Balanced Homemade Dog Food

This is a balanced dog food recipe that my veterinarian recommended to me a few years ago. I want my dogs to live long & healthy lives, so I make their food myself! I like knowing exactly what is in their food. It can get pricey, but hospital bills are even pricier. Healthy food = good health!

This recipe is completely balanced and my dogs LOVE it. They have super shiny coats, healthy teeth, and good breath! 

Why you’ll love this recipe

For health reasons obviously! But it’s also perfect for making in bulk, which makes it much more convenient.

You can make a large batch of this once or twice a month,  keep it in the freezer, and thaw overnight as needed until you run out. I make about 11 pounds of food (uncooked) and it will last almost 3 weeks for my two small adult dogs (about 10 lbs each). 

This recipe can also kinda count as 3 recipes! You can switch out the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken, and just add a little extra beef liver to make up for the iron, zinc, and protein. That way your dog has a little variety in their meals. 

How much should I feed my dog?

Check with your veterinarian for how much food your dog needs per serving. My two dogs are about 10 lbs each, and we feed them 2/3 of a cup (each), twice a day. 

Nutritional info

This recipe has 40 calories per ounce. To see the original recipe posted on Youtube by Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib, click here. This video can provide more information on the nutritional value of all the ingredients in this recipe.

Cooked or Raw?

I gently cook the food for my dogs, but this is still a great recipe if your dog is on a raw diet. 

If you choose to cook the food, do so without any oil on a nonstick pan on low heat. Be careful not to sear the meat- you want to gently cook it until it is just done. You can make patties, large chunks, or break it down into mince if you prefer.  


  • Very lean ground beef or poultry- This is the main source of protein and has to be lean since dogs have a high amino acid requirement. Compared to ground beef, ground chicken and turkey are lower in protein, iron, and zinc, so you’ll need to make up for it with extra beef liver. 

  • Hempseed– excellent source of essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. This balances the fats. I buy mine from Sprouts or Costco but it is also available an Amazon here. You can use hempseed oil but be very careful with the heat if you are going to cook it. Hempseed oil becomes very unpleasant to dogs if exposed to high heat. 

  • Sardines – meets vitamin E & D requirements. You can also use cod liver oil.  Use canned sardines in water, not oil.

  • Ground ginger- packed with manganese, which supports connective tissue health. This benefits ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles.

  • Kelp powder-  packed with iodine and is AMAZING for teeth and coat health! You can purchase the one I use here. I highly recommend this stuff- my dogs have great hair & teeth, and their breath NEVER stinks!

  • Eggs & eggshells- eggs are a great source of folic acid and vitamin b12. The eggshells are totally edible and provide the calcium needed for adult dogs, but not puppies. 

  • Beef liver- provides copper, zinc, and iron. Sprouts sells them in frozen packages that are convenient to use- 4 individually wrapped 4 oz portions. 

  • Broccoli, red bell pepper, & spinach- veggies add antioxidants, phytonutrients, enzymes, and fiber. 

    • Leave out the spinach if you have a senior dog with kidney issues. Spinach is not good for dogs with kidney failure because of its oxalates and high sodium content, but this small amount is perfectly fine for healthy dogs.  

How to make it

(measurements and instructions provided in recipe card at the end of this post)

Begin by mixing together the ground beef (or chicken or turkey), eggs, kelp, ground ginger, hempseed, sardines, and pumpkin puree (if using). Sometimes I add pumpkin puree for digestive health, but it is not part of the original recipe.

Save half of the eggshells and set them aside.

Drain most of the water from the sardines before you add them in. Try to break them up as much as you can before mixing so that it is evenly distributed throughout the recipe. When it is well combined, set it aside.

Next, add the veggies, eggshells, and beef liver to  a food processor and blend until everything is evenly chopped. You may need to do this in batches if your food processor is small.

I use a Hamilton Beach food processor! I love this one because it’s affordable and has a built in side scraper that can be used while the food processor is on. 

Add the blended ingredients to the beef and mix until well combined.

How to store it

Portion out the food according to your dog’s daily food intake requirements. Remember that the uncooked food will be ok in the freezer for weeks, but only for a few days in the fridge. Portion accordingly. I do not like to keep cooked dog food in the fridge for more than 4 days.  

If you’re going to consistently make this recipe, consider buying reusable freezer bags! I’ve had these for almost a year now and they’re still holding up great. Let’s try to reduce our plastic waste 🙂

The food is ready to serve raw, or you can gently cook it. Cook without any oil on a nonstick pan on low heat. Be careful not to sear the meat- you want to gently cook it until it is just done. You can make patties, large chunks, or break it down into mince if you prefer.  

Meet Remy & Leeloo!

Here is a recent picture of our pups! Remy (left) and Leeloo (right) are mother and daughter. We adopted them in 2021 and we love them so much!

I fed this recipe to my previous dog Lucy, who passed away last year from kidney failure and arthritis. She was very old when she passed, but I am not sure exactly how old. I miss her so much.

It is so important to me to make sure I am feeding my dogs the best food possible. I have received SO many messages from readers saying that this recipe saved or improved their dog’s life, and that sincerely brings me so much joy! 

