Cooking homemade dog food can be a healthier way to feed your pooch than store-bought dog foods. There's a number of well-balanced, healthy, delicious and cheap homemade dog food recipes worth trying if you have the time. At the same time, homemade dog food can be very expensive if you don't play it right.
With a number of recipes out there, they all vary in ingredients – some err on the side of lower price and affordability, others prioritize healthiest, more delicious, most premium ingredients. While it's not smart to ditch the search for high-quality ingredients and always go for the cheapest options, balance is key. Using the most common ingredients that you can buy in bulk, you can use some cheap homemade dog food recipes that will still be well-balanced and healthy.
If you're looking to start cooking for your dog, below is a list of most cheap homemade dog food recipes that will satisfy your budget without depriving your dog of the must-have quality any good dog food should have.
ALSO SEE: 8 Dangers of DIY Homemade Dog Food
5 Cheap Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Chicken Stock for Dogs
- 10 cups of water
- 1 skinned chicken carcass
- 2 chopped, medium-sized carrots
- 2 chopped stalks of celery
- 1 cored and chopped apple
- 1 cup of packed fresh spinach
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
Boil the water in a large stockpot at a high temperature. Add the chicken carcass, the carrots, celery, apple, spinach, rosemary, and basil. Boil them as well. Skim the foam from the top and decrease the heat. Leave the eal to simmer with a lid for about 40 minutes. Once it’s ready, strain the stock and discard the bones. After that you can refrigerate or freeze it for later consumption.
- 10-pound dog: ¼ cup
- 20-pound dog: 1/3 cup
- 40-pound dog: ½ cup
- 60-pound dog: 2/3 cup
- 80-pound dog: 1 cup
Fresh Kiss Dog Cookies
- 1 cup of meat, be it beef, chicken, or fish stock
- 1 cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup of finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 1/3 whole wheat flour, plus some extra for rolling out
Preheat the oven and flour the baking sheet. Heat the stock in the microwave. Add the parsley, mint, and canola oil to the stock in a large bowl and stir them together. Stir the flour into the herb mixture. Knead the dough until smooth. Gather the dough into a ball and put it on the baking sheet. There, shape it into a square. Dust the top of the dough with additional flour and roll into a 10-inch square. Then cut with a pizza cutter into 1-inch squares.
Bake the whole thing like this for about 25 – 45 minutes (less for a softer cookie and more for a crunchier one). Once done, let the cookies cool down before you present them to your pooch.
- 10-pound dog: 2 cookies
- 20-pound dog: 4 cookies
- 40-pound dog: 6 cookies
- 60-pound dog: 8 cookies
- 80-pound dog: 10 cookies
- 3 medium russet potatoes, cleaned of eyes and green spots and grated
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained*
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1¼ pounds ground beef (85 percent lean)
Preheat the oven and combine the potatoes and carrots into a large mixing bowl. Combine the kidney beans, the eggs, and rosemary in a food processor. Chop and mix everything. After that, combine the egg and bean mixture with the potatoes and the carrots. Add the beef as well and mix everything thoroughly. Place the mixture in as many loaf pans you need and bake until completion. Remove from the heat and allow the meat loaves to cool off. After that, let your dogs enjoy their delicious new meal.
* Divide into two meals, or serve one-half the daily portion per day with one-half the normal amount of dry food.
- 10-pound dog: 2/3 to 1 cup
- 20-pound dog: 1¼ to 1 2/3 cups
- 40-pound dog: 2 1/3 to 3 cups
- 60-pound dog: 3¼ to 4 cups
- 80-pound dog: 4 to 5 cups
Sweet Potato Fries for Dogs
- 1 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- Half a teaspoon of dried oregano
Preheat the oven. In the meantime, peel the sweet potato and cut it into strips a quarter of an inch square by 4 inches long. Combine the sweet potatoes, the olive oil, and oregano on a baking sheet and coat the potatoes evenly in the mixture. After that, spread out everything evenly on the baking sheet and place the fries in a parallel position to one another. This will make it easier to flip them. Once this is ready, bake for 15 minutes. Flip the fries and bake them for another 15 minutes.
Once they are done, allow them to cool off before serving them or putting them away for later. This is a treat and not a whole-day meal so don’t give this to your dog in large quantities – a fry here and a fry there as treats for after training is what this recipe is meant for.
- 10-pound dog: 1 fry
- 20-pound dog: 2 fries
- 40-pound dog: 4 fries
- 60-pound dog: 6 fries
- 80-pound dog: 8 fries
Doggy's Tuna Special
- 1 slice of whole-grain bread
- 1 6-ounce can of tuna, packed in water
Place the bread in a small bowl and soak it into the tuna water. Let sit like this for 3 to 4 minutes, however long it takes for the liquid to be fully absorbed. After that, add one tablespoon of the tuna meat, blend it inside the bread with a fork, and serve it to your lucky pooch. This is another great treat for after a training session.
- 10-pound dog: 1/3 slice
- 20-pound dog: ½ slice
- 40-pound dog: 2/3 slice
- 60-pound dog: ¾ slice
- 80-pound dog: 1 slice
These five cheap homemade dog food recipes include ingredients that won't break your bank and that you can buy in bulk and store long-term. As with any homemade dog food cooking, make sure to consult with your veterinarian or canine nutritionist before using any cheap homemade dog food recipes with your Fido. Discuss each recipe individually, and then you can continue serving it regularly, saving yourself some money.