9 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes for a Thriving Pup | Avid Pup (2024)

Despite all of the commercially available dog foods that are on the market nowadays, many dog owners are turning to homemade recipes to keep their dogs healthy. Homemade meals offer greater control over what your pup is putting into their body.

Not only can you cater recipes to meet your dog’s particular size, breed, and activity levels, but you can also address unique medical concerns or dietary restrictions.

Instead of taking a stab at the dark and hoping that your dried kibble contains good ingredients,

you can make your canine companion’s meals yourself and know for sure.

9 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes for a Thriving Pup | Avid Pup (1)

Before you start whipping together canine meals, there are a few things to know.

First, you should steer clear of table scraps and processed human foods. It’s important to remember that there are many things that dogs are allergic to.

Secondly, the dietary needs of your dog are much different from your own.

The goal of homemade dog food recipes is to create a balanced diet that beats what you can get in your local pet food aisle.

There are many vet-approved recipes out there to get you started. These recipes are endorsed by licensed professionals, so you can have peace of mind knowing that they’re a healthy option.

You should also consult with your own vet to make sure that your dog’s unique needs are being met.

A Balanced Canine Diet

Take a glance at any dry kibble product and you’ll see a long list of ingredients. It may seem like creating dog food is a complicated process. In reality, it’s relatively simple.

There are three main nutrients that your dog needs to stay healthy. These include proteins, fiber, and carbohydrates.


Protein is, by far, the single most important nutrient to your dog. Canines need protein to develop their muscles and keep their organs in check.

Typically, adult dogs do very well with a diet that’s made up of about 18 percent protein.

9 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes for a Thriving Pup | Avid Pup (2)

Puppies, on the other hand, are still growing. They need as much as 25 percent protein in their meals.

It’s not an exact science. Your dog’s biological needs will change based on their age and activity levels. Furthermore, certain athletic breeds require significantly more protein in their diet.

You’ll need to keep track of your dog’s health and make adjustments accordingly. It’s also a good idea to speak with your vet to get a better idea of how much your pooch needs.


Dietary fiber is essential for overall gastrointestinal health. While dogs don’t get energy from fiber it can help in other areas. A healthy dose of fiber can keep your dog regular, prevent constipation, and help avoid any unnecessary weight gain.

The great thing about fiber is that it’s found in a wide range of ingredients.

The most common source of fiber is fruits and vegetables. Oftentimes, owners create fiber-rich diets while also introducing essential vitamins and minerals.

Overall, fiber should make up less than 10 percent of the entire recipe.


Carbohydrates are going to one of your dog’s main sources of energy. They are broken down and absorbed by your dog’s gastrointestinal tract to create energy.

Figuring out how many carbs your dog should be consuming is tough.

There is no agreed-upon percentage or figure to model recipes after. Some believe that dogs need a lot of carbs while others feel that consumption should be limited.

With that being said, there is one thing that all veterinarians agree on, and that’s the types of carbohydrates you provide. There are two types of carbohydrates.

These include simple carbs and complex carbs.

Simple carbohydrates should be avoided because they are absorbed by the body quickly. This leads to spikes in energy and an eventual crash.

Complex carbs are absorbed slowly, providing your pooch with a more steady energy supply. You can find complex carbs in ingredients like sweet potatoes, beans, oats, and more.

9 Homemade Dog Food Recipes – Vet-Approved

#1. Massachusetts’ MSCPA-Angell Animal Medical Center Recipe

This recipe is versatile and scalable. You can use a wide variety of ingredients, as long as they’re safe for canines.

The following recipe is portioned for a 15-pound dog. You can easily modify the ingredient amounts to match your pup’s weight.


  • 3 Ounces of a cooked protein
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of a cooked carbohydrate. – oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potato, or more.
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegetables
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of fat source, such as olive oil or vegetable oil


Simply combine the ingredients and you’re done! Before you feed your dog, make sure the food is completely cool and safe to avoid burns. The next time you make this meal, you can try the recipe out with different ingredients. Stick with the same ratios and the meal should retain its nutritional value.

#2. Founder’s Veterinary Clinic Recipe

Like the previous recipe, you can substitute a number of ingredients for things you have on hand. For example, you can swap out the main protein source for deboned fish and the carbohydrates for standard potatoes.

