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How To Make Healthy Homemade Dog Food

Add The Right Supplements

HOMEMADE DOG FOOD | healthy dog food recipe

Even the best recipes often dont provide enough of certain nutrients, such as calcium. Your pup needs supplements if youre feeding them from scratch. Which ones depend on which nutrients are missing from their meals. A good recipe should include specific supplement instructions. If you’re unsure, talk to a pet nutritionist.

Homemade Instant Pot Dog Food

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure for more information. Published: Feb 8, 2022

We have been making our own dog food for a long time. My Instant Pot dog food recipe is super easy, and our two fur babies absolutely love it!

We have always used high quality kibble, but one picky eater started turning her nose up at her usual food. So, I started adding cooked chicken breasts to supplement the kibble.

Our other dog developed food allergies, and it was getting harder to find a commercial dog food with minimal ingredients to suit his needs.

With our vet’s approval, I started making homemade food using ground turkey as the base. We also add rice and vegetables.

It’s best to always introduce new food gradually. I started giving the dogs a little bit of the homemade food. Gradually, we increased the amount and reduced the amount of dry food.

Note, that you can use this Instant Pot recipe as a supplement to your dog’s food as is. You will have to add vitamins, calcium and other necessary nutrients to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition he needs in lieu of using commercial dog food.

As always, speak with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s food.

Are There Breed Differences In Nutritional Needs Of Dogs

Experts have identified breed variations in metabolism and nutrient requirements for the past years.

Dog breeds born in specific locations, e.g., Arctic Circle and water breeds, can adapt to specialized diets typical in the place of origin.

Inbreeding and genetic differences individualize the pet’s diet to optimize health conditions.

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How To Make Homemade Dog Food In The Instant Pot

First, set your Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add coconut oil and the ground turkey. Break up the turkey as it cooks, using a spatula or wooden spoon.

When the turkey is cooked, turn the pot off. If there are any brown bits at the bottom of the pot, deglaze it with some of the water.

Next, add your rinsed rice, and the remaining water. You can pat the rice down with the spatula to make sure it’s covered by the water.

Then, add the carrots and green beans on top of the rice. Don’t stir everything together.

What Kind Of Homemade Snacks Can You Make A Dog

6 Healthy and Tasty Homemade Dog Food Recipes
  • Peanut butter: Rascal has his own dedicated jar of peanut butter. He loves a traditional Kong but you can also mold and freeze peanut butter in any shape for a quick frozen treat. When the jar is almost finished I break out my peanut butter spoon.
  • Greek Yogurt Ice Cream: In the summer we blend up unflavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Place a spoonful or two into a silicone cupcake pan and freeze for a few hours. These make for a great dog ice cream.
  • Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes: Rascal’s favorite easy treat. We love bringing these over to family and friends’ houses so Rascal always has a healthy treat on hand.

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What Is The Best Way To Make Sure That Im Getting The Right Measurements

Correct measurements are the best way to make sure that your dog is getting all of the nutrients that he or she needs. Although measuring cups are a generally useful tool, a kitchen scale is actually better for ensuring that the portions are on point. You can get a kitchen scale at just about any retailer that specializes in cookware, and you dont have to break the bank to do it. Kitchen scales are precise tools that will make sure that your dog food experiment is a total success. You can also use them to measure your own food if youd like.

The Abcs Of A Balanced Dog Food Diet

Understanding the basics of what makes a homecooked diet balanced for your dog will help when you discuss the options with an expert. Here are important ingredients for the canine diet.

Protein: According to the ACVN, dogs must have protein in their diets that contain 10 specific essential amino acids their bodies cant produce. This is necessary for the creation of glucose, which transforms into energy. Sources of protein include chicken and turkey, after removing bones, fat, and skin beef and lamb pork in limited amounts salmon and some other fish such as whitefish, herring, walleye, flounder, and Arctic char.

Fats and fatty acids: The most concentrated sources of fats in a dogs diet come from animal fats and plant seed oils. A healthy diet supplies the fatty acids the dogs body doesnt manufacture. Fatty acids support the function and structure of cells, keep skin and coat healthy, and enhance the taste of the food. Sources of fatty acids include plant-based oils, including corn, soybean, canola, and flaxseed oil, as well as fish oil.

Carbohydrates: Dogs get some of their energy from carbohydrates, which include sugars, starches, and dietary fibers. Sources include rice, pasta, oatmeal, and quinoa.

Fiber: Dogs need fiber in their diet to keep their gastrointestinal system functioning and to help them from becoming overweight. Good sources of fiber for dogs include carrots, pumpkin, apples, dark leafy greens, brown rice, and flaxseed.

