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How to Make Homemade Dog Food

Many health benefits come with preparing your dog's food at home. Unlike processed kibble dog food, a homemade diet lets you know exactly what your dogs are eating, giving you peace of mind and reassurance that they're getting what they need to maintain optimal health. Here you can discover our guide to DIY dog food, including tips for choosing the best meats and veggies, to ensure your pets fulfill all their nutritional needs.

Improving your dog's health with a homemade diet

Balancing the diet is the most important factor. If the meal plan is not balanced, it can ultimately lead to many deficiencies. If there is an imbalance of vitamins or minerals (especially calcium) in the diet, dogs can run into health problems quite quickly. Especially in puppies, it can happen in just a few months. This is the main reason that vets are opposed to homemade meals, they are the ones who witness all the deficiencies firsthand.

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How to ensure your dogs get a balanced diet

Know Better for Dogs provides everything your dog needs. We only work with high-quality ingredients and include essential nutrients and protein for health and longevity.  Our whole food premix provides your dog with all the essential vitamins and minerals needed. We make it easy and convenient for dog owners to balance a raw or cooked meat diet at home to improve their dogs' health. Our premix is ideal for all life stages, and we only use 100% human-grade ingredients. Know Better for Dogs contains no grains of any kind. Just add raw or cooked meat and water.  Vegetables are optional. 

Making dog food at home is easier than ever – just have fun and enjoy the results!  Play around with different meat & vegetable combinations.

Choosing the Meat for a Homemade Dog Food

Raw or cooked meat is the main ingredient in homemade dog food. Dogs are essentially obligate carnivores and need a protein-based diet. Meat should be fresh and fit for human consumption. The ideal fat content should be between 8 and 15%.  Here is a list of meats to choose from:

    • Beef: Lean pre-ground stewing meat, heart, boneless steak or roast
    • Lamb: Pre-ground boneless stewing meat shank, leg, or butt
    • Poultry: Pre-ground boneless, skinless breast fillet, or thigh
    • Venison: Pre-ground stewing meat neck, shank, or shoulder

You can also use exotic meats such as buffalo, caribou, elk, moose, duck or rabbit. Because feeding raw fish can lead to a thiamine deficiency*, we don't recommend the use of fish on a regular basis.

*According to Houpt, Hintz & Shepherd in 1978. Ref. The Domestic Dog, Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Vegetables for Homemade Dog Food

Vegetables can make up about 1/4 of the meal and provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dogs get more nutrients from vegetables if they are lightly steamed, chopped or pureed. The best vegetables for homemade dog food are:


    • Butternut squash
    • Pumpkin
    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini
    • Carrots
    • Parsnips
    • Beets
    • Yams
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Brussels sprouts

Things to avoid when making dog food at home

Here are some common human foods you should avoid when preparing your dog's food: raw beans, peas, spinach, beet greens, kale (every day), chard, onions, garlic, leek, green tomato, potato, and bell peppers.


    • Avoid feeding your dog raw green beans because they contain a toxic alkaloid similar to arsenic. Cooking green beans will destroy these toxins.
    • Avoid raw, un-aged garlic. It irritates the mouth, esophagus, and stomach and can cause or exacerbate ulcers.
    • The use of other members of the Lily family, such as onions, garlic, shallots, and chives, is also not recommended. Dogs can't eat these plants in a raw, cooked, or dried form because it can lead to damage to the red blood cells.
    • The nightshade family of plants, such as bell peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes, contains an alkaloid called "Solanine", which can be toxic. Solanine is poisonous to humans too, but we would have to eat it in a much more concentrated amount, like that found in potato sprouts or green potatoes, to induce sickness.
    • Avoid feeding carbohydrates, such as corn, wheat, rice, brown rice and potatoes. Dogs lack the digestive enzymes to break down and metabolize carbohydrates.


Carbohydrates are often the main cause of many canine health issues, including gastrointestinal problems, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, diabetes and food allergies. They are added to commercial dog food because it cuts down on the production cost.


Homemade dog food recipes

Making Holistic vet-approved dog food at home is easier than you think. You can also make larger batches and freeze them for convenience. You can add more water if desired, especially when preparing the food using ground meat. You can see below two recipes, one with cooked meat and one with raw meat:


    • Prep time: 5 minutes
    • Cooking time: 7 minutes
    • Total time: 12 minutes
    • Servings: Make a 3lb. batch of dog food




    • 2lbs. (900g) meat of your choice
    • 1 1/2 cups of water
    • 1/2 cup Know Better for Dogs
    • 1/2 lb (225g) steamed vegetables, chopped or pureed (vegetables are optional)


Raw homemade meat recipe


  1. Add 1 1/2 cups of cold water into a bowl or food container.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of Know Better premix and incorporate it well.
  3. Combine 2lbs.(900g) of meat and vegetables (optional). 
  4. Mix it well and serve.


