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Have you been thinking about switching your dog from a commercial diet to a homemade diet? You’re not alone, as more and more people are discovering the joy of knowing they’re feeding their dog a healthy, natural diet. Cooking is one way you show your family how much you love them, and your dog is another member of your family, right?
Homemade dog food recipes are a great way to give your dog a more nutritious diet. Unfortunately, many recipes just aren’t designed for homes with large dogs, especially if you have more than one. That’s why we’ve scoured the internet for the best homemade dog food recipes for big dogs.
Bigger batches mean less cooking, so you can spend more time loving your dog and less time in the kitchen cooking for him. Nearly all of these recipes contain at least 2 pounds of meat, so there’s no need to try to double or triple small recipes or cook a new batch for every meal. Most of these recipes refrigerate or freeze well so you can make several meals at once.
How to cook for your dog
Throwing together some homemade dog food sounds easy, but there are actually a lot of factors you need to consider to ensure your dog is getting proper nutrition. Here are a few quick tips:
Feed your dog a wide variety of foods.
Change up the diet at least once a week to make sure your dog gets a good overall balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Supplement your dog’s diet with calcium unless you feed raw meaty bones.
Use lean meat and remove skin from poultry unless you have an extremely active dog who needs more fat in his diet.
The less variety you include in your dog’s diet, the more supplements he will require, and vice versa.
Do your research. We don’t have enough room here to explain all the nuances of feeding your dog, so make sure you understand what proportions you should be aiming for and what supplements your dog may need.
Always review your homemade dog food plan with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting the right proportions of the right ingredients along with any necessary supplements to keep him in prime health.
Make sure you’re aware of what ingredients to avoid because they could harm your dog, such as garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and more.
With that in mind, here are the top10 homemade dog food recipes for large breed dogs.
#1 – Meatballs
There is a constant debate back and forth about whether dogs should eat grains. We’ll stay out of that argument and present some recipes from each train of thought, including one raw recipe.
If you’re in favor of including grains in your dog’s diet, this one uses 10 pounds of ground beef to keep your dog fed for a while. Recipe found on The Dog Bakery.
10 lbs lean ground beef
2 cups oat bran
3 cans pumpkin puree
4 carrots, boiled or steamed, then mashed
Leaves of 4 kale stalks chopped finely
3 slices of bread cut into small cubes
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl and form balls of any size.
Dredge the balls lightly in flour, then shake off the excess.
Bake at 400° until done. Balls the size of donut holes cook in about 25 minutes
#2 – Chicken Dinner
Courtesy of Daily Dog Stuff, here’s a grain-free chicken recipe that’s sure to keep your large-breed dog happy.
5 pounds of deboned chicken
2 cups red cabbage, finely chopped
2 cored, skinned, and finely diced apples (make sure you remove all the seeds, as they’re toxic for dogs)
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
5 whole eggs
2 tbsps olive oil
Boil chicken in a large pot until it’s nearly cooked.
Reduce to a simmer and add cabbage, spinach, and apples.
After the chicken is fully cooked and the greens are wilted, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Stir in eggs and olive oil and serve cooled.
Can remain refrigerated for up to 5 days.
#3 – Easy Crockpot Dog Food
Don’t have time to cook? Whip out the crockpot for this simple recipe your dog will love! This recipe is from Damn Delicious.
2 ½ lbs ground beef
1 ½ cups brown rice
1 (15-oz) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups finely chopped butternut squash
1 ½ cups finely chopped carrots
½ cup peas, canned or frozen
4 cups water
Stir all ingredients into a 6-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Let cool completely before serving.
#4 – Turkey and Veggie Dog Food
This homemade dog food recipe from SkinnyMs is grain-free and contains a little bit of organ meat for some added nutrients.
2 lbs lean ground turkey
2 tbsps raw turkey or chicken liver, finely diced or pureed
2 coarsely chopped medium carrots
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
½ zucchini, sliced
2 tbsps olive oil
Add 1 1/2 cups water to a double boiler, place carrots in a steam basket over the pot, and cover.
Heat until boiling and steam the carrots until they start to get tender in about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the turkey and liver to a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat until done and there’s no more pink color. Drain off any fat and discard.
Add broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini, and continue steaming until all vegetables are tender, but not mushy: about 6-8 minutes.
If necessary, chop vegetables more finely or put them in a food processor.
Add vegetable to turkey and liver; stir to combine.
Add olive oil and toss.
Allow to cool before serving or putting in bags or containers to freeze
#5 – Raw Meat Patties
For you raw diet lovers out there, Daily Dog Stuff has an easy-to-freeze recipe of raw meat patties mixed with veggies.
