The Home, Family & Pets

How to Make Homemade Dog Food for Your Pup

Homemade dog food is filled with rich protein, vegetables, and healthy grains. A homemade diet can make a tremendous difference in a dog’s health and life. Rascal’s homemade dog food recipe is filled with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini squash and macaroni noodles.

Our golden retriever Rascal eats a 100% human-grade dog food diet. Jared and I always joke that we could eat Rascals food with enough sriracha. Let me preface but saying that I NEVER thought I would be the type of person that made their dog’s food homemade.

After Rascal turned a year old or so, he started developing really strange eating habits. He wasn’t finishing his food, had loud intense stomachaches and frequently threw up. We went through a number of blood tests. He had been diagnosed with things like pancreatitis, anxiety and one vet even thought he had parvo. We were stressed and at a loss at how to more forward. That is until we did an allergy test.

Rascal IHA 5

We uncovered that Rascal was allergic to a dozen different food items, one being beef, the main ingredient in his traditional dry dog food. We were introduced to an all-natural human-grade dog food company called ‘Just Food for Dogs’. The company sells premade food and teaches people how to make recipes at home. Once we started this all-natural diet the stomach aches subsided and he was the happiest we had ever seen him.

Rascal IHA 1
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At first, the thought of homemade dog food was so daunting and just downright ‘boujee’. I can honestly say that making his food doesn’t cost much more than the prescription diet he was on beforehand. After watching the documentary ‘Pet Fooled’ we realized just how unregulated the dog food industry was and started to feel stronger about our homemade switch.

Is homemade dog food good for dogs?

While I am not a vet, and I certainly can’t speak for all animals (pun intended) I can tell you that switching to homemade dog food made a world of difference for Rascal. We had a very unique case with him and his food allergies, but we have also seen other positive changes.

Rascal IHA 8

On traditional dog food, Rascal was lethargic, he shed in abundance and his appetite was mediocre. Since the dog food switch, he has been energetic, focused and calmer. On a traditional diet we were vacuuming at least once a day but now 1-2 a week. We no longer have to coax Rascal into mealtime and have finally developed a great eating schedule.

How much homemade dog food should I feed my dogs?

This will definitely vary from dog to dog and I highly recommend speaking to your vet before going homemade. Generally speaking, for every 20 lbs your dog weighs, you give them roughly 1 cup of prepared food.

Ingredients for Rascal’s homemade dog food:

  • Olive oil
  • Ground Turkey
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini squash
  • Broccoli
  • Chicken Stock
  • Macaroni noodles
  • Omega 3 Oil
  • Nutrient Blend
Diy Dog Food 1

How to make homemade dog food?

  • Food Processor: Before I start cooking a batch of homemade dog food, I blend up all the vegetables in my food processor. This Cuisinart food processor is my go-to. It’s a bit smaller than traditional food processors (we don’t have a lot of counter space) but works just as well as a larger model. Blending up the veggies nice and fine will speed up the cooking process.
Diy Dog Food 6
Diy Dog Food 7
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  • Dutch Oven: I make the entire batch in my large Le Creuset round Dutch oven. I love using a Dutch oven because I can ground the meat first, and then finish off the batch right in the same pot. The process is very similar to making chili… except for dogs. Ya know… Dog Chili.
Diy Dog Food 2
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  • Measuring Cups: Rascal has his own set of measuring cups now because it makes measuring out food ingredients and the finished batch WAY easier.
Diy Dog Food 11
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  • Meal Prep Containers: This is basically meal prepping for your dog, so you will need some great Tupperware. I love using these stainless steal Tupperware bins made just for pups.
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Recipe Variations:

  • Protein: Rascal digests ground turkey really well but you can try ground beef, pork, chicken, lamb and Rascal’s personal favorite: venison. If you don’t have a meat grinder you can ask your butcher to ground it for you or cut it up super fie before cooking.
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Apples, cauliflower, potatoes, peas, spinach, butternut squash, and cranberries are some great dog-friendly fruits and veggies.
  • Grains & Carbs: Rice, quinoa, barley, whole grain pasta, and potatoes can be great options. If you can believe it, Rascal is actually allergic to rice. I wish I were kidding.
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  • We add in a nutrient blend from a company called ‘Just Food For Dogs’ very similar to dog vitamins as well as Omega oil to make sure he is getting enough healthy fats. I highly recommend adding both of these into your dog food so you can rest assure that they are getting proper nutrients.

What kind of homemade snacks can you make a dog?

  • Peanut butter: Rascal has his own dedicated jar of peanut butter. He loves a traditional Kong but you can also mold and freeze peanut butter in any shape for a quick frozen treat. When the jar is almost finished I break out my peanut butter spoon.
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  • Greek Yogurt Ice Cream: In the summer we blend up unflavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Place a spoonful or two into a silicone cupcake pan and freeze for a few hours. These make for a great dog ‘ice cream’.
  • Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes: Rascal's favorite easy treat. We love bringing these over to family and friends' houses so Rascal always has a healthy treat on hand.

Homemade Dog Food with Ground Turkey & Sweet Potatoes

theinspiredhome.com

Author

Elizabeth Van Lierde

Published

April 2, 2020

Modified

August 18, 2020

Yields

10 servings

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lb ground turkey
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 3 cups chicken stock or water (no salt added)
  • 20 oz macaroni noodles

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil on medium heat. Add ground turkey, begin to break it down and cook for 8-10 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
  2. With a food processor, finely chop sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, broccoli. Add in vegetables and stock to turkey. Cook on a strong simmer for 7-8 minutes or until veggies are tender and cooked through.
  3. Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add macaroni noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and add to vegetable mixture. Divide mixture into meal prep bins and refrigerate or freeze

Nutrition Per Serving

Serving Size - 1
Calories - 580
Carbohydrate - 60.1g
Cholesterol - 139mg
Fiber - 5.3g
Protein - 46.9g
Fat - 18.9g
Saturated Fat - 3.1g
Trans Fat - 0g
Unsaturated Fat - 0g
Sodium - 440mg
Sugar - 7.7g
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