Table of Contents
- Best Ingredients to be Included in Homemade Dog Food
- Is Homemade Dog Food Better for Your Dog?
- Is It Cheaper to Feed Your Dog Homemade Dog Food?
- What Is the Healthiest Food to Feed Your Dog?
- How Much Homemade Dog Food Should You Feed Your Dog?
- Food Delivery Services of Homemade Dog Food
- Adding Homemade Dog Food to Your Kibbles
- Best Way to Store Your Homemade Dog Food
- Can You Feed My Dog Human Foods?
- Should You Vary the Ingredients In Homemade Dog Food (i.e., meat, grain & vegetables)
- What Can a Dog Drink Other Than Water (should they)
- If You Run Out of Dog Food, What Can You Feed Your Dog in the Meantime
- The Concept of Dogfooding (as a testimonial)
- Homemade Dog Food and Vegetables
- Homemade Dog Food and Fruits
- Homemade Dog Food and Rice
- What Kind of Grains Can Your Dog Eat?
- Homemade Dog Food and Meat
- Toxic Ingredients in Homemade Dog Food
- What Can't Dogs Eat in Homemade Dog Food?
- Ingredients to Homemade Dog Food (dos and don'ts)
- Homemade Dog Treats
- Homemade Dog Treats Recipe
- Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food
- What Is a Board-Certified Vet Nutritionist & How Can They Help?
- How To Make Homemade Dog Food
- Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe
- Homemade Dog Food Made Specifically for Dog's Health Issues
- Homemade Dog Food for Arthritis
- Homemade Dog Food for Weight Gain
- Homemade Dog Food for Weight Loss
- Homemade Dog Food for UTI
- Homemade Dog Food for Senior Dogs
- Homemade Dog Food for Puppies
- Raw Dog Food Diet
- Gluten-Free Dog Food and Dog Treats
- Grain-Free Homemade Dog Food
- Low Protein Homemade Dog Food
- Hypoallergenic Homemade Dog Food
- Low-Carb Homemade Dog Food
- Low-Fat Homemade Dog Food
- Homemade Dog Food for Liver Disease
- Homemade Dog Food for Kidney Disease
- Homemade Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
- Homemade Dog Food for Diabetic Dog
- Homemade Dog Food for Congestive Heart Failure
- Homemade Dog Food for Pregnant Dogs
- Homemade Dog Food for Picky Eaters
- Homemade Dog Food for Cancer
- Homemade Dog Food for Joint Pain
- Homemade Dog Food for Renal Disease
- Homemade Dog Food for Heart Disease
- Homemade Dog Food for Pancreatitis
- Homemade Dog Food for Hypothyroidism
- Homemade Dog Food for Yeast Infection
- Homemade Dog Food for Diarrhea
- Homemade Dog Food for Kidney Stones
- Homemade Dog Food for Bladder Stones
- Homemade Dog Food for Upset Stomach
- Homemade Dog Food for Post-Surgery
- Homemade Dog Food Should be Balanced & Nutritious
- Homemade Dog Food Breed Specific
- Homemade Dog Food Final Thoughts
Is store-bought homemade dog food weighing heavy on your pocket? Why not try to Do-It-Yourself?
This complete guide to homemade dog food will give you a glimpse of the following.
- The advantages and drawbacks of homemade dog food
- Easy-to-make homemade recipes that will fill your fido's tummy
- And homemade dog foods designed to address different health problems
So, if you want to level up your dog's diet and explore other exciting recipes for your pup, you'll enjoy this insightful guide.
Best Ingredients to be Included in Homemade Dog Food
The best ingredients for homemade dog food may vary depending on your dog's health condition and dietary needs.
For dogs with an upset stomach, for example, the best food recommended by vets is a bland chicken and rice diet.
Of course, you can add variety to it, and here are some of the ingredients you can add to it to step up your dog's food.
High-Quality Protein Sources
Your dog can get quality proteins from meat such as chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and turkey.
They can also enjoy seafood like fish like salmon and shellfish such as shrimp, crabs, and lobster, provided they're fresh and properly cooked.
It always is best to remove the bones of the fish and avoid seasonings for their safety.
Other protein sources include cheese, eggs, and olive oil.
Sources of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are human's primary source of energy, and it helps fuel our body. But dogs need fewer carbs than us because they get everything they need mainly from protein and fats.
However, it's still vital for dogs to thrive, and they can get it from grains such as:
- Whole wheat
- Brown rice
Vitamins and Mineral Sources
Since dogs are omnivores, they'd also enjoy having some veggies in their diet since they provide various nutrients, including Vitamins A, K, C, Iron, Calcium, and many more.
They can get these nutrients from:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
Is Homemade Dog Food Better for Your Dog?
There are no scientifically-supported benefits to homemade food or diets but using whole ingredients is better in the long term. Why? Think about it.
Commercial foods are complete and nutritionally balanced, but they're highly processed and not exciting. Imagine eating the same meal every day for years. You will feed your dogs up for sure.
Remember, those over-processed commercial foods may contain cheap fillers which help fill up your fido's tummy. But they're not nutritious and beneficial to your pet.
Some even contain unsafe ingredients like mushrooms, caffeine, and molds.
On the other hand, you can customize your pup's food recipes if you go the homemade route. It will help you avoid allergens that may trigger your dog's sensitivities if there are any.
The other advantage of going this route is it allows you to choose the foods your pup likes the most without compromising their dietary needs.
You can also ensure the ingredients are fresh and high-quality if you'd cook their food.
Even good-quality dog foods contain preservatives, whereas homemade foods have another edge.
Is It Cheaper to Feed Your Dog Homemade Dog Food?
Making fresh dog foods can be less expensive than high-end or prescription commercial dog food.
