Homemade raw dog food recipes

Homemade raw dog food diet recipes

Ebook by Lindsay Stordahl

In this post I share my own experience learning to feed my dog a raw dog food diet. You can learn how to feed homemade raw dog food by following some of the recipes in this post.

My ebook “10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes” is now available here. The cost is $9, and it includes a guide to raw feeding. Learn more about the book here.
















Feeding raw dog food

First, I’m going to tell you a bit about my raw-feeding experience. For some free homemade raw dog food recipes, just scroll down.

I have been feeding my mutt Ace a commercial raw dog food from a company called Stella & Chewy’s. This is the most convenient way to feed a dog raw food. All I do is de-frost the raw chicken patties over night and toss the food in his bowl at mealtimes. It’s almost as easy as feeding dry dog food.

Of course, the main downside to feeding commercial raw dog food is the price. Ace is a 67-pound black lab/hound mix. A 6-pound bag of raw food from Stella & Chewy’s is roughly $27 and will last my dog just four days. It costs about $200 to feed him Stella & Chewy’s for one month. $$$$!

Most of us do not have $200 in our monthly budgets for dog food. That’s the equivalent or more of feeding an extra person.

If you still want to feed your dog raw, you can save money if you buy all the ingredients yourself. These ingredients would be foods like raw beef or raw chicken meat, raw organs like hearts, raw bones and raw veggies.

“Most of us do not have $200 in our monthly budgets for dog food. ”

You can buy most of these ingredients at your local grocery store or butcher. Look for meat that is higher in fat. This meat is cheaper and considered lower-quality meat for humans, but most dogs need the extra fat in their diets. You can likely save even more if you know any local ranchers, farmers or hunters. Deer meat and guts are perfect for dogs!

The added benefit of buying your own raw dog food ingredients is that you will know exactly what your dog is eating.

The drawback, of course, is time and making sure the meals are generally balanced.

How much raw dog food should I feed my dog?

Raw dog food diet recipes

The general rule is to feed your dog 2 percent of his body weight. This is just a general rule. Some dogs will only require 1 percent while others may need 3 or 4 percent.

Here’s a simple equation you can use to find out how much to feed your dog in ounces:

(Your dog’s weight in pounds) x 16 = your dog’s weight in ounces.

(Your dog’s weight in ounces) x .02 = roughly the amount of food your dog should eat in ounces per day. (16 ounces equals 1 pound)

According to the above example, my 67 pound dog should be eating 21.44 ounces of food per day. I feed him a bit more (24 ounces per day) since he is naturally lean and burns a lot of calories. You also want to factor in the treats you feed your dog. Ace barely gets any treats because I am a mean dog mom.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. If your dog is underweight, feed him a bit more. If he’s fat, feed him less.

I asked some readers and friends of mine to share some of their raw dog food “recipes.”

Free homemade raw dog food recipes

*My ebook has 10 additional recipes. Learn more here.

These raw dog food recipes are not necessarily 100 percent balanced or meant to be fed every day. They are not necessarily recommended by a veterinarian. They are not necessarily right for your particular dog. These are just some real examples of real raw meals real dog owners have fed their dogs.

If you feed your dog raw, please share some examples of meals you feed your dog. It would be extra helpful if you could also tell us the weight, breed and activity level of your dog and where you buy the ingredients.

This following recipe is from Ace’s friend Biggie.

Raw meat/veggie mix

This is for a 100-pound Kuvasz, twice per day:

  • 1/4 C. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 -1/2 C. chopped or ground veggies (carrots, leafy greens, apples, broccoli or peas)
  • A skinned chicken leg quarter with bone (chicken leg, thigh and some of the back, which usually weighs about 1 lb)

If the meat does not have a lot of bone, sometimes Biggie’s owners will add a calcium tablet.

Here’s another easy raw food recipe from a friend of mine:

Raw beef/organ/veggie mix

This is for an active springer/pointer mix:

  • 2 C. raw ground beef or chicken (from local meat shop)
  • 1 C. organ meat (from grocery store)
  • 1 C. vegetables/fruit

Rotate the kinds of organ meat and veggies you use. Blend the organ meat and veggies and mix with the already ground meat. Add an egg if desired.

