Holly’s Homemade Dog Food

This week I have a guest post for you from dog lover & rescuer, Holly Lindsey, who will help you SAVE money, while still giving the dogs in your life a healthy diet.

I have two beautiful dogs, both strays that found their way to me. One is a half lab, half chow that used to weigh 110 pounds. The other has some lab in her and is only about 50 pounds.

They are my babies. I had struggled to afford getting them healthy food. I used to buy the cheap ten dollar, twenty pound bag that lasted about a week. I knew this was not the healthiest choice but I figured I took them in and they were fortunate to have a home. The healthy dog foods were upwards of twenty-five or thirty dollars a bag and I could not afford that on a weekly basis.

But then I had a wake-up call. I used to have a third stray as well, a beagle, named Lucy. I had to put her down last year because of cancer. She stopped eating one day and on the second day I took her to the vet. They did an x-ray and there it was. The cancer was everywhere. She had shown no symptoms until the day before. There was no way it could all be removed. It was then that I decided I had to change the diet of my remaining two dogs.

I had already been making my way into a healthier home by introducing fruits and vegetables into my family’s daily diet and eliminating all processed foods, and by making my own laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and hand soap. I began researching homemade dog food.

First I had to find what dogs were allergic to. The list was longer than I had thought. Raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, chocolate, avocado, dairy products, fat trimmings and bones from meat, persimmons, peaches, plums, or condiments such as salt or added sugar are poisonous to canines.

Dogs can eat lean  meat, especially organ meats because they have a higher nutritional value, apples, oranges, bananas and watermelon, with the seeds removed, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, potatoes and sweet potatoes if cooked, and white rice and pasta if cooked as well. Dogs can also eat cooked eggs and even the shells if they are ground up. Egg shells also have a lot of nutrients. In addition, dogs can also eat grains, whole grains are best. Like humans, dogs can be intolerant to gluten so I use steel cut oats, bought in bulk.

My mission had begun with my first big hurdle completed. Per my veterinarian’s recommendation on serving size, my larger dog, Jezzebelle should be fed about three cups a day and my smaller dog, Baby, two cups. With this in mind I calculated the recipe with a week’s worth of food.

Keeping in mind my normal budget of ten dollars a week on dog food I decided to use frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, one dozen eggs, three to four sweet potatoes, grass fed chicken livers, and steel cut oats. I also add turmeric for inflammation and cinnamon for fresher breath, and yes that really works!

How to make healthy homemade dog food


  • 2 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2 bags frozen carrots
  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower
  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 pound steel cuts oats
  • 1 dozen eggs, I scramble them first
  • 1 package, about a pound, of grass fed chicken or beef livers, or organ meat of choice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric


I have a 20 quart pot that’s actually for tamales but it is the perfect size. I put everything in the pot and fill the pot with water up to just covering the ingredients. I bring it to a boil and then turn the temperature to a simmer for 3 to 4 hours. I usually put it in the baggies for the freezer the next morning since the dog food will be too hot.

The dogs absolutely love it. Below is the finished product.

Healthy Homemade Dog Food in ziploack bags  | SustainableSuburbia.net

Holly Lindsey is a lover of animals. She regularly rescues dogs and cats with the help of her favorite local rescue group Duck Team 6 in addition to the two dogs she already has, Jezzebelle and Baby. Her passion is in incorporating as many natural elements into everyday living and repurposing items for home décor. Learn more about Holly’s DIY projects and uses for natural elements on her Facebook page at: https://facebook.com/hollyshomespun

  24 comments for “Holly’s Homemade Dog Food

  1. Mara Cvejic
    July 16, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Ok, I dont make dog food- the food for dogs and cats is made by nature. ie meat on bones.
    Dogs and cats should eat their instinctive natural diet of RAW MEATY BONES as do wolves and wild cats do. Imitate nature – dont make it hard!
    Simple! Just give them Chicken frames ( that is the the left over of de-boned chicken carcases at 2 dollars a kilo.) Small or large dog does not matter, they will love it and the bones are great for cleaning their teeth. They will have healthy gums and no diseases that start in the mouth. Their food is their medicine.

