Want to learn how to make homemade dog food for small dogs? This guide is for you! Here you will learn everything about preparing balanced meals for your pup.
Usually, whatever you offer to your puppies, like any tasty treats, they will eat it without bothering about its nutritional values.
No doubt, a diet offering an exact amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats is required to maintain the excellent health of growing puppies.
But, unfortunately, most of the commercial dog foods are not providing the exact nutrients that a dog’s body demands; instead, they contain fillers mostly.
So, what would be your choice to overcome this problem?
A thought about homemade food would pop up in your mind. Whereas, another problem is still there, like how to make homemade dog food for small dogs?
This is not an easy task if you don’t know nothing about home cooking for small breeds.
Dog food recipes for small dogs need special care and attention.
In addition, a slight variation in ingredients would lead towards an imbalanced dog food depriving of essential nutrients, and your dog may suffer.
A study conducted at UC Davis by researchers of the School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 evaluated 200 homemade dog food recipes.
Only nine recipes were fulfilling the minimum standards of AAFCO for dog’s nutritional requirements.
On the other hand, out of 9 recipes, only five recipes were found to provide an adequate amount of essential nutrients.
You don’t have to panic as we have made it easy for you.
In this article, we will help you out to get the maximum knowledge about how to cook homemade dog food recipes for your small dog. We will also provide you information like;
- Benefits of homemade dog food for small breeds
- How much homemade dog food to feed your small dog?
- Essential ingredients and nutrients for homemade dog food
- What supplements should you add to homemade dog food?
- Best homemade dog food recipes for small dogs
- Alternative to homemade dog food
So, just gird up your loin and get ready for amazing facts about homemade dog food for small dogs.
Benefits of homemade dog food for small breeds
Homemade dog food for small breeds is exceptionally more beneficial than commercial dog foods.
As humans, what food would you prefer as a healthy diet, fast food, or a home-cooked meal?
Of course, you would like homemade food over fast food.
This is because you know exactly what is going on. Everyone has priorities over certain foods, but a balanced diet is what matters the most.
Several dog health issues like heart diseases, liver and kidney problems are manageable by selecting homemade dog food.
A food that contains all the ingredients beneficial for such conditions and veterinary care is helpful to combat health issues in dogs.
In addition, dog food recipes for small dogs offer an enticing meal to dogs that promise a healthy lifestyle.
Here we have summarized some benefits of homemade dog food for small breeds;
Let’s go for it.
1. Food quality regulation
Dog owners always feel insecure while looking at the safety and quality of their dogs’ food. Small breeds are more prone to food safety issues that exaggerate their worries.
In addition, several commercial dog food brands are not in practice to provide quality analysis certificates.
Moreover, all these things make it difficult for dog owners to come to the point of which food is best for their dog.
On the other hand, homemade food for dogs allows you to regulate the amount of ingredients you think are beneficial for your dog.
As a result, you know better what sort of food your dog likes the most. Whereas, there might be the possibility of high salt in one commercial food or low protein in the other food.
That’s why in homemade food, you can add whatever you desire for your dog’s good health.
2. Absence of fillers in homemade dog food
It is common to observe that commercial foods typically contain a high amount of unnecessary filler ingredients. These filler ingredients are of no nutritional value; instead, they increase the quantity of food.
For example, corncobs, peanut hulls, soy, feathers, weeds, and by-products of cereals. These ingredients are inexpensive fiber contents and of no nutritional value.
Moreover, there is evidence of allergies in dogs due to these low-grade fillers in commercial foods. On the contrary, you have a better choice in the form of homemade food.
In which you are sure enough to avoid these allergic and unnecessary fillers in your small dog food.
You just need to understand how to make homemade dog food for small dogs, the right way.
3. Enhanced variety of dog food
You might have noticed that offering the same diet, say commercial dry kibbles for the whole month, would be boring for your dog.
Moreover, there are chances of missing some essential nutrients in the same food for a longer duration.
These situations may lead to the deficiency of nutrients that are exhibited by several health problems.