The example below is from a blogger and trainer:

Raw beef stuffed in Kongs

This method is intended to keep the dogs (a standard poodle and a pitbull) occupied while their owner goes to work. It’s as easy as it sounds. Simply stuff several Kong toys with raw meat. Then freeze and serve.

In this case, each dog gets 2 to 3 frozen Kongs per day. The Kongs are typically filled with raw ground beef from Hare Today, a farm located in Pennsylvania that grinds, cuts and packages whole animals.

In addition to the Kongs, a large portion of their daily food intake also comes from treats. Their owner typically follows the breakdown of 80 percent meat, 5 percent liver, 5 percent other organs and 10 percent edible bone. Vegetables are sometimes fed as treats.

The next recipe is from a reader and her dog with special dietary needs. Pumpkin paws are not intended as a meal for most dogs, but they make a great treat.

Pumpkin paws

  • Small amount of any raw meat (optional)
  • Small amount of spinach, chopped carrots or broccoli (optional)
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 large can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 small can of tomato puree
  • 9-ounce paper cups

If using meat, make sure it is finely chopped or ground. Otherwise, put it in a food processor with the water to make a soup. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Put a very generous tablespoon in each paper cup. Freeze and serve. You probably want to serve outside!

Ebook on raw feeding by Lindsay StordahlLearn more about raw feeding with my ebook “10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes.” Learn more about the book here.

Some reminders about feeding raw dog food:

  • Some fruits and vegetables are not good for dogs such as grapes, onions and avocados.
  • Never give your dog cooked bones or sharp raw bones.

If you are going to make your dog’s raw food yourself, I highly recommend making at least a week’s worth at a time and storing it in your freezer. For more information on making your dog’s meals, see my post on how to feed your dog raw food.

Update on feeding my dog raw food – day 39

Note: This is week six of a 12-week raw food trial for my dog Ace. Stella & Chewy’s is sponsoring this trial by providing Ace with 90 days worth of pre-prepared raw food.

Ace the black lab/hound mix out for a walk. He loves his homemade raw dog food diet recipes

All the above recipes sound easy, right? I think so. It’s just a matter of buying the food ahead of time and planning ahead. I am thinking about feeding Ace homemade raw dog food for one meal and commercial raw dog food for the second meal until I feel more comfortable making his food myself.

Ace was on antibiotics to treat pneumonia during the second week of this raw food trial, so that interrupted our raw feeding plan. I switched him back to dry food while he was on antibiotics in order to determine the cause of his upset stomach. As I suspected, it was the antibiotics. He’s back to normal now, eating 100 percent raw and doing great!

Ace started eating raw food again on Monday. So I guess you could say today is really day 6 of his raw food trial all over again.

Gradual switch vs. quick switch

Back in the beginning of March when I first introduced Ace to raw dog food, I gradually switched him from dry dog food to raw dog food by mixing the two together over eight days. Since he had no trouble adjusting to the raw food during the gradual switch, I went ahead and switched his food with no transition this time. He’s doing awesome!

After the pneumonia scare and our weekend trip to the doggy ER a few weeks ago, I am a bit nervous about feeding Ace raw food again. He got sick on day 10 of this raw food trial, so I will be glad when we pass the 10-day point this time around. I realize pneumonia is not caused by diet, but there’s always that chance that something else was wrong. I’m just a worrier.

Friends and family who are skeptical of raw dog food

This is just a small annoyance, but there are people who are obviously opposed to Ace eating raw food. I have to just brush their opinions aside and worry about myself. I wanted to mention this because it’s something you will likely come across if you switch your dog to a raw diet. I don’t waste time trying to explain the diet to certain friends and family members. I know what’s best for my dog. They can feed their dogs what they want.

“I don’t waste time trying to explain the diet to certain friends and family members. I know what’s best for my dog. ”

So, after just six days of 100 percent raw food, here are some updates on how Ace is doing:

Ear infections

Unfortunately Ace has been shaking his head around lately as though he has an ear infection. He gets about two ear infections a year so I haven’t been overly concerned about food allergies or environmental allergies. This is just something we deal with every six months or so. It may or may not be related to his diet.

