7 Homemade Dog Food Recipes
We all love our furry friends, but they can really be expensive! If you’re looking to save some money on dog food and treats, or just want to take comfort in knowing what is in their dish, try making your own with these seven recipes.
Doggie Birthday Cake
Here’s an extra special cake that you can feel good about offering your dog.
⅓ cup (50 g) flour
⅓ cup (50 g) polenta (cornmeal), bran or rolled oats
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
500 g minced chicken
30 ml honey
1 large egg
¼ cup (60 g) live-culture plain yogurt
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 container (125 g) spreadable cream cheese
Delectable Dog Biscuits, as needed to decorate cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre and add the chicken, honey, egg, yogurt and oil. Stir just until mixed.
2. Pour into a greased cake tin and bake for 25 minutes or until the chicken is done and a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
3. Turn out onto a cake rack to cool.
4. Ice the cake with cream cheese (thin cheese, if needed, with a little milk) and decorate with the dog biscuits. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 week.
Makes 1 cake with 4 to 6 servings
Calcium-Rich Dog Food
This easy-to-make recipe will appeal to dogs and help to strengthen their bones. Although it is not inexpensive, it costs less than many canned dog foods and you can vouch for the quality of its ingredients.
500 g minced chicken or beef
4 cups (about 750 g) cooked oatmeal or brown rice
½ cup (50 g) dry breadcrumbs
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
3 teaspoons bonemeal (available at garden centres)
1 dog vitamin, crushed
½ cup (60 g) grated cheddar cheese
1. In a frying pan over medium heat, brown the meat, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
2. Stir in the other ingredients and enough water to keep the mixture from being crumbly.
3. Cool and store in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each
Note: Feed according to the weight of your dog. Feed a 5 kg dog 1 cup (about 240 g) daily; add 1 cup for every 5 kg of body weight. Monitor your dog’s weight – you may need to adjust portions to avoid obesity.
Low-Fat Chicken and Rice Dog Dinner
If you want a nutritious beef-and-wheat-free diet for your pet, this is an economical dog food option made with fresh ingredients.
1.4 kg chicken, with skin and bone
1½ cups (280 g) cooked oatmeal or brown rice
1 dog vitamin
500 g fat-free cottage cheese
1. Poach, bake or microwave the chicken until well done. Cool and cut into cubes. Drain and reserve pan juices to use as soup stock. Discard the bones.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cubed chicken and oatmeal or rice. Crumble the vitamin and stir it in. Drain the cottage cheese and fold it into the mixture.
3. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup (about 360 g) each
Note: Feed according to the weight of your dog. Feed a 5 kg dog 1 cup (about 360 g) daily; add 1 cup for every 5 kg of body weight. Monitor your dog’s weight – you may need to adjust portions to avoid obesity.
Delectable Dog Biscuits
The combination of dog food and oatmeal makes these biscuits a healthy and tasty treat for your dog. For a nutritional boost, add a crumbled dog vitamin.
900 g Calcium-rich Dog Food (first slide) or canned dog food
¼ cup (35 g) wholemeal flour
¾ cup (110 g) oat bran
1 cup (100 g) rolled oats
1 dog vitamin, crushed (optional)
¼ cup (25 g) grated parmesan or cheddar cheese (optional)
½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C)
2. Mix the dog food, flour, bran, rolled oats, vitamin (if desired) and cheese (if desired for a flavour boost).
3. Add the oil slowly, mixing the dough to a consistency that can be rolled and cut with a cookie cutter.
4. Roll and cut or mould the biscuits; place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 3½ hours, or until hard.
5. Cool and store in a covered canister in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in a freezer for up to 1 month.
Makes 16 medium biscuits
Dogs like carrots, which aid in digestion, freshen breath and provide vitamins. The yogurt used here is digestion-friendly, too.
1 cup (155 g) grated carrots, raw
⅓ cup (60 g) cooked brown rice
½ cup (125 g) fat-free plain, live-culture yogurt
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1. Mix the carrots and rice in a bowl and set aside. In a second bowl, stir together the yogurt and salad oil. Pour this mixture over the carrots and rice and toss.
2. Store salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve ¼ cup (about 100 g) every day along with meals or as a treat.
Makes 4 servings
Lucky Liver Treats
The secret of many successful show and obedience trainers is nothing more than a little baked chewy liver nibble that dogs can’t resist. Try it – your pet will jump through hoops for this homemade treat.
500 g beef or chicken livers
1 cup (150 g) flour
¼ cup (20 g) unprocessed bran (wheat or oat)
¾ cup (110 g) polenta (cornmeal)
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Chop the raw livers, and then liquefy them in a blender. Add the egg, pulse to blend, and then pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in the flour, bran, polenta and garlic powder.
2. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased 23 × 33 cm slice tin and bake for 15 minutes.
3. While still warm, cut the mixture into 2-3 cm squares. Turn the squares out onto a baking rack to cool and harden.
4. Store the cooled treats in a plastic self-sealing bag in the freezer to preserve freshness for up to 3 months. Serve either frozen or at room temperature.
Makes 117 liver treats
Sweet Breath Dog Treats
Here is a specialty dog biscuit that you don’t have to shell out a fortune for at a pet shop. Puppies often have ‘puppy breath’ that they naturally outgrow by the age of 6 months. If an adult dog has occasional bad breath, this tasty recipe will combat the problem. If bad breath persists, however, it may be a sign of dental or digestive problems that a vet should treat.
3 teaspoons activated charcoal (available in fish section of pet shops)
½ cup (75 g) wholemeal flour
1 cup (150 g) white flour
¼ cup (20 g) bran cereal
½ cup (75 g) polenta (cornmeal)
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
½ cup (30 g) chopped fresh basil, wintergreen or mint
½ cup (30 g) chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
1 cup (250 ml) acidophilus milk
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Process the charcoal in a coffee grinder until finely ground. Mix the flour, bran, polenta and charcoal together in a bowl. Stir in the other ingredients.
2. Form into bite-sized patties and place on a greased biscuit tray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until dry and hard.
3. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes 24 medium biscuits