Homemade Dog Food Recipes


Making Your Own Dog Food At Home

We've have been accumulating Dog Treat Recipes for the last several years and perhaps many of you may have visited us in the past. Given the massive pet food recall in 2007 we are now providing our readers with some healthful pet food alternatives for their furry family members.

The nutritional information and recipes provided are a good starting place to begin your culinary journey into proper cooking for your pet. Our article includes some good books we recommend. Most of these books can be found at your public library, your local bookstore, or you can buy them online from our website GourmetSleuth.com.

Important! - Your pet may have special nutritional needs based on breed, age or general health. Please consult with your veterinarian prior to making significant changes to your pets diet.

Where To Start - What Dogs Need

It is imperative that you select foods that are healthful for your pet.  Starting with fresh, natural ingredients will result in great tasting, safe pet food.  Dogs, just like humans are omnivorous and need a balance of protein, grains and some vegetables. While our dog's ancestors ate a basic diet of raw meats their meals included grasses and grains which constituted the diet of their prey.

Dogs fed only protein are susceptible to imbalances in their phosphorous and calcium ratios which can lead to joint problems, bone disease as well as other health issues. (Suzan Anson, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking for your dog).

Basic Nutritional Needs

Here is a chart which breaks down the basic nutritional needs for dogs. Remember proteins (primarily) come from animal sources, meats, fish, poultry dairy.  Fats can be found in animal products as well as whole-grains.  The main sources of carbohydrates are vegetables and grains.

Recommended Content of Dog Foods
Young Adult
Pregnant Bitch
Working or Stressed Adult
Puppy or Lactating Bitch
Protein 16% 20% 24%
Fat 10% 12% 14%
Carbohydrate 44% 38% 32%
Calories from protein 20% 24% 28%
Vitamins and minerals A B C

A - Values recommended by the National Research Council
B - Values for "A" plus 10%
C - Values for "A" plus 10%
Chart from Dr. Ben E. Sheffy, James A Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University

Foods To Avoid

There are some ingredients which have been shown to cause illness (or death) in some dogs. Included in that list are:
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Artificial sweeteners or artificial fats
  • Raw meat*

Some of these foods may be fine in small "seasoning" quantities but to be sure, always consult with your pet's veterinarian and follow his/her advise. You can also visit our ASPCA link for a list of foods you may be concerned about.

*Raw Meat - Raw meats and poultry can contain bacteria, salmonella, or parasites or viruses. Your dog can suffer from food poisoning just as humans can. Only cooking will make these foods safe for consumption.

Nutritious Foods For Your Dog

These are a list of some basic healthful foods to include in your pets diet. Please consult with your veterinarian prior to making significant changes to your pets diet.Meats

  • Poultry
  • Organ meats, liver (don't overuse)
  • Eggs
  • Cultured dairy products such as yogurt, buttermilk, cheese
  • Complex carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, beans, legumes
  • Fiber sources such as bran, fresh vegetables, whole-grains.

Toxic/Safe Foods Resource

ASPCA - American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals has a good resource for learning about foods that are toxic (or not) for your pets. View Safe/Toxic Food Lists >>

Basic Dog Food Recipe


  • 4 cups uncooked rice
  • 9 cups  water
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once the mixture is boiling add:

  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped fine
  • 3 ounces liver, chopped fine
  • 8 ounces ground beef (or chicken or lamb)
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), chopped fine

Stir, turn heat to low, and cook for about 20 minutes until all water is absorbed. Then spread out in flat Tupperware containers, cool and cut into half cup squares. When feeding, add cottage cheese or yogurt, and 1 tsp. supplement mix per 30 lbs of dog weight:

Supplement Mix

  • 1 cup brewer's yeast
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/8 cup powdered kelp

basic dog food recipe nutrition 

How Much To Feed Your Dog

There are many factors to determine how much to feed your dog.  We suggest you use this basic dog food calculator to determine the correct feeding amount.  The nutritional information you need is provided above.


dog very happy in the snow

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.