Itchy skin/dandruff

Ace seems to be scratching a lot less and he has no visible dandruff. It has also been much warmer (until yesterday when it snowed!).We haven’t been running our heater or fireplace at all. I do still notice Ace chewing and licking his feet a lot, and licking, you know, there.

Teeth

I don’t expect to notice a difference in Ace’s teeth, and so far they do not appear any whiter. No surprise there.

Shedding

I don’t notice a difference in the amount of shedding, either.

Less poop!

I know this is more information than you want to hear, but Ace’s poop is tiny and hard – just what I like to see! He has no more diarrhea, which was caused by the antibiotics.

My dog is always thirsty

Once again, Ace is not as obsessive about water while eating raw food. I credit this to the higher moisture content in his food. He does seem to be burping and throwing up more often, though, similar to what happens when he does drink too much water at once. It’s usually water with some food substance that he throws up (not bile or foam), and it happens when he gets too excited.

Weight

Ace is a healthy 67.4 pounds. He hasn’t lost or gained any weight, although his weight fluctuated a bit while he had pneumonia.

Gray hair

I’m not expecting to see a change here. If anything, he has gotten more gray hair since starting the raw food. I guess this is just a natural part of aging – my boy is getting old! I can see more gray hair on his feet and legs now, probably because I’m actually looking for it.

Energy

My dog definitely has less energy than a year ago. He doesn’t go running with me very often anymore. We stick to walking. I haven’t noticed much of a change in his energy since he’s been eating raw. He is naturally a low- to medium-energy dog (unless you bring out a tennis ball or take him to agility practice). Plus, at 5 years old, he’s well into middle age for a dog his size.

Do you feed your dog homemade raw food?

Please share some examples of raw dog food “recipes” you have used.



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  1. Agnes Ortiz on April 23, 2013

    Thank you for what I have learned from you about feeding my dog raw food. I have always thought that chicken and other dairy products are not allowed for dogs. My shih tzu keeps on scratching and gnawing all the time on his paws. What could be the reason for this? Hope to hear from you on this.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on April 23, 2013

      Chicken is fine for most dogs, although it is possible for some dogs to be allergic. They generally shouldn’t need dairy products, although I do give my dog some yogurt once a week or so. They need calcium, but they should be getting that through bones. Each dog is different. If your dog’s paws are itchy, I would be tempted to think it’s due to an allergy related to the grass or something on the street or carpet in your home. It would be a good discussion to have with a vet.

  2. Brigitte on April 23, 2013

    I really want to start my dogs on a raw diet, but I am so confused after all the research I have done. I have three Chihuahuas that are from 3 pounds up to 7 pounds. Everyone has a different opinion about what to feed – supplements or no supplements, veggies, fruits, or not. Large bones or small bones. They say “go big” with small dogs, but can they really handle a big bone and especially if they have bad teeth? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on April 23, 2013

      Here is a post I wrote about veggies. There is no clear answer really. Some say dogs are omnivores. Others say carnivores. Most vets say they are omnivores, but most vets also approve of corn based kibbles.

      http://www.thatmutt.com/2013/01/26/raw-dog-food-do-dogs-need-fruits-and-veggies/

      Chicken should be ok for your little ones. I would start with thighs or quarters. The bones are soft and will not hurt their teeth. They shouldn’t choke because the pieces will be too big to swallow. Just supervise and encourage them to crunch on the bones. Beef bones can break teeth since the bones are stronger. Each dog is different and some do ok, but I do not give beef or pork bones.

      Hope that helps. My raw feeding guide has more info if you haven’t read it. http://www.thatmutt.com/ebooks/10-easy-raw-dog-food-recipes/

  3. Anne on May 15, 2013

    I feed a prey-model raw diet to my border collie/terrier mix, so no veggies or a very minimal amount. If I put meat and veggies side by side, she will always go for the meat, no exceptions. My husband hunts so she gets venison meat and offal, the entire antler which is really a sight to see :). She mainly eats chicken quarters or backs and necks and any other meat I find on sale. I fed her pork side ribs yesterday morning and her afternoon poop had three 1-inch pieces of bone in it which is the first time I’ve ever seen bone come out that end of the dog. She has been eating bone-in meat since 9 weeks old, and we have had zero problems. Trying to figure out what her adult body weight will be is a problem as she’s a rescue mutt, but she will happily eat 2 pounds and then try to steal more food. I once dropped a 3-lb freezer burnt deer brisket while trying to cut it up and she grabbed that thing and ran like the wind. She ate all 3 pounds in one sitting and still came looking for more.