If you choose to feed your dog this food, it’s recommended that you add calcium or bonemeal pattern to ensure that your dog’s bones remain healthy.


  • 1/4 of a pound of cooked skinless chicken
  • 1 Cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1 Cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of potassium chloride


Once the cooked chicken and rice have cooled down, mix the various ingredients to form a mash. This recipe is portioned for a 20-pound dog. However, you can scale the ingredients amount accordingly.

#3. VE&CC Vets Healthy Dog Food Recipe

This recipe from VE&CC Vets is simple but balanced. Its main protein source is ground turkey. Your dog will reap the benefits of the carrots, zucchini, and spinach. Not only are they chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals, but they’re also a great source of fiber.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 pounds of ground turkey
  • 3 cups of chopped baby spinach
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1 shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 a cup of peas


The first thing you’ll need to do to make this dog food is to prepare the brown rice. Cook it in a rice cooker or on the stove according to the package instructions. Once it’s finished, set it aside to cool.

Then, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and cook it until it’s browned. This should take between 3 and 5 minutes. As it cooks, break down the turkey into a crumble.

Stir the vegetable ingredients and rice into the ground turkey. Cook this mixture for another 3 to 5 minutes. After the leafy spinach has wilted, take the pot off the heat and let it cool down completely before you serve it to your dog.

#4. Zoey’s Favorite Fully Balanced Gourmet Dinner

Want to spoil your pooch and give them a meal that they’ll love? Try out this gourmet recipe. It features many different ingredients to ensure that it’s balanced.

The numerous ingredients also blend well to create a delicious taste your pup won’t be able to get enough of.


  • 3/4 of a cup of brown rice
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of chopped raw chicken
  • 1/4 Cup of chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 Cup of steamed and chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 Cup of steamed mashed sweet potato
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons of virgin olive oil
  • Vitamin and mineral supplement
  • Enzyme supplement


The first thing you’ll need to do to make this dog food is to prepare the brown rice. Cook it in a rice cooker or on the stove according to the package instructions. Once it’s finished, set it aside to cool.

Then, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and cook it until it’s browned. This should take between 3 and 5 minutes.

As it cooks, break down the turkey into a crumble.

Stir the vegetable ingredients and rice into the ground turkey. Cook this mixture for another 3 to 5 minutes. After the leafy spinach has wilted, take the pot off the heat and let it cool down completely before you serve it to your dog.

#5. Whole Vet Pet Cooked Dog Food Recipe

This is a home-cooked meal your dog will enjoy. The following recipe is for a 20-pound dog. You can multiple or halve the ingredients to match your pup’s current weight.

You can also incorporate additional ingredients for nutritional supplements. These include cod oil, parsley, and mineral nut mix.


  • 8 Ounces of organic ground turkey
  • 1/4 Cup of finely grated organic vegetables
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salmon oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of ground raw sunflower seeds
  • 500 Milligrams of calcium citrate
  • 2 Tablespoons of ground turkey organs. This could be hearts, livers, or gizzards


Blanch the vegetables by lightly boiling them in water. After a few minutes in the water, remove them with a strainer and dunk them in an ice bath. This process softens the fibers while retaining a lot of the vegetable’s nutritional value.

Once they have cooled completely, toss them in a blender or food processor to grind them down further.

Cook the turkey and organ meat gently over medium-low heat. After the meat has turned white, allow it to cool. Then, mix together all the ingredients.

#6. VetCo Dog Christmas Meal

Treat your pup to a festive meal around the holidays with this recipe from VetCo. It utilizes a lot of leftover ingredients you’ll find on your dining room table.

The ingredients are safe for your dog. You can whip this meal up in only a few minutes and spoil your canine companion. The recipe makes a lot of food, so you’ll need to portion it out based on your dog’s size.


  • 3 Pounds of skinless and boneless turkey meat (cooked)
  • 1 Cup of cooked oatmeal
  • 1 Pound of cubed sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons of homemade cranberry sauce (with no alcohol)
  • 4 Tablespoons of onion-free turkey gravy or olive oil


The first thing you should do is prepare the sweet potatoes. You can either boil them for 20 minutes or roast them for 45 minutes.

