Commercially packaged raw foods are famous for one simple reason. They’re easy.
It is not necessary to calculate the calcium/phosphorus ratio. Or the percentage of muscle meat compared to secretory and non-secretory organs. Or what you should plan for fruits and vegetables. And the good news is that there are several good commercial raw food companies on the market.
For others, however, prepackaged raw foods are not accessible or they want to try preparing their own meals. Maybe your favorite brands aren’t available in all areas of the country.
Whatever the reason, dog owners like you want perfectly balanced raw dog food recipes. Recipes with all accessible measures and ingredients. Recipes that include the right balance of meat, bones, offal, and produce.
You want to make your own dog food to solve problems, not create them. And making your own dog food is the perfect way to do it. Here are just some of the benefits…
Take control of your dog’s diet with homemade raw dog food
Making your own raw dog food gives you more control. It’s possible …
- Accommodate special needs and allergies
- Quickly adapt your dog’s diet to different stages of life
- Check the source of the ingredients
- Avoid commercial food recalls
- Improve budget management and the ability to buy in bulk
And making your own raw food is a big step towards better dog health. Dogs of all ages, from puppies to seniors, eat healthier raw diets.
Here are just some of the health benefits.
- Improved digestion
- Healthier skin and coat
- Better dental health
- Reduction of allergy symptoms
- Quieter bowel movements
- Weight management
When I switched to many raw years ago, I had a different reason. I wanted to know what was in my dog’s food. The Internet was a new research tool. Instead of figuring out how to feed, I figured out what not to feed. I have come across horror stories about what was in the kibble. It disgusted me. I was more than ever determined to follow a raw food diet.
Even the ingredients list on the package didn’t help. There were many chemicals, “meals” and other mysterious ingredients. Disguised waste has become dog food. Sadly, not much has changed in 20 years.
When I started feeding my puppies raw prepared food, I was able to ignore any dog food recalls. And there were many serious ones. I knew what I was going to put in their bowls.
Without further ado, let’s look at some simple recipes that will help you monitor your dog’s health. Just choose the foods that are right for you and your dog. The calculations will be done for you.
5 easy raw food recipes
Here are 5 of our best homemade dog food recipes. Prepare and serve immediately or freeze in individual portions.
Some recipes include bones, others a calcium supplement. Some recipes are for adult dogs. Some are for all stages of life. This means that they can also be given to puppies. And they all meet the minimum requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
I can’t wait to share these recipes with you: Beef, chicken, turkey, fish, pork, and … rabbit. Yes, bunny. For a 50 kg dog, several meals can be obtained.
Let’s start with a beef and chicken recipe. These are the most common proteins fed to dogs.
1: Beef & Chicken Neck Recipe for Dogs: With Bones – All Life Stages.
Puppies love to chew. Anyone who has lost a good leather shoe to a puppy’s dental rage will understand that. That makes this recipe perfect for puppies.
Chicken necks offer puppies a little…or a lot to chew. You decide. Plus, there’s just the right amount of calcium to balance out this recipe for a growing puppy. And it’s balanced for adult dogs too.
This recipe offers to grind chicken necks into meat dough. Or you can grind some necks. Then feed the rest whole. Most puppies are able to work their way through chicken necks. Even bigger dogs will love these treats throughout the day.
Concerned about giving your puppy bones? There’s no need to substitute chicken necks for bone meals. Local food-grade bone meal is the best. Bone meal is also available at online retailers.
Caution: Do not use bone meal found at garden centers or hardware stores. It may contain added chemical fertilizers and stabilizers that can be toxic to your dog.
2: rabbit, chicken, and beef dog food recipe: with bones – adults.
Rabbit is a new protein. This means that it is not a meat that is commonly fed. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a protein other than beef and chicken.
Rabbits can also be excellent for dogs with food intolerances. Additionally, it can be used as part of an elimination diet to determine what your dog is sensitive to. During the elimination diet, the proteins that the dog normally eats are eliminated and a single new protein is fed, such as rabbit. But if you feed a rabbit for this reason, you shouldn’t feed it eggs or organs from other animals. In this case, limit the dog’s diet to rabbits only and observe his reaction.
And the rabbit has benefits for other dogs too. It is a very lean meat and contains more protein than chicken, pork, turkey, fish, or beef. And it is sustainable. It is true that rabbits reproduce quickly and require less food and water than other animals. They produce two kilos of meat by eating the same amount it takes for a cow to produce one kilo of beef.
You can feed your dog the rabbit in small pieces or use a sharp chopper and deliberate rocking to chop it up. You can also feed it whole… your dog will understand what to do. To add texture, you can grind the rabbit and add chopped organs. Some dogs don’t like chunks, while others don’t mind.
3: Recipe for dog food with pork and fish: with added calcium – adults.
Pork is a great addition to a dog’s raw diet. Pork has great advantages. It is very digestible. If it’s pasture-raised, it contains more omega-3 fatty acids than factory-raised meat. It also contains more vitamins, especially vitamin E.
But diets for pigs can be difficult to formulate. This is because they contain a lot of Omega-6 fatty acids. That’s why you want to add fish… to balance out the fat.
