Home Cooked Diet Recipe for Dogs
The following is our recommended homecooked diet. Gradually transition to the new diet over 1-2 weeks. Start by adding ¼ of new food into ¾ of old food. If this is well tolerated after 3-4 days feed ½ new food and ½ old food, after another 3-4 days of doing well feed ¾ new food and ¼ old food. After another 3-4 days of things going well, you can switch to all new food. All food should be cooked unless your dog is already eating a raw food diet.
Providing a fresh, home prepared diet for your pet is a natural way to reduce inflammation and help maintain proper health.
This recipe feeds a 50 lb dog for about one day; increase or decrease amount prepared according to your dog's size. Like humans, all dogs will have different metabolic rates. Weigh your dog before using this recipe then every 2-3 weeks until they are stable at a good weight.
- 14 ounces meat
- 2 ounces organ meat
- 2-7 ounces of steamed, grated vegetables
- 2 caps of Nature's Way Calcium Citrate, Carbonate & Malate (provides 500mg of calcium) OR 1 & 1/4 Tsp (500mg) of NOW Calcium Citrate Powder
- 1 capsule of Nature's Way Kelp (provides 600mg kelp)
Give as directed on bottle according to body weight.
- Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
Canine Plus Multivitamin (dogs up to 6 years old)
Canine Plus Senior Multivitamin (dogs over 6 years old)
Buy all the supplements you need for this recipe here:
- Lightly cook the meat and vegetables together by boiling, steaming, sauteing with a little water, or slow-cooking (i.e. "Crockpot").
- Once cooled, chop meat, organ meat, and vegetables in a food processor. Do not pulverize. Add water if needed.
- Add chopped meat and vegetables to a bowl, add Calcium and Kelp powders, and mix. Add water if needed.
- Add Omega-3 oil and a Multivitamin daily according to your dog's body weight (instruction on package.)
- Make preparing your pets food easy and fun. Turn on your favorite music and dance while you work. Give yourself a reward when you are done making your pets food. Making your pets food should not take you longer than going to the pet store to buy some.
- Once you know how much your pet eats, you can make a batch for 1-2 weeks at one time. You can also mix together the calcium and kelp for a few more batches and save them in a jar in a cool dark cabinet until the next batch. (I used to make 4 extra jars when I was out of calcium/kelp mix as a future time saver).
- Food should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. If you make a bigger batch, divide them into containers that hold 2-3 days of food each. Freeze extra containers of food and move to refrigerator one day before feeding.
- Always warm the food to room temp or slightly warm before feeding to support normal digestion. This can be done by floating the food bowl in a hot bath for a few minutes (while you make your morning tea) before offering to the pet.
- Vary the type of meat and vegetables used to guard against food sensitivities or nutritional deficiencies arising from always using the same ingredients
- Be aware that raw meat poses a significant health risk to people; use caution when handling
- Use a variety of organs from the same or similar type of animal (i.e. okay to use chicken hearts, gizzard, or livers with turkey meat if turkey organs not readily available)
- Chopped meat is better to encourage chewing for dental health when appropriate for the individual. If using ground meat, give at least some of the meat as chopped meat or encourage other safe forms of chewing.
- Lightly cooked meats have a higher nutrient content
- Vegetables are used to supply the right amount of carbohydrates and have a very high trace nutrient value. Any vegetable is okay: Carrots, broccoli, squash, yams, parsnips, spinach, kale, parsley, bok choy, lettuce, apples, and kelp. Grate, puree, and/or steam the vegetables to make them digestible
- Sweet potatoes, which have decent protein levels, are not too rich in starch and have several anti-cancer compounds. They make an excellent vegetable for home cooked diets
- Avoid carbohydrates, unless your pet has trouble gaining weight. Try to avoid wheat and grains, like corn and white rice
- Starch sources that may be marginally okay for some animals if they are not too inflamed include white potatoes and small amounts of oats or quinoa
- Avoid onions, grapes; minimize use of garlic
- Do not use an omega-3 supplement, except possibly at the lowest recommended dose, if your animal's coat is greasy or they are highly prone to severe inflammation.
- Pre-prepared frozen meat and vegetable diets, sold to be fed raw, can be instead lightly boiled or steamed and fed as a home-cooked diet. Do not dry cook raw food diets that contain bone fragments.
- Cooked and raw brands we recommend are: Primal, Nature's Variety, Darwin's, EcoPawz, Small Batch, Raised Right, Evermore and Farmer's Dog
- A raw "knuckle bone" or other rounded bone too big to swallow with cartilage covering is the safest to avoid broken teeth or choking while providing health benefits. It can be given every 1-3 days to help maintain dental, jaw, and emotional health. This should be thoroughly thawed if previously frozen. Do not allow pet to chew on it after it has been out of the fridge for more than about 45 minutes total time due to bacterial growth. In addition, after two hours out of the refrigerator, these bones can become hard enough to crack teeth (they become harder as they dry). Never feed cooked bones or bones that can be choked on. Avoid marrow bones, frozen bones or dried out bones (these commonly cause cracked teeth). Soft bones that are meant to be consumed as part of the diet can be given with certain considerations. If you are already or would like to feed raw meaty bones, discuss what type of bones are best for your pet with your practitioner.
- This diet can be fed using raw ingredients. It has been shown that dogs eating a raw diet have higher amounts of potentially pathogenic bacteria (salmonella, clostridium, etc.) on their fur than dogs eating a cooked diet. For this reason, raw meat diets are NOT recommended for dogs that come in contact with immuno-compromised individuals, children, or other susceptible individuals. For most individuals, the strongest benefit comes from feeding a whole food diet (unprocessed). Cooking does not generally reduce the improvements seen with a home-prepared diet. Certain constitutions and elderly pets generally do better with a cooked diet and will tend to experience diarrhea on raw diets. For more guidance regarding cooked vs. raw diets, or for help with transitioning to a new diet, schedule a phone consultation with our doctor.
- Warm the food to make it more aromatic
- Put the new food on the old food so the new food has to be eaten to get to the old food
- Sprinkle a small amount of freeze-dried liver on top for added enticement. Only do this step if your pet will not eat the food otherwise. It may be difficult to get them off these yummies later.