DIY: Most Loved Healthy Homemade Dog Food

A yummy do-it-yourself dog food recipe for French Bulldogs

As a parent to two of these bat-eared characters, we know with this breed, our pups can be finicky with food and also prone to food allergies. A lot of dog owners, especially parents of Frenchies like me, turn to recipes for homemade dog food.

Because of that, when Weston was a puppy, I started cooking him food myself because of his super sensitive stomach (aka: vomit central) and he LOVED it. He got leaner, farted less and hardly ever vomited. He also looked forward to his meals and licked his bowl clean — woohoo!

Fira’s the lucky one and has been eating homemade cooked dog food since we brought her home, so she has no idea what kibble is and I’m sure would stick her nose up to it. Weston has become quite the food snob and will only eat cooked foods — I even tried to get them on a raw diet and they refused the raw! Picky pups.

As Weston got older, various companies were founded with cooked, human-grade foods so it’s nice to have options when I don’t have time to cook. We love Pure Dog Food, PetPlate, Just Food For Dogs which are all nutritionally balanced.

A couple years ago, we got Weston and Fira an allergy test — I haven’t even gotten one myself even though I’ve wanted to for years but yep, they got one first. #whocanrelate? I used the Nutriscan Food Allergy test.

Weston didn’t really show too many symptoms (only licked his paws occasionally) but knowing how many French Bulldogs have allergies, it seemed like a logical idea…

WELL, Fira is only allergic to pork but Weston is allergic to chicken, turkey, pork, dairy, white fish, sweet potatoes and a few other things. Hence the need to create our own homemade dog food recipe. We were feeding him almost all of those ingredients on the daily- eek.

That really limits our choices and he gets bored eating the same thing over and over, so I decided to mix up his feeding regime and do homemade dog food again to alternate. I like to schedule an afternoon to make a HUGE batch and fill up the freezer. It’s easy, promise!

 

Here’s my recipe for homemade dog food:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs ground beef (or any protein)
  • 1 cup uncooked millet (or any other whole grain: quinoa, rice, pasta)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • half of a zucchini, shredded
  • half of a squash, shredded
  • 1 apple, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp calcium powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • I also add in a few heaping tablespoons (follow their serving instructions) of Canine Complete which is a multivitamin supplement containing probiotics, minerals and everything your dog needs to make your homemade dog food complete. I usually add half a scoop directly into their food bowls when it’s serving time. Otherwise, I’m horrible at math and don’t know exactly how much to put in the entire recipe. This supplement added to this dog food recipe should contain everything your dog needs, but of course, do your own research as every dog is different. Weston + Fira have had great success with Canine Complete and have never vomited or had any adverse reaction from it.

1. Bring 1 cup of whole grain to boil in a pot of water. I overcook it so that it’s soft and easily digestible. Drain.

2. While that’s boiling, shred/chop the veggies.

3. Cook ground beef with olive oil. Drain excess juices.

4. Mix everything together! No need to cook the veggies. Overcooking vegetables removes the natural nutrients. The heat from the cooked meat and whole grain will soften the vegetables up a bit.

The Benefits of Homemade Dog Food:

I can’t stress enough the benefits of preparing homemade dog food for your fur baby. Not only do you have greater control over the quality and type of ingredients used, but you can also customize meals to meet your dog’s specific dietary needs. Plus, your pup will appreciate the fresher and more flavorful food. Weston + Fira eat their homemade food so fast and never skip a meal.

Homemade dog food can also be a more affordable option in the long run and can help avoid potential allergens or fillers that may be present in commercial dog food. As a dog mom, it’s important to me to make sure my pups are getting the right nutrition and and preparing homemade dog food is a rewarding and satisfying way to do that. 🙂 

Other benefits of ingredients in this homemade dog food recipe:

  • Olive oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can promote healthy skin and coat, monounsaturated fats that can support heart health by improving blood circulation and reducing the risk of heart disease, aids in digestion, relieve constipation in dogs and improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Coconut improves skin and coat health, aids in digestion and promotes a healthy immune system.
  • Calcium is essential for dogs as it plays a vital role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, supporting nerve and muscle function, and aiding in blood clotting.
  • Pumpkin regulates blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation and provide a natural source of vitamins and probiotics for your dog.

