Finding complete and balanced recipes online can be VERY difficult, especially when you don’t know where the recipe came from, who formulated it, and what their background is. So what makes this recipe different is that it actually uses a software called BalanceIT – which was created by a board certified veterinary nutritionist from UC Davis school of veterinary medicine.
So if you follow this recipe – you will be feeding a complete and balanced recipe for your pup!
I’ve used BalanceIT for years for both formulating recipes for my own pups, and for clients in the veterinary hospital. I’ve created homecooked dog food recipe below for a 50 lb dog, however if you have a smaller or bigger pup you can get the exact recommendations for their size by just entering in the same ingredients, then adjusting for your pup’s weight! Select the “high protein” option if you’d like a similar composition to what I have done below.
If you don’t purchase that supplement – that’s okay – just feed this recipe as a topper or a treat at 10% of your pup’s daily caloric intake! That way your pup will still get all those essential nutrients from their regular diet.
Chicken Thigh: An excellent source a protein in a dog’s diet – very high in essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and Selenium
Chicken Breast: A great lean protein that pairs perfectly with the fatty nature of the chicken thigh – very high in essential amino acids, Vitamin B6 and Selenium.
Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet: A wonderful source of EPA and DHA, along with vitamin E. Nordic naturals fish oil is a purified, third party tested oil that has an excellent EPA to DHA ratio perfect for balancing out the higher omega 6 essential fatty acids found in the chicken and walnut oil.
Walnut Oil: An excellent source of linoleic acid and alpha-Linolenic acid – which are essential fatty acids that dogs need in their diet.
Mushrooms: Rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid – which are antioxidants and help with digestion and research has actually associated high vitamin B content with increased cognitive function.
Pumpkin Puree: A good source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and works as an excellent prebiotic – to help feed your healthy gut bacteria – which supports the immune system.
Apple: Raw apples are an excellent source of many different types of antioxidants such as quercetin. Apples are also an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber – which works as a pre-biotic to help support healthy gut bacteria.
Supplement( BalanceIT Canine): WITHOUT THE SUPPLEMENT: this diet will be deficient in… choline, riboflavin, thiamin, B-12, Calcium, Chloride, Copper, Iodine, Manganese, Zinc, Vitamin D.
DOG FOOD RECIPE:
DIET COMPOSITION ON A PERCENT CALORIE BASIS:
- Protein: 55%
- Fat: 35%
- Carbohydrate: 10%
- Moisture: 76%
- Calories: 1025 kcal
DOG FOOD RECIPE:
- 198g Chicken Thigh, roasted
- 255g Chicken Breast, cooked
- 2 tsp Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet (Fish Oil)
- 1 tsp Walnut Oil
- 156g Mushrooms, cooked
- 245g Pumpkin Puree
- 54g Apple, raw
- 3 7/8 tsp BalanceIT Canine / Human Supplements
This recipe is formulated to AAFCO standards and is complete and balanced for adult dogs if all ingredients are prepared as listed and all supplements are included. If any changes are made to the recipe it will no longer be considered balanced and should be considered a “treat” or “addition” and be kept to 10% of your dog’s overall daily caloric needs.
First you are going to want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and wash your produce.
In a large skillet or saucepan with a lid start by bringing 1-2 cups of water to a boil. Then add in your mushrooms and allow to boil for about 5-10 minutes until just cooked. For this recipe, I cooked 8oz of mushrooms, which strunk to being right about 156g.
Next you are going to want to cook each of your meats by roasting the chicken breast and chicken thigh in the oven. Meats will shrink to being about ⅔ to ½ of the size of raw weight due to water content released during the cooking process. So keep that in mind when you are purchasing meat for the recipe – PURCHASE MORE – than the minimum amount – this recipe uses COOKED amounts for the final recipe. I cooked about a pound of each chicken thigh, and chicken breast meat, and had some leftovers afterwards.
While the meat and mushrooms are cooking chop your apples up into bite-sized pieces OR use a food processor to chop finely.
Now we are going to assemble! Measure out each individual ingredient from your cooked, and raw portions – chicken thigh, chicken breast, pumpkin puree, raw apple, cooked mushroom, fish oil, walnut oil and supplement – into a large mixing bowl, then MIX thoroughly. Another option is to add all ingredients into a food processor to chop and mix well.
If you are prepping out several days – I recommend actually waiting to add the oils and vitamins until the day of – this is because if your pup wants the food slightly warmed you can do so without having to worry about sensitive vitamins degrading (like vitamin E). The other reason is because oils tend to go rancid quickly when exposed to air, heat, and moisture. So keeping them in their original containers will just keep them fresher, longer – especially since we aren’t using any preservatives.
This recipe should be good in your fridge for about 3-4 days, and in your freezer for about 1 month – I wouldn’t go longer than a month without using a Vacuum Sealer. Personally, when I home cook I tend to batch out the recipe for two-week increments, just because it’s a bit easier to cook every two weeks, and honestly, that is as much as my freezer will hold.
NOTE: If you cannot find Pumpkin Puree (because of quarantine 2020 shortages), then you can use pie pumpkins, remove the skin and seeds. Then place in your slow-cooker and add about a cup of water and put on high for four hours. Afterwards drain the water, and use the food processor to puree.
HOW MUCH TO FEED
The amount that you feed your dog will be based on their individual metabolism and lifestyle needs. Calories needed can range up to 50% high or lower than the “average” amount and still be considered normal.
Overweight or obese dogs trying to lose weight should be fed to their “ideal weight” – if your dog needs to lose weight please discuss your dog’s individual caloric needs with your veterinarian
The below chart is the average calories needed for a dog of a particular weight. If you are using this recipe as a treat – the portion should be kept in the “treat” category. If feeding as a complete and balanced meal, you can either re-calculate the recipe using BalanceIT or feed according to your dog’s caloric needs (average suggested amounts within the “food” category).
LOOKING TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP:
I feel like BalanceIT is a great place to start if you want to jump into the home-cooking realm (which is what I used to formulate this recipe), however, it does have some limitations/negatives in my point of view. Mainly the fact that recipes on BalanceIT do not contain organ meats.
Organ meats often provide many different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that cannot be found in other food items. Thus, after you have gotten the hang of cooking for your pup, if you’d like to take the next step to add in organ meats I’d highly recommend working with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to formulate a fully custom recipe for your pup! You can find more information about finding an ACVN diplomat along with the other options for home-cooking for your dog in my blog post on DIY Dog Food.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS FOR COOKING FOR DOGS:
As someone who has homecooked for several years for their pups – cooking over 50 lbs of food every two weeks for my two 50 lbs dogs – I’ve used several products over the years that I LOVE. Below are some of those products.
The following links are amazon affiliate links, if used I will receive a commission on the purchase of the item at no additional cost to you.
I hope you all had fun checking out this recipe – make sure to let me know if you try it out for your pups! You can absolutely use this recipe as a ‘topper’ for your dog’s regular food is you do not want to use the BalanceIT supplement, just make sure you keep it to 10% of your pup’s overall calories for the days (including other treats and additions). I hope you all have a wonderful day and a fun rest of the week!
Have a happy pumpkin season everyone – definitely looking forward to the fall weather over here!
Til next time my canine health nuts!