Balanced Dog Food Recipe

This is a veterinarian approved recipe by Dr. Becker &Rodney Habib
4.99 from 62 votes


  • 7 lbs 90% lean ground beef or lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 1.5 cup hempseeds or 1/3 cup hempseed oil
  • 16 oz canned sardines in water or 4 tsp cod liver oil
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 tsp kelp powder
  • 8 eggs pasture raised
  • 4 egg shells
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie mix!
  • 8 oz beef liver 12 oz if using ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef
  • 8 oz broccoli
  • 8 oz spinach omit if your dog has kidney issues
  • 8 oz red bell pepper


  • Begin by mixing together the ground beef, eggs, kelp powder, ground ginger, hempseed, (or hempseed oil), sardines, and pumpkin puree (if using). Drain the water from the sardines before you add them in.
    Save half (4) of the eggshells and set them aside.
  • Break up the sardines as much as you can so that it is evenly distributed when mixed.
  • Next, process the veggies, eggshells, and beef liver. You may need to do this separately if your food processor can't fit everything. I process everything separately, except for the bell pepper and eggshells- I process those together.
    I use a Hamilton Beach food processor. I love this one because it has the side scrapers that can be used while the processor is on!
  • Add the blended ingredients to the beef and mix until well combined.
  • Portion out the food according to your dog's daily food intake requirements. The dog food will be good in the freezer for weeks, but only for a few days in the fridge. Portion accordingly. I do not like to keep cooked dog food in the fridge for more than 4 days.
    Reusable freezer bags are the way to go! Let's try to reduce plastic waste 🙂
  • The food is ready to serve raw, or you can gently cook it. Cook without any oil on a nonstick pan on low heat. Do not try to sear the meat over high heat- you want to gently cook it until it is just done.
    *Note- If using hempseed oil, cooking the food on high heat for a long period of time will make the hempseed oil taste really bad to the dogs, so be really careful about "gently" cooking it!
  • Drain the fat and let it cool completely before storing in the fridge, for up to 4 days.


This will make 11-12 lbs of food, which lasts my two dogs around 3 weeks. My dogs are about 10 lbs each. Please talk to your vet or pet nutritionist about the correct portions for your dog. 
*Update: I am no longer supplementing this recipe with kibble. I feed my dogs only this recipe now! 

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 141 Comments

  1. Christina

    5 stars
    this recipe has greatly improved both of my dogs health. I have made 3 batches so far and I mix one handful of their old orijen kibble with this recipe as we are still transitioning. I have noticed many positive things ever since I started feeding them this recipe. I only wish I knew it was this easy years ago. Every animal deserves to eat healthy food that is not making them sick.

    1. Stella

      Hi Christina, thank you so much for leaving a comment. I will never get tired of hearing this! Thank you for prioritizing their health- I totally agree that every animal deserves healthy food! I know it can be challenging, so I’m glad you consider this recipe an easy solution. That was my goal!

  2. Michele

    I have 2 Akita’s that both one is 165, and the other is 120. both have had salmonella from Fresh Pet Food…which I have yet to be able to balance them out on. I almost lost my yougest because of it. I have tried making their food but it has been hard they are a little picky. I was wondering about eliminating the pumpkin and spinach….I had hear that squash can be used to replace pumpkin but what can be replace for spinach…..Tank is 7 and Luna had kidney issues because of the poisoning. And oh my gosh how much for these two would I have to make lol ?

    1. Sumer

      I hear you! I’ve got a 65 pound Boxer and I just can’t see making 100% homemade. I try to do 50/50 which is certainly better than 100% kibble. My future dogs will be smaller, as I’ve aged out of Boxers, so I hope to get them to 100% homemade. Good luck with your babies!

  3. Keana

    Aloha! Can I sub out the red bells for carrots?

  4. Nique

    my dig can not have liver due to health reasons. can I just leave it out?

  5. vinod

    For example, a 6 month baby food chart in Kerala will have a different diet chart compared with a 6 month baby food chart in Kolkata .

  6. Giselle

    Hi Stella, so I watched the original video, and I noticed that you multiplied most of the recipe by 8. Except for the hemp seeds. According to the oringal recipe it calls for 3 tbsp of hemp seeds, so when I do the math I get 24 tbsp which equals to 1.5 cups. But your recipe calls for 3/4 of a cup. I could be doing the math wrong. I’m sorry, a little confused. Could you please explain. Thank you!

  7. anh

    If I’m cooking with Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken, do I cook the meat and?

  8. Melanie

    I haven’t made the recipe yet, so I won’t give a rating, but from the research I’ve done it looks very healthy (no rice, no grains). My question is about the sardines: I have several cans of olive oil packed sardines, and I’m wondering if they’re ok to use if I drain and squeeze out the oil. My dog is a 10yo jack russell and she is not at all overweight. Wouldn’t a bit of olive oil be okay for her?

    Also, I notice you don’t specify organic or grass fed meats, but I have to believe they are healthier for the dog. I found organic ground beef at Costco for about $8/lb, but it wasn’t grass fed. So my question is, which is more important: organic, or grass fed? My inclination is grass fed, but it’s much harder to find.

    Thank you for a very helpful article and recipe!

    1. Stella

      Hi Melanie, thanks for leaving a comment!

      First off I would like to clarify that I am not canine nutritionist, so I would strongly advise doing your own research and/or consulting with one. I’m happy to share what I know, but again I am not an expert!

      I would not use sardines packed in olive oil. Olive oil is actually a great source of fat for dogs, but sardines are somewhat high in fat already.For this reason, it is not recommended to give dogs sardines in olive oil.

      I use grass fed ground beef from Sprouts but I do not necessarily think it has to be grass fed or organic. Just make sure it is high quality ground meat- I would avoid anything that comes in a tube or highly processed from a large factory. Hope this helps!

  9. Diane

    Thank you for sharing, this is great! I am always looking for recipes for my furbaby. I wanted to know, since you don’t supplement this with kibble anymore, do you still feed your dogs 2/3 cup a meal?