    This is due to giving them mushy can foods and kibble dry food loaded with artificial flavours, sugars, carbohydrates, preservatives that forms a sludge on their teeth and bad bacteria take over causing sore gums and the pet cannot eat anything any more but the soft can food after a few years.
    So for most of the pet’s life – it suffers with gum disease and sore gums, full of puss that keeps going into the blood stream, giving rise to heart problems, liver, kidney, cancer and arthritis. Eventually they get a animal HIV from bad oral health and die in agony.

    So, from 6 weeks old, pets should be given meat on bone and RAW not cooked as that splinters.

    I hope, you can spread this message around as it is sooooo important if you love your pets.
    Give them the natural diet that they love and will adjust to if you start them on chicken frames and not give them junk for a few days – hunger will get them to eat their natural diet.
    First, get the vet to remove all the bad teeth to give them no more gum pain so that they can eat their raw meaty bones.

    I hope this enlightens many more people to the scam the pet food industry has created and most vets support as they get a kick back for doing so. Even the TV personality ones like Dr Harry and Bondi Vets all get pay checks form the pet food companies. Money is very enticing and pets can not complain.

    So, we have to be the advocates for this silent epidemic that is killing our pets and lining the pockets of Multinational companies and vets.

    This is the site that explains it more http://www.rawmeatybones.com.

    • Guiliana
      February 28, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Totally agree. I’ve been feeding my three dogs raw for years.

      • Guiliana
        February 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm

        I’ve learned a lot from Jane Anderson’s site at RawLearning.com

    • Sandy
      April 19, 2019 at 12:40 pm


  2. Maria
    July 16, 2014 at 10:37 am


    I’m dying to try this. I pinned it and then tried to print it out and it’s printing in another language. Anyone know why?

    • December 15, 2017 at 9:33 am

      I’ve had the same issue. Looking forward to trying it out though!

  3. July 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

    We made our own pet food for many years (when we had a freezer) and I used a similar recipe to yours. I always include some vegetable matter and often fed the mixture to them raw (except for the rice and pasta). The natural diet is a good idea for dogs I think, but the exclusion of plant materials from their diet is a mistake; dogs are opportunistic eaters (much like us) and their systems have evolved to deal with a wide variety of food sources so while they are primarily carnivores, they do need some plant foods.

    Dog species do eat plant material seasonally; a study of wolves in Yellow Stone National Park found that wolves eat plants, mostly grasses in summer along with their usual prey ” In addition, plant matter is prevalent in wolves’ summer diet, with 392 (74%) of 530 scats analyzed containing some type of plant material, largely grass (Graminae). This is consistent with summer observations of wolves consuming grass and other plant material.” (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/7/1923S.full)
    Australian dingoes also eat some plant materials, being opportunistic feeders;
    “Foods commonly eaten include: rabbits, rats, possums, wallabies, kangaroos, sheep, calves (cows), birds, reptiles, carrion and human refuse.

    Primary Diet carnivore eats terrestrial vertebrates
    Animal Foods birds mammals reptiles carrion
    Plant Foods seeds, grains, and nuts fruit” (http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Canis_lupus_dingo/)

  4. Tom
    July 31, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks Holly. My 10 year old Lurcher is quite a fussy eater and gets bored with purchased dried kibble, even the quality brands. This looks like a good alternative to add interest to her diet.

  5. Janie
    April 29, 2017 at 10:08 am

    How much at a time do they eat?

    • April 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Janie,
      I’ve posted your question on Holly’s facebook page and asked her to get back to you 🙂
      Thanks for reading!

    • April 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Hello Janie. This will depend on the weight of your dog. For example, my 40 pound dog gets 1 cup twice a day, whereas my 10 pound chihuahua/dachshund gets 1/3 cup twice a day. Your veterinarian should be able to advise the proper amount to serve your dog. You can also look it up online but be cautious of fog food brand websites that suggest higher than normal amounts since they want you to buy more of their food. Please let me know if I can assist you further!

