How To Make Dog Food
Today I’m showing you how to make dog food. Now, hear me out, I have had several bags, cans, and packets of dog food recalled over the years. As I remember it was for Ecoli, Salmonella, Listeria, or whatever, right? My puppy, Bailey is now 19 months old. She is happy, healthy, and loves her homemade dog food.
My sister, Carol, has two dogs and she started making her own dog food as well. I’ve been doing it subconsciously because I quit buying dog food a few months ago. Bailey eats cooked meat, chopped vegetables, and limited fruits. Please check with your Veterinarian before you make a change with your pet’s food. This works for me and saves me money at the same time.
A few months ago, I wrote a post on 11 Human Foods Dogs Should Never Eat. Then I decided to put together some ideas for dog food. I’m not sure it would be cost-effective for large dogs. I have to laugh because that would be like feeding another adult in the family, right?
What Can Dogs Not Eat? by Your Dog Advisor
Meat at Discounted Prices
You may remember I buy meat at local grocery stores in the marked down section. I’m talking like 75% off the original price. I bet I look like a hoarder at the store on Black Friday, but it isn’t Black Friday. I grab as many of the packages I can and toss them gently into my basket. Then I really look them over to see if the meat will work, it almost always does.
Rarely do I put any packages back. The other day, I picked up some roast beef (4-5 pounds each) regularly priced at $27.00 marked down to $11.00. Those will be saved for Sunday dinner. I bought a bunch of stew meat that I can cook in my pressure cooker to make it tender. When I get home with the discounted meat I put it all in the freezer for future use.
One website I recommend is the AKC Human Foods Dog and Cats can eat. A reader recommended a vitamin supplement to add to the food. I am going to find one for Bailey. That’s a great tip.
I found this website called: BalanceIT It shows all the different foods we can feed a healthy adult dog (Disclaimer: under Veterinarian supervision). Mark and I read where you can feed your dog raw meat, I can’t do it. We worry about our food chain, our dog will have cooked meat and vegetables.
Tools To Make Dog Food
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Freezer Bags or containers for storing food- Anchor Hocking Set
- Permanent marker to date meals made
- Microwave Steamer Bowl
How I Made The Dog Food
This week I used chicken, zucchini, brown rice, carrots, and broccoli. I’m super excited because I know she’s eating a healthy meal. She loves this food! I will add a bit of her kibble with the next batch. I think it has some nutrients she needs, here again, I’m winging it. Please remember I’m no veterinarian, just a mom to a Shih Tzu.
I cooked all the food ahead of time this week. Next week I will try some ground beef with vegetables as well. If you have a chopper like this Pampered Chef Chopper, it works great.
Here is a large silver bowl into which I scooped all the food, it works great.
You can see below where I used a spoon to mix it all up so I can scoop it into containers.
I found some one-cup containers that will work great. They are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, oven, and freezer safe. They are also BPA Free. One-Cup Glass Containers
Homemade Dog Food Ideas
We still need to have water available for our pets every day.
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Peanut butter
Approx. 50% of Proteins
- Bacon (fat content is too high-I do not serve bacon to Bailey)
- Cottage Cheese
- Turkey breast
Approx. 25% of Vegetables
- Bell pepper
- Green beans
- Pumpkin (cooked)
- Sweet Potato (cooked)
- Yellow Squash
Approx. 25% of Grains
- Brown Rice
- White Rice
I treat Bailey as if she were a toddler, I peel the food when possible and chop it as small as I can. I don’t want her to choke.
- Apples, peeled and finely chopped
- Bananas, very small bites
- Blueberries, chopped fine
- Cantaloupe, finely chopped without rind
- Oranges, peeled and finely chopped
- Pears, pitted, peeled and chopped
- Watermelon, finely chopped without rind
How Much Should A Dog Eat?
This is a very good question. I want my pets to have all the vitamins they need, and to eat a balanced meal. But how much should they eat in a day? We don’t want our pets to be overweight, or malnourished. My Bailey weighs 10 pounds 3 ounces. I do keep some commercial dry food out for her if she wants to eat something during the day. She rarely eats it, but it’s there if she wants it.
I really like this calculator from PetMD and I quote-How Much Should A Dog Eat According to this feeding guide Bailey should eat a smidge more than 3/4 of a cup of food per 24 hour period. Again, she is a small dog weighing 10 pounds 3 ounces.
Please let me know if you have tried to make dog food for your pet. I have wondered what would happen to all of our pets if the commercial dog food becomes unavailable for days, weeks, months, or years. We must be prepared to do what we need to do to feed our beloved pets. This is why I’m working on fixing my own dog food. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda
25 thoughts on “How To Make Dog Food”
I used ground Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Cottage Cheese, Eggs, Carrot, Green beans, Peas, Spinach, Sweet Potato (cooked), White Rice, and Oatmeal when I was making dog food for our 2 40lb dogs. Both now having passed from old age at 16+ yrs old.
