When it comes to your furry friend’s vitality, a well-balanced diet is key. With the number of foster dogs I’ve had over the past few months, each with their own sensitivities, I decided to research the world of healthy homemade dog food recipes to find a nutritious, delicious and tummy-friendly recipe.

Why Choose Healthy Homemade Dog Food?

  1. Tailored Nutritional Excellence: Crafting meals at home enables meticulous control over ingredients, ensuring a healthy and wholesome diet devoid of artificial additives or preservatives.
  2. Addressing Dietary Needs: Homemade meals cater to specific dietary needs, perfect for dogs with allergies, sensitivities, or unique nutritional requirements.
  3. Customized Nutrition: From playful pups to wise seniors, homemade dog food recipes can be tailored to suit different life stages and individual health conditions.

Recipe for healthy homemade dog food

Key Elements for Healthy Homemade Dog Food:

  1. Protein-Rich Ingredients: Opt for lean meats like chicken, turkey, or fish to provide essential amino acids vital for your dog’s muscle growth and overall health.
  2. Wholesome Carbohydrates: Incorporate nutritious carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oats for sustained energy and digestive support.
  3. Essential Healthy Fats: Introduce Omega-3 fatty acids from sources like fish oil or flaxseed oil, promoting healthy skin, coat, and immune function.
  4. Nutrient-Packed Veggies and Fruits: Enhance meals with dog-friendly vegetables like carrots, peas, spinach, and fruits such as apples and blueberries for added vitamins and antioxidants.

Crafting Nutrient-Dense Meals:

  1. Veterinary Guidance: Consult your vet to ensure homemade recipes meet your dog’s unique nutritional needs and health requirements.
  2. Balanced Recipe Ratio: Aim for a balanced mix – around 40% protein, 50% vegetables and carbs, and 10% healthy fats for optimal nutrition.
  3. Portion Management: Adjust portions according to your dog’s size, age, and activity level to maintain a healthy weight.

Sample Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipe:


  • 4lbs ground chicken (available in tubes) 
  • Brown rice
  • Mixed cooked vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, cauliflower)
  • Fish oil, olive oil
  • eggs

The ground chicken was a little hard to find in the grocery store.  It’s usually in a chest freezer bin, separate from the other chicken products.  To be honest, I didn’t even know such a thing existed until looking into cuts of meat for dogs; this is human quality, but at a dog price tag.

uncooked lean ground chicken in tubes


  1. Cook all 4 tubes of the lean ground chicken.  I chose to use my InstantPot* and cooked them with 1 cup of water for 22 minutes (for all 4 together).  *Amazon affiliate link.  For full affiliate disclosure, please see bottom of the page.

cooking ground chicken in the InstantPot

2.  I bought a 2 kg (4.4lbs) bag of frozen California blend vegetables.

California blend frozen vegetables

and steamed them in 3 batches for about 12 minutes each batch.

3.  By now, your chicken will likely be finished cooking so remove it from the pot.  Keep the extra water in the InstantPot and add 6 cups of brown rice and 5 cups of water.  Cook in the InstantPot using the rice preset.

Recipe for healthy homemade dog food

4.  Your dog is easily able to chew the softened meat and veg, but I chose to chop it up in a food chopper just in case my little divas got picky.  This also makes it easier to portion out.

cooked ground chicken

5.  I didn’t have any fish oil for this recipe so instead I poured 4 tbsp of olive oil into a large fry pan.  

6.  beat the full dozen eggs, then cook them in the olive oil to a scrambled egg consistency.

eggs for homemade dog food

Now you should have all of the ingredients prepared:  meat and veg are cooked and chopped, brown rice is cooked, eggs have been scrambled in oil.

It’s time to portion your healthy homemade dog food out!

portioning out healthy homemade dog food

Calculating healthy portions

This article by Sundays for Dogs gives you a good idea of how much you should feed your dog based on weight and size.

For Bentley, an 80lb Old English Sheepdog, the suggested food quantity is 3 ¾ cups of food per day.  Whereas, for Stella (my current foster), a 30lb French Bulldog cross, 2 cups per day is recommended.

For easy math, I went with 4 cups for Bentley and figured out quantities:

  • 4 cups x 40% protein = 1.6 cups of ground chicken and egg
  • 4 cups x 50% carbs & veg = 2 cups (I went with 1 1/3 cup of veg and 2/3 cups of rice)
  • 4 cups x 10% healthy fats = .4 cups or 6 tbsp of oils. (I am a little shy on the oils at 4 tbsp, but I was worried that too much might make things “flow too easily” through their systems.)

For Stella – whose total daily food ration is two cups, I divided Bentley’s amounts in half.

I feed the dogs twice per day, so each bag contains half of the 4 cup total.

Recipe for healthy homemade dog food

Recipe for healthy homemade dog food

Since all of the ingredients are human grade, it only makes sense that I try out my healthy homemade dog food recipe right?

taste testing homemade dog food

I’m not going to lie to you… this is the healthiest meal I’ve made in forever.  My kids and I don’t eat this well!  In fact, with a little salt and pepper, this would actually make a pretty delicious dinner for the family.

How expensive is making homemade dog food?

  • 4lbs chicken $10
  • 2kg frozen veg $8
  • 2kg brown rice $6.49 – 6 cups is roughly 2/3 of the bag = $4.33
  • dozen eggs $3.89
  • olive oil $9.99 = $1.33/100ml. = $1.17 for 6 tbsp
  • Total:  $27.39 which made 6.27kg / 13.3lbs of food   Approximately $4.37/kg or $2.06/lb

(I reviewed this recipe with my Vet’s office and the only suggestion they made was to possibly add ½ pkg of FortiFlora – a canine pro-biotic supplement – to each meal.  This was recommended based on the fact that they both have sensitive stomachs and very soft stools, so please check with your vet before adding)

Whether you find this expensive or not will depend on how much you spend on packaged dog food now.  Grocery store brands are considerably less expensive than vet-recommended brands and there is a massive spectrum in between.  I usually buy Costco (Kirkland) dog food at $64.99 for 18.14kg – which breaks down to $3.30/kg.  So healthy homemade dog food is $1/kg more expensive.

BUT both Bentley and Stella LOVE the new food and both have had solid bowel movements since starting it 2 weeks ago.  I’ll happily pay the extra if it means it’s more agreeable to their systems and I don’t have to scrape up liquid poops at the dog park.

Recipe for healthy homemade dog food

Final Thoughts:

Crafting healthy homemade dog food is an incredible way to prioritize your furry friend’s health and happiness. Always consult your vet before making significant changes to their diet.

By investing a little extra care into preparing nutritious homemade meals, you’re not only nurturing their health but also strengthening the bond between you and your fur baby.

Recipe for healthy homemade dog food

Worst case; add some spices and heat up a healthy meal for yourself!

Have a great one!