This easy homemade dog food recipe is filled with hearty ground turkey and is all-natural. Skip the kibble and try something fresh. Rascal’s homemade dog food recipe is filled with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini squash and macaroni noodles.
Please note** I am not a veterinarian, just a loving dog Mom, and I highly recommend consulting with a vet that practices homemade / human-grade dog food practices before changing your dog’s diet. This meal plan has worked wonderfully for us and I hope it does the same for you.
You can grab all the shopping items and products used for this recipe over on The Inspired Home from this post!
Our golden retriever Rascal eats a 100% human-grade dog food diet.
Jared and I always joke that we could eat Rascals food with enough sriracha.
Let me preface but saying that I NEVER thought I would be the type of person that made their dog’s food homemade.
After Rascal turned a year old or so, he started developing really strange eating habits.
He wasn’t finishing his food, had loud intense stomachaches, and frequently threw up.
We went through a number of blood tests. He had been diagnosed with things like pancreatitis, anxiety and one vet even thought he had parvo. We were stressed and at a loss at how to more forward. That is until we did an allergy test.
We uncovered that Rascal was allergic to a dozen different food items, one being beef, the main ingredient in his traditional dry dog food.
Our Vet introduced us to an all-natural human-grade dog food company called ‘Just Food for Dogs’. The company sells premade food and teaches people how to make a homemade dog food recipe at home. Once we started this all-natural diet the stomach aches subsided and he was the happiest we had ever seen him.
At first the thought of homemade dog food was so daunting and just downright ‘boogie’.
I can honestly say that making his food doesn’t cost much more than the prescription diet he was on beforehand.
After watching the documentary ‘Pet Fooled’ we realized just how unregulated the dog food industry was and started to feel stronger about our homemade switch.
Is homemade dog food good for dogs?
While I am not a vet, and I certainly can’t speak for all animals (pun intended) I can tell you that switching to homemade dog food made the world of difference for Rascal. We had a very unique case with him and his food allergies, but we have also seen other positive changes.
On traditional dog food Rascal was lethargic, he shed in abundance and his appetite was mediocre. He was also low in his weight class, weighing in at just 64 pounds for a full sized male Golden Retriever.
Since the dog food switch he has been energetic, focused, and calmer. He has also put on about 15 pounds in just one year after switching to homemade food. On a traditional diet we’re vacuuming at least once a day but now 1-2 a week. We no longer have to coax Rascal into mealtime and have finally developed a great eating schedule.
How much homemade dog food should my dog eat?
This will definitely vary from dog to dog and I highly recommend speaking to your vet before going homemade. Generally speaking, for every 10 lbs your dog weighs is roughly 1/2 cup of prepared food.
Rascal weighs 75 lbs and we feed him about 3-3.5 cups of food per meal (2 meals per day).
Ingredients for Rascal’s homemade dog food:
- Olive oil
- Ground Turkey
- Sweet potatoes
- Zucchini squash
- All-Natural Chicken Stock or water
- Macaroni noodles (I love DeLallo)
- Omega 3 Oil
- Dog Food Supplement
How do you make homemade dog food?
- Food Processor: Before I start cooking a batch of homemade dog food, I blend up all the vegetables in my food processor. This Cuisinart food processor is my go-to. It’s a bit smaller than traditional food processors (we don’t have a lot of counter space) but works just as well as a larger model. Blending up the veggies nice and fine will speed up the cooking process.
- Dutch Oven: I make the entire batch in my large Le Creuset round Dutch oven. I love using a Dutch oven because I can ground the meat first, and then finish off the batch right in the same pot. The process is very similar to making chili… except for dogs. Ya know…Dog Chili. (Yes, you can also use a crockpot. Just add all the ingredients and set it on high for 4 hours).
- Measuring Cups: Rascal has his own set of measuring cups now because it makes measuring out food ingredients and the finished batch WAY easier.
- Meal Prep Containers: This is basically meal prepping for your dog, so you will need some great Tupperware.
- Protein: Rascal digests ground turkey really well but you can try ground beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and Rascal’s personal favorite: venison. If you don’t have a meat grinder you can ask your butcher to grind it for you or cut it up super fine before cooking.