Hi Roberta, oh my gosh, I love hearing this!! I need to add the baked sweet potato and oatmeal, I think I forgot that one. Plus you had 40 lb. dogs, wow!! Thank you so much!! I love your comment!! Linda
I’ve been making my own dog food for well over a year. One thing that is very important when feeding this type of meal to your dog, you must also give them supplemental vitamins to ensure they are getting everything they need due to cooking his food. It’s best to give as high quality as you can afford. I’m on a very strict/limited income, so I give him what I can afford. For those who do not know what veggies and fruits dogs can safely eat, AKC has a list that is very good and one I’ve used for years. Another thing you can add is cheese. I also give mine bacon now and then. Technically, I eat low carb and so does my dog even though I do give him quinoa, rice and regular white potatoes (something I do not eat). They can eat all forms of squash, without the seeds of course. Mine loves Spaghetti and Butternut squash. He will not eat blueberries in any form (he spits them out). But he will eat many different fruits that are dog friendly. I will also, now and then, add scrambled eggs to his food. All meat is cooked completly. Veggies, I will saute in bacon grease until they are partially done. Then I mix everything together like you do and put it into serving size containers. I keep half in frig and then nuke them before I feed. The other half I keep in freezer until I need them, and let them thaw in the frig. I make about 8 days of food at a time. I have a Border Collie/Aussie mix. I feed about a cup and a half a day. Hope my experience helps.
Hi Pam, thank you for this awesome comment!! I will go get some supplemental vitamins, good idea!!!! I will look for that AKC list as well. I’m so excited to hear what you have been feeding your dog. Isn’t it funny when you give them something to eat and they spit it out? I knew instantly Bailey did not care for watermelon. She spits it out! Thank you for sharing, Linda
Hi Linda. I’m just glad to help others feed their pets healthy. I have a very good friend who is a professional dog trainer that got me started feeding my dog the way I do. She’s the one who told me to add vitamins just to make sure Kola is getting everything he needs. Just passing along good information. I’ve been receiving your emails for quite some time and originally got them because of your prepping ideas, which are great by the way. Keep up the good work!
I started making a raw food diet for my german shepherd after she was diagnosed with heart worms for the second time at 7 years old. We raise cows and have access to grass fed beef. I used the ground grass fed beef mixed with raw eggs, cooked rice , baked crushed egg shells (calcium), and raw veges. I added a vitamin powder to it. Oh and for the Heart worms lots of fresh garlic powder. She loved this diet and ate it til she died at 14 years old. To explain I had her treated for heartworms the first time (800$) at 3 years old. She had been on heartworm meds and got them anyway. She was tested and said cured; continued on the meds til she was 7 and was tested positive again. I was told most large dogs don’t live much past 8 years and did’t really have the money to do vet treatment again. So i started googling info. Thats when i found the raw garlic powder idea on a natural living site. I started very slow with just a sprinkle of powder on her regular dog food. Yes i got the look said I’m not eating this. well she did after a day or so. I started sprinkling just a bit more, slowly. Then found the recipe for raw diet and added the garlic to it. I gave her about a cup and a half twice a day (75 lbs dog). I also left reg. food just in case, rarely did she touch it. Like i said she lived healthy and happy til 14 plus. I didn’t have her tested anymore to see if the garlic got rid of the worms. But she never started having any symptoms.
Hi Teresa, oh my gosh!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this comment! Wow, why did she get heartworms again???? That’s awful, we pay a lot of money for that medicine. I need to find some raw garlic powder, what a great idea!!!! The raw diet probably saved her life!!! $800.00 YIKES!!! I love hearing she lived to be 14 plus!! We, mamas, know how to feed our dogs! Thank you so much for sharing!!! Linda
Thank you so much for this great informational article! I am going to start and try this with my golden retriever.
Hi Becky, keep us posted on how your dog does!! I would love to hear! Linda
going to make more dog food today and saw your article, I get the chicken mostly as my dogs stomachs don’t digest the beef that well, and add the frozen mixed veggies. broc. carrots. zucchini, Bell peppers,cauliflower and some rice, adding scrabbled eggs to it also, they get at least a half lb of meat a day, Heidi is a GS at 102 lbs, and Becker a full size Lab, the kittens and also the ferals eat what they can too…. mainly keep the feral cats on dry food so they still hunt… I also have Gentle Giant dry kibble out at all times, and OUTdoor cat food for the ferals.. kitties food for the 2 new adopties… many times their dinner looks a lot better than mine… but they are healthy and might have a longer life this way,,
Hi Jeanne, I love your comment!! I love hearing that people are feeding larger dogs, this helps all us!! I bought some of the frozen veggies as well. So much easier compared to washing, chopping, etc. I had to laugh at your cute comment, “many times their dinner looks better than mine”!!! Love it, Linda
My dogs love the homemade meals, which was great because they’d turned up their noses to canned food all of a sudden. Great info and I’ll be getting vitamin supplements.
