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Homemade Raw Dog Food

AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES

An easy recipe and guidelines for making homemade raw dog food that you can tweak as necessary to what best fits your dog.

For as health conscious as I am about what kind of foods I put in my own body, I have to admit for the better part of six of her seven years, I pretty much fed Ginger the equivalent of fast food to humans.

Sure, it was the good fast food but after awhile, even Chick-Fil-A isn’t “healthy” any more if you know what I mean.

Homemade raw dog food

Of course, occasionally I made her homemade pumpkin dog treats but more often than not her food was anything but homemade.

Then one day earlier this year it was like a switch got flipped.

The guy who sold us our water softener system was sitting in our kitchen and as Ulysses looked over models trying to figure out which one made the most sense, the sales guy and I started talking about dog food.

He explained how he starting feeding a raw food diet for his dogs and how their energy levels were through the roof (not that Ginger needs help in that department), their coats were shinier than ever and their teeth in great shape.

How to make your own raw dog food with easy ingredient ratios.

It made sense.

I completely buy into the same theories from a human perspective, why wouldn’t it be the same for dogs?

So, next trip to Petco, I was forking over some serious money (like 3 times the price of dry food) for frozen raw dog food patties and giving this whole thing a shot.

The first meal I gave her the homemade raw dog food, she came running back into the kitchen after licking the bowl clean as if she was begging for more.

As I was preparing the second meal and she saw me take the food out of the refrigerator, she just about lost it running back and forth between the kitchen and the laundry room (where we feed her), her legs moving faster than her body could on the wood floor running into chairs and walls like a lunatic.

It appeared she liked it.

At $25 for 3 pounds of food however, I knew immediately that wasn’t going to happen and I needed to start looking into some homemade dog food recipes.

Sorry, pup, I don’t eat out every day either.

Why raw dog food is great for your pup and an easy DIY recipe how to make it yourself at home.

So, I got to researching.

And it turns out, making your own raw dog food isn’t really that hard.

It’s a bit disgusting as you see raw meat and organs swirl around in your food processor, but it’s not difficult by any means.

And yes, dogs can eat raw meat.

I think that’s the number 1 question I get when talk about this with people so I figured we’d get that out of the way first.

Raw Dog Food Recipe Proportions (BARF diet)

  • 80% meat with fat
  • 10% organs
  • 5% vegetables/fruits
  • 5% dairy/supplements

Using those simple proportions, you can pretty much make up your own recipe from whatever you have on hand or find on sale at the store or.

Meat with fat: I will usually buy ground meat of some sort for this just because it’s easier than breaking down other cuts. Beef, chicken, pork, bison, gamey meats, etc.

Organs: The good news is organs are cheap. The bad news is organs are kind of gross. Nothing like some slimy chicken livers getting pulsed up in your food processor. Liver and kidneys are the two easiest to find in the grocery store.

Vegetables/fruits: Ginger happens to hate vegetables and fruit. She’s literally spit them out before or eaten around them if we’ve tried to feed her some in her bowl. So I choose sweet things here like apples and carrots and they get processed real fine so she can’t tell. Avoid onions, grapes and raisins as they can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Dairy/supplements: Whole eggs (shell and all) are a great source of calcium. I’ll also use some plain yogurt to help bind the patties. Supplement wise, ground flaxseed meal, olive oil and fish oil are great additions too.

How much raw food do I feed my dog?

This question has come up a lot in the comments so I figured I’d address it in the post.

The general guideline for adult dogs is to feed between 2-3% of their bodyweight. So for a 50-pound dog that would be between 1 to 1.5 pounds of food per day.

Influencing factors on determining feed amount

  1. Activity Level
  2. Adjustments for weight gain or weight loss (the graphic in this post is helpful in that regard although discussing with your vet is probably best)
  3. Life Stage

Activity level

Be honest with this assessment. Is your dog mostly a lounger that hangs out inside all day with a few backyard jaunts or is it a truly active dog like a sporting breed that hunts, a working dog like a police K9 or your pal that goes hiking with you multiple times a week for hours on end?

