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When I adopted my dog a few years ago, I kept feeding her the same commercial brand of dog food she had eaten at the kennel. A few months after, she started to develop heat rashes and dry skin. In a desperate attempt to get my poor girl to stop scratching, I started reading up on dog food ingredients and learned that most commercial dog food contains meat byproducts, fillers, and general junk I didn’t want my dog eating.

After that, I switched to organic dog food and treats, but that started to get very expensive. For example, the treats cost about $10 for just a small bag.

To save some money, I started looking into different homemade dog food and treat recipes and found that I could save money by making my dog’s meals and snacks. In addition to the cost savings, the food I make for my dog is much healthier than commercial dog food. Most homemade dog treats keep for a week or more, and you can freeze homemade dog food, so you always have some cheap, healthy alternatives on hand for your pup.

Below are my favorite homemade organic dog food and treat recipes that you can try at home.

Organic Dog Treat Recipes

These treats have a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and meat your dog will love. By purchasing organic ingredients, and sticking to low-sugar and low-fat options, you can keep your dog healthy as well.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Dogs love peanut butter, and these cookies are a great way to sneak some fish oil into your dog’s diet. Fish oil improves your dog’s coat, making it shiny, soft, and healthier.

Look for organic peanut butter at your grocery store. Many commercial brands of peanut butter have unhealthy hydrogenated oils and additives. Better yet, make your own peanut butter using raw peanuts and peanut oil, and processing the mixture in your food processor.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour (white or wheat, if your pup has no wheat allergies)
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fish oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the flour and oats together in a large mixing bowl. Pour in one cup of water and blend until smooth. Add in the peanut butter, honey, and fish oil and mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
  3. Slowly add the water until the mixture has a thick and doughy consistency.
  4. Lightly flour a cooking surface. Roll the dough onto the cooking surface to create a 1/4 inch thick sheet.
  5. Use a cookie cutter to create shapes. Place the cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely before feeding.

Pro Tip: If the dough is too sticky to roll, slowly pad more flour onto the dough ball.

Chicken Jerky

I give my pup these chicken jerky treats as an alternative to the store-bought raw hides. The jerky is tough and chewy, so it keeps my dog occupied for a while, and the chicken has a good amount of protein, which is good for a dog’s muscle structure.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 chicken breasts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove any excess fat from the chicken. Turn the chicken breast on its side and use a paring knife to slice the chicken breast into 1/8 inch thick strips.
  3. Set the strips on a baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours.
  4. Check the chicken before removing from the oven. It should be dry and hard, not soft or chewy. Allow the chicken to cool completely before serving.
  5. Store the jerky in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Pro Tip: You can substitute sweet potatoes for the chicken in this recipe. Sweet potatoes make a healthy, vegetarian alternative.

Frozen Yogurt Pops for Dogs

If your dog loves to chase ice cubes around the kitchen, then he’ll love these frozen treats. They’re made from human grade ingredients and include fruit juice and carrots, which give your pup an added vitamin boost. Yogurt has calcium and protein, and can help your dog digest food.

Note that this recipe calls for non-fat yogurt, which is a much healthier alternative to other types of yogurt, especially if your dog is overweight.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. container of plain, non-fat frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup of no-sugar added fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, minced

Directions

  1. Add the yogurt, fruit juice, and carrots into a medium-sized bowl. Stir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended.
  2. Drop the mixture into the ice cube trays by spoonful.
  3. Freeze until the ingredients are solid.

Pro Tip: Use hard plastic trays instead of the softer rubber ones to make the treats. The treats are easier to remove from a hard tray.

Fruit and Vegetable Strips

These strips work as a cheaper alternative to the organic chewy treats sold in pet stores. They also break apart easily, so you can serve smaller pieces as training rewards. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which can help boost your dog’s immune system.

Ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour (white if your dog has allergies)
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of water

Directions

  1. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the insides are soft. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Mash the banana and sweet potato in a large mixing bowl with a hand masher until smooth. Add in the carrots, flour, and oats. Slowly add in the applesauce and water while mixing.
  4. The ingredients will form a soft dough. Roll the dough on to a lightly floured surface until the dough is 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Cut the dough into strips.
  6. Cook on a baking sheet for 25 minutes.
  7. Store leftover strips in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Pro Tip: Do not worry about overcooking the sweet potato. Softer potatoes will mash easier.

Beef and Vegetable Balls

Some dogs prefer meaty treats over sweet ones. These treats have a hearty meat flavor and good aroma that all dogs love. When I made these, my dog stood outside the oven door, not so patiently waiting for the treats to cool.