On the other hand, homemade food can be modified easily by changing recipes according to your dog’s desire.
You can vary ingredients that offer different nutrients. In this way, you can save your dog from being fed up and developing nutritional deficiencies.
The variety of nutrients, the more healthy your dog.
4. Free of preservatives
Homemade dog food for small breeds is free from artificial preservatives that are an integral part of commercial foods.
Moreover, manufacturers add these preservatives to keep dog foods fresh and enhance their longevity.
However, it could be salt or another synthetic preservative that may prove a health hazard for some dogs.
Likewise, the presence of these preservatives may exacerbate existing problems in dogs. One of the major problems that may get worse is heart disease.
Furthermore, long-term use of these preservatives may contribute to imposing general poor health in small breeds.
5. Cheaper source of dog food
High-quality commercial foods for dogs that have exceptional nutritional compositions are relative to high costs.
Among these foods, protein-based foods for small breeds are exemplary.
There could be special dietary foods with a special focus on essential nutrients and calories, making them expensive.
Homemade dog food recipes for small dogs are excellent alternatives to such expensive commercial foods.
If your dog is already taking prescribed dog foods, it will be best for you to shit your dog to the homemade alternative.
You can also modify the existing recipes according to the body demands of your puppy.
How much homemade dog food to feed your dog?
It is mandatory to keep in mind before figuring out the requirement of homemade dog food for your dog that only veterinarians or canine nutritionists can better guide you.
Even experts cannot tell you the exact amount; you have to modify the serving sizes and recipes according to your dog’s demand.
Factors affecting dog’s diet
First of all, you have to understand your dog’s nutritional needs before starting any homemade food. Then you have to manage the serving sizes depending upon the body requirements of your dog.
This article will help you to better understand your dog’s nutritional needs.
The National Research Center has provided basic calculations that will help you figure out your dog’s nutritional requirements. These calculations depend upon several factors, including;
- Activity level
- Recent health condition
- Medical history
You have to admit that all dog food recipes are not created equally.
Different dog foods provide different nutrients. That’s why some of these recipes are used as a staple because of their balanced nature, while others only as occasional meals.
#1 Serving sizes
First of all, you need to get a measuring cup for serving homemade dog food for small breeds. Then you have to estimate the serving sizes according to the physical health status of your dog.
Typically, homemade food requires small serving sizes as compared to commercial food.
The major reason behind this fact is the dense nutrient nature of homemade dog food than a commercial one.
Moreover, homemade dog food is also free of fillers and provides a rich energy source per serving.
We’ll recommend you to use the below amount per serving, which is;
Homemade dog food per 25 pounds of dog’s body weight need = 1/2 to 3/4 of the measuring cup.
Note: feeding your dog the correct amount of homemade food is tricky. This is a question for professionals. Only a veterinarian or canine nutritionist knows how to provide you with an accurate answer, so it’s best to consult with them before figuring out how much food your pup needs to eat.
#2 On ingredients base (Serving sizes)
You can also estimate the amount of individual ingredients of homemade dog food required for your dog. Here are some general guidelines.
NOTE: All these suggestions are based upon the 20-pound bodyweight of your dog required per day.
- Meat = 1/4 – 1/3 pounds
- Cottage cheese or yogurt = 1/2 – 3/4 cups
- Rice, potatoes, pasta, and other carbohydrates = 1 – 2 cups
- Cooked vegetables = 1/2 – 1 cup
- Olive oil or canola = 1 tablespoon
- Ground eggshell or bone meal (calcium source) = 1/2 teaspoon
Essential ingredients and nutrients for homemade dog food
Here we will describe the essential nutrients and ingredients that must be present in homemade dog food. How to make homemade dog food for small dogs will be discussed a bit later.
Essential nutrients for homemade dog food
Essential nutrients that play an important role in the normal functioning of the dog’s body are;
Protein is a source of energy that is the raw material to form different body structures. These structures include muscles, nails, skin, and bones.
You can choose the source of protein according to your dog’s taste. Major sources of proteins include poultry, meat, fish and turkey, etc.
