Frugal DIY: Homemade Dog Food Recipe

This is an oldie, but it still get’s a lot of traffic and fresh comments weekly. I guarantee your little furry friend will LOVE this Homemade Dog Food recipe!

Please Note:  Take a minute to read through the comments, there are some great suggestions, tips, and warnings when it comes to making your own dog food.  This is something I’m new to, my dogs are loving it but just know that you’ll likely need to supplement with dry dog food (or add in specific nutrients to the food) for the various needs they may have.

I’ve been really enjoying my new-found love for DIY projects lately, specifically when it comes to cutting costs on everyday products. It’s been fun to investigate what we can do to save money outside of clipping coupons and scouring the deals.  Not that deal hunting and coupons aren’t an incredible way to save – but learning to make things from scratch is fun and in some cases can be much cheaper!  The catch is though that you are going ot be investing more time.  With that said, clipping coupons and deal hunting can also be very time consuming.  The main benefit I’m seeing is that you know what is going into the products you’re using such as the Homemade Laundry Detergent and the Homemade Dishwasher Detergent.  There are no surprises this way.

With that said, dog food is a big expense in our household.  We have a Border Collie and an Australian Shepherd, while I wouldn’t consider them large dogs they are very active dogs and eat twice a day.  Our Australian Shepherd (collie mix) has a very sensitive stomach and we’ve tried many different brands of dog food, some of the specialty ones are upwards of $40 a bag!  When I was visiting with my husband’s aunt over the holidays we began chatting about this issue and she said very matter-of-factly “Why aren’t you making your own food for him?”  Ummmm….that’s a great question, I have no idea!  So I came home eager to try out this recipe and test it on the dogs.  It’s a HUGE hit, they both licked their bowls clean.  I hope your pups enjoy it too.


  1. 1lb Ground Beef (Chicken, Turkey, etc)
  2. 2 Cups Brown Rice (you can use other grains such as Barley or Oats too)
  3. 5 Cups of Water (I used 2 cups Beef Broth 3 Cups of water, but just because I had it on hand)
  4. 1 Package Frozen Veggies (Fresh would be better!)
First you’re going to brown the meat, then add the veggies to the pot.  Since dogs don’t chew their food up like we would it’s good to break up the veggies into smaller portions.  Not because they could choke, but to get the more of the nutrients.  I used a food processor to simplify it.
Next you’re going to add the rice and water to the post.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
 When the liquid is gone and the rice is cooked it’s done!  I let it cool down a bit then I separated the pot into 9 (generous) 1 cup servings.  I formed each serving into a ball shape and placed them on a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Then you just stick it in the freezer so they stay in that form, then into a ziploc bag.  Now you have ready to serve meals, just thaw them out and serve!
A few things you should note:
I learned upon serving these dinners – 1 cup was quite a bit of food even though that’s how much dry dog food I’d normally serve.  I was able to split 1 cup between both dogs (one is still a puppy so I mixed hers with puppy food too) and they were happy as can be.  Whether it’s cheaper or not is still to be determined.


    • Harmony says

      Please do not try to make food for your cat at home unless you get a specific recipe from a veterinary nutritionist. Cats are obligate carnivores and have special dietary needs. Now, if you ground up mice in a blender and fed that to your cat, you might be OK ;^)

        • Leslie says

          Most cats were “barn” cats, they lived outside and kept the barn free of mice and other forms of vermin. They would catch birds, they’d get milk when the cows were milked and maybe a few scraps from the table(if the farm dog and pigs didnt get them) seldom did they come in the house and probably(save for a few exceptions)were never “inside” cats.

    • jon doe's other brother says

      cats need only raw meat.
      don’t need to consult a vet, just buy the cheapest meat you can, mix up the variety, and they will thank you for it.

      every nutrient a cat needs is in the meat.

      • Mel says

        Cats need taurine, which is found in red meat, hearts and livers, so if you choose to feed your cat a homemade meal it can be done if you make sure there is an adequate amount of those ingredients. Or, just made a basic recipe and include a cat supplement, which is readily available online and in pet stores.

        • stefy says

          My vet told me meat should be cooked as little as possible, just very rapidly browned, because the longer the meat cooks, the more taurine is lost. Sorry but I think browning the meat and then also cooking ir for 20 to 30 minutes will not do much good in the way of prividing any kind of nutrients.

    • Myrab51 says

      For us, it works out about the same for homemade dog food as it does for store bought. Where it does save us $ is in medicine. Our retriever used to get a lot of ear infections and itchy skin and paws. A couple of weeks after we switched, it all cleared up. One tip I came across that I don’t see here is to give them a scoop of plain yogurt to the side. It gives them a few extra nutrients, and they generally love it.

      • Joanie Rogers says

        @myrab51, I have lab/beagle mixes who hace itchy skin, and one has had an ear infection. Did you completely replace their dry food with this recipe? Or supplement it?

        • Renita says

          I have a 15 year old cocker spaniel who also had constantly itchy skin, chronic ear infections and a sensitive stomach. I’ve fed her homemade food (cooked barley, veggies and meat) exclusively since the poison dog food scare. She no longer has tummy trouble, rarely itches or has ear infections. She’s quite healthy, not just for her age ;-), I also give her an oil supplement (fish and plant oils) from GNC. Speak with your vet about supplements and the food, my vet says it’s fine as long as there is more meat in the mix than the other ingredients.

        • gloria says

          Dear Joanie,

          My dog had problem with his skin and ears and I found out that he is allergic to yeast and other things, so it is an food allergy . I started feeding him 4 health dog food and no more itching. I also have to add that the vet fails to tell you this because they make money that way. He would give me a steroid and antibiotics and three months later he would be itching again. My groomer was the one to tell me about the yeast and allergies. They get a yeast infection in their ears a lot. I had to do something my poor baby was constantly itching and scratching (poor baby). How uncomfortable for them. He was Benadryl all the time. Now I can truly say that he does not itch and we both are so happy. Hope this helps you out.

          • Kat says

            I just recently found out that the yeast infections are caused primarily from the grains in processed dog food. Also that white rice is easier for a dog to digest than brown because they have a shorter intestinal tract than we humans do,(Surprised me too!). Also raw meat is better than cooked, even chicken bones are fine. I have a handsome labrador, 10yrs old, and he’s started to really get ear and mouth infection, licking his paws too. Every visit to the vet was 75-150 bucks! This homemade food is wonderful!

          • Anonymous says

            WOW, Raw Meat… A fool is born every minute.. Chat moderator, This person is talking about giving Dogs raw meat and Bones… Comon..

          • jon doe's other brother says

            Raw meat for dogs is great

            anyone who thinks otherwise is ignorant of a dogs needs.

            dogs thrive on meat/skin/bones.

            I have had rottis on the meat/bones/skin diet for years at a time, they do excellent.

            dogs do not eat vegetable matter in the wild, so why would a domestic one?

            a meat/bone/skin diet does a few things
            1) keeps their mouthes clean, no bad breath, teeth nice and white. no gum issues.
            2) clean poop. it dries, turns white and the first rain, it disintegrates into fertilizer, and feeds your lawn. No dead spots.
            3) usually cheaper than premium kibble, if bought in bulk.

            and RAW!
            DO NOT COOK!

            cooked bones get HARD and can splinter. Dogs have trouble digesting cooked bone, but RAW bone is EASILY digested.
            same with all the meats, chicken, beef, pork, what have you.

            3% of your dogs weight in meat will be all they need, and water!
            cooking meat kills so many nutrients that you may as well just feed them junk kibble.

            allergies, dry skin, ear troubles etc… are usually caused by dry dog food. Usually corn, but cereals too.

            Stay away from corn/cereals and go with meat/rice if you HAVE to treat your pet like that and give them dry kibble.

            one other issue.
            Dogs have short digestive tracts. kibble takes a LONG time to digest. Meat/bone/skin takes only a couple hours. Raw meat, even old chicken won’t harm them as it passes through so fast.
            This is why a dog can bury a dead bird, dig it up a week later, and eat it with out issue.

            BUT if they eat old fowl WITH kibble, it will stay in them for as long as the kibble and they can and often do have digestive troubles.

            Look to Nature, the answers are out there

      • Scotti O. says

        My mom’s dog and now my dogs are all experiencing recurring ear infections. The prescription ear medicine is $24 and doesn’t seem to ever clear it all the way. We have tried everything and it dawned on us finally that perhaps it is their food! We used to feed them high end food but dropped to pedigree a few months ago and their issues started just a few weeks after that! Thanks for your feedback! Hoping this will help our pooches too!

        • jon doe's other brother says

          try a 50/50 mix of water/vinegar, and swab the ear to wet it, then massage it around to spread it

          the acid will usually clear up infections

        • Heather says

          Hi we fed pedigree when we had a few money worries – then we ended up with vets bills because the dogs skin flared up and anal gland issues. We had to go back to Nutro and the dogs issues cleared up. The problem with cheap dry food it’s full of fillers and other rubbish. I am going to try making my own food and feeding it with the expensive kibble.

          • Donna says

            It’s best not to feed any commercial dog food with the home made. You want to feed only the home made. There is only bad stuff in the store bought stuff.

      • Barbs Fortin says

        I have a 9yo Golden SWervice Dog. She also has has ear problems and itching, licking and biting. On a hunch I checked out this site. I am going right now to make some. Thanks so much!

  1. Katy says

    Cat food is possible but since cats are carnivores naturally they cant process all the rice and veggies as well so home made cat food I dont think would be as cost effective since it would be all or mostly meat

    • Crystal says

      It may not be cost effective when compared only to the price of commercial cat food, but as you said cat’s cannot process rice & grains yet look at the main ingredients in almost all cat foods. There is generally at least three different types of corn/grain meals etc.
      I think I am going to give homemade cat and dog food a try.
      (I picked up a home made cat food vitamin supplement with taurine powder…. etc. in it, because I do know that cat’s have more complex dietary requirements.)
      But as for the cost benefit, she is a small cat, and I think the benefit in her health and wellness will be worth the extra cost. Especially because she has a very sensitive stomach and I have yet to find a bagged food that doesn’t make her throw up on a daily basis.

      • Anonymous says

        I read a recipe for a homemade cat food with canned ssalmon, mackerel, chicken and hardboiled eggs, shell and all! What cat wouldn’t just love it!

  2. Jessie Redding says

    Thank you! This is amazing and I WILL be trying this! Yay! I have a fussy dog who will NOT keep weight on :( Losing every day. However, I just wanted to say – be careful with that beef broth – even the ‘low sodium’ is likely wayyy too much sodium for dogs and sodium is EXTREMELY bad for dogs. I’d like to sub in some broth for flavor, but only if I can find no sodium.

    • says

      Very good point Jessie, I figured that was the case after I dumped it in. I seriously doubt it needs the broth anyways. Hope your dog enjoys the food and starts to gain weight poor thing :(

    • Jessica Kanson says

      You’re right about the sodium. I make my own broths at home and use those. I never add salt or anything unless I am cooking something for us human family members and we need a little flavor :)

      • wendy van hees says

        We had a beloved dog that could not eat packaged dog food so I always made his food for him . Instead of the packaged beef broth I would collect bones from meals and boil / strain them and freeze the liquid for making the dog food . I even made broth from veggies that were a lil to “on the edge for freshness” for my taste . Its another good way to get “all you can” from your grocery purchases .

        • Cary says

          I love your description “on the edge of freshness” I will be sure to use that one! I think this whole discussion boils down too no one has the secret recipe for making dogs live forever. Very similar to all of the debates about Atkins diets in humans. It just makes sense to me that God designed dogs to eat real food and it’s not rocket science just common sense.

          • Harmony says

            Nope, not rocket science, but science nonetheless. Rickets, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism and others are real nutritional diseases that used to be a lot more prevalent before commercial dog diets. It’s especially sad when these diseases affect well-loved dogs with owners who didn’t do their homework.

          • Cary says

            @Harmony: Common sense beats confusing people with big words any day of the week. True scientists attempt to communicate sound facts as opposed to fear mongerers who use big words to scare people into submission.

            I am sure you did not intend to imply that anyone here did not “do their homework” – anyone who takes the time to read through these threads and compose a response is being diligent in their thoughts and ought to be respected.

            By the way another respondant mentioned glucosamine which is one of the most abundant amino sugars. It is found in shellfish, animal bones and bone marrow. God did design our earth to supply all of our needs. If you and your animal follow common sense and eat a variety of foods, you and your animal will get the nutrients you need.

    • Roxy says

      I had a dog that just wouldn’t gain weight. It got so bad that I was embarrassed to take her out because I was afraid people would think I was starving her. I had multiple vets check her out. After thousands of dollars, full blood panels, urinalysis, etc. I had a very healthy dog who was way too skinny. I tried all kinds of food and supplements. What finally worked was satin balls. Just google the recipe. Within a couple of weeks I noticed a tremendous change. I fed her satin balls as a supplement for about 3 months. 6 years later, she is still perfect! Good luck!

      • says

        Ha! I thought that was a weird trick; “they think they are getting a recipe, but no I just bought a new razor! Mwahahahaha”. That kinda thing. But I just couldn’t help myself. I “Googled” it. Thank Dog, it really IS a recipe!

      • Mary says

        Same with my dog… Ive just started making Turkey/rice/peas/carrots and hes loving it- I give him 1- “satin ball” at lunch and he loves them!! I had a vet at the dog park a few months back suggest I try the Satin balls- and he became obsessed- loved them!!

    • Cass and Duke's Mom says

      I have been making “home made” foods for my dog and cat for a while now. They Simply LOVE it. The “secret” (shhhhh) to giving it that great flavor they love it this. I don’t buy skinless boneless chicken.. When I get home I de-bone and skin the chicken myself. Take the “carcus” (as I call it) and make a “home made” chicken broth with NO SALT!!! This is great for my recipes for the family and more healthy for all of us! ** Remember though that cats are sensitive to onion and garlic.

    • Patti says

      Rachel Ray has a broth with no sodium. I use it all the time and people can use the salt and pepper they need to season to taste.

