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Recipes

Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Chicken and Rice with Carrots

Ingredients:
7 ounces chicken, cooked
1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup cooked carrots
4 teaspoons Azestfor Vitamins

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 3 cups 629 calories - enough for 2 meals/day for 1 day for a 25 lb dog maintaining weight

Meal Prep / Batch Cooking Tip: Can be frozen for up to one year from cook date.

Ingredient quantities for batch cooking:
3 lbs chicken (raw weight)
1.5 lbs dry brown rice
2.5 lbs carrots
1/2 cup Azestfor Vitamins

Servings:        14 - enough for 2 meals/day for 7 days for a 25 lb dog maintaining weight

Your dog will love this simple and healthy homemade dog food recipe with chicken, rice and carrots. Dog food prepared at home is minimally processed and free of harsh chemicals and preservatives. The smarter way to feed your dog.

chicken cooking for dogs

Step 1:

Boiling Chicken for Dogs

Cook the chicken by boiling it in a little water. The chicken is cooked when the juices inside run clear, and the chicken is no longer pink inside (~30 minutes).

Let the chicken cool, then dice into bit sized chunks or shred. Be sure to remove all bones.

carrots chopped and boiled for dogs

Step 2:

Cook Carrots & Rice

Slice or dice the carrots to a bite size appropriate for your dog. Simmer the carrots in a little water until tender - when a fork can easily pierce them (~10 -15 minutes). Drain, and let cool.

Place rice in a saucepan with double the amount of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat all the way down, and cover the pan tightly with a lid. Cook on the lowest heat possible for 10-15 minutes without uncovering the pan. Use a fork to fluff up the cooked rice.

add vitamins and minerals

Step 3:

Add Dog Food Vitamin Supplement

When the chicken, rice and carrots are cool to enough to touch, you can add Azestfor vitamin mix for homemade dog food to make this recipe nutritionally balanced.

Instructional Cooking Video: Chicken and Rice Dog Food Recipe

How Much Homemade Dog Food To Feed Your Dog

Feeding Guidelines

We suggest dividing the daily amount into two servings, one in the morning and one in the evening. Every dog’s nutritional requirements are a little bit different due to age & amount of exercise. If your dog is losing weight, increase food by 1/4 cup a day, if they are gaining weight reduce accordingly.

Weight of Dog

5 lbs to maintain weight 1 cup per day

10 lbs to maintain weight 1 1/2 cups per day

15 lbs to maintain weight 2 1/4 cups per day

20 lbs to maintain weight 2 3/4 cups per day

30 lbs to maintain weight 4 cups per day

40 lbs to maintain weight 5 cups per day

50 lbs to maintain weight 5 1/2 cups per day

60 lbs to maintain weight 6 1/4 cups per day

70 lbs to maintain weight 7 cups per day

80 lbs to maintain weight 7 3/4 cups per day

90 lbs to maintain weight 8 1/2 cups per day

Does My Dog Need Vitamins?

Yes. Your fur baby needs them more than you may know.

An excellent vitamin and mineral supplement is actually ESSENTIAL for dogs eating homemade dog food, because even the highest quality, human grade food won't deliver the exact blend of vitamins and minerals (especially calcium) canines need to thrive.

Our homemade dog food recipes with vitamins and supplements have been scientifically developed to meet AFFCO’s standards, make your homemade dog food nutritionally complete, and will provide your dog’s body with the nourishment s/he craves, so you can live your best life together!

dog with his ear up

What Are Some Good Homemade Dog Food Recipes?

Feel like Chicken and Rice with Carrots isn’t quite what your dog needs? We have 24 homemade dog food recipes featuring a wide range of protein choices, as well as options for dogs with allergies who may need grain free, vegetarian or vegan food options.

shaggy dog happy smile sitting on green grass

Each Azestfor Homemade Dog Food Recipe is:

Simple: Only a handful of fresh ingredients are needed for each recipe. It’s easy to prepare a week’s worth of meals at once, or to batch cook larger amounts that you can freeze for up to one year from your cook date.

Healthy: Healthy homemade dog food recipes use ingredients that are human grade – so your dog is already getting the best quality food. It is up to you if you want your dog to eat organic, local etc.