Home cooked meat dog food recipe


  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups of water to 2lb. (900g) ground meat.
  2. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat until it turns brown.
  3. Wait until the meat cools down to room temperature.
  4. You can then add 1/2 cup Know Better premix to the meat, stir and serve.

Know Better for Dogs - with beef or turkey

Know Better for Dogs - with cooked beef and cooked turkey


The dog food will stay fresh for 24 hours after you thaw and refrigerate it. You can also freeze the finished product for storage and thaw it as needed. To thaw frozen dog food, warm it to room temperature in a tepid water before serving. 

Wait for your dog to eat and then remove what's left within 30 minutes to be refrigerated. Avoid microwaving regularly.

How to portion homemade dog food

If you're wondering about the amount of food to feed your dog, follow the recommendations below. Serving sizes are based on the weight of your dog:


Daily servings:


    • 1/4lb. or 1/2 cup: for a 10-12lb. dog
    • 1/2lb. or 1 cup: for a 20-25lb. dog
    • 1lb. or 2 cups: for a 40-50lb. dog
    • 2lbs. or 4 cups: for a 100lb. dog


Know Better Pet Food Ingredients

Egg yolk, calcium lactate, beef (or chicken) liver powder, gelatin, rice bran, whey protein concentrate, beetroot, psyllium husks, EFA from fish, barley grass powder, kelp, taurine, rose hip, parsley, Vitamin B complex.

You can use any of our Premixes with different types of meat. All of our ingredients, without exception, are of human-grade quality. Our raw materials are 100% natural, and we don't use any preservatives, colors, or other artificial additives.

The Beef Recipe Premix contains beef liver powder, whereas the Chicken Recipe Premix is made with chicken liver. Click here to see the nutritional table.

Know Better for Dogs contains all the essential vitamins and minerals. Adding optional vegetables to a dog's diet is a source of carbohydrates, particularly for larger or highly active dogs. According to veterinary sources, dogs do not need carbs unless a female is lactating.


Sizes available

Know Better for Dogs is available in 4 sizes:


    • Trial size 4.8oz - makes 6lbs. of finished food
    • 24oz pouch - makes 30lbs. of finished food
    • 5lb pouch - makes 100lbs of finished food
    • 25lb bucket - makes 500lbs of finished food

Why is rice bran is added?

Rice Bran is an insoluble fiber for dogs' intestinal health. It's not a grain, but the coating of the grain, and it has little carbohydrate content. Sweeps the large intestine much like the fur or feathers of a prey animal.


Frequently Asked Questions About Making Your Own Dog Food

Discover below answers to some frequently asked questions dog owners have about making dog food at home:


What homemade food is good for dogs?

Good homemade food for healthy dogs includes all the vitamins, calcium, proteins and minerals your pet needs to stay healthy. You can add ground beef, chicken, lamb or venison, as well as vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, parsnips, beets, yams, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes.


Is it OK to feed homemade dog food?

Yes, feeding your dog homemade pet food is OK, as long as you ensure the diet includes all the nutrients your dog requires to stay healthy. Check with your Holistic Veterinarian before introducing new food to your dog's diet.


What is the ratio for homemade dog food?

Dogs are obligate carnivores, so their diet should mainly consist of meats and protein. A good recommendation is 80% meat, 10% vegetable, and 10% Know Better Pet Food Premix.


How much food should you feed your dog?

The amount of food you feed your dog will depend on your dog's size and activity level. Here's our recommendation for daily servings if you're following our home cooked or homemade dog food recipes:


    • 1/4lb. or 1/2 cup: for a 10-12lb. dog
    • 1/2lb. or 1 cup: for a 20-25lb. dog
    • 1lb. or 2 cups: for a 40-50lb. dog
    • 2lbs. or 4 cups: for a 100lb. dog


What else should you feed a dog on a homemade diet?

Your pet requires a grain-free diet, with high nutritional value. Dog owners can add proteins from animal sources (beef, chicken, or lamb, for example) and fats (from meat). They also require vital omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium (from certain plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods). You may also want to include some homemade dog treats such as sardines, eggs, fruits or veggies.