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Deciding on what food to feed your dog could pose a challenge to you as a dog owner, especially if you're a first-time dog parent. While some dogs are picky with what they eat, other dogs will eat most things they are offered. Making home-cooked food could be a less expensive and healthy way of feeding your dog. This way, you will be able to avoid preservatives and possibly harmful additives used in pet foods. Also, health challenges that your pooch might be facing might make you want to opt for home-cooked dog food. In this article, we will show you how to prepare home-cooked food for your dog to meet his needs.

Contrary to what many people believe, a dog's meal should not be made up of only proteins because dogs are omnivorous animals, and so they require a balanced diet that includes vegetables, carbohydrates, as well as proteins for healthy growth. With that said, when preparing home cooked food for your dog, a proper mix of different categories of food is required, with some Vets recommending 50 percent veggies, 40 percent proteins, and 10 percent carbohydrates. The ratio can be adjusted to suit your dog’s needs at different times. Some healthy foods that you can use in preparing home-cooked meals for your pet are listed below according to their classes:

  • Vegetables: Not all vegetables are safe for dogs to eat, but there are a lot of veggies that are good for them, some of which include: Celery, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Green peas, Green beans, Spinach, Carrots, Pumpkin, Zucchinis, Corn.

  • Proteins: High-quality proteins are good for dogs. Meat with excess fat should be avoided, and care should be taken with bones as they can be dangerous. Also, meats that have a large quantity of fat and sodium, such as ham should be given moderately. Chicken, beef, and turkey are good protein options for dogs, and they are easy to find and quite economical. 

  • Fishes like Herring, Tuna, and Mackerel can be given at most, twice a week. Eggs should be given moderately. If you have a pooch with food allergies, venison and rabbits are good alternatives. Lamb and Pork are good sources of protein as well, although you should know that they contain a little bit more fat than the other types of meat.

    • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a good source of fiber that aids in digestion and are essential for your dog's health. Good carbohydrates sources include brown or white cooked rice, oatmeal, Pasta, Yams, and cooked potatoes.

    • Others: Other foods that your dog can take include fruits like melon, pineapples, strawberries, apples, raspberries. You can also give your pooch honey, coconut and coconut milk, unsalted peanuts, and peanut butter in moderate portions. 

    Ingredients to avoid when preparing home-cooked meals for your dog

    Generally, it is advised that dogs should not be fed anything that is dangerous for humans to eat. However, some foods are perfectly healthy for humans but are still harmful to dogs, so when preparing home-cooked food for your dog, it’s important to avoid foods that are dangerous for them, even if they are healthy for you. Examples of such foods include onions, grapes, coffee, chocolate, raisins, garlic, macadamia nuts, spices, walnuts, avocados, raw yeast dough, cinnamon, and mushrooms.

    When preparing dog food at home, it’s best to follow a recipe that was created for dogs since these recipes will contain the right proportion of nutrients instead of creating yours. Recipes can be obtained from board-certified veterinary nutritionists. Also, there are reliable resources online where you can find recipes and options to create and customize a diet with the ingredients available to you. All the same, it is best that get your vet’s approval after you have found a recipe you feel will be good for your pooch.

    Some tips for making dog food 

    1. Do not add spices such as pepper, seasonings like salt, or herbs to your dog food as they are not necessary.
    2. The use of fresh vegetables provides more vitamins and reduces costs compared to buying canned ones. Also, if you do decide to use canned vegetables, be cautious of the salt content.
    3. Prepare your dog’s foods in large quantities to save you time and reduce stress. This way, you can freeze the food and thaw it when needed.
    4. Before changing your dog's diet, always consult your vet and make the changes gradually over a period of 2 weeks to prevent stomach upset.

    Here's a simple recipe for home cooked dog food.


    • A cup and a half of brown rice
    • 3 pounds ground chicken
    • 2 carrots, 1 zucchini, both shredded
    • A tablespoon of olive oil
    • Half cup of green peas
    • 3 cups of spinach, chopped


    1. Pour 3 cups of water into a large pot and cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot, add ground chicken and cook for about 5 minutes till it is brown and has disintegrated. 
    3. Add in your zucchini, carrots, green peas, spinach, and brown rice and stir. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes till spinach is wilted. Leave it to cool down. 


    Home Cooked foods for dogs are great since you are able to check the contents and monitor what goes into your dog's body. Also, they are cost-effective and pretty easy to make. Always remember to run whatever recipe you want to introduce to your dog by your vet, and also introduce the food to your dog slowly to avoid problems.