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.
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.
PERCENT CALORIE BASIS:
- Protein: 60%
- Fat: 25%
- Carbohydrate: 16%
- Moisture: 71%
- Calories: 1080
HOMEMADE DOG FOOD RECIPE
- 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
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.
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!
Til next time my canine health nuts!