Canine Cuisine: DIY Homemade Dog Food Recipes for a Healthier Pup

Posted by Jackie Ly on

Homemade Dog Treats

Just like us, our four-legged friends deserve a delicious and well-balanced diet to keep them in tip-top shape and in good spirits. While commercial dog foods are convenient, most of them have undesirable fillers and other ingredients. Creating your own dog food at home allows you to tailor meals to your pup’s specific needs and preferences.

Finding out what those needs and preferences are will be the key to whipping up tasty and nutritious meals that will make your dogs’ tails wag with joy.

A balanced diet for dogs

What makes a balanced meal for dogs? Before firing up your oven, ensure that your culinary masterpieces contain the ingredients every dog needs for their development.

Protein: Here’s a fun fact—dogs aren’t carnivores! But they do need protein to get healthy hair and skin and to support their muscle development and tissue repair. Great sources of protein include chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, some pork, salmon, and some fish.

Fats and fatty acids: Fatty acids make sure your canine companion’s cellular functions are working as they should be. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help greatly in the development of puppies. You’ll find them in fish like sardines, mackerel, and salmon. As your dog ages, the need for EPA and DHA increases to protect against degenerative diseases. Consult your doc on the proper dosage depending on your dog’s weight. 

Carbohydrates: Ever wonder where your pup gets the ability to zip around your backyard like a Formula 1 racer? Carbohydrates give your dog the energy to perform their daily activities, which includes training and, of course, playtime. Rice, pasta, oatmeal, and quinoa are some great sources of carbohydrates that will keep your dog moving and barking all day long!

Note that your dog can have sensitivities to certain sources of carbs, so exercise caution and monitor your dog for reactions. Oatmeal and rice are known to exacerbate yeast infections, for example. Sweet potatoes and bananas are also good sources of healthy carbs for dogs. 

Fibre: Fibre gets your pup’s digestive tract moving, ensuring your dog’s proper functioning and keeping them from getting overweight. Adding carrots, pumpkin, apples, dark leafy greens, brown rice, and flaxseed to your dog’s chow on a regular basis gets them the fibre they need.

Vitamins: Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, and choline are responsible for your dog’s growth and maintenance. Get these vitamins from the likes of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, organ meat, meats, and egg yolks.

Minerals: Minerals go hand-in-hand with vitamins for your dog’s maintenance. They also contribute to giving your dogs strong bones and teeth, healthy skin, coat, and nails, as well as supporting their red blood cells and their immune systems. Some essential minerals for dogs include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and chloride. Just like vitamins, you can get these from a variety of fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, and whole grains. Consider also adding calcium powder (consult your vet), various microgreens powders (like moringa), spirulina, as a functional and superfood garnish for your pup’s meals!

Water. Keep your pup hydrated 24/7! Though everything your dog eats contains water, they never really contain the right amount they need. Make sure to always keep a fresh bowl of water available for them, and if you and your pooch are on the go, a portable dog bottle is what you’ll need.

Healthy homemade dog food recipes

Simple Homemade Chow


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 16 oz. package frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower


  1. Combine all ingredients into a large Dutch oven or a pot.
  2. Stir until ground turkey is broken up evenly. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the frozen vegetables, then cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Salmon-and-Veggie Combo


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 salmon portions (keep the skin on)
  • 1 squash
  • 1 head of broccoli (with stem)
  • 3 potatoes (any kind)
  • 2 carrots


  1. Cut broccoli stem, peel carrots, and cut squash. Set all the peelings aside.
  2. Mix the broccoli, carrots, and squash together before steaming in a rice cooker, or baking in the oven.
  3. Peel the potato shavings. Then, pour 1 tbsp olive oil in an air fryer, then air fry the shavings.
    • If you don’t have an air fryer, an oven works just fine.
  4. Pan fry salmon in 1 tablespoon olive oil, skin side down at medium temp. After flipping, pull off crisp salmon skin off both pieces of salmon and place in the dog bowl.
  5. Once everything is finished cooking, mix everything together in a dog bowl. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Let cool before serving.

Slow-cooked Chicken


  • ¾ to 1 pound cubed, skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs (substitutes: lean beef, turkey, or fish)
  • 1 to 3 ounces of chicken liver, hearts, and gizzards (substitute: another animal liver)
  • 1 or 2 whole eggs
  • 8 ounces of uncooked white or brown rice
  • 16 ounces green beans
  • Bone meal (1 tsp per pound of meat)
  • Water


  1. Put the chicken breasts, chicken liver, chicken hearts, gizzards, and eggs in a slow cooker.
  2. Add the bone meal, rice, and green beans.
  3. Add water until the ingredients are submerged, then stir.
  4. Cook on low heat for four to eight hours, until the chicken breasts fall apart. 
  5. Stir, then adjust the water level as needed. Add water to make a moister stew, or drain to make it drier.
  6. Put everything into a dog bowl. Let the food cool and chop into bite-sized pieces before serving.

Homemade dog food is more than just a way to have a hand in your dog’s diet. It’s also a gesture of love that speaks volumes to your furry friend. After all, they do say that the quickest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and your dog is no exception.

Tie up those apron strings, bust out those ingredients, and get ready to make a 5-star meal for a 5-star pup. Bone appetite!

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