    • Cary says

      That’s not as silly as it sounds. When we got our black lab two years ago, I researched what to feed her. The basic ratio is 1/3 carb, 1/3 protein, 1/3 vegetable. That happens to be exactly the ratio that nutritionists recommend for people! All of the advice I read sounded very similar to proper nutrition for people. So… if what I’m making for dinner is a relatively healthy meal (I don’t add salt on a regular basis), I arrange to give the dog the parts of the meat we won’t eat – they love cartilage, giblets, etc that we won’t eat but are still very nutritious – also, there is usually some vegetable and carb that the kids wouldn’t/didn’t finish. If I need more vegetable, I grate a carrot. For more carb, we always have the ends of loaves of bread extra. Just in case I’m missing a nutrient, and for when I’m lazy, I supplement with store bought dog food every now and then. When you have it around, a clove of garlic a day is good for them, and I gave her the fish oil supplements that were a money-maker at Rite-Aid last year. Brewers yeast also adds b vitamins to the mix.

      There are lots of nutritious things that we waste as a family that can easily be given to the dog. I try to spend less time thinking about how to feed the dog nutritiously than I do the kids:)

      • angela says

        Please, no garlic for dogs! They are in the same family of onions, and both are carcinogenic for canines. After losing my precious golden to a particularly vicious cancer…my vet and I discussed all kinds of things that could have made her vulnerable. Unfortunately it was most likely genetic and nothing we’d fed her but, she was my best of friends and I had to know if I’d contributed to this heart breaking loss.

        Now I’ve a golden/flatcoast retreiver mix; she gets no food (homemade or store bought) that I haven’t discussed with our vet. They are both a blessing, the vet…and my Sunshine (on all my rainy days) is a gorgous, healthy and brilliant dog. Quoting one of my favorite authors, Trixie Koontz, “Life is Bliss”.

        • Cary says

          I have heard differing views on garlic for dogs. The onion thing is well proven – it makes them sick but I have not found any studies specifically on the garlic, they just state that garlic has similar properties to onion. I have heard many benefits of garlic though including antimicrobial properites, digestive benefits, and (most importantly for me since I don’t do pesticides) aparently there is some evidence that the garlic will repel ticks and fleas. (maybe vampires too but we won’t go there…) We have never had a problem with fleas but I can’t say the same for ticks. I don’t know for sure that the garlic is the factor and I don’t give garlic every day – just when I crush a clove for the family meal, I give the dog the part that’s left in the press. There has to be a balance and I am erring on the side of some garlic instead of pesticides.

        • Leslie says

          Dogs can tolerate small amounts of garlic. Onion isn’t a carcinogenic for dogs, it will however put them into renal (kidneys) failure as will raisins.

      • Anonymous says

        Hey Cary, thanks a lot. I’m really learning a lot from these threads. I got two new pets and these comments here are really going to help me as well as my pets

  3. Renea says

    I’ve been making my own dog food for a year for my snorkie. When we got her, she refused all dry dog food, and would lick off the canned stuff from the dry when I mixed it together. I started researching dog food and found a lot of disgusting info about factory dog food. I’m glad we make our own now. You will want to do a little research on vitamins though. I haven’t bothered much with adding vitamins, but I do add ground eggshells (calcium is important) and fish oil to her food. For my dogs weight (10 pounds), I give her 1 tsp eggshells per pound of food, and 1 capsule of fish oil per pound of food. You want to research the ratio (I can’t remember the websites I used), because either overdoing it or underdoing it can cause problems.

    Btw, for me, it’s cheaper to feed my dog like this. I get my plain rice mostly free, eggshells are free, veggies can be had pretty cheap with coupons, and I get meat on sale. Today I got pork loin for $1.29 lb for her, and I also do chicken legs and thighs for $1 – $1.29 lb.

    • says

      Thanks Renea, I was reading about the need for the added nutrients today too. Good thing is that there are many ways to add these into the recipe.

  4. Renea says

    Oh, for those worried about sodium, I don’t even bother with broth unless I have homemade that I’m not planning to use. I actually cook my meat and rice separate (the rice is cooked in plain water), and just mix it together with the veggies at the end. It doesn’t hold together as well in scoops, but I wrap mine in Saran two portions at a time, so it doesn’t matter to me. The rice gets the smell and oils from the meat, so my dog eats it all up with no complaints.

  5. JoAnn Goss via Facebook says

    I would check with my vet first. I have a great dane and 2 goldens and our dog food contains glucosamine, chondroitin and l-carnitine, and omega 3s and 6s. I also give them supplements. As for how it compares in cost it would depend on what you’re already feeding. Blue Buffalo is premium and is around $51 a bag versus Walmart food which is probably $15 a bag? So it really depends, giant breeds definitely need the glucosamine and chondroitin for their hips

    • Anonymous says

      Yes. But you also need to look at the quality you are feeding. Walmart food is so low quality you might as well grind up the bag it’s in and feed it to the dog. There’s more nutrition that way. Where as blue buffalo is extremely high quality. This diet puts your pup on high quality close to what nature intended for them. Kibble food has only been around 50 years. This diet is basically what people were feeding their dogs before that.

  6. JoAnn Goss via Facebook says

    yeah, I know when my great dane puppy was sick and wouldn’t eat the vet actually recommended brown rice and chicken to get him to eat, so I know those things are great. I add various vegs and fruits to their food and treats. But the vet might be able to give some pointers if there’s any kind of supplements to add for your particular breed. The recipe above seems pretty much complete other than the supplements. It’s so confusing sometimes! lol I wonder how much rice I would go through with my monster! Oh my! (he has some cartilage issues so we’re upping the gluco, chondroitin and hyluronic acid). Fish oil and a scrambled egg once a week helps with skin and a shiny coat :)

  7. Renea Mason Pomeroy via Facebook says

    I’ve been feeding my dog a homemade diet for a year, and you do want to research it, but not all vets are on board, so many will tell you not to do it. My research has led me to believe it’s healthier as long as you are careful. You can also use human vitamins and supplements if you research the dosage and add it to homemade food. Dog food is full of disgusting junk, and it actually can lead to health issues and skin problems. Until the 1950’s or 60’s, dogs weren’t fed dog food. It came about due to kennels and dog breeders needing a fast way to feed many dogs at a time. Dog food companies subsidize veterinary schools, which is why veterinarians graduate believing manufactured dog food is best. That’s what they are taught. If you think about it, it’s not natural for dogs to eat a grain based diet (which is the first ingredient listed in dept. store food). It stands to reason that if wholesome and natural is better than processed for humans, than it’s better for dogs too. It’s just important to research ratios and supplements thoroughly, and not give dogs people junk food.

    • Liz says

      What recipe do you use? I have been researching for recipes, but there are so many out there not sure which one is healthiest

  8. says

    Renea, it looks like we need a Food Inc. movie for pet food too. I find it so sad how far we’ve come to the point that now we need to be retaught what is in fact *real* food and what is good for us and what isn’t. Thanks for sharing.

  9. JoAnn Goss via Facebook says

    Fortunately my vet is one of those who is like “I could sell you THIS for $40 or you can go to the drugstore/Walmart and buy this for $5” (like the gluco, I don’t buy “dog” supplements anymore, that picture of that dog on a bottle is sure expensive!) She’s the one that told me to do the rice/chicken mix for a while. She’s cautious of the raw diet (I brought that up once, upon finding my goldens were getting hot spots and I thought they had a food allergy) . They’ve now grown out of that thank goodness. This post makes me think tho to research the homemade foods again tho. Even all the new dog foods are promoting the new “whole food” thing. It’s just getting the right fat/protein ratio and vitamins right for your particular breed. I”m sure it could be broken down and figured out tho. :) It’s gotta be “do-able” tho because I’m hearing about this more and more.

  10. Jessie Bollen Redding via Facebook says

    It’s also important to know a little bit about their different nutritional needs- for example sodium is TERRIBLE for dogs. Toxic to an extent – which is why I will leave the broth out – unless I can find some with *no* sodium. Non-fatty meats like chicken (or others if they are boiled), along with rice and veggies are *THE* basic veterinarian recipe recommended -and that’s right out of the mouths of the specialists at my work.

  11. Harmony says

    As a vet, let me comment that while I don’t think “processed” or “manufactured” diets are necessarily better than those made from fresh ingredients at home, one should not be too cavalier about making food for dogs and cats. Dog food that you buy, whether canned or kibble form, should have a statement on it that AAFCO standards have been met, and this means all essential nutrients are included. If you don’t know what you’re doing with home-cooked dog food, you can easily have inadequate or excessive levels of minerals and vitamins. Just adding a pet or human multivitamin does not make it balanced.

    In particular, it’s not safe to feed puppies (especially large-breed) a home-cooked diet that has not been balanced by a nutritionist. For optimal growth and to avoid developmental joint disease, they need particular ratios of calcium to phosphorus and appropriate protein and and fat content. Some tools that can help create a balanced diet are and Another caution: If you have a balanced dog food recipe, don’t switch up ingredients from it (using different vegetables and such). And please don’t feed your dog (or cat!) onions or garlic.

    Just wanted to add these words of caution–not trying to discourage anyone who is looking for the best nutrition they can afford for their pet! From my experience it does not seem typically the case that a home-cooked diet is cheaper to make than the average decent dog food, but Julia, you are the person to find out for us! I wish you and your dogs the best.

  12. Harmony says

    Also, a quote from Scott Campbell, veterinarian at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Nutrition Support Service:
    “I’m not aware of a suitable book for providing complete and balanced home-cooked diet recipes for dogs and cats. If [owners] are unwilling to incur the expense of formulating a diet that will be suitable for the rest of the animal’s life (though it would be best to having it reassessed every year or two), perhaps they would be best served by feeding a commercial diet that is already complete and balanced. Complete and balanced home-cooked diets are generally more expensive to make than feeding a commercial diet, once you add the required supplements. This is particularly true for large dogs. Owners that believe that they can save money by feeding a home-cooked diet are likely mistaken, unless they have access to inexpensive ingredient sources that the rest of us do not.”

    • Faith says

      I absolutely agree. If we cannot provide the following ingredients, as the manufacturers do, in our beloved pet’s food, then we should be shot, or at least reported to the SPCA:

      Anticaking agents
      Antigelling agents
      Antimicrobial agents
      Color additives
      Curing agents
      Drying agents
      Flavor enhancers
      Flavoring agents
      Grinding agents
      Leavening agents
      Pelleting agents and binders
      Petroleum derivatives
      pH control agents

      And I didn’t even mention the carcinogenic properties of some of these ingredients … many of which are more commonly used in the manufacture of plastic and pesticides.

      Yes, much better to feed commercial pet food … my a**!

  13. slr says

    What about their teeth? My vet always makes a big deal that my dogs are eating a hard food for the teeth. Does anyone know if this could cause teeth problems?

    • sara n says

      I think your vet is behind in the times. When your dog throws up do they throw up little chewed pieces or full pieces of kibble? Dogs dont really chew kibble.. there isnt really any benefit to their teeth from this. I would recommend an occasional bully stick or a deer or elk antler for them.

    • Cary says

      I have heard that raw meat is good for their teeth. Something to do with the enzymes in the meat as they chew it. I’d be careful with that though – there is such a chance of food borne bacteria. (Maybe that’s what the garlic helps with…)

  14. grammy says

    i keep a container in the freezer for meat scraps to use in dog food. the little bits you have left after you bake a whole chicken or turkey? they really add up and our dogs love homemade better than store bought. if you factor in that you are using scraps that you would have thrown away, it is a lot cheaper.

  15. Cheryl Nakao via Facebook says

    Jessie is right… that said if you switch to chicken (bone-in split breasts are cheaper than lean ground beef), and just boil the chicken to cook it, you can use the cooking liquid from the chicken rather than rather expensive tetra pak broths.

  16. sara n says

    Great recipe but yes the amount of food even varies from brand to brand (crap food like iams or beneful compared to something like canidae). It also varies greatly from wet to kibble to dehydrated etc. It also varies greatly on your dogs activity level. You will also notice the difference in poo. Cheap food = much more poo then good or homemade stuff. I feed a mix of different foods.

  17. Nannette says

    Although fresh ingredients are best and this, as a fresh-prepared meal, is far better than many packaged dog diets out there, it is far from a complete meal that meats the nutritional requirements of your dog. Depending on breed/size there are different requirements … where’s the Omega fatty acids and the vitamin E to support them? What about joints? Dogs requirements vary so much from humans, and so much by the need of the breed (or size of the dog). I commend those who want to and do prepare fresh meals for their dogs, but this isn’t nutritionally adequate. Unfortunately and I’d hate to see good intentions go bad. :)

  18. Beth Janikowski says

    I feed an all raw diet, balanced for my Great Dane and Doberman and it does not include rice. Those usually aren’t very good for dogs. Please do your research before feeding rice and vegetables to your dog. Feel free to email with any questions about the raw diet. Also, when they eat raw, there is less poop!!!

  19. Tracy says

    The Whole Dog Journal is a wonderful source of this kind of info. It’s not free because it has no ads. You can pay 20.00 I think for a subscription and access to archives online. That may sound like a lot to the frugal lot, but there is so much good info that the knowledge has saved me a lot on vet bills, and opened my eyes to a lot of scary things as well.

  20. Nannette says

    It took me just shy of 100 hours to formulate one recipe for one dog, a cocker spaniel. ONE recipe … No variations. If I was to vary her protein sources, thus her amino acid profile, which I strongly believe build a healthy body, I had to start from scratch again. I have/had resources that other don’t. As much as I’m not the biggest fan of AAFCO, at least there are studies about what dogs need … There isn’t on a non-formulated diet such as this. Good intentions aren’t always good decisions. Ask your bet how many hours of nutrition education they have. Ask them of its large or small animal, livestock or companion. I have five canines …. Not bovines. I have a pig too … That sleeps on a down comforter … That’s a can of nutritional worms!! Not every prepared
    Food is awful. Not every family/dog can do raw. But trust me, trust me, the good intentions of the misinformed will not end with positive results. Sadly. I’m also not the biggest fan of the whole dog journal …. I’ve seen to much …. But it is a good resource
    For the average pet owner to understand, compare and decode
    Canine nutrition. I’ve saved three dogs with fresh-prepared and/or raw
    Diets …. (excuse typos, thumbing from the iPhone)

    • Cary says

      Wow, if only people would spend this much time and energy on raising our kids well. You obviously love and care for your animals and I appreciate that you are able and willing to invest that much. I don’t have priorities for that as I am raising the next generation and after all the dog is a dog. Thank you Julia for the thought-provoking discussion.

