Easy Healthy Homemade Dog Food (and the Sweet Pug That Inspired It)

Does the idea of making your own dog food at home seem intimidating? It doesn’t have to be! You can make nutritious dog food at home with whole-food ingredients you recognize, in the same time it takes (or even less) to make your own meals. Your furbaby will love her homemade diet, and you’ll love the ease of preparing the food and creating your own recipe with my easy guide.

Linda Ly
Easy healthy homemade dog food (and the sweet pug that inspired it)

Bug (short for Bebe pug) is my 11-year-old second-born daughter. (The first being my 12-year-old pug, Chinki.)

She’s a purebred, born from a line of AKC champion pugs, but with that came the typical hereditary joint diseases of overly bred “perfect” pugs.

Don’t get me wrong; Bug is perfect in every which way and I wouldn’t trade her in for anything. But raising her these last few years, especially, has taught me a lot about dog health and nutrition as both my girls settle into their senior years.

Just before she turned 8, Bug started showing signs of degenerative joint disease. Her hips would give out a little every time she walked.

She grew up in one-story homes with hard floors, and after the move to our 1920s original bungalow, the split-level rooms and terraced yard seemed to exacerbate her condition.

Disclosure: If you shop from my article or make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive commissions on some of the products I recommend.

Over the years, her weak hips eventually gave out and she lost the use of both of her back legs.

At home, she moves around by dragging her body with her front legs. (She has the strongest front legs of any dog I know!)

When she’s out and about, she rolls around in a dog wheelchair and we can barely keep up with her. I almost expect her wheelchair to have flame decals!

Homemade diet for dogs

If you just saw her sitting, you wouldn’t know that she had a handicap. She’s full of smiles and high spirits, and doesn’t seem to realize that she can’t walk on all fours like her sister can. She’s still a speedy little thing, especially when it’s meal time or beach day!

Bug wasn’t always like this though. In the month that her hip dysplasia finally advanced, she was weak, tired, frustrated, and we thought for a moment that we were going to lose her.

Since she no longer had control of her hips to squat and potty, she became incontinent for a few weeks. With her age, and the fact that she showed no pain in her joints (just lameness), we opted to skip any kind of corrective surgery and approached her condition more holistically.

One of our changes was in diet.

Please note: This information, based on my own opinions and experiences, is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Every dog’s dietary needs are different. Please consult with your veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your own dog’s diet.

Cooking our way to a healthier dog diet

Ever since I started raising my own dogs, I’d always wanted to make their food at home but thought it would be too expensive or too time-consuming, or that they wouldn’t get the nutrition they needed.

During the month of Bug’s doggy depression, I vowed to make her precious life (or what I felt might have been the final stages) as comfortable as possible.

Both of my pugs had a range of health issues growing up, which I unfortunately found out were common for the breed.

My older one had persistent hot spots and itchiness that no commercial dog food could cure (and I’ve tried them all, from grain-free kibbles to lamb, veal, fish, and many more things she would simply spit out).

Bug was overweight for a while when she was younger, even though she ate the recommended amount of food for her target weight. Eventually, I settled on Wellness kibbles and they did well with that brand.

But, I wanted to explore other options. I wanted to give them real food—fresh, nutritious ingredients that I recognized and could even eat myself.

Homemade dog food

I’ve mentioned in my post on homemade whole grain chicken feed that the entire household (humans, dogs, and chickens) all share the same whole grains and seeds that we buy in bulk, as well as the bounty that comes from our edible garden.

Everything our animals eat, we can eat. (Well, I’ll admit that fig beetles and other bugs are not our thing, but our chickens love it!)

When it comes to homemade feed for our laying hens, we stick to a tried-and-true formula that works for every layer: 16 to 17 percent protein (determined by my chicken feed calculator), vitamins, minerals, and amino acids from a wide variety of grains and seeds, and free range of a pasture for weeds, greens, and insects.

These numbers vary depending on the age of your chickens, but for optimal health and egg production, it’s easy to devise a diet that fits within those parameters.

Dogs, on the other hand, aren’t bred for a standard function the way chickens are.