But you need to choose the price wisely without compromising the nutritional value of the ingredients. Fancier ingredients can get pricey, especially the organic and non-GMO ones.
A balanced homemade diet for a 30-pound fido can cost around $3.52 per day, but it can go as high as $5.58 if you choose organic products.
According to Dr. Jules Benson, vice president of Petplan, that's two to four times the cost of equivalent commercial dry dog foods but up to half the cost of similar commercial wet dog foods.
However, even if going organic can be heftier than commercial foods, the good thing is you'll have peace of mind knowing your pup is having a healthy meal.
So if you have enough budget to make homemade dog food out of non-GMO products to give your dog the safe and best quality food, this is the correct route for you.
What Is the Healthiest Food to Feed Your Dog?
Some of the healthiest human foods that are safe to feed to your dogs are:
- Rice: rich in carbohydrates, iron, vitamin B3, and D.
- Yogurt: comes with calcium and probiotics that fight infections and improve digestion.
- Peanut: loaded with protein, vitamin B, and E.
- Coconut: provides essential minerals like Lauric acid that fight viruses and infections.
- Oatmeal: abundant with carbohydrates, vitamin B5, omega-6 fatty acids & soluble fiber.
- Cheese: rich in protein, fats, vitamins A, D, and B6.
- Corn: contains protein, iron, thiamin, and riboflavin.
- Salmon: rich in low-fat proteins and omega-3 fatty acids but expensive.
- Carrots: high in fiber and vitamin A.
- Chicken: a great source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B.
Even if these foods are healthy, you have to limit them per serving to prevent overfeeding and underlying health issues.
How Much Homemade Dog Food Should You Feed Your Dog?
The rule of thumb when feeding homemade meals to adult dogs is to give about 2 to 3 percent of their body weight.
Therefore, if they weigh around 50 pounds, you should feed them about 16 ounces of food.
But the nutritional needs of every dog vary depending on their age, breed, environment, medical history, activity level, and health condition. If you want to know the exact quantity of homemade food to feed your fido, it's best to consult a veterinarian or canine nutritionist.
We like to feed our fido about 1/2 to 3/4cup of food per 25 pounds of their body weight, as well-balanced food is nutrient-dense.
But if we'd base it on the ingredients, the general guideline per 20 pounds of your dog's body weight is the following amounts per day:
- 1/4 to 1/3 pounds of meat
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups yogurt or cottage cheese or 3 to 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup to a cup of cooked vegetables
- 1 to 2 cups of potatoes, rice, pasta, or other carbs
- Calcium with 1/2 teaspoon of bone meal or ground eggshell
- A tablespoon of canola or olive oil
Food Delivery Services of Homemade Dog Food
If you don't have time to make homemade dog food by yourself, the good news is you can order their meals online. It is convenient, but it also saves you time and effort. However, it can be slightly more expensive.
But the fact that they offer fresh dog foods makes it all worth it.
One of the best dog food delivery services is Nom Nom, as it has four recipes made out of restaurant-quality ingredients.
Their recipe options include beef mash, chicken cuisine, pork potluck, and Turkey fare.
Another available option across the United States is My Perfect Pet dog food delivery service.
They use FDA/USDA inspected and certified human-grade products, and they offer a form so you can customize the food according to your pet's needs.
These two delivery services' recipes meet the AAFCO standards, so you won't have anything to worry about.
If you're looking for more options, here are other reliable homemade dog food delivery service companies you can choose from:
- Darwin's Natural Pet Products
- Happy Dog Food
- Ollie Fresh Dog Food Delivery
- The Farmer's Dog
- Spot & Tango
Adding Homemade Dog Food to Your Kibbles
When thinking about mixing homemade dog food with kibbles, we need to consider two types of homemade meals – cooked and raw.
Most dogs usually don't have a problem mixing cooked foods with kibbles, but you need to ensure that their mixed meal is nutritionally balanced.
The other consideration is the amount of cooked food you're adding to the kibble.
Some dog owners like to step up their dog's food by adding cheese or meat, while others use vegetables as fillers to make their dogs feel full.
But if you're going to add a whole chicken breast to replace a substantial amount of kibble, the meal might become unbalanced.
That's why it's essential to consult a vet-certified veterinary nutritionist before adding homemade foods to kibble.
They can help you create a diet tailored to your dog, especially if your pet is on a specific diet due to some health-related issues.
You may add raw dog food to kibble as long as it meets your dog's dietary needs, but you need to be careful when preparing to avoid salmonella poisoning.
Best Way to Store Your Homemade Dog Food
If you're making homemade dog food in large batches, you may be worried that it'll get spoilt. But don't worry. Here are some storage tips that'll save your day.
You can store some batches for a week's use in a fridge and save the rest in a freezer for use throughout the month.
There are three ways you can store dog food:
- Vacuum sealing
- Using plastic zip seal food storage bags
- Single-serving deli containers
The best method will depend on when your dog will consume the food. If you feed the food to your dog within 7 to 10 days, using single-serving containers may be the better option.
On the other end, vacuum sealing can extend the shelf life of the food, so it's better if you're storing the food for a longer time.
Can You Feed My Dog Human Foods?
Nasa Pet hospital doesn't encourage feeding dogs human foods from the table since it may not be enough to meet all their dietary needs.
Like humans, dogs need carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. So feeding with just a 100% human food diet is not recommended.
Remember that some human foods are toxic to dogs, just like chocolate, and there are also fruits and plants that you should avoid when making homemade dog food.
Should You Vary the Ingredients In Homemade Dog Food (i.e., meat, grain & vegetables)
Your dog has different nutritional needs, and to meet those requirements, you would have to use various ingredients in their food.
In other words, dogs need a balanced and complete blend of carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy.
