Healthy Homemade Dog Food

Our Tasty Low Carb family not only consists of Joanie and Chris, but also two Havanese Sisters – Lulu and Kiki! If you have pets you know how they become part of the family and an integral part of your life. Our dogs are dependent upon us for virtually everything – in return they offer unconditional love and lots of fun. For that reason, we only make them Healthy Homemade Dog Food! We use only the best ingredients with no fillers or added sugars or spices.Β We also make all of their dog treats at home. Their food is very low carb!

Our furry family members are Chocolate Havanese. Often called “silk dogs,” most in this breed are white with brown or black markings. Many are brindle in color. Lulu and Kiki are 9 1/2 and 9 pounds in weight, although they look heavier with all their fur. They do require frequent brushing, but they are hypoallergenic and they do not shed. As you can tell, they are very much a part of our low-carb family – you do get attached to your pets!

Only the Best!

Why Homemade Instead of Purchased Dog Food?

Myths and misconceptions abound on the Internet regarding homemade dog food. Also, there are a myriad of conflicting nutritional recommendations ranging from the 30-70% carbs found in commercial dog food to raw frozen foods that contains no carbs. Some owners feed raw meat and bones and say their dogs thrive.

However, many raw materials that are unfit for humans are legal for dog food. These may include spoiled supermarket food, slaughter house waste such as organs, heads, hooves, beaks, feet and other appalling ingredients. Ingredients often have vague names such as “animal by-product meal” and “meat by-product meal.” Read the article, “The Shocking Truth About Commercial Dog Food” by Dog Food Advisor. It will convince you that making homemade food is a safer alternative to much of the commercial food.

Before commercial dog food, dogs ate table scraps – real food. During the Great Depression dog food companies marketed their products as an economical alternative. To boost their market, dog food companies advertised that their food was required for good health. Table scraps and real food suddenly became harmful. Pet food companies stepped up the onslaught and began using veterinarians to endorse their products.

Today, commercial dog food is a multi-billion dollar industry that is often more concerned with profits, marketing gimmicks, and cheap ingredients. Dogs are hardy, resilient and capable of handling foods that may not be biologically appropriate, but just because they are alive and surviving does not mean they are thriving! There are some more conscientious manufacturers who do take pride in using better quality ingredients. If you must, search for those; we prefer to know exactly what our dogs are eating and know what they are not by making their food at home from scratch!

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Since the rise of commercial foods dogs have suffered from chronic allergies and infections, obesity, digestive issues, cancerous tumors, diabetes, and a range of other health issues. Dogs do not need processed foods containing carb-heavy fillers, by products, plant proteins, artificial colors and flavors and preservatives. The bottom line is, if it isn’t something that we would eat, then do not feed it to your dogs!

Healthy Food – All Natural!

Healthy Homemade Dog Food Ingredients

According to WEBMD your dog needs protein from animal meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. They need fat from meat or oil and carbohydrates from grains or vegetables. Β In addition, essential fatty acids from plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods. The question is in what amounts? After much research, we created a recipe that our dogs love – they are healthy, have tons of energy, and their coats and eyes shine!

The listed ingredients are used most of the time. Fresh meats like lean ground beef, ground turkey, and chicken gizzards provide a heavy dose of protein. Tuna, salmon, or sardines are always used. The eggs also add protein and essential oils. There are fruits and vegetables in the mix and even rice for digestion, although no wheat grains or sugars! Our homemade dog food is human grade. The main point is we know and control what goes into their food!

Joanie does vary the fresh meats and fish, sometimes using fresh pork, chicken livers, or boiled chicken. She will often substitute pumpkin for sweet potatoes, oatmeal instead of rice, and other combinations of vegetables including green beans, celery, and carrots. The only constants are the eggs, apple, cottage cheese, and coconut oil.

Just For the Picture – They Really Get 1/4 Cup.


Lulu and Kiki are active and fairly young. The charts tell us that to maintain their healthy weight they need approximately 275 calories per day. We feed them twice a day. They do get healthy homemade reward treats for good behavior. Our recipe below provides them with approximately 260 calories per day – the rest comes from those healthy treats.

Their Coats and Eyes are So Shiny!

