Here it is: My low starch, grain-free homemade raw food recipe for dogs
The amounts below deliver enough food for about 35-45 servings/ days for a ~ 50 lb dog.
WHAT YOU NEED: NON-FOOD
- Grinder (if you buy a chunk of meat. If you buy ground beef, no grinder is necessary)
I highly recommend the Weston 575 Watt Electric Heavy Duty Grinder, Silver
- Cooking pots, Buckets and bowls
Make sure you have some large cooking pots at home for the veggies. Otherwise cooking them all will take forever.
You should also have some 5 Gallon or larger buckets and/or bowls in the house to keep and mix your ingredients in.
- Your hands to mix or some really huge wooden spoons or sticks to mix everything
- Clean kitchen gloves if you are like me and don’t like handling the meat dough with your bare hands
- Kitchen scale
- Sealable plastic freezer bags*
(I use 1 quart bags, which work just fine. If you bag a larger amount of food you should choose bigger bags)
*Comment: Over time I became sick of leaky freezer bags. no matter which brand I chose they always smudged my freezer and my fridge when freezing and thawing them, ey! Which is why I have switched to plastic containers. They are reusable, don’t leak and are stackable in the freezer. Should have done this way sooner! I am the green using Rubbermaid takealongs storage containers (4 cup size).
- A table spoon (optional) to fill the bags
- Sanitizer to clean utensils and areas afterwards
WHAT YOU NEED: FOOD
Meats and Organs
- 30-31 lb beef (makes for 50% of the batch, 0 calcium) If you get lean pieces, you do not need to trim the fat.
- If you are preparing food for a dog that doesn’t require a lean diet look for a piece with more fat
- Alternatively you can buy ground meat. Then you don’t need to use the grinder.
- For the lean variation I would choose 80-85% ground beef. If it can be more fatty choose 70%.
- Meats you can use: Beef (lean or more fatty), Venison, Bison (usually rather lean)
Turkey, Chicken, Duck and Pork are also options, but I do not recommend to feed any of those RAW (uncooked) because that could be a health risk!!!
- 10-11 lb chicken hearts and beef liver (makes for 15-17% of the batch, almost no calcium)
- You don’t necessarily a grinder for that either. You don’t have to cook it. Meanwhile I do because I just feel more comfy preparing it that way. Also the cooking – I always use the veggie broth from the veggies I have cooked before – makes a great broth for the food to moisten a little, or for my homemade doggie cookies.
- But either way – raw or cooked – if you want to use a knife to cut the innards into smaller pieces, make sure you have a really sharp one or this will be hard work.
- Every now and then you should replace the liver by another organ in order to avoid overdosing of vitamin A. Also if your dog does not tolerate chicken, of course you should substitute the chicken hearts.
- A very valuable substitution for dogs is green tripe, for example. It stinks! Which is why I like to use gloves especially when tripe is involved. But it is said to be very beneficial for dogs.
- 18 lb of vegetables (makes for 30% of the batch, 4225 mg of calcium)
8 lb carrots (1500 mg calcium)
4 lb broccoli (2000 mg calcium)
3 Bags of split dried green peas (725 mg calcium) > makes ≈ 6 lb when cooked to mush
Other veggie alternatives and add-ons are: cauliflower (all flatulent sorts of veggies should only be used in moderate amounts though)
Regular and sweet potato, lentils (not recommended for “yeasty” dogs)
- 24 eggs ≈ 3 lb (yolk delivers ≈ 1050 mg calcium, 24 egg shells deliver ≈ 58,000 mg calcium)
- 1/2 garlic bulb (in small amounts just as for humans garlic is very beneficial for dogs)
- Limestone powder or another Calcium additive (calculation describes below)
Comment: I used to use lime stone. Now I have switched to bone meal which I consider more “natural” for the dog since it is made of bone. The Calcium content is listed on the package and the calculation works analogue to the lime stone calculation. It is pretty simple: Your dog has a certain requirement of Calcium a day. Every amount that is not already covered by the ingredients of this recipe needs to come from a supplement. I don’t feed bone, so I use the ground version (less choking risks etc.) as a supplement. The bone meal is not 100% Calcium, so the amount of bone meal is usually higher than the required amount of Calcium. Please refer to my calculation example below.