      • Nannette says

        My child does not suffer. No living creature should. If this is how I choose to care for my dogs, can you imagine how well-loved my child is? It’s sad that you appear to have such little regard for living creatures, but when I make a commitment to something I give it my all. Nothing is “just” something … not my dogs, not my pig, not my marriage, not my child, not my job, NOTHING.

        My child will also learn priorities from the abundance of love that is available in his home for everything that lives in it. He will learn how to give his all in everything he does to those that trust in him. Those “just dogs” are our family.

        People who dare to regard things as less than should not have the privilege of receiving their unconditional love.

        • Cary says

          I am sorry, I did not mean that you don’t take care of your kids. You are absolutely correct. We all have to redeem the time wisely. I meant only to comment on the generic “they” who don’t feel the urgency to invest in their children that way. My appologies.

        • Heather says

          Wow Nanette, you really took that out of context. You need to chill out. Not everyone can be as perfect as you.

      • Ron Couturier says

        First and Foremost “the dog is a dog” is 1 of the most ignorant and insensitive comments I’ve read on a forum like this. My 2 girls are my babies, my love, my furry kids. If you really think a dog is a dog, you probably shouldn’t be here anyways.

    • Bee says

      What is ur recipe for ur cocker? I have a 10yr oldcocker with horrendous teeth and fatty ttumors. I’ve tried all sorts of organic high end kibble and none work. I’d love to know ur recipe. Please share!

      Ps, he is 40 pounds but should be no more than 35

  21. Amanda Tellez via Facebook says

    I made the dog food and my dogs loved it! Thanks for the recipe!!! I also added an egg to top of there bowls :)

  22. jackie says

    Just came across this recipe and thought I would share- I spoke with my vet today about my plans to start making my own dog food. He was thrilled and shared some insight. There’s really not too many restrictions as long as you aren’t giving them any harmful foods (onions, garlic, corn, grapes…). He just recommended a protein (chicken, beef, turkey), lots of veggies, pasta/rice, with every meal. However, he also said I should mix in half a children’s flinstone vitamin to each meal! This way you don’t have to worry about them missing any nutrients. Hope this helps!

    • lori says

      is that a 1/2 flinstone vitamin to the recipe posted above?

      and… i LOVE the idea of saving scraps in the freezer ! i am always trimming my chicken/meat/fish! i cant imagine that is you but this in bulk . . it’s got to be cheaper than a 60$ for a 28lb bag of evo!

      one more question: ive read conflicting reports about brown rice vs. white rice. whats best for dogs… anyone?

      • Boxer dude says

        Lori, brown rice is better for all of us.

        … This thread is GREAT, we’ve been planning to start our dogs(4 Boxers & 1 Toy Poodle)on homefood. We plan this Sunday to cook for the week, It looks like all the ingredients we’ve chosen are about right on target.

  23. Anonymous says

    this is a pretty standard dog food recipe.I suppose growing up on a farm I naturally was instilled with a pretty healthy knowledge of well, health for our animals.I have always known that our dog food was much better than the store bought crap regardless of how many people promote or how overpriced it is.I generally follow the rule of thumb that if I am grossed out by something (ie. dry chunks of tasteless protein,fat and,vitamins) that my dog feels the same.I would rather have a steak than a dehydrated pellet of protein from a steak….I like seeing the city folks lean more towards self reliance than buying into the idea that you should purchase ready made items.The broth as was said is not the best idea due to sodium.Oninons and garlic of course,raisins,olives,chocolate,spinach,appleseeds,etc…these are all things a responsible dog owner should already know are bad news.In fact I would say if you own a dog and arent aware of the foods that can be poisonous to dogs you are not a very prepared or caring dog owner.I love my child and I can tell you immediately without a doubt what she should and should not eat.Thats called parenting but,buying a dog and having almost no knowledge of their dietary needs is accepted because you can walk in a store and buy a big ol bag of “somebody did it for me”.The thing is thats a horrible way to go about managing the life of an animal.I think this and articles like it should be EVERYWHERE just because reading the comments below makes abundantly clear that most people really dont know the basic nutritional needs of the animals Im sure they love.My dogs are spoiled because they get ALOT of leftovers from my freshly butchered rabbits and chickens along with alot of fresh veggies from the garden and all the rawhide a dog could dream of which is another reason I commend this article.Most of my friends think “homemade food is easy for you,you live on a farm”.Yes Ill admit I shun people for buying their food instead of at least producing some of it but at the same time buying premade dogfood is even one step further down the ladder of cheaply made inferior food sources.I believe everything you can do yourself,you should do yourself because paying someone to do it for you will ALWAYS result in cutting corners you probably wouldnt have.I tell my wife this about my truck “I love my truck more than any other person could dream of so who is goona take better care of it me or some bubba whos just there for a paycheck? Make no mistake even the most earthy packaging in the world cannot hide that dog food companies are “just there for a paycheck” so who should be trusted more with their health and nutrition? Lets revolutionize the dog food industry and make our own so that the only way they can make any money is by producing a product thats even better than the one you would make yourself!!! This should be the American ideal “Ill give you my hard earned money if you can do it better than me”.I make my own fuel(37 cents/gal),built my own house(60,000 including 13acres it sits on),farm my own food(180lbs of meat a year just from my rabbits),produce my own water and power,work for myself and,I am happier than I ever imagined possible.DIY is a lifestyle!

    • S. Lewis says

      Could you mentor me, cause everything you just said hit home to me. I am researching right now to become a better owner/family member to my German shepard mix I rescued about five yrs ago. She is family and cooking for her would be a pleasure cause I have to like you to cook for you. If you have any suggestions please pass them along to a just getting started DIYer.

  24. Einit says

    It’s all ways a good idea to give your dogs a good multi-vitamin too. We give them Pet Naturals of Vermont chewable multi’s and they love taking their vitamins. I cook for my guys as well and it’s a good idea to add a few teaspoons of bone meal powder to any recipe. It gives them the additional calcium they need and keeps the husband from eating the “dog food”. We keep chickens and fresh eggs are a delicious and nutritious treat for the dogs. We feed the eggs raw and encourage them to eat the shell as well. Our big pit/pyrenees mix love to eat the shells. Plain yogurt is a wonderful and healthy snack for the pups as well. Farms used to feed dogs whole foods. Fresh milk and eggs and whole foods from the kitchen. My grandparents in Spain were farmers and I remember the dogs would get whole grain bread, milk, vegetables and various meats. Their dogs were incredibly healthy and never suffered from the issues that our dogs in modern America did. Dog’s, like us should be interested in whole, delicious, healthy foods. Not rendered down lips and assholes, dried to a hard kibble and sprayed with preservatives and fat to make it more palatable. If you wouldn’t eat it, I don’t think your dog should be expected to either.

  25. Melanie Barrier says

    I left the corn out since some of mine have grain issues. I added a large cane of pure pumpkin. Make sure rice is from California due to arsnic in producing it and none from China. I added water to the ones that tend to get bladder stones and to there’s added cranberry capsule per dish as well as brobiotics to each dish.

  26. Mary Jo See says

    I learned how to give my dogs a balanced diet of homemade food out of necessity when my husband and I lost our jobs and our home 5 years ago. I was determined our girls would not suffer because of it. But you can’t buy dog food with foodstamps. We expanded our garden, got some chickens and I learned to make dog biscuits. Then I decided the biscuits would be the perfect way to add supplements to their diet. Due to the lessons in frugality I learned and the benefits I observed, I have never returned to my old habits. They are both 14 years old now and remain active and healthy.

  27. Rubanova says

    Please do your research before submitting anything or cooking anything homemade to substitute for your dogs dry food. #1 issues in dogs come from pet owners feeding them homemade food without doing proper research. Most store beef/chicken broths contain onions as the base of the broth, which will poison your dog! Also, they are full of salt, which is dangerous for dogs. Corn as a veggie is a don’t! Replace with sweet potato, carrots, celery and even greens like kale. Your homemade recipe MUST be supplemented with calcium, omega 3s and much more! Without that, your dog will run into deficiencies in about 2 months and have fragile bones prone to breakage. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

    • Anonymous says

      “#1 issues in dogs come from pet owners feeding them homemade food without doing proper research”

      Absolutely untrue.

      I do, however, agree about the need to research. I find that the vast majority of pet owners who are even considering “homemade food” do just that…they research…they ask lots of questions.

      I would, also, like to add something for the folks, above, who provide “human” vitamins as supplements for their dogs: The vast majority of “human vitamins” are crap…pure and simple…they don’t even benefit “humans”. Add to that, dogs have a much shorter digestive tract… You are, quite probably, wasting your money. There are some very good, affordable supplements, though. One company in KY (the name escapes me…ugh) produces some very good, whole foods based supplements. When the brain starts working again, I will come back and post the name.

      Also, rice is nothing more than a filler. Dogs get very little benefit from it. I will say, though, that white rice is, actually, preferable because it’s easier for dogs to digest. Brown rice is nothing more than hope…human hype, at that. Your dog will be far better off with potatoes…preferably sweet potatoes.

      Guess I’ll keep going…

      Chicken (thighs, leg quarters, etc) is the most economical and nutritious (unless you’re a hunter…or have a farm). More work, yes, but worth it.

      Eggs…add eggs…shells and all (I boil them and then run through the food processor).

      Consider adding cinnamon to each meal. Many benefits…many…(joints, arthritis, diabetes, inflammation, etc).

  28. Anita Hoyt says

    Is it safe or smart to give the dogs raw egg and egg shelves from raw egg being the issue with seminila?

  29. Mary Chavez says

    Home cooked food for pets when done properly is the best. When not done properly – it can be in some cases the worst according to one holistic vet source I’ve read. I’ve purchased several books on feeding – Home prepared Dog & Cat Diete, the healthful alternative by Donald Strombeck, Home prepared Dog & Cat Diets second edition by Patricia Schenck, and Dr. Pitcairn’s books. All have something different to offer. Adding omegas, pottasium, iodine, and the proper amount of calcium according all of these vet authored books is essential if you want to avoid deficiencies and ill health from poor nutrition and the quantities do matter. I use a food scale for diets I feed. Check these books out online or go to a good vet’s website for your recipes. Dogs and cats have unique nutritional needs – better safe than sorry. Good luck!

  30. Shannon Klein says

    Harmony, thank you for adding an alternate view to the discussion. I was very excited to check out the interactive websites that you provide as my highest priority is complete nutrition (I am not looking to be frugal, though appreciate that perspective as well). However, I was disappointed to find that these websites only push their branded supplements claiming it is “too difficult” for average people to combine their own. I am insulted. I am not trying to make my own dog food to find the easy way out!

  31. Sara says

    I must say, that looks like terrible home made dog food. It’s mostly rice; dogs aren’t supposed to be fed so much grain. Their diet should be made up of mostly meat, and maybe a bit of veggies. Grains are not only unnecessary filler in general, but bad for dogs and excessively used in this recipe. If you’re going to make food at home, don’t use this recipe.

  32. whisperingsage says

    Try to get away from the rice- it was contaminated by arsenic from chicken manure from the confined factory farming. That manure went on the rice paddies. Even organic- look up Lundberg- they admitted to finding 90 ppm in theirs.

    And I would put the grain in a processor too- dogs don’t have the rumens or gizzards or huge cecums that herbivores all have to deal with the cellulose. And soaking a day or so before making would be a real help too- look up Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, for humans- if we omnivores need to soak, I urge soaking for our carnivores too. Sometimes they soaked in lactobaccilus, that is where sour dough comes from. And yogurt and sour kraut, and kefir, etc.

  33. Courtney says

    To everyone out there I have 2 dogs one is a lab/pointer mix around 55 lbs and the other is a german shepherd/husky mix who is around60 lbs who has atopic dermatitis. I was wondering what would be a good homemade food recipe for them. They can’t do corn and are grain sensitive. I also supplement with fish oil in their food that I got from petsmart. I’m looking to save money but also help with my dogs skin and allergy issues she has been bitting herself raw and leaving tuffs of fur all over the house. I would love to do a homemade recipe but don’t want to screw it up or not give them enough nutrition but I also want it to be more affordable than buying it at the store. Spending $70 on a bag of dog food is not affordable right now. Any recommendations is appreciated.

  34. Teresa says

    A friend of mine who’s a vet recently told me that researchers have not proven it yet, but they are hypothesizing that dogs in Europe live longer, healthier lives because they very rarely use packaged foods, and especially dry kibble foods. She feels it’s best to either make your own and feed your dogs solely that – or you could mix a small amount of premium kibble with the home-made foods. But – I definitely agree to customize the food to your specific dog’s needs, and get the advice of your vet.
    Thanks to those who’ve shared on this thread, and especially those who don’t get fanatical and all wrapped around the axle about stuff… Let’s keep it light but serious, and we can all learn from each other. Clearly all of us love our pets enough to be researching this or we wouldn’t be on here. Thanks, T. =)

  35. Dog Lover says

    Looks like a great recipe. When I cook for my Maltese, I alternate between boiled chicken and raw beef and raw soup bones. Raw meat is completely fine to give your dog. I started on the recommendation of my vet and my pup has never been happier. Also, since giving him a raw bone once a week he no longer has any kind of puppy breath. His teeth are gleaming white and no more stinky breath. Check out this video from youtube that tells how you can make your own raw dog food.

  36. Alicia M says

    I’ve been doing some research and this was very helpful. I am thinking about supplementing my dogs morning meal with this recipe and keeping the evening meal dry kibble. I have a 75 lb coonhound who isn’t interested in eating in the mornings and we cannot get weight on her. My other 23 lb beagle mix is the total opposite and we have to adjust her food intake all the time to keep the weight off. Any suggestions for a good starting point for the amount of food to give each? My coon gets 2 cups twice a day and my beagle gets 1/4 cup twice a day. Any feed back on the cost factor? I’m not going to lie, with 2 small children we are on a tight budget.

  37. 100%RAW says

    To those talking down the raw food..
    Raw food is way easier for your furry friend to digest.
    In the wild do you think that wolves roast their dinner over campfires?
    Nope. That’s impractical.. they’re bodies are designed to ingest and digest raw foods.
    They aren’t as susceptible to infections such as salmonella like we are.
    I started feeding my dogs raw foods about 2 years ago and they Love it.
    They’re stool is practically instantly biodegradable, they shed about 50% less, zero skin irritations, there’s really nothing more to ask for.

