Let's talk about home cooked dog food

This part of the forum is sadly lacking in posts and discussion. I have a feeling that interest in feeding a home cooked diet to dogs is growing. I wonder if it will become as trendy and popular as raw feeding is at the moment.

Over the past few months I have been trying my dogs on home cooked food in a small way. I did this because I felt that the girls were not getting a balanced diet with the same food day in, day out so initially I topped up their commercial dog food with additional protein in the form of minced beef, chicken, egg and fish on a four day rotation. I then decided to make a proper meal of these and replace their dinner time dog food instead so I started adding sweet potato, a selection of vegetables and blueberries. This has gone down well and a useful spin off is that they are having a decent quantity and not piling on the pounds.

I am a long way from feeding totally home made food. To do that I need to do more study about getting the quantities right and would also need to cook up batches and freeze portions because home cooking does take a bit of time commitment so it makes sense practically and economically to simplify it.

There is lots of information on the Internet about home cooking for dogs and if anyone has any useful links to this thread, that would be good. Meanwhile, here is a start:

Queeniechi says COOK
Queeniechi says cook Facebook page
Home Cooking for Dogs Facebook (closed) group.
Home Cooked Diets for Dogs Facebook (closed) group.
Planet Paws Pet Essentials Facebook page is the ‘home’ of pet nutritionist and blogger Rodney Habib. It is a page that is well worth ‘liking’ and keeping an eye on as he posts some really useful advice and also recipes.

Why Adding “Human Food” To Your Dog’s Diet Is So Important is an article written by Rodney Habib, which appeared in Dogs Naturally magazine.

An excellent topic Dottie, with endless possibilities. Interesting links also. Veggie Dog UK has a recipe page that I hope will be further added to over time.

I tend to have a similar approach insofar as I will either add some veg from our meal to my dogs food or if she can eat everything in the meal, she will have that. If we have slow cooked food I will add the stock after taking some meat and veg for her.
We have a simple fish pie which is just mixed fish, stirred into low fat crème fraiche with parsley, topped with mashed potato and baked. She will get a portion of that when we have it. Another dish she can have is chickenquinoa We don’t add salt and use a low salt stock cube. I also use extra celery instead of adding onion. I never add onion to dog friendly casseroles either.
At the moment, the amount of home cooked food is quite small as I don’t feel confident that I will get a healthy balance. Also we eat a far bit of spicy food or other things that are not suitable to feed. That said, she did just scoff down a big dollop of lentil curry which fell on the floor ::slight_smile:
Home cooking seems to be a good option for people who don’t want to go down the route of feeding raw but are worried about highly processed dog food.

Most would agree there are pro’s & con’s of different food types &/or ingdedients.

Whilst I accept there are numerous benefits of feeding raw or home cooked I find it ironic that a website that I thought served to help owners select & feed commercial dogfood has so much discussion rubbishing or steering folk away from it.

Not disagreeing with home cooked or raw feeder contributions on here but I do wonder whether some of you might be better off on a site thats more “all about NON commercial dog food”

The Dog Food Directory is certainly a very important part of the website. However, on the About page there is this sentence:

AllAboutDogFood.co.uk is intended to be a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in their dog's diet.
David included sections on home cooking and raw feeding because they clearly come within that remit.

I have no figures but would guess that the vast majority of pet owners feed a commercial diet. There is an interest in home cooking for dogs - in fact a national newspaper is currently running a series of articles on the subject. There has been very little use made of this section and that is probably due to the fact that the majority of people would prefer to feed a commercial complete diet to their dogs and cats.

With regards to raw feeding, the majority of posters are saying that they feed a commercial complete, prepared product.

Home cooking and raw feeding (the exception for raw being commercial complete meals) for pets are both alternatives but IMHO the owner ought not to attempt it without doing their homework first. It takes time and commitment to get it right. Nobody wants to see animals that are malnourished due to an inadequate diet.

It is regrettable that you feel people are ‘rubbishing’ commercial food. That is certainly not the intention. We try to be impartial and to encourage members to use the Directory correctly in order to source their pet food themselves. My comment about dogs having the same food day in, day out is valid because current thinking is that dogs need some variety in their diet, just as we do. A ‘top up’ with a suitable home cooked meal will provide this, as Rodney Habib points out on his article.



I note your reply with thanks

As mentioned I acknowledge the benefits of home cooked & raw. I have fed raw complete & also add appropriate home cooked human leftovers to the dogs bowls (adjusting commercial feed amounts).

I accept the boards also cater for non commercial food discussions, however, recent topics below perhaps demonstrate why I have an impression that there is a relatively high proprtion of non commercial dogfood forum traffic here…

“Lets talk about home cooked dogfood”

“Just whats in dog food ?”

“A matter of ethics”

“Why adding human food to your dogs diet is so important”

“What is the future of dog food ?”

“Article in the Daily Mail Colour Supplement”(discussing home cooked & raw feeding)

“Newspaper Article about feeding catts and dogs a vegetarian diet”

Many newbies seeking to discuss commercial dog foods, (particularly those giving minimal info), often get rightly directed to the food generator & this perhsps discourages discussions developing or starting re commercial foods. This might partially explain my impression of relatively low commercial food forum content.

Apologies if have caused this thread to go off-topic, (happy if you move or split).

Thanks again.

Hi Coaster and thanks for your posts.

