Learn how to make nutritious dog food at home. Your furbaby will love their meals, and you’ll love that this recipe for simple, stovetop homemade dog food is easy, healthy, and made with whole-food ingredients you recognize!
My dog, Charlie is 4 years old and I recently decided to start making his food from scratch instead of feeding him store-bought dog food. If everyone else in our house is eating Clean & Delicious, why shouldn’t Charlie?
There are so many different meal options you can create for your dog when making homemade dog food. I’m going to start with a pretty straightforward, well-balanced recipe. This is a great starter recipe, made up of ground turkey, veggies, and brown rice.
If you’re not ready to jump into homemade dog food, you can always start with some DIY dog treats (our dog loves homemade treats!).
Ingredients needed for this homemade dog food recipe:
This DIY dog food made at home is filled with rich protein, vegetables, and healthy grains. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Coconut oil – provides a variety of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, and reducing allergic reactions, just to name a few. And just like us, your dog needs healthy fats in their diet.
- Ground turkey – will add necessary protein to your dog’s diet, as well as important vitamins and minerals.
- Veggies – this homemade dog food recipe uses a mix of zucchini, spinach and carrots. All are safe for dogs and will provide your baby with a variety of nutrients.
- Turmeric – a dog-safe seasoning that also provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Egg – for extra protein and nutrients.
- Rice – a complex carb that provides energy and aids in gastrointestinal function.
How to make homemade dog food:
Making homemade dog food is a cinch! Here’s a quick rundown of the process:
- Brown the turkey. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add in the coconut oil and turkey and sauté until it is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the veggies. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the zucchini, spinach, carrots and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Mix in the egg. Turn off the heat and and crack in the egg. Let the egg cook in the hot food, mix it around to ensure it mixed through and cooked through.
- Stir in the rice. Add the rice and stir it in with the other ingredients until everything is well combined. Cool and serve!
Recommended serving size for homemade dog food:
The amount of homemade dog food that your dog will require is dependent upon how much your dog weighs and how active he or she is. This amount varies from dog to dog. I suggest talking to your vet and getting their advice on a good starting point.
You can also monitor your dog to make sure they are maintaining their weight and staying happy and active.
This recipe makes about six cups of food, which is three days’ worth of food for Charlie who is about forty-five pounds. You can easily adjust this amount based on the weight of your dog. Also, feel free to scale this recipe up and double or even triple it, if you wanted to cook less often.
Tips for making your dogs food at home:
- If you’re not ready to make the leap to cooking all of your dog’s food, try just adding some real, whole foods to their kibble. You can start with simply stirring in a scrambled egg, mixing in some chopped apples or carrots, or adding a small amount of the homemade dog food in with their normal kibble.
- You should be able to serve this homemade dog food to your dog either hot or cold. I’ve found that dogs love this dog food so much, that they are not picky about how it’s served.
- It’s not usually a good idea to abruptly change your dog’s food. Start transitioning them to homemade food by mixing some of this in with their regular food or kibble for a few days until they are used to the new food. Your dog’s belly will thank you. And again, remember to always discuss with your vet before feeding your pet something new.
- To give your dog a variety of different nutrients, use different meats, fruits, and vegetables to make your dog’s food. However, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, it might be best to stick to one combination that you know works.
Foods not safe for dogs:
The most important thing to know when making homemade dog food for your dog are the foods they should NOT eat.
You can do a quick google search for an all-inclusive list or buy a doggie cookbook for reference. Here’s a list from the Humane Society of foods that can be poisonous to pets. Be sure to take the necessary precautions if you plan to start cooking for your dog, but also know, there’s really not that much to worry about!
Here are some common human foods that should not be fed to your dog:
- Cooked bones
- Soy sauce
Charlie LOVES his homemade food and I’m excited to experiment with new recipes and treats for him, so if you want to see more recipes for your pup, let me know in the comment section below!
Healthy dinner options:
Looking for some of our favorite family-friendly dinner options? Give these a try:
If you make this homemade dog food recipe, be sure to leave a comment and ★ rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for me and our Clean & Delicious community (thank you!).
Simple Stovetop Homemade Dog Food
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large zucchini shredded
- 1 cup baby spinach finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 egg
- 3 cups cooked rice (I like using frozen brown rice)
- Heat a large skillet or pot over a medium-high heat. Add in the coconut oil and turkey and sauté until it is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the zucchini, spinach, carrots and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Turn off the heat and and crack in the egg. Let the egg cook in the hot food, mix it around to ensure it mixed through and cooked through.
- Stir in the rice until everything is well combined. Cool and serve!
This is pretty healthy but feeding them just this every day is not enough of the minerals and vitamins they need. You’d need to mix in a vitamin/mineral powder or add in or feed separately organ meats from the butcher like chicken livers and hearts and raw neck bones. They need the stuff found specifically in the organ meats and the neck bones have the marrow that is good for them along with the bones cleaning their teeth. And you should mix in the entire egg shell and all because they need the calcium. They also need some fruits like cranberries and blueberries.