Like humans, dogs’ dietary needs can vary wildly based on age, breed, health history, and activity level. What works for one dog may not work for another.

Fresh vegetables from the garden

When I first started thinking about this post, I almost hesitated to share my recipe for homemade dog food since it’s so tailored to the needs of my pugs.

But, I wanted to show other dog owners that homemade, wholesome, healthy food is possible, and doesn’t take much more time than preparing your own meal in the kitchen.

Depending on how many dogs you have and how much they eat, you may only need to prepare their food once or twice a week.

A general guideline for preparing dog food at home

My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs’ diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.

However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:

  • 50 percent cooked protein
  • 25 percent raw vegetables
  • 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
  • Fats and supplements
  • Eggshells

Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though we’ve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.

Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.

Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs’ joint health. (Turmeric-spiced dark meat chicken happens to be quite delectable to a dog!)

Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While we’ll remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we don’t worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.

A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet. (If your dog is prone to being overweight, you might want to stick with only lean meats.)

Raw vegetables come from whatever is currently growing in our garden. Sometimes we’ll even throw a few pieces of fruit in there, like in the fall when cranberries are in season. (Bug has a history of urinary tract infections, so we typically give her a cranberry supplement as a preventive measure.)

We vary the vegetables each week so the pugs don’t eat too much of any one thing. In one meal they might get broccoli, celery, fava bean leaves, radishes, and nasturtiums. Sometimes apples, bananas, or feijoas that we pick off our trees… and even herbs, like salad burnet, basil, or parsley.

This component provides fiber to support digestive health, as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients. In general, the darker the vegetable, the better it is nutritionally.

Bug in her wheelchair on the beach

We feed our dogs all the same vegetables we feed ourselves, and this includes black kale, purple carrots, and green romanesco broccoli. They are garden foodies just like we are!

(But please don’t think you have to get this fancy for your homemade dog food recipe—we’re just able to give our pets all the excess that grows in our garden.)

Happy and healthy

While this might sound like a lot, keep in mind that we only need small amounts of each vegetable—a few broccoli florets or stems, a rib of celery, a small handful of carrot tops.

They tend to be the “leftovers” in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.

A rainbow of carrots

We usually focus on broccoli and broccoli leaves as the primary vegetables because they are exceptionally nutrient dense (particularly the leaves of the plant, which we grow in abundance at home).

A recent peer-reviewed medical study has found that a compound in broccoli, sulforaphane, helps slow the progress of osteoarthritis.

To a lesser extent other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and brussels sprouts, also contain sulforaphane, but it’s most prevalent in broccoli. In our household, with two aging dogs, joint health is a priority.

Important note: The only vegetable we definitely do not feed our dogs is onion (and related alliums, like leeks and garlic), which contains a toxic compound called thiosulphate. Even if ingested in small amounts, thiosulphate can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause hemolytic anemia.

Complex carbohydrates typically come from brown rice, wild rice (or any number of Asian rices the hubby and I make at home, like red or black rice), oats, lentils, split peas, or starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Wild rice, split peas, and lentils, in particular, have the advantage of also being high in protein.

These complex carbs provide energy and aid in gastrointestinal function, so don’t think of them simply as filler. We switch up this component every week to give some variety, and sometimes combine a grain with a starchy vegetable (say, brown rice with sweet potatoes).

Fats and supplements round out our homemade dog food, and they’re very specific to our pugs’ health needs.

Eggshells (from their chicken sisters!) are an important source of calcium and added during the preparation of their food. (Unless you regularly give your dog raw meaty bones to chew on, you should always supplement with calcium.)

Happy dog thriving on fresh homemade dog food

We dole out the rest of their requirements between two meals a day. Wild Alaskan salmon oil (for omega-3 fatty acids), liquid glucosamine (for joint health), and powdered cranberry extract (for urinary health) are given in the morning, while brewer’s yeast (for immune system support) and coconut oil (for overall health) are given in the evening.

Brewer’s yeast is also thought to be a natural method for controlling fleas, as its sulfur compounds purportedly make a dog less palatable to them.