Natural: Natural dog food recipes prepared lightly at home are minimally processed, and free of harsh chemicals and preservatives.  

Bonus: Your dog’s poop will be odor free and smaller than when s/he is eating a dry kibble diet!


sad dog has to lose weight

Does My Dog Needs to Lose Weight?

It’s easy to become complacent and used to the way our pet looks every day. But as a dog parent, it’s important to understand how carrying extra pounds can affect your pet’s long term health and quality of life.  

Overweight and obese dogs often develop diet related illnesses from heart disease to diabetes, and experience a poorer quality of life due to mobility issues from aching or arthritic joints.

Understand What Your Dog’s Body Shape Means

One of the easiest ways to determine if your pet should slim down (besides hearing from the vet that your pet could stand to lose a few pounds!), is to study his/her body shape.

Ideal Dog Weight

ideal dog

If your dog’s ribs, spine and pelvic bones are visible, and it’s easy to feel a well-proportioned waist, your pet is at his/her ideal weight, with a silhouette similar to this:


Underweight Dog

underweight dog

The dog's ribs, spine and pelvic bones are more visible with an obvious tuck under tummy.


Very Thin Dog

very thin dog

The dog's ribs, spine and pelvic bone are highly visible and jutting out with a severe tuck under the tummy.


Overweight Dog

over weight dog

The dog's ribs, spine and pelvic bones are not visible and are not easily felt. There is no tuck under the tummy, and no waist.


Obese Dog

obese dog

The dog's ribs, spine and pelvic bones are not defined, fat covers the chest, spine, and tail base, there is no waist, and no tuck under the tummy.

If your dog’s shape resembles one of the last two diagrams, or if your vet has asked you to help your dog lose weight, we have tips to make it easier for you both.

smiling dog in the field

Healthy Homemade Dog Food for Weight Loss

Any of our dog food recipes can be tailored to meet your pet’s weight control needs. Meal time is only part of the equation. Just like with human weight loss, nutritionally balanced meals need to be combined with exercise.

Tip 1:

Start with a Healthy Recipe

Our most popular dog food recipe to help a dog lose weight is chicken and rice with carrots.

Tip 2:

Commit to Portion Control

Make sure your entire household is on board with weight loss plans for your pet, especially if feeding the dog is a shared responsibility.

You can decrease your dog’s meal serving by ¼ cup per day for weight loss. Alternatively- you can calculate kcals for your dog for a more exact serving suggestion.

Use a feeding chart to ensure the household only feeds the dog once at meal time. Dogs can be very convincing at telling you they haven’t eaten in days.

Always use a measuring cup when dishing out your dog’s meal portions. If your dog is overweight, replace the cup with a smaller measuring scoop so the portion of food served is smaller.

Sneaking the dog treats or food scraps is not doing your dog any favors. Substitute food rewards with praise and physical petting. Dogs love having their cheeks scratched. Tell your dog in a sing song voice what a good girl or boy s/he is.

Tip 3:

Exercise

Find an activity that motivates your dog to get moving. Some dogs love playing fetch. Try throwing a tennis ball for your dog ten times daily. Increase as s/he is able.

If your dog enjoys swimming, take her to a lake or a dog beach where she can play on the water’s shore.

If your dog is a digger, create a sand pit with a mountain of sand that he can dig in and where it won’t ruin the rest of your garden.

Use the pedometer on your smartphone and measure how many steps you and your dog take together. Each day see if you can best the distance you went the day before. Aim for 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace.

Make the exercise a ritual that you and your dog do on a daily basis for ten minutes every day. If you find yourself having fun and playing together outside for longer, it’s a win-win for you both!

If Moving Feels Painful to Your Dog

If moving initially is painful for your dog, find an aqua therapy or hydro therapy center that will help rehabilitate your dog in water until s/he can get moving unassisted. The water will keep your dog buoyed and will put less stress on joints.

You recommend adding a joint supplement to your pet’s diet, such as our Green Lipped Mussel. 

Tip 4:

Lots of Water & No Grazing

Keep fresh water readily available. A drink of water can make the stomach feel fuller and aids in digestion.

Do not allow your dog to graze freely throughout the day. Present his food bowl for fifteen minutes. If the meal is not eaten in the allotted time pick up the food bowl and put it away. Do not present it again until the next scheduled meal time.

