It's no secret that a homemade dog food diet can offer the best nutrition when it is prepared the right way. Most veterinarians and canine nutrition experts won't recommend this diet, because they know that pet owners won't put the work into ensuring the homemade meals provide 100% balanced nutrition.
With that said, this balanced homemade dog food may offer the proper nutrition for some dogs, but it will not provide balanced nutrition for every canine.
The term “balanced” is used by veterinarians, canine nutritionists, pet food companies and other experts in the field to refer to a diet that is nutritionally balanced and can be used as a dog's sole source of nutrition.
The next time you're in the pet store, check out the label of the dog foods that are labeled “balanced.”
They specifically state the type of dog that the food is formulated for. For example, food for puppies, senior dogs, dogs in all life stages, overweight dogs, dogs with special health conditions…the list goes on and on.
Now you know what I mean when I say that this food may be balanced for some dogs, but not every dog.
Before you begin feeding this recipe, discuss the change in diet with your vet or a trained canine nutritionist.
They will be able to tell you if this food will provide adequate nutrition to meet your pet's unique needs.
It's likely that the expert you consult will recommend adding supplements to this recipe.
In fact, a recent study performed on 200 homemade dog food recipes showed that many recipes (even the ones that come from veterinarians) do not have all the adequate nutrients that the “average” dog needs.
Balanced Homemade Dog Food
This is why it is crucial that you discuss this recipe with your veterinarian or a canine nutrition expert before you begin feeding it to your dog.Print
Recipe: Balanced Homemade Dog Food with Ground Beef
The ingredients in this recipe could be substituted if necessary. You could use a different protein source or any dog-friendly vegetables that are a good choice for your pup. Brown rice, chia seeds or quinoa could be substituted for the oats. Your veterinarian will have substitution suggestions if your dog has special dietary needs.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: about 4 cups 1x
- Category: Cooked Food
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Dog Food
- 1/2 cup lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup sweet potato (chopped)
- 1 cup dog-friendly vegetables
- 1 egg with shell
- 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
- 1/8 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup water
Add the water, sweet potato, vegetables and beef to a large stock pot. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir the recipe occasionally.
Add the egg and oats. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
Remove from the heat and add the flaxseed. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 71
- Sugar: .9 g
- Sodium: 33 mg
- Fat: 2.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.9 g
- Fiber: 1.2 g
- Protein: 7.4 g
- Cholesterol: 40 mg
How to store: You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze them, and they’ll keep for up to 3 months.
Remember that this recipe includes no preservatives, so it won't last nearly as long as commercial dog food.
Balanced Homemade Dog Food FAQs
How do I make sure my homemade dog food is balanced?
You need to make sure you cover all of your bases. Your dog needs protein, fat, carbohydrates (not as much as you think), vegetables (important but not mandatory), and essential fatty acids.
Usually your protein base should cover the protein, fat, and fatty acids. You can also throw it a calcium supplement like crushed eggshells.
Why are vets against homemade food?
Vet's aren't completely against homemade dog food if you know how to prep the food.
The only reason they don't recommend it is because of bacterial food contamination and making sure you don't cause a health risk to yourself prepping your dog's food.
For More Information
We publish many homemade dog food and treat recipes every month.
For more recipes, pet food cooking tips, and advice, see our “Recipes” section.
If you're new to the home-cooked dog food subject, I recommend you read more about “How Much To Feed” to understand serving sizes, “What Supplements To Use” to create well-balanced meals, and “How To Store” for tips on simple and easy homemade dog food storing in a fridge or a freezer.