How to Make Homemade Dog Food That Your Pup Will Love

Have you ever felt guilty giving your dog the same food day after day? As humans, it sounds pretty boring, and your dog may feel the same way. Most dogs will sit at the dinner table and wait for any crumbs that will change up their routine. Oftentimes, the food we eat is not safe for dogs though. Pre-packaged kibble may also be lacking the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy. If you want to take your pup’s health into your own hands, try these homemade dog food recipes.

First Things First: Foods to Avoid

There is a reason why dog food became a product we buy separately from our own. Not every food sits well with dogs’ stomachs, and unhealthy foods for us are even more unhealthy for them. It is normally best for them to avoid processed foods stuffed full of preservatives. When cooking for your dog, there are certain foods you should never add to their meals. These foods include and are definitely not limited to:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Cooked bones
  • Fat trimmings
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Raw meat and fish
  • Rhubarb

For a more comprehensive list, check out the one here. Most of these foods will give your dog an upset stomach and cause diarrhea, and too much of them can damage their heart and other organs. Cooked bones can splinter and cause damage to their throats, stomachs, and intestines. Chocolate and caffeine speed up their heart rates, which can lead to seizures and death. Keep your pup safe by avoiding these foods.

How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

If you recently adopted a new breed or if you are a brand new dog parent, you may wonder how much is enough when you feed them. You do not want to starve them, but you do not want to contribute to obesity. The easy answer is that it depends on your dog. It really depends on their size, weight, and level of activity. Most bags of dog food will give you a chart based on your dog’s weight and how much to give them over the course of 24 hours. It will likely be along these lines:

  • 5 lbs: 1/2 cup to 5/8 cup
  • 10 lbs: 3/4 cup to 1 cup
  • 20 lbs: 1 1/4 cups to 1 3/4 cups
  • 40 lbs: 2 1/4 cups to 3 cups
  • 60 lbs: 3 cups to 4 cups
  • 80 lbs: 3 2/3 cups to 5 cups
  • 100 lbs: 4 1/4 cups to 6 cups

This chart is a great guideline to follow, but you should also take into consideration what you know about your pup. If you have questions or are still unsure, consult your vet.

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Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes to Try

When making homemade dog food, you need to get the proportions right. Dogs need 40 percent of their food to be protein, whether that comes from meat, beans, eggs, or dairy. Half of the food, 50 percent, needs to be vegetables. Vegetables are packed full of different necessary vitamins and nutrients dogs need to be healthy. The last 10 percent of homemade dog food should be carbohydrates, like grains, oats, or rice. This balance and a variety of foods will keep your pup healthy and happy!

Dog Chili

Chili is a great source of protein for humans and dogs. To make a delicious chili for your pup, you will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of drained kidney beans
  • 1 cup of drained black beans
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 4 cups of chicken broth

Cut the chicken into nickel-sized pieces and cook completely. Add all ingredients to a large pot and cook for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are cooked through. Cool and serve. You can store the leftovers in the fridge for about five days.

Chicken Casserole

This recipe is full of flavor and nutrients. The vegetables promote a healthy intestinal tract. You will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green beans
  • 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 4 cups of chicken broth

Chop the chicken into nickel-sized pieces, and cook completely. Add the rest of the ingredients to a large pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Give it time to cool before you serve. You can store the leftovers in the fridge for about five days.

Turkey and Vegetables

Turkey is lean and full of protein and the vegetables add the nutrients your dog needs. This meal is great if you have an overweight dog and want to help them be healthy again. You will need:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped green beans
  • (optional) 1 tablespoon of fish oil

Start by browning the ground turkey. Add the water and rice, bringing it to a boil. Once the rice is tender, add the carrots and green beans and cook another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Let the meal cool before serving. Just like the other recipes, you can store the leftovers for about five days in the fridge.

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats to Try

Some of the treats you can find at the store are not very healthy, and the organic ones are expensive for a small bag. Instead, try making some homemade dog treats. This way, you will know exactly what your dog is eating.

Chicken Jerky

All you need are a few chicken breasts cut into strips. Set your oven to 200º Fahrenheit and cook for two hours. When they are done, they should be dry and hard. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for two weeks. They are a great alternative to rawhide bones.

Banana Treats

Mix together 4 cups of plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 3 mashed bananas. Freeze in an ice cube tray. They will last for about two weeks. These treats are great on a hot summer day because they will cool down your pup.


Each of these homemade dog food and treat recipes is made with natural ingredients that promote the health of man’s best friend. They will add variety to their diet without lacking any of the vitamins and nutrients they need to keep them healthy and strong. It does take a little bit more time to make, but you know exactly what your dog is eating, unlike processed kibble and canned food. Now, go and spoil your pup!

Image Source: Pixabay

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Lacey Jolley

I love exploring, experiencing new places, and eating good food! I'm amazed every day at how well the Earth provides for us, and I want to return the favor. I hope to help others learn how we can make our world a better, cleaner place.

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