For example, dogs need protein that helps build and repair muscles and other body tissues, and they can get it from chicken, lamb, beef, and duck meat.
You also need to provide fat sources, including meat or oil, and add grains and vegetables rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
They can also benefit from having plant-based oil, oatmeal, and eggs in their diet because it provides essential fatty acids.
Some dog owners also add eggshells because it's a good calcium source and other dairy products. So the cliche line “the more, the merrier” is legit and valid for homemade dog foods.
What Can a Dog Drink Other Than Water (should they)
Water is the safest fluid your dog can drink. It's crucial for the proper functioning of their organs and regulating body temperature.
Healthy dogs need an ounce of water per pound of their body weight. So, if your fido weighs around 30 pounds, it'll need about 30 ounces or 4 cups of water every day to stay hydrated.
Dogs can drink fresh fruit juices like watermelon, apple cider, and juice. Vegetables like carrot, beetroot and spinach, and celery are also canine-friendly, and so are their juices.
But these juices should only be given as an occasional treat and must not be a water replacement.
Besides water, dogs can also benefit from drinking beef and chicken broth. It doesn't just add flavor to their food and water, but it also relieves dogs suffering from gastrointestinal issues.
Dogs can also drink fermented drinks like Kefir which contain probiotics and help your dog attain better gut health.
As for puppies, the best drink for them aside from water is milk. However, older dogs have lactose intolerance because they lack the lactase enzyme that helps break down the lactose.
If your dog is not allergic to milk, it can tolerate a little milk. But lactose intolerant canines may experience vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea after consuming a glass of milk.
If You Run Out of Dog Food, What Can You Feed Your Dog in the Meantime
We run out of dog food, and we just can't drive to the nearest supermarket.
Whether you're too tired from work or occupied with household chores, whatever the reason is, there's always a way to satisfy your fido's hunger.
But remember to avoid these foods for your dog's safety:
- Salty, spicy, fatty, and sugary foods
- Toxic and processed foods like grapes, raisins, garlic, bacon, and deli meats because they're high in sodium and fat
You also have to consider your dog's allergies and health conditions.
One of the quickest dog meals to prepare is chicken and rice. Of course, it must be well cooked and plain.
If you don't have chicken available on your fridge, here are some fridge staples you can use:
- Lean beef
- Mild cheese like Coby or cheddar
- Fresh spinach
- Steamed or boiled peas, corn, broccoli
- Plain, low-fat yogurt
- Cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Boiled or scrambled eggs
- Plain and cooked oatmeal (not the sugary ones)
- Cereals with no raisins
You can also give your dogs some occasional fruit treats. We'll talk more about fruits and dog food recipe ideas below but before that, let's dive into the concept of dogfooding first and its benefits.
The Concept of Dogfooding (as a testimonial)
Dogfooding simply means eating your dog food or the practice of using and testing your product before giving it to your pup to ensure their safety.
This term was coined from the 1976 television spot for Alpo dog food which starred actor Lorne Greene.
He fed his dog with Alpo food in a commercial to prove its effectiveness, and that's when dogfooding started to become a symbol of testing a product internally before it gets released in the market.
If you treat your dog as a family member, you'll surely want to ensure their safety, and this is where dogfooding helps.
By testing the food before serving it to your dog, you can have peace of mind knowing it's harmless and beneficial for your four-legged companion.
Homemade Dog Food and Vegetables
Vegetarian Homemade Dog Food
Are you a vegetarian? This diet type, which involves avoiding all kinds of meat, fish, and shellfish, is beneficial for humans and dogs.
Yes, dogs can thrive even if you won't feed them meat.
But knowing how crucial amino acid is in their system, you need to ensure they're getting enough protein and other nutrients from grains, fruits, seeds, vegetables, peas, nuts, and other alternatives.
Vegan Homemade Dog Food
A vegan diet is abstaining from animal-related sources, including dairy products and milk.
Therefore vegan homemade dog foods do not contain meat, fish, eggs, and honey.
A carefully made vegan diet that meets a dog's needs is beneficial since it's easy to digest, increases its energy level, and provides many vitamins and minerals.
On top of that, vegan dog food reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, and more.
However, there are also risks. Vegan foods derived from plants have fewer essential amino acids.
As we all know, they get more of these from animal proteins or meat. And inadequate protein intake can weaken your dog, including its immune system and bones.
So, if you want your dog to switch to a vegan diet, you'll need to work closely with your vet to ensure your vegan dog food recipes are balanced and that his needs are met.
What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat
Here are the vegetables your dogs can eat and benefit from:
- Green beans
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
Should You Puree Vegetables for Your Dog to Digest Better
Pureeing vegetables with a blender helps break down the cell walls of the plant material. Therefore, it makes it easier for dogs to digest the food.
Some vegetables like spinach and celery don't need to be cooked before pureeing, while root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes need to be steamed or blanched before blending.
Homemade Dog Food with Vegetables Recipe
Homemade Dog Food and Fruits
Dogs can enjoy some fruits just like us, but it must be in moderation. Some fruits are also toxic to your pup.
So, in this section, we'll talk about the best and worst fruits for dogs and share with you some healthy recipes that you can add fruits into.
Which Fruit Is Best for Dogs
Fruits can be healthy treats for dogs, but you can also add some to their meals.
The best fruit for dogs are:
Which Fruits Are Bad for Dogs
The fruits you should avoid feeding to your dog are the following:
- Grapes and raisins
Homemade Dog Food with Fruit Recipe
There are many recipe ideas where you can incorporate fruits into dog foods. If you enjoy baking, you'll love this homemade dog food with fruit recipe ideas we prepared for you:
Healthy Pumpkin Balls
- 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
- 1/4 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1/4 tablespoon of baking powder
- One tablespoon cinnamon
- Four tablespoons water
- Four tablespoons of molasses
- Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour or oats
Directions: Mix everything into a dough, roll into small balls, and bake for 25 minutes.