(The jury is still out on that one, but I do believe in brewer’s yeast for its vast array of B vitamins; I even add it to my homemade corn-free chicken feed.)

Preparation of our homemade dog food

All of the information above might seem intimidating, but I assure you that making the actual meals for our dogs takes no more than 20 minutes of actual hands-on time.

First, we cook our complex carbs, whether they’re grains, legumes, or starchy vegetables.

While that pot is simmering on the stove, we cook the meat in a separate pan in coconut oil and ground turmeric. After it’s cooled a bit, we add chunks of meat to our food processor and pulse until they’re broken down into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.

Then, we gather whatever vegetables or fruits we have in the kitchen (usually an assortment of five or more things), chop them up as needed, and toss them into the food processor.

We also add a few clean, crushed eggshells to the mix. A few pulses turns all this food into smaller pieces, making them more digestible for our dogs.

Finally, we add the cooled, cooked carbs to the food processor and do a couple more pulses to combine. Everything should have a finely crumbled texture by this point.

(If you have a heavy hand and accidentally make this mix on the mushy side, that’s okay too.)

DIY dog food recipe

Since dogs have short digestive tracts, it’s crucial that you break down the food to increase its bioavailability—that is, making all the nutrients in those wholesome ingredients more digestible in a dog’s system.

I prepare enough food to last my two pugs an entire week. It’s unbelievably easy, and I like knowing exactly what goes into their food. Friends will watch us feed our pugs and remark that it looks good enough for them to eat!

As a general rule, dogs will eat around 2 to 3 percent of their ideal body weight in fresh food daily. Larger breeds may need as little as 1 1/2 percent, and smaller breeds may need as much as 4 percent.

This works out to be approximately:

  • 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog (2 percent of body weight)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog (2 to 3 percent of body weight)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog (2 to 3 percent of body weight)
  • 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog (3 to 4 percent of body weight)

There is much variation in what the ideal amount should be as it depends on how much your dog weighs and how active she is.

I feel that the best approach is to feed and watch; if your dog is losing weight, give more, and if your dog is gaining weight, give less.

Raising a happy and healthy pug on homemade dog food

For our pugs, we feed a scoop each in the morning and a scoop each in the evening, plus all their supplements.

We have an easy system for this: homemade food is refrigerated in a sealed container with a measuring cup (always the same one, as it portions out the exact amount of food needed), and all the supplements are lined up together in a cupboard in the kitchen. Keeping your ingredients organized and accessible will make feeding time fast and smooth.

Compared to feeding commercial food, where you might scoop out kibbles or open up a can, feeding homemade food with all the supplements takes maybe 10 seconds more. And even if it took 10 minutes more, fresh wholesome food for our furbabies is worth it.

Can you freeze homemade dog food?

Yes, we’ve done this many times. It definitely takes the pressure off having to prepare fresh meals every week, and frozen homemade dog food retains all the flavor and nutrition of fresh homemade dog food.

When we want to make a double or triple batch, we simply freeze the leftovers in zip-top bags or freezer-safe food containers. The night before, we thaw a week’s worth of frozen dog food in the fridge. And just before serving, we add all the necessary supplements to their feeding bowl.

We don’t bother to heat any of it up, but because we try to keep our pugs hydrated, we do boil water in a kettle and then stir some hot water into their food. They really like slurping it all up this way!

Transitioning to homemade dog food

Most dogs don’t have a problem making the switch to homemade food. If yours is prone to digestive issues, start slowly by mixing a little bit of the homemade food with the commercial food.

Over the course of a week or two, gradually increase the amount of homemade food while decreasing the commercial food.

If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, try introducing only a couple of new ingredients at a time until their systems are well adjusted to the fresh diet.

For dogs with health issues, please consult with a veterinarian (preferably a holistic one) if you aren’t sure what kind of supplements are needed. Use your best judgment, the way you would when feeding yourself or your family.

The results from feeding our DIY dog food

Back to the story of Bug…

After only a couple of weeks of feeding her a homemade diet, the hubby and I were blown away by how much her mental and physical health improved. And we wholeheartedly believe she was able to bounce back because of her new food.

