6 Homemade Dog Food Recipes (2024)

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Greatist only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:

  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?

We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.

Read more about our vetting process.

Was this helpful?

We humans don’t deserve all the fun. While we stress about how to make dinner interesting, our furry friends often get treated to the same ol’ meal, day in and day out. We can only imagine how boring that must be.

Why not actually treat them to something — as in, something homemade? These DIY dog food recipes are simple, cheap, and sure to make your pup love you…even more than they already do.

If you’re into formulas to make life easier (yes, please), most of the dog food recipes break down like this:

  • 50 percent cooked protein
  • 25 percent produce
  • 25 percent cooked complex carbs

Here are some general guidelines for how much chow you’ll need, depending on the weight of your dog. Keep in mind, you may need to cook more if your pooch is super active.

Dog weightFood per day
12 pounds1 cup
25 pounds2 cups
50 pounds4 cups
100 pounds8 cups

Before you dive into the doggie delicacies below, check in with your vet about what your four-legged friend really needs.

Each breed has different nutritional requirements to consider. Plus, many purebreds, like Frenchies and pugs, are known to be more prone to food allergies. Always work with a pup professional you trust.

It’s also a good idea to transition dogs slowly when introducing a new diet. Though they’ll beg you otherwise with those big, beautiful eyes, only give them a little new food at a time to prevent stomach upset.

Feed Your Best Friend Better is an amazing resource for those looking to mix it up in the kitchen and give their bestie all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they require. Hint: it’s a lot.

1. DIY homemade dog food

Share on Pinterest

While dogs and humans enjoy some of the same foods (peanut butter straight out of the jar, comes to mind), what we need to stay healthy and fit is different.

This recipe has a balance of 50 percent protein with ground turkey and peas, 25 percent veggies with spinach, carrots, and zucchini, and 25 percent grains with brown rice, but it can be easily adjusted for any dog’s nutritional needs.

Here’s the best part: Making this batch of food is cheaper than buying many popular all-natural store-bought varieties.

2. Healthy homemade dog food

Share on Pinterest

We talk a lot about food allergies… but dog food allergies? Yep, it’s a thing.

It could be super obvious, like smelly omg-what-did-you-eat farts or little piles of vomit on the floor. It could also be less obvious, like your doggo licking the area around their joints, a sign of inflammation.

If you suspect your dog has a sensitive stomach, call your vet to make an appointment and then try this recipe. This meal uses pumpkin purée, coconut oil, ground protein, grains, and a slew of colorful produce to create a feast that even finicky dogs can stomach.

It smells so darn good when it’s cooking, we’ve been tempted to eat it ourselves. (OK… we might’ve tried it.)

3. Homemade dog food

Share on Pinterest

Making homemade dog food may not be realistic to incorporate into your everyday routine, but that doesn’t mean your furry friend can’t benefit from a little DIY here and there.

In fact, this blogger only incorporates homemade meals about twice per week — better than never, right? The recipe includes many DIY dog food staples, like protein, grains, apples, and carrots.

This dish also throws in some blueberries, a known heart-healthy treat for humans, thanks to their rich polyphenol content.Rodriguez-Mateos A, et al. (2014). Berry (poly)phenols and cardiovascular health. DOI: 10.1021/jf403757g

Turns out, the protective effects of berries against free radical damage may have a similar impact on dogs with heart failure, though more research is needed.Sagols E, et al. (2010). Oxidative stress in dog with heart failure: The role of dietary fatty acids and antioxidants. DOI: 10.4061/2011/180206

4. Easy Crock Pot dog food

Share on Pinterest

When using a slow cooker, it’s important to use sturdy veggies that stand up to the heat and extra-long cook time.

This recipe sticks to the classics like brown rice, beans, ground beef, squash, carrots, and frozen peas. The dense ingredients ensure that the food freezes well, so you don’t always have to cook it from scratch (glory hallelujah).

5. DIY homemade dog food with chicken

If you think about a dog’s closest modern relative, the grey wolf,Pendelton AL, et al. (2017). Comparison of village dog and wolf genomes highlights the role of the neural crest in dog domestication. DOI: 10.1186/s12915-018-0535-2 it makes sense that a canine’s diet should incorporate at least some produce — perhaps a few greens in the belly of whatever omnivorous animal the wolf hunted down (sorry, little guy).

To that end, this recipe includes some of the other ingredients you’ve seen already, plus a few cups of spinach. Dogs don’t need much in each serving — a little greenery goes a long way.

Pro tip: You can also sub in ground turkey for this recipe.

6. Easy homemade dog food Crock Pot recipe with ground chicken

Chicken, kidney beans, butternut squash, and green beans served over a bed of white rice? Not only is this recipe super simple to make, this is basically a regular stay-at-home dinner for humans. Why not?

Chicken livers also work great in this recipe, though we understand if you are now less keen to take a bite. Make extra servings so you can store plenty of leftovers in the freezer.

If your dog seems less-than-enthusiastic about the nightly ritual of dried kibble — we all know that look — then why not put your cooking skills to good use? It’s just one of the many ways we can show appreciation for our best bud.

With a generous helping of protein, fresh produce, and hearty grains, these recipes will get that tail wagging again. Don’t be surprised when that bowl is licked clean.

Hilary I. Lebow is a health journalist with fitness and nutrition certifications through the Yoga Alliance and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). When she’s not working, you’ll find her playing on the beach with her two dogs or exploring around Miami, the beautiful city she calls home. Read more of her work here.