- 32 ounces of vanilla yogurt
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter
- Two tablespoons of honey
- One large mashed banana
Directions: Blend and freeze in small portions.
Doggie's Stew for Senior dogs
- 5 pounds of carrots
- chicken livers 5 ounces
- chicken gizzards 5 ounces
- 5 pounds of boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 pound of green beans
- 1/2 pound of pumpkin
- .5-1 pound apples
- 1-2 big sweet potatoes
Directions: Cook together at 250 degrees and process with a hand blender.
Homemade Dog Food and Rice
Have you ever seen your dog drooling over a bowl of viand and rice you enjoy savoring? You may instantly think of sharing some with your pup.
But hold on, there are some things you need to be aware of when feeding rice to your fido.
Can You Feed Your Dog Chicken and Rice Every Day?
This dish is very healthy for dogs, but it's not a good idea to keep your dog on a daily diet of chicken and rice for so long because it doesn't contain all the nutrients your canine needs.
Generally, you must only keep your dog on a strict chicken and rice diet for two to three days.
Can Your Dog Eat Rice Every Day?
Yes, dogs can eat rice every day, but it also needs other nutrients like protein and fat from meats or oil, calcium, and other fatty acids.
Furthermore, large amounts of rice are not suitable for your dog, so it must be limited to 10% of their calorie intake.
For example, you must limit big dogs' rice intake to ¼ cup with their food to prevent them from gaining unwanted pounds.
Can You Add Rice to Your Dog Food?
Adding brown or white rice to your dog's meal is perfectly fine as long as your dog's at a healthy weight.
However, you have to make sure that it's cooked and there is no seasoning or spices to keep your pup safe.
What Kind of Rice is Best for Your Dog?
Dogs can eat both white and brown rice, but brown rice is more fibrous than white, and it also retains natural oils and provides more protein and less fat.
On the other hand, white rice is ideal for dogs with an upset stomach. It takes less time to cook than its brown counterpart and is less expensive.
What Kind of Grains Can Your Dog Eat?
Grains usually included in dog foods are corn, rice, oats, wheat, barley, rye, and sorghum.
If you want your dog to have the best nutrition, choosing whole grains like whole wheat and brown rice is the way to go.
But you have to make sure they're not overly milled and stripped of their nutritional properties.
The argument of whether or not grains are healthy for dogs or not has quite stirred a debate in recent years.
Some dog owners prefer a grain-free diet, but feeding on grains can provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
However, in the past decades, a grain-free and gluten-free diet have skyrocketed to the popularity that almost half of the dog food market options in the US now have grain-free options.
These options use high-quality ingredients like chicken, salmon, or turkey and substitute carb sources such as potatoes, lentils, peas, or quinoa.
But the Food and Drug Administration released a warning last 2019 that says grain-free dogs might give dogs dilated cardiomyopathy – a life-threatening heart disease.
The study is preliminary, though, and it's based on the potential relation between diet and heart disease in less than 600 dogs.
So, it all comes down to the quality of the food ingredients. It's OK to use grains like corn or wheat on your homemade dog food as long as they're non-GMO and of good quality and your dog's not allergic to grains.
After all, “it's infrequent for dogs to have a grain sensitivity,” according to Lisa Lippman, Fuzzy Pet Health's lead New York veterinarian.
Homemade Dog Food and Meat
Ground Meat vs. Whole Meat (with skin & bones)
Ground meat is easier to chew and ingest for dogs and should be OK to use in their homemade food.
Many dog owners prefer to use it. Using whole meat with skin and bones, however, poses some risk.
For example, pork bone can splinter or crack whether it's raw or cooked and can cause choking or intestinal blockage when swallowed by your pet.
In worse cases, it damages their esophagus or intestines.
However, giving dogs a bone to chew brings a couple of benefits. Chewing helps stimulate saliva enzymes which in turn prevents plaque build-up.
Furthermore, bones provide minerals and other nutrients that are beneficial to dogs.
So, should you give bones to dogs? Large, raw cow bones or bison bones are safe for dogs, but you still need to keep an eye on your pet to ensure its safety.
On the other hand, chicken and turkey skin and animal fats can cause upset stomach or pancreatitis, so dogs are not recommended.
It would be best and safer to use lean meat in their food.
You may notice turkey is present in some commercial dog foods. That indicates that it's safe for dogs to eat. Furthermore, it's a good source of protein, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
You have to remember, though, that the fats can cause pancreatitis, and seasonings, onion, garlic, herbs, and spices are dangerous to dogs and can irritate their stomach.
So, it would be best to skip the skin.
You also need to feed them in moderation and consult your vet first if your dog has a pre-existing medical condition.
Can You Feed Your Dog Beef & Rice Every Day?
Yes, you can feed it to your dog every day. Beef is an excellent source of fatty acids like Omega-6, vitamins, and minerals that strengthen their joints and muscles.
It also helps them have healthy and beautiful skin and coats.
Lean beef is safe as long as it's plain with no sauce or seasoning. It provides a range of benefits to dogs.
That's why it's a common ingredient in many commercial and even fresh, homemade dog food.
But when feeding your dog, you have to limit it to 1/4 to 1/3 pounds of meat per 20 pounds of body weight. Why?
Because it is nutritionally dense, and your dog also needs other nutrients that they can get from other ingredients.
The Best Way to Prepare Meat for Homemade Dog Food
When preparing your dog's food, it's better to boil the meat than serve it raw.
It's the safest way since raw meat can be contaminated and threaten your pup's body.
But you can also cook it in a frying pan. Add oil to your frying pan, set the burner to low heat, and stir the meat frequently to prevent burning it.