The AADF site is all about improving our dogs’ diets. I think everyone would agree that, when done correctly, a home prepared diet cannot be beaten and, as far as I’m concerned, the more people that do it the better. That doesn’t stop some commercial pet foods from being excellent, however, nor does it stop the majority from being nutritionally awful.

Since there were already plenty of sites focussing on home-cooking and raw feeding, I didn’t feel the need to replicate their work so instead I built the site to aid the enormous majority of dog owners who, for whatever reason, prefer to feed commercial dog foods to make the best available choices for their individual dogs.

The site has grown since then to include a little information on non-commercial feeding but I’d still like to get a lot more on line.

The forum was added in 2014 to give users somewhere to chat in a bit more detail than the Facebook page and we have always encouraged our members and moderators to post on whatever pet related subjects are on their minds. It is only natural that home preparing food should enter the conversation from time to time and I think it provides a healthy counter to the popularly perceived notion that commercially produced foods are the only way to feed our pets.

And besides, it’s only through criticising commercial foods that the industry will be forced to move forward.



Thanks for taking time to respond & for clarifying your stance.

I have positively followed your work & attempts to influence the industry, (for some years), both on this site & elsewhere (incuding on TV).

I accept the points outlined in your response. You have been instrumental in efforts to wake up the industry, (even if far too many owners still seem oblivious &/or unfussed what they feed).

I totally accept benefits of feeding a variety of decent food types, (including home coooked), however, (personally), I prefer discussions re commercial foods…I fully accept this site caters for various food types.

Fwiw I currently, (mainly not wholly), feed our two different dogs relatively low simple carb level commercial foods (one dog a 5 star rated dried extruded & the other a 4.5 star rated wet complete). I am watching industry developments of cold pressed, air dried & freeze dried commercial foods with interest (personally I think the U.K. dog food manufacturing industry appears to be slow in moving forward in these market areas).

Anyway I have digressed & some - Thanks again for replying, (both of you)…& long may healthy dog food discussions continue re all foods - incuding home cooked :wink:

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Is variety the spice of a dogs life?
I’m a new member and this is my second post. I thought I’d like to share with members how I feed my 3 dogs.
Firstly let me introduce the mini pack.
There’s Poppy and she is a Yorkie who is 3 1/2 then Bella who is a Shih tzu poodle cross and Bella is 2 ½ and finally Molly who is a Yorkie Maltese cross who is 16 months old (and yes it was like having 3 babies in 3 years lol).
Every day for breakfast they have plain yogurt with one of the following: sardines/lump of cheese/ or raw frozen chicken wing. On Sundays they normally have a sausage, because we tend to have a cooked breakfast.
Then in the evening I give them ½ kibble (Canagan) and ½ home cooked. If I’ve not taken the home cooked out of the freezer I’ll give them a tin of tuna or some County Hunter (tinned) or healthy bits left over from our meal. Once a week I like to give them scrambled eggs done in a nice bit of butter.
On a Saturday when I go to Morrisons I always pick up a packet of meaty (beef) bones for them which they have raw. The bones and the frozen chicken wings keep their teeth nice and clean.
I do not buy dog treats, only hooves for them to chew on.
My home cooked concoction I make in the slow cooker… chicken thighs, salmon fillets with lambs heart or liver or kidneys. Add several eggs, bag frozen mixed veg, bag of frozen green beans, maybe some beef or lamb mince. Add a couple good glugs olive and a cup of oats and enough water to top the pot up. This l leave to cook for about 12-15 hours until the bones are soft enough to mash with a potato masher. Give it a good mash up. I leave enough in the fridge for about 4 days and freeze the rest in portions.
I’ll vary what goes into the slow cooker, sometimes apples, sometimes pears and a few berries, prawns with shells and heads as it all mashes up well when cooked.
The dogs love it; they seem to be thriving and are very interested in their meals. So, home cooked, raw bones, kibble, shop bought wet dogs food. Why can’t we do it all!


Variety arguably the spice of life…

Anita - An informative post…lucky dogs

I have In past fed a variety of foods but cannot claim to putting in anywhere as much effort as outlined in above post.



Great to hear someone putting so much care and attention into feeding their dog’s. WELL DONE!


That sounds yummy!

I cannot feed as much of a variety due to my dog’s food intolerances, but I try to add variety as well. Just bought some rosemary and am cutting tiny bits of that into his food once a day. I vary between oils too, we are currently on coconut oil.


Re: BalanceIT.com
I cannot vouch for this website but I came across it via the Facebook home cooking group that I referred to in a previous post. It offers individually tailored recipes for specific problems/diseases but there is a charge attached. The website is American (I know of no UK equivalent). I am adding it to this thread because we have had members asking for specific information about home cooked diets, particularly in relation to their ill dog.

*If anyone knows of a similar website/facility here in the UK, please add it to this thread - it would be very much appreciated.


Two links: Dogsaholic. Contains recipes.

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Some really tasty looking recipes there. I may well try a few. They can certainly eaten by the humans too by the looks of them.

Whole Dog Journal Home Prepared Dog Food Nutritional Information.
Useful article in relation to home cooking and raw feeding.

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Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs: Maximizing Health with Whole Foods, Not Drugs Author - Judy Morgan.

Dog Aware.com

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Homemade Dog Food 101 is a Facebook closed group with lots of advice about how to feed dogs a home cooked diet safely. It has recipes and a useful ratio chart.