    • Jenny says

      This is not necessarily true, but I am glad you’re having success with it. The truth is, dogs have evolved quite differently from wolves over the past 30,000 years-ish. Firstly, they have adapted to eating grains – for more info on this, there is a recent paper by Axelsson et al. 2013 in the journal “Nature” describing this process and the digestive changes that have occurred in dogs. It is not good to make generalizations that “wolves do/don’t do this, so dogs should/shouldn’t” because, as I said, their evolutionary history is VERY different.

      Cheers. :)

      • kelly says

        People have evolved to eat grains too but that doesn’t mean we really should. Its just a cheaper way to feed. We do not need grains for fiber like many claim we need. Look at brown rice, a 1 cup serving is 216 calories, 5 grams of protein, 0.7 grams sugar, 45 grams of carbs and just 3.5 grams of fiber. One cup of raspberries is 65 calories, 5 grams sugar, 1.5 grams protein, 15 grams carbs and 8 grams of fiber.
        The only place the rice beats the raspberries is in sugars. We are not made to process grains and anything you have to cook to eat should tell you its a no no.
        We can eat meat raw if we had to. Fruits and vegetables too.

        • Mike says

          I’m not clear on what you’re trying to get across. Active people (and dogs) need calories for fuel. I would much rather have 245 calories than 65 calories before a day at the park with my dog.

        • Anonymous says

          Grains are an important part of the digestive tract. Our digestive system is also the location of our immune system, in most cases. We need grains of various kinds to bulk up the unused portions of our food and help us excrete them. Dogs probably are helped in the same way.

          • Anonymous says

            You have mistakenly believed that a dog and a human have the same kind of digestive tracts. Humans have much longer intestines, so possibly need the fiber –although personally I have found the fiber in fruits and vegetables to be more than adequate for helping the waste move through the digestive tract. We are omnivores, while they are carnivores. There is a difference.

        • Anonymous says

          My dogs can not eat grains, they are itching and smelly hairs falling out, I switched to this and bam they are doing wonderful,

      • Diane says

        We tried the raw diets on our dogs once and ended up taking one of them to the vet because he got extremely sick. The chicken we had bought from a large national chain store wasnt as fresh as we thouht it would be. If you have access to extremely fresh meat thats great but otherwise I wouldnt advise the raw diet to anybody!

    • Maegan says

      Jenny- even though dogs have been domesticated for about 2500 years, commercial food(kibble) has only been around for the past 100 years. That is not nearly enough time for the physiology of a domestic dog to change and evolve to eat anything other than what their bodies are hard wired to do- eat whole prey.

    • Laura says

      I fed my dogs raw for three years. What changed my mind was a conversation with my vet (whom I really don’t see too often, but has been amazing during emergencies) who told me that grocery store meat…even the freshest of the fresh…contains more bacteria than roadkill. We make it safe for consumption by cooking it. It isn’t that the meat comes out of the animal contaminated, it gets contaminated by the processing process. The second thing he said to change my mind was that heat begins breaking the food down (something that our human bodies do during the long digestion process, and which dog bodies don’t do, because of a much shorter digestive tract) so it effectively predigests the food and makes it more bio-available.
      It is a false equivalency between dogs ancestors and their lack of cooking fires and modern dogs being fed store bought meat. I suppose if you are butchering your own chicken/rabbits/turkey and immediately feeding your dog raw you wouldn’t have the contamination problem, but if you are buying meat at the store it is full of bacteria.

      • Libby says

        Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, here, but you do understand that you are supposed to cook the meat for your dog, right? The bacterias you are talking about that get “taken care of” with cooking would be effectively cooked out for your dog, just as they would be for you.

    • Patti Simmons says

      Do you have a particular recipe you use for your raw dogfood?I can’t seem to find one my dog, a wheaton terrier will actually eat.

  38. Anna says

    I came across this article after doing some research on dog food. It seems like every week there is some news story about commercial dog food harming dogs. So, I thought why not make my own dog food? To me it makes sense, you know exactly what your dog is eating and you can prepare large amounts and freeze for the future. It seems like it would also be more cost effective, especially for larger breeds.

    • says

      Anna, you hit the nail right on the head. Most (not all) commercial dog food is terrible for your dog. I personally think of my dog, Jake, as a member of the family. I’m not willing to risk poisoning my dog with food that is potentially bad. The Salmonella scares a couple of years ago was bad but the real tragedy is what is being put into dog food on a daily basis. I’ve switched Jake over to homemade food and have found that I’m saving money month after month. I find a recipe that he likes by making small batches and then I make a big batch to freeze. I’ll never go back to commercial dog food. If anyone wants to find out what they’re feeding their dog with the major food companies, check out: I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

    • Anonymous says

      I make my own dog food , I use 60 % roo and 40 % beef , mixed veg , yogurt, eggs , seaweed and brewers yeast , my dogs love it .

      • JK says

        Anonymous, this is IMHO a more sane and safe diet for canines than the one with grains or starches (white rice also contains mercury and brown rice is high in phytic acid which is an anti-nutrient) Like humans, dog breeds or individual dogs can thrive very differently. I have a 6-year old Retriever and was warned never to give raw meats. I of course made home made raw dog food since he was a puppy and he is happy, healthy, shiny coat and never ever stunk. He also doesn’t have plaque, and poops are consistently low volume. When I feed him even the highest quality no grain kibbles his poop volume increases and poops more often.

        We live in the part of the world where the butcher or slaughtered animal is within miles from where we live so the moment I get the meats, I make my mix and freeze them in containers. There’s an Australian brand called B.A.R.F. that is really good and very balanced if you do not have access to a reliable fresh and safe source.

        Just today, I saw a dog that got heavy within just months and I asked the lady what she has been feeding her dog. Boiled chicken, rice and vegetables. I asked how much rice she gives him daily (this is tiny terrier mix) she said oh only a cup. I told her she has to adjust his diet accordingly because he is balooning and I noticed the poor dog is having a hard time running. Obviously this dog was having a hormonal effect from too much starch just like humans, some can take starches in higher proportions some less some can’t. At the end of the day, if your dog is not manifesting proper body composition this is a hormonal effect from the diet it’s currently eating which is it’s not suitable/adapted too, lack of proper nutrient-density, potential allergens and anti-nutrients so the dog starts the degenerative process of dis-ease the way most people end up and ended up medicating instead of looking for the cause. As the saying goes, look at what’s the end of your fork and your health-the answer and solution are all there.

        BTW, when you feed your dog natural, highly nutritious food, adapted to canine nourishment, you will not only have less vet bills from allergies to chronic degenerative diseases but will gain long lived happy, healthy furry friend and a loyal companion:)

  39. Jessica says

    What is the cost per serving? Ihave 3 dogs….. Would LOVE to feed them homemade stuff, but need to compare the costs vs buying already made expensive (the good stuff) :)

    (sorry, it says there’s 103 comments to this article, but i cannot open all but 3 of them to read)


    • Mary says

      The smallest of natural dog food (at the grocery) was on “sale” for $8.99; I spent $6 on Turkey, rice, peas and carrots… Made enough portions to have (a large, full bowl ~1cup +/-) 2 meals per day for 3 days. The bag usually wont last that long; and at least now, I know whats literally going into the food- as opposed to ingredients I cannot even pronounce.

    • Vicky says

      True, but it is easier to digest. Dogs have a smaller digestive track than humans, in order to absorb nutrients from brown rice you need slower longer system like humans. So the benefit for the dog for either rice is the same but white is much much easier for them to digest

      • Gina says

        Brown rice is much healthier; white rice is like plain white sugar and can contribute to yeast issues. Most people undercook their brown rice. If you cook it properly, with 1-1/2 times the water than white rice, you can avoid the digestion issue. Brown rice retains the micronutrients, essential oils and fiber and stabilizes blood sugar.

    • Jayne says

      Dogs need the rice for carbs. White rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate which makes it a good source of energy. This is better for older dogs and active dogs.

      • Patricia says

        I’ve been researching the debate about rice in dog foods and found that it is basically a filler and grain that dogs don’t need. I am putting garbanzo beans in my dog food, which replaces the rice. I use organic, so they don’t get the sugar that’s in regular canned beans. My dogs do not get sick anymore, as they had with a premium canned dog food with rice.

        • Brenda says

          Patricia, would you mind sharing your homemade recipe, I have an older minpin that has become very finicky about eating, ive made my own recipe but after a couple of days she stops eating like she wants something different , I have used chicken, rice and veggies, also I’ve tried hamburg , rice and veggies, any other ideas?

      • Michael says

        Dogs are carnivores, they do not need grain, beans, veggies, etc. In the wild, dogs/wolves ingest only very tiny amounts of anything other than meat, bone, organs, etc. This idea that 20,000-30,000 years of being around humans has caused their digestive systems to evolve is ridiculous because, 1. as another poster pointed out, commercial style dog food has only been around for about 100 years, 2. 20,000+ years is nothing in evolutionary terms and 3. evolution only occurs if a portion of the population doesn’t live long enough to breed/produce offspring. In the latter case, understand that unhealthy and improperly nourished animals of any kind can still live long enough to reproduce, especially dogs, which do have a robust digestive system. That doesn’t mean that grains and veggies are correct for them, it simply means that they are able to survive long enough to make babies. Evolutionary theory would rule that in that case, there is no catalyst for evolving to a different diet. In order to have evolved, there had to be a fairly massive death rate (before old enough to reproduce) among the population that didn’t eat grains. Possible, but unlikely.

        • Anonymous says

          Not true. Dogs are omnivore to a great extent. When wild, dogs take down their prey and then go for the stomach contents. It is necessary in their diet and the broken down vegetation in the prey’s gut sustains the dog.

          • Charlie says

            Yeah when they’re feeling I’ll. They can’t go out to the cupboard and grab a couple Rolaids.

        • Mary says

          If we are going to talk about evolution, keep in mind that more and more living things are surviving that would not without medical intervention and environments created by humans. This being said, it is inappropriate for my cocker spaniel’s digestive tract to be related to a wolves, just as it is inappropriate for a human brain today to be equally compared to a neanderthal. Yes time table is off, but please grasp the concept. There is no longer an opportunity for certain proteins and genes to naturally be ruled out of a gene pool among domesticated animals (no longer opportunity for dogs with less robust digestive systems to be killed out). An experiment connected domestic traits with seemingly unrelated genes (coat patterns). The silver fox experiment showed that foxes that who displayed affection to humans had a universal coat pattern and ones that remained hostile did not.

          When you change genes (by breeding) you are not just changing coat patterns and temperament, you are changing metabolism, brain chemistry, and how the body DIGESTS FOOD. Enzymes, the ecosystem of GI tract (good bacteria/bad bacteria balance) is completely different than the digestive tract of a wolves based on the simple fact that the genes were changed.

          The fact that enzymes impact digestion can be witnessed when some people “flush” from alcohol, and others don’t. Some people are missing an enzyme to digest alcohol.

          Sooo if someone can lay out the biology/chemistry/genetic reasons WHY the average domesticated dog has the same nutritional needs and digestion abilities as a wolf then I will be more than happy to change my mind.

        • Denise Sayles says

          Michael I found your comment matched what I think. Wolves and wild dogs will eat fruit and nuts they find on the ground. They eat veg from the gut of their kill that gas been partially digested. They cannot themselves break down green vegetable matter but they do need the vitamins they get from them. The easiest way to do this for them is to blitz it to a puree and add this to their meat. Canines don’t need carbs from rice (white rice is bleached) or potatoes, wheat or bread. their prey eats seeds from grasses and similar which, as I said, is partially digested in the prey animals stomach. They are opportunistic and if they find fish that say, a bear has left, they eat it, bone, skin and all. They will pick round larger fish bones. Look for what’s on offer, at the moment they are selling bream at £4.00 for 2, which is a nice treat and a nice sized fish. give it whole if your dog is used to eating raw food. Or you can add a can of sardines in olive oil to their veggie puree or for an occasional breakfast. Eggs whole, shell on, think nesting birds here, is a good source of calcium and meaty bones for calcium and cleaning teeth though never ever give bones that have been cooked, this makes them brittle. beef end ribs are good a half sheep head, complete with brain, eyes etc is a good meal. Your dog will love you for this diet. You just google a local slaughter house and have a chat with them. Throat, green tripe, not white, this is bleached also, it does smell though but dogs love it. Flaked oats, with a probiotic yogurt and goats milk, or for a change raw wild honey and a few berries is another good breakfast. Organic unprocessed coconut oil, just a teaspoon is enough daily is great for coat and joints and soothing if massaged into dry skin, (good for our hair, skin and joints too). Olive oil should be virgin and not filtered or strained for best benefit. Just think wild and your dog will have a long and healthy life. Hope this is informative and helps

  40. Megan says

    Do you think this would help my small dog lose weight because its healthier? Also how much would you feed a dog the size of a Bichion Frise?

    • Melissa says

      I read on another site that when feeding home made diets the serving should be 2-3% of their body weight (for small dogs). Take weight in pounds x 16 to get the number of ounces total then x .02 to get the minimum they should eat, and do again x .03 to get the maximum. The amount is generally less than what would be fed in kibble because there is less filler ingredients. The calculations for my Dachshunds were right on. Good Luck.

  41. Semigourmet says

    My dog is on prescription low fat easily digestible food. for 11 pounds I pay 35 dollars, and the canned food is like 7 dollars a can. EEK. He was diagnosed with Pancreatitis. and since I have been unable to get him off of the prescription food. Everything out there including light and diet breeds of foods are way too high in fats. I think I am going to try this and maybe change add a few ingredients. such as a probiotic, and maybe some fish oil such as a supplement or in the form of a few pieces of salmon. Question, does it need to be wild caught? I think it does. When he got sick the first time I started making him some white rice, cooked in the water I had poached his boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped the breasts and added to the rice he ate that like it was goin out of style. But the nutrients he needs is what worries me.