  10. Yvette Bordini

    5 stars
    Hello! I am excited to try out this recipe! I wanted to know if you could tell me if you measure
    Out the serving for your dog when uncooked or after cooked ?

  11. Marke IG@itsmvrke

    5 stars
    I was gonna vote gable jjim as my fave recipe, but my dogs love this recipe so much that my opinion doesn’t matter at this point. lol
    Thanks to this recipe, my fur babies have been so much more energetic and happier over all. They have the smoother, softest, silkiest furs ever since I put them on this diet! And the pickiest one rushes to finish his bowl and begs for more.
    This recipe is so versatile, even if I don’t have all the ingredients it still seems to taste great for my little one.
    With portioning, I found that 2-3% of their body weight seems to keep them in a healthy weight category along with their regular exercise.
    NGL, I’m tempted to grab me a bowl and season to try it myself. haha

    Looking forward to trying more of your amazing recipes in the future.

    1. Nique

      I am going to try this for my obese dog. she has been on diet kibble for 3 years as suggested by the vet, and she is getting bigger. I think it’s time for real food. thanks for your site.

  12. Amanda Cruz

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this dog food recipe and introducing me to Dr. Becker and Rodney Habib. My dogs love it!! Thanks,

  13. Desiree

    5 stars
    Been looking for a better food recipe for my pup! Cant wait to start with this one! Such great details in your notes! I broke my ankles coming to your website from Instagram. Can’t wait to binge the rest of your recipes here. ☺️ thanks so much!

  14. Niki Hatz

    5 stars
    Finding quality homemade recipes has been on my mind for awhile. We have 3 dogs, 4 kittehs, 2 english lop bunnies & 2 gypsy horses…Love this SO much. We appreciate the tips and storage ideas too! Thank you! Respectfully, Niki

  15. onelove_byfield

    5 stars
    This recipe is how I was introduced to you! I cook for my not-so-long-ago adopted pup, and I needed a nutritious and delicious make in bulk recipe that was freezer and thaw-to-cook friendly. Love this! BUT now that I’m here, I am in a bit of trouble because I don’t even know where to start with all of this good looking food. Even the pics of the drinks have me ready. Thanks for sharing your gift.

  16. Livi

    5 stars
    So we have two dogs a min pin and a terrier. My min pin “Baby” has always struggled with food. Hates kibble and very picky about soft foods. This has been a game changer!! The smell of the food cooking gets my paw babies excited and they both love this recipe!! I’ve seen so much of a change in my min pins weight and health and I seriously can’t thank you enough for this recipe!

  17. T

    5 stars
    My baby girl loves this recipe and I enjoy making it for her! I never knew Sprouts had beef liver and I appreciate you pointing that out. My dog’s oncology team approves this recipe as well so that’s a huge plus and portioning it off was easy as I verified with the oncology team what my dog’s caloric intake is.

    Thank you,

    1. C

      Thank you for sharing that. It’s reassuring to know multiple vets approve of this recipe.

  18. Anonymous

    5 stars
    I was struggling with my 4month old puppy that caught Parvo and with your recipe and the vet saved my puppy It’s the only food ill feed all my frenchies. They all love it.

  19. T.Eason

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this awesome recipe. My two Cane Corso’s can’t get enough of their new homemade dog food these days.
    You and your time are greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing. Please post more dog recipes anytime.

    1. Danielle

      5 stars
      Wow! How much do you prep for both and how llong does it last?

  20. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Dope recipe! My dog loves this. Thank you 🙏🏼

  21. Arielle

    5 stars
    I was looking for a food recipe for my dog because his skin is always itchy and his teeth haven’t been looking too good. I’m so happy you posted this. I got so excited seeing it and sent it to my mom for her dogs. It made prepping food for my dog a lot less intimidating and I love it <3

  22. Candice

    5 stars
    Love this recipe for my 5 lbs morkie! Slight modifications for her as a picky eater but love the informational tidbits included in the batch.

  23. Monica Simental

    5 stars
    I have been following Stellanspice for a while now and I am so grateful for this recipe! It has completely changed my dog’s life. I used to give them dry food and wanted to switch to homemade food because it would be cheaper than pre-made food, and I could monitor the quality of the ingredients. They used to never want to finish their food, but now mealtime is the best time for them! I make two batches because I have two dogs and it is the perfect meal prep amount. Their breath smells better, their nails are growing faster, and their poos have never looked so healthy. Thank you so much!

    1. Amber

      can I cook this in a pressure cooker or even a slow cooker? I would be at thr stove all day cooking batches in my skillet. I might consider leaving it raw in the future. baby steps 🙂

      1. bobbir

        5 stars
        I cooked 10# under high pressure for 10 minutes. It cooked gently with some pink left in the middle. Just the way I wanted it.

      2. Anonymous

        I’ve cooked this in a pressure cooker no problem. The temps are lower than pan cooking….more gentle. Slight changes….keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge and add at the end. Raw eggs burn on the bottom of the pressure pot. Just toss the veggies, liver, and all the rest into the pot. Of course use the pot insert/wire thingie to keep stuff from laying right on the bottom. I add my ginger, hemp oil (when using beef), flax oil (when using chicken) and hard boiled eggs and shells after cooking. Blend it all together with an immersion blender and…boom dogfood. Freezing tips…after cooling weight out single servings into a plastic red dixie cup, place in freezer standing until frozen…squeeze frozen meals into a freezer bag. Hope this helps.