More healthy add-ons
≈ 15 Fl. oz. (= 450 ml) organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with MOTHER!!!! = 2tsp. = 10 ml for a 50 lb dog/ day
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw — 32 fl oz
Yogurt or cottage cheese (yes, you can freeze that when mixed into the food)
Just mentioning: I also use Nupro vitamin and mineral supplement. I have really learned to love this add-on over the years. Because like I use to say now: A Bull Terrier’s immune system can’t be strong enough and this one is a great booster. It keeps the skin ailments and allergies in check and helps with healing if the dog suffers from any health issues.
On the next page: Preparing my low starch, grain-free homemade raw food recipe for dogs
This is lovely! Right this can be consider as high quality food for our dogs, Homemade recipes for our dog foods are better than choosing some dog food brands.. Just saying.
Can you please explain the quantities to me? Is it 30lb of meat in total of which 10lb must be chicken?
In this recipe the only ingredient that is chicken are the innards (chicken hearts). That’s the 10lb. ADDING to it: The 30lb meats, which is ground beef. Of course you can substitute as you wish.
“Meats and Organs
• 30-31 lb beef (makes for 50% of the batch, 0 calcium) If you get lean pieces, you do not need to trim the fat
• 10-11 lb chicken hearts and beef liver (makes for 15-17% of the batch, almost no calcium)
(every now and then you should replace the liver by another organ in order to avoid overdosing of vitamin A. Also if your dog does not tolerate chicken, of course you should substitute the chicken hearts. A very valuable substitution for dogs is green tripe for example.)”
If the dog needs to get some more calories, I recommend to choose meat with a higher fat content and not trimming the fat.
I hope this answers your question.
Amazing blog.Thank you so much for sharing very easy homemade raw dog food recipe. It is a smashing one of a kind guide for discovering healthy recipes for dog food minus a headache. Thanks again.
I have pomeranian boy. I know that grain are mixed into the dog foods to make the production cost cheaper. But unlike humans, dogs don’t have the molar teeth necessary to grind up the grains. This may lead to unproper digestion. Your recipe is grain free. thank you for recipe.
I thought garlic is toxic to dogs. No?
Well, that statement is probably true and not true at the same time. As with many other things the dose is what makes the poison.
Garlic consumed by a dog in high amounts – as well as plants containing the same problematic substance, such as onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots – can damage the red blood cells in a dog, which quite obviously can cause serious problems if that happens to a great extend.
If your dog catches the net of onions or garlic you just brought home from the grocery store and consumes it all at once, YES, it IS time to worry and the best thing to do is have your dog seen by your vet immediately. Because as far as I know this kind of poisoning can be treated and severe consequences be prevented if discovered early.
On the other hand, in small amounts many consider garlic beneficial in a dog’s nutrition and most dogs tolerate very small amounts well. You will actually find it in a lot of dog foods or supplements, often closer to the bottom of the list of ingredients because it’s only contained in tiny amounts for the above reasons.
One reason many consider it so beneficial is that the sulfur in the garlic will be excreted through the dog’s skin, which is said to help keeping fleas away. Another reason are the antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties of garlic. It is even said to be usable as an anthelmintic (de-worming agent) and a natural antibiotic. Some say it can also support the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
But I do not see it as an essential ingredient in a dog’s nutrition. So, if you are worried there’s really nothing wrong with just skipping the garlic.
Your dog will be just as happy without it. : – )
If it’s a natural antibiotic it would kill the natural gut biome. It can’t be antibiotic and improve gut bacteria at the same time.
It’s poison to dogs. Just because they can tolerate small amounts does not mean you should feed it to them on a regular basis.
It’s like when a human baby eats some cat poop from the sandbox. It’s nothing to freak out about but you certainly don’t want to encourage this.
Hi, thank you for sharing your input. Would you mind letting us know which part of the article you are referring to?