    • Lissa says

      I also have a dog with Pancreatitis(Sasha) for several years now I have been making her food. She is a miniture snauzer & this is a problem with her breed. She has done fantastic but can not have treats or food that are much higher then 1% fat. Start reading labels on treats or food thats difficult to find. I started out with the white rice & ground turkey. As she got better we added veggies. Then I would switch to some noodles instead of the rice & poach the chicken breast & add a green apple or squash when in season. I will often times buy a rotisary chicken at the market when on sale take the skin off, rinse it off in hot water & use that for the chicken. A scrambled egg & toast is a good am meal when you realize your out of the norm. If your dog has gas with the beans or veggies you can always add a small amount of vinager to the food to help nutralize that. I think the biggest thing is that it is supplemnted our vet had us get her Calcium Phosphate to add to her food. It is a cheap powder that gives some of the nutrients they would usually get from the eating the ground bones. My vet has been great with calls from me “can Sasha eat this?” Wish you luck.

    • SALMON says

      I give my dogs grizzly salmon oil and this other powder ingredient called Nutri-Pet Research Nupro Dog Supplement. The salmon oil is wild caught and it has helped tremendously with my dogs allergies as well as the powder which is full of TONS of nutritions your dog needs. I have two pitties and the one with allergies is improving greatly and the other one without has the shiniest softest coat ever! They both lick the bowl clean!

      • Lilli says

        Hii this is in regards to the salmon comment with the person with Pits. I have a Pit Bull and we recently found out she has a food allergy to chicken. we changed her food to a salmon flavored one but her ears are beginning to get red and itchy again. I was wondering if you just use this recipe plus the salmon oil? I really want to start making her food to improve her allergies. thank you!

        • Megan says

          I just want to advise people to stay away from adding any salmon or fish of any kind from the Pacific Ocean to any pet food they might make for their dogs and esp for any home made cat food. The ocean is being contaminated with radiation from 3 Nuclear Plant meltdowns in Fukushima Japan and much of the ocean life (fish, mammals and seaweed and kelp) is not safe! Don’t eat it yourself and don’t feed it to your pets!

    • Ellen says

      My Puggle had pancreatitis, I started feeding her a commercial dehydrated base that all i need to do is add a meat source. I feel better feeding her this way because the base has the nutrients she needs as long as protein is added. I can feed it with raw meat or with cooked. She has been doing well on this combination.

  42. JUDE says

    Raw food well not quite .. I sear the outside until brown this gives off a aroma that intices. I have found that the raw meat to the bone not only cleans teeth but limits poo’s, smelly breathe and enhances a shiny coat. This works with chicken, turkey also as the bone is not cooked and can be eaten. A high grade dry food on hand at all times and lots of fresh water keeps my pooch happy.

  43. Cindy Zfountain says

    Dogs don’t need grains so I would go easy on the rice. And I would not use any pre packaged broth. It has way too much sodium.

  44. Jen says

    I cook for my dogs but they eat dry kibble at breakfast so as not to get spoiled. Dinner is 80% kibble with 20% homemade. I don’t use any grain as there is already too much in the kibble. They get apples and carrots run through the blender as they didn’t always digest the carrot slices. Plain canned pumpkin since the old dog used to get constipated. I might add a little potato and zucchini, green beans or spinach from the garden. A combination of whatever lean meat, poultry or fish I have. I always keep a bag in the freezer to save meat scraps, salmon skin and vegetable peelings etc. No onions, garlic or salt. I freeze the stew in 2 cup containers.

  45. Diane says

    Desperately seeking advice! What do you feed a dog (basset) that is having severe ear infections? We are at the point where we are feeding her gluten free dog food (expensive) and not really seeing any benefits. I’ve been told that chix, hamburg, turkey, and even fish contain preservatives that may be contributing to her severe ear allergies. We’ve spent $$$ at the vets (antibiotics, ointments, biopsies, meds.) We’ve been to a holistic vet also.
    We are also feeding her sweet potatoes and veggies with the dry dog food.
    Any suggestions?

    • Kris says

      My lab had lots of ear infections as a result of food allergies. It really might be worth the money to do the blood test to find out exactly what your dog is allergic to instead of just blindly guessing. My girl is allergic to lamb, pork, fish, peas and barley and almost every dry kibble has peas and/or barley if you start getting into the better brands. Do remember that it sometimes takes a few months before they start really showing improvement. Have you tried the hypoallergenic mix from science diet or royal canin from the vet? Many dogs react well to that (mine didn’t but many do).

      I’ve had GREAT luck with Sojos, it’s a dehydrated food. It’s a good middle step between dry kibble and home made food. It’s not exactly cheap but it’s really good.

      Good luck!

    • Doris says

      Sounds like your pooch may have yeast issues. You should get the vet to do a thyroid test maybe —also, a tablespoon of plain Greek style yogurt added to food once a day. My Peke was scratching quite a bit and had no fleas but since giving him the yogurt , it has stopped quite a bit. I also want to say to those that prepare their pet’s food, I have a recipe given to me years ago by my first vet—rice, ground beef, and cottage cheese. I usually mix a cooked hamburger patty (I grind myself from chuck roast) and cook a cup rice and add cup of cottage cheese when beef and rice has cooled down. I have never seen a dog that failed to gobble this up! You could use chicken , cooked , and turkey in place of beef. My Peke is tiny so he gets about 3/4 of a cup several times a week. Promotes firmer BM if you dog has loose stools.

      • Susan says

        Doris wouldn’t it stand to reason if your dog has loose stools constantly that he is not tolerating the commercial dog food? Why not just stop giving him the commercial food? Try a dollop of pureed pumpkin for loose stools.

        • Anonymous says

          Susan, you obviously read Doris’ comment wrong. Also, giving a dog pumpkin or sweet potato will encourage loose stools, veterinarians recommend this when a dog is constipated. Ingredients like these are fine in moderation to keep your dog regular.

          • Anonymous says

            Actually vets will also recommend pumpkin or a fiber bulk food for loose stools as well. It is beneficial for both loose stools and constipation. Sounds contradictory but true.

          • Michelle says

            Pumpkin will make a constipated dog have easier bowel movements and it helps form-up a runny bowel movement. I use pumpkin on a daily basis. If I forget, then, my large dog (with a very sensitive stomach) will have a runny stool. I mix the pumpkin with yogurt which helps reduce his stomach sensitivity.

          • laura says

            Pumpkin with a dash of turmeric daily helps a dog out in many ways. Google Turmeric for dogs. I rescue dogs and take in ones that need TLC, such as weight on or off, asthma, tumors etc. I give them a Tablespoon of Pumpkin twice a day with a sprinkle of turmeric on it. I have one dog a 10 year old pit, who stopped sounding asthmatic, lost weight , had 5 fatty tumors disappear. Her coat now shines and she is as energetic as a puppy

    • SWEAR BY IT says

      My dog is a pit and the things that have helped me are regular baths, grizzley salmon oil (twice the recommended dose *this is key!),Nutri-Pet Research Nupro Dog Supplement, regular ear cleanings and coconut oil on her dry patches.
      I also have spent TONS of cash on all of the fancy foods and such the vet tells you to try, I even tried the $80 a 12 lb bag ziggy’s diet. None of it worked. I started doing my own thing did lots of research and started making my own things.. food, treats, even SOAP, I give her baths weekly and coat her dry patched with coconut oil, the soap I make with white vinager, glycorin, dawn, and water. After that I put an oatmeal paste all over her body, this builds a guard from allergy penetration. I also soak her feet every day in water and Epson salt. If $$$$ diets have not worked it’s most likely an environment thing, and 90% of that gets to dogs through their feet. (I read all this and it has worked for me) I tried all the $$$ medications which did not work, I recently tried atopica and that was the worst solution yet. Again this is just my experience. Every dog is different. My advice is to try everything that you are comfortable with for a few weeks at least. Keep a journal of improvement or worsening so you can get a feel of what does and doesn’t work for your dog. I also feed my dog natural balance the rabbit formula but I am looking to switch to home made here shortly. Hope this helps

  46. Hailey says

    My dog is 12 years old, has no teeth, blind, and weighs 3 lbs. I’ve noticed with canned food he gets an upset stomach, so I started making him his own food. I suggest to other to google toxic foods and spices for dogs. I make him white rice, but sometimes brown because I always forget to buy white, fresh carrots, chicken or beef broth, ground beef or sometimes ill boil some chicken instead. And I use no spices or any seasoning, and always get the broth without sodium added.

  47. Todd says

    Our 7 yr old Westie has developed skin allergies to just about every dog food that we have tried. I have decided to try this home cooked one. Looking for suggestions.Please help!!

  48. Tim says

    I would avoid white rice as it is far more likely to raise the blood sugar level of your pet. This is problematic particularly if your dog is full blown diabetic or just borderline. Highly refined carbs like those found in white rice cause the blood sugar in your pet to spike. Such spikes have the same health implications for Fido as they do for humans. Brown rice is a great suggestion and far preferable to the white variety. Be aware that corn and potatoes can cause glucose spikes too, so use them sparingly if at all. Depending on what your vet recommends, I’d consider substituting legumes like peas and garbanzo beans for rice. Any fillers high in fiber will reduce the effects of carbohydrates on your pet. Be aware that adding too much has the potential for giving your pet an upset stomach.

    If you’re fortunate enough to live near a Trader Joe’s grocery, they sell a very inexpensive low sodium chicken broth. You can always make your own by roasting the unused carcasses of rotisserie chickens and throwing them into a stock pot. You’ll have more control on the amount of sodium and you can freeze what you don’t immediately use. I can’t stress enough for you to listen to the advice of your vet. Homemade pet food (while labor intensive) can be quite a bit cheaper to feed to Fido when compared to some of the more expensive prescription brands like Royal Canin e.g. It will depend on which protein source you choose. Be sure to check the close to expiration date section of your meat counter. I recently purchased 27 lbs of boneless/skinless chicken thighs at Sam’s Club for only $1.44 a pound. Make sure that you use safe cooking techniques when preparing food for your pet. Contrary to what a few posters have stated, dogs can and do get food poisoning. It’s just less likely to happen when compared to their human counterparts.

  49. Molly's Mom says

    I have an 95 lb lab mix diagnosed with congestive heart disease. I called Blue Buffalo to see what the sodium content of their dry food is and was surprised it seemed high. So on to making my own. I will however add a small amount of Blue Buffalos freedom for large dogs since it has the least amount of salt.

  50. Catherine says

    I’ve been cooking for my Bearded Collie since he was five months old – he’s 13 now. Home made dog food is cheaper in the long run when compared to vet bills to treat issues related to malnutrition, skin problems, tumours, pancreatitis etc. Regarding recipes, I have a few tips. I add cooked chicken liver/hearts/kidney to the cooked vegetable mix (some combination of sweet potato, mostly carrots, broccoli, green beans, spinach, parsley leaves, apple, peas) and puree it in a food processor. The amount of liver added is important, as the dog should get only tablespoon worth per meal to avoid loose stools. All in, this veg/orly mix makes up about one quarter of the meal. I alternate the carbs from brown or white rice, to oatmeal or quinoa, and limit the amount to one quarter of the meal. I make a variety of meats from chicken and turkey to lamb and beef, all cooked and finely chopped. I buy all the meat on sale to keep costs down. To almost every meal I add one or two things if available – half a boiled egg, a tablespoon of tuna or salmon or mackerel, a tablespoon of cottage cheese, minced fresh tomato slice, a tablespoon of plain yogurt, mashed kidney beans. I also provide store-bought kibble that is available to him 24/7, which he occasionally snacks on if still hungry – I use Holistic Blend which has absolutely no bad ingredients.
    Generally, I will make three weeks worth of meals at once and freeze them in used cottage cheese/sour cream/margarine containers for convenience.
    He’s 43 pounds and eats two cups of cooked food a day, split between breakfast and dinner.

    • velvetanne says

      Thanks. sounds reasonable and do-able after reading most of the posts. going to have to get organized to do this esp on my limited budget. 2 dogs and 3 cats – all senior. Animal care is a large portion of my monthly budget but well worth it. I have experienced catastrophic changes (divorce, unemployment/underemployment) in my budget/finances and desperately trying to reduce my monthly expenses for animals without scrimping on their health or well being. I will try this.

  51. John says

    We buy 20 a pound bag of rice with 5 pound large chicken breast package. Rice will last a few weeks and chicken goes weekly with two dogs. Also mix in whatever veggies we have around, especially when backyard gardens are in full swing. About $60 or less each month and our dogs gained energy and appear healthier in a short period of time. We fed them Iams before. I think you could go round and round regarding the benefits of raw food and organic vs. bagged dog food and what we are doing. Pretty much the same discussion in humans.. If the organic or raw diet is too expensive, try our lower cost approach – chicken with rice or oatmeal – purchase in large quantities. Cook up large batches. Add in the veggies too but no need to go overboard. Switch it up when turkey is on sale. Some would say we should be giving them a vitamin supplement too – I wouldn’t argue with them.

    • velvetanne says

      Thanks John. This sounds very reasonable and something I can do. Thanks for giving a ball park estimate on cost. I find I have been doing something similar – rice plus meat on sale plus veggies that are on sale or leftovers. My budget has drastically changed and constantly trying to find ways to stretch money but providing good food for my 2 dogs and 3 cats. thanks!

  52. Carol says

    My Schnoodle has bad gas lately. He’s always hungry. He is on Iams. He also has a skin condition, small scabs on his lower back. His treats are parsley treats. He loves fruit. My mother raised Pekingnese and fed them hamburg and rice. I wonder how nutritious store bought dog foods are. I might need to try something different. Any suggestions?

    • NicoleB says

      My dog recently had bad gas – it was very frequent, every 5 min for hours after feeding. I thought it was food and started making his food. I tried yogurt, probiotics, nothing helped. I ultimately took him to the vet where I learned he had a bacterial infection. I love making his food and have continued, but with a round of antibiotics the gas is gone. You might try a small amount of vinegar in the interim but you might need to seek medical attention.