    2. Melissa

      I am wo dering about the use of broccoli and spinach as I have heard these are harmful to dogs, not willing to take a chance on putting them into my dogs diet, hopi g peas carrots green beans can be an ok sub for veggies listed

  24. Tori

    5 stars
    I love all of your recipes, but this is my favorite recipe and I’m so grateful you shared it! My dog has never looked healthier with less hair shedding and her coat so soft and shiny!

    Thanks again

  25. Miranda

    5 stars
    My picky eater loves this food! I was intimidated to try this recipe but so happy I did. I made a smaller version of the recipe the first time around to make sure he liked it! Now I use this recipe plus the reusable bags!

    1. Tina

      Is this the only recipe you use or do you find it necessary to alternate between other raw meats?

  26. Annette Naeg

    5 stars
    Love that not only you give great food recipes but you also showed us how to make home made dog food which BKPets recognize on their IG page 👍👍👍👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

      1. Anonymous

        5 stars
        I spread it out over 3 cookie sheets and put it in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes. It came out mostly brown with some pink. I used the hemp seeds, and my dogs don’t have any qualms eating it when cooked this way as compared to doing multiple cooks in a skillet.

  27. Susan Rider

    5 stars
    Great tips on instructions and order of ingredients. So simple to follow. Healthy for my dogs too!

  28. Brandon Perez (IG: impatient_ingrate)

    5 stars
    Been following Stella for some time now and while all of her food is amazing, strangely, this dog food recipe is our family favorite. My dog had multiple major surgeries last year that both almost took his life. Since then we really wanted to focus on making sure we’re doing everything we can to ensure a healthy life for him. We make this in big batches and he LOVES being in the kitchen watching us prepare it for him. He loves this food so much and we feel great knowing what’s going into his little belly. His coat is so soft and shiny, his breath is fresh and he’s full of energy. Thanks so much for helping our best friend, Stella!

  29. Lisa Jabbori

    5 stars
    I found out from your page I was over cooking my dog food. My recipe was very similar toy yours but my hairless girl has tons of allergies to i tween it to fit her needs. However I sent you a message a month or so ago on your cooking process. I have mastered “gently “ cooked process. Me and my 3 pups thank you.

  30. Amy X

    5 stars
    I started to feed my 14 year old corgi raw since 2018 when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was given a 6 month life expectancy after surgery and I just had to do everything possible to give him the best fighting chance. For the longest time I ordered from different companies but I was never satisfied. I have always thought about making my own food but was so intimidated… until I saw you make this recipe! I have been following this recipe for over 3 years now and my dog has never loved anything more. He is now coming up to being 5 years cancer free!!
    I also recently adopted a 10 year old pit bull and transitioned her to this exact diet as well. She now gives a happy dance every meal time.

    This recipe is so easy, everything can be found at your local store and it is the most cost effective raw diet I have ever had! Thank you Stella for sharing this. Cohen, Auora, and my wallet thank you!!

  31. Jennifer D

    5 stars
    I literally started making this for my puppy when I got her 4 months ago and she’s been hooked!!! Just recently Stella also posted a turkey version on her IG to switch it up for her babies and just as my dog started to get tired of it I tried it with turkey and she loves it!!! Her breath smells great and she’s a husky and her coat is super shiny and soft. Would definitely recommend. I also found everything I needed at sprouts except for the hemp hearts. Also sometimes they have sales on the sardines and that’s when I stock up. Great recipe!!!

    1. Jennifer D

      5 stars
      I should also this recipe helps my baby go regularly. She licks the bowl clean everytime.

  32. Valeria Charran

    5 stars
    When we got our pup it was important that we started him off with good fresh food. We started using Ollie but found it so expensive until I found this recipe on IG and tried it out. So happy I did bc our pup loves it, he gained so much good weight and our vet has only praises for how he’s growing. Will be a staple in our home for many years!

  33. Amy

    5 stars
    Super excited to try this recipe for my babies (doggies) 😉 I found your IG when I saw this recipe/video on Instagram! Your recipes look amazing and I can’t wait to try some of them. The dog food recipe is exactly what I was looking for though! I do cook for them already but I’ve always supplemented with kibble for fear of them losing out on essentials! Thank you for sharing!

  34. Nulee

    5 stars
    I was excited to make this for my non-food motivated, picky dog. She clears the bowl AND will now impatiently whine when she realizes that I’m preparing it — it speaks for itself. It’s the food that made me wonder if my dog needs a slow-feeder (not an exaggeration). I’m grateful you shared this recipe. Thanks, Stella 🫶

  35. Caroline

    5 stars
    Love this recipe and so do my pups! Definitely worth trying!

  36. Jen Kim

    5 stars
    I started feeding my dog this food and she loves it! She used to have soft stools before in commercial dog foods but since eating this food her stools have gotten healthier and solid. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  37. Sharonann71

    5 stars
    I have been making this recipe for four months for my fur-nephew. His coat is softer, he eats all of his food and he has put on the couple of pounds he had lost due to non-interest in eating. Oh and he seems to move with less pain!

    Not going to lie, the first time took me about four hours to make a double batch. I have an extra set of hands now and we have it down to 1.5 hours.

    We cook the food in a double boiler and use a Meater thermometer to watch the temp. The food seems to hold its moisture better for me this way.

    Thank you for sharing this great recipe, Stella.

  38. Linda

    5 stars
    My pups loves this recipe! Made it exactly like the recipe states and they love it more than other recipes that we have tried. Will be sticking to this and rotating the proteins. I have been recommending this to other dog mommas out there.

  39. Beth

    5 stars
    We have been trying to find a simple yet healthy recipe to start our dogs on homemade food. Thanks for making everything so simple to follow.

