We humans don’t deserve all the fun. While we may stress about what to cook for dinner, our furry friends often get treated to the same ol’ meal, day in and day out. Why not actually treat them to something—as in, something homemade? These seven DIY dog food recipes are simple, cheap, and sure to make your pup love you (even more than they already do).
Dogs. They’re just like us… ? Yes and no. Yes, we enjoy some of the same foods—peanut butter isn’t just a treat for them!—but what we need to stay healthy and fit is slightly different.
This recipe has a balance of 50 percent protein (ground turkey and peas), 25 percent veggies (spinach, carrots, and zucchini), and 25 percent grains (brown rice), but can be easily adjusted for any dog’s nutritional needs. The best part: Making is cheaper than buying many popular all-natural store-bought foods!
Scooby Snacks just got a serious upgrade. Now it’s an entire meal! This homemade dog food recipe is great for many reasons (hello, sweet potato), but what we appreciate the most is that one batch can last an entire week. Oh, and it’s made in a slow cooker, meaning minimal work and maximum deliciousness. Pro tip: Make the recipe in bulk (if your slow cooker can handle it). This recipe freezes and thaws like a champ!
We talk a lot about food allergies, but dog food allergies? For certain breeds, they can be more common than people who claim to have (and actually have) gluten intolerance. This recipe uses pup-friendly pumpkin purée, coconut oil, ground protein, grains, and a slew of colorful produce to create a feast that even finicky dogs can stomach. It smells so darn good when it’s cooking, we’ve been tempted to eat it ourselves. (OK, we might’ve tried it…)
We got excited about a week’s worth of dog food, but this recipe takes it up a notch and makes three weeks’ worth, making it that much easier to switch to making doggie meals from scratch. (Note: Portions will change based on your dog’s size and dietary needs.)
Made with chicken, beans, sweet potato, apple, carrots, and any other dog-friendly add-ins—PSA: make sure to check with your vet before changing your pup’s diet!—this recipe would also make for a great fall stew (if your four-legged friend can manage to save leftovers).
Making homemade dog food may not be realistic to incorporate into your everyday (or weekly) routine, but that doesn’t mean your furry friend can’t benefit from a little DIY. In fact, this recipe creator only incorporates homemade meals about twice a week—which is way better than never!
This recipe sticks to the DIY dog food staples—protein, grains, apples, carrots—and adds some heart-healthy blueberries and fiber-rich kale for the ultimate treat. We all deserve a little (nutrient-rich) love every now and then, right?
When using a slow cooker, it’s important to use sturdy veggies that stand up to the heat (and extra-long cook time). This recipe sticks to key slow cooker ingredients like brown rice, kidney beans, ground beef, butternut squash, carrots, and frozen peas to ensure that the end product isn’t a pile of mush—though let’s be honest, it’d be just as tasty. These dense ingredients also mean the dog food freezes well, meaning you don’t have always cook it from scratch (glory hallelujah).
We often see brown rice in homemade dog food, but quinoa? Yep, this high-protein grain is dog-friendly and a great substitute for kibble. Use red quinoa for a firmer texture and feel free to experiment with vet-approved add-ins, like blueberries, apples, and squash (butternut works great in this recipe).
And as always, make sure to consult your vet before changing your pup’s routine. Even the good stuff—like protein and veggies—requires a smart transition! Your pupper and their stomach will thank you.