  53. Jibbe says

    I’ve lost my job & we are looking for ways to cut back costs, we currently have (5) dogs (two are rescue dogs that we are fostering) we currently have been feeding them commercial dog food & want to switch to a homemade diet, I need help with serving sizes. (1) German Shepherd mix, not active & overweight, she weighs 110. (1) ASBT 80lbs (solid muscle) active, (1) Chihuahua 5.5lbs, active (1) Schnauzer/Airedale Terrier mix 33lbs, active, (1) Basenji mix 35-40lbs, active. Currently, we go through a 30lb bag of dog food in about a week & a half. I also need suggestions on home flea preventative with this many dogs we can’t afford the high-end flea meds that vets recommend & I don’t like the idea of putting toxins on the dogs. Also, I know dogs need meat in their diet but do they need it in every meal, it seems cooking meat in every meal would get expensive as well, any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • JCowdin says

      Hi Jibbe, I’m in a similar situation, 6 dogs of which 2 are fosters and I’m in a very tight budget. Diatomaceous earth is amazing! Non-toxic, natural and inexpensive. It is effective for fleas and ticks but also for worming and to treat for certain parasites. Amazing stuff that can be used to treat multiple issues. Best of luck

    • Amanda says

      Neomotodes are amazing if the flea issue is coming from outdoors/indoors.. I dont think they should be poured onto the dogs, but you can pour them into your yard or inside and they eat the fleas and other problematic bugs… when the fleas are all gone, they die. Google em!

  54. Susan says

    I just started cooking homemade for 2 dogs, a lab and a golden, both around 100# each. I’ve been feeding them a mixture of canned and NutriSource Chicken, which they liked at first but started going on a hunger strike a few days into it and the only way I could get the lab to eat the dry food was to stuff it in a king ball. So I started just cooking up a chub of ground turkey and mixing that with their canned food, which they enjoyed with gusto. Then last weekend I found an old book in my bookshelves called The Whole Pet Diet which reminded me that I used to cook for my dogs years ago. There are a few great recipes in the book for both dogs and cats.

    I’ve done like everyone else and smashed up or processed the food. They really enjoy it. One of the recipes calls for chopped garlic and kelp powder. So you really can feed garlic to your dogs. Tonight I added barley. The recipe calls for both barley and rolled oats. I’m not going to share the recipe here unless it is ok with the moderator. You’ll just have to google Spot’s Stew or The Whole Pet Diet.

    Also the author suggests brown rice only and not a lot. Large quantities of rice could have arsenic in it. No white rice. If you are dealing with diahrrea, try pureed pumpkin, its really good for your dog. I give my dogs a couple of tablespoons daily.

  55. Nancy says

    I have a 13 year old shitzpoo. She is about 20lbs. She has these sores on here that fester and bleed. They look like ingrown hair sores but uncertain. She also has awlfull bad breath and her teeth are bad. I have seen two vets and they won’t pull her teeth because of her age. I have her on BLUE SENIOR and have to wet it for her to eat in which she is not very excited about eating. I started with hamburg and brown rice and her kibble wet….yummy for her she loved it. Does anyone know if it is safe to have her teeth removed at such an advanced age? The sore she has are awfull!! Thank you for all your post great ideas on making her food.

    • Peggy says

      I had a really old chihuaha that had most of her teeth removed and her gums got tough enough that she could still chew hard kibble – so, not sure why the vet wouldn’t pull her teeth.

    • Ashley says

      My 16 yr old shihtzu just had teeth removed. No reason your vet shouldnt do it! My girl has a very bad heart murmur so they didnt want to put her under anesthesia, they used a local anesthesia and removed the teeth. She wasnt in pain and it was much lower risk.

    • Sylvie Oathout says

      U can always wet down the food to soften. I have an old Yorkie. She had teeth pulled
      She had a sore under her eye that would not heal but after that tooth was pulled the sore did heal. The vet said a dog will find a way to eat. Good luck

  56. Deb says

    My Dog, is a staffie Terrier, she is literally shredding herself around the Mouth..My Pug, does a “Dance” trying to chew her tail..I am at my wits end and feeling very helpless on how to help them..they are both older dogs and I can’t stand to see them suffer anymore..I have heard Chicken isn’;t good for Dogs, But maybe it will be better than the Gravy Train I give them now..Money is an issue, But I am going to try and make their food..We are Vegetarian and they gladly eat Veggies…I hope this works, I have thought the only way to end their suffering is to end them, But I am not capable of carrying that out, I also have a Male Staffie and a Pug mix, who are also itching..I am going to try this with my four Dogs..I hope it helps..Thanks for the recipe…

    • Link says

      It sounds like your dog has fleas or mange mites. I treat mange mites with topical ivermectin, it also kills heartworm microfilaria. Use imidacloprid for fleas. Apply topically and it lasts over a month.
      Each of these are cheap and effective. Buy them in bulk as generic cattle dip ivermectin or termidor termite killer and its only a couple pennies a dose. you have to cut it yourself and some breeds are susceptible to ivermectin- it’s rare but limited to specific breeds. Otherwise the safety margin is huge.

  57. Darby says

    Do you give your dogs any vitamins or supplements? If not I’d check with your vet to make sure this stuff is good for long-term use. On another note, great job on: making a tasty meal for your doggies :)

  58. Arlinda says

    My family is vegan…can my three small dogs eat tofu,veggies whole grains. I would put eggs and cottage cheese if needed. Would really like some healthy food. Please help…

    • Maria says

      I am sorry but I am not qualified to answer that. You really should consult your veterinarian and make sure that your pups wouldn’t be missing out on any nutrients if they follow that diet. Good luck!

    • amana says

      Vdog is a vegan dog kibble that isnt soy based.. AAFCO approved. Have tried it with my dogs and they did well on it. There are also vegan dogfood recipes on youtube.. Vegedog is a nutrient supplement that can be used in combination with a beans/rice/vege diet — but I wouldnt recommend tofu since soy can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs.

    • Andi says

      dogs need a meat/bone ratio of 1:1 to produce the proper Calcium:Phosphorus ratio. eggs, WITH THE SHELLS, have exactly this ratio. you can also find a Ca:P ratio chart for vegetables here:

      Vegies should be ground up, like in a blender or food processor, because dogs cant break down plant cell walls. Freezing ground up vegies also helps with this. This enables them to get the most nutrients from the vegies, otherwise, they can easily pass through undigested.

  59. 3dogs says

    Glad to see you are making fresh food for your dogs. I feed both prey model raw and homecooked. You have a good base, but organ meat is very important–especially liver. Add a little chicken/beef liver to this recipe. You really need to add calcium too. One suggestion for that is to add a half teaspoon of ground eggshell per one pound of meat.

    very long time until they are like mush–no longer brittle.

  60. Muriel says

    I’ve been making my dogs’ food for a couple of years now. I was using 2 lbs of ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish- whatever’s on sale) with 1 lb of mixed veggies and about 3 cups of brown rice- this makes 5 day’s worth for my lab cross. But recently I’ve read that brown rice has very high levels of arsenic and this seems like a bad idea if it’s the only grain she gets. The white rice has less, but my dog got constipated because of the lack of fiber. I know I can add pumpkin to the mix to add fiber, but I think I’d like to try barley or oats. Is there enough fiber in pearl barley (which has been polished like white rice), or should I get the barley or oats from the feed store?

  61. sarah says

    hi there just wanted to add that we make a similar recipe using chopped kangaroo meat which is SUPER cheap and my dogs love it.
    -I add the veggies towards the end of the rice cooking to preserve their vitamins.
    – I use arborio (risotto) rice and cook by absorption to save power (heat the rice and stock to boiling, put a lid on it and remove from heat. wait 15 minutes. Repeat with more stock until the rice is cooked.
    -the stock is not salted, just stuff I make week to week from the bones of the meat/fish/poultry I bought. There is always more than I can use stashed away in the freezer
    – some frozen veggies have onions, bad for dogs!
    -add garlic, dogs love it.
    I usually reserve the raw and cooked fat from day to day cooking, eg trimming raw chicken of skin and fat, dripping from the roasting pans, olive oil that’s been used for frying fish and use that to cook the meat because kangaroo has too little fat on its own.
    sometimes I pop a little surprise in the rice ball, like a whole sardine or a bit of leftover bbq. = happy doggie.

    • Maria says

      Kangaroo? When I saw that I knew you had to be from Australia :) Never knew it was even commercially sold. Guess you learn something new every day!

  62. laurel says

    I used pork neck bones .99 a pound boiled them and cleaned the meat off then using the broth as. Two cups with three cups water……will this be to fatty using the broth from the cooking of the pork neck bones…..its diluted with the water i think it should give it good flavor…….but dont want dogs with diarea

  63. Harmonious1 says

    I tried to read all the comments, I really did. I see this same argument at almost every site where someone mentions how they are feeding their dog. The nitty gritty (in my opinion) is you can give your money to the grocery store or you can give it to the vet, and have sick, smelly dogs. I feed raw chicken (with the bones still safely ensconced inside the meat), and I’m not stupid enough to give them meat that stinks (although they would love it even more). I take it back to the store and get my money back if I would be afraid to eat it myself. In the twenty some odd years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had a sick dog from the food. We hardly ever have to see the vet. My dogs grow old and die form old age. (Still so sad.) No fleas, no ticks, no allergies and hot spots, no smelly dogs with brown teeth. They shed annually, and they smell like dirty socks because they are outside a lot. But they are healthy and happy and I love em. They occasionally get a piece of bread or a cold biscuit or a baked sweet potato if I’m feeling super indulgent.
    When you first put an older dog on this diet, they go through a lot of changes. They get a completely new coat, their teeth turn white, and they detox all the crap they’ve been eating for all the years they’ve been fed dog food. This can be a rough period because they also have to learn how to safely eat meat with bones and their immune systems and stomachs need time to start working properly again. So you have to go slow and be patient. There will be vomit. Some dogs, you have to hold the meat in your hand until they understand to crunch it and not swallow it whole.
    We all can do whatever we think is best for our own dogs and our own pocket books. It doesn’t make anyone a bad person if they don’t feed the way we feed.
    Just one thing though… Don’t listen to the dog food ads, though. They all lie, and all they care about is their bottom line.

    • Christopher says

      I simply cannot believe there is anyone so ignorant today as to believe the world is only 6000 years old! If you care enough about your dogs to look for a proper nutritionally complete diet for them, then you should care enough about them to recognize that their genetic history (which deeply influences what they should eat) is derived over many thousands of years more than 6000!

  64. says

    And the battle continues.
    I fed my dogs raw for several months, both slimmed down, had really shiny coats and plenty of energy. Then we had necessary budget cuts. So now they get kibble with something added like yogurt, leftover meat, stew, soups, eggs, whatever.
    This is a decent starter recipe. I would add more protein and ditch the brown rice as it’s harder to digest (Jasmine rice is just as healthy). This recipe is also low on necessary fat. I give my old dogs a piece of fried bacon, peanut butter in a Kong, etc, for treats. Even the fat from chicken is a good fat for dogs. Do your own research, decide what is best for you and your pooch.

  65. Wanda says

    For my little 28 lb schnoodle I’ve decided to make her food because the vet said she was a “big” girl. Plus I read the ingredients in kibbles and realized so much corn added.
    She loves cooked broccoli so for a fast meal I add a portion to dry dog food. For homemade I will cook moose or caribou burger ( hunters in the fam). I cook 1/3 cup each of quinoa, brown rice, and steel cut oats. And add cooked broccoli and 2Tbs of chia seeds soaked in water. I substitute salmon (fishers in the family too). I cook it and remove the bones, but use the skin . I also use chicken if i have left overs. As far as ratios, I use less of the grain, but plenty of broccoli and meat. I keep the meat separate and add to grains before dishing it out. She doesn’t much for dry dog food any longer . Add the broccoli and shell eat it. She hasn’t lost weight yet but have decided to for her size to give her 3/4 cup for breakfast and dinner. We’ ll see.

  66. says

    I have had labs for the past 25years. My first was diagnosed with pancreas and liver issues so serious I was advised to put her down. I switched to cooking all her food, mostly boiled chicken w/ rice (white) and frozen mixed veggies pureed in the blender. I gave her doggie vitamins and would vary the recipe with cooked eggs, yogurt, brewers yeast, and cottage cheese. I had done some research and this mixture, with some variations worked well for her. She was 10when I started and
    lived another 3GOOD years. Now I am starting again with my current 13 year old lab. She has suddenly slowed down dramatically. I wanted to use brown rice, but
    am concerned about the reports of arsenic.

  67. AAA says

    Another super way to save money is to either find a meat packer during deer season and let him know you want a whole deer ground, or you can even order whole or half carcasses of pork or beef and have it cut any way you want. There are usually hunters who want to kill their limit but dont have an outlet for all the meat. You can even request the bones be saved for raw or cooked for broth, whatever you do. Deer is definitely the cheapest way to go, and talk about free range, grass fed, organic meat. It is the ultimate. Plus you get it in perfectly proportioned and frozen packages. We just had one of our older sheep done, and now i have about pounds of mutton…processing cost, 40 dollars. Beef and pork are about 50 cents a pound to process and package…around here, anyway.

  68. Missie says

    For those of you who want to figure if homemade is cheaper than commercial you MUST figure in your time as well. Overhead also figures into the cost of a bag of dog food. (Manufacturing costs such as electricity, machinery, rent/mortgage on factory, insurance & payroll for employees, taxes, insurance on facilities, maintenance and replacement of machinery, shipping to distributor, distributor shipping to each store, etc.). And even though you are paying these costs when you buy ingredients for the homemade food, it will probably be cheaper in the long run. Besides, you can also eat (just not the same recipe) the ingredients yourself.

    • Rhonda says

      Why? Why MUST I factor in my time? It’s my time. It costs ME exactly nothing to cook for my dog if I choose, in terms of expenses due to time spent. Yes, it will cost in ingredients, electricity, etc. but my time is my own, and if I choose to use that time to cook for a pet or for my family, or for both combined, that is my choice. Not sure if it pencils out to be cheaper with the cost of vegetables and even starches in Alaska, where I live, but I know what’s in there this way.

  69. cynthia says

    RE: rice for dogs– there are high levels of arsenic in US grown white rice, unless you know for sure it is California organic. But even US organic white rice is still higher than Thailand organic, and some other non-US organic sources. Check the recent Consumer’s Reports article….pesticides used on cotton crops got into the soil, and now the FDA recommends (human) babies only get rice cereal a few times a week instead of daily! Rice milk from the US has high levels, too. Brown rice is definitely higher than white, so between the arsenic issues & digestability, no brown rice for my dogs! So now I am using potato (white & sweet) and kernal corn– my pups haven’t had the superfine, ground corn in commercial kibble, so the allergy problem is minimized. Also, ANY allergenic food ground too fine can cause an allergy, by getting into the bloodstream where antigens react to it. So when food processing, don’t go too ground up!