These act as the primary source of energy and well the main source of glucose for your dog. They are not essential in a dog’s diet because of their association with minerals, vitamins, and plant-based nutrients.
Major sources are brown rice, barley, grains, and whole potatoes, etc.
Fats play their role in regulating internal body temperature, protecting visceral organs, and promoting a strong nervous system.
In addition, a dog’s body needs the provision of essential fatty acids to maintain an optimum health level.
Therefore, you need to be conscious of quality, quantity, and source of fat.
4. Vitamins and minerals
Their collective function is to support and regulate a dog’s body metabolism and various parts to promote good health status.
These include cartilage and bone formation, oxygen flow, and hormone regulation, etc. Some important vitamins are;
- Vitamin D – regulation of phosphorus and calcium level
- Vitamin A – assist in boosting up the immune system
- Vitamin E – act as antioxidant
- Vitamin K – aide in blood clots
- Vitamin B12 – maintenance of the nervous system
Likewise, some important minerals in homemade dog food must include;
- Iron – carry oxygen throughout the dog’s body
- Phosphorus and calcium – formation of bone matter
- Zinc – aide in wound healing
- Selenium – works as an antioxidant supporter
- Sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium – fluid balance and nerve transmission
Essential ingredients for homemade dog food
To get your answer on making homemade dog food for small dogs, you have to think about bringing home these essential ingredients.
1. Muscle meat
Muscle meat comes from various animal sources like pork, lamb, chicken, rabbit, beef, and venison. You can also use the meat available for human consumption.
Moreover, fish can also be used for this purpose. Most commonly, fish, salmon, and mackerel meats are the ones that are used in homemade dog food.
2. Meaty bones and organs (Raw source)
Meaty bones are the trickiest ingredients for homemade dog food. These are particular types of bones with intact tendons and muscles to eat, not chew.
They are a good source of calcium; otherwise, you can also use alternatives like ground eggshells and bones.
Moreover, the meat of organs like, heart, liver, and kidney should make up 10% of the homemade dog food. Furthermore, offal meat is another rich source of minerals and vitamins you can use for homemade dog food.
There is a wide variety of veggies that you can consider in homemade dog food for small breeds. These are;
- Squash (all types)
What supplements should I add to homemade dog food?
We recommend you discuss with a canine nutritionist before moving towards adding any supplement to homemade dog food.
They will help you by estimating the health status of your dog and thus recommend the appropriate supplement.
Whereas, most commonly recommended supplements in homemade dog food are;
- Supplements for hip and joints
- Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 supplements
- Multivitamin supplements
- Calcium supplements
You should make up your mind to add these supplements to homemade dog food to ensure the optimum growth of your furry fellow.
Best homemade dog food recipes for small dogs
Here we have compiled the best homemade dog food recipes for small dogs—these dog food recipes for small dogs based upon meat, chicken, and veggies.
1. Homemade dog food recipes for small dogs with beef
- Ground beef = 2 pounds
- Eggs = 2
- Cottage cheese = 1/2 cup
- Oatmeal (old-fashioned) = 1 ½ cup
- Flaxseed (ground up) = 1 teaspoon
- First of all, preheat your oven to about 350°
- Take a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix all the ingredients in it
- Coat 2 meatloaf pans with olive oil lightly
- Put ingredients in this pan
- Then bake for 45 minutes in an oven
- Finally, cool it and serve
- Organic beef along with vegetable (baby food) = two jars (6 oz.)