  6. May 12, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Hi Holly!

    Nice post! Your recipe sound delish!

    I’m like you, I prep homemade food for my crew but it’s raw. And I also switched because my dogs were always ill with something.

    I was visiting the vet with them more than we were going out for dinner! And that’s probably not an exaggeration if I think back. We made at least 3 visits per month to the vet’s rooms.

    Since switching we haven’t looked back.

    I say there’s no difference between cooked or raw, as long as it’s made by our loving hands it’s good.

    It’s nice that you’re spreading the word about homemade diets.


  7. Sue McGee
    May 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I would like to try this but the one and only time I gave our dog some left over scrambled egg she had really loose stools. From this incident we figured she must be allergic to eggs. Are the eggs a necessary part of their diet. She also really needs to loose weight and we are not succeeding on kibble food. She is a blue Healer we rescued. We think she is about 8 or 9 years old. Has epilepsy and is on medication 3 times a day. Her weight gain has gotten worse since being on medicine. She should weigh around 40 lbs but is closer to 45.

  8. June 4, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    turmeric and cinnamon makes my dog uncomfortable. What should I use spices ?

    • Billie
      March 3, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      You don’t need to add spices at all. Maybe a multivitamin though?

  9. Megan
    October 7, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Question. What size are the bags of frozen veggies?

  10. Kaci
    February 7, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Just made my second batch this week, and I made a double batch. Thanks so much for sharing!
    My poor lab/retriever mix has suffered with allergies for such a long time. I can tell a difference already with his skin.

    • February 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      That’s fantastic Kaci, I’m so glad to hear it’s helped!!

  11. June 10, 2018 at 6:25 am

    I make our dogs something similar but instead of scrambling the eggs, I hard boil them. Run them through a grinder or food processor until shells are in small pieces. It adds calcium which the dogs need, and as long you aren’t throwing in huge pieces of shell with rough edges (NOT a good idea), it provides this essential nutrient.

  12. Lisa
    July 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    This recipe is very unbalanced, I hope you aren’t feeding this everyday. This is why homemade diets get a bad rep. Please do some research!

    • Kat
      July 29, 2018 at 8:37 am

      I totally agree Lisa. Making your own dog food is more complicated than that. There is real info out there on natural dog food from qualified people. Vets see deficiencies in dogs on do-it-yourself foods if it is not balanced.

    • Sharon
      August 30, 2018 at 7:52 am

      I am desparately trying to “do some research”!!! I have read more “homemade dog food” recipes over the past few weeks than I’ve EVER read recipes for myself…I have to be careful as my senior toy poodle is allergic. I don’t see anything unbalanced about this recipe so Lisa can you give more detail??? Thanks!

      • Lisa
        December 8, 2018 at 5:37 pm

        Hi Sharon, what is your poodle allergic to? This recipe is missing muscle meat and adequate calcium/phosphorous. I feed a premade raw diet (80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 10% organ). I do add several supplements (mostly from Nature’s Farmacy) as well as steamed green beans/carrots/broccoli/kale and cooked sweet potatoes usually a couple dinners/week (I puree these together). Things like coconut oil daily, salmon oil and pumpkin a couple times/week, yoghurt and blueberries daily as well as a small piece of banana daily.

  13. November 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    I’m similar to you, I prepare custom made sustenance for my team yet it’s raw. Furthermore, I likewise exchanged on the grounds that my pooches were almost in every case sick with something.

    I was visiting the vet with them more than we were going out for supper! What’s more, that is likely not a misrepresentation on the off chance that I recall. We made something like 2 visits for every month to the vet’s.

    Since exchanging we haven’t thought back.

    I say there’s no contrast between cooked or crude, as long as it’s made by our cherishing hands it’s great.

    It’s pleasant that you’re getting the message out about hand crafted foods.

Comments are closed.