Whole fish is a great addition to a dog’s diet and this recipe is. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contains important nutrients such as protein, calcium, selenium, and niacin.
Add fresh, frozen, or canned sardines. They have an excellent nutritional charge. Mackerel is also a good option.
4: Raw Dog Food Recipe With Boneless Turkey And Eggs: All life stages
Eggs are an easy addition to a dog’s raw diet. If you can get free-range eggs, even better. Most supermarkets have them in stock. But I’m still wary. Some egg cartons proudly proclaim a “vegetarian diet.” Chickens are not vegetarians. The eggs must come from free-range hens that can hunt and peck in the open for worms and insects.
Of course, I get my supplies at the farmer’s markets or directly on the farm. I travel to the countryside in search of farms. Owners of laying hens often have a simple sign that reads “eggs for sale.” Come in, leave your money and take your eggs.
You are now ready for this simple combination of turkey, giblets, and eggs.
5: raw beef and egg boneless dog food recipe: All life stages
Combine beef and eggs for another easy recipe. Visit your butcher to get beef heart and liver. Buy it by the organ or by the kilo. And don’t be surprised by the size… cows are quite large animals.
This recipe is boneless, so you need to add a supplement. Bone meal provides the extra minerals puppies need. Give adult dogs bone meal or seaweed calcium.
[HINT: You can also try adding the bone powder to your dog’s meals. Visit the Natural Dog Store to purchase our grass-fed bone powder].
Note: Algal calcium has a higher bioavailability, so do not give it to puppies.
6: The quality and Nutrition are up to you.
Third, many dog owners fail to prepare simple and nutritious meals based on homemade raw food for their pets.
Often this happens because they are misinformed or misled by websites and so-called “dog food specialists” who don’t know what they are talking about. It is a very dangerous practice.
A few years ago, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) studied 200 homemade dog food recipes, sourced from both websites and veterinarians.
Of the 200 recipes, only 9 met the NRC’s requirements for high-quality dog food. Most of their studies are available online in the AVMA library. Here is a study by Stockman et al. from 2013 and one by Larsen et al. from 2012.
7: some elements to consider when preparing Easy Raw dog food.
Finally, there are other aspects of raw dog food and homemade dog food recipes in general that you need to consider.
Two of our authors have already explained why raw food should or should not be fed, many of which are very good.
Finally, Kimberly of KeepTheTailWagging.com, a raw eating advocate and a great source of information on the subject, provides five more important reasons to consider.
If you have decided to feed your dog raw homemade food, make sure you know all the details concerning it (vitamins, minerals, calcium, etc.), taking into account all the previous points.
Also, be sure to consult with not one but at least several veterinarians when deciding on a particular diet.
Feeding dogs raw food and its possible disadvantages
Also, feeding dogs raw foods isn’t the easiest thing to do, but with the right information, it can be accomplished.
This diet has many positive aspects that improve the dog’s health, as the owners attest, but it is not without its drawbacks.
Just as many pet owners experience positive health effects from feeding their dogs raw, there are just as many people who dislike this diet and who, after trying it, have gone back to eating commercial dog food or simply cooking meals and dog treats that aren’t raw.
8: Muscle meat is the foundation of a raw dog food diet
Muscle meat should make up 35 to 50 percent of your raw dog food meal (depending on the amount of organ meat used).
Muscle meat is the main source of protein, vitamins, and enzymes.
Don’t skip it. Proper raw dog food recipes should include one of the following:
- beef (ground, cheek, stew)
- beef heart (but not more than 5% of the diet, as it is very rich in it)
- bison (ground or stew)
- lamb (stew, ground, shoulder, or brisket)
- pork (pillow, boneless rib, loin, shoulder, or butt)
- chicken (boneless breasts or thighs)
- turkey (ground, boneless, breast, or tenderloin)
What foods are toxic to dogs?
Also, always remember that dogs don’t have the same digestive capabilities as humans. Some human foods can be toxic or poisonous to our pets.
Above all, as an owner, you are responsible for checking certain ingredients and recipes for your dog’s diet.
Here are some dangerous foods for dogs:
- Grapes and sultanas
- Onions and garlic
- Citrus fruits
- Macadamia nuts
However, if you are using the wild-caught game in your dog’s raw diet, freeze it for three weeks or more before using it.
This will kill any parasites.
If you take raw trout or salmon, freeze them for at least 24 hours to kill parasites.
More tips for following raw dog food recipes.
When planning and preparing raw food for your dog, also keep the following additional tips in mind:
- First, you need to know how much raw food you should give your dog. It should be around 2-3% of the dog’s ideal body weight per day. For very active dogs, it can be increased slightly. If your dog is pregnant, talk to your vet about ideal amounts.
- However, if the recipe calls for a bone meal, always purchase it at a grocery store or other food supplier. Never buy it from hardware stores or garden centers, as it may contain chemicals and fertilizers to stabilize it. To avoid problems, always read the label to verify that the bone meal you choose is just a bone meal and nothing else.
- Try incorporating omega-3 supplements into your dog’s meals.
