Dog Food & Diet

Homemade Food for Dogs-Eight Basic Ingredients You Need to Add for a Balanced Diet

Homemade food for dogs is not sufficient by itself, but by adding eight needed food ingredients. The perfect homemade dog food needs to be a balanced diet for dogs, but only if it consists of all the basic nutrients in correct proportion. These nutrients are vital for your dog’s health. As a responsible parent of your beloved dog, you want what is best for your pet. This includes giving your fur-baby a homemade meal full of deliciousness, love and nutritional goodness.

I have compiled a list of eight needed ingredients of vitamins and minerals that you can add to your dog’s meal for optimal health.

homemade food for dogs with beagle cooking food

Basic nutrients required in homemade food for dogs, and why they are important

Like humans, dogs need essential nutrients in their food. The only vitamin they can make on their own is Vitamin C.  The most important essential nutrients are:

Why is there a need to cook food at home?

You might be wondering the same when there are so many brands available in the market that claim to provide healthy food for dogs why is there a need to go through the effort of making a meal yourself. There are several reasons.

  • While there are brands that sell good quality food, there are others that sell foods that contain fillers, dyes, and preservatives which are harmful to the dog’s health.
  • If you cook your dog’s meal yourself, you’ll be sure that it is nutritious and completely healthy; this will also improve the bond between the parents and their pooches.

The eight ingredients that do the magic


Eggs are packed with protein and calcium and are a beneficial addition to your dog’s diet. Make sure you don’t add raw eggs as that can lead to biotin deficiency. You can incorporate eggs in the boiled form, or you can feed your pooch scrambled eggs.

Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium. You can wash, bake & grind them to make a powder and sprinkle it over your pup’s meal.


Fish is a fantastic source of protein and fatty acids. You can use it for your pup’s meal but only use shorter-lived fishes. Salmon is a good option; it contains Omega 3 which is excellent for joint health. Other types of fishes include Ocean Whitefish, Lake Whitefish, Herring, and Walleye. Use only boneless fish as the bones can cause your dog to choke.


Dogs can survive on an all-vegetable diet, but since they are so used to of eating meat, the better option is to give them a meal that is a combination of both.To feed raw or cooked, that is the question!

Raw or cooked meat, this has been a topic of considerable debate. Some say that dogs are naturally capable of eating raw meat so that is what you should feed your pooch, but the FDA doesn’t agree. They say that fresh meat has a very high probability of containing bacteria that can cause infection, so cooking it is the best decision.

If you are feeding beef, make sure it is grass fed and not grain fed. Try to mix various organs as well to get the perfect combination of nutrients. Organic chicken can also be added to enhance the flavor of the food.Another doubt is regarding pork. A lot of people ask if dogs can eat pork. Well, the answer is yes! As long as it is properly cooked, you can feed it to your pup, but undercooked or raw pork is a No.

Bone Broth

Who wouldn’t love a cup of hot soup in winters, right? Well, this is the same way dogs love bone broth in their own food. Homemade food for dogs is rich in amino acids like glycine, glutamine, vitamins, and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, iron, thiamin, potassium, calcium, silicon, phosphorus, and contains nutrients, such as glycosaminoglycans, glycine, and gelatin. Crucial for joint health and for boosting the immune system. It is also great for the dog’s liver and aids in digestion.
It can be prepared by boiling bones on a low flame for a long time and adding an acidic element. You can feed your dog one bowl of the broth daily.

Green Vegetables

Dogs eat green vegetables (and also some fruits). The vegetables are nutrient powerhouses and contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, keep an eye on the veggies you are feeding your pooch. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower should be given in small amounts as they might cause thyroid problems. Green beans are great for your doggo’s health and can help them in losing weight; they are a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. You can feed your pooch either fresh or canned green beans. Other than that you can add zucchini, lettuce, and celery. Make sure you either grind the vegetables or cut them into small chunks to prevent choking.


Carrots are low in calories and fat. They are also rich in Beta-carotene. Baby carrots are beneficial for your pup’s dental health, chewing on them can help prevent the buildup of plaque. However, make sure you cut them into small chunks so that your dog doesn’t choke on them. You can also lightly steam or boil the carrots. This would be easier for your pup to metabolize the nutrients of carrots.


Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber that aids in digestion. It is beneficial for dogs suffering from constipation and diarrhea. You can incorporate canned, cooked or pureed pumpkins in your pup’s meal but keep the amount small.

Complex Carbs

A common misapprehension is that dogs don’t require carbohydrates as a part of their diet. Studies done by the National Research Council show that dogs can survive without carbs being a nutritional component in their diets. However, it doesn’t mean that a diet without grains is a good idea. According to research, about 14% of your dog’s nourishment should consist of good carbs.

You can add brown rice, quinoa, legumes, barley, potato or millets. If mixed in the correct proportion, these carbs are a practical source of energy and also improves the gastrointestinal function. Homemade food for dogs offers your dog everything it needs, if you research what is best in foods and nutrients.

Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.


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