getting from homemade food
Jackson on May 18, 2018:
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hello. my 2 yorkies. ...one is5 and one is15 w8thcataracks..almost no vision left so?relys. heavily on his nose to decide if!he will eat or not. I They were eating only meat..turkey!chicken or pork but!today Imade up the dogfood with turkey,carrots!broccoli?yellow bell!turkey juice and brown rice..well!they both ate. like starving. Thankyou my only questin isdo I need to add some calcium and or vitamin c. I have some cookedapples couldI add a bit of them forever he vitamin c. Thankyou for the great recipe I have 2 young cats...one I found living inmy garden farrow cat.. only a few onces. Iwould love a healthy cat fod recipe for them I have never tred sardines but!tried a little tuna. I dont want to feed my pets any more food or treats with those ugly by products,Thankyou.
Lois92346 on April 14, 2018:
I use a very similar recipe to make meat loaves for my little Chloe except I bake mine in cupcake tins. Makes twenty-four+ 3-4 oz servings.
Christine Radburn on April 09, 2018:
When giving your dogs veggies they need to be puréed and only 20 percent of the veggies is to be fed with their meat , if dogs have cancer don't feed sweet potatoes pumpkin carrots or peas as these veggies turn into carbohydrates (sugar ) and feed sugar feeds cancer, otherwise these veggies are ok for healthy dogs.
Linda on March 14, 2018:
I use a similar recipe but use ice cream scoop to make meatballs..
Pat on March 07, 2018:
What about chicken thighs instead of breasts?
Diane Pierce on February 08, 2018:
Excellent article! I have a fussy girl that I think may eat this!
Connie on January 23, 2018:
I need to know the amount of each ingredient to use.
Lisa on January 22, 2018:
Cottage cheese is a great source of protein for dogs.
Lulu on October 25, 2017:
Chicken is high in Omega 6 and you need to add Omega 3 to balance it out, otherwise it becomes inflammatory. Here is your ratio: for every 4 oz of chicken add 1 oz of sardine... Easy and better for your dog. To find a proper nutritionally balanced recipe for homemade food, please google Dr. Karen Becker or even Rodney Habib, on facebook :Planet Paws... Both excellent sources of information.
Marilyn on October 07, 2017:
Thanks for these. I have been cooking for our fur baby almost from the time we got her as a rescue. She is now over 17 years old and can't hear and has bad cataracts plus she is a very fussy eater. She won't eat the same things two days in a row and gets bored so easily, but I think she will like these.
I am very curious...I did not know they shouldn't eat tomatoes. Do you know why that is?
Again, thanks for the word you did with this site.
sue on September 07, 2017:
My dog as most dogs are, is allergic to lactose so the cottage cheese is a no go.
Linda on May 06, 2017:
Thank you for posting you're recipes. We have a very picky Yorky and all he's getting is roast beef. Your recipes sound sound a lot more rounded and hopefully, keep him healthy...he's 11 yrs.
Betty Alberson on November 19, 2016:
what temperature do you cook this at?
Bostonlover on September 25, 2016:
Why is semi raw meat better for dogs? It is so much easier to let it cook longer and be cooked thru and get rid of any bacteria in the meat. I wouldn't eat a raw hamburger. I also cook food for our toy Boston Terrier and I use ground turkey, brown rice, peas and carrots. She loves it. You can change out the veggies.
Martha on April 24, 2016:
Is that amount daily x 2meals? Also is that weight by scale or fluid oz?
Laura on February 27, 2016:
Thanks for the great ideas! My dog has been having tummy problems and rejected the special digestive food we bought, so I tried chicken and rice, which she gobbled up and thoroughly enjoyed. I am thinking of cooking for her all the time. Meat loaf sounds perfect, but I was wondering how much ground up flax meal would go into the meat loaf.
jhne on September 06, 2015:
Gizmo loves chicken and veg with brown rice . Some times I do it with pasta instead of rice he always emptys his bowl x
Gina on July 03, 2015:
I have a 9 lb. Chihuahua. I started feeding him chicken with brown rice and veggies. I used to leave a bowl with kibble for ever. He could eat when he wanted. Is he okay to eat once a day or do you break up the amount different times of the day?
Jennifer on July 02, 2013:
I'm a little confused on the daily amount they should eat. Is that the oz amount they should eat in a day for your examples.
dogfond on April 10, 2013:
I have a beagle and she is a picky eater too. I'm quite excited to try out your recipes.
Amanda on March 04, 2013:
My little Boston Lili is so picky. I've fed her microwaved chicken thighs (since I found them on a great sale one day). Recently, she is bored with this. She loves bones and has a need to chew them. Once in a while she will eat some cubed roast beef. The only treat she likes is dried chicken breast and a little less Marro Bone. Offering her home made treats -- I might as well offer her a turnip. Any help for the picky eater.
Jodi Patfield (author) from Canada on November 05, 2012:
You are so welcome!! I am really happy that it helped you and your little guy. :)
Yarelis.V on November 02, 2012:
Thank you sooo much for posting this! My Shih-tzu dog, Joy, has been refusing to eat since yesterday and I was so worried. I found your recipe for Chicken and Veggies and me and my mom went straight to work. We set the food in a bowl, put it on the floor and he just gobbled it up! (With the exception of a few broccoli) He loved it and afterwards, he looked so happy! Thank you again! I hope you post more dog food recipes!
Jodi Patfield (author) from Canada on February 10, 2012:
lol! Thanks for the comment. I actually have two cats as well and would like to start researching how to make food for them. Thanks for the tips, do you know if beef liver is just as good as chicken liver?
Jodi Patfield (author) from Canada on February 10, 2012:
Hello! I also have two cats and have thought about making them food as well. I will do some research and make another hubpage just for kitty's.
TENKAY from Philippines on February 07, 2012:
I got a persian cat who loves boiled chicken breast and chicken liver. I give her these as a treat. Her main dish is tuna, either canned or in granules. Fresh milk is given every other day. The 3 shih tzu's are her 'toys', I am considered as the 'friend' and my husband as the 'enemy'. She seems contented with her world.
Lizam1 on February 07, 2012:
I have cats and have tried some of the fancier vet/pet store recommended foods but they turn up their little noses and swish their tails. Have you found any cat food recipes...?