Tip 5:

Add Canned Pumpkin

Many dog parents ask, “What fillers can I add to my dog’s food?” One tablespoon of canned pumpkin is a great choice because it will make your dog feel full, but is low in calories. Canned pumpkin can be found in the baking aisle of most major grocery stores. Make sure it is plain with no added sugar or spices.

dog sitting on beach thinking about dinner

What is the Healthiest Way For a Dog to Gain Weight?  

Some pets are naturally smaller and may not be as interested in their food as other breeds.

Take a look at your dog’s silhouette and compare it to the diagrams above for underweight and very thin dogs. If your dog falls into one of these categories, it’s likely your dog needs a trip to the vet to ensure there is not an underlying health condition that requires treatment.

If your vet has given you the green light to help your dog gain weight, we have some tips to help you along.

dog listening to advice

Tip 1:

Choose a Healthy Recipe

Any of our recipes can be tailored to help your pet gain weight in a healthy way. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, chicken and rice with carrots is an excellent choice because it is easy on digestion. If you are looking for weight gaining dog foods, simply substitute brown rice for white rice to safely add additional calories to your dog’s meal.

happy healthy dogs playing

Tip 2:

Separate Dogs at Meal Time

If there is more than one dog in your household, feed them separately to ensure that one dog is not stealing the other’s food.

Tip 3:

Dogs Are Motivated by the Smell of Food

Dogs and humans experience food differently. Many dog parents wonder if their dog will grow tired of their existing food. The answer is simple because dogs have fewer taste buds in their mouths than humans! They are not hoping for the varied textures and unexpected flavor combinations humans enjoy.

Your dog’s nose, however, is a thousand times more sensitive than yours! Fresh, whole food ingredients will smell aromatic to your dog when served at room temperature. Food that smells good to a dog will taste good.  

How Should I Transition My Dog From Commercial to Homemade Dog Food?

If your dog is not currently eating homemade dog food, it’s important to transition gently to avoid indigestion, diarrhea or constipation.

Simply combine your existing dog food with the new as shown over the course of 10 days.

how to transition dog to new food

If your dog chooses to self regulate and skip a meal or two, that is fine. Be patient and consistent with your meal time offerings. Usually dogs are thrilled to begin eating homemade meals like the rest of the family. If your dog refuses his food for more than two meals, be sure to get him checked at the vet as soon as possible. It’s likely there is an underlying medical condition that requires attention.

10 comments


  • Just want to add a way to cook chicken. Place your chicken in single layer in a kettle. Cover chicken with water by 1”. Bring to a boil then cover and turn off the heat and let stand 20 min. Chicken is perfectly poached and dices nice instead of shredding

    Jackie on

  • Hi, my first time here. I just want to thank you for the straight forward information There’s a lot of information but you put it across so easy to understand. All the recipes are wonderful too

    Jackie on

  • As a busy working mom of 3, I thought it would be too much work to prepare homemade dog food from scratch on top of everything else in my day. We love our sweet Labrador and have been talking about cooking food for her to help her lose weight. I had a bag of Azestfor vitamin mineral mix waiting for whenever we found a spare minute to start this process. Today we found ourselves completely out of kibble at mealtime. Thanks to ALL of the healthy dog food recipes on Azestfor’s site I was able to quickly find something that worked with what I had on hand. My kids helped me prepare the simple chicken and rice with carrots recipe while I made their dinner. Our dog got so excited when her vitamin package was opened. It was very fragrant in a GOOD way – nothing like her usual kibble. She couldn’t wait to dig in and loved every bite! I’m guessing it was her favorite meal ever, and it was WAY EASIER on us to prepare than we ever expected!

    Mandi M Brown on

  • I am interested in fresh recipes, how often they should be changed, the best supplements etc
    My one and a half year old Oliver is active and loved to run with other dogs at the park and stays active. He’s a black and white Maltese/ shihtzu mix. I have the time to cook for him and want the best advice.

    Adrienne Kaplan on

  • Hello, I have a Great Pyrenees but unfortunately she’s underweight. I would like to know how much food should I make and serve everyday for her to reach her ideal weight, and after, how much to maintain it. Thank you!

    Diana on