  40. Alana

    5 stars
    I love all your recipes! I just got a puppy and will be using this recipe soon I can’t wait!!

  41. Erin J.

    5 stars
    Through process of elimination I found out my pup Biscuit most likely has a poultry allergy. I immediately took to scouring the internet for help and found this recipe and was so thankful! I felt very confident that your recipe checked essentially every box.

    After working with my vet we still felt that finding an alternative kibble and monitoring ingredients would be best especially since he’s still growing, but I am happy to provide him this as a high value treat/reward! I look forward to trying some recipes for myself as well. Thank you!

  42. Karina

    5 stars
    My Siberian Husky loves this recipe. Thanks for sharing,

  43. Jenny Diaz

    5 stars
    Hello Stella, I came across this recipe early last year and my fur babies love it! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

    1. Carolyn Mcpheron

      5 stars
      could i cook this in my slow cooker? that’s what i’ve been doing for several months now. works out very well. i do use calcium carbonate instead of egg shells. and usually scramble my eggs and add after everything has cooked.

  44. Angelica

    5 stars
    Did this for my Doberman puppy and have seen a difference in her coat, energy (yes puppies have a ton of energy but before she would get sluggish now she’s like ok I’m ready) her digestion. I would definitely recommend this recipe. And we’ve saved money as well.

  45. Erica

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! My picky maltipoo puppy loves it 🙂

  46. Elizabeth

    5 stars
    So I would just like to point out if you are cooking this and adding health necessary oils such as hemp oil and cod liver oil you need to add it after cooking don’t combine with the beef… you’ll just be paying for things going down the drain when removing the beef fat and the pups will miss out.
    I love the detailed health benefits and thank you for this recipe!!!

  47. Brooke

    my dog loves this recipe. struggling to determine how much to feed but I will work on that. however while making the recipe, I noticed the recipe instructions don’t include when to add the pumpkin and don’t mention it at all except for the ingredients list. want to make sure I add it correctly.

    1. Stella

      Hi Brooke! I was recently told by a K9 nutritionist that the recommended daily food intake should be 2-3% of your dog’s body weight.

      As for the pumpkin, it is listed in the ingredients but I forgot to mention it in the instructions. I have updated it- thanks for bringing it to my attention! The pumpkin puree is not needed to make this a balanced recipe, I just add it sometimes for their digestive health. Hope that helps!

      1. Anonymous

        you are amazing thank you!

      2. Lauren

        5 stars
        Thanks for this. To measure the food are you using a scale? Like are you weighting the fresser bags to know the right serving for your pups? I’ve been using 1 cup silicon soup container after I cook. I like your tip with freezing iit raw and cooking as needed.

  48. Susan

    If I start my dog on this, should I do so by gradually adding some of this to the food I’m now using and gradually change the ratio until I’m only serving this great recipe? Or could I just make the change from current food to this recipe on day one?
    I’m so excited to try this.

    1. Stella

      Hi Susan, I would gradually transition your dog to this diet over the period of a couple of weeks, especially if you’re going to feed it raw.. Use this as a topper to the food you’re currently feeding him/her to start, then slowly increase the amount of this recipe and decrease the amount of your current food until you know for sure your dog’s stomach is able to handle a completely change in their diet!

  49. Rita

    Hi Stella. I’m ready to start giving my mini poodle home made food, especially after reading your article 🙂 . Just today though I found out that Dr Becker has come up with a meal mix to add to cooked meat that has the correct type & amounts of minerals and vitamins. Using the meal mix would allow making my dogs home made food even easier but I do wonder if the taste would not be as good without the addition of other food sources/flavours.
    I wonder, have you tried the meal mix?

    1. Stella

      Hi Rita, I have not tried the meal mix but now you’ve got me interested! I will look into it.

  50. Jas

    Hi stella ! Quick question , is this recipe high in protein ? I know if its too high it can cause certain issues . I just want to make sure before i feed them it . I have a 80 pound lab and 18 pound daschund ! Thank you so much !

    1. Stella

      Hi Jas, I do think this recipe is high in protein and it is my understanding that that is what dogs need (high amino acid requirement). That being said, I am not a pet nutritionist and I am not going to try to convince you of anything. I use this recipe because it was recommended by my holistic vet, and my dogs seem to be doing very well on it.

  51. Quintin

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! Thanks so much for sharing, such a great choice of ingredients. How did you calculate intake requirements? 2-3% of total body weight seems most common. What’s the ratio of food categories?

    No fish oil for daily EPA/DHA requirements? Super valuable. Although, it does make omega 6:omega 3 ratio (at least 2.6:1) really hard. I also want to add flax seed to help with bladder leakage, but that disrupts the ratio even more. The hemp seed addition does omega 6, but unsure how else to healthily increase it.

    I have an 80lb labrador, so Vitamin D & E requirements are much higher. Any recommendations? Don’t want to add a load of sardines.

    I’m a bit hesitant to include high oxalate ingredients like spinach/kale – is it worth the risk? I have a senior dog (13yo) so don’t want to tax her system.

  52. Sarah

    This blog post is a lifesaver. For years I thought about homemade meals for my dog but every recipe I’ve seen isn’t fully balanced and I’ve always been afraid of over or under feed. You’re the first post I’ve seen that isn’t trying to sell me a product and fully explains why each ingredient is important so thank you for that. You did say that this recipe doesn’t have all the calcium required. Now that you feed your pups only homemade food how do you complete their calcium intake?

