Chicken and Pumpkin Dog Food Recipe

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.


Ingredients within DIY Dog Food Recipe.
Ingredients within the recipe: ready to be mixed

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.


“This recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for ADULT DOGS less than 100lbs”


Macro nutrient breakdown of homemade dog food recipe
  • Protein: 53.8%
  • Fat: 35.4%
  • Carbohydrate: 10.9%
  • Fiber: 3%
  • Ash: 2.5%

This diet is very high in protein, moderate in fat, and lower in carbohydrates and would be appropriate for a higher energy dog, working dog, agility dog – or any dog that needs higher protein for muscle recovery. This recipe may not be appropriate for dogs with certain medical conditions where protein or fat would need to be limited like – liver conditions, pancreatitis, some forms of IBD, or late-stage kidney disease. Please always speak to your veterinarian prior to starting on a new diet if you pup has a medical condition to make sure it is appropriate for your dog.


  • 226g Chicken Thigh, cooked
  • 280g Chicken Breast, cooked
  • 2 ½ tsp Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet (Fish Oil)
  • 1 tsp Walnut Oil
  • 156g Mushrooms, cooked
  • 245g Pumpkin Puree
  • 54g Apple, raw
  • 4 ½ tsp BalanceIT Canine


You are first going to want to prepare all your ingredients into bite-sized portions. Personally I prefer to use my jumbo-sized food processor. But if you don’t have one, a knife and a bit of elbow grease will do.

Homecooked dog food in bowl ready to eat.
Chicken and Pumpkin Dog Food Recipe

Once you have everything prepped and ready to go, get out a large skillet. You will be cooking the mushrooms first (WITHOUT OIL), I suggest using a large pan that is non-stick like castiron. Saute the mushrooms until cooked through, then place to the side to cool. 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 separately. Meats will shrink to being about ⅔ to ½ of the size when raw 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. I cooked about a pound of each chicken thigh, and chicken breast meat, and had some leftovers afterwards.

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.

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 homecook 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.


If you are looking for recipes without a supplement like BalanceIT or maybe a recipe that just generally has less supplementation then I would highly recommend working with a board certified veterinary nutritionist – you can find more information about other DIY Dog Food Recipes on my post all about DIY Dog Food. I honestly think this is just kinda the normal progression of home-cooking for your dog, this will allow you to use organ meats, and also get a recipe that is tailored specifically for your dog’s individual needs. 


I hope you found this recipe helpful and fun – let me know if you try it out for your own pups! I know my dogs loved this recipe as a fun addition. Have a happy pumpkin season everyone – definitely looking forward to the fall weather over here!

Til next time my canine health nuts!

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