To get an idea of the nutrition level our recipe provides we used standard calculators we use for all of our recipes. We worked on the assumption that since their caloric intake was approximately 13% of the standard label guidelines for humans that their nutritional needs would mirror that percentage. In looking at the nutrition label below you should disregard the percentage daily requirements since they are based on normal human caloric intake. Instead, focus on the key nutritional elements. For their size, normal carb intake would be 39g per day, normal fat would be 8.45g per day, and normal protein would be 6.5g per day.

If you double the numbers below for 2 servings you find that their food is low in carbs (10.4g), high in protein (25.4g), and provides moderate fat (10.4g) intake. The recipe is a bit low in calcium, so we do give them a calcium supplement and vitamins for balance. Most of the literature today for dog nutrition calls for a high-protein low-carb diet – we think our recipe is perfect for their health.

Happy – Healthy – Hungry!

The normal portion for each meal is only 1/4 cup since our dogs are small. It would be a challenge to cook for two 90 pound dogs!

Joanie loves to cook for Lulu and Kiki. She says, “they never complain, are so grateful and are always aware when I am cooking for them. They know at the end they will get a sample. It is truly a labor of love!” They are happy and healthy and living a Tasty Low Carb lifestyle!

Healthy Homemade Dog Food
4.7 from 10 votes

Balanced nutrition for you dog! No fillers, no added sugar, no unidentifiable ingredients - just made tasty and homemade with love!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 48
Calories 132 kcal
Author Joan and Chris


  • 2 pounds Ground beef
  • 2 pounds Ground turkey
  • 14 ounces Tuna 2 cans, in water
  • 1/2 pound Chicken gizzards
  • 1/2 cup Cottage cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup White rice cooked
  • 6 ounces Sweet potato
  • 6 ounces Green peas cooked
  • 6 ounces Cauliflower
  • 6 ounces Broccoli
  • 1/2 Apple medium size
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut oil


  1. Cook rice per label instructions. In a second pot boil the chicken gizzards until cooked thoroughly - about 10 minutes. Add eggs to this pot for the last 5 minutes to hard boil.

  2. In a third very large pot cook the ground beef and ground turkey until browned. Drain off most of the fat and remove from the heat.

  3. Use a food processor to grind the raw peas, raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, 1/2 apple (cored and seeded), cooled gizzards, and peeled eggs. This may take two batches.

  4. Microwave sweet potato for 3-4 minutes until soft.

  5. Add all ingredients to the large pot with the beef and turkey. Add cottage cheese and coconut oil at the end. Mix well with a wooden spoon to incorporate.

  6. This will make two weeks food for two nine pounds dogs. Place in freezer bags, label, and date.

Recipe Notes

When you switch to homemade nutritious food you should incorporate the homemade food gradually with their regular food, as you would with any food change. This will avoid any digestive problems.

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Homemade Dog Food
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.2g 8%
Saturated Fat 1.8g 9%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 71mg 3%
Potassium 217mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 5.2g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0.6g 2%
Protein 12.7g 25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Karen Robinson

    I’m going to try your homemade dogfood. May I have the recipe for the tasty treats

    • Joan and Chris

      Try the dog food. Your dog will love it! We plan to post the treat recipe this week so please come back or sign up on our home page for automatic recipe updates and you will be sure to receive it. Thanks.

    • Joan and Chris

      We just posted the healthy dog treat recipe. Click here for the recipe. We posted it it our “Low Carb Essentials” category. Hope you like both recipes.

  2. Is this diet ok for my pitbull that have yeast troubles?

    • Joan and Chris

      The first suggestion would be to eliminate store bought dog food or kibble. They use corn, wheat, or other grains as binders. They are heavy in carbs and yeast feed on carbs. Our homemade dog food is a balanced diet that is very low in what would be considered unhealthy carbs. It should help – try it. You may wish to substitute pumpkin for sweet potatoes, but definitely no white starchy potatoes. You could also eliminate the white rice and add more healthy fruits and vegetables to provide less starchy carbs. If you alter our diet, make sure you give your dog vitamin supplements. The coconut oil in our recipe should help with itching. Good luck and we hope our recipe helps.

  3. Our elderly dog was diagnosed recently with diabetes. Is this recipe considered low carb enough to be safe for a diabetic diet? He’s 60 pounds and I’m not even sure of the amount of food to give him.