  70. Linda says

    when making the homemade dog food. How much does it cost per inregards to the store bought brands? Are we saving money when making our own?


    • Anonymous says

      I have 2 small dogs and make their food – basic recipe costs 3.30 for 1 lb ground turkey, 80 cents for 1 lb mixed frozen veggies, 50 cents for 1 c brn rice. I use a mixture of low sodium chicken broth 99 cents and water. This makes about 2 weeks of food, 4 oz each per day- compared to the canned cost of $2.00 per day, – homemade is about 47 cents per day

  71. bonnie says

    This is similar to my recipe at home. But with the three large dogs, they enjoy home-made broths, left over fats, pre-cooked left over veggies and raw meat and bones as much as possible. To add oatmeal in with the rice.

    I tire of fixing their food. So, every now and then I will buy a bag of dog food to take a break and only feed them some scraps. When I set the dog food out they provide a look as if saying, “Are you kidding me?”

    I find ensuring the protein helps stabilize the bulky carbohydrates. The protein, as in humans, in correct proportions negates the sugar peak by making my dogs more aggressive and active. As most of you know, being physically active helps regulate blood sugar. These are not indoor dogs. In fact, their reaction to meat is really annoying, but it’s good for them.

    And their coats…. beautiful (from the meat and fats).

  72. says

    Protein and Carbohydrates are essential nutrients for dogs to be healthy and active. They can get this from rice, vegetables and meat. The key to feeding your dog is to achieve a balanced diet. You need to be more creative in preparing for their food in order to stress out variety so they don’t get used to it. When it comes to budget, you will save more in cooking your dog food if you know the ingredients that are necessary and you know where to buy them in a cheaper price.

  73. Anonymous says

    UCDavis University web site tells lots about making your own dog food. They do studies and out of 200 homemade dog food recipes, only 6 were acceptable. Some recipes were from vets. They will not give the recipes because different dogs need different recipes. The problem with lots of recipes are the dogs are not getting the vitamins and stuff they need that commercial dog foods are required to put into their food. I will use both homemade and commercial food until I get this all figured out.

  74. Galtha58 says

    For gosh sake to NOT feed your dog raw pork. Could end up with a BAD problem doing that. I suspect that dogs have been eating cooked meat about as long as humans have been cooking it. Dogs evolved as our pets. Wolves did not, for the most part. So I suspect that a dog’s nutritional requirements are closer to what we eat that what wolves eat. That is my theory anyway. Based on what I know and common sense.

  75. Amy Shakalis says

    I have seen dogs that were fed a raw diet. They looked horrid. Coats were dull and lackluster, not to mention the real threat of bacteria. I have made my own dog food and my dog loves it…his stools are firm, his coat shines, and he is full of energy. Basic ingredients are: a pound of hamburger, boiled to get the fat and germs out, A cup of whole grain oats(cooked) 1 raw apple, 1 cooked sweet potato, a couple tablespoons of olive and coconut oil, and 1 cup of peas….cooked with the oats. I Do supplement with small amounts of high quality dry dog food. This pretty much meets all his requirements and the proof is in the dog. Duke is 10 yrs old and he looks amazing.

  76. Bibi says

    Would try your recipe but it lacks amount to feed per size of dog guidelines.
    I have a 65 and a 20 pound dog and I want to feed each of them properly.
    Got some guidelines?

  77. Heidi says

    I am excited to try this recipe, but I am a little confused on how you prepared it. Did you boil the rice in broth with the vegetables and beef? Would you be able to add step by step instructions? :)

    • Maria says

      I don’t see why not, other than it might be a bit pricier in the end. But if this is more convenient for you,it should be fine. Just check to see that the canned chicken doesn’t have a lot of salt or preservatives …

  78. KelliN says

    It seems people do not take into consideration that cancer and tumors are now the leading cause of death to our dogs. After losing my own to two massive tumors and re-evaluating everything, I quickly learned that the flea treatments that get applied directly to the dog are highly toxic. They do not help the dog or his immune system, no surprise since the toxins must go into the blood before it helps destroy the flea. Two add to that the fact that cancers feed on sugars and carbs, then it makes sense to be careful how much you are adding to the dogs food. Dogs’ are not set up to digest grains, as they have slow digestive systems which digest meats over many hours, so things like grains and corn are not in the best interest for the dog. There are many options for feeding your dog more nutritious food than what is available at your grocery store. There are also non-toxic flea treatments that are highly effective at killing fleas and repelling them from your dog. To keep your dog healthier and give them a longer life, I highly recommend people consider these before taking the easy, more “convenient” route and paying later in veterinary bills and heartache. I am very happy I have chosen to do so.

  79. Joe says

    My 9 year old Jack Russell has been refusing to eat for many days. We have tried dry food, canned food and a mixture of both. He refused to eat. I found this recipe this morning and went shopping. He literally wolfed a 1/2 cup serving down instantly. Thank you!

  80. Sophie van Coller says

    I find your blog quite interesting. I have aFoxterrier and a smal mixed breed dog, and I found hat they do prefer homemade food above commercial food. I will really try some of your recipes. Thankyoiu.

    • catherine says

      I saw that someone is using turkey to make dog food. Turkey can be fatal to pets its causes pancreatic problems. Can can be deadly. People research foods before assuming that its OK for your pets. I know someone is going to say there is turkey products for pets but these are process and have by products not knowing how much is really turkey or turkey flavoring. I know someone who dog almost died eating a few pieces of white turkey meat. Thought I would share this information if it could save a pet.

      • Maria says

        Thank you for the heads up. I think the safest thing to do is always consult your vet before trying out a new diet for your pet! Better be safe than sorry

      • Walkp says

        Cpl thoughs: I certainly hope those searching for alternative methods for their beloved pets Totally disregard any comments from the idiot posting as ” Anonymous.” to simply disrupt your blog. I enjoy the comments from real mothers who speak of everyday issues
        I am grateful to run upon this site. KEEP helping each other!

        • Marci Loehner says

          Thank you so much! That truly means a lot to us at The Frugal Find. We strive to bring trustworthy content to our readers! Have a great week!

    • Anonymous says

      Actually dogs even the iconic wolf are omnivorous, hence the need for fruit and vegetable in their diet.

      • Anonymous says

        No, they are carnivores. Even carnivores require fruits and veggies, but they, in the wild, obtain the nutrients by the stomach contents of their prey. Dogs lack the digestive processes to break done plant matter like us omnivores. This is why the veggies must be pureed, else the dog’s system won’t absorb the nutrients.

        Source: basic bio classes you should have paid aattention in.

  81. Linda says

    Hey, thanks for your recipe. I applaud your foray into making your dog’s food; I’m doing the same thing, cause I don’t trust store bought anymore.

    Unfortunately, your recipe lacks many essential nutrients your beloved companions need to remain healthy. Commercial pet foods are formulated to provide adequate nutrients, but homemade dog food must contain a protein source, a carbohydrate source, sufficient vitamins and minerals, and some fat. Recipes need to add oil, calcium, vit. D, E, iodine, plant oils if your not using dark meat of chicken and other stuff.

    A good site I found was:

    I also found a veterinary food supplement recommended by Vet schools (UC Davis, Ohio State University, and others) for Balance It. At 50$ for a pound, Balance It is a bit pricey for me now so I’m going to purchase my last bag of dog food and do full research on making my dog food.

    Thanks for your recipe.

    • Anonymous says

      Yes, this diet is unfortunately very deficient in many required nutrients (most concerning being calcium and phosphorus in a growing puppy), and in calories required to meet the dogs’ needs. I would suggest consulting with your vet to make it more balanced if you are interested in feeding a homemade diet. I would be interested in hearing how these dogs are fairing after being on this food for a year.

      I think it is important to encourage anyone who wants to feed a homemade diet to work with their vet to create a balanced diet. Animals that are fed incorrectly (especially growing animals) can have severe health consequences if fed incorrectly (neurological problems, lameness and fractures, death, etc.).

      • Erica says

        YES! My dad’s dog developed cushing’s disease after being fed a carrot & chicken based homemade food. Too much protein and/or not in the right nutritional balance can lead to cushing’s disease or other health issues.

        On the upside, since so many commercial dog foods are so crammed full of GMOs & other toxic additives, maybe it is a wash because the pet is most likely going to get sick continuing to use that food too so might as well feed them what you feel is best with what you can control?! It really sucks that we are forced into either spending more than our own food to feed our pets healthy food, or we have to feed them commercial food… no middle line it seems.

  82. david says

    I’ve been making my Queensland Blue Heeler’s food scratch because i lost my job and commercial food was too expensive. Since then I’ve noticed how much happier and healthier he seems. But he also seems much hungrier. I don’t know if it’s because it tastes so good or if he is missing something. Any ideas?
    I’m starting with a whole turkey including organ meats. I fill a roasting pan with water and cook as i would for myself. (no seasoning) i then separate the wings, thigh and legs and separate the breast from the back and cook some more. (to get in there real good). I let it cool and then grind the entire thing, bones, meat, skin, cartilage, gristle and organs along with some carrots, oregano and Shallots from my organic garden. I add more water to top it off and 1 cup of freshly rendered pig fat. This is a 5 gallon pan full.
    I put it in the fridge to cool and congealed. I mix 6 cups of this with 3 cups local organic rice cooked with either fresh turnip greens or cabbage from my garden. He will eat 4 cups of this mix for dinner. (he eatsoncea day) and he still wants more. Is he being greedy? Is he missing some vital nutrient?
    I do not want his nutrition to go down hill. In all honesty his food is so good I’ve eaten it. Is anything wrong with this diet? Thanks in advance for any advice in this matter as i love him very much .

    • Maria says

      Hi, David! You pup sounds like a lucky dog to have an owner that cares so much about him :) I hesitate to give you an opinion about the safety/nutritional value of the dog food you are preparing because I am not a vet and would hate to give you wrong information. However I have read that shallots and any plant related (onions, garlic, leeks, etc.) are dangerous to dogs because over the course of time they can cause anemia so I would for sure skip those from your recipe. I would consult your vet to make sure your pup is getting adequate nutrients with this diet. Good luck!

        • Maria says

          Everything I’ve read points to garlic being toxic to dogs. I guess the best thing would be to double check with your vet before giving it to your pooch!

          • Anonymous says

            Raw garlic is bad for dogs, but as long as it’s cooked and not given every day you’re totally fine.

          • Zanetta Smith says

            Onions AND garlic are very toxic to dogs! I don’t give a crap what this anonymous dude is saying! Size of dogs and amounts vary, but it is much safer to just not feed them at all! If you are so informed, then why aren’t you making yourself known? Oh and just to let you know sir/lady…my dogs digest almost all fruits and veggies. Though there are some that should be avoided. Yes, dogs ARE omnivores!

            My only concern about the recipe above, is the organ meat. Dog should not eat too much, especially liver. It can cause liver stones.

            And here’s a list of veggies that shouldn’t be fed…




            green peppers


            potatoes (white)

            onions (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.)

            chives (toxic to dogs and cats)


            Swiss chard

            Dangerous with explanation…

            Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill a dog

            Onions: Onions destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia. Sometimes requires blood transfusions!!!!

            Chocolate: Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous. A dog can consume milk chocolate and appear to be fine because it is not as concentrated, but it is still dangerous.

            Coffee, Coffee grounds, tea and tea bags: Drinks/foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes

            Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis.

            Animal fat and fried foods: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.

            Bones: Bones can splinter and damage a dog’s internal organs.

            Tomatoes: Tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants and the most toxic, but tomatoes themselves are also unsafe.

            Avocados: The fruit, pit and plant are all toxic. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart

            Nutmeg: Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and death

            Apples (can be fed without core), Cherries, Peaches and similar fruit: The seeds of these fruits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs as well as humans. Unlike humans, dogs do not know to stop eating at the core/pit and easily ingest them.

            Raw eggs: Raw eggs can cause salmonella poisoning in dogs. Dogs have a shorter digestive tract than humans and are not as likely to suffer from food poisoning, but it is still possible.

            Salt: Excessive salt intake can cause kidney problems.

          • Maria says

            Thanks for this comprehensive list! It really is tricky to know what to give/not give. When in doubt I always think that checking with your vet is the best thing to do

    • Anonymous says

      Hi David. Shallots are no good for dogs. I’m quite suprised he has not had any problems due to them yet. Also poultry bones are VERY bad for dogs. Turkey is great but you NEED to remove the bones before you mix. Pork bone is also bad for dogs. Please do some research about what not to feed your dog. The last thing you want is something happening to your pet.

      • anonymous says

        Poultry bones are actually really good for your dogs as there is lots of calcium in them. I usually give my dog frozen chicken necks and never had a problem!

      • Muttman says

        I know this is a late comment but PLEASE do not give your dogs poultry bones. When chewed and broken apart, the bones splinter, sticking in your dogs throat, mouth, and throughout his body. This is why you never see poultry bones for sale at pet stores. Cooked or uncooked, keep away from them.

        • anonynous 2 says

          David runs the cooked bones through a grinder. The only hazzard in feeding cooked bones is splintering. Other wise they are a highly nutritious food source supplyng minerals, marrow, and other essential nutrients. I also grind well cooked bones and other poultry carcass parts and my dogs are doing well.

        • Kerri says

          Raw meaty bones like chicken necks are very healthy for dogs and will not splinter if raw. Never give cooked bones unless ground up but raw meaty bones are great and vet recommended.

          • Marci Loehner says

            Kerri you are correct. We have been feeding out Dutch Shepherd half raw, half kibble for the past two weeks. A lot of protection dog trainers feed 100% raw and give kibble as a reward. These are gentlemen who have been doing it for over 50 years so I’ll trust what they have to say!

  83. Anonymous says

    Not sure if this has been addressed already but avoid giving your dogs too much liver. In large amounts, it can cause vitamin A toxicity. Also onions and garlic can cause anemia in dogs, even in small amounts though a very small amount of garlic may be benificial. It’s best to consult the ingrediants with your vet or look up whether or not the dog can have each ingrediant before putting it in the food. Just some helpful tips! :-) also dogs and wolves are in fact not carnivores they are omnivores, meaning they need a blend of vegetables and meats for proper nutrition and digestion. Cats however are carnivores, and can not survive on a vegetarian.