Store in containers or Ziplock bags and freeze. Makes enough for about one week of meals for two dogs (Fira weighs 14 lbs and Weston weighs 24 lbs).

I feed them twice a day: breakfast and dinner. I feed Fira about a cup per meal and Weston gets a little over a cup of this homemade dog food per meal. 

Thaw out food the night before or microwave and serve! 

 

Homemade dog food allows you to have greater control over the quality and type of ingredients used, customization of meals to meet your dog’s specific dietary needs, and the potential for fresher and more flavorful food that will keep your dog happy, especially those picky pups! Additionally, preparing homemade dog food can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for us dog parents who want to be sure that our pups are receiving the best possible nutrition.

I always love my afternoons cooking homemade dog food, with Weston + Fira waiting in the kitchen, and I hope you do too with this recipe!

 

Disclaimer: use your own judgment and speak to your veterinarian if you have questions/concerns.

If you’re pressed for time and unable to prepare your own homemade dog food, don’t worry! Nowadays, there are countless dog food brands available on the market. When I started cooking meals for my pup, there were only one or two companies to choose from. However, in recent years, the number of dog food companies has increased significantly, offering dog owners a wide range of choices to select from.

Here are a few I recommend…

Just Food For Dogs is the first fresh dog food company that I tried, which was almost a decade ago! They specialize in providing high-quality, human-grade food for dogs. Their meals are prepared in their own kitchens, following strict food safety standards, and are tested for nutritional content by accredited vets. There’s a decent variety of flavors like beef + potato, lamb + rice, white fish + sweet potato and turkey + macaroni. 

With over 200 locations nationwide, including all Petco stores, I find myself easily picking up Just Food For Dogs when I’m running low on dog food and need to find it fast! 

The Farmer’s Dog is also one of the more popular dog food brands out there! Did you see their most recent Superbowl commercial? *tear jerker*

The meals are pre-portioned and personalized for your dogs’ specific needs based on a profile you create when signing up. The food is gently cooked to maintain whole food integrity and natural nutrients, then frozen and shipped directly to your door. Sign up and get 50% off your first order!

PetPlate also offers delicious, balanced dog food that looks like real food. They come in convenient little containers and and an easy subscription plan (a full plan could cost as little as $1.29/day!). Your dog will thank you!


Need to find out what food allergies your dog may have? I used NutriScan and found out Weston + Fira were allergies to so many ingredients I would have never even known! 

 

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Comments

  1. I tell people over and over to eliminate potatoes from their frenchie’s diet. Unfortunately they are in almost all foods and treats but as soon as I did that all yeast and skin problems cleared up. They get the occasional french fry of course but that’s it 🙂

  2. Hi! I’m about to start making meals for my frenchie girl who weighs 15 pounds. I’m trying to figure out serving size. She eats twice a day, morning and evening. How much do you give Fira per a serving?

    Also, do you nuke the frozen food before serving or let it defrost overnight and serve it to them cold?

  3. Hi, Thank you for the great post this is the first that has helped me as far as what to do for a puppie. I am curious if I need to ween my frenchie off of the kibble before giving her real food? If so, how would I do it and for how long? Thank you

    Craig

  4. Hi love your way to make food! Just one quick question, heard that frenchies are allergy to all kinds of seeds. Wondering if they are ok to eat the seeds in zucchini?? Thanks

  5. How did you get your frenchie allergy tested? I want to for my dog, but our vet doesn’t do it. Any recommendation would be appreciated! Thank you!!

  6. I’m so glad I found your site!
    I’ve been making my own dog food and I love finding new recipes 🙂 Do you add any supplements to your pup’s meals? I’ve been using Azestfor which is great for new recipes because you can just mix it in.
    Thanks again, I can’t wait to try this out!

  7. Eliminate the pasta. Wheat causes stomach upsets and skin allergies. Use Oats or barley if necessary. Add canola oil for antioxidants and better levels of fats

  8. Hi! What is the calcium powder that you’re using? I don’t see the calcium powder in the photos, only the probiotic. Do you do one of the two or both? Is the calcium powder and the probiotic the same thing? I am a bit confused. Thanks!

