How to Make Healthy and Tasty Dry Dog Food

How to Make Healthy and Tasty Dry Dog Food


Most commercial dry dog food products contain important nutrients, but many also include preservatives, artificial flavors and a lot of filler material. Dogs benefit from eating kibble in addition to being able to scavenge meats and leftovers. However, it is important to consider how many empty calories exist in common brands of dry food. You want to maximize resources and minimize waste in every aspect of survival preparation, and dog food is no exception. Let’s look at some guidelines that will help you to provide your dog with a crunchy and nutritious food source that will include common ingredients that you will probably have on hand.

Dogs benefit from a diet that includes a mixture of protein, fat, grains and calcium along with vitamins and minerals. This means that you can concoct recipes from an abundance of ingredient choices with a few exceptions. Dogs are lactose intolerant, so dairy products are not good for them. Chocolate, coffee, macadamia nuts, avocado, onions, garlic, dough and grapes or raisins should rarely be given to a dog. However, you can include fruits and vegetables into their diet as they benefit from their nutritional properties just like their human counterparts. The hard part is to take some of these foods and turn them into ingredients for dry kibble.


Here is a sample recipe that involves all of the major food groups. Feel free to improvise and create variations according to your needs, but try to keep the proportions of proteins, carbohydrates and fats similar.

1 cup of brown rice.

½ cup of lentils.

3 peeled and chopped carrots.

1 chopped sweet or white potato.

½ cup of applesauce or 1 chopped apple without the seeds.

1 cup of oats.

½ cup of chopped greens.

2 ½ cups of ground turkey or chopped chicken (can be substituted with fish).

¼ cup of olive or canola oil plus enough to grease the pans.

Cook the rice and lentil for 20 minutes in a pot of simmering water until they are tender. Add the oats and vegetables and cook over low heat for an additional 20 minutes. You can add more water if necessary if the mixture becomes too thick or dry.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two cookie sheets. Brown the meat in a frying pan while the oven is warming up. Add ½ of the meat and grain/vegetable mixture as well as half of the oil into a food processor and blend until it turns into a thick paste. Pour the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet and repeat the process for the other half of the recipe.  Make sure that the mixture is around ¼ inch thick on the cookie sheets to ensure that it will completely cook and dry. Bake for 45 minutes before turning the food over and cooking for another 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into small two to three inch pieces. Return to the oven and bake at 325 for an additional hour or until the food has completely dried.

DIY dog food

Remove and let cool at room temperature before breaking the pieces and storing. The food will keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator or a few days if stored at room temperature.   Finally, you want to make sure that the dog is getting between 500-1000mg of calcium carbonate per day. It is a good idea to smash a tablet or add powder to the dog’s wet food instead of cooking it with the kibble. However, you can add it to the above recipe if you don’t give the dog wet food on a daily basis. Just make sure to scale up so that you are including enough of the calcium into the recipe to meet your dog’s daily requirements.