Homemade Dog Food Recipes: Vet Approved and Nutritionally Complete

by John Griffith

Dogs, or also known as man’s best friend, are loveable, cute, and constantly fill our lives with endless joy. There isn’t a better feeling in the world than coming home to a wagging tail and excited leaps. As dog owners, we always search for the best of the best when it comes to our four legged friends. We want them to be happy, healthy, and thriving. Just like with humans, food plays a big part in a dog’s life. A good, balanced diet can help minimize health problems and assist them in living a long, fulfilling life. However, store-bought food isn’t always cutting it. So, if you are in search for some homemade dog food recipes: vet approved and nutritionally complete, you’ve come to the right place! Check out these delicious and healthy recipes that will make any cute dog leap with joy.

Dogs fill our lives with endless joy

diy dog food two dogs running

What Can I Feed My Dog Instead Of Dog Food?

Whether you’re searching for a cheaper or healthier alternative to dog food, there are plenty of options. However, keep in mind that dogs, just like us, are prone to food poisoning. So, it’s important to know what common food’s dog can safely eat and which ones can cause potential issues. Here is a general list of common foods that your dog can and cannot eat. Keep in mind some breeds may have different food tolerances.

Homemade dog food recipes: vet approved and nutritionally complete

dogs favorite food dog standing on kitchen table licking mouth while family cook food in background

Can Eat

These foods can be consumed safely by dogs, however keep in mind that everything should be in moderate amounts.

  • Carrots, both raw and cooked
  • Peanut Butter
  • Eggs, cooked
  • Salmon, cooked
  • Blueberries
  • Popcorn
  • Pineapple, in small amounts
  • Watermelon, without seeds and rind
  • Bread
  • Blackberries
  • Corn
  • Green Peas
  • Oatmeal
  • Apples
  • Broccoli, both raw and cooked
  • Chicken, cooked and without the bones
  • Sweet Potatoes, in moderate amounts
  • Coconut
  • Pork, cooked and without seasoning
  • Mango
  • Turkey, cooked
  • Rice, cooked
  • Lean Beef, cooked
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges, in small quantities
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes, cooked
  • Celery
  • Shrimp

Dogs can enjoy all of these foods safely 

meals for dogs what dogs can and cannot eat

Can’t Eat

These foods pose a potential threat to dog’s health.

  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Garlic
  • Xylitol
  • Alcohol
  • Nutmeg
  • Lemon
  • Limes
  • Raw Dough
  • Hot Dogs
  • Bacon

Make sure to avoid these foods 

meals for dogs what dogs can and cannot eat


While these foods will not poison your dog, they should be only a small part of their regular diet.

  • Salt
  • Cheese
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Peanuts, unsalted
  • Cherries
  • Yogurt
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cinnamon

Limit your dogs intake of these foods 

meals for dogs what dogs can and cannot eat

Dogs Favorite Food?

Just like us, dogs find some types of food more delicious and satisfying  than others. Even though they have evolved from wolves, who’s diet is around 80% meat, dogs are actually omnivores. This means they enjoy both plants and meat in their diet. Since dogs evolved to eat meat, they cannot taste sodium as well as humans. However, meat naturally has enough salt to satisfy their needs. Dogs have also evolved to have individual preferences on what type of meat they enjoy more.

Dogs are actually omnivores

homemade dog food serving size dog eating treat

Studies have shown that an average beef will usually prefer beef and pork over chicken and lamb. They also enjoy warm and moist foods over cold and dry foods. Dogs also like a variety in their diet. If they have to eat the same thing every day, they can get sick of it. Just like humans their preferences can change over time and a lot of their preferences come from what they ate growing up.

Dogs like a variety in their diets

cheap homemade dog food dog licking its mouth

Is It Worth It To Make Your Own Dog Food?

While there aren’t a lot of scientifically-supported benefits to homemade diets, whole ingredient-based diets are better in the long term. While commercial dog foods are made to be balanced and complete, there aren’t of the most exciting and tasty meals. And as we mentioned dogs do enjoy variety in their diets. Eating only commercial food would be the same as if we were eating highly processes food for every meal, every day, for years and years.

Watermelon is a great snack for dogs 

homemade dog food for upset stomach dog with watermellon

Feeding your dog a variety of complete meals makes a lot of sense. By preparing the meals yourself you can ensure variety, gain control over your dog’s diet, appease to picky eaters, and combat intolerance issues. You also know for sure what goes into the food, and you are building a bond by preparing a home-cooked meal for your dog. They appreciate it just as much as we would.

