DIY Dog Food From Scratch

Updated on September 8, 2017
akirchner profile image

I am a medical transcriptionist, instructor, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and dog lover, not necessarily in that order.

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 takes 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.

Your 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


  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet if you desire, drain fat. Set that aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Chop the vegetables to desired size by hand or add vegetables to a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are coarsely chopped.
  4. Mix the chopped vegetables with the rice and ground meat.
  5. 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


  1. Combine first set of ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil (rice through salt).
  2. Once the mixture is boiling, add second batch of ingredients (milk through the 2 cups of vegetables).
  3. Stir, turn heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  4. Spread out in flat containers, cool and cut into 1/2 cup squares.
  5. When feeding, add cottage cheese or yogurt.

What You Should Never Feed Your Dog:

  • Chocolate
  • Any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts and walnuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushrooms
  • 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


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    • profile image

      whisperingsage 4 years ago

      I got tired of the very high priced meat based dog foods- we just can't afford it anymore, but I also can't afford for the deteriorating health on the corn based foods.

      I add a vitamin powder.

      The author doesn't think raw is needed, but I would encourage anyone to look up Pottenger's Cats. He did the research for a few years, and after the research was over, he also noted the type of weed growth in the cats' pens from their manure.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 4 years ago from Washington

      Thank you, Pet Artist~

    • Pet Artist profile image

      Pet Artist 4 years ago

      Brilliant article and ideas!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 4 years ago from Washington

      Dogfond--good luck~~~ They sure make us jump through hoops sometimes but it's all worth it~

    • profile image

      dogfond 4 years ago

      Very good recipes. My beagle is a picky eater and I'm running out of homemade recipes for her. I'm sure this will help.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Nice article and some great alternatives to the junk for sale at the supermarkets/pet stores. I am putting this on my twitter.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Whitney~!

    • WhitneyNZ profile image

      WhitneyNZ 6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Great recipes!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      No kidding! I don't think I have big enough pots so went back to a different dog food for the Griff.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'd have to use a side of beef at the time! Great info!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      I would suggest you modify the dog food to use or not use ingredients that you know your dog or dogs are not tolerating.

    • profile image

      LISA 8 years ago

      If dogs dont process vegetables and they get no nutrition out of them why are we mixing them in their food. they also are lactose intolerant and we are giving them cheese and yougurt?

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Thanks - more to come one of these days - and loved reading about you! OTL - one talented lady! I will check into the hubnuggets thing as soon as I can. Thanks so much for the congrats and for stopping by! Audrey

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Dog food for dog lovers, alright! Congratulations for being a Hubnugget Wannabe! Follow the trail and sniff your way to the Hubnuggets lair where you can vote and see what's going on in space? Hahahah

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Thank you so much! Yes I will check that out - I'm always on the 'scent' so to speak for any and all recipes, canine and otherwise! And thanks for the congrats!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Well done akirchner. I think you might enjoy some hubs from lmmartin, you should check out her hubs. Here's one I think you might enjoy

      Congratulations on the HubNugget nomination and good luck!

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      These are very good recipes for dog food. Rachel Ray also has one recipe every month in her magazine. Check it out.

      Congratulations on your nomination for HubNugget!