These days, finding healthy foods for your family is easier than ever. With an abundance of farmers markets, the farm-to-table movement, and an overall desire to know where your food comes from, it is no surprise that people want to make sure their dogs, too, are getting the best, healthiest food out they can.
Sometimes, dogs will turn their nose up at even the best dog food. Sound familiar? If so, it might be time to try giving your pooch homemade dog food.
You don’t have to be an expert chef to whip up these delicious DIY dog food recipes. All you need is a bit of time and the right ingredients, and you’re well on your way to treating your dog to a home cooked meal!
A Few Helpful Tips Before Starting
Before you try these recipes, or any other homemade recipes, be sure to consult with your veterinarian. You’ll want to ensure that your home cooked meals contain all of the essential vitamins and nutrients your dog needs.
Secondly, many homemade dog food recipes call for precise measurements of ingredients. If you don’t already have one, a food scale is incredibly helpful when measuring out amounts of ingredients (particularly meats), and it is often more accurate than measuring cups.
Stick to the recipe. When cooking for yourself, it is tempting to veer off the recipe. And that’s okay, because you know what you like. But when it comes to cooking for your dog, it is important to stick to the recipe. This helps not only with flavor and consistency, but it helps to ensure your dog is getting just the right amount of nutrients they need to stay healthy.
As with any change in diet, make sure to monitor your dog for several days after introducing new foods, to ensure they are agreeing with your dog’s system.
Recipe 1: Crunchy Homemade Kibble
This homemade dog food recipe is perfect if you’ve never cooked for your dog before. A homemade take on the traditional dog kibble, this recipe is also a nice introduction to “new” food for your dog.
In order to make Crunchy Homemade Kibble, you only need a few ingredients, which makes your shopping list easy to manage!
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 cups brown rice (you can use instant brown rice or traditional brown rice…your choice)
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- 6 cups water
- 1 x 16-ounce package of frozen mixed veggies with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot. You can also substitute the frozen veggies for fresh veggies from your farmers market, or from the produce section of your grocery store. Just make sure to thoroughly wash and cook the vegetables before serving to your dog.
- In a large Dutch oven or oversized pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- When the water is boiling, add in the ground turkey, rosemary, and rice.
- Lower the temperature to medium-low and simmer.
- Be sure to break up the ground turkey and mix it thoroughly in with the rice and water.
- Simmer the ingredients for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, combine the frozen veggies into the Dutch oven/large pot and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and cool.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe 2: Savory Salmon
Now that you’ve dipped your feet into the world of homemade dog food, give this savory recipe a try. Ensuring that your dog is getting enough protein and vegetables in their diet is essential, and this recipe is packed with them. Salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to healthier looking coats in dogs.1
Preparing this homemade dog food recipe is a bit more labor-intensive than others, but it is worth the effort.
- Salmon with skin on; 1 ounce of fish for every 10 pounds of your dog
- 1 head of broccoli with stem
- 1 squash
- 3 potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Chop up the broccoli stem, peel the carrots and potatoes, and save the potato peelings.
- Chop up the carrots and potatoes into very small pieces for easier chewing.
- Mix the vegetables together and steam in your rice cooker (or bake in the oven) until tender and soft.
- On a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the potato peels until they’re crisp (you can also bake in the oven).
- Pan fry the salmon in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, keeping the skin on.
- Begin by cooking with the skin-side down on medium heat.
- After flipping the salmon, peel off the crispy salmon skin.
- Continue cooking your salmon until fully cooked.
Note: The crispy salmon skin can be baked further to make a crunchy, special treat for your pooch.
Combine all of the ingredients, including the potato peels, into a mixing bowl for your dog, ensuring that everything is in bite-sized pieces. Let this meal cool before serving, and refrigerate any leftovers.
Homemade Dog Food: In Conclusion
Making dog food for your dog can be incredibly fun and rewarding. And when you know exactly what is going into their food, you can feel better knowing that they’re getting healthy, fresh dog food everytime you cook for them.
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