Homemade Dog Food – The Almond Eater

This Homemade Dog Food recipe teaches you how to prepare a drool-worthy meal for your furry friend. It’s made with a combination of wholesome, easy-to-find ingredients that contain a nourishing balance of carbs, fat, fiber, and protein.

One of the best ways to know exactly what’s going into your dog’s bowl is to feed them Homemade Dog Food. This is especially important if you’re dealing with a picky pup, food sensitivities, or allergies. 

This dog food recipe has the protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are vital to a healthy canine diet. My Layla girl can verify that it tastes great, too! 

It’s important to note that dogs have nutritional needs that their meals must meet. This is why my homemade dog food recipe contains the AKC recommended ABCs of a balanced dog food diet. After all, we only want what’s best for our pups! 

Disclaimer: This homemade dog food is not an adequate meal replacement. Canine nutritional needs vary depending on factors including build, breed, and age. It’s strongly advised to consult with your veterinarian to determine your dog’s individual nutrient needs before starting them on homemade food.

dog eating dog food out of a dog food bowl

Recipe features

  • It’s a budget-friendly substitute that’s easy to make with healthy, low-fat, and grain-free ingredients.
  • There are plenty of healthy substitutes and additions available to make your dog extra happy.
  • It only takes 30 minutes to make this healthy food for pups!
  • It can be made on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot.
  • You can also freeze it, saving you time and effort for months on end.

Ingredients

Carrots – These are packed with potassium, fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins that can improve your dog’s overall health. Foods like apples, peas, beets, green beans, leafy greens, and pumpkin are also great sources of dietary fiber.

Sweet potato – This is an excellent source of carbohydrates for dogs. It’s low in fat and high in vitamins A, B6, C, calcium, potassium, and iron. Pumpkin and butternut squash offer the same nutritional benefits and also help regulate digestion.

LentilsLegumes are healthy for dogs because they’re low in fat and calories but high in fiber and protein. You can also make this with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats if there are no grain sensitivities.

Water – You need water to cook the lentils but for even more flavor, cook them in bone broth or chicken broth. Make sure the broth isn’t cooked with anything unsafe, like onions and garlic.

Ground turkey or chicken – You can also make this with lean ground beef, bison, venison, white fish, or salmon.

Spinach – Just like humans, dogs need their greens. Feel free to add green beans, broccoli, cucumber, or brussels sprouts instead. Check out this list of fruits and vegetables dogs can and cannot eat before making any switches.

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Talk to your vet! This is a very important first step. You should always consult with your vet before making diet changes to determine your dog’s individual nutritional and caloric needs.

Step 2: Cook the lentils. Add the lentils and water to a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until they’re tender. 

Step 3: Prep the vegetables. Meanwhile, add the peeled sweet potato and carrots to a food processor. Pulse until they’re chopped into tiny pieces. 

carrots and sweet potato in a food processor on the left and cooked ground meat in a pot on the right

Step 4: Cook the meat and veggies. Cook the ground meat in a large pot over medium heat until it’s browned and no longer pink. Add the carrot and sweet potato mixture, then the spinach. Saute until they soften.

Step 5: Mix everything together. To finish, stir the cooked lentils into the mixture. Let it cool completely before serving.

Tips and FAQs

  • If you need to add a bit of moisture to the pot while cooking the meat and vegetables, you can use a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil. These oils can also improve your pup’s skin and coat when given in moderation.
  • Make this recipe even easier by using frozen vegetables instead. There’s no prep involved!
  • You can mix your dog’s kibble into the homemade food at first to help their stomach adjust. Abrupt changes can cause an upset stomach.

Is this dog food recipe vet approved?

No, but it contains the complete list of components for well-balanced dog food. Keep in mind that all dogs have different nutritional needs. Talk to your vet to determine your dog’s complete dietary needs.

How much homemade dog food should I feed my dog?

Refer to this chart, Calorie Ranges for an Average Healthy Adult Dog by WSAVA before feeding your dog. Like us, dogs rely on calories for energy and to maintain a healthy weight. You never want to feed your dog too much or too little.

Can you make dog food in the Instant Pot?

Yep! Here’s how to make homemade dog food in the Instant Pot:

  1. Press “sauté” on your Instant Pot and set it for 6 minutes. After 2 minutes (once it’s hot), add the ground turkey and cook it until it’s no longer pink.
  2. Next, add the lentils and water to the pot, then place the lid on, ensuring the knob on top is in the “seal” position. Pressure cook for 20 minutes, then quick release.
  3. Remove the lid, then add the grated carrots, sweet potato and spinach then immediately place the lid back on and let everything sit for about 5 minutes, which should soften the veggies.
  4. NOTE: if you’re making dog food in a pressure cooker, it may be helpful to use frozen veggies, as they will soften more easily.

Storage

Refrigerator: After cooling, store the dog food in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Freezer: You can freeze your dog’s meals in freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before serving. 

cooked homemade dog food in a glass meal prep container

More canine-approved recipes

If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!

cooked meat and vegetables in a large white dutch oven

Homemade Dog Food

This Homemade Dog Food recipe teaches you how to prepare a drool-worthy meal for your furry friend. It’s made with a combination of wholesome, easy-to-find ingredients that contain a nourishing balance of carbs, fat, fiber, and protein.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups lentils rinsed; preferably green or brown
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 2 lb. ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 5 oz. spinach

Instructions

  • Add the lentils and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the lentils are cooked.

  • Meanwhile, add the carrots and sweet potato to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds; set aside. Add the ground turkey or chicken to a large pot or Dutch oven and cook it until it’s no longer pink, using a wooden spoon to break it up.

  • Add the chopped carrots and sweet potato to the pot with the turkey, along with the spinach. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add a small amount of olive oil if needed.

  • Once the lentils are cooked, add them to the pot and stir to combine.

  • Store food in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Or, transfer to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months; thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Notes

*Calories are per serving and are an estimation; serving size varies depending on size of dog
*See blog post for instructions how to make this recipe in the Instant Pot
*Storage:

  • Refrigerator: store dog food in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 7 days
  • Freezer: transfer dog food to a freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months; thaw in the refrigerator overnight

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 969mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 10281IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4mg

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