Human tendency is to over emphasize/assess activity levels.

Adjustments for weight gain or weight loss

Simply put, does your dog need to lose weight? Gain weight? Maintain? The answer to those questions will help you figure out which end of that 2-3% spectrum you want to start with when starting a raw food diet.

Life stage

Notice I said adult dogs when referring to the 2-3% of body weight for food amounts. Puppies are an entirely different story as they’re quickly growing and need more calories to support that growth.

There are two approaches for feeding puppies:

  • 2-3% of their expected adult weight (obviously easier to figure out with a pure bred dog)
  • 5-6% of their current puppy weight – adjusting with the dog as it grows

Senior dogs shouldn’t have drastically different needs than a middle-aged dog unless of course, activity level impacts them.

Pregnant dogs are something you should speak to your vet about in determining the best amount of raw food to support a healthy pregnancy.

Make your own homemade raw dog food and save tons of money from the store bought stuff.

Making her homemade raw dog food has just become a part of the weekly routine now.

We do half of the homemade raw dog food recipe and half dry food which we upgraded as well to a grain-free feed with ingredients that make me comfortable when I read the back of the bag.

Because digestion rates of dry food (kibble) and raw dog food differ, we now feed one meal completely raw and one meal completely dry rather than mixing the two as seen in these pictures.

It’s a 30 minute weekly commitment that has made both her and I incredibly happy.

Her, when she sees me reach into the fridge with her bowl in my other hand and me, when I see her little stub waging ferociously from the lunatic excitement she has for every meal now.

Knowing time is precious when you have a seven year old dog, something as simple as good food which I have the ability to control just isn’t even up for debate any more.

Homemade raw dog food

Homemade raw dog food

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

An easy recipe for homemade raw dog food that you can tweak as necessary to what you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 4 ounces chicken livers
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small apple, cored
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 2 whole eggs (including shell)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Add the carrot, apple and spinach to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except the ground beef and process again until well combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Add the ground beef and mix together with a spatula or your hands.
  4. Form into patties about the size of your palm and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Freeze patties until solid, transfer to a storage container or plastic bag and keep frozen.
  6. Remove one day's worth of patties from the freezer the night before and place in the refrigerator to thaw before serving.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

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Michael

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

I feed raw chicken with Dig chow mix together’My question is can I mix the raw chicken with the dog chow?

Tamara Smoot

Friday 25th of December 2020

Hello! So I’ve been feeding my dog raw for a couple of weeks now and he seems to be adjusting well. I’m not doing DIY yet but I would like to because it can get expensive when you use a subscription service (though it is easier). When you purchase your seats do you buy organic and do you shop at certain stores like Costco, publix, etc?

Gina Matsoukas

Sunday 27th of December 2020

That's up to you and your budget - we personally purchase the same kind of food we choose to eat ourselves for our dogs and that's organic and/or pasture-raised meats.

Janice lento

Sunday 20th of December 2020

What about adding brown rice ? I do the raw in the morning and kibble that is well soaked at night. I’m using Wellness Core for senior dogs. A lot of people are so against on kibble. What are your thoughts ?

Running to the Kitchen

Sunday 20th of December 2020

You can add brown rice if you want to. This recipe is for homemade raw dog food though and rice isn't really considered raw. You have to do what you feel is best or most convenient for you. Some people do all raw, some do half and half with kibble. I've done both depending on convenience!

Elizabeth

Monday 14th of December 2020

the recipe says this is for one serving? or one batch? how many patties does it make?

Running to the Kitchen

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

It's for one batch. Amount of patties will vary depending how big you make them.

Angelia

Thursday 10th of December 2020

I’m assuming adding other veggies that are not listed in the “dont” use, are ok... I tried the link above, it won’t work.

Angelia

Friday 11th of December 2020

@Gina @ Running to the Kitchen, Thank you. I apologize. There’s a graphic there now. I didn’t even check it before I messaged you. Again I apologize. Thank you again for returning my message. He loves this food by the way.

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

Thursday 10th of December 2020

@Angelia, Other veggies are mostly fine. What link are you referring to that isn't working for you?

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