    1. Stella

      Hi Sarah! So this recipe does have enough calcium required for adult dogs (which both my dogs are now), but not enough calcium for puppies. When Leeloo was a puppy, I gave her calcium supplements. There are other ways to get more calcium in for puppies as well if you prefer all natural ingredients!

  53. Mark

    5 stars
    Before people start getting all bent out of shape out recipes not being balanced, or not being a good meal for dogs. please watch this video series from an actual dog nutritionist.

    A vet is not the best resource for dog Nutrition. Most vets nutritional training is fulfilled by the pet food industry in school teaching about synthetic nutrients.

  54. Tammy

    Hope I am not asking a question you already answered, can I cook up the meat and then freeze it for a few months or do I need to freeze it raw and cook as needed?

    1. Stella

      Hi Tammy, I would freeze it raw and cook it as needed. Cooked meat doesn’t maintain its quality as well as raw meat when frozen, and I’d be concerned about the loss of nutritional value in the ingredients. You can keep this frozen for up to 3 months but I recommend no longer than 1 month. Hope that helps!

  55. Pamela Collins

    is it necessary to supplement with kibble? I have 4 dog babies, I feed them 2x a day. their weights are 7lbs, 13lbs,13.5lbs and 15.5lbs. the smaller ones I feed 1/4c 2x a day and the bigger dogs 1/3c 2x a day. the 2 smaller dods a considerably overweight. I’ve talked to my Vet in regards to this diet, he said to do my homework. he did say it was a good idea. can you help me with the amounts?
    I can my own food and have canned fresh caught trout. can I add some of this to the recipe.?if so how much?

    thank you so much,

    1. Stella

      Hi Pamela, I don’t supplement with kibble anymore actually. I updated this in my blog post but forgot to update the recipe card, sorry about that. It is updated now!

      I wish I could help you with the amounts to give your dogs but as stated in my post, I am not a pet nutritionist so I’m not qualified to answer these questions. If it helps, my dogs are about 10 lbs and I give them each a little more than 1/2 cup twice a day.

  56. Jon

    If you cook the food, do you freeze it raw and then cook the individual portions when you them, or cook it all and freeze?

  57. Colette

    5 stars
    Thank you for posting this excellent recipe. We have two darling Boston Terrier pups and we want them to live long and healthy lives. I would like to know your thoughts on stirring in the kelp powder and hemp seeds after cooking the whole recipe gently on low heat to preserve the nutrients.

    1. Stella

      Hi Colette! I think that’s totally fine, probably even better for your pups. You would just need to do some math to figure out how much at each feeding. If you get the kelp powder I recommended, it will actually tell you how much to give your dogs based on their weight. Also please remember that this recipe does not meet the calcium requirement for puppies, so you will need to give them supplements or add another ingredient with calcium. Hope that helps!

  58. Anonymous

    What kibble do you feed your dogs with this recipe?

    1. Stella

      Hi! I no longer supplement their food with kibble, but when I did we used Instinct 🙂

  59. Sandy

    4 stars
    I’m super excited to try this recipe after seeing it on your Instagram. By any chance do you think I can microwave a portion of it before feeding to my dog after I’ve let it cool? Do you think you could also recommend how long I should microwave for?

    1. Stella

      Hi Sandy! I cook the food, let it cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and feed my dogs the cooked food as is (cold). There is usually no need to warm up food for your dogs unless they are picky, since warm food can be more appetizing to dogs. My dogs devour the food cold with no issues, but if you need to heat it up for your dog try 15 seconds in the microwave, and just make sure the food isn’t too hot for them. Hope this helps!

  60. Jen

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! It’s my go to! Thank you for sharing this 😍
    I do have a few questions. I’ve tried it with Beef and Turkey, but was wondering how it would balance out with chicken or bison? Or even Venison and Rabbit? Or even Lamb?
    Some of these proteins are a little bit higher protein to fat, which I try to stay between 93% – 97%.
    Can I also incorporate the fats/veggie into an already ground raw frozen dog food, like Prey Model Raw, which already has the organ, bone, protein ratio to make it more like a barf recipe you have shared?

  61. Gwenavere

    Does anyone here have any insight on whether I could feed this recipe to my cats?
    Quality pet food has gotten so expensive, especially for my older cat who is allergic to fish and it is VERY difficult finding a cat food without a fish ingredient.
    I would like to make one food for both my dog and my cats, and supplement each with the appropriate dry kibble for their individual nutritional needs.

    1. Darla

      I would talk to your vet about a recipe for your cats. There are a couple of vitamins that cat’s need that are not in commercial dog food or human food. I cook for my dogs, but not my cats because of this.

  62. Jennifer

    Hello! Thanks for this recipe! What’s the longest this batch can stay in the freezer before it goes bad? Could it be kept for up to maybe 3 months frozen? Thanks!

    1. stellanspice

      3 months is probably the maximum amount of time I would keep it in the freezer, personally. Technically I think it would be fine even longer, but quality will start to degrade. I’m most concerned about the diminishing nutritional value over that time.

    2. Dorinda

      5 stars
      My 16yr old boarder terrier cross is loving this she has arthritis though but still manages a small walk and is quite happy any further advise appreciated

  63. KAT

    5 stars
    I started making this when my 9 year old, 21lb dog got very sick with IMHA and vestibular dog disease. She’s always been a very picky eater and mealtime has been a smorgasbord of what can I give her to eat. No more, she eats this up 2x a day. I put the pumpkin on the side and add a tiny bit of oatmeal as she got so sick and lost so much weight. After about 3 months of steriods and feeding her this food, she’s back to our Lucy. While I’m not qualified to say, I feel this food has been a huge reason as to why she’s been able to get better ❤️‍🩹. I love this recipe. Thank you 🙏

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Kat, thank you so much for leaving a comment. This nearly brought tears to my eyes, I am so happy to heard that your Lucy is doing better!