- Also, when buying organ meats for your dog’s food, try to get enough for some batches. You can chop or grind them, put them in a labeled bag, and freeze them. This saves you from having to buy organ meats frequently, especially if you don’t eat them yourself.
- Choose meat with a fat content of 10-20% (or 80-90% lean meat).
- Always buy high-quality ingredients that fit within your budget.
- However, if you want to give your dog raw food but don’t have the time to prepare it yourself, you can buy it. Know that ready-made raw dog food is more expensive.
Raw recipes meet AAFCO requirements.
The ingredients in these five recipes have been carefully selected to meet AAFCO minimum nutritional requirements for adult dogs. Where indicated, recipes are balanced for all life stages, including puppies.
How much to feed
Adult dogs should eat around 2-3% of their ideal body weight in raw food daily. So, if your dog’s ideal weight is 50 pounds, 1 to 1.5 pounds of food per day is fine. If your dog is very active, you may want to give him a little more. If he likes lounging more than playing ball, maybe it’s time to feed him a little less. You can also change the amount of food if your dog loses or gains weight. This is as scientific as it gets.
Puppies should eat 2-3% of their ideal adult weight. A puppy might weigh 15 pounds right now, but his ideal adult weight might be 50 pounds. You must feed yourself for this future weight, not the current one. With this amount of food, it is advisable to divide it into 3 meals a day. Feed this way until 6 months of age. Some puppies stop eating 3 meals before or after 6 months. Adults usually feed 1-2 times a day.
You now have a good collection of raw dog food recipes with lots of variety.
But before you hit the store with your shopping list, there’s one last thing you might want to know…
How to choose the best ingredients
Now that you know what you want to prepare, it’s time to put together a shopping list and do some research.
The dog’s staple food is meat. Some dog owners are lucky enough to have a breeder, meat processor, or slaughterhouse nearby. But supermarket meat is fine too. If you know your butcher or rancher, it’s easier to get a selection of organs and different types of meat.
When choosing meat, the fat content should be between 10% and 20%. Packaged meat should contain 80%, 85%, or 90% lean meat. The fat content is the amount left over… so 20%, 15%, or 10%. Here’s what to look for.
In addition to meat, a selection of offal is required for these recipes. I built a relationship with my butcher so I could text and stash the organs. So I won’t have to worry about it being sold out if I can’t get there.
Buy the best quality meat, poultry, eggs and produce you can afford. Remember that this is a long-term commitment and therefore you must stay within the limits of your possibilities. At the higher end of the scale are free-range, pasture-raised, or organic meats. They are free from antibiotics and growth hormones and are raised on pasture in the open air.
Avoid genetically modified products (GMOs) as much as possible. So look for organic products. Organic means that it has been grown without the use of harmful pesticides or GMO seeds. The cleaner the food, the better for the dog’s health.
You don’t need to make these changes all at once. After all, making your own raw dog food is an important step. Make small changes when you can. Eventually, it will become second nature.
It’s time to start making homemade raw food. And surely there will be tasters eager to try some samples.
Want more nutritious homemade dog food recipes? …
What to mix with raw dog food?
However, all of the ingredients we’ve included in our recipes can make a great addition to dog food.
Some good alternatives are turkey, chicken, fish, chickpeas, brown rice, carrots, cod liver oil, peas, spinach, eggs, and cranberries.
FAQs on the best raw food recipes for dogs.
In the meantime, s
till have questions about raw feeding your dog, its health benefits, or what to include or avoid?
We’ve compiled and answered the most common questions to make sure we cover all the bases.
Is it possible to mix croquettes and raw food?
Today there is a myth that you cannot mix kibbles with raw food because kibbles take longer to digest than raw food.
But dogs can eat a mixture of kibble and raw food without problems.
However, be careful with dogs with digestive problems. For this reason, it is still important to consult your vet.
Can I feed my dog raw meat from the supermarket?
Yes, dogs can usually eat raw meat, although not humans.
Make sure you take steps to avoid contamination or disease and provide your dog with a balanced diet.
He needs carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals from vegetables and other ingredients in his diet, as well as meat.
How do I prepare my own raw dog food?
Also, following the above recipes is the easiest way to prepare raw food for your dog at home.
You can also get creative and combine ingredients from different recipes.
Use the ingredient lists and other information we’ve provided to prepare a balanced meal your dog will enjoy, based on the ingredients you have on hand.
Is it cheaper to make your own raw dog food?
Also, if you want to feed your dog raw food, you will definitely save money by preparing it yourself instead of buying ready-made raw food.
However, remember that you will still spend more to feed your dog homemade raw food than you would likely to feed it conventional food, even if it is a moderate-quality brand.
What is the best raw dog food?
However, if you’d rather buy raw food than prepare it yourself, consider options from Primal, BARF World, Steve’s Real Food, Stella and Chewy, Nature’s Variety, or TruDog.
What to mix with raw dog food?
All of the ingredients we’ve included in our recipes above, however, can make a great addition to dog food.
Some good alternatives are turkey, chicken, fish, chickpeas, brown rice, carrots, cod liver oil, peas, spinach, eggs, and cranberries.