As the potatoes are cooking, chop up the cooked turkey into small bite-sized pieces.

After the sweet potatoes are cooked and cooled, mix them with the oatmeal, cranberry sauce, and turkey meat. Then, add in your gravy or olive oil.

#7. DIY Slow Cooker Dog Food

Creating a balanced dog meal can be as simple as tossing some ingredients into a slow cooker. This recipe takes several hours to make, so it’s best to do it overnight or when you’re out for the day.

You can split this meal up into several portions and pop them in the freezer for later.


  • 2 and 1/2 to 3 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken (breasts and thighs)
  • 1 Cubed sweet potato
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 large cubed apple (remove core and seeds)
  • 1 can of drained and rinsed kidney beans
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil


Place the pieces of chicken in your slow cooker and add enough water to cover them. You can add the pieces whole. They will fall apart as they cook.

Add the potato, carrots, apple, and kidney beans. Set your slow cooker to the lowest setting and let the mixture cook for 8 or 9 hours.

At the end of the cooking cycle, add the frozen peas and let the mixture continue to cook for another 30 minutes. After that, drain the excess water out of the slow cooker pot.

Add the olive oil and stir it thoroughly. Then, pulverize the mixture in a food processor. Wait until the meal is completely cool to feed it to your dog.

#8. Homemade Beef Stew for Dogs

This beef stew recipe will produce a meal that’s very similar to canned options you can get at the market. However, you’ll have complete control of the ingredients.

The recipe makes a meal for an 11-pound dog, but you can adjust accordingly.


  • 1 Pound of ground beef (ground chicken or turkey is also acceptable)
  • 1 Large sweet potato
  • 1 Diced medium-sized carrot
  • 1/2 a cup of frozen peas


Cook the beef in a large pot until it is no longer pink. Do not drain the excess fat. This a good source of fat for your dog, so you can leave it in without issues. Then, add the carrots and potatoes.

Cover the vegetable and meat mixture with water and bring it up to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. After simmering, add the frozen peas and let the food cook for another 5 minutes or so. Wait until the food is cooled before putting it in your dog’s dish.

#9. Walkerville Vet Dog Food Recipe

The safety and effectiveness of a raw food diet is still a point of contention among veterinary professionals. Walkerville Vet recommends the best of both worlds.

This recipe is based on the raw food diet of wolves, your dog’s natural ancestors. however, it also takes into account the dietary changes in domesticated dogs. It has raw meat as well as cooked carbohydrates and vegetables.


  • About 9 ounces (250 grams) of raw chopped beef or lamb
  • 1 cup of chopped raw carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped raw apples
  • 1/4 cup of defrosted frozen peas
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of chopped pumpkin or squash
  • 2/3 cup of uncooked brown or basmati rice
  • 4 Teaspoons of sunflower oil
  • 4 Grams of fish oil
  • Nutritional supplements


First, cook the rice and pumpkin together. You should end up with approximately 3 cups of cooked rice mixed with softened pumpkin. Let these ingredients cool. Then, simply mix the rest of the ingredients with this mixture.

You can portion this food up and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

101 Vet-Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes for Specific Health Problems

*While the previous recipes can provide healthy dogs with a balanced meal, that may not be the case for dogs with medical conditions.

If your dog has special dietary requirements because of a health issue, you need to be extra careful about homemade meals. You can find 101 vet-approved recipes in a book written by Dr. Fiona Caldwell.

Dr. Caldwell has studied veterinary medicine for over a decade. Her book compiles recipes that are catered to dogs with special health concerns. Each recipe is tested, researched, and approved, so you can rest easy knowing that they’re safe for your pup

Also Read:Best Dog Food for Puppies with Sensitive Stomachs

9 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes for a Thriving Pup | Avid Pup (3)
9 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes for a Thriving Pup | Avid Pup (2024)


Which homemade food is good for puppy? ›

Carrots, beans, okra, beetroots, peas, sweet corn, broccoli, and pumpkins are good sources of low-calorie fibre that can be added to balance out your dog's diet. If you're cooking meat, then add the vegetables in the last 10 minutes of cooking to get the maximum nutritional value out of it.

