5 Easy Cooked Dog Food Recipes You Need to Try

dog dressed in chef cap and apron in kitchen filled with fresh ingredients

Dogs are absolutely adorable. That being said, many of you may have furry friends whose fussy eating habits are getting on your last nerve. But you can’t blame them, packaged pet foods may be off-putting for them because they are packed with fillers and artificial ingredients.

Fillers are double-edged swords; certain fillers can actually increase the nutritional value of dog food. Packaged pet foods that are made with high-quality fillers can actually be just as nutritious as fresh foods, with a reduced risk of bacterial contamination. But fillers such as MSG and corn syrup can actually make your dogs obese and increase their blood sugar levels. Certain low-quality pet foods also have anti-caking agents, which make them dry and difficult to swallow. This can lead to your furry friend rejecting sub-standard, heavily processed pet food because of its sandpaper-like texture.

While high-quality packaged pet foods do have certain advantages, we highly recommend that you use them in a balanced way. Combining packaged foods with homemade dog-food can prevent allergens from entering its gut and add some much-needed variety into its diet.

Advantages of homemade cooked dog food

bulldog eating cooked dog food

Although the preparation of homemade cooked dog food can be time-consuming, the pros of homemade cooked dog food far outweigh the cons. Some of these pros are given below.

  1. Better quality ingredients- many mass market pet food brands use low quality grains and meat byproducts in their commercial pet foods. By making fresh dog food at home, you can choose perfect, high-quality meats, grains and veggies for your furry friends.
  2. Elimination of preservatives- many brands of dog food contain harmful preservatives, such as nitrates, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene). By cooking your dog’s food at home, you eliminate harmful, carcinogenic preservatives from its diet.
  3. Customized recipes- Many packaged dog foods don’t take breed-specific dietary requirements into account. With cooked dog food, you can provide the appropriate calories and nutrients that your pet needs based on its weight, health, and age.
  4. Elimination of allergens- Just like humans, many dog breeds are predisposed to allergies that are hard to detect. Packaged dog food goes through many different processing machines, which could lead to cross-contamination and an inadvertent introduction of allergens. By cooking your own dog food, you can completely eliminate the chances of any allergens being introduced into your furry friend’s diet. 

Nutritional breakdown for homemade dog food

dog in kitchen filled with fresh ingredients

According to the The National Academies, a balanced and healthy doggy diet must have:

  1. At least 10% protein
  2. At most 50% carbohydrates
  3. Around 2.5-4.5% fiber
  4. At least 5.5% animal or vegetable fat

Vitamin and mineral supplements can also be added as per the advice of your vet.

Even though cooking for your dog may seem like a daunting task, we have curated 5 simple and tasty dog food recipes that will keep your furry friend healthy and happy. The following recipes are vet-approved and can be paired with appropriate packaged foods and supplements to improve your dog’s dining experiences. Serving sizes and ingredients can be modified as per your pet’s dietary and breed-specific requirements. 

5 simple and tasty homemade cooked dog food recipes

Grounded Turkey Delight

grounded turkey with rice

This hearty dish is quick and easy to make and it can be easily paired with kibble. This recipe will ideally take 25-30 min to make, and it will yield 10 servings of 1 cups each.

Ingredients

  1. 500 gm ground turkey.
  2. 6 cups of water.
  3. 2 cups of brown rice, which can be substituted with oats or yams (cook times may vary)
  4. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary.
  5. 500 gm of a mix of broccoli, carrot and cauliflower.
  6. Half a teaspoon of salmon or coconut oil.

Directions

  1. Blanch your vegetables for 5 min and set them aside
  2. Place ground turkey, water, rice, rosemary and salmon/coconut oil into a large casserole. Stir the mixture and bring to a boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 min. 
  3. Once the turkey meat is cooked, set your casserole aside, add in your vegetables and let it cool before refrigerating or serving it. 

Each serving of this dish contains around 450 calories, along with 12 gm fat, 65 gm carbohydrates and 24 gm protein.

Beef Stew

beef stew

Beef is an excellent source of protein and iron for your dog. If you are looking for grain free recipes, then this is the perfect recipe for your furry friend. This dish can be prepared in roughly 45 min and it will yield 5 servings of 1 cup each.

Ingredients

  1. 500 gm boneless beef
  2. 1 sweet potato (can be replaced with plantain or squash)
  3. 1 cup with a mixture of carrots and green beans (can be replaced with cauliflower or broccoli)
  4. 1/2 a cup of unflavored chicken/beef stock or bone broth
  5. 1 tablespoon of a neutral vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Boil your sweet potato for 5-10 min, until it becomes tender, but remains slightly firm. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
  2. Slice your beef into small chunks and cook it with a tablespoon of vegetable oil for 10-15 min, until it is well done. Once cooked, separate the beef chunks from its drippings and set aside.
  3. Add your stock/broth into your drippings and stir for a minute or so over medium-low heat until the mixture is completely dissolved
  4. Once you have a dissolved mixture, cook your carrots and beans in the mixture until they are tender.
  5. Once your carrots and beans are cooked, mix them with your sweet potatoes and beef to create a stewy mixture. Let the mixture cool before refrigerating or serving.

Each serving of this dish contains around 350 calories, along with 9 gm fat, 20 gm carbohydrates and 32 gm protein.

Savoury Salmon Rice Bowl

salmon rice bowl

Salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which will keep your dog’s coat shiny and reduce issues related to inflammation. If salmon is not available in your area, you can replace it with any other fish, but it is important to ensure that the fish is thoroughly cooked and deboned.. This dish can be prepared in roughly 45 min and it will yield 8 servings of 1 cup each.