How to make and feed homemade dog food

She went from an ailing, exhausted, incontinent, tail-down dog to a happy, energetic, curious, communicative pup. While she isn’t miraculously walking again, her hip dysplasia also hasn’t progressed or caused her any pain.

We’ve learned to watch for signs that she needs to relieve herself (by the way she barks or sits) as we’ve realized she knows when she has to go, she just can’t get there without our help.

We feed both of our pugs the same food, with the hope that we can stave off any potential health problems for our older one.

When we travel, we’ll bring their homemade food on the road in a cooler. On occasion, we’ve even ordered their dinner from a restaurant when we ran out of food (a beef patty, steamed veggies, and scrambled eggs can be found almost anywhere).

If we’re camping, we’ll usually just feed them whatever we’re cooking in camp—they love corn on the cob, hobo packs (vegetables cooked in foil packets), and the whole assortment of tri-tip, sausages, and ribs that we’ve usually got going on.

As you might imagine… they love camping trips!

Homemade dog food gives us the flexibility to fine-tune their diet as needed. I’m forever grateful for the extra time we were given with our beloved Bug as a result of the food we chose to feed her.

Since the switch to a homemade diet several years ago, neither of our pugs has suffered from their previous issues; no dermatitis, no weight gain, and no urinary tract infections. They’ve slowed down in their old age, but their spirits are still as young as can be.

Update: This article originally appeared on July 14, 2014. Bug was euthanized at home in June 2017, at 14 years old, after fighting the good fight with her joint disease. Her sister, Chinki, made it to age 16 and died peacefully in her sleep.

Where to buy supplies and supplements for making your own dog food

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”3825656″]

Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor | Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil | Frontier Co-Op Organic Ground Turmeric Root | Grizzly Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil | Liquid Health Naturals K9 Glucosamine | Solid Gold Berry Balance Supplement Powder | NaturVet Brewer’s Dried Yeast

Yield: 4 pounds

Easy Healthy Homemade Dog Food

DIY dog food recipe

Here's a handy guide to help you make your own dog food at home with fresh, whole ingredients you can recognize. Use it to mix and match ingredients as needed to meet your dog's dietary needs.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Ground turmeric for seasoning
  • 2 1/2 pounds raw boneless meat of choice
  • 1 pound raw vegetables of choice
  • 1 pound cooked complex carbohydrates, cooled
  • 4 clean crushed eggshells


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the coconut oil in the skillet and swirl it around to coat the surface.
  2. Season the meat generously with ground turmeric. Add the meat to the skillet and saute on both sides until fully cooked (time varies according to the thickness and type of meat used).
  3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the meat into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
  4. Coarsely chop the vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
  5. If your cooked complex carbohydrate is a grain (like rice) or legume (like lentils), you can leave it whole. If it's a starchy vegetable (like sweet potato), coarsely chop it into 1-inch chunks and set aside.
  6. Add the eggshells to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely crumbled.
  7. Add the meat and vegetables and pulse until finely chopped. (You may work in batches, if necessary.)
  8. Add the cooked carbs and pulse a few times to combine. You want the mixture to be fluffy, not mushy.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate. (Alternatively, you can transfer all or part of the mixture to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for future use. Thaw the frozen food in the refrigerator before using.)
  10. To serve, scoop the food into a bowl for your dog. (See Notes below for recommended serving amounts.)


Suggestions for Ingredients

  • Meats: chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, thawed frozen peas
  • Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, winter squash

Recommended Serving Amounts

  • 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog (2 percent of body weight)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog (2 to 3 percent of body weight)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog (2 to 3 percent of body weight)
  • 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog (3 to 4 percent of body weight)

This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Every dog's dietary needs are different. Please consult with your veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your own dog's diet.

Did you make this recipe?

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View the Web Story on homemade dog food.


