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! 

You can make a large batch of this once or twice a month and keep it in the freezer until you need it. I make about 11 pounds of food and it will last almost a month for my two small adult dogs (about 10 lbs each). In addition to this food, we add a little kibble to their bowls. You don’t have to do this, but it was what our vet recommended for Remy & Leeloo.

Check with your veterinarian for how much food your dog needs per serving. My two dogs are about 10 lbs each.

This recipe has 40 calories per ounce. To see the original recipe posted on Youtube by Rodney Habib, click here. This video can provide more information on the nutrients 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.  

Ingredients 

  • Very lean ground beef- I get all of my ingredients from Sprouts and I use 93% lean ground beef. This is the main source of protein and has to be lean since dogs have a high amino acid requirement.

  • Hempseed– excellent source of essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. This balances the fats. I bought mine from Sprouts but it is also available an Amazon here. You can also 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 they have super fresh breath!

  • 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.

Recipe

Begin by mixing together the ground beef, eggs, kelp, ground ginger, hempseed (or hempseed oil), and sardines.

Save half of the eggshells and set them aside.

Drain 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.

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. 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.  

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.

I also drain any oils/fats from cooking the beef.   

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

I fed this recipe to my previous dog Lucy, who passed away last year from kidney failure and extreme arthritis. She was very old when she passed, but lived a full and healthy life on this diet. I miss her so much.

It is SO important to me to make sure I am feeding my dogs the best food possible. I want them to live long, healthy lives. Your dog will love this recipe, and they will be in excellent health 🙂 

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

Balanced Dog Food Recipe

This is a veterinarian approved recipe by Rodney Habib on YouTube
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 7 lbs lean ground beef 90% +
  • 3/4 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
  • 8 oz beef liver
  • 8 oz broccoli
  • 8 oz spinach
  • 8 oz red bell pepper

Instructions
 

  • Begin by mixing together the ground beef, eggs, kelp powder, ground ginger, hempseed, (or hempseed oil), and sardines. Drain the water from the sardines before you add them in.
    Save half of the eggshells and set them aside.
  • Try to break up the sardines 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, process the veggies, eggshells, and beef liver. You may need to do this separately if your food processor can't find everything. I process everything separately, except for the bell pepper and eggshells- I process those together.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    *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!
    You can make patties, large chunks, or break it down into mince if you prefer.
  • Drain any oils/fats from cooking the beef and let it cool completely before storing in the fridge.

Notes

This will make 11-12 lbs of food, which lasts my two dogs almost a month. My dogs are about 10 lbs each. Per my vet's recommendation, I also add a little bit of kibble at feeding time. Please talk to your vet or pet nutritionist about the correct portions for your dog. 
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This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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!

  4. SHERRY FOSTER

    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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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

  10. 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 ^^

  11. 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 🙂

  12. Mary Bauman

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

    1. stellanspice

      I feed my 7 lb dog 2/3 cup per day (1/3 cup twice a day). I would recommend 1 whole cup per day for your biggest dog. You can always check with your vet as well if you are unsure about these amounts 🙂

    2. 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 !!!

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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 🙂

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