    • Joan and Chris

      So sorry to hear about your dog. Diabetes in dogs is difficult. We trust you have a good vet for advice and we would defer to him/her. Meat-based high protein diets with restricted carbs are best for diabetic dogs. We have seen recommendations for diabetic dogs calling for 30% carb and fat and 40% protein. Our mix is 23% carb and fat and 54% protein. Our homemade food is balanced, but defintely low carb. However, you can lower the carb content in our recipe by eliminating the cooked rice. You can substitute more healthy fruits and vegetables that would provide less carbs. Also, substitute pumpkin for sweet potatoes, the less starch the better. We would suggest feeding your dog its normal amount twice a day and no grazing to avoid spikes. Ask you vet about a healthy weight and adjust the amount of food to maintain that number.

  4. Please tell us the serving size used for your nutrition guide. Is it per cup? I am that poor individual that needs to cook for two 90 pound dogs. I have them on a strict calorie diet and I want to try this recipe. Thank you!

    • Joan and Chris

      The serving size is 1/4 cup for 132 calories. Our 9 pound dogs need 275 calories per day. So they get 1/4 cup two times per day. The remaining calories come from our homemade treats. Divide your required calories by 132 and multiply that by 1/4 cup to determine how many cups per day. Example: 1500 calories per day divided by 132 = 11.36 servings times 1/4 cup yields 2.8 cups per day. Check our math and let us know how it works out. We know your dogs will love the food and you can rest easy knowing what is in it! We just posted a delicious “fishy treat” for dogs. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Hello! I’m excited to try this recipe! Are there any vitamin supplements you recommend giving with this food?

    • Joan and Chris

      We know your furry friend will love the recipe – please let us know. We supplement our homemade dog food with Nupro, an all natural vitamin and mineral supplement. You can find it by clicking the word here. Our dogs have so much energy, have been so healthy, and have such shiny coats. We also just posted healthy “fishy treats” that they love. Thanks for the comment . . . Joanie.

  6. Hello, could you give a guideline on what size is a cup? I’m British and we don’t often measure in that way. Thank you x

    • Joan and Chris

      Our recipe has a US Customary to Metric conversion button below the ingredients. Just click on Metric and you will see the conversions for each ingredient. For example, one cup of rice equals 185g and 6 ounces of peas, cauliflower, and broccoli equals 170g. Of course, for liquid measurements it would convert to ml. One cup liquid would equal 250ml. I hope that helps. This is why our dogs have us, to figure these things out. πŸ™‚ Let us know how the food works out for you. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Sheila Inglin

    Thank you so much for the awesome recipe, can’t wait make this my Maggie Mae, my sweet lil’ 9 yr old min-pin/ schnauzer mix!! πŸ˜€ She is grainfree, low-carb, needs to lose a few pounds!!! Glad I found you my Google search!!! TY 😁😁😁

    • Joan and Chris

      Thanks for the kind words. Your lil’ Maggie Mae will love the food, lose pounds, and be healthy and happy! Spread the word. We also have a delicious dog treat recipe that our girls love.

  8. I have been reading about homemade dog food and I think I like this one the best. I have two small mixed terriers – one 9 pounds and one about 17 pounds. The later one has a tendency to gain weight even though I don’t feed them more than 1/3 cup plus maybe a tablespoon or so of canned to mix it (to make it more enticing to picky dogs). I feed them twice a day. They are on dog food that is high grade (no grain, no additives) and 350 calories for 1 cup serving. I really think store dog food is still too fattening for the 17 pound dog. We do exercise – 2 small walks a day plus one long one. In looking at this recipe they would be over the moon for it! They both balk at most store bought foods but now really like the one they are on. Because of dog food recalls every time I turn around it seems, I have been thinking about making my own. The only question I have is friends say to make sure there is enough good Omegas and calcuim. By this recipe I would think there would be enough. They add eggshell powder – but don’t think it is necessary with this one. Please let me know. I want to make sure they get all the nutrients needed. Chicken gizzards are yucky to me – can I substitute with some other nutrient that is not “organ” meat? The little one is 1 year and the bigger one is 3 years. Both rescued from high kill shelters in Houston and brought to CO by a pet transport rescue operation.

    • Joan and Chris

      Our oldest Havanese was a picky eater as a pup. We tried everything. Now she is “over the moon” for our homemade! Both dogs are and both have maintained a healthy weight with no digestive issues. You can substitute a can of salmon in place of the organ meat. To make sure they get enough calcium we give them a small amount of “sea kelp” and a vitamin supplement called “Nupro.” You can get the sea kelp by clicking the word. The same would apply to Nupro. Good for you for rescuing the fur-babies! Thanks for the comment and let us know how they like the food.

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