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Practice Good Oral Hygiene

It is important to note that kidney disease often results from poor oral hygiene. Keeping your dogs teeth clean and free of plaque and tartar is essential for protecting his kidney function.

You should brush Fidos teeth daily with the best toothpaste for dogs to keep them clean. You should also ask your vet about dental cleanings in the office. Regular professional cleanings will help to further protect your dogs kidney function.

Nutritional Needs Of Dogs: A Take


The pet nutrition industry is very competitive. That’s why choosing high-quality food for your dog is a big challenge.

With this, it’s better to ask help from your trusted veterinarian to help you select a credible diet that can truly meet your pet’s nutritional needs. And with questions you have in mind about a particular food, your excellent source of guidance is the veterinary team.

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Easy Crockpot Dog Food

  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned


  • Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
  • Let cool completely before serving or storing in airtight containers in the freezer.
  • Recipe Four: Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits


    ½ cup peanut butter, unsalted

    ¼ cup honey

    Whole wheat flour

    Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add water if needed to produce a dough consistency, then knead on floured surface until smooth. Roll out into thin sheet & cut with a cookie cutter or kitchen scissors! Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or golden brown in color.

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    What Foods Should Your Dog Never Eat

    As a dog owner, youve likely come across this essential list before, but its always good to have it on hand as a reminder, especially if youre cooking dog food from scratch. The principal toxic foods include:

    • Chocolate
    • Alcohol

    For a more extensive list, check out this article.

    Did you know that most pet insurance policies cover accidental injury and poisonings? Find out what else is commonly included in our pet insurance comparison.

    Resources For The Chef

    DIY Homemade Healthy Dog Food Recipe To Keep Your Healthy ...
    • Your best resource and first stop is your dogs veterinarian, who knows your dog and has a thorough understanding of his health history and current condition.
    • A good resource to help find a veterinary nutritionist for a homemade diet consultation is the Diplomate directory at If there isnt a nutritionist in your area, you can consult with one remotely.
    • An alternative option is to use the online consulting service called BalanceIT, a site operated by a veterinary nutritionist to formulate a basic, nutritionally balanced recipe.
    • The American College of Veterinary Nutritionists has prepared an informative brochure, called Your Dogs Nutritional Needs: A Science-Based Guide for Pet Owners
    • Answers to frequently asked questions are provided here: ·
    • The Veterinary Medical Center Clinical Nutrition Service provides a list of common mistakes pet owners make when choosing and preparing homemade diets:
    • Another site that provides answers to your questions is: Ask the Nutritionist

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    Complete And Balanced Dog Food Diets

    Its important homemade dog food is complete and balanced, meaning it meets all of the dogs nutritional needs. It is not important, however, that every meal be complete and balanced, unless you feed the same meal every day with little or no variation.

    Home-prepared dog diets that include a wide variety of foods fed at different meals rely on balance over time, not at every meal. Similar to the way humans eat, as long as your dog gets everything he needs spread out over each week or two, his diet will be complete and balanced.

    A human nutritionist would never expect someone to follow a single recipe with no variation, as veterinary nutritionists routinely do. Instead, a human would be given guidelines in terms of food groups and portion sizes. As long as your dog doesnt have a health problem that requires a very specific diet, homemade dog food should be the same way.

    For more on homemade dog treats, see DIY Gifts for Dogs: Homemade Dog Treats & Healthy Recipes.

    Keep in mind that puppies are more susceptible to problems caused by nutritional deficiencies or excesses than adult dogs are. Large-breed puppies are particularly at risk from too much calcium prior to puberty. See Puppy Food: Nutritional Guidelines to Maximize Health, for more on puppy nutrition.

    Our Favorite Homemade Dog Food Recipes For Senior Dogs

    A healthy, nutrient-rich diet is important for any dog, regardless of age. However, for senior dogs, its even more essential. Being mindful of what and how much your older pooch eats can go a long way in helping to manage common issues associated with dog aging, includingobesity. There are lots of high-quality, specialty dog foods available and Ive had great success with some of them but they can be expensive. Making your own dog food is a more affordable alternative to commercial versions and youll be able to control what goes into it. If youre concerned about your pooch missing out on nutrients, adding supplements can be helpful too.

    Be sure to keep any food allergies or dietary restrictions in mind and talk with your vet before starting your dog on a diet of homemade food, particularly if they suffer from any health conditions. You might also need to adjust the ratio of protein to grains and veggies to accommodate your dogs needs. With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite homemade dog food recipes for older dogs that contain tasty,safe ingredients.