  1. Thank you so so much for sharing this with the world. I just had my first human child, but I want to make sure my pug ( my first child) gets the absolute best! I really appreciate you and the care and details you took the time to make this dog food

  2. Kale can cause medical problems for dogs. The leafy green contains several potentially harmful natural compounds, including calcium oxalate and isothiocyanates. Calcium oxalate can cause health issues such as kidney and bladder stones

  3. Oh my gosh! First off I have a 10 year old shepherd maliut, 5 year old Chiweenie with rat terrirer mix, and 3 year old shepherd akita mix. They have gone crazy for this food, crazy immediatly. They clean the bowl, and clean, and clean hoping for more. for a couple hours they are hovering the kitchen just waiting for the next meal, they get 8 am feeding and 8 pm feeding. The older one will sit at my bedroom door brooding and sighing, hoping to get me to get up to the kitchen. I also add a fresh meat dog food from the local meat market. its, chicken, beef, portk and ground chicken bones. It looks just like hamburger. I have to mark it in the freezer! And I really get into making it, and make a mess out of this world, but they love it so much !!! Thank you!

  4. Is this home made dog food a natch for a week. I’ve a small dog she’s 14lbs how much do I give her she has 1 meal away she’s 10yrs old,
    Thank you

  5. Hi Linda! I’m making the transition to feed my dogs clean home cooked meals instead of their usual kibble. I’m confused about eggshells.. am I only using eggshells or am I using the egg as well?

  6. Hi Linda, shouldn’t i warm the dog food first, then feed my chuhuahua…I read that it’s not good to feed dogs cold food right out of fridge. Would warming food a little in a microwave be ok? Thanks for your recipes for dogs.Mrs.Bond

    1. Good idea, I wouldn’t microwave it though, get a cheap sous vide and pop it in the water about 20 min or whatever time/temp works for you. It gently reheats without cooking the food, thus saving the nutrients.

  7. The best dog food for a Cane Corso puppy should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. The Cane Corso requires high levels of protein because it has a very strong appetite.

    This article provides a list of the top 12 Best Dog Food For Cane Corso Puppy that you can buy from Amazon.

    The list includes brands like Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, Royal Canin, Hill’s Science Diet, Orijen, Purina Pro Plan Sportif, Nestle Purina Pro Plan Focus on Fitness Dry Dog Food, Acana Regionals for Dogs and Natures Variety Raw Boost for Dogs.


  8. My stubborn, picky 12 year old chihuahua LOVES this food. I’m so happy. She has multiple health issues, and though I was feeding her the best dry dog food I could buy, I still felt making her food myself would be much better for her. I’d like her to stick around for a few more years.

  9. Hi Linda,
    I apologize, I have one more quick question. I bought the Brewers Dried Yeast and I haven’t given any to Dash yet because I’m a little concerned about one of the ingredients. It says on the label that actual garlic (not imitation garlic flavoring or anything like that) is an ingredient in this product, and I know that garlic is toxic for dog…., so I’m pretty confused. Can you let me know how this might be safe for him to consume please?? I would appreciate it!!
    Thanks again,

  10. Hi Linda!!
    I have been looking for an informative piece on home-cooking for my little (well actually big) 17 week old English Golden Retriever, Dash. I was honestly just about to give up because I couldn’t find anything or anyone who explained the portion ratio in enough detail. I just wanted to tell you how overjoyed and thankful I am that I discovered your article. He has had a sensitive tummy since the day I brought him home, and natural food is the only thing that helps him….not to mention he hated kibble and absolutely LOVES homemade food!! Once again, I really appreciate all of your assistance and inspiration!!

  11. Hi Linda-I have a 7 year old Maltese Shitzu-He is around 10 kgs. Is that too big for his breed? I’m looking to going back to feeding him homemade food but can’t get my head around serving sizes per day and per meal. I would like him to shed some weight so I also need to know how many calories he should be eating. Any suggestions on my above concerns please

  12. Dear Linda, I have a 15 yr old choc lab/pit. He has very bad teeth & breath & very fussy eater. I will try your recipe but what can I use especially for his legs which he is so unsteady on. He is 40lbs & he does get glucosamine & cbd oil.

