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How to Make Easy Homemade Dog Food

by Kari
Bowls of ground beef, vegetables, and rice with a "Beware of Dog Kisses" sign on a gray wood background.
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Homemade Dog Food: Homemade dog food is a great way to spoil your dog and feel good about doing it. It is a quick, cheap, and easy way to give your dog a nutritious meal that they will think is a treat.

If you are anything like we are, spoiling your dog is a natural part of everyday life.

A border collie catching a treat.

She is a CheeWee fanatic 😉

A border collie catching a treat.

Our dog Melly is treated like a queen, and although she will eat absolutely ANYTHING, her nutrition is important to me.

Bowls of ground beef, vegetables, and rice with a "Beware of Dog Kisses" sign on a gray wood background.

I made her a batch of homemade food for the first time about a year ago and have been making it for her ever since. It is cheap, easy, and she loves it. I love knowing everything going into it so I know she isn’t eating junk. (Except for her CheeWee treats!) Our vet compliments her constantly for her weight, teeth, and energy level – she’s 10 but acts like she is 4.

How Do You Make Homemade Dog Food?

To make dog food, I use my Instant Pot but you can use a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or a pot on the stove!

Choose a meat – I alternate between ground beef, ground chicken (choose organic for ground chicken), or fish if we have it freshly caught. (Try not to use canned fish – if you do, make sure it is not in oil as too much fatty fish can cause pancreatitis.)

Cook your meat and drain off any fat. If you are using your Instant Pot, cook on saute. In any other type of pot, saute in a pan, drain, and then add to your cooking pot.

Ground beef and rice cooking in an Instant Pot.

Put your meat back in your Instant Pot (or other pot) and dump in a bag of frozen vegetables. I like the mixed vegetable mix from Walmart or Aldi that is green beans, carrots, and corn. (Do not use anything with onions!)

A bag of frozen mixed vegetables.

Mix together and add any fruit that you have to use – we use what is in season or what we have frozen or on sale. Usually strawberries or blueberries. Do not use grapes as they are very bad for dogs. Mix everything well.

Add oats or leftover rice. (If you don’t have leftover rice, add a cup of brown on white rice – it will cook in an Instant Pot. On the stove, it will take longer to cook.)

Combine everything and add 1 – 2 cups of bone broth and 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Melly likes the unrefined coconut oil that tastes super coconutty.

An instant pot with ground beef, vegetables, and rice cooking.

How Long Do You Cook Homemade Dog Food For?

Turn your Instant Pot on Manual mode and cook for 5 minutes if using cooked rice or oats, 12 minutes if rice is raw.

An Instant Pot with 5 minutes on the screen.

Let pressure release naturally then open and the pot and let cool. Divide into portions –  I usually split in half and freeze one batch. I use a measuring cup to serve it, so I don’t do individual portions. (Feel free to split into single servings – I don’t have that kind of time 😉 )

Bowls of ground beef, vegetables, and rice with a "Beware of Dog Kisses" sign on a gray wood background.

Be sure to discuss serving sizes (and ingredients) with your vet – I give Melly 1 cup two times a day and she is 45 pounds. She loves it! Again, discuss with your vet before feeding your pet something new. If you are switching from strictly dry food, feed a mix of their usual kibble and homemade food for several days so you don’t end up with a dog with a stomach ache for a few days!

Bowls of ground beef, vegetables, and rice with a "Beware of Dog Kisses" sign on a gray wood background.

A border collie and flowers on a wood floor.

Bowls of ground beef, vegetables, and rice with a "Beware of Dog Kisses" sign on a gray wood background.

How Do You Serve Homemade Dog Food?

Top with 1/4 cup of plain yogurt (with no sweeteners added) when serving. Yogurt is not necessary but provides probiotics and helps with healthy digestion.

Bowls of ground beef, vegetables, and rice with a "Beware of Dog Kisses" sign on a gray wood background.

How to Make Easy Homemade Dog Food

Homemade Dog Food: Homemade dog food is a great way to spoil your dog and feel good about doing it. It is a quick, cheap, and easy way to give your dog a nutritious meal that they will think is a treat.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dinner
Cuisine: Pet Food
Keyword: dogfood, dogs, petfood
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 days feeding 1 cup 2x a day
Calories: 487kcal
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker or Large Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 lbs ground beef or: ground chicken, turkey, or fresh fish - diced chicken breasts work well too.
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables peas, green beans, carrot, and corn
  • 1 cup frozen fruit blueberries and strawberries
  • 1 - 2 cups cooked rice or oats 1 cup uncooked rice is fine as well (brown or white)
  • 1 - 2 cups bone broth
  • 1 - 2 tbsp coconut oil refined or unrefined - whatever you have
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt for each serving

Instructions

  • Cook 1.5 - 2 pounds of ground beef in your Instant Pot on the saute setting or in a frying pan on the stove.
  • Drain off the cooking grease and return to your cooking pot.
  • Add rice or oats, frozen vegetables, frozen fruit, bone broth, and coconut oil.

For Instant Pot Cooking

  • Put the lid back on your Instant Pot and set to Manual mode. Cook for 5 minutes if using oats and leftover cooked rice. Cook for 12 minutes if you are using uncooked rice.
  • Let pressure release naturally and then stir.
  • Let cool and divide into two portions - one for the next few days and one to freeze.

For Stovetop Cooking

  • Cook your ground meat in a large pot and drain off the fat.
  • Add your remaining ingredients and bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer on low heat for 12 - 15 minutes.
  • Stirring occasionally, make sure that your rice or oats cook fully and don't stick.
  • Let cool and divide into two portions - one for the next few days and one to freeze.

Notes

This recipe is really flexible. You can use ground beef, turkey, or chicken. You can use shredded chicken breast. The only thing I would not recommend is canned fish, as it is very fatty and can lead to pancreatitis.
I switch between oats and rice and vary the vegetables and fruits based on what we have. Melly is an odd dog and will eat almost anything mixed in her food, including medicine.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1862IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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9 comments

Kim July 26, 2019 - 10:33 pm

5 stars
My dog thanks you for this tecipe, lol!!

Reply
Kari July 27, 2019 - 11:46 am

I hope your dog loves it!

Reply
Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef July 26, 2019 - 3:57 am

Eating healthy is not just for us bipeds!

Reply
Kari July 27, 2019 - 11:46 am

Gotta take care of our 4-legged kids too! 🙂

Reply
Angela July 24, 2019 - 11:02 pm

This for sure looks puppy approved

Reply
Kari July 27, 2019 - 11:47 am

Melly LOVES it. She cleans the bowl so well after she’s done that she sometimes sends the bowl flying across the room!🤣

Reply
Morgan July 24, 2019 - 10:03 pm

I would have never guessed making homemade dog food would be this easy! I love the idea of knowing exactly what your pup is eating!

Reply
Colleen | Bakes & Blunders July 24, 2019 - 6:58 pm

Sending this to my mom! She loves making homemade treats for her pup, so I’m sure she’d love this.

Reply
Erika July 24, 2019 - 5:49 pm

Aww, what a great post. I’m sure my pup would love this.

Reply

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