  64. Lauren

    Is there a rough estimate of how much one batch of this costs? Thank you!!

    1. stellanspice

      As of May 2023, it costs about $80 to make this amount.

  65. Kelli

    This is too much protein, dogs are omnivores who coevolved besides and now have very similar digestive genes to humans.

    Your recipe is not founded in science or medical nutrition. This is not a good diet for a dog.

    1. stellanspice

      It’s actually not my recipe. As stated above, this is a Dr. Karen Becker & Rodney Habib recipe, which was also recommended by my vet. I think I will trust the experts, thank you.

      1. Chris James

        This looks like a good recipe for a dog.

        As for the person saying this is too much protein, you cannot give a dog too much protein. That is ridiculous. The only reason we don’t feed dogs 100% protein is becasue of the cost. Oatmeal and vegetables and grains are not for the dogs’ health — that is a myth. That stuff is only for filler becasue it fills them up and it’s cheaper. a 100% meat diet is ideal but cost prohibitive.

    2. Cat

      I’ve been an RVT for 20+ years and was looking for some ideas for a good homemade diet for our dog, just to supplement with quality ingredients I can control. I will be doing 50/50 RX diet and homemade for now- thank you for posting this recipe! I’m a big fan of the increased protein, I have done much research on commercial diets, and although rx is my preference, all the grains, corn, etc is not ok with me!

  66. Alena J.

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I fell in love with the YouTube video you had linked for my two giant dogs because the only kibble we actually trusted enough for them to eat just skyrocketed in price and we were already spending extra to get multivitamins and probiotics into their diets. We knew there had to be another, healthier way. Amazingly, your recipe lasts my boys exactly one week, and we portion it out by their daily servings (calculated by our vet – one dog is 70 pounds, the other is 85, so they are slightly different portions), sealing it into mason jars. They LOVE it! We also end up with about 1/4 pound of the meat mixture leftover, so we make our own freezer treats for them, adding a 1/2 cup of plain rolled oats cooked in homemade beef bone broth and a mashed sweet potato to the mix. We then put the mixture into two silicone ice cube trays. No more commercial kibble and biscuits for us! And all this fresh food is working out to save us about $30/week. Best of all, our 4 year old daughter loves to help us make it, and we are proud to teach her how easy it is to feed our furry family homemade healthy meals ?

    1. Julie

      Hi Alena. Would you mind sharing how much you feed your 70 lb dog? Thanks!

  67. Bethany

    Hi, do you think I could use other lean meats for this, like turkey? I try to rotate proteins but I’ve been using a meal completer which is costing me so much money.. been looking for some good DIY recipes that are truly balanced.

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Bethany, yes I have used ground turkey for this! Usually when I make it with turkey, I just add a bit more beef liver to make up for the iron. Hope this helps!

  68. Bebsy

    Is baking it at 325 (low heat) an option as well?

    1. stellanspice

      I’ve never tried this but I do not see why it wouldn’t work 🙂

      1. Kathryn

        My understanding is that cats are carnivorous and this recipie is for omnivores, not carnivores. Your cat would do better on a diet that is all meat.

    2. Jennifer

      Hi there. So I saw your comment, and I thought I’d respond. I do believe you can do a low bake method for this. Just put it on a sheet try and keep and eye on not over cooking it. But yes! If it’s easier for you to bake it, I think it’s fine. I’m not a pet nutritionist, but I am a chef. So I have food knowledge. I think it’s a great idea actually. Less mess. I think I might try it also!

  69. Bella

    How much should I feed a 70 pound dog?

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Bella, I think it would be better to ask your vet about this. I am not a pet nutritionist and I am just following the directions from my veterinarian. You can find more information about he macros/nutritional values of this recipe on Rodney Habib’s Youtube video that I linked in this blog post. Hope this helps!


    We are looking at getting a puppy between 6-10 months old. Can we start them on this recipe as a puppy?

    1. stellanspice

      You can but I would definitely supplement it with some puppy kibble since they have very different dietary needs. I am currently feeding my 7 lb, 5 month old 1/4 cup of this food plus 1/4 cup of puppy kibble 2 times a day. This was what my vet recommended. Hope that helps!

  71. W.F.

    Around how much does this recipe cost? Thanks

    1. stellanspice

      Thats difficult to say since we all have different sized dogs with different dietary needs, but for my two small dogs (about 7 lbs each) I spend roughly $70 every 3-4 weeks on their food. Hope that helps!

  72. Jass

    Most recipes I see call for carbs. I see this one doesn’t have things added like rice, pasta, or any form of carbs. Is this ok?

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Jass, I am not a dog nutritionist so I don’t really know the answer to this question. My own research shows that carbs are not a dietary requirement for dogs. I give my dogs this recipe because my vet recommended it. Hope that helps.

  73. Christina

    5 stars
    Is it equivalent exchange for hemp seed oil and hemp seeds?

    1. stellanspice

      No, they are not equal. The recipe says 8 tsp oil or 12 tbsp seeds

  74. Mimi

    My dog’s name is Stella so I had to checkout your recipe when I saw the domain! So far my favorite combination of ingredients. My dog is older, and I was wondering if steaming the veggies for a little could make them easier to chew for her? Or will processing them be enough? Thanks again for sharing this!

