feed a dog

On a rare occasion, or maybe not, you may sometimes forget to buy your dog's food. Or, as we saw during the pandemic, stores were running low on supplies.

So you might ask, what can I feed my dog if I run out of dog food? Is it okay to use human food? If so, what kind?

Here we will discuss healthy dog food substitutes for such a situation. As our pet's guardians, we are responsible for learning and knowing about safe and healthy dog food alternatives.

If you've run out of your dog's food, it is also essential to know what food or ingredients can harm our dogs.

Remember, humans and dogs have different metabolism and tolerances; therefore, some human foods can be toxic to dogs.

dog looking for food

What to feed your dog if you run out of Dog Food

Homemade Dog Food

When you run out of dog food, there's a good chance that you have the ingredients at home to make homemade dog food.

Check your fridge or pantry if you're able to make a healthy raw dog food diet, or maybe an easy homemade dog treats. If running out of your dog's store-bought food prompts you to want to try your hand at strictly a homemade dog food diet, we recommend that it's best to consult with your vet.

Raw Dog Food Recipe For All Ages

This homemade food is suitable and healthy for all ages and breeds. For a complete 100% balanced diet, you might add additional supplements.

  • 2.5 cup boneless chicken breast
  • 1 cup chicken livers
  • 1/2 cup ground chicken bone
  • One egg with the shell
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots

Chicken & Rice Bowl Recipe

  • 1 cup boneless, skinless chicken
  • 1 tbsp. canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup dry white rice

Beef and Rice Crock Pot Dog Food

A crockpot dog food recipe is less time-consuming and is excellent for busy dog owners that want their dogs on a healthy diet. When making these foods, you just put the ingredients in a crockpot, start the timer and wait.

  • 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cup of brown rice
  • One can of kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup of chopped squash
  • 1 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cup of frozen peas

Vegetarian Dog Food

With proper research and guidance from your vet, you can make good homemade vegetarian dog food. Remember that this recipe will not give you a 100% nutritional balance. Certain supplements are required to achieve that 100%.

  • A cup of cooked black beans
  • 1/4 cup of chopped spinach
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup of chopped butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup of chopped apple, pear, and zucchini
  • 3/4 cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. of low-fat cream cheese

Order Online

If you don't have the ingredients to make homemade dog food or want to go through the trouble, you can now order online. Ordering online from a supplier has been a trendy choice lately.

For instance, PetCo is now offering same-day delivery. Order before 2 PM, and the items you ordered will be delivered at around 4-7 PM.

One downside is that your preferred brand might not be available all the time. Since this method is gaining popularity, some pet food websites say that they cannot handle delivery at some time due to high demand.

Best Human Foods for Dogs - Bananas

Human Foods That Are Safe for Dogs


A few examples of these are chicken, vegetables, and low-sodium beef. For instance, chicken broth is not only a great dog food alternative but is also vet-approved.

Chicken broth can help the dog's joint health.

Broth can aid dogs suffering from arthritis. However, make sure to remove garlic, onions, or any other added ingredients that could harm your pup.


A slice or two of whole-grain bread can be an excellent substitute for dog food in tough times. But remember that bread will not complete your dog's diet. Bread is a great temporary substitute.

Plain white and wheat bread is generally safe for dogs. However, contact your vet first to know if your dog has any allergies that you need to look out for.

Peanut Butter

Can dogs enjoy peanut butter just like us humans? Of course, they can! There are a lot of homemade dog food recipes that include peanut butter.

Natural peanut butter is not only safe for dogs, but it can also offer multiple health benefits like essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.


Lastly, a great source of protein is fish. An example of this is salmon. Salmon is a good source of omega-three fatty acids, which helps the dog's skin health.

Other fish that are a source of proteins are shrimp and tuna. Shrimp has vitamin B that can help maintain the dog's digestive system.

Human Foods to Avoid for Dogs


Certain foods can be toxic to dogs. Below is a quick list of what not to feed your dogs:

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine or Tea
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast Bread
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Dairy Products (Milk)
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts

Not all human foods are bad for our dogs. There are certain fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat. For instance, strawberries, cherries, bananas, watermelons, and cucumbers are safe and give our dogs health benefits.

Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Rice every day?

Yes, they can! But that doesn't mean you should. You can feed your dogs rice every day but in small quantities only.

Cooked white or brown rice is generally safe for dogs. You can also mix white rice with your dog's regular food.

Make sure to buy the best quality of rice to have the correct nutritional value and doesn't contain any chemicals that can harm your pups.

Can Dogs eat Eggs?

Eggs are safe and can be a source of nutrition for dogs. Eggs are high in protein, fatty acids, and vitamins.

However, the benefits of the egg will depend on the chicken that lays it. Ensure that you'll get your eggs from free-range farm hens that feed an organic diet.

Can dogs drink milk?

Well, yes, and no. You may not know dairy products are a leading source of food intolerance in dogs.

Milk is safe in small amounts. A few tablespoons of cow or goat milk can be a great treat for them.

Few symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Dogs

  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (abdominal pain)
  • Loose Stools

How much dog food to feed: kitchen scenario

What Can I Feed My Dog If I Run Out of Dog Food Summary

Life can be hectic, and sometimes, we get too busy and forget to buy food for our dogs. And we may realize it when it's too late!

Don't worry. It's happened to me too! So when you wonder what to feed your dog now that you've run out of dog food, you learn a few simple ideas here.

As a dog food substitute, a few choices can be making homemade dog food, buying online, and other human foods that can serve as dog food temporary alternatives.

But in times like these, we have to be more careful. Make homemade dog food, and make sure to check the recipe for possible ingredients that can harm our dogs.

You should avoid chocolate, caffeine, and dairy products. Make sure that your pup is still getting a lot of health benefits from their diet even when you run out of their dog food.

Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.