DIY Dog Food From Scratch
Dog Food: How to Make Your Own
If you are concerned about the fillers and additives that are going into your dog's food, here is a pretty simple method for whipping up a healthy alternative for your dog. These recipes take minimal ingredients and are not hard to prepare.
Make sure that you follow the storage guidelines to keep them fresh. Most supermarkets now sell freshly made dog food that you can buy in the dairy case, and it costs a fortune. Here is an economical way to do it yourself.
Why make dog food from scratch? Because you are eliminating all the possible allergens and additives that make up so many of the pet foods available today. I know several people who have switched their dogs to homemade pet foods and they have seen a remarkable decrease in skin conditions and also improvement in bone and joint health, overall endurance and exuberance.
There is no evidence to support that a raw diet is beneficial or recommended. Although, I know from experience that many breeders highly recommend it for certain breed dogs. I prefer my dogs to have cooked food products, however, there are many views on the subject. Ultimately, you have to research it and decide on what diet is best for your individual pet and likewise, even in the same household, one dog may thrive on one diet and another do poorly.
The only down side is that you have to prepare it. But, most of the recipes are not that time consuming and are highly nutritious. BirkDale Pet Mix is recommended for certain dogs with extreme health issues and is easily prepared by combining water with the mix and meat.
Rule of thumb for dog food—they should be 1/3 protein (from meat, eggs, or dairy products) and 2/3 grains and vegetables.
Basic Dog Food (Meat, Rice, and Vegetables)
- 1 pound ground meat–antibiotic and hormone free if you like—can use beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, etc.
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 pound bag or equivalent pound of mixed vegetables (I favor carrots, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes—I know people who use kale, broccoli, cauliflower)
- 1-2 pound of plain yogurt
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet if you desire, drain fat. Set that aside.
- Steam vegetables in a vegetable steamer or steam in pan with a veggie steamer device until tender. Remove from steamer and allow to cool a bit.
- Chop the vegetables to desired size by hand or add vegetables to a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are coarsely chopped.
- Mix the chopped vegetables with the rice and ground meat.
- Store refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.
Basic Dog Food Recipe #2
First set of ingredients
- 4 cups uncooked rice
- 9 cups water
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon salt
Second set of ingredients
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped fine
- 3 ounces liver, chopped fine
- 8 ounces ground beef, chicken, lamb, turkey (you can buy any kind of meat whole and grind your own)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 cups vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc in any combo) chopped fine
- Combine first set of ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil (rice through salt).
- Once the mixture is boiling, add second batch of ingredients (milk through the 2 cups of vegetables).
- Stir, turn heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes until all water is absorbed.
- Spread out in flat containers, cool and cut into 1/2 cup squares.
- When feeding, add cottage cheese or yogurt.
What You Should Never Feed Your Dog:
- Any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts and walnuts
- Moldy foods
- Mustard seeds
- Onions and onion powder
- Garlic (raw, cooked, and powdered)
- Yeast dough
*List provided by AllRecipes Staff
The Other Side of the Coin—Advice From UC Davis
Sources for More Dog Food Recipes
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.