    • Hi! I just crush regular calcium pills from the drugstore. I also use Just Food For Dogs Joint supplement which has calcium in it. Calcium and probiotic are 2 separate things- calcium is good for bones/joints and probitioc is good for the gut 🙂

  9. Do you have any idea what the calories are in your food? Is this vet or canine nutrition approved? I have been making very similar to this and vet not on board as she says it may be lacking something.

    • Hi I have a 40 pound Cocker and she has a horrible yeast infection going on right now the vet is lost as to what to do for her skin breakouts she is 12 years old im going to try homemade food to see if it helps, any suggestions ?

      • Hi Judy ….I have started using a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar ( with the mother ) once a day for the same reasons as you & have seen a great improvement…

  10. Hi you mentioned that Weston is basically allergic to everything. That’s my case with my 4 year old Frenchie. Do you also prepare the meal with ground turkey for him?

  11. This food is awesome my French bulldog has the worst farts and you can hear them and they smell horrible. Her belly is always upset and frequently gets diarhia. Since switching to the homemade food no farts no upset belly. She loves the food and is much happier. That’s for the recipe.

  12. Hey thank you for that recipe! I was wondering how much calcium should I give my frenchie? I bought the 500mg pills from the drugstore but I’m not sure what’s the rule, once or twice a day..? And any other supplements I should start giving him with the the homemade food? Just switching him now! I’d really appreciate your response!

  13. My frenchie is allergic to much everything the only thing I found that he was good with was turkey but being on the raw turkey for 3yr he started to throw up so now I’ve been cooking the turkey and adding cooked rice but was wondering is it save to keep rice in his diet for a long period? He’s been on the rice for 2 days and hasn’t thrown up.

  14. I had no idea you could get at home dog allergy tests. I will definitely check out HemoPet. Loved hearing your insights on homemade dog food here.

  15. How many cups do you get out of this? I tried a similar recipe with 3 cups of ground beef and 1.5 cups of raw, then cooked, brown rice plus some vegetables and only got 15 cups so about a weeks worth for my 28 pound frenchie. Kind of confused how you got a weeks worth for two dogs lol. Thanks for the new fruit and vegetables recommendations though!

  16. Hello! I love this recipe, but I do have one question… I do mine a little different and cook it in the crockpot. With that being said, do you wait for the food to cool down before you add the canine complete? Or do you add it when it’s warm I just don’t want the heat to reduce the effectiveness of the vitamins.

  17. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! My 10mo. old frenchie loves it and he is a picky eater. I have made it with boneless skinless chicken breast and will be using hamburger today. We had cycled thru many premium brand dry foods which caused gas and stomach upset. Also Farmers Dog, which gave him heartburn and diarrhea maybe the selection of veggies or the fish oil. This recipe no upset tummy and even his behavior is improved! Calmer, happier and listening better. He and I thank you so much! The canine complete is great too! We also use green lipped mussel powder for joint health another awesome product!

  18. Hi, I have 8 month old 16# Frenchie female and 5 year old 48# pit/terrier mix female. Would serving size be in ratio to 1 cup to 15 pounds? How did you calculate serving? I am ready to start making my dogs food since my Frenchie has so many issues (would love to have them on same food). Waiting on results from allergy test to come in before I decide which recipe to try. But need to know how to calculate the homemade food servings. Please help 🙂

    • Hi Jena – I think that would be a good guideline to calculate a serving: 1 cup to 15 lbs. I did a quick search and the consensus seems to be around 3-4 cups of food a day for a 50 lb dog. But of course, it completely depends on your pup!

  19. Thank you! We almost had to say goodbye to our 15 year old Yorkie who has been refusing to eat. All test at the vet came back normal we thought she was just ready to go. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye and tried a few different recipes. She LOVES this one. You saved her life! I can’t thank you enough!

  20. Hi Nikki.

    My dog is allergic to white fish, same as Weston. I saw Canine complete contains white fish protein. I would like to make sure that it’s fine to feed my dog with Canine complete.

    Thank you!

  21. Ok, I don’t have a Frenchie (though I love them!), I have a Chihuahua/Yorkie mix. But he seems to have the allergies your dog had, with excessive licking of paws, constantly scratching himself, etc. He’s overweight (around 11-12 lbs). Do you think these recipes would work for him? (I hope so!)

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