Your dogs are part of the family, and that’s why so many pet owners are serious about providing food and snack options that are healthy. For those who want to know exactly what goes into their dogs’ food and treats, homemade is the way to go.
You don’t have to spend hours preparing and cooking your dogs’ meals! There are plenty of homemade dog food and dog treat recipes that are fast and easy to prepare, while also being healthy and delicious for your pet.
Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Preface: It is crucial that your dog gets sufficient nutrition from his food. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a vet look over your recipes, especially if you’ll be feeding exclusively homemade fare. What might be fine for one dog may not work for another, but your vet can help assure that you’re on the right track with your homemade meals.
The Crock Pot Isn’t Just for Humans Anymore!
When you don’t have a lot of time to devote to preparing your dog’s food, using a slow cooker is a great shortcut. Toss everything in the morning, and by dinner time you’ll have a healthy meal with no chemicals, no by-products, and no preservatives. Depending on the size of your dog, one slow cooker batch could last a week.
So, what should you throw in the pot? Here are two easy recipes!
Slow Cooker Meal 1
- 2 ½ pounds of ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 ½ cup of rice (brown is preferred, but white works as well)
- 1 15-ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 ½ cups of chopped sweet potatoes
- ½ to a 1 cup of frozen veggies such as peas or green beans
Add all ingredients to a 6-quart slow cooker along with 4 quarts of water and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
Slow Cooker Meal 2
- 2 cup brown rice
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 pound fresh green beans, snapped
- 2 sweet potato, cut into medium-sized chunks
- 6 sliced carrots
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
Layer ingredients in the order listed and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours until chicken is cooked through.
For both of the recipes above, you can toss a few raw eggs (leave in the shell!) into the mix. They’ll cook along with the rest of the food and can be shelled and added to the food on some days for a bit of variety and extra protein.
On a cold day, nothing hits the spot like a warm stew. Give your dog the same treat with this easy homemade stew.
- 3 pounds of roast beef
- 2 cups brown rice
- 6 large carrots, diced
- 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 24 oz bag of frozen peas or green beans
- 56 oz can of diced tomatoes in juice
- 3 tablespoons parsley
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- Dash of salt
Place ingredients in a 5-gallon soup pan. Add water to completely cover ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Tilt lid to allow steam to escape the pan. Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. If it seems too dry, add water during simmering. Remove when all vegetables are soft and meat is cooked through. Serve warm.
What About the Cost?
If you think homemade dog food costs more than store-bought, you’ll be pleasantly surprised—especially if you use quality dog food. It’s easy to choose recipes that cost the same or even less than premium dog food, and you have the added benefit of knowing exactly what your four-legged family members are eating.
Wondering How Much to Feed?
The amount of homemade food your dog needs depends on several factors such as size, age, breed, and activity level. Here are some fundamental guidelines, but since the optimal amount varies, it’s best to ask your vet for advice specific to your dog.
|12 Lbs||1 cup|
|25 Lbs||2 cups|
|50 Lbs||4 cups|
|100 Lbs||8 cups|
Homemade Dog Treat Recipes
Dogs love snacks as much as humans, but dry biscuits must get boring after a while! Here are some ways to up your treat game and give your dog a variety of tempting snacks.
On a warm day, give your dog a cool treat with super easy pupsicles!
Fill ice cube trays about ¾ of the way. Stick a treat, such as half a Beggin’ Strip or half of a biscuit, into each slot. Freeze.
Another option is to make ice cubes out of chicken or beef broth.
Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to give these treats outside, so you don’t end up with melted beef broth on your carpet or sofa.
Baby Food Biscuits
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 4-oz jars of baby food (any flavor)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix ingredients to form dough. Roll out to about ¼-inch thick and use a cookie cutter to form biscuits. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn oven off and let biscuits rest in the oven until cool.
One of the great things about this recipe is that you can use any flavor of baby food and experiment to find your dog’s favorites.
Apple Cinnamon Treats
- 1 cup quick cook oatmeal, uncooked
- ½ cup cinnamon applesauce
- 1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix oatmeal and applesauce. Once well mixed, add egg and mix. Drop by tablespoons on a pan greased with oil (do not use grapeseed oil.) Bake for 20 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.
- 1 can pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup peanut butter
Mix ingredients until smooth. Pour into an ice cube tray, and freeze overnight.
The Vet on Fourth is committed to keeping our patients happy and healthy, so we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about homemade dog food or treats during your next visit.