Some dogs tend to be picky eaters 

cooking chicken for dogs dog in front of empty bowl

Homemade Dog Food Supplements

The biggest concern people have when preparing homemade meals for their dogs is nutrient deficiency. A good way to ensure your dogs gets all it’s needed nutrients is dogs supplements, however choosing the right ones is quite tricky. Some of the most popular supplements:

Probiotics. They help strengthen the immune system, help with digestive problems and help fight infections.

Fish oil. Great for the heart, helps reduce anxiety, controls diabetes, aids arthritic joints, helps eyesight and is great for the fur.

Antioxidants. This type of supplement is great for humans as well. It helps protect against cellular damage and neutralized the effects of chronic inflammation.

Glucosamine. Great for arthritis, pain caused by hip dysplasia and spinal disk injury. It also helps boost the repair of damaged cartilage.

A good way to ensure your dogs gets all it’s needed nutrients is through dog supplements

raw puppy food dog supplements

Which Supplements Should I Add?

What dog supplements you will need to use depends on two main factors. The first being what type of nutrient is missing from the recipe’s ingredients. The second – what is your dog’s current health status and individual needs?

Choose supplements depending on your dog’s needs 

how to make your own dog food dog with glasses

The ingredients in every recipe will provide some vitamins and minerals, however in order to reach that optimal number for your dog, you will need to add supplements. However, this is no easy task. If you are making a recipe that already meets your dog’s need for calcium, and you add a multivitamin which contains extra calcium, the dog can suffer from calcium toxicity over time. However, you can also think a recipe is 100% nutritionally balanced and not add anything and the dog can end up being deficient. There are many variables.

Dogs are man’s best friend 

homemade dog food for allergies hand and paw

How to Choose the Correct Supplements?

The safest way to do this properly is to speak with a canine nutritionist or veterinarian who is well-versed in this. Talk to them about your individual dog’s current nutritional requirements, dog supplements for homemade dog food you can use, and their dosage. Here are three steps to follow when it comes to how to choose the best supplement.

  1. Know your dog’s individual nutritional needs. This includes calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients.
  2. Choose recipes that already come as close as possible to meeting your pet’s needs. Search for vet-approved recipes or ask your vet straight up.
  3. Calculate which nutrients are missing from certain recipes or where the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) levels don’t reach your dog’s needs.

Speak to a canine nutritionist

homemade food for nursing dog wrinkly dog

Homemade Dog Food Serving Size

While most commercial foods have a serving size chart, most homemade recipes don’t. We recommend you get a set of measuring cups for the homemade food. Different dogs require different potion sized. However, a general rule of thumb is to serve 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of food for every 25 pounds of body weight. While it may not seem like a lot, keep in mind that a well-balanced homemade meal with supplements is much more nutrient dense than most commercial foods.

Different dogs require different potion sized

dog friendly food daily feeding guide

DIY Dog Food

Dogs require enough calories to meet their energy requirements. A dog’s caloric need depends on its life stage and activity level. You can find many charts and calculators online to help you determine this, or you can ask your veterinarian.

A dog’s caloric need depends on its life stage and activity level

homemade dog food for gastrointestinal two dogsproblems

A good homemade meal should consist of an appropriate balance of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. And as we mentioned added supplements to ensure it’s complete.

  • Have at least 30% protein. You can use chicken, turkey, fish or lean beef.
  • Use up to 45% carbohydrates. This includes rice, pasta, and potatoes.
  • The meal requires around 2.5-4.5% fiber. Use vegetables such as peas, green beans, and carrots.
  • Have at least 25 % fat. This can be in the for of vegetable oil.
  • Last but not least, the supplements.

Easy nutrition guide to follow 

dog food ingredients how many calories do dogs need chart

Homemade Dog Food Recipes: Vet Approved

Okay, now we know all the basics it’s time to look at some homemade dog food recipes: vet approved and nutritionally complete to feed your best friend. The great thing about these recipes are that you can change it up based on what you have on hand. You can easily substitute the ingredients and modify them to match your dog’s weight.

Change up the recipes however you like 

dog food running dog

General Recipe

This is a general recipe plan to follow. Keep in mind this recipe is portioned for a 15-pound dog. Modify the ingredient size to match your dog’s weight.


  • 3 ounce Protein (cooked)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups Carbohydrate – oatmeal, rice, sweet potato, etc. (cooked)
  • 1 tbsp Vegetables
  • 2 tbsp Fat – Olive or Vegetable Oil


  1. Cook the ingredients thoroughly. Do not use any seasoning.
  2. Combine all the ingredients.
  3. Make sure the food is completely cool before serving.
  4. Mix up the ingredients to your liking but keep the ratios the same (for a 15-pound-dog) to retain its nutritional value.