5 pounds of ground meat (any type, change the variety as desired. You can even combine meat types)
1 can of sardines in water
4 eggs (including the shells)
1 cup of mixed vegetables (at least 2 different types of veggies, finely chopped)
Simply mix together all the ingredients and form into meal-sized patties for your pup. Freeze and thaw as needed.
#6 – Beef Dinner
From Daily Dog Stuff, this recipe includes 10 pounds of meat for a meal that will last for several days.
10 lbs ground beef or turkey
10 whole eggs
5 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups mixed vegetables
Preheat oven to 400° F
Combine ingredients in a large bowl
Form into large bowls and place in a baking dish
Cook for about 45 minutes until meatballs are cooked through
#7 – Make Ahead Doggie Stew
Skinny Ms has another spot-on homemade dog food recipe perfect for families with large dogs. This recipe is great because it can be made on the stove or in a slow cooker, whichever you find to be the most convenient.
1 cored, sliced apple (make sure to remove all the seeds; they’re toxic for dogs)
2-3 cups water
1 cup frozen peas
1 handful chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
Apart from cook times, the directions are the same for both stovetop and crockpot cooking methods.
Add all ingredients, except peas, parsley, and olive oil and just enough water to cover the ingredients.
On a stovetop, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook on low for about 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender. In a crockpot, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
With either cooking method, add peas and parsley about 15 minutes before the mixture is done cooking.
Allow ingredients to cool slightly before adding olive oil and mashing the ingredients or putting them through a food processor.
Divide into individual serving-sized freezer bags and freeze. Thaw out in the fridge overnight before serving.
#8 – DIY Homemade Dog Food
Want to start your dog on homemade dog food tonight? This recipe from Damn Delicious is one of the fastest recipes on this list.
1 ½ cups brown rice
1 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs ground turkey
3 cups chopped baby spinach
2 shredded carrots
1 shredded zucchini
½ cup peas, canned or frozen
Cook rice according to package instructions and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
Let cool completely before giving it to your dog.
#9 – Dinner Layer Cake
If you’re looking to serve your dog something fancy, it’s hard to beat this savory layer cake from The Dog Bakery.
2.2 lbs chicken
½ cup carrots
½ cup peas
½ cup corn (optional)
1 medium cored apple (make sure to remove all the seeds)
1 egg including the shell
1 cup brown rice
Preheat oven to 325° F
Cook and soften chopped carrots, peas, and corn
Peel and chop apple into small pieces
Mince chicken in a food processor
Cook brown rice according to package instructions
Mash vegetable mix
Pulverize a whole egg to crush the shell
Blend chopped apple, egg, and chicken together in a mixing bowl
Combine vegetable mix and rice in a bowl
Grease a cake pan or line with baking paper
Place ½ of the chicken mixture in the bottom of the pan
Put about 2/3 of the rice and veggie mixture on top of the chicken mixture
Spread the rest of the chicken mixture on top of the veggie layer
Place the rest of the veggie mixture on top of the chicken layer
Bake for around 35 minutes or until juice runs clear
Let cool before cutting a slice to serve to your dog
#10 – A Meal for You and Your Dog
While this recipe doesn’t make a large amount of food you can use for a few days, it does offer the benefit of you being able to cook a meal for your dog and yourself at the same time, which can be a huge time saver. This recipe comes from The Dog Bakery.
2 salmon portions SKIN ON (1 oz per 10 pounds of dog plus any amount you would like)
1 head of broccoli (with stem)
2 tbsps olive oil
DIRECTIONS for the dog meal:
Cut broccoli stems, peel carrots, and cut squash. Keep the peelings for your dog. Mix together and steam in rice cooker or bake in oven.
Air fry potato shavings after pouring in 1 tbsp olive oil in air fryer (or place in oven).
Pan fry salmon in 1 tbsp olive oil with skin on. Start with skin side down on the pan at a medium temp. After flipping, pull crisp salmon skin off both pieces of salmon and place in dog bowl.
Once everything is finished cooking, mix all together in dog bowl. Make sure each piece is bite-sized.
Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving to your dog.
DIRECTIONS for the human meal:
Cut broccoli, carrots, and squash and steam in rice cooker (or bake in oven).
Slice potato into chips or fries. Air fry after putting 1 tbsp olive oil in air fryer (or place in oven).
Pan fry salmon in 1 tbsp olive oil with skin on. Start with skin side down on the pan at a medium temp. After flipping, pull off crisp salmon skin off both pieces of salmon and place in dog bowl.
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