Balanced Chicken and Rice Dog Food Recipe

The age-old recommendation for dogs with tummy upset – chicken and rice. Recommending this combination for dogs with an upset stomach has gone back years – but the sad thing about the combination of chicken breast with white rice, is that though it is highly digestible, it is not balanced.

In fact – by itself the combination of 50% chicken breast with 50% long-grain white rice has over 18 different deficiencies. Which is a huge problem – especially if you have a dog that is recovering from a gastrointestinal problem where nutrient absorption is already compromised.

So what I have done is create a NEW and improved Chicken and Rice recipe – which I call “Chicken and Rice Done RIGHT. This recipe is complete and balanced for adult dogs, is low in fat, and has a variety of whole food ingredients. It also contains healthy sources of fiber to help feed beneficial gut bacteria.


Percent Calorie

  • Protein: 43 ½ %
  • Fat: 27 ½ %
  • Carbohydrates: 29%

Dry Matter

  • Protein: 50%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Carbohydrates: 35%
  • Fiber: 4%

This recipe was formulated to be lower in fat, moderate in carbohydrates and high in protein. This would be appropriate for picky dogs, dogs who are obese prone, or dogs that require a low fat diet.


Chicken Giblets: 

Though chicken breast is very low in fat and high in protein, it lacks essential vitamins and minerals. By replacing half the chicken breast with chicken giblets, the recipe immediately goes from 18 deficiencies to only 8 – this is a HUGE difference in nutritional profile with one simple change.

But what are chicken giblets exactly? Well chicken giblets are the combination of chicken liver, chicken gizzard, and chicken heart – these are commonly known as “by-products” of the human food industry because they are not often consumed by people.

The great thing about using something like giblets as the main protein source within a recipe is – they are very inexpensive. Typically, giblets are around half the price compared to something like chicken breast or chicken thigh, which makes them a cost-effective option.

Even though chicken giblets are a nutrient powerhouse – simply switching out chicken breast for giblets will not create a balanced recipe – it will still have 8 different deficiencies. In particular we need to add sources of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin D, linoleic acid, calcium and iodine.

Eastern Oysters:

These little crustaceans have been included in this recipe as a source of zinc and copper! But they also are a wonderful source of omega 3 fatty acids, with an added bonus that they are naturally low in fat.


In order to provide our dogs with vitamin D we need to add some fish that is high in these vitamins. Salmon fits the bill. It is also lower on the food chain so we don’t have to be as concerned about heavy metals – like we are with other fish, such as tuna.


Though eggs are high in protein, along with other vitamins such as b-vitamins, vitamin D and vitamin E – eggs are not high enough in these areas to actually meet our dogs nutritional needs. But what they can provide to this recipe is an excellent source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid – which is a nutrient requirement for dogs.

Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet:

This recipe overall is very high in omega 6 fatty acids because of the chicken breast, and giblets included in this recipe as the main protein source, thus we need to use the fish oil by Nordic Naturals in order to balance out the fats in this recipe. We are also using this oil as a source of Vitamin E!

Brown Rice, Pumpkin and Spinach:

The combination of switching out brown rice for white rice and adding in both pumpkin and spinach provide this recipe with needed magnesium and potassium – along with wonderful sources of complex carbohydrates to help with our dog’s gut microbiome.

Supplements: Calcium & Iodine

Even with all these wonderful whole food ingredients, we do need two other essential nutrients – in particular a source of Calcium, and Iodine. There are several different ways to get these nutrients, which I break down in my step-by-step recipe, from purified supplements to whole food ingredients. There are many different options we can use for our pups.


The Chicken and Rice “Done Right” recipe is formulated to be complete and balanced for adult dogs according to AAFCO nutrient standards. This recipe is not appropriate for puppies, pregnant or lactating dogs.

This recipe was created using the software from BalanceIT – which is a software created by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to allow the creation of homemade dog food recipes that are balanced for adult dogs.

Each recipe includes: small and large batch recipes, cooking instructions, feeding instructions by weight, supplement recommendations, and access to our Homemade Dog Food Recipes Facebook Community.

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, Dip. Animal Nutrition, AS Animal Science) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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