  84. Anonymous says

    I have 2 dogs, both of them have become allergic to hard dog food. One was throwing up all the time and the other was itching and licking herself to death. My vet told me to make my own food for my dogs and see if it stops and it did. After researching what kibble was actually made from, I cant believe they are still in business. I have also tried the expensive ” natural” dog foods and they still had the same reactions so I am sticking to making them their own dog food.

  85. Charlu says

    I have been cooking my rescue dogs food due to their allergies and my dislike for the “by products and meal” used in commercial foods for years now, and find some of these comments extremely helpful, while others extremely harmful. To compare even on a minute scale a dogs digestive system to that of 50 years ago, let alone hundreds is absurd and leaves others subject to what could be deadly to their pets is sad.

    Wild dogs, wolves, large and small cats that lived years ago and those that live in environments today such as parts of Australia, Africa, and numerous other countries that man has not destroyed or almost destroyed due to the dumping of chemical wastes, the use of other chemical and toxic products for production of our “meat production” had the opportunity to eat whatever portion of the animal they killed and leave the rest. If you watch a wild or starving dog kill an animal once the kill is completed and they begin to feed they go for the stomach. Why? Because it is where most of the animals they have killed organs (intestines and stomach) are located that have already processed the grain and vegetables they are craving. They then begin to eat the meat off the bone, etc. What you see in the wild is the remaining bones of carcasses the animals didn’t eat

    I do give my dog bones to chew on but they are large round beef bones, (that are trimmings my butcher saves me for free/ probably because I buy 40 lb boxes of chicken from him $25) for that I cook just enough to kill any bacteria and they can still get the nutrients from the bone marrow in the center which does not splinter and is totally digestible which doesn’t leave the opportunity for GI cuts or tears which could lead to surgery or death. It also keeps them busy and gives a great treat. I also get gizzards and livers from him cheap but not to much because it could cause toxicity. Just look at the amount of organ meats in an animal compared to the rest (it’s not rocket science)

    Thanks for the article I got some great ideas for varieties

  86. Jess says

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I tweaked it a bit. I just browned the meat, added the rice, food processed steamed veggies (frozen pees, carrots, squash, and green beans about 5 oz of each). My dog loved it!! I also added a supplement for hip, joint, and coat called The Missing Link. I meant to buy fish oil for her omega 3, but I read that Chia seeds can be given to dogs. Has anyone also heard this or done this? I was going to add these to her next batch. They are great for a lot of reasons but I read that they have 5X more calcium than milk, 7X more vit C than oranges, 3X more iron than spinach, 2X more potassium content than bananas, 8X more omega 3 than salmon! . . I’m also wondering why you add the water to the recipe? I didn’t put water in mine.

    • Maria says

      Glad you liked this recipe,Jess. I am guessing your tweaks made the recipe a bit more moist than the original one. I would add water as needed, and if you feel you don’t, that perfectly ok. I have also been intrigued by Chia Seeds. I use them myself, but had not considered them for dogs. I’m happy to hear that they are OK for pups! Will definitely keep that in mind.

  87. Courtney says

    I have a SUPER picky Springer Spaniel who I swear does not like to eat and has a severe milk allergy. He was on a cup of dry food and 1/2 cup of Pedigree wet food just to get him to eat. Just recently he decided that was no longer good enough and would stick his nose up and refuse to eat. I was doing anything to get to him to eat his food. I was adding apple sauce, ham, homemade chicken jerky treats, chicken broth, literally everything but the kitchen sink and milk products of course. A friend suggested homemade dog food. I began to search the internet and almost immediately found this recipe. I made it today for him and he was EXCITED to eat and kept hopping up on the counter to see what I was doing and to smell it (they are notorious counter surfers). He ate every single piece of food as soon as I put it down. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! If you have a picky eater this is definitely the recipe for you!

  88. Brian Dews says

    My 6 year old Pomeranian loves this recipe and has been eating this for a few months. Thanks for sharing it! My comment is to ensure that you add a nutritional supplement either to the food while it is cooking, or portion out and mixed into the serving. For a 10lb dog, i portion out 1/2c services and feed him 2 per day, with a 1/4 tsp of vitamin & mineral supplement. I found this brand at Whole Foods called “I and Love and You”, called “Super Power Powder” that has all they need. It also does not leave an adverse flavor. Good stuff, good ingredients.

  89. Karley says

    My dog has been having tummy problems. I took him to the Vet for a check up and the Vet suggested I half his dry food and offer chicken and brown rice. He usually only has dry food, because he farts and pukes with wet food. So I cooked up your recipe with chicken. I pureed 2/3 of it and mixed it with the left over 1/3. He is an English Staffy and it made 4 staffy sized serves (measured around 350g per serve, which is about a small dog food can). He LOVES it!

    I also walked in on one of my sons having a spoonful. “Mmmmm, this is the best dog food I’ve ever tasted”.

    I really hope he wasn’t comparing that with some other dog food he may have consumed.

  90. Billie says

    Some friends of mine gave their dog a tsp. of garlic a day mixed with his food. The dog had long bushy hair. Their vet is the one that told them do this. It keeps fleas off a dog. The dog lived 15 years, never had fleas.

  91. carolyn says

    I’ll bet my little shitzshu girl would love this! I like the idea of “balling” them up and freezing them. I cant wait to start cooking for her. And maybe she’ll finally be anxious eat her own food instead of going after the cat’s!
    One thing-I’ve read that raw veggies are best. Would you suggest perhaps adding those in last so they stay raw or cooking them with everything else?

    • Maria says

      Carolyn, I think you bring up a a good point! It sounds like a great idea to add the veggies towards the end of the cooking process so that they retain some of their consistency and don’t lose all their nutrients. They won’t be raw, but neither will they be over-cooked. My sister’s Jack Russel loves mini-carrots so that’s how she sneaks in her pup’s veggies every day!

  92. Tami says

    My son just adopted a Whippet puppy (6 or 7 months old). We were told he has a wheat allergy. He bought “Grain Free” dog food, as we were told he was eating that brand. We have not noticed an improvement of his condition as of yet (missing hair) He also makes some homemade food. I am looking for recipes that do not include wheat or oats. It seems that most Treat recipes call for oat’s & or wheat flour!! This has me totally stumped. Also I thought that rice was a grain, but a lot of the commercial dog foods have Brown Rice! Someone please HELP. I want to make sure that his puppy gets proper nutrition food & treat wise. I would not mind making his food or treats, if I have proper recipes to use..

    • Maria says

      Tami, I wonder if your pup has other allergies besides wheat. I have struggled with my German Shepherd (Cody) who is constantly scratching. After a visit with a Vet who specializes in allergies, he recommended getting dog food that’s made from Kangaroo and Oats (Iams KO ~ you can get it online but it requires a prescription). It seems that dogs can become allergic to many everyday foods like chicken, fish, rice, etc. However, Cody continued to scratch despite the change in his diet and so we had him tested for other allergens. It turns out that he’s allergic to dust mites, pine trees and a bunch of other things in the environment. So now he takes daily allergy medication (but the dose for dogs is different than for humans). He is also taking daily immunotherapy drops that were developed specifically to treat his allergies. Needless to say, this has been quite a journey! I don’t know if you have access to a Canine Allergy Specialist but if your pup is highly allergic, you might want to go that route. I’m afraid it’s going to be more complicated than what you hoped for. Best of luck to you! I hope you can find some answers

  93. Joni DeVaul says

    I have a Chorkie and she is rescued. Who ever had her before I did surely gave her people food because she definitely knows what is dog food and what is people food. She hates all kinds and brands of dog food. I even tried the natural foods they keep in the little refridgerators at the store and she wouldn’t eat that either. So I was looking the internet for some kind of home- made dog food I could fix for her and came upon your recipe! Decided I was going to make some up tonight. So I did. While I was putting it away in the cup size servings, she came in and was smelling and smelling around. I had a little bit left over that was not big enough to put away, and filled up about half of her little bowl, which is about cup size, maybe a little more. And LO and behold she chomped it all up. She seemed satisfied because she had eaten some left over steak earlier. She seemed to really like it. I am anxious to see how she does with it tomorrow. I did add some eggs and shells to the mixture and a little canola oil and pureed it. Wow if she likes this and will eat it, it is a miracle. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

    • Marci Loehner says

      Hi Joni!

      Did you end up feeding your Chorkie the dog food this week? I love hearing feedback from readers who are trying our recipes!

  94. says

    We add 1 tbsp of garlic powder ( not salt) 1 tbsp of bone meal supplement ( Now from ebay 12.00 for bottle ) and put 1 tbsp of non fat cottage cheese to top . The dogs go wild for this ! Sometimes we add 1/4 cup of expensive natural dry kibble to it …for the big male dog. We have a dog with pancreatitis so we strain the ground the turkey to remove fat. Tupperware has great tool to cook turkey and strain fat all at once in microwave….we use brown rice ( not microwaved )

  95. Jill says

    Well, I was a bit worried that my maltese-poodle mix wouldn’t like the mixture because he hasn’t been feeling hungry lately. I was surprised to see it was a big success. I should have timed him but, the food was gone in just under 30 seconds – I bet. I used the steamed veggies you buy at Walmart and double checked to see if doggies can eat/ process carrots, califlower and broccoli – it seems they can. Maverick (my doggie) was super happy after he had his delicious meal! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  96. Jodi says

    I have 3 dogs, one of them has Diabetes so I have been making them home made food. This is one recipe that they love (minus the broth).

  97. Carrie Orick says

    I have read quite a few comments on this thread. I have come to the conclusion that if you have the means to do homemade meals for your dog that is wonderful. I was only reading this thread to see what I could do for my dog since I have ran out of dog food. (Purina brand-Beneficial as for this last bag.) I looked at the ingredients. A lot of corn filler with of course the geains and “necessary vitamins”. I also saw blueberries, spinach, and the sugars. Not a very good listing compared to what I have read on here.
    I have enjoyed reading a lot of these comments. I have learned quite a lot on reading the pros and cons of making the home made dog foods shared here. I am wondering if my dog (English Mastiff/Shar pei mix) is not suffering from food allegies as well. I have a family of 8 with one at Ft. Hood.

    Hershey, the dog, who is a brindle color, has skin problems and is very itchy all the time. I have read where organic coconut oil is real good for aniamals and can have up to two or three tablespoons a day. I have tried this and put it in his dog food. He loves it. He will lick it right off the rag we usemto wipe him down in when we apply it o his coat and skin. It has done wonders and I can tell when I run low and run out of it that does make a difference. So, I am surprised that it is not mentioned. Now grant it, there are a lot of comments on here I have not read, so forgive me, if it has been mentioned. I have a friend who is using it on her aged dog and has seen improvement. Just a suggestion for those who wish to add it to their dogs diet. Well, I have some gound turkey meat out and unsalted green beans and some white potatoes I need to mix together. And maybe those blueberries in my freezer. Until I do some more research, I will have to decide what I am able to do for Hershey. I want to do right by him nutritionally as I do with my family-7yrs. old 19 at home. Sometimes it gets hard and not everyone can do what the want to do to take care of the pet at home. I get that. However, when we can, it’s best to do the best we can.

    • maria says

      Thank you, Carrie! I never expected to get so much interaction from this recipe and I am thrilled beyond words that so many people have added their suggestions, shared their experiences, etc. I appreciate you bringing up the use of coconut oil. I don’t believe it has been mentioned before so I am glad you did. I have just recently started adding coconut oil to my German shepherd’s diet, but I have used the pill form. Based on your suggestion, I will go ahead and try the raw version. My GSD Cody has severe allergies and his vet at one point recommended feeding him Kangaroo kibble! (IAMs makes one). It has to do with feeding him a protein that he wouldn’t have encountered or been exposed to previously.
      Unfortunately Cody’s allergies seem to be environmental and not food related so we are going a different route now. It’s neat to see how many people will do anything to keep their pups happy and healthy! I love that I have so many readers who adore their dogs :)

  98. Carrie says

    This is a great recipe. I made it yesterday for my two Chihuahua x Jack Russell dogs & to say it was a hit is an under statement.

    I switched the beef for lamb mince & added low sodium chicken broth & they have gobbbbbled it down every meal so far.

    Thank you :)))
    Ps: I studied in Boulder, CO on a year abroad. What an amazing place.

    • maria says

      Thank you Carrie for your recipe version! Lamb … yum, I can see why your pups gobbled this :) Boulder is really an amazing spot, isn’t it? I feel lucky to call it home

  99. I heart dogs says

    Will try this recipe. I own a miniature fox terrier crossed between a chihuahua. She is so kind hearted, and will give anything to cuddle! When I got her, her neck started getting some odd rashes, so we later realised it was her collar! She doesn’t wear a collar now, but has a microchip instead. I also find that one small handful of My Dog dry food a day is great on her teeth and gums. A large handful is best for large dogs, such as Labradors. She absolutely loves My Dog dry food. I give it to her in the morning, then give her leftovers from my dinner (healthy, if you ate chicken, don’t give her bones! Give her cartilage and pick the bones clean of excess meat. Also, refrain from giving her onions, grapes, fatty foods, raisins, garlic, or mushrooms. These are extremely TOXIC to dogs).
    Take care! ^_^

    • maria says

      I hope your pup loves this recipe. Yes, thanks for the reminder about foods that are toxic to dogs. I was at the vet the other day and a doggie came in and needed to have his stomach pumped because he got into a bag full of grapes! So dangerous

    • maria says

      Hi, Abbey. I just found this info on the pet poison website: “Avocado contains a toxin called persin, but despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor likely to cats. Only certain species are poisoned by persin. While dogs and cats don’t seem to be affected by persin, avocado poisoning can be deadly to birds and large animals (such as cattle). The bigger risk to dogs and cats is a foreign body obstruction, which can occur if the dog swallowed the whole large, round avocado seed; due to size alone, this seed can get stuck in the esophagus, stomach or intestinal tract of dogs.”
      In any event, probably better to be on the safe side and avoid it altogether!Thanks for reaching out :)


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