    Quality is important as well. I thought she developed a dislike for chicken as I would give her a thigh and she would eat the skin and then bury the rest outside. I finally realized that it was Wal-mart chicken (first time I’ve bought meat there), and she wasn’t burying any other chicken. I’ll stick to my local butcher and the better grocery stores from now on.

    My parents grew up in Europe on farms and always had dogs. Back then, every single part of the animal (pig/lamb, etc.) was needed for people food. Dogs would get table scraps and whatever they could catch such as rabbits, rats, etc. My mother was horrified at dog poop in North America, because she had never seen anything so big and stinky. My mom still doesn’t “get” kibble. She calls it McDonald’s for dogs.

    Again, thanks for a great blog, Lindsay!

  4. S.Short on June 5, 2013

    At age 2 my Doberman girl was a mess. Constant diarrhea, stomach upset, bladder infections, gummy eyes, ear infections, dry flakey skin, irritable and hard to train, and very gassy. My trainer suggested a raw meat diet and I worked out an easy to make formula. In only one week her diarrhea stopped and in 1 month she was a different dog. I had been feeding a good quality dry food that my former Dobes did well on. The vet had recommended a dry food that made her worse. The formula that worked best was 60% raw meat, just about anything I could find cheap, 20% cooked sweet potatoes and 20% cooked vegetables, 1 lb. of liver for 5 lbs meat. After I found a butcher that had meat and organ scraps I added 1/2 lbs bone dust from the cutting saw. I make a big batch every two weeks and freeze it. Robin is now 6 and a beautiful, slender, very healthy girl. Low vet bills more than compensate for the cost of the food, only $120 a month.

  5. Sigrun on June 8, 2013

    Hello I have a question, me and my sister have dogs and one of them is really high allergy for like potatos fish pigs duck and goose and many grains, like wheat I think, so I wanna try do just give them raw food, do you recommended it?
    the dog is feeling so terrible because in all dry dog food in my country there is always something she cant eat mostly some grains,

    so my question is do you think we should let our dogs on raw ?

  6. annoel on June 8, 2013

    I’m a believer in the raw food diet but my recommendation would be to find a Holistic Vet who can talk to you about the specific needs of your dog. I found one in Burlington VT. at the Qi Vet Clinic. My dog Molly has a certain makeup that was determined by the Qi Vet Clinic which would require her to eat and not eat certain foods. It’s important to know what your dog’s specific needs are.
    Ann Noel

  7. S.Short on June 10, 2013

    In response to Sigrun, annoel is right, find a good holistic vet that can help you put together a good raw meat formula. It’s not rocket science and very simple. I observed wolves eating and realized they eat the stomach, organs, brains first then finish with the muscles, bones and marrow. Dogs have a very short digestive system and cannot digest vegetables and grains easily (reason for gas) so they let the herbivores digest the veggies for them and take advantage of the vitamins, fiber, and minerals in the stomach and intestines. All the good stuff is also in the organs.
    In the 1930′s slaughter houses figured out a way to get rid of their offal, make dog food and process it so much that humans would not realize what they were feeding their dog. All the enzymes, vitamins, minerals were processed out and so had to be added back in, but in a synthetic manner. By feeding your dog raw , unprocessed meat, bones, organs you are giving your friend the food he evolved on. Cooking veggies (carrots, green beans, kale, turnip greens,) and carbs (peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, ect.) will simulate the partial digestion of a herbivore and the dog can digest it easily, no gas. Just forget grains, unless you want to spend most of your time at the vet.
    Vets will say, No raw food! Really, they have been brain washed by dog food manufactures. Most of the meat I obtain is leftover meat scraps from a butcher, food that I could eat safely. Besides, a dogs digestive system can tolerate less than fresh food better than humans. Oh, and people food, come on, what did dogs live on for thousands of years before meat packing plants invented ‘dog food’, Just remember the calorie intake needs to be watched to keep your friend slender and healthy. No junk food, it will force you to eat healthy too.
    Remember, no sugar, spices, garlic, onion or salt, you are not eating it, make sure there is adequate fat,(animal fat only) that comes from meat scraps and bone saw dust. A dog needs fat to digest food. Apples and bananas , pears are great, no grapes or raisins.
    My girl at first did not like the food so I gently cooked it in the oven. Over two weeks I slowly left more and more raw until all of it was raw. She still does not like raw chicken so I hide it in the raw beef. Now she wolfs down her food. You will feed a lot more than dry food, lots of moisture in a raw meat diet. My 85lb Dobe gets 22 oz twice a day (2 1/2 cups), and maybe several treats and a chewy during the day. When she needs to do some weight loss I increase the percent of veggies. Robin’s slender dog mix is 5 lbs, meat and organs, 5 lbs, veggies, 5 lbs carbs (sweet potatoes) and 1/2 lb bone saw dust.( Bone saw dust has bone dust, marrow, fat and muscle, I can tell the difference when it is not included).
    Wishing you a happy and health dog

