There are a lot of benefits to making homemade dog food for your pup – you know exactly what and how much of each ingredient your dog is eating, you aren’t adding unnecessary fillers or preservatives, and you can use the freshest, locally sourced food that you wish. That said, you do have to be careful to meet all of your dog’s dietary requirements. It’s easy to believe that because you have put together this fantastic meal full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats that your dog is getting all the nutrients it needs. The reality is the majority of homemade dog food is lacking in the nutrition department and, at the very least, needs additional supplements to make it a well-rounded meal. We’re going to take a look at four awesome and easy homemade dog food recipes that are already approved by veterinarians.
Is this homemade food right for my dog?
While these recipes have been veterinarian approved, it is important to consult with your vet to make sure that they are right for your pup. Weight, age, breed, and overall health all have a factor in whether or not your dog is receiving the nutrition it needs from its food.
1. Chicken, Zucchini and Sweet Potatoes
This fully balanced meal is one that your dog is sure to love. You can either leave the chicken raw or to cook it before adding it to the finished recipe, depending on what you feel the most comfortable with.
- ¾ cup of brown rice
- 1 ½ cups raw chicken (chopped)
- ¼ cup zucchini (chopped)
- ¼ cup broccoli
- ¼ cup sweet potatoes
- 1 ½ teaspoon of olive oil
- 2 cups of water
- Your choice of vitamin and mineral supplements or multivitamin
- Your choice of enzyme supplements
Use the two cups of water to thoroughly cook the brown rice. Steam the broccoli and cut into pieces, and steam and mash the sweet potatoes. If you prefer to cook the chicken, you can use the olive oil to cook it in. Mix the ingredients well, then add your supplements according to their instructions. Cool thoroughly before serving to your pup.
2. Organic Turkey and Vegetables with Sunflower Seeds
This recipe is certainly an interesting combination. It includes ingredients that you wouldn’t necessarily think of putting together but that each one serves a purpose in creating a delicious, nutritionally balanced meal for your pup. This recipe is also organic but you can choose to use non-organic ingredients as well.
- 1 cup of organic ground turkey
- 1⁄4 cup chopped organic vegetables of your choosing
- 2 tbsp. ground turkey organs (livers, hearts, gizzards)
- ½ tsp. organic coconut oil
- ½ tsp. salmon oil
- 1 tsp. ground sunflower seeds
- Calcium citrate supplements
Lightly boil the vegetables in water for no more than a few minutes. Continue to remove them with a strainer and cool completely in an ice bath. This helps retain the vegetable’s nutritional value. Cook the turkey and turkey organs over medium-low heat until the meat has turned white and allow it to cool. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly and add the calcium citrate according to the package instructions. Serve to your pup and watch them enjoy!
3. The Raw Diet
This meal is almost completely raw, minus the brown rice and pumpkin. Again, it is up to your preferences whether or not you choose to feed this recipe to your pup completely raw. The recipe is a completely balanced mixture of protein, fiber, and healthy fats that your dog would never turn their nose up at.
- ½ cups raw chopped beef or lamb
- 1 ¼ cup raw carrots (chopped)
- 1 ¼ cup raw apples (chopped)
- ¼ cup defrosted frozen or fresh peas
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin (chopped)
- 2/3 cup brown rice
- 4 tsp. sunflower oil
- 1 tsp. fish oil
- Nutritional supplements or multivitamin
If you chose to serve this recipe raw, cook the rice and pumpkin only. They can be cooked together. Once the rice and the pumpkin have cooled, add the rest of the ingredients, including the nutritional supplements according to their specific instructions. This recipe can be stored in the freezer for up to two weeks.
4. Do It Yourself Chicken Jerky
While, yes, this is most certainly not a fully balanced meal for your pup, it is, in fact, veterinary-approved for a lean and nutritious snack that your dog will love. This treat requires only a few ingredients and are cheaper than what you find at the pet food store – in case you haven’t noticed, jerky for both humans and dogs is expensive! These DIY chicken jerky strips have a 30-day shelf life so use them all up before then.
- 1 pound skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp. xylitol-free peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Do not cut the chicken breasts into strips or pieces just yet. Mix the soy sauce and peanut butter in a bowl to make the marinate to spread on the chicken breasts for flavor. Add a tablespoon of water to the soy sauce and peanut butter mixture and stir until it becomes a paste. One this is done, coat the whole chicken breasts with the marinade and pop it in the freezer for an hour so it’s easier to slice. Prepare a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and slice the chicken breasts into thin strips, placing them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cook the jerky strips for two hours and let cool completely before serving them to your pup. Keep them as strips or break them into pieces for smaller, more manageable bites.
These awesome recipes aren’t only veterinary approved, but they’re super easy and generally inexpensive. Your pup knows the difference between their old supermarket kibble and good-quality food and will most definitely be thanking you for it.