Make Your Own Healthy Dog Food

Make Your Own Healthy Dog Food #dogfood #homemadedogfood #rawdogMake healthy dog food that contains everything your furry baby needs to thrive. These raw dog food pucks use much of the food scraps you would normally throw away, saving you money and improving your dog’s health.

Kevin and I have two dogs. Lexy, a 9 year old German Shepherd Border Collie Cross whose loyalty runs deep. And Pebbles, a 6 year old Pomeranian with an attitude that just won’t quit.

I’ve always been interested in feeding them a raw food diet, but wasn’t really sure where to start. Sadly, there isn’t much out there on how to do this the right (and safe) way. All I knew is that I wasn’t going to buy the raw food dog food pucks at the pet store for a whopping $7 per serving… twice a day… per dog.

I don’t even spend that much money on my own food.

Pebbles was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in May, which catapulted my slight interest in feeding our dogs a raw food diet to an all out obsession to figuring out how to make raw dog food happen in our house for the least amount of money. That same week, I spent oodles of hours formulating the perfect homemade dog food for both of them.

Lexy is 50 pounds and Pebbles is 5 pounds. So already, there had to be a drastic difference in the food I made for each of them. Combined with Pebbles’ thyroid condition, and I had my work cut out for me… or so I thought.

Making homemade dog food is actually really simple. Especially if you have an Instant Pot. You don’t need one to do this, but it’s much easier. Use the coupon code HEALTHFUL for $10 off your Instant Pot.

Make Your Own Healthy Dog Food #dogfood #homemadedogfood #rawdog

While you can do this 100% raw, after chatting with a couple of vets about it, I’ve developed a 50/50 raw to cooked formula. Raw where it counts, cooked where it benefits them and their little bodies!

Our little ones have been on this food for 6 months and have visited the vet for bloodwork (because I’m a nerd like that and like to make sure that what I’m doing is safe), Pebble’s thyroid is within normal range again, both of them are energetic, their dry skin has vanished and they have perfectly formed bowel movements twice a day. All is well!

Be sure to check out the notes below the recipe for some tips on making sure the dog food that you make is actually safe for your dog.

Make Your Own Healthy Dog Food #dogfood #homemadedogfood #rawdog

4.2 from 6 reviews
Homemade Healthy Dog Food Pucks
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Inexpensive grain-free homemade dog food recipe. Make it raw if you’d like!
Ingredients
Raw Base Recipe
Cooked Base Recipe
Optional Boosted Supplements
  • Vitamin A in the form of Cod Liver Oil (100IU per day per 5 pounds of body weight)
  • EPA/DHA in the form of Krill Oil (240mg per day per 5 pounds of body weight)
  • Soy-free Vitamin E (12IU per day per 5 pounds of body weight)
  • Kelp water (¼ teaspoon per day per 5 pounds of body weight)
Instructions
  1. Add Raw Base Recipe ingredients (including the WHOLE egg) and any additional Boosted Supplements to the jug of your high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and set in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, add Cooked Base Recipe ingredients to your Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you could increase the broth to 3 cups and add to a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Allow the Cooked Base Recipe ingredients to chill until room temperature. Transfer to the jug of your high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth. Transfer mixture to the bowl with the blended Raw Base Recipe ingredients and mix with a large spoon until combined.
  4. Transfer to small silicone molds or larger silicone molds if you have a larger dog. Once all molds have been filled, transfer to the freezer and freeze for 12 hours. You can store them in the molds, or transfer to a large ziploc.
  5. Keep the pucks in the freezer at all times. When ready to feed, take out on the counter to defrost for 1 hour or place in the fridge overnight. Remember there is raw meat in here, so wash up afterward.
Notes
If you don’t want to make it raw, add all ingredients to your instant pot and cook it up, then blend.

Make Your Own Healthy Dog Food #dogfood #homemadedogfood #rawdogSERVING SIZE

The recipe above makes enough homemade dog food for 30 days for our 5 pound dog. For every 5 pounds of body weight, a good place to start is 2 tablespoons per serving, twice a day.

GET $10 off your Instant Pot with the coupon code HEALTHFUL at checkout

MAKING HOMEMADE DOG FOOD SAFE

  • If you have babies or toddlers that like to stick their hands, feet, and other small objects in your dog’s mouth, it may be best to hold off on feeding your dog raw food. While raw meats are safe for dogs, they aren’t safe for your baby. Cross contamination is a big problem here. If your children are older, it may be easier to teach them not to touch your dog’s mouth, especially after the dog has eaten.
  • When making your homemade dog food, do not use these toxic foods. When in doubt, Google, “Is <<Ingredient Name>> safe for dogs” to make sure.
  • Keep the pucks in the freezer at all times. When ready to feed, take out on the counter to defrost for 1 hour or place in the fridge overnight. Remember there is raw meat in here, so wash up afterward.
  • When we travel, if we have access to a freezer we will bring the frozen pucks with us. If we don’t they get switched over to straight-up raw meat and eggs. Whatever we’re cooking, goes into their bowls before we cook it.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS

  • The easiest most cost-effective way to make dog food is to save your food scraps of the items called for in the recipe above, or the ingredients you decide on. We keep a large ziploc bag in the freezer that we dump all of our scraps into – meats, starches and fruits. When it’s full, I make a batch of dog food for literally pennies a serving.
  • Ground seeds, replace with additional vegetables. Just make sure they are safe for dogs.
  • For meat, I like to stick to grass-fed beef or pasture-raised lamb. Grass-fed beef is the least expensive of the two.
  • For starch, I like sweet potatoes because they’re inexpensive and easy to cook.
  • For liquid, I use bone broth because it’s nourishing and I always have lots in the house. You could use water instead.
  • For fruit, I stick with apples or blueberries. For the apples, always be sure to remove the seeds. If you don’t want to use fruit, just add more starch.
  • For fat, I use a combination of coconut oil or grass-fed tallow. The tallow is the least expensive at $3 per pound. You could also use flax oil, but it can go rancid easily and I don’t like to take that chance.