6 Homemade Dog Food Recipes (2024)


What are 6 common ingredients in dog food? ›

Dog Food Ingredients
  • Animal Derivatives. Meats are generally good sources of protein, essential fatty acids, iron and some B-group vitamins. ...
  • Fish. ...
  • Dairy products and eggs. ...
  • Vegetables. ...
  • Cereals and cereal by- products. ...
  • Fats and oils (animal and vegetable) ...
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements. ...
  • Sodium and chloride.
Oct 21, 2022

What are the best ingredients to put in homemade dog food? ›

Proper Nutrition for Dogs
  • At least 10% protein, such as chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef.
  • Up to 50% carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta, and potatoes (also provides some fiber)
  • About 2.5-4.5% fiber, which can come from vegetables like peas, green beans, and carrots.
  • At least 5.5% fat, usually in the form of vegetable oil.
Oct 19, 2022

What are the ratios for homemade dog food? ›

The general rule of thumb for a home-made diet for a healthy canine patient is 75% meat/15%vegetables/10% carbohydrate. Variety is the key to a healthy diet so be sure to vary your meat, carbohydrate and vegetable sources from time to time.

How to calculate how much homemade dog food to feed your dog? ›

Judy Morgan, a nutrition expert and one of our favorite podcast guests, recommends feeding a dog about 2-3% of their body weight when using homemade food, and I think that's an excellent place to start.

What three ingredients should not be in dog food? ›

Corn Syrup - Used to sweeten your dog's food, but too much sugar leads to weight gain, diabetes, and hyperactivity. Sodium - Like in humans, too much salt can lead to high blood pressure among other health conditions. BHA/BHT - Preservatives known for causing kidney damage and directly linked to cancer.

What not to put in homemade dog food? ›

There is a wide variety of unhealthy and unsafe foods to avoid when preparing meals for your dog. Potentially toxic ingredients are of special concern, including chocolate, xylitol, avocado, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and macadamia nuts.

Can I feed my dog chicken and rice everyday? ›

Chicken and rice isn't meant to be given as an everyday dog food, nor is it suitable to be used in place of regular dog treats.

Is rice okay for dogs to eat everyday? ›

However, a rice meal on its own should not be a daily affair – rice should only be part of a varied diet that offers all the nutrients your dog needs. Dogs can eat rice in moderation as long as it's simply cooked, without any seasoning or flavours, and as long as it's included as part of your dog's balanced diet.

What is the best meat to put in homemade dog food? ›

Very lean ground beef or poultry- This is the main source of protein and has to be lean since dogs have a high amino acid requirement. Compared to ground beef, ground chicken and turkey are lower in protein, iron, and zinc, so you'll need to make up for it with extra beef liver.

What is the best meat to cook for dogs? ›

Some of the better options for lean meat cuts are chicken breasts, lean cuts of beef such as sirloin or flank steak, and pork tenderloin. These kinds of cuts can be boiled, baked, or grilled, but you'll want to avoid adding seasonings or other ingredients that might be harmful to your dog.

Is it cheaper to make your own dog food? ›

A properly balanced, home-cooked diet for a 30-pound dog will cost around $3.50 per day, or $5.50 if you choose organic ingredients1. This is two to four times the price of similar quantities of commercial dry foods but half of commercial wet foods.

How many times a day should a dog eat homemade dog food? ›

How much homemade food does your dog need per day?
Dog's weightAmount of food per day
25 lb dog (adult)8 to 12 oz daily – divide into two meals
30 lb dog (adult)9.5 to 14.5 oz – divide into two meals
35 lb dog (adult)11 to 17 oz – divide into two meals
40 lb dog (adult)13 to 19 oz – divide into two meals
8 more rows

How many cups is a pound of homemade dog food? ›

On average, there are 4 cups of dog food in a pound.

How many times a day should a dog eat? ›

The number of meals a dog eats per day depends completely on the family schedule. Dogs should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.

What are the basic ingredients of dog food? ›

Common Dog Food Ingredients

Cereals, which are basic carbohydrates like grain, rice bran, and beet pulp. Vegetables. Fish, which provide both protein and calcium. Fats and oils, a source for vitamins, as well as the energy that dogs need to survive.

What ingredients are important in dog food? ›

Research has proven, and your veterinarian will tell you, that a healthy, well-balanced diet for your dog must include whole-food ingredients that provide the following: protein, fats and fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water.

What are the top ingredients to avoid in dog food? ›

They are the main ingredients to avoid when picking a nutrition-rich dog food without fillers for your pup, adult or senior furry friend.
  • Nitrites or Nitrates (Sodium Nitrite) ...
  • Soy. ...
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP) ...
  • Salt. ...
  • Rendered Fat. ...
  • Propylene Glycol. ...
  • Vegetable Oil. ...
  • Animal By-Products.
Mar 24, 2023

What are the six important parts of a dog food label? ›

A diet is as important for pets as people. Understanding the pet food label can help you feed your pet an appropriate diet.
  • Principal Display Panel.
  • Information Panel.
  • Guaranteed Analysis.
  • Feeding Guidelines.
  • Ingredient List.
  • Manufacturer Name and Address.
  • Expiration Date.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nicola Considine CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6517

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nicola Considine CPA

Birthday: 1993-02-26

Address: 3809 Clinton Inlet, East Aleisha, UT 46318-2392

Phone: +2681424145499

Job: Government Technician

Hobby: Calligraphy, Lego building, Worldbuilding, Shooting, Bird watching, Shopping, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Nicola Considine CPA, I am a determined, witty, powerful, brainy, open, smiling, proud person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.