Hi, with your raw food recipe, what is the amount you suggest on a daily basis? Once or twice a day? Is this all you feed or do you supplement with kibble at another meal? What do you mean by bottom flat? Thanks
the recipe is formulated to work as an “only-food”. But it can also be combined with other foods.
I can only tell you what I am doing at the time of your question, because I vary the way I feed my dog over time.
What has not changed, however, is that I have always been using this recipe – for years now in some variations with tripe as well as different kinds of veggies and meats.
These days I feed half&half. That means my girl gets half of her daily intake from my raw recipe and half of a good quality kibble.
There is no standard recommendation for feeding amounts as this depends on the size of your dog, the amount of treats and other extras over the day, activity level and your feeding goals (weight loss, keep or gain weight). You will find more info on that on this page of the article https://www.bullterrierfun.com/low-starch-grain-free-raw-food-recipe-for-dogs/5/
Also, the way you split the meals is very individual. Some people only feed once a day, others split the daily intake into several meals a day.
I myself feed Mila four times a day. Last meal comes in the afternoon. The reason I am doing this is to structure her day. She knows her feeding times exactly and is “planning” her day around it. In between meals she finds time to rest or play. And over the course of the day there’s always something “to do” for her, even if it is just killing some time until the next meal is coming up.
But no matter which way you decide to feed, my general recommendation is to stick to a relatively fixed schedule every day, if possible. Dogs work like clockwork and they will start to “demand” their food at specific times if you did the same thing three times in a row or so. They love fixed routines because it helps them organize their own lives in our human world.
I feed Mila two times raw for the first meals an then the high quality kibble for the last two meals. I never mix raw and kibble because these two types of foods have very different digestion times. The reason I feed the kibble as the last meals is that it takes a lot longer to digest for the dog and therefore she hopefully feels full longer with the kibble until the next morning.
“Bottom flat” was the description of the meat that I used at the time I posted this recipe. Or at least I thought so. However, when I tried to look up synonyms after receiving your question, I was not able to find this term anywhere on the internet. So, I changed my recommendation in the text now to just beef. Because that’s basically what I meant, some of the more affordable parts of the cow 🙂 because dogs don’t care if their meat is tenderloin or a more chewy version.
You feed them once or two time a day ?
I am not a great example because at the moment I feed my dog FOUR times a day. Of course, it’s the correct amount of calories divided by four. My dog is not as big as a bear. 🙂 She has a normal appetite. So she gets four small servings.
How often you feed your dog every day really depends on different factors. There’s no rule of thumb for that. Some only feed once, others twice…
I split her daily calories into four meals because it helps me and my dog to structure her day. And as I am working from home, I am around to meet her feeding schedule.
By feeding her four times there’s something happening for her every few hours. She can nap in between because her inner clock will tell her when it’s time for the next meal. At the moment the first two servings of the day are raw, the second two are good quality kibble. Part of the kibble I use for a hide and seek game for her diversion.
So, the feeding schedule and how the food is given does not only nourish her but also gives some form of structure and on the other hand is entertainment for my dog.
I don’t know if any of this is applicable to your own situation. I am just answering your question.
You can split the daily amount of this recipe or feed it all at once, there’s no rule regarding digestion or so. In general fresh food is digested faster than kibble, if that information helps in any way.
Hello, nice forum…
I have one male 5 yr old and 1 female almost 2 years old now… my dad makes a recipe very similar to yours with cow heart and chicken and vegetables… i used to feed first the male taste of the wild and then when we got our litlte girl also taste of the. wild.. until she was like 1… it got so expensive here in venezuela that i strted looking into other brands… i started feeding them Nutrranuggets and i belive it has grains… nothing to bad on the girl, it works good for her.. for the boy he is almost 5 his mom had a lot of skin alergies when she ate carbs i think… well nothing so horrible on him either but he defitnetly starting getting some new small bumps on his skin under his fair… nothign to bad, but if you look at his skin from a certain. angle you could defently see smoething goig on on his skin… which before he was not… nothing to worry about but well maybe I should go back to taste of the wild? i feed them 2 times a day. 50/50 with the. recipe and the. dogfood each time, they. love it…