  13. Hi Linda thanks very much for your doggy recipes and care. I have found this fabulous for Daisy who had terrible allergies affecting her ears with being a pittie all her pink bits were awful and she constantly tried to scratch. Anyway I tried lots of potions and creams to no avail so a visit to her vets who gave her Apoquel. After being on Apoquel for 12mg this I found out all the naughties regarding the drug so I started investigating again and Thank God found you. ❤️‍. Daisy had her last Apoquel on Sunday 3rd July. I gave all her pet shop bought dog treats and Royal Canin Hypoallergenic food to my daughters dogs and all my wax melts etc etc that I had uncovered maybe we’re not good for Daisy. Thank you so very much I know you have saved Daisy from contracting cancers and all horribles.
    Just one bit of advice please; straight away Daisy’s poos dropped to one a day and today she is very solid. Maybe having problems passing easily. As well as your food I give her 1 desert spoon on pure salmon oil. Can you advise me regarding daisies poo problem???
    Regards and love
    Val Burgess. (Uk)

  14. WOW….We have a 1 year old Aussiedoodle. Full of energy and smarter than my kids.
    I have not been happy with the over the over the counter foods. He will eat for a week and then turn his nose up. I Love this article. I am a chef, so no big deal to make this for Riley who says “ARF” to you and I say thanks. Great to prep in advance….Can it be frozen and then defrost in the fridg? You are amazin

    1. Yes, we always made a large batch and froze half of it. When we were ready for the second half, we just thawed in the fridge overnight. Good luck with Riley, I hope he loves it!

      1. So Happy. We are driving from Fla to Boston in July and we will take a cooler. How can I ever thank you. Our Cavapoo died at 12 from Diabetes and he ate dog kibble and canned stuff. Sad. You will forever be in our prayers.

  15. I’ve been reading a lot of DIY dogfood recipes lately and there’s always one point of confusion for me — when you give a percentage — for example, the ratio between proteins, carbohydrates and fats — do you mean percentage of calories or weight? If I overlooked this in your very informative article, I apologize and ask for a pointer … Thank you!

  16. Thanks for such an informative post. I got lots of ideas for my dog ‘s daily diet from your content.

  17. I made your recipe and didn’t take into account the quinoa would weight 2.25x more when cooked. Made a huge batch do you think it’d be ok to give her this batch for now? Then I’ll remember next time to reduce the quinoa or other cooked carbs?

  18. Thanks so much for the unusual and detailed information. I recently started feeding my rat terrier a mixed whole food/dog food diet again after years of feeding her commercial food. At 18 years old she has some health problems which quickly resolved after changing her diet by simply giving her whole foods, mainly fruits and vegetables to reduce the high protein dog foods(she also has food allergies).. I look forward to many more years with my dog Star so your tips were invaluable. thanks again Rachel

  19. Hi,
    I was just wondering about broccoli as i read an article that said broccoli is a vegetable that shouldn’t be given to dogs? But u said u mainly gave urs broccoli, and as one of my girls loves her broccoli, would like to know if it is still safe to give it her?

  20. Hi Linda!
    Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe. I am going to be picking up my 8 week old pug pup in the next few days and I’d love to use this recipes for his meals to ensure he gets a nutritious and delicious diet. I did have a couple questions after reading! How much would you recommend feeding an 8 week old pup?/ how much should I increase the amount as he grows? Also, if made in large quantities, could this meal be frozen?

    1. For a puppy remember they need a different caloric breakout of fats, protein, carbs etc than a full grown adult dog. Get this information from a trusted vet or call a doggy Nutritionalist. Also different breeds need higher fat and protein such as putbulls and American bulldogs. Check specifically for your breed of dog to ensure your puppy is getting the correct nutrition. Also, slowly incorporate new foods as their tummies are not used to so many new ingredients and they can get sick.

  21. Hi Linda, I’m curious about the amounts in the ingredients list, is that for 1 week for your 2 pugs?
    My guy is 110 pounds so I’ll need Just over 2 pounds of food per day. I’m wondering if you go with precooked weight of ingredients to get the total?
    Thx, looking forward to trying this tonight, my guy is soooo itchy.