Is homemade dog food OK for puppies? ›

The answer is yes, dogs can eat homemade food every day, as long as you consult with a veterinary nutritionist to make sure your pet is being fed the correct balance of vitamins and nutrients they need.

What are the best ingredients to use for homemade dog food? ›

Your pet needs protein (animal meat, seafood, dairy, or eggs), fat (from meat or oil) and carbohydrates (grains or vegetables). They also need calcium (from dairy or an ingredient such as egg shells), and essential fatty acids (from certain plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods).

What should the first 3 ingredients be in puppy food? ›

What are the top 3 ingredients to look for in dog food? The top ingredients to look for in dog food are high-quality proteins (named meat sources - chicken, beef, fish, and lamb), natural carbohydrates (whole fruits and vegetables), and healthy fats (animal fats or plant-based oils).

What should be the number 1 ingredient in dog food? ›

The best dog foods will always have meat as the top ingredient, and you should look for recipes that emphasize real animal proteins, rather than just meat meals. Because your dog's food should have more meat than any other ingredient, it's vital to choose a meat source that will benefit your dog's health.

What should be top ingredients in puppy food? ›

A whole source of animal protein which should always be the first ingredient, such as fish, poultry or meat. A source of easily digestible carbohydrates like whole grains or vegetables. Healthy fats like chicken fats and salmon oils. Healthy nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin and glucosamine.

Why put rice in homemade dog food? ›

Health benefits of rice

Here are the health benefits of feeding rice to your dog: It's low in fat. It's low in sodium. It contains antioxidants that protect against disease and cognitive dysfunction in aging pets.

Do vets recommend homemade dog food? ›

“Homemade food is a great option for many pets, but we recommend that owners avoid general recipes from books and the Internet and instead consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist,” Larsen said.

What is the correct ratio for homemade dog food? ›

The general rule of thumb for a home-made diet for a healthy canine patient is 75% meat/15%vegetables/10% carbohydrate. Variety is the key to a healthy diet so be sure to vary your meat, carbohydrate and vegetable sources from time to time.

What ingredients should not be in puppy food? ›

To help you with this, we have listed ten ingredients to avoid in dog food.
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) First on our list is butylated hydroxyanisole, also known as BHA. ...
  • White Flour. ...
  • Meat Meal. ...
  • Artificial Food Coloring. ...
  • Corn Syrup. ...
  • Rendered Fat. ...
  • Vegetable Oil. ...
  • Farmed Salmon.
Nov 12, 2021

What is a serving size of homemade dog food for a puppy? ›

Feed your pups: Portion out meals accordingly. For every 10 lbs, you need roughly 1/2 cup of food per meal. Example: If you have a 20 lb dog, they will eat 1-1.5 cups of the batch per meal (2-3 cups total per day).

What should top 3 ingredients be dog food? ›

When you're reading the back of your dog's food label, there are a few essential ingredients you should look out for: Protein. Carbohydrates. Healthy fats.

What homemade food can dogs eat everyday? ›

7 Foods to Cook For Your Dog
  • Chicken. Cooked chicken is a good source of protein for dogs. ...
  • Lean Ground Turkey. Lean ground turkey is a safe food to cook for your dog. ...
  • Eggs. Cooked eggs are a safe, healthy food with lots of minerals and vitamins. ...
  • Raw or Steamed Vegetables. ...
  • Fresh Fruits. ...
  • Boiled Potatoes. ...
  • Peanut Butter. ...
  • Yogurt.
Sep 12, 2023

Can I feed my dog chicken and rice everyday? ›

It is not healthy to give dogs their dog food mixed in with chicken and rice daily. While chicken and rice are both healthy foods for dogs, they do not contain all of the nutrients that dogs need. A diet of chicken and rice alone can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can cause health problems in the long term.

What can I feed my puppy instead of dog food? ›

What To Feed Your Dog if You Ran Out of Dog Food
  • Canned chicken or tuna in water.
  • Canned vegetables (rinsed or salt-free)
  • Peanut butter (xylitol-free)
  • Plain steel-cut or old-fashioned oats.
  • Whole grains like brown rice and barley.
  • Whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta.
  • Gluten-free grain alternatives like millet and quinoa.


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