Then, cover the pan and let it sit for a few minutes, and when the meat is finally evenly brown and cooked, you can get rid of the excess fat through a filter.
Does Your Dog Only Want Chicken?
As we highlighted earlier, feeding chicken to your dog is not a problem, but if your dog only eats chicken, he'll lack other essential nutrients that his body needs.
That could also be a sign of an underlying health problem, so if your dog only wants chicken alone, you may need to bring him to your vet.
What Is the Best Meat for Homemade Dog Food?
One of the best meat for homemade dog food is chicken. It's affordable and a good source of protein.
You can easily combine it with rice, carrots, pumpkin, and other veggies to create a healthy balanced meal.
However, some pups are allergic to chickens. If your pet is one of them, there are other options.
One of them is beef which is often used in many commercial foods. You can also feed your pup with either grilled or baked salmon. It doesn't provide much protein, but it offers Omega-3 fatty acids.
Lamb and turkey meat are also ideal for homemade dog food as it's leaner and slightly lower in fat than chicken.
Toxic Ingredients in Homemade Dog Food
When choosing ingredients for your dog food, take note of these foods that are toxic for your pets.
Contaminants That Can be Found in Homemade Dog Food
If you like feeding your dog raw foods, you need caution because pathogens and other pollutants could nestle in them.
That's why it's best to serve your dog with thoroughly cooked food.
These pathogens include salmonella, L. monocytogenes, and other foodborne bacteria.
Raw chicken is at high risk of salmonella and bacterial infections; experts don't recommend feeding it directly to dogs.
These are toxic compounds produced by various molds or fungi that grow on cereals, nuts, dried fruits, spices, and other foods.
Mycotoxin exposure can cause hypothermia, vomiting, salivation, tremors, seizures, etc.
If your dog is suffering from mycotoxin poisoning, you have to bring him immediately to the hospital for treatment.
Most canines contract this disease from contaminated foods like raw eggs, unrefrigerated wet food, and recalled pet foods and feces or saliva of other infected dogs.
You'll know if your dog is suffering from salmonella poisoning because they'll experience diarrhea that contains blood or mucus. They'll also be lethargic and may have a fever or vomit.
As for copper poisoning, the common cause of this is the accidental overuse of copper salt, which is an ingredient in parasitic treatments.
But in some cases, dogs get it from ingesting plants like subterranean clover, which causes mineral imbalance and excessive copper retention.
That's why you must avoid such plants in their food.
Your dog may become depressed, lethargic, weak, and thirsty when under copper toxicosis, and sadly, most affected animals die in 1 to 2 days.
What Can't Dogs Eat in Homemade Dog Food?
Here are the human foods that are dangerous for your canine and you should never add to your homemade dog food:
- Apple seeds
- Apricot and cherry and peach pits
- Macadamia nuts
- Onion, onion powder, and flakes
- Rhubarb leaves
- Tomato leaves and stems
- Yeast dough
Ingredients to Homemade Dog Food (dos and don'ts)
To sum it up, here are the ingredients you can add to your homemade dog food:
- Organ Meats
- Tums (calcium)
- Roast Beef
- Eggs/Raw Eggs
- Cooked Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
- Basmati Rice
- Cauliflower – in moderation
- Apple Cider Vinegar
The following foods can also be fed to dogs but should be in moderation to prevent causing undesired effects.
- Canned Tuna
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Peanut Butter
Remember that broccoli must not have seasonings or oil when fed to dogs.
Salt is safe for dogs when in moderation, yet it's still not recommended because it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors, incoordination, and even seizures.
As we said earlier, your dog's milk consumption should be in small amounts, especially if your dog is milk intolerant.
Furthermore, too much coconut oil can lead to diarrhea, and when adding peanut butter to your dog's diet, it must not contain xylitol and be fed in moderation.
Human breast milk also has little to no benefit, and if your dog is lactose intolerant, it can only give him diarrhea.
Garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, and chives all contain the chemical N-propyl disulfide, which destroys hemoglobin—the substance that transports oxygen in red blood cells.
So, you should avoid those ingredients since they're toxic to dogs.
Homemade Dog Treats
But Why Is Garlic Powder in Dog Treats?
We mentioned earlier that garlic is toxic to dogs, so you may wonder why some dog treats contain garlic powder.
Pet food scientists found out that trace amounts of garlic can benefit dogs. It helps prevent blood clots and lowers the cholesterol level of your pet.
It can also act as flea and tick repellent as these parasites hate the smell, and garlic can build up over a few weeks and seep into the oil of his coat.
So you don't have to be afraid if you see garlic in the ingredient list of a commercial dog treat or food since it's tested and deemed safe for dogs.
But that doesn't mean you should directly feed your dog with garlic.
So, how much garlic powder is poisonous to dogs?
Studies point out that around 15 to 30 grams of garlic per dog's body weight in kilograms can cause harmful changes in your pet's blood.
Homemade Dog Treats Recipe
Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food
Vet Recommended Homemade Dog Food
Each dog has unique individual needs; consulting a vet nutritionist is crucial before making your dog's meal at home.
But here's a tip if you need a homemade dog food recipe that's easy to cook.
All you need are:
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 eggs WITH the shells (calcium source)
- 1/2 cup cooked meat like chicken, fish, or turkey
- 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
This recipe is similar to an omelet where you'll cook the scrambled egg on a pan with coconut oil and add the crushed eggshells.
You can then add the meat of your choice and the green pepper that provides vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Other dogs may need additional supplements aside from these meals, but it should be enough for an average 40-50 pound dog that is neither overweight nor underweight.
Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food for Small Dogs
Puppies and other small dogs need a carefully prepared and planned diet plan because it's pivotal for their growth and development.