    1. Yes, the amounts made enough food for 2 pugs (about 45 lbs total weight for both) for a week. Each ingredient weight specifies whether it’s cooked or raw. Keep in mind that pugs aren’t very active dogs, so use my serving suggestions as a starting point for yours.

  22. Great post Linda. Getting ready to embark on homemade production for my 70lb chocolate lab. Question re: supplements. Can you offer up any guidance on daily dosing quantities for fish oil, glucosamine, brewers yeast & UT powder relative to dog weight?.. thank you!

  23. hi there! thanks so much for this post! my goldendoodle puppy was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. we have brought him for intensive rehab and he is doing great. no one can tell that he has hip dysplasia and it certainly doesn’t appear to affect him at all. however, i want to start with this diet early. i am wondering if you’ve learnt anything extra specific to hip dysplasia since this post was so many years ago. also, when you provide your percentages of protein to raw veg to complex carbs, was that based on weight? if yes, it is based on cooked weight? thank you!!

    1. We still follow the same diet for our older pug, who’s now 16! (Sadly, Bug passed away in Summer 2017 at 14 years old. She could no longer walk at that point due to arthritis, but was spunky up until her final month of life when she started slowing down considerably.)

      The only change we’ve made to our feeding routine is to add a few drops of CBD oil to our pug’s food. We think it helps relax her and relieve the arthritis, as she can no longer walk in her advanced age. CBD oil is certainly not a cure all for her ailments (she’s also mostly blind, partially deaf, and incontinent), but she seems to sleep better at night.

      As for the proportions of ingredients, I go by approximate weight (of the cooked protein, raw vegetables, and cooked complex carbs). After the first couple times of making the food, I stopped weighing and simply went by visual measures that I’d familiarized myself with.

  24. Hi Linda I’ve followed your recipe for several months.
    My only question is: Many people suggest to give multi vitamin to dogs if they eat cooked food to make sure that they have sufficient nutrition. Do you do that? I notice you feed your pug brewer’s yeast, will brewer’s yeast replace the function of multi vitamin? thank you!

    1. Brewer’s yeast is not a multivitamin, though it has its own nutritional benefits. Since I feed my pugs a wide variety of food each week and always vary the ingredients, I don’t feel a multivitamin is necessary. They’re now going on 4+ years of homemade food and doing great despite their age.

  25. Thank you so much for this information. I was feeding my schnauzer (Smokey) homemade chicken and rice and he was in doggy heaven getting his meal everyday. Then the diarrhea started (thankful I have tile floors). Poor little guy wasn’t able to make it to the door to go out, most of the time. Figured it had to be the rice and once I stopped giving it to him, he didn’t get sick anymore. Never once thought of lentils. Our family loves rice sooooo much….but we also love lentils….woohoo. We have 30 hens and 2 roos and Smokey loves, loves his eggs. Hadn’t thought of veggies because he always left them alone back when he got canned food, Think I’ll start putting them in the food processor or Vitamix and mixing it in his food so he won’t know, lol. I’m excited to have a base to start building better food diet for him.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I’ve recently narrowed down my pugs (age 4) itchiness to an overgrowth of yeast. For the past 2 years we’ve had numerous vets tell us it was allergies, and no matter what grain-free, hypoallergenic kibble we were feeding her, along with the antibiotics and steroids we were giving her, nothing has completely gotten rid of the problem. I’ve been doing a ton of research on homemade food but I’m so worried she won’t get all of the nutrients she needs. Do you feed your pugs additional vitamins along with the other supplements, or would the nutrients she gets from the vegetables be enough? I want to try and avoid starchy or high sugar foods to prevent the yeast.

    1. I don’t give my pugs additional vitamins as they get everything they need from the meats, vegetables, complex carbs, and supplements in this diet. It’s easy to avoid starchy or sugary foods in homemade dog food, considering how much fresh food is out there, so just make sure your recipe includes a wide variety of ingredients. I always vary my ingredients with every new batch of food to ensure they don’t get too much or too little of any one thing.

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