Ingredients

  1. 1.5 kg deboned Salmon
  2. 1 cup of brown rice (can be substituted for oats or millets)
  3. 1 cup of frozen peas (can be swapped for carrots, broccoli or cauliflower)
  4. 1/2 a cup of pumpkin puree (can be swapped for carrot or sweet potato puree)
  5. 2 cups of water
  6. 1 tablespoon of a neutral vegetable oil
  7. 2 cups of spinach (fresh or defrosted)

Directions

  1. Add a tablespoon of a neutral vegetable oil into a pan and heat it on a medium flame. 
  2. Pan fry your salmon in the pan (skin side down first) for 4-5 min on each side. Let it cool on a rack or paper towels once it is cooked.
  3. Place your rice in 2 cups of water and place it on a high heat. After it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover until the rice becomes tender.
  4. Blanch peas and spinach for 2-3 min and mix it with the brown rice once it is cooked. 
  5. Mix the salmon, peas, spinach and rice in a large bowl once all of them are cooked. 
  6. Add pumpkin puree to the mixture to bind everything together

Each serving of this dish contains around 380 calories, along with 13 gm fat, 23 gm carbohydrates and 35 gm protein.

Singaporean Surprise

chicken fried rice

If you happen to be wondering if there is something a little more localized, we got you covered! We sought to find a recipe that can be used to create homemade fresh dog food Singaporean pet owners would gladly feed to their furry friends, and our canine version of chicken fried rice is perfect for dogs of all shapes and sizes. This recipe will take around 20 min to cook, and it will yield roughly 7 servings, with a serving size of 1 cup. 

Ingredients

  1. 3 cups of white or brown rice
  2. 400 grams of boneless chicken thighs
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1/2 cup of carrots or beans
  5. 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
  6. 1 cup of unflavored chicken stock or bone broth

Directions

  1. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add your chicken thighs
  3. Once the chicken thighs are cooked, deglaze the pan with your stock or bone broth, and add in your washed rice.
  4. After cooking for 1 minute, transfer the rice into a rice cooker or a steamer and cook it until it’s soft and fluffy with the appropriate amount of water. Optionally, you can cook the rice in chicken stock or bone broth as well for additional flavor.
  5. Blanche your vegetables for 2 minutes and boil 2 eggs until they are hard-boiled.
  6. Chop up your chicken into manageable pieces and mix with your rice, vegetables and eggs

Each serving of this dish contains 300 calories, along with 13 gm fat, 27 gm carbs and 20 gm protein. 

What about something sweet?

Desserts can be tricky minefields for dogs, as most desserts are loaded with allergens such as nuts and dairy products. However, that doesn’t mean your dog’s sweet-tooth cannot be satisfied. We have come up with a healthy and yummy sweet treat recipe for your pooch which can be prepared in 35 minutes. This recipe can yield 30-50 treats, depending on the way in which you cut them. These treats can last for up to 2 months in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer.

Banana Pumpkin Treats

Ingredients

  1. 3 cups of oat flour
  2. 1 egg white
  3. 1 cup sweet potato or pumpkin puree
  4. 1 cup banana puree
  5. 2 tablespoons of a neutral vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Whip your egg whites until you get soft peaks, then slowly incorporate your banana and pumpkin puree into it.
  3. Incorporate your oat flour into the mixture gently until a cookie-dough consistency can be seen (incorporate extra flour if required). Then add coconut oil, and let the mixture rest for a few minutes before baking.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a baking tray and shape the dough as you please. Molds can also be used to shape your treats. The treats that you can see above have been shaped using bone-shaped molds.
  5. Bake for 10-20 min in the preheated oven until the treats become golden brown. Let the treats cool before you serve them to your dog.

If the yield of this recipe is 50 treats, each treat will contain 110 calories, with 10 gm fat, 14 gm carbohydrates and 3.5 gm protein.

Avoid these ingredients

You can use many different ingredients for homemade fresh dog food and cooked dog food; however, the following ingredients are toxic for dogs and should not be introduced into their foods in any shape, way or form.

  1. Chocolates, or any product with cocoa.
  2. Grapes or derivatives of grapes, for example raisins.
  3. Allium vegetables such as onions and garlic.
  4. Nuts such as macadamia nuts and walnuts.
  5. Hops and fruit seeds.
  6. Food items that contain caffeine.
  7. Food items with yeast.
  8. Excessive amounts of salt and spices

Allergenic ingredients must be avoided as well. Food allergies are actually difficult to detect for dogs using traditional testing methods, hence we highly recommend that you should contact a veterinarian or a medical professional for an elimination trial plan that can help you determine what your dog is and isn’t allergic to.

General tips to follow while making fresh dog food at home 

  1. Measure ingredients accurately with a weighing scale.
  2. Purchase fresh, high-quality ingredients.
  3. Set yourself up in a clean area of the kitchen to prevent cross-contamination.
  4. If you are adding supplements to your dog’s food, make sure they are thoroughly incorporated to prevent clumps.
  5. Make sure your dog’s food containers are stored in a sequestered part of your fridge
  6. Don’t keep homemade dog food in your freezer for more than 3 months.

In conclusion, whilst packaged pet foods may not be as bad as you think, serving them regularly to your dog could lead to certain behavioral and health issues. Mixing homemade dog food with packaged pet food will keep your furry friend hale and hearty. Before you begin your journey as a dog-food chef, we recommend that you visit a medical professional or consult qualified veterinarians from Zumvet to find out if your furry friend has any food allergies, or if any supplements are required in its diet plan. 

You can also check the Zumshop dog diets as well for veterinarian-approved toppings and supplements that can make your dog food taste like a million bucks.

We hope you enjoy the recipes we have provided for you in this article and feel free to share with them via our Instagram channel. May you and your furry friend always enjoy good health and great vitality. Cheers!