There are a lot of vet-approved puppy food recipes for your tiny friend, but one of the easiest to make is salmon omelet using:
- 3 oz. cooked skinless, boneless salmon
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach
- 1 tsp. Olive oil
It's delicious and healthy, and it doesn't take much time to make.
Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food in Australia
Australian vets also recommend feeding dogs, especially puppies with commercial kibbles, because they're nutritionally balanced.
But it's up to the owner if they want to feed their dog with homemade foods and treats.
One of the most popular homemade dog foods to make is the chicken/turkey plus brown rice, egg, and veggie recipe. The veggie could be anything from carrots to broccoli.
Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food In the UK
Like the vets from the USA and Australia, vets in the UK suggest using commercial kibbles over homemade dog food.
There's a higher risk of developing nutritional deficiency on homemade dog food. So, that's not surprising.
What Is a Board-Certified Vet Nutritionist & How Can They Help?
Board-certified vet nutritionists are specialists in veterinary nutrition who are diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN).
These professionals are specifically trained in the nutritional management of healthy and sick animals.
They can help you formulate home-prepared diets, commercial foods, and supplements and manage your pet's nutritional needs.
If your dog is suffering from a health issue related to their nutrition and you're wondering what food you should feed to meet their needs, they're the people you can consult to.
How To Make Homemade Dog Food
Now you may wonder how you should cook your pup's meal and what tool you should use. Well, we got you covered. Here are some ways you can cook homemade food.
Homemade Dog Food Made in a Crockpot
Using a crockpot saves you time and lets you cook at least a week's worth of homemade dog food.
We love it because you just need about 10 minutes to chop the ingredients and throw them into the pot. You can let it cook for about 2 to 8 hours without standing over it.
Some of the easiest recipes to cook in a crockpot include Doggie stew, Beef Bonanza, Meat Feast, Veggie Blast, and a simple chicken and breast rice.
Homemade Dog Food Made in a Pressure Cooker
Today, pressure cookers are equipped with several safety features, so they're safe to use and convenient.
One of our favorite recipes to cook in a pressure cooker is chicken breast with carrots, brown rice, sweet potato, and spinach.
It only takes 45 minutes to cook this recipe, and you can cook it in bulk to save time.
Homemade Dog Food Made in a Slow Cooker
The advantage of a slow cooker is you can just prepare the ingredients for a few minutes and let them cook for 2 to 8 hours. You can leave it, and the food is ready when you come home from work!
Beef stew is one of our go-to recipes when using a slow cooker, and all you need are carrots, green beans, zucchini, sweet potato, flour, water, coconut oil.
And of course, we shouldn't forget the beef stew meat.
Homemade Dog Food Made in an Instapot
Instapot is a multicooker that combines a slow cooker and pressure in one, so this is very handy to use for making homemade dog food.
You can do all the dishes we mentioned above and cook them in any way.
Freeze Dried Homemade Dog Food
Freeze-drying helps keep the nutrients 100% intact, and it's almost as good as feeding dogs raw food.
One of the easiest to free-dry is chicken liver because after boiling and cutting it into uniform pieces, you only need to put it on a baking sheet with parchment paper and freeze it.
After a week, you can already feed it to your dog if there's no moisture in it.
Dehydrated Homemade Dog Food
Dehydrated foods are ideal for traveling, and it's easy to prepare, but you'll need a dehydrator to make this type of homemade meal.
Simple turkey meat with lettuce and squash will already do if you're looking for a recipe.
Just chop these ingredients and mix them and put them in a dehydrator, and set them to cook for 10 hours at 70 degrees Celsius, and it's ready!
Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe
Homemade Dog Food Made Specifically for Dog's Health Issues
Homemade Dog Food for Arthritis
If you're looking to cook homemade dog food for your arthritic pet, you need to avoid grains because they can worsen the inflammation and the pain.
And before cooking, you need to consider if your dog is overweight because if he is, that could also exaggerate the pain and worsen his condition.
The best way to help dogs with arthritis is to ensure they receive proper and balanced nutrition and consult a canine nutritionist before making homemade dog food for arthritis.
Homemade Dog Food for Weight Gain
Increasing your fido's fat intake is not healthy to gain weight. Your dog must have a boost in its carb and protein intake if you want him to get back on track.
You may create Satin balls for your dog to achieve this, but it's only suitable for adult dogs and not for puppies and pregnant ones.
So, in this case, we recommend consulting your canine nutritionist to help you create a specific dietary plan customized for your dog's weight gain journey.
Homemade Dog Food for Weight Loss
Around 54% of the dogs in the US are overweight or obese, making them susceptible to diabetes, heart failure, arthritis, and other overweight-related diseases.
If your dog is one of them, you may need to create a weight loss dog food to shed fat.
But before cooking, you have to know if a change in diet, intake control, or more exercise is what your dog needs with the help of your vet.
Homemade Dog Food for UTI
You can add cranberry and blueberry to your dog's food to prevent UTIs and support their urinary tract.
Parsley can also help produce more urine and eliminate the toxins that cause the inflammation.
Apple cider vinegar can also aid in warding off the infection, but it must only be in small amounts.
Homemade Dog Food for Senior Dogs
Your dog's metabolism slows down as it ages and becomes less active and weak.
So you might have to cut down your calorie intake and use ingredients that are high in fiber and contain pre and probiotics for better digestion.
In addition to his homemade dog food, your senior dog will also benefit from supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.
They help improve joint and hip health, digestion, and even skin and coat health.
Homemade Dog Food for Puppies
Puppies grow rapidly, and since they have weaker immune systems than adults, they need balanced food that provides adequate nutrition.
Most large breeds need more protein and calcium in their diet, and some canine nutritionists may advise adding supplements.