Ingredients

  • 2 6-ounce jars of organic beef and vegetable baby food
  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour (or white substitute)
  • 2 cups of dry milk
  • 1 cup of water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drop the mixture onto a baking sheet in large spoonfuls.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Allow to the treats to cool completely. Store leftover beef and vegetable balls in the fridge for up to five days.

Pro Tip: These treats do not keep as well as others. Try cutting the recipe in half if you only have one dog.

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Healthy Dog Food Recipes

Homemade dog food is healthier than the mass-produced dog food brands, and significantly cheaper than most of the organic dog food brands. Making your own dog food does take a bit of time, but you can make extra and store it in the freezer.

Feeding your dog homemade dog food can reduce the risk of skin allergies, boost their immune system, improve their digestive system, and give them renewed energy.

Turkey and Vegetable Dinner

This basic dog food recipe includes turkey for protein and vegetables for added vitamins and minerals. Turkey has less fat than beef, making this an ideal recipe for pups that could stand to lose a few pounds.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 cup of carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of green beans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fish oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook the ground turkey in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until the meat is cooked through.
  2. Add the brown rice, turkey, and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until the rice is soft and tender.
  4. Add the carrots and green beans and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Allow to cool before serving.
  6. Store extra dinners in the fridge for up to five days.

Pro Tip: Avoid using heavy oil to brown the turkey. The high fat content of the oil may upset your dog’s stomach.

Chicken Casserole

This recipe uses chicken, which is a good source of protein, and lots of vegetables to create a flavorful mix. Green beans help your dog feel full and vegetables promote a healthy intestinal tract.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of green beans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats.
  • 4 cups of low-salt chicken broth

Directions

  1. Remove excess fat from the chicken breasts and cut the breasts into small nickel-sized chunks.
  2. Cook the chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until no longer pink.
  3. Add the chicken, vegetables, rolled oats, and chicken broth to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the carrots are tender – about 15 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool before serving.
  5. Store leftover casserole portions in the fridge for up to five days.

Pro Tip: You can use a small amount of olive oil to fry the chicken if you are having trouble keeping the chicken breasts from sticking to the skillet.

Doggie Chili

Dogs need large amounts of protein to keep them healthy and active. Your pup should get the majority of his protein from whole meat sources, such as fresh chicken. Beans also have a good amount of protein.

This recipe blends chicken, beans, and vegetables to create a healthy and tasty mix.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup of black beans, drained
  • 1 cup of carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 4 cups of chicken broth

Directions

  1. Remove the excess fat and dice the chicken breasts into nickel-sized pieces.
  2. Cook the chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
  3. Add the chicken, beans, carrots, tomato paste, and chicken broth into a large pot and cook over medium heat until heated through – about 10 minutes.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool before serving.
  5. Store leftover chili in the fridge for up to five days.

Pro Tip: You can add a 1/2 tablespoon of fish oil to this recipe. The flavors are strong enough that even picky eaters won’t notice the added healthy ingredient.

Beef Stew

This dog-approved version of beef stew includes meat for protein, vegetables for vitamins, and gravy for flavor. This is a good alternative to wet commercial dog foods.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of beef stew meat
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup of green beans, diced
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of water or organic vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Cook the sweet potato in a microwave for 5 to 8 minutes until firm but tender. Set aside.
  2. Slice the stew pieces into smaller chunks, about the size of a nickel.
  3. Cook the stew pieces in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until well-done.
  4. Remove the beef chunks from the pan, reserving the drippings.
  5. Dice the sweet potato.
  6. Heat the drippings over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and water into the dripping while whisking to create a thick gravy.
  7. Add the meat, sweet potato, carrots, and green beans into the gravy and stir to coat.
  8. Cook until the carrots are tender – about 10 minutes.
  9. Serve cool.
  10. Store remaining stew in the fridge for up to five days.

Pro Tip: You can purchase pre-made gravy at some health food stores. This may save you time when making this food.

Fruit Parfait for Dogs

Your dog deserves a nice dessert every once in a while. This parfait mixes dairy and fruit, so it tastes great but also gives your pup a nice dose of vitamins and protein.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a medium size bowl until the yogurt is smooth and the fruit is well blended.
  2. Serve in small amounts.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to seven days.

Pro Tip: On days you plan to serve your pup a fruit parfait, reduce the amount of regular food by one half to one cup to keep from over-feeding.

Final Word

While most dogs can handle a variety of different treats fed in small doses, some might get an upset stomach if you switch foods too quickly or too often. Before you start making your own homemade dog food, talk to your vet and ask if he or she has any special ingredient suggestions, as some breeds may be more prone to food allergies than others. After getting your vet’s approval, switch your dog’s food over gradually, slowing mixing in a homemade dish with your regular food over the course of several days.