Cinnibone dog treats (2)

If you like making homemade treats for your dog, check out these Cinnibone Dog Treats, a recipe I shared on the blog back in 2011. Scroll halfway down the post for the recipe.

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. The coupon code for the InstaPot is only $10 not the $50 you’re actually advertising… What’s up?

    • Sorry for that! We haven’t had a chance to update our coupon code since Instant Pot changed their pricing structure. The discount is now factored into the price as Instant Pot has reduced their overall pricing by $40. Coupled with our $10 off coupon, that’s a total of $50 in savings!

  2. Do you use this single recipe all the time or do you have other recipes as well? If I don’t have an instant pot, could i use a crock pot instead and do you know the cook time for that?

    • Hey! I mainly use this recipe. I’m not sure how you can make this in your crockpot but you can make it in a saucepan by increasing the broth to 3 cups and adding it to a large saucepan. Cover it and bring it to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes. I hope this helps!

  3. Where are you finding a multi vitamin powder? All I’m able to find are chews and pastes.

    • Hmm, you’re right! I’m sure it will work to blend the chews with your high powered blender. Also, the paste should work well here, too. I hope that helps!

    • I just used this recipe in my Instant Pot and it was done in a half hour. The only downside is that it came out ‘soupier’ than I expected. Quite a lot of liquid. So, I used a stick blender to break down the larger bits and am hoping freezing firms it up some.

      My dog licked the bowl and heartily approves!

      People have asked about a multi-vitamin powder. I’ve used Nupro Silver for the last 14 years with my Basset mixes. I highly recommend it!

  4. My dog is loving this food! He’s a 50 lb. Golden Retriever/Chow mix and I give him one puck twice a day. It seems to be plenty since he doesn’t touch the dry food I’ve also been putting in the bowl! I don’t even thaw them anymore because he loves to much on it straight out of the freezer (and it’s still super-hot here in south Florida). I can’t tell yet if it’s having a positive effect on his shedding (I’m still finding tumbleweeds of fur though I think it’s less than before). Not sure that cost-wise this is sustainable for us compared to his grain-free dry food from Costco (Nature’s Domain @ $31 for a 35 lb. bag) which lasts over a month for him.

  5. I don’t understand the serving size – start at 2 tbsp per serving?
    I have a 70lb dog..how much would be need?

    Thanks!

    • I have 3 big dogs 55. 60 & 75 pounds, my 75 pound boy Sabashtion, is a terror mix, & has a lump on his chest, i am praying this raw food will help. I totaly believe in it ,at this time I can only feed him this untill I start back to work. I bought a supplement for fatty lumps ,I just started it tonight, do you a y other suggestions please, surgery is not a option, I refuse to. I am a bit overwhelmed &scared for him.

      • I’m so sorry to hear that, Tamera! I really hope this food helps, too. Let us know how it goes!

      • My dog had the same thing. Fearing the worst I took her to the vet who did a neeele aspiration. He looked at the cells under a microscope and found it to be a Lipoma – a benign fatty tumor. The cost was minimal and it gave me peace of mind. I have been feeding my dogs raw for 5 years now. And yes raw chicken is ok, bones included as long as they are RAW ONLY. I’m going to try this recipe to change it up a bit for them

  6. This is amazing! I just got a new puppy last week and have been so confused with all the literature out there with what to feed her after I wean her off the food she was eating at the breeder. These are probably best for when she’s on “adult” food, right? Can’t wait to try these out!

  7. For reference (I did the math) making this food (for two 60lb. dogs) instead of using dry dog food(I used Purina for my numbers) is about $3000 per year. I used the cheapest method of making this food, and consistently rounded down.

    • So $4 per dog, per day if you were to buy ALL new ingredients (as I outlined, we use a lot of scraps and leftovers). Not bad!

  8. i make my own dog food too, it is super easy to do and my dog loves it! i use a similar formula, although i rotate her proteins for variety. i also give her sardines occasionally for the omegas and calcium, which she loves.

  9. Where is Pebbles!?! I need to see this cutie now…lol. I’ve seen Lexy on IG but not lil Pebbles :(
    Great recipe. I used to make dog food too but switched them to First Mate Chicken & Blueberries which they seem to love. My one dog also gets coconut oil and raw pumpkin to help her “go”. I still make their treats from time to time, but they also love Zuke’s Peanut Butter treats. Nothing too good for my babies :)

    • It’s SO hard to take photos of her because she is all black. It’s impossible. Coconut oil works like a charm to help them go, right?

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