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on June 11, 2013

      Great advice! So glad your dog is happy and healthy on a raw diet.

  8. Ggernold on July 20, 2013

    I started feeding my Dane raw chicken leg and thighs along with brown rice and wheat germ, eggs and veggies. He now has a shiny coat and is no longer battling diarrhea. He’s gained weight and is no longer skin and bones. My hubby worries about him eating raw bones. Will these hurt the Dane?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on July 21, 2013

      Raw chicken bones should be fine. They are soft and easy to digest. I do worry more about raw pork and beef bones because they can crack a dog’s teeth.

  9. Ggernold on July 20, 2013

    Gatorade… Give your pup Gatorade to drink. 1/2 & 1/2 with water. That will help plenty when restoring electrolytes. I used orange Gatorade with my Dane when he threw up. Worked like a charm.

  10. Simone on November 20, 2013

    I have 2 Dobermans. Just a quick note about the chicken portion of my dog’s raw diet. I have found a chicken processor that sells 40 lb boxes of ground chicken backs & necks. I believe they call it MSM. It cost me $40 (Canadian) a box. I feed approx. 70% per day of the MSM and add my other stuff like muscle meats, organ meats, and veggie glop. The MSM is very easy to portion out, mix up, weigh, and freeze. Nice for making patties. Economical too.

  11. julie lomax on November 25, 2013

    hi I have two labs, they have been fed a dried food, a very expensive dried food, done ok up to now, but just lately my male Sidney has started to loose a lot of fur, his coat looks lifeless and bad condition, my vet has suggested a raw diet for them, but to be honest iam baffled by all the information, my labs weigh 32 and 35 kg I think it is, I just cant work out how much meat and veg they would need, mine are fed twice a day and always have been, were both brought up on natures diet as pups with mixure, please can anyone tell me where to start and what bone dust is please, julie

  12. kevin on February 7, 2014

    I have a 2 year old bullmastiff/boxer rescue pup. When i got him from the shelter, he was a magnificent looking dog. 105-110 Lb. of solid muscle, energetic and happy. I was told he was fed half raw, half kibble as his diet. His stool was huge and very smelly (20′ away smelly). I found out later on this could be due to a GI issue. He has been off and on diarrhea since ive gotten him (more so on with the diarrhea). His weight has fluctuated from 100-90 LB. this entire time. I have taken him to the vet for answers. The vets ( yes PLURAL) I have taken him to have run blood work and stool samples. Each one has given him a clean bill of health. I have tried pumpkin, prebiotic yogurt, prebiotic/probiotic powder, grain free kibble, and all natural cooked dog food from “just food for dogs” (for sensitive stomachs). all have failed. I am losing my mind!!!!!!!!!!!!! He itches a lot, shakes his ears, has hot spots, and is miserable. I want to help him but i dont know how. Neither do the vets apperently as well. I have not tried raw yet though. what recipe could you give me to start him on raw chicken? I am convinced this is the way to go for him. although a lot of people (friends and family) have been giving me a hard time relating to RAW feeding.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 7, 2014

      Raw chicken is a good place to start. Since he is a large dog, start with big pieces like chicken leg quarters. Don’t worry about “recipes” right away. You can add as you go. I’d start with chicken and then try some boneless pork if all goes well.

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