Modify the ingredient size to match your dog’s weight

healthy food for dogs dog with food in its bowl

Beef Stew

This recipe will produce a meal that is similar to the canned options you can find on the market. This protion size is for an 11-pound dog, but you can adjust it accordingly.


  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • large Sweet Potato
  • 1 medium Carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup Peas, frozen


  1. Cook the beef in a large pot until it is no longer pink. Keep the excess fat.
  2. To the beef add the carrots and potatoes.
  3. Cover the vegetables and meat with water and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the ater is boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for around twenty minutes.
  5. After the time has passed add in the frozen peas and let the food cook for another five minutes.
  6. Wait until the food has cooled.

Delicious beef stew 

healthy dog food beef stew

Ground Turkey

This is a simple, but balanced recipe. The choice of vegetables are full of essential vitamins and minerals and are a great source of fiber.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups Brown Rice
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 pounds Ground Turkey
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, shredded
  • 1 Zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Peas


  1. Prepare the brown rice according to the package.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Around three to five minutes.
  3. Stir in the vegetables and rice into the turkey. Cook the mixture from three to five minutes.
  4. After the spinach has wilted, take the pot off the heat and let it cool.
  5. Serve when completely cool.

A simple, but balanced recipe

homemade dog food small dog

Chicken Recipe

This recipe is delicious and with it’s many ingridents will enusre balance and all the nutrients your dog will need.


  • 1 and 1/4 cup Chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Broccoli, chopped and steamed
  • 3/4 cup Brown Rice
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Potato, steamed and mashed
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
  • Vitamin and Mineral Supplement
  • Enzyme Supplement


  1. Prepare the rice according to the package. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pot and add in chicken. Cook for around five to ten minutes.
  3. Prepare vegetables.
  4. Mix all ingredients togther. Make sure everything is fully cooled before serving.

A well-balanced meal 

homemade dog treats recipes vet approved chicken recipie

Christmas Meal

If you want to make your dog a part of Christmas dinner, here is a great recipie that utilizes a lot of leftover ingredients and is safe for your pet. This recipe makes quite a lot of food, so make sure to portion it out based on your dog’s size.


  • 3 pounds Turkey Meat, skinless and boneless (cooked)
  • 1 cup Oatmeal (cooked)
  • 1 pound Sweet Potato (cubed)
  • 2 tbsp Cranberry Sauce (without alcohol)
  • 4 tbsp Turkey Gravy (onion-free) or Olive Oil


  1. Prepare the sweet potatoes. Boil them or roast them.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, chop up the cooked turkey into small bite-sized pieces.
  3. After the potatoes are cooked and cooled, mix them with the rest of the ingredients.

Make your dog a part of Christmas dinner 

dog food recipes huskey with chritmas hat

Homemade Dog Treats Recipes: Vet Approved

If you want to make some healthy and delicious homemade dog treats, then why not try out these easy recipes?!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Treats


  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 5 and 1/2 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree


  1. Preheat the overn to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a bowl.
  3. Mix together.
  4. Place some parchment paper on the counter. Add the dough onto it. Place another piece of paper on top. Roll with a rolling pin until you have reached desired thickness (around 1/4 inch thick).
  5. Remove the top sheet. Cut with a cookie cutter ot knife.
  6. Place the dough pieces onto a nonstick or a foil-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for around twenty to thirty-five minutes depending on the thickness. Twenty will make softer treats, while thirty-five will make them more crunchy.

Shape them however you want

diy dog food recipe pumpkin peanut butter dog treats

Chicken Biscuits

This recipie is easy and uses up any leftover chicken you have. You can store them in the freezer, they can last for weeks!


  • 2 cups Chicken, chopped (cooked)
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 container Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until they have been thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Drop the thick and sticky batter by level tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Using the back of the spoon, flatten the dog treats slightly.
  5. Bake between twelve and fourteen minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Let completely cool.

Use the leftover chicken you have 

what can i feed my dog instead of dog food chicken and biscuits homemade dog treats

Puppy Cake

Does your dog have a birthday coming up? Make them feel special with this delightful puppy cake!


For cake:

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Carrots, shredded
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 5 and 1/2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 Egg

For Frosting: 

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 container Baby Food Bananas
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the flour and baking soda.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into a small round pan and bake between twenty-five and thirty minutes.
  5. For the frosting beat all the ingredients together.
  6. After the cake is ready and has cooled, use the frosting on it.

Happy Birthday!

gourmet dog food puppy birthday

We hope you found these guide helpful! Now you know all you need to create amazing homemade dog food recipes: vet approved and nutritionally complete. Try out these great recipes, and you will have one happy puppy!

Dogs are the best of friends

make your own dog food dog in bear ears

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.