- Vegetables: Spinach, butternut squash, cranberries, cauliflower, apples, green beans. Here is an entire list of AKC approved fruits and vegetables you can give your dog.
- Grains & Carbs: Rice, quinoa, barley, whole grain pasta, and potatoes can be great options. If you can believe it, Rascal is actually allergic to rice. I wish I were kidding.
- We add in a supplement nutrient blend from a company called ‘Just Food For Dogs’ very similar to dog vitamins as well as Omega oil to make sure he is getting enough healthy fats. I highly recommend adding both of these into your dog food so you can rest assure that they are getting proper nutrients.
What to season homemade dog food with:
While dogs can’t have all of the same aromatics as humans can (skip the onions!) they can have a small variety of dried or fresh herbs and spices that contain great nutrients and help flavor their meals. Use a few teaspoons sprinkled on top or mixed into the food. These are some easily digestable herbs and spices to try:
How long does homemade dog food last?
This homemade dog food will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. We usually make a weeks worth of food at a time and store it in the refrigerator.
How to store homemade dog food:
We store all of the meals in simple Tupperware containers and we ALWAYS save our plastic take out containers and re-use them for Rascals Dog Food.
Is it cheaper to feed your dog homemade food?
Homemade dog food is more affordable than you might think. It’s very relative to how large your dog is, but I’ll break down the numbers for you (we buy the ingredients at Sprouts)…The last dry kibble dog food Rascal was prescribed was over $90 a bag. A homemade batch costs us roughly…
- 3 lbs ground turkey- $10.49
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes- $5.19
- 3 carrots- $1.04
- 2 zucchini squash- $1.32
- 1 cup broccoli- $0.49
- 2 lbs macaroni noodles- $3.34
Grand total: $21.87 per batch
Your meat/protein will be the largest cost. I always pick up ground turkey when it’s on sale and freeze it until we need it for a batch.
What kind of homemade snacks can you make a dog?
- Peanut butter: Rascal has his own dedicated jar of peanut butter. He loves a traditional kong but you can also mold and freeze peanut butter in any shape for a quick frozen treat. When the jar is almost finished I break out my peanut butter spoon.
- Greek Yogurt Ice Cream: In the summer we blend up unflavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Place a spoonful or two into a silicone cupcake pan and freeze for a few hours. These make for a great dog ‘ice cream’.
- Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes: Rascals favorite easy treat. We love bringing these over to family and friends’ houses so Rascal always has a healthy treat on hand.
Other Rascal posts to check out!
- Top 5 Tips for Surviving Puppy Training
- Meet Rascal! -Bringing him home!
- Rascal modeling in our first apartment
This homemade dog food recipe is made of ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini squash, broccoli, and macaroni noodles. This large batch recipe comes together in one large pot or can be made in a slow cooker.
2 tbs of olive oil
3 lbs. ground turkey
3 medium sweet potatoes
3 carrots, peeled
2 zucchini squash
1 cup of broccoli florets
3 cups of chicken stock or water (no salt added)
20 ounces of macaroni noodles
- In a large Dutch oven heat oil on medium heat. Add ground turkey, begin to break it down, and cook for 8-10 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
- With a food processor finely chop sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, broccoli. Add in vegetables and stock to turkey.
- Add in the chopped vegetables and cook on a strong simmer for 7-8 minutes or until veggies are tender and cooked through.
- Mix in your cooked pasta noodles to the turkey vegetable mixture.
- Portion out meals accordingly. For every 10 lbs is roughly 1/2 cup of food per meal. Example: If you have a 20 lb dog they will eat 1-1.5 cups of the batch per meal (2-3 cups total per day).Rascal weighs 70 pounds and eats about 3-3.5 cups per meal (7 cups total per day)
Slow Cooker: Yes you can make homemade dog food in a slow cooker. Add in all the ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours. This does cook down some of the nutrients as the mixture cooks longer but it is can be an easier cooking method depending on your kitchen/time.
Please note** I am not a veterinarian, just a loving dog Mom and I highly recommend consulting with your vet that practices homemade / human-grade dog food practices before changing your dog’s diet. This meal plan has worked wonderfully for us and I hope it does the same for you.
Keywords: dog food, homemade dog food, natural dog food