Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Chicken and Quinoa

Complete and Balanced Chicken and Quinoa HomemadeDog Food Recipe

This chicken and quinoa recipe is actually one that I have used many, many times in rotation for Ash – my dog that has a sensitive gastrointestinal system. He has always had a bit of an issue with basically ANY manufactured food and we struggled for years to find a composition of food that works well for his tummy.

As always, when I create recipes for my dogs I use BalanceIT – this software was created by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to allow pet owners, and veterinary professionals to create complete and balanced recipes for their dogs. Using BalanceIT gives me confidence knowing these recipes are “vet-approved” and complete and balanced for my dogs.

When I use this software to create recipes for ash I always look to keep the percent calories from fat around 20%, the percent protein closer to 50%, and the percent carbohydrates around 30% – this distribution of calories works really well for him. The low fat keeps his gastrointestinal issues under control, but the higher protein with lower carbs keeps him lean and allows for protein to help with muscle repair from all his craziness throughout the day.

The recipe today 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.


Ingredients in Chicken in Quinoa Homemade Dog Food: chicken breast, chicken thigh, spinach, blueberries, quinoa, fish oil, walnut oil, balanceIT

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.

Spinach: Provides many different essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Spinach also contains several antioxidants such as Quercetin and Kaempferol – which can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Blueberries: A great source of vitamin C, and a powerhouse for antioxidants – flavonoids, quercetin and anthocyanidin.

Walnut Oil: An excellent source of linoleic acid and alpha-Linolenic acid – which are essential fatty acids that dogs need in their diet.

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.

Supplement (BalanceIT Canine): Without using the supplement this recipe will be deficient in choline, ribloflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin E, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, zinc, and vitamin D.


Diet Composition of Chicken and Quinoa Homemade Dog Food.


  • Protein: 60%
  • Fat: 25%
  • Carbohydrate: 16%
  • Moisture: 71%
  • Calories: 1080


  • 350g roasted boneless chicken breast, without skin
  • 142g roasted boneless chicken thighs, without skin
  • 139g cooked quinoa
  • 90g cooked spinach, boiled without salt
  • 74g blueberries, raw
  • ¼ tsp Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet
  • ¼ tsp Walnut Oil
  • 4 ⅛ tsp BalanceIT Canine /  Human Supplements

Full BalanceIT Canine Recipe | Recipe with 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.


Pureed Homemade Dog Food using Food Processor.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and start by roasted your chicken in the oven spread out over a baking sheet. Keep in mind that the recipe calls for cooked amounts not raw. I started with about a pound of chicken breast and half of a pound of chicken thighs for this recipe.

Next, cook the quinoa – you can either do this in a rice cooker or by using boiling water in a saucepan. You will want to use two parts water to one part quinoa, cook until water is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, boil the spinach – use a small amount of water at the bottom of a pan, then add spinach to cook down. 

Once all items these items are cooked, allow to cool completely. When I make these recipes I usually take one day to cook all the ingredients, then allow them to cool overnight in the fridge prior to portioning the next day.

After all items are cooled cut all ingreidnets into bite-size peices, weigh, and portion for the meal. If you have a smaller breed dog OR if your dog is likely to “pick” around ingredients – I highly recommend using a food processor to puree all the ingredients together.

When I food prep for my dogs I usually make large batches for a week at a time – this makes things easier for me, so I don’t have to cook every day for my dogs.


How Much to Feed Your Dog

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).


You can find more homemade dog food recipes that are FREE on my website, I have recipes using a variety of different proteins, from fish to chicken to pork, and I also have both grain-free and grain-inclusive options. If you don’t see something particularly suited for your dog, or if you would like more support with the do-it-yourself process, feel free to reach out! I do offer Dog Food Consultations using BalanceIT, where I can create a recipe for your dog’s unique nutritional needs.

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!

Til next time my canine health nuts!

Love, Nikki - The Canine Health Nut and Registered Veterinary Technician

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2 thoughts on “Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Chicken and Quinoa

  1. I have a 16 month Great Dane dog weighting 110lb and still growing. Can I use your Home made Recipe. Great Danes need less protein because they grow so fast. Do you have any suggestion.
    Thank you so much for your advice.

    1. I would actually not recommend these recipes – but not because they are higher in protein – because they are not the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio for the growth of a giant breed dog. They also have shorter digestive tracts than medium-sized dogs for their size, thus less surface area to absorb nutrients.

      The idea that giant-breed dogs need less protein is actually a myth – what they actually need is fewer calories per lb than a small breed dog or they grow too fast. Basically what they found is that large breed puppies if overfed anything – so protein, fat or carbs – would develop orthopedic and muscular-related issues.

      What I would recommend is to feed a puppy recipe. If you are looking to cook – check out the Just Food For Dogs DIY kits – they have two puppy recipes (the chicken and the fish). You can also create a balanceIT account and apply for veterinary approval for a large breed puppy recipe. The last option if you are okay with purchasing pre-made would be to feed a Lightly Cooked Dog Food that is balanced for “all life stages, including puppies whose adult weights would be over 70 lbs”. Some brands that would be options are: Farmer’s Dog, Ollie, Pet Plate, and Raised Right. You can find a list of Gently Cooked Dog Food Brands, with recipe breakdowns and company information here: https://thecaninehealthnut.com/gently-cooked-dog-food-brands-2021-list/

      I hope that helps!

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