DIY Dog Food Recipes – Simple, Nutritious, & Cheap!

Food is one of the main pillars of every culture & society. It is an easy argument to make. At every event, social gathering, there is food. On a daily basis, you make & eat multiple meals. You go out to dinner with friends, sit down with family, or snack away on your next Netflix binge. Food is life. However, can you imagine eating the same thing, day after day, everyday? The thought sends shivers down our collective spines here at GoFetch, but that is what your beloved dog is (probably) already doing. Don’t get us wrong, kibble is great, and a lot of time and research has been done to make sure your dog is getting the right nutrients. However, a little variety now and then can do wonders. Thus, we have made a small collection of easy to make, nutrient filled, Dog Food Recipes!

Stock up on those veggies! Snapshot from the first recipe on our list below

Homemade dog food recipes can benefit your pup in a number of ways – especially if your pet suffers from allergies, gastrointestinal sensitivity, or skin problems. We encourage you to treat your dog as you would any other member of the family, and prepare healthy, nutritious meals for them, from ingredients you know. Looking for a meal that is on the slightly more festive side? Check out our previous post on some of Canada’s best dog bakeries here!

Before you Em-Bark with Dog Food Recipes

Basic Nutritional Overview

Apologies for the pun, but before starting a home diet, it is important you consult with your regular veterinarian. Make sure you understand your dog’s basic nutritional needs, so that you not wasting time, energy, and money, making the wrong kind of meals. Additionally, servicing sizes depend on your dog’s weight, size, and daily activity level. A general guideline for meal ingredient proportions are as such:

  • 40% Protein – animal meat, seafood, eggs or dairy
  • 10% Carbohydrates – grains and beans
  • 50% Vegetables – fresh produce
  • Fat – from oil or meat
  • Calcium – crushed or powdered egg shells, or supplements
  • Fatty acids – cooked egg yolks, oatmeal, plant oils and other foods

What to Use vs. What Not to Use

Unlike us humans, dog’s have a more particular stomach. Common food items, such as chocolate or avocados, are dangerous for dogs if ingested. Review the useful infographic below to keep in mind what you are able to use, and what you should avoid, when making these dog food recipes.

A quick Yes/No for dog food ingredients

Prepare the Recipe Correctly

If you’re tempted to experiment in the kitchen, it’s best to save the curiosity for your own stomach. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best not to improvise when you cook for your pup, unless you are absolutely sure about the changes. Some easy things to avoid are swapping ingredients. They might seem similar, but have very different nutritional contents. For example, corn, canola, and walnut oil provide certain essential fatty acids that olive oil and coconut oil don’t.

Get mixing! Combine all the ingredients together in an even fashion, so that your pup has a tasty bite, every bite!

Additionally, using a proper food scale is much more more accurate than using measuring cups, especially when it comes to meat. On that note, make sure to cook all animal products, killing any present bacteria that could make your dog sick. Also, cooking down grains, beans, and starchy vegetables makes them easier to digest.

Make sure the Diet is Working

Once your dog has been enjoying your homemade dog food recipes for a few weeks, take them into the vet. Make sure your pup isn’t loosing, or gaining, too much weight! Additionally, your veterinarian can look at your pup’s skin, coat, body condition, and any other issues that may arise as a result of their diet.

Three Dog Food Recipes to get your Started

1) Two Pot Turkey & Veggies

This recipe is from Damn Delicious – check out more there fantastic creations here! Once you’ve made up your delicious doggy dinner, divide it up into single servings, note the date, and freeze them! When needed, you can defrost them in the fridge overnight, and then microwave is for 15-30 seconds. That’s it! Now your pup will have a bowlful of tasty turkey and veggies!

A nutritious bowlful of goodness! 

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 and 1/2 cups of brown rice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1.3 kg of ground turkey
    • 3 cups chopped baby spinach
    • 2 carrots, shredded
    • 1 zucchini, shredded
    • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
  • Directions:
    1. In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside
    2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks
    3. Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes
    4. Let cool completely before serving

Carefully store, date, and freeze dinner portions to make life easier in the future!

2) Slow Cooker Dinner

This recipe is also from Damn Delicious – check out more there fantastic creations here! Once again, your crockpot will surprise you with its versatility. Who knew you could make some fantastic dog food recipes in that? This creation takes a little longer to prep, as it has a greater variety of veggies than the previous recipe. However, just like all slow cooker meals, you can simply dump everything right in! Turn it on before you leave the house for the day, and come back home to two weeks worth of meals for your pup!

Prepping the beef in the slow cooker 

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 kg of ground beef
    • 1 and 1/2 cups brown rice
    • 1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
    • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
    • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped carrots
    • 1 and 1/2 cups peas, frozen or canned

Make sure to give the collection a good stir! 

  • Directions:
    1. Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker
    2. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed
    3. Let cool completely before serving

Like before, note the date and store these dinners in the freezer for later meals! You’ll feel like a champion for having meal prepped for so many days.

Once all the ingredients are in, turn on the cooker, and go enjoy the rest of your day! 

3) Midsummer Meatballs

This recipe is easily scalable, depending on the size of your dog. The portions below make about 10, 1-cup sized meatballs. This raw food recipe is fairly concentrated and efficient, so you wont have to feed your pup as much bulk-wise with other commercial foods.

Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after handling raw meats

 

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 kg of frozen fish fillets, like mackerel or whiting
    • 1 kg of wild pink salmon
    • 250 grams of beef liver
    • 1 -3 eggs (optional)
    • 2 cups of chopped veggies (can be any combination of carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cooked squash, green beans, cooked yams, apples, berries, kale, spinach)
    • 1 cup cooked oatmeal, barley, or brown rice
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 2 tbsp dried parsley
    • 2 tbsp dried oregano
    • 2 tbsp tumeric powder
  • Directions: 
    1. Alternate putting frozen liver, vegetables, and seeds through a meat grinder
    2. As you grind into a big bowl, add and mix in the salmon, eggs, honey, & dried herbs
    3. Roll into meal-sized meatballs and freeze, making sure to keep in a well-sealed container (meatballs will last at least 3 months in the freezer)
    4. Take out the number meatballs you need and defrost them a couple days before you need to use them

As these meatballs are quite rich and meat heavy, we recommend saving them for special days, or when your pup has been especially good. It never hurts to switch things up a bit with a few meatballs for dinner!

Raw meatballs makes for a delicious, special meal, for your pup!

Dog Food Recipes – A Summary

We hope you have found our trio of dog food recipes useful and insightful! As mentioned earlier, make sure to consult with your vet before starting a home diet. Understanding what your dog needs, and what they can eat, and to what proportions, is vital. If done correctly, your pup, and your wallet, will benefit greatly! Additionally, if your dog needs any kind of medication that is orally ingested, mixing it into their yummy dinner is a great way to get them down.

Dinner is a great way to get in necessary supplements or medication!

Once you are well educated in home cooking for your pup, you will be able to get creative with the recipes!  Go cook up a storm, your best friend will thank you for it. Make sure to be on the lookout for our next post, this time about DIY Dog Treats! Much love,

– The GoFetch Team

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