Hi Carol, I love hearing your dogs like their homemade meals!! I need to pick up some vitamin supplements as well! Great comment, Linda
I began cooking for the family dogs after they began to throw up repeatedly. I fed them a lot of ground beef, turkey and even chicken. If it was up to me I would have fed them shredded meats, but my father thought it was too expensive, but he’s ignorant when it comes to dogs and nutrition. Food is food and dogs should not be fed some cheap trash for the sake of saving a few dollars. In the long run, they’re healthier and that means less medications, home remedies or veterinarian visits. And less wasted dog foods that you have to dump.
Like you Linda, I mixed meat and veggies and sometimes white rice or a little oatmeal and sometimes scrambled eggs. I’d even feed them some beans, but mostly carrots, broccoli, green peppers, sweet potato, pumpkin (Calabasa), and small peas. I’d use fresh foods and sometimes frozen or canned, but ONLY very low sodium or salt free brands. Cheese was a treat for them.
I’d cook the food with a little broth or water and try not to make it mushy or glumpy and limit the ingredients as it’s often tempting to mix in a ton of stuff rather than just a few foods and allow the dog more variety in flavors. I also used a slow cooker at times, but cooking it up in a pan took just a few minutes.
They say bone broth is excellent for dogs, aids their digestion and appetite, but I never got to make that for our dogs.
Hi, Frank, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe all the people who make dog food for their pets, I love it!!! You were way ahead of me on making the homemade dog food. Why didn’t I think of this sooner, good grief!! Great tip on the low sodium vegetables. I’m so excited about making my dog healthier meals. Life is good with healthy dogs! Linda
I have a Cavalier and she is somewhat picky about her food (her sister was even worse). We’ve tried every kind of kibble that the ingredients read healthy to no avail. The last one we tried even made her sick. She was eating canned food for a while, then I started buying the 10 lb. bags of chicken quarters. We separate the parts, break the leg bones. raw pack the pieces (bones, skin and all) into quart jars and pressure can them. To serve, we mix in frozen mixed vegetables that we steam slightly; sometimes we add a scrambled egg fresh from our chickens. She is doing very well on this diet and the vet has said that since we include the bones (which become soft in the canning process) she probably doesn’t need extra vitamins. Finally, a food that doesn’t upset her sensitive stomach and one which is usually eaten readily (except the green beans, which she usually goes back and eats later).
Hi Sandra, wow, this is so interesting. I had no idea so many people make their own dog food. Your statement, finally a food that doesn’t upset her stomach. How many other people like me never really thought about making dog food and their dog is suffering. It’s like I just picked up the dry dog food that the vet recommended and never thought about it. Thank you for sharing your great comment! Linda
Great post, I’ve been making my own dog food for 9 years, since I brought my Mini Aussie home at 8 weeks old. I use mostly chicken but at times I’ll use turkey or beef and once in a while a friend who hunts will give me some rolls of ground elk or venison. I add a mix of frozen vegetables, yams, and squash. All of this goes into my instapot for about 25-30 minutes. If I use chicken I then pull out the bones and and grind them up in my Ninja blender with some of the broth and then add back in to the mix. Then I add in ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, coconut oil and once in a while a tablespoon or so of powdered spirulina. Mix it real good and put in freezer containers and freeze. Then take as needed, usually 1 container every few days will feed my 2 dogs. (mini aussie is 20# and australian cattle dog is 30#) My cattle dog was a rescue I got a year and half ago, she was about a year old and only 18 pound and just skin and bones. She was a red Merle but was so unhealthy she was more blond.
Today people think she is not the same dog, she is penny red merle with the prettiest black rimmed amber eyes! Happy and healthy! I also supplement with Darwins frozen raw dog food just to make sure they get all the good stuff.
Hi Shannon, this is so awesome to hear from people like you who have been making their own dog food for 9 years!!! This is so AWESOME! My ShihTzu loves sweet potatoes (baked) I love hearing you pressure cook the food, great comment! Linda
Thank you, and the Instapot cut down the time by hours. I used to cook overnight on low in a slow cooker but now from prep to freezer is anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours.
Hi Shannon, I’m going to start doing that!!!! I love it!! Linda
My dog will LOVE you! She adores people food but that’s not always best. These ideas will be good for her and she will enjoy them! Thanks.
Hi Joellen, oh thank you! my dog loves her food. We are getting a new puppy and she will be fed dry puppy food (left out all day) but at 5:00 every night they will get the good homemade food! Linda
Great post, I’ve been making my own dog food for 8 years, since I brought my Mini Aussie home at 8 weeks old. I use mostly chicken but at times I’ll use turkey or beef and once in a while a friend who hunts will give me some rolls of ground elk or venison.
HI Clippingpathlab, thank you for your kind words. Mini Aussies are beautiful dogs!! Linda