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Mimi, thanks for your comment! I think if you break down the vegetables enough in the food processor, it should be fine for your dog to chew through. If you notice it’s still too difficult for her to chew, then yes I would recommend steaming them first 🙂

  75. Raquel

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My dog started not eating his food for days because he lost interest even though they are very good brands for your dog. I gave it to him for the first time yesterday and I’m not kidding, he looked at me all night long, wagging his tail, smiling and showing appreciation. It was great to see he enjoyed eating again. Thank you so much

    1. stellanspice

      Oh my gosh Raquel that makes me so happy! I started using this recipe for my previous dog because of the same thing. She lost interest in her normal food so I started making my own, and she loved it so much. I’m glad your pup is eating again! Thank you so much for your comment <3

      1. Suzie

        Hi Stella,

        I was wondering how much the whole foodshop costs you roughly? My dog has stomach issues so she’s on a clean pre-made human grade food plan at the moment but it’s expensive, wondering if this is more cost effective for her?

        Would love you advice 🙂

        1. Stella

          Hi Suzie, we shop at Sprouts and get their 93% lean grass fed ground beef. For this amount of food (about 11 lbs), we spend roughly $70-80.

  76. Michelle

    5 stars
    I started using this recipe when my 1 year old female dog started having aversions to her regular food. I use it to supplement her dry food and needless to say, she and her big sister love it! I have done it with both lean chicken breasts and ground beef. I do cook it gently before serving. I do make it in big batches and freeze in about a 1 week portion so it stays fresh. I am so thankful that I found this recipe!! They have always had beautiful coats and teeth but I do see it is even softer and shinier. Their “potty time” has shown improvement as well. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    1. Soup

      Hello! I just found this recipe while looking for alternative foods for my mix breed. I’m excited to look at some of your other recipes too! I thought I should ask how much you thought I should feed him before I got started. He is 75 lb and not very active and we feed him twice a day, your opinion would be very helpful ^^

  77. Anonymous

    Could it be cooked before freezing it?

    1. stellanspice

      Yes you can cook it before freezing, but it is really important to properly cool the food before freezing it. Don’t put hot food in the freezer and don’t let it stay in the danger zone for longer than 2 hours. It helps to let it cool on the counter in a wide shallow bowl (cools faster) for about 30 minutes, then you can freeze it 🙂

  78. Mary Bauman

    I have 4 small dogs. Biggest is 15. Amd smallest is 7.
    How much would you feed of this per day

    1. Rose Cochrane

      5 stars
      Excellent recipe. I have 2 chihuahuas and they just love this recipe. They have more energy (they were turning into couch potatoes) and overall better health, coat, teeth and bowel movements. I’m not a fan of any bagged dogfood after seeing how it’s made and so much filler. I’d rather pay more for more nutrient rich food that is better for them and I know what’s in it. I will never feed powdered dog food with spray on flavor ever again. Thanks for the post and the easy step by step tuitorial !!!

  79. J

    You mention twice that it should only be gently cooked and not seared. Would you mind elaborating on why the dog meat shouldn’t be seared?

    1. stellanspice

      Hi J! Thank you for your question. My vet told me it was important not to cook the food too aggressively (like searing/browning) because too much heat will diminish the nutritional value of the vegetables. Gently cooking it at a low to medium heat is best for making sure the pups get all the essential vitamins and minerals that the vegetables provide. Hope that helps 🙂

      1. Danica Pader

        5 stars
        My little 7lb chihuahua papillon mix suffers from occasional lameness in her legs. And this time it’s very painful for her. When her legs start to hurt she stops eating, and I don’t blame her because I wouldn’t want to eat that kibble cardboard either. It’s just convenient and I had no idea how to feed them a balanced raw diet if not the kibble. It breaks my heart to see her in pain and she needs to eat something so your recipe fell into my lap on my late night rabbit hole dog food search. After watching lots of videos and reading lots of recipes I finally got that “ahah!” when I came across yours. Got off early today just to get all the food shopping done, made up the batch and are currently freezing it all. Thank goodness I found kelp powder at my local health store. I mixed up a little of the raw mixture and coated it in her kibble and she finally ate! So excited to see her regain her strength and I know that the supplements she’s been missing will make her feel much better as well.

        My question is about the meat. It’s very hard to find a reasonably priced 90%lean and 10%fat beef in store. I stopped at 3 different groceries in my local area until I settled on 8.99/lb (cheapest I could find). Costco sells the organic ground beef 3 packs and those are a 85/15 blend. What are your thoughts on using that ratio instead?

        1. Stella

          Hi Danica, your dog sounds like such a cute mix! To answer your question, I do not think anything less than 90% lean ground beef would be good for your dog (especially if they are overweight). What I’d recommend is using a mix of that Costco 85/15 blend and maybe finding a 93% lean blend of ground beef. I know Sprouts has some. That way you can save some money but still stick with the nutritional requirements for dogs. I hope this helps!

  80. Anonymous

    Do you have a calculation of macronutrients and calories per Kg?

    1. stellanspice

      This recipe contains 40 calories per ounce. I am not sure about the exact details for macronutrients, but you can get a better description of it on the original YouTube video that I linked in the beginning of this post 🙂

      1. Keller

        5 stars
        It is difficult to calculate the exact macro nutrients from the info here or in the original YouTube video. But this recipe is primarily made up of proteins, healthy fats and a low amount of fibrous carbohydrates. All in all a very healthy and delicious recipe for dogs. I can vouch for recipes with egg, beef or sardine in them as every dog I have ever fed absolutely loves these ingredients. Also, adding fish oils to kibble or recipes like this will make dogs so excited for meal time and provide healthy nutrients for their coats.

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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