- Wheat flour = 1 cup
- Powdered milk = 2 cups
- Water = 1 cup
- Firstly, preheat your oven to about 350°
- Take a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix all the ingredients
- Pour the mixture onto the large baking sheets
- Then bake it and wait for 15 minutes
- Cool it and serve to your pooch
2. Homemade dog food recipes for small dogs with chicken
- Chicken breast (sliced) = 4
- Chicken broth = 4 cups
- Black beans = 1 cup
- Kidney beans = 2 cups
- Diced carrots = 1 cup
- Tomato paste = 1/2 cup
- Cook chicken at medium heat in a skillet
- Add all ingredients to a pot
- Then cook them for 10 minutes over medium heat
- Serve it after cooling
- Chicken breast (chopped) = 2
- Chicken broth = 2 cups
- Chopped vegetables = 1 cup
- Rolled oats = 1/4 cups
- Vegetable oil
- Mix oil and chicken in a frying pan and cook it
- Put all the ingredients into the pan
- Wait for then minutes
- Serve it
3. Homemade dog food recipes for small dogs with vegetables
- Flour = 2 cups
- Rolled oats = 1 cup
- Peanut butter = 1/2 cup
- Honey = 1 tablespoon
- Fish oil = 1/2 tablespoon
- Water = 1 ¾ cup
- Preheat your oven (almost 350°)
- Thoroughly mix oats and flour in a large bowl
- Take 1 cup of water and pour it into a bowl and blend it to smooth
- Then add honey, peanut butter, and fish oil – mix thoroughly
- Slowly add ¾ cup of water while still mixing it
- Shape them by butting and bake them for 45 minutes
- Serve them after they cool down
- Small sliced potato = 1
- Chopped green beans = 6
- Ground beef = 1/2 pound
- Instant rice = 1/4 cup
- Water = 3 ¼ cup
- First of all, take beef and brown it in a pan
- Take a bowl (microwave safe) and mix rice and water and cook it for 5 minutes.
- Mix potato and beans with water in a pot and simmer them
- After that mix the rice and vegetables into meat
- Then serve it after cooling
Homemade dog food video recipes
Video recipe #1
Video recipe #2
Video recipe #3
Alternative to homemade dog food: Ollie
If you are fed up using dry dog food and cannot take out time or don’t trust yourself with your dog’s health, I have found an excellent alternative for you.
I also understand that being a dog owner, you are also a busy professional, and you cannot take home cooking for dogs on your own.
Whatever may be your reason, I bring a perfect alternative for you.
Ollie dog food provides holistic, balanced, and all-natural dog food at your doorstep. Unlike commercially processed foods for the dog, these meals are free of any fillers and harmful preservatives.
The most important benefit is that your dog is eating healthy with all the required nutrients included in the food. Experts prepare food at Ollie, and no essential nutrients are missed.
The dog food at Ollie is custom designed.
- First, you introduce your dog to them.
- They take note of the age, weight, breed, nutrition requirements, and allergies.
- Then they design a plan customized according to the needs and requirements of your dog.
- Finally, they deliver the food on a flexible, regular schedule.
You can purchase these meals for your dog if you are a busy bee and have no time to cook homemade food for your dog.
#1 Is homemade dog food good for small dogs?
Yes, homemade dog food is good for small dogs as it will help you manage your dog’s diet. You have a better idea than the commercial manufacturers of what your growing dog is demanding. Moreover, it also benefits your picky eater and thus helps to make a strong bond with you and your dog.
#2 Is it cheaper to produce your own dog food?
Homemade dog food for small dogs may or may not be cheaper. It depends upon the quality of food, like whether you are using high-quality ingredients in it or not, and what grade of commercial dog food you are buying.
Comparatively, homemade foods are cheaper than ready-made commercial foods.
#3 What protein is best for a small dog?
Proteins that are best for small breeds include meat proteins from chicken, turkey, and salmon.
#4 What can you cook for small dogs?
You can cook a variety of homemade dog foods for your small dogs. Among dog food recipes for small dogs, homemade dog food, including beef, chicken, and veggies, are best. The details of these recipes are discussed earlier.
In this article, we tried our best to let you know about how to make homemade dog foods for small dogs. Hopefully, you won’t have any difficulties when it comes to preparing homemade food for your best friend.
That being said, there is nothing left but to thank you for your attention up to this point.
I hope I have been helpful, and I wish you many moments of joy and satisfaction in the company of your beloved dog. If you still have any queries, do let me know.
PS: If you think this is a well-informative article, please feel free to share it with your friends.
Until next time!