Thanks for the feedback Lala! I have been chatting with my vet as well, just to be sure we are supplying enough nutrients for him. I will keep this in mind.
It’s also important to remember not to feed your beloved pooch too much organ meat especially for smaller breeds. What I usually do is prepare dog food similar to the one above but I also include a few treats now and then during the course of the day. You can prepare delicious organ meat snacks made from livers etc rather than including it in their food every day.
I’ll expand on the above comment. Following a recipe of ground turkey, oats or brown rice, veggies, adding some
blueberries, coconut oil, turmeric, spinach, will give your dog absolutely everything they need to be healthy and thrive. organ meat in small doses is ok to add but not a necessity.
I use this basic recipe but my vet has me using olive oil in place of coconut oil. My girl has skin issues/allergies and the olive oil does better for her. But she does love it. When I am making it and she smells it she lays by her dish until I give her a testing bite.
Christina Short says
Great information Lala.
Allison Wolf says
My 18 year old chihuahua ate every last bite of this and I’d be lying if I said my husband and I didn’t try a bite
Dani Spies says
Haha! I steal bites of it as well… so glad you all enjoyed it.
I recently started making food for my pets. Thank you for the new recipe
It’s my pleasure! Enjoy it.
I just made this for my 15 year old dog who just needs some extra TLC. He LOVED it. It’s a fool proof recipe with whole foods and no preservatives. I took a bite and thought, “Hmmm, I wouldn’t mind having a bowl of this” LOL. Thanks for sharing Dani!
Connie M Norris says
I’ve made homemade dog food for years. Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
1 can salmon with skin and bones (drained)
16 oz bag frozen peas and carrots
Small can plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ small jar of unsweetened applesauce
2-3 handfuls frozen blueberries
cooked brown rice
This sounds good too. I imagine most dogs are happy to get any home cooked food instead of eating dry dog food or canned food. Thanks for sharing.
It’s really good! I’ve been known to take a tester bite when cooking, lol!
Stoney’s mama says
Hi I’m new to home cooking for my bulldog. How much of your recipe do you feed your dog. I would like to try it but not sure how much to give my dog.
You can go to the https://www.justfoodfordogs.com/dog-food-calculator/
They have home recipes as well. I put in my dog’s info for each of their recipes to get an average of how may cups and calories my dog needed at each meal. this will give you at least a general idea of what your pup needs! hope this helps.
Natasha lewis says
Hi Connie my vet told me not to feed my dog peas because it’s been linked to heart disease just wanted to pass along this information
Therese Becker says
Do you have the serving size information? I like this but need to know how much to feed for a miniature dachshund each day because how much you feed a dog is as important as what you feed a dog. Thanks for the other recipe too.
My dog weighs 40 pounds and he gets 1 generous cup, 2 times per day. We sometimes supplement with other foods (pumpkin, egg yolk, yogurt and natural doggie food supplements). I would touch base with your vet to confirm what would be best for your dog.
Jan Hardin says
Do you mix all this together?
Going to start the ‘converting’ tomorrow. With all this guidance I think it will be great for my doodles health. Thank you!!
Good luck! You have a very lucky pup 🙂
Joanne Aucone says
I just tried this recipe for my 5 yr old lab
She loved this. Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to more recipes.
How much does this make? And how much do you feed in cups to what size of dog? Thanks!
This recipe makes about 6 cups – and I usually feed my dog one hearty cup in the morning and one in the evening. My dog is 40 pounds. Sometimes I will stir in some yogurt or pumpkin or add an extra egg yolk too. But always check with your vet to be sure you are making the right choices for your dog!
Hi Dani –
I use the homemade dog food recipe for my puppy Georgie and she absolutely loves it she is super excited to eat at meal time. When I was feeding her other dog foods she would not eat all of her food but now that I am making her your healthy homemade recipe she never leaves not one morsel.
I triple the recipe store 1 weeks worth in the fridge and store the other weeks worth in ziplock bags divided up by days.
I would love to see more dog recipe on your website.
I use several of your other healthy delicious recipes and my husband and I love them also. Thank you so much we enjoy trying so many “Clean and Delicious” options!
Hi Senta! I’m so glad your pup is enjoying the recipe. Thanks for sharing your method for batch cooking – makes so much sense! I hope to share more recipes soon.
Louise E Conner says
How much rice do you add to this amount of food?
I added three cups to one pound of meat 🙂
Judi Delis says
Would love more recipes please! Our dog lives the Turkey, veggies and rice! Our dog loves meal time!
I’ll share more soon!
Irma Gonzalez says
My dog loved this recipe! I added about one cup of the regular dog food and she left it behind. Looking forward to more recipes. Thanks.
That’s so great to hear, Irma! I will add more recipes soon.
Deborah Bobb says
Is pumpkin okay to give to dogs?
