Homemade raw dog food recipes
I’ve been feeding my dogs a raw dog food diet since 2011. We started with a pre-made brand and eventually I started making homemade raw food to save money. This article includes a couple of homemade raw dog food recipes submitted by readers.
The main downside to feeding commercial raw dog food is the price.
My dog Remy is a 63-pound weimaraner. He eats 2 pounds of raw food per day or 60 pounds per month. It costs more than $300 per month to feed him commercial raw.
That’s the equivalent or more of feeding an extra person, which is why it makes sense for some people to consider homemade raw food at least a couple days per week or to mix in with a commercial brand.
Making your dog’s raw food
If you decide to buy ingredients to make your dog’s raw food yourself, you’ll be buying foods like:
- raw beef or raw chicken
- raw organs like chicken livers
- raw veggies
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 organs 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.
To help you out, I’ve written an ebook to guide you through the process of learning to feed a raw diet.
How much raw dog food should I feed my dog?
The general rule is to feed your dog 2 to 3 percent of his ideal adult body weight. This is just a general rule. Some dogs will require a bit less while others may need 4 or even 5 percent if they are very active.
Here’s a simple equation you can use to find out how much to feed your dog in ounces as a starting point:
1. Get your dog’s weight in ounces. To do that, just multiply your dog’s weight in pounds by 16. For example, my dog weighs 63 pounds X 16 = 1,008 ounces.
2. Multiply your dog’s weight in ounces by .025 to get 2.5% of his body weight. Feed that amount per day as a starting point. So with my dog it is 1,008 x .025 = 25.2 ounces.)
According to the above example, my 63 pound dog should be eating 25.2 ounces of food per day, or about 1.6 pounds (16 ounces = 1 pound).
This is a very general starting point.
I know from experience that my specific dog needs a bit more food than this because as he is very active and naturally lean. Every dog is different!
You’ll also want to factor in the treats you feed your dog. My dog gets quite a few treats and a bully stick most days.
It doesn’t have to be complicated! If your dog is underweight, feed him a bit more. If he’s fat, feed him less.
Easy homemade raw dog food recipes
I asked some readers and friends to share some of their homemade raw dog food recipes.
The raw dog food recipes below 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 in the comments.
Homemade raw dog food recipe #1:
RAW CHICKEN QUARTER & VEGGIE MIX:
This is for a 100-pound Kuvasz dog. He gets this 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)
- 3 ounces of chicken livers
If the chicken quarter does not have a lot of bone, sometimes Biggie’s owners will add a calcium tablet.
Homemade raw dog food recipe #2:
RAW BEEF, ORGAN & VEGGIE MIX:
This is for an active springer spaniel/pointer mix. Twice per day:
- 1 C. raw ground beef
- 1 raw chicken thigh, with bone
- 1 ounce organ meat such as chicken liver (from grocery store)
- 1/2 C. vegetables/fruit blended
- 1 egg, with shell
Rotate the kinds of organ meat and veggies you use.
Dog treat recipe for raw feed dogs #1:
RAW BEEF STUFFED INTO 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.
Dog treat receipe for raw fed dogs #2:
- Small amount of any raw meat
- Small amount of spinach, chopped carrots or broccoli (blended)
- 2 C. water
- 1 large can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling – no sugar!)
- 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!
You could also put the blend into ice cube trays if you don’t want to use cups.
Some reminders about feeding homemade raw dog food recipes:
- Some fruits and vegetables are not good for dogs such as grapes and onions.
- 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.
Update on feeding my dog raw food
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.
To make it easier, you can always feed one meal of DIY raw dog food and one meal of commercial raw dog food each day.
I recommend the brand Darwin’s and they offer a trial offer for new customers: 10 lbs of food for just $14.95 and free shipping! Learn more here, no code required!
Gradual switch to raw or quick switch?
Back when I first introduced Ace to raw dog food, I gradually switched him from dry food to raw dog food by mixing the two together over eight days.
This is what the majority of vets and raw dog food companies recommend, but some people just switch over “cold turkey” and it goes just fine.
See my post: How to transition your dog to a raw diet.
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.
Here is what I noticed after switching Ace to a homemade raw diet:
Ace used to get about two ear infections a year so not enough where I was overly concerned about food allergies or environmental allergies. Since being on a raw diet he’s had one ear infection in about six years.
Ace seems to scratch a lot less and lick his paws less when on a raw diet.
I don’t expect to notice a difference in Ace’s teeth, but many others report their dogs oral health improved dramatically after switching to raw.
There is a LOT less shedding.
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!
My dog definitely has less energy every year, and while others report a raw diet seems to give their dogs more energy, that has never been noticeable with my low-energy guy. He’s just low energy all the time!
Learn more about raw feeding with my ebook “10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes.”
Do you feed your dog homemade raw food?
In the comments, share some examples of raw dog food “recipes” you have used.
See all of our raw feeding articles HERE.
Tuesday 24th of August 2021
I’m currently give my dog Purina dry food but I want to switch to homemade food - I am not sure is raw or cook .. what is the best option???? Should I mix ??? Some days Raw some cooked???
Wednesday 25th of August 2021
Raw is healthier if it's balanced. But fresh cooked food is healthier than dry food, if balanced.
Thursday 24th of June 2021
I have a Great Dane puppy and I’m feeding him raw! I’m getting nervous as to how to afford his food. He is up to 60oz of food a day!! Do you have any tips on something more affordable?? I just Spent $230 at the Asian market and I feel Like it didn’t make as much as I’d hoped…..
Saturday 26th of October 2019
Hi My Name is Triane My daughter and I adopted pittbull terrier in August so right now we are feeding Bella raw food beef and sweet potatoes and mix it with grain free food. I'm not sure if that's a good for her. So that's why I have decided to start making her raw food and also continue too mix it with her dry food. Help we love our Bella!! Thanks!
Sunday 14th of April 2019
Loved reading your article. Even though it is based on your own science and beliefs, I thoroughly enjoyed reading how everything you do is for the benefit of your dogs. Everyone will never agree on the same things, scientifically tested or not. No dog is the same, nor are the needs of everything individual dog. I have 2 boxers, who for those that don’t know; are prone to allergies, cancer, hip and joint issues, Head tremors, you name it a boxer is prone to it. I’ve been feeding my two raw for 3 1/2 years, they will be 4 next week. Not only do they devour their meals, their overall health thus far is astronomical. Thanks for sharing your opinions and I wish the world would be more open minded about something a lot of people are ignorant to.
Monday 22nd of October 2018
Thanks this article was helpful and practical. I especially appreciated seeing how to calculate an amount to start my dog on.
Anyone have recipe recommendations for smaller dogs? I have a chihuahua mix and we are looking into if he is having liver or digestive issues. Also, How do you know what to include nutrition wise when making a recipe for your dog?