When making homemade dog food for puppies, you have to know that it's challenging to create a balanced diet, and you may have to tweak it over time to support your pup's needs.
Raw Dog Food Diet
If you want your pup to transition into a raw dog food diet, you must consult experts to know what approach you should use.
The three options for your dog are BARF, Preymodel, and Ancestral diet.
The most common ingredients in raw dog foods include organ and muscle meats, fresh fish, raw eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
Gluten-Free Dog Food and Dog Treats
Dogs with gluten sensitivity may need to refrain from eating foods or treats that contain gluten.
Don't worry because you still have various options, including salmon, carrots, potatoes, celery, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, and many more.
Grain-Free Homemade Dog Food
Dog owners have divided opinions about grain-free diets, but most veterinarians don't recommend it unless necessary, and your dog has allergies.
You may need to talk to your canine nutritionist and discuss your plan to avoid complications. However, you have to keep in mind that gluten and grains are not the same.
Grain-free foods may not be gluten-free because a grain-free diet eliminates all grains, including gluten-free ones.
Low Protein Homemade Dog Food
Dogs with kidney problems or renal disease need a low protein diet. But it's so tricky because there's a thin line between too much protein and not having enough protein.
That's why vets often recommend commercially made low-protein dog foods. However, you'll control your dog's protein intake more if you cook homemade food by yourself.
Hypoallergenic Homemade Dog Food
Some dogs develop hypersensitivity to primary carb or protein ingredients like beef, pork, chicken, corn, wheat, or soy.
If your dog is allergic to one of these ingredients, you may switch to other ingredients to ensure your canine's safety.
Low-Carb Homemade Dog Food
If you want to slim down your dog, having a low-carb and low-calorie diet is vital.
We recommend using carrots, cabbage, and non-starchy vegetables like Asparagus, Chinese spinach, and bean sprouts in their homemade food.
As for meats, the best options are lean meats of turkey, chicken, and fish.
Low-Fat Homemade Dog Food
Dogs suffering from pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease are often the ones that need a low-fat diet.
The downside of this diet is that it's deficient in Vitamins A and E, which are crucial for the immune system and skin.
So, it may be harmful in the long run. You need to be careful when planning this with your dog's nutritionist.
Homemade Dog Food for Liver Disease
Does your dog suffer from jaundice, gastrointestinal problems, and hepatic encephalopathy?
These conditions are symptoms of liver disease, and if your dog is diagnosed with this problem, you may have to change his diet.
You must ensure that your dog's homemade food uses top-quality, digestible proteins, high in antioxidants and low in copper and sodium.
Your pet's diet must have 20 to 50% fat and sufficient carbs because it aids in digestion and elimination of ammonia in their system.
Homemade Dog Food for Kidney Disease
Diet plays a huge part in treating a dog suffering from kidney disease. Your vet may recommend a low phosphorus and sodium diet and highlight the importance of high-quality proteins.
Boiled chicken, white rice, lean beef meat, plain yogurt, carrots, and beans are some of the foods safe for dogs on a renal diet.
Homemade Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
Canines with sensitive stomachs often struggle to digest corn and wheat. So, it'd be best to use salmon, chicken, rice, pumpkin, barley, oats, eggs, and other veggies.
The most accessible food to prepare is a bland chicken and rice recipe mixed with veggies.
Homemade Dog Food for Diabetic Dog
The key to controlling diabetes in dogs is regulating their blood glucose level or the sugar in their blood.
It implies that you need to keep track of what your dog eats because it can directly impact their glucose level.
One of the things your dog must avoid is table scraps or treats that contain sugar or sweeteners like corn syrup.
You must keep glycemic foods like white rice and bread away from them for their sake.
Homemade Dog Food for Congestive Heart Failure
You'll know if your dog is experiencing congestive heart failure if it's coughing, has difficulty breathing, gets tired quickly, and has fluid build-up in the abdomen or fainting.
If your dog shows these symptoms, you may have to switch to a low-sodium diet. This kind of food will help lessen the fluid build-up in their abdomen.
Your vet may also prescribe some medications or suggest surgery to repair your canine's heart.
Homemade Dog Food for Pregnant Dogs
A pregnant bitch needs a nutritious and balanced diet to prevent eclampsia or low blood calcium and keep the pup inside healthy and safe.
One of the essential foods in their diet is eggs because it provides protein and minerals. It must be present in your pregnant dog's homemade food and dairy products like cheese and yogurt.
Homemade Dog Food for Picky Eaters
Is your dog a picky eater? It's so frustrating when your dog acts fussy, right? But one of the advantages of homemade dog food is you can add a variety of food to make it exciting.
Vets usually recommend a bland chicken recipe with white rice or meat from a rotisserie chicken. Other options include sweet potatoes, cottage cheese, bone broth, chopped spinach, and ground flaxseed.
Homemade Dog Food for Cancer
Dogs with cancer work hard in fighting off the cancer cells a lot, so their bodies are weak. They need a specialized diet that's easy to digest, and veggies are holy grails for them.
They need cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and dark leafy plants like spinach. Having some brown rice and oatmeal in their homemade food is also beneficial.
Corn, wheat, and other grains containing too much sugar are not suitable.
Homemade Dog Food for Joint Pain
Protein helps support strong muscles that protect joints, so dogs with joint pain need lean meats from chicken, turkey, and other green-fed meat sources.
Adding some turmeric to their homemade dog food can also help because it contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation.
Homemade Dog Food for Renal Disease
If your dog is diagnosed with renal disease, you have to avoid sodium and phosphorus in its diet and minimize its protein intake.
The right ingredients for their homemade food include green beans, pumpkin, baby carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, broccoli, and watermelon.
They can also have some butter and whole milk yogurt since these are low in phosphorus but high in fat.