100% yes! Pumpkin is great for dogs and they love it.
FYI – I am a human doctor and the lack of nutrition information in training is shameful. I have not been impressed with the vet’s knowledge of nutrition either; we all seem to default to what our grandmothers taught us.
The best way to tap into all needs is variety, which will help fill in the blanks if any one recipe is lacking. Also the best information I can find is that taurine is very important for dogs and it can be reduced with cooking (but beware the diseases that can come with packaged raw meats).
Do your reading, beware misinformation or lack of information, and switch around the recipes to broaden nutrient exposure.
I have been making my Nugget homemade food for years. I usually do ground meats or organ meats mixed with brown rice and vegetables. He loves any potatoes, butternut squash is always a hit, and spinach. The only difference is that I always mix it with his kibble. Kibble has omegas and certain proteins that dogs need but people food does not provide. I have also discussed homemade foods and his diet with his vet, which is always a good idea to be sure your dog is staying healthy.
Hi Monica. This is great feedback, thank you! We have also been supplementing with kibble and raw food boosters! And yes – I 100% recommend EVERYONE chats with their vet when if they decide to transition their dog to home-cooked food.
Pam Riddle says
I have been making my dogs food for years. The one thing I am confused on is the use of potatoes. I read an article on potatoes being bad for dogs. I only use sweet potatoes but the article (written by a vet) said all potatoes were bad. I do put a half cup of a good kibble in also. I use brown rice, carrots, zucchini. Our local grocery store has freezer section where they put meat close to its expire date and cut the cost to less than half. I have found that a lot of grass fed natural meats end up in there. Mainly because people can’t afford it at full price. Sometimes I get a pound of 99% lean beef for $2.00. Ground Turkey $1.00! Soup bones. I buy it all the time. My dog can’t wait for feeding time!! My cat also eats homemade food but I have to add a lot more fat mostly from salmon and fish. I love getting your recipes! I was getting into a rut with the ground Turkey so I was happy to see the spinach and egg mixed in! Thanks
Linda Krisman says
I also make homemade dog food.
2 pounds ground turkey browned in 2 tlb. Coconut oil.
2cups raw brown rice browned in 2 tlb. Coconut oil. And cooked in 4 cups chicken broth.
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables steamed in with turkey.
2 cups roasted fresh sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
2 cups ground up fresh cranberries.
Package in ziploc bags 1 1/2 cups each. Feed her 1 bag 2 times per day. I freeze them and get about 6 days of meals.
I made this up myself so I’m wondering if this seems to be balanced or do I need to add anything else? Jo
I have a 10-year-old guide dog. I’ve always made an effort to keep her healthy and supplement her high quality kibble with raw toppers and other things such as turmeric and coconut oil. She loves coconut oil! I’m planning on making this for her soon. More dog food and maybe treat recipes would be great! I love all your recipes and how easy they are to make!
Need a plan & suggestion on how on low incomebsmall budget to cook & feed 6bdogs 1 senior yorky, 1 senior pit Terrier, 1 approx 6 month old Chuwinnie, & 3 2 & 3 year old pit terriers onlyn1 2 onlyn1 malebav2byr old pit Terrier out of my fur babies thank you
I made this recipe a couple of times and my dogs loved it. But I didn’t really have the time (or the pans) to make it consistently for 2 large dogs. I’m definitely not a recipe developer or even a very good cook, but after looking on line I decided to just put it all in the crock pot and let it cook. I did put the egg in at the end. Turned out great and they still loved it. We’re all happy. Did I miss anything by using the crock pot?
Dani Spies says
You didn’t miss a thing, Marilyn. This is such a great idea and a useful tip. Thank you for sharing!
I just made this for my 7-month super picky Maltipoo and he loved it. I even let my kids try it (with some seasoning), and one of them said if the dog doesn’t like it, she will eat all of it, and that’s saying a lot from my also picky 8-year old daughter. Thanks for the recipe, and I’ll be making this with different variations in the future!
Dani Spies says
LOL, I love that your dog and your kids enjoyed this recipe. Now that’s a win-win!
Just used this recipe and my dogs loved it!
I didn’t have the coconut oil , so I will add it next time.
I have 2 lh chihuahuas and I froze portions in the freezer.
I’m wondering how much I should be giving them for a serving size?, I gave them aprx. 1/4 ~ 1/2 cup each.
Thank you very much for your product and for giving you a little good advice
We’ve been feeding this recipe to our picky eaters for about 2 weeks now. We mainly switched because it was cheaper than the dog food we were feeding them and they were kind of bored with that anyway.
It’ seats to make, and the dogs DEVOUR it.
We’ve also noticed they get a boost of energy after eating and sleep better at night! Our littlest was having some loose stool as well before and that is no longer an issue! I’m assuming the rice has helped.
All benefits we weren’t necessarily looking for but have noticed since the switch.
Thanks for this simple and yummy recipe. We’re hooked.
Thank you so much for posting this. I