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    Trying New Dog Recipes

    The best advice is to slowly introduce new foods to our dogs. We want our pets to stay healthy and dietary changes can cause problems with the digestive tract. All dogs are unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Fresh dog food recipes contain ingredients your dog may be trying for the first time, so take your time and use small portions. Sassy cant handle chicken broth cooked over rice and wont eat it due to her allergies, so I use beef broth or better than Buillon for rice, she loves it.

    Tips For Making Your Dogs Food At Home:

    How to make Healthy Homemade Dog Food
    • If youre not ready to make the leap to cooking all of your dogs food, try just adding some real, whole foods to their kibble. You can start with simply stirring in a scrambled egg, mixing in some chopped apples or carrots, or adding a small amount of the homemade dog food in with their normal kibble.
    • You should be able to serve this homemade dog food to your dog either hot or cold. Ive found that dogs love this dog food so much, that they are not picky about how its served.
    • Its not usually a good idea to abruptly change your dogs food. Start transitioning them to homemade food by mixing some of this in with their regular food or kibble for a few days until they are used to the new food. Your dogs belly will thank you. And again, remember to always discuss with your vet before feeding your pet something new.
    • To give your dog a variety of different nutrients, use different meats, fruits, and vegetables to make your dogs food. However, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, it might be best to stick to one combination that you know works.

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    Should You Feed A Homemade Diet

    Homemade diets are growing in popularity in part because the ingredients can be controlled, so there is no fear of dog food recalls. In addition, many people are trying to eat healthier and they want the same for their dogs. Homemade diets are favored by some because they contain whole food ingredients that are generally considered healthier than processed dog food.

    Home cooking dog food is not right for everyone. There are some factors to consider before you switch your dog to a homemade diet.

    • Be sure to find a dog food recipe that is complete and balanced. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to feed an incomplete or imbalanced diet to your dog.
    • It takes time to measure ingredients and prepare the food correctly. Be sure you have a schedule that allows enough time to properly make your dog’s food on a regular basis.
    • Make sure you can afford the ingredients to make your own dog food. Homemade food is typically less expensive than commercially prepared fresh or raw dog food, but it usually costs a little more than kibble.
    • If you have a picky dog, you may need to source multiple recipes so you can change the diet periodically and keep your dog interested.

    Turkey Rice And Greens Dog Food


    • ½ cup carrots


    Preheat the oven to 340F. Cook the peas, carrots, and corn on the stove until tender. Peel the apple and chop. Cook rice according to package directions. Use a potato masher to mash the vegetables. Add the egg to the vegetables WITH shell and mash completely.

    Mix the chicken apple together in a clean bowl and combine thoroughly. Add cooked rice to the vegetable mix. Grease the cake pan and layer half the chicken mix in the bottom of the pan.

    Layer 2/3 of the vegetable mixture over the chicken. Use the leftover chicken to make another layer. Top the cake with the leftover vegetable mix. Cook for 35 min or until cooked through. Cool before slicing and serving.

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    An Alternative To Home Cooking

    Cooking for your pet is a process thats demanding on your time, labor, space, and finances, says Dr. Larsen.

    Home cooking is not for everyone, though, and it doesnt have to be. Another option to provide your dog with whole ingredients is to get carefully prepared ready-made meals.

    There are commercial foods that can be purchased that contain whole ingredients that are pre-cooked. Which is very close to cooking, notes Dr. Bartges.

    So, while you might think that cooking for your dog is better for their health, it can be just as beneficial to purchase pre-prepared food thats made with the same principles in mind. Whichever method you choose, just to make sure you are always catering to your dogs individual health and nutrition needs.

    How To Make Homemade Dog Food

    Healthy Homemade Dog Food
    • Food Processor: Before I start cooking a batch of homemade dog food, I blend up all the vegetables in my food processor. This Cuisinart food processor is my go-to. Its a bit smaller than traditional food processors but works just as well as a larger model. Blending up the veggies nice and fine will speed up the cooking process.
    • Dutch Oven: I make the entire batch in my large Le Creuset round Dutch oven. I love using a Dutch oven because I can ground the meat first, and then finish off the batch right in the same pot. The process is very similar to making chili except for dogs. Ya know Dog Chili.
    • Measuring Cups: Rascal has his own set of measuring cups now because it makes measuring out food ingredients and the finished batch WAY easier.
    • Meal Prep Containers: This is basically meal prepping for your dog, so you will need some great Tupperware. I love using these stainless steal Tupperware bins made just for pups.

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    Grains Fruits And Starchy Vegetables

    They are essential for carbohydrates. Furthermore, they provide your dog minerals and vitamins. These ingredients are good for your dogs biological functions. However, avoid feeding your dog too much these ingredients, otherwise, your dog can get diarrhea because of a bog amount of fructose. Determine the type of grain your dog needs in order to prevent him from allergies. There are some ingredients you can give such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and carrot.

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