Homemade Dog Food for Heart Disease
As we mentioned earlier, dogs with heart disease need a low-sodium diet, so you should avoid adding milk, shellfish, and other high sodium products.
They need more Omega-3 fatty acids, taurine supplements, and foods that contain vitamin E and enzyme Q10.
Homemade Dog Food for Pancreatitis
Dogs with pancreatitis need a highly-digestible, low-fat diet to recover. So you have to avoid high-fat foods, including eggs, because the additional butter or milk you use in cooking this homemade food can increase the fat in their food.
Homemade Dog Food for Hypothyroidism
If your dog has hypothyroidism, you need to avoid filler foods, beef by-products, and artificial preservatives.
Fresh, natural foods are what they need, preferably lightly cooked or raw.
Adding beets, spinach, beans, carrots, celery, and grilled chicken breast containing zinc, which helps produce hormones, can help them.
Homemade Dog Food for Yeast Infection
Carbohydrates fuels yeast infection, so it'd be best to go grain-free, avoid processed sugars and carbs, excessive starch, and high-fructose corn syrup and fillers.
The suitable foods you can add to their diet are chicken, beef, lamb, broccoli, squash, and other leafy greens.
Homemade Dog Food for Diarrhea
You can help your dog's GI tract get back on track by feeding easily digestible foods. It includes white rice, cottage cheese, yogurt (prebiotics), cooked macaroni or oatmeal.
And as we've mentioned earlier, chicken and potatoes can help settle their stomach.
Homemade Dog Food for Kidney Stones
Kidney stones called uroliths are one of the causes of urinary tract infection. Most commercial foods contain additives that can trigger this condition, so homemade foods are better.
When making your dog's meal, you have to incorporate about 0.5 ounces of organ meat or liver per pound of other foods.
Steamed veggies and root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and parsnips low in purine are also great.
Homemade Dog Food for Bladder Stones
According to the AVMA study in 2002, feeding dogs a low carb and high protein diet can reduce the risk of kidney stones.
So, experts recommend giving your dog at least 1 pound of protein per pound of its body weight.
Another holy grail for dogs is pumpkin because it's full of fatty acids and antioxidants that keep the urinary tract in shape.
Homemade Dog Food for Upset Stomach
You may have to cut the calorie intake and give him a bland, easy-to-digest diet to help soothe his gastrointestinal tract.
One of the easiest and go-to recipes for dogs with an upset stomach is boneless and skinless chicken breast with cooked white rice, yogurt, and pumpkin.
Homemade Dog Food for Post-Surgery
Fatty food can upset your dog's stomach and make your recovering pet feel worse. We recommend using lean meat for homemade dog food for post-surgery.
Due to anesthesia, your dog may lose its appetite, so the key to tempting him to eat is using a light diet.
Some of the best ingredients for their diet are salmon, eggs, carrots, blueberries, and brown rice.
Homemade Dog Food Should be Balanced & Nutritious
What is Nutritionally Complete Homemade Dog Food
A nutritionally-complete food provides all the nutrients in the amount and proportions your canine pet needs.
In other words, it's complete if it provides the essential nutrients, including protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and of course, water.
Homemade Dog Food Nutrient Requirements Proportioned by Size
Here's a chart about their daily nutrient needs to guide you on how much nutrients your dog needs.
Balanced Homemade Dog Food Diet
Aside from meeting those protein and fat needs, a balanced homemade dog food diet must have enough vitamins and minerals for each dog.
This could vary depending on your dog's medical condition and activity level. But these are the daily allowances that you must meet for every adult dog (weighing 33 pounds).
Healthy Homemade Dog Food
As much as possible, we're trying to avoid GMOs and preservatives to keep our dog's food healthy. That's one of the reasons why people switch to homemade dog foods.
So, we recommend using organic vegetables and lean meats when preparing your dog's homemade food.
It may be challenging to outsource, and it can be more expensive, but the perks of feeding your dog with safe and nutritious food can outweigh the odds.
What Nutrients & Supplements Should You Include in Homemade Dog Food?
Choosing supplements to add to homemade dog food can be tricky. For example, your dog can be deficient in some nutrients if you're not adding one.
However, if your homemade dog food is already balanced and contains enough calcium for your dogs, adding extra calcium supplements can cause calcium toxicity too.
That's where you'll need the help of a vet. They can guide you when determining your dog's nutritional needs, creating dietary plans and recipes that meet those needs, and calculating which nutrients are missing.
The most common supplements experts recommend adding to homemade dog foods are:
- Multivitamin supplements
- Hip and joint supplements
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids (fish oil)
- Vitamins A & E
- Protein supplements
Homemade Dog Food Breed Specific
Each dog breed is prone to different health issues. For example, Dalmatians are susceptible to getting urinary stones, while Labrador retrievers get overweight quickly.
On the other hand, miniature schnauzers have high cholesterol and blood fat levels.
Some of these health issues are related to diet. That's why it only makes sense why they created dog breed-specific diets and commercial foods.
The right food may help prevent some conditions, so breed-specific foods have some benefits.
As for Labradors, diets made explicitly for them are usually lower in calories and designed in donut-shaped kibble to slow these fast-eating breeds.
However, it's not just the breed that you should focus on.
When making their food, you need to consider your pup's life stage, size, and lifestyle. These three are more important than your dog's breed.
Homemade Dog Food Final Thoughts
So, that's how we prepare homemade dog foods!
How about you? What recipe are you going to try? Do you want to start giving your dog a simple chicken and rice diet? It's perfect for fidos with an upset stomach.
But if your dog is diagnosed with specific health issues, you may have to create a different plan to ensure they're healthy during treatment.
No matter your choice, consult a vet or nutritionist when making a dietary plan.