Make 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.
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.
- 3 cups raw grass-fed beef
- 6 eggs, whole (you use the shell, too!)
- ½ teaspoon grey sea salt
- ½ cup coconut oil or grass-fed tallow
- Dog multiple vitamin powder
- 1 cup bone broth
- 1 (300 gram) sweet potato
- 2 apples, seeds completely removed
- ¾ cup ground flax seed, pumpkin seed or hemp meal
- 6 chicken livers or 2 calf livers
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Keep the
pucksin 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.
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.
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.