This chicken and quinoa dog food recipe is actually one that I have used many, many times in rotation for my dog Ash who has a sensitive stomach. 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.
This complete and balanced chicken and quinoa dog food recipe was created using BalanceIT – a software and supplement founded by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. This software allows anyone from veterinary professionals to pet parents to create homemade complete and balanced recipes for their dogs. Though the software can be a bit intimidating to use at first, it gets much easier with time and practice as your learn which combinations of foods work best.
For this chicken dog food recipe I wanted to create a low fat option that could still supply my active dog Ash with plenty of energy and muscle-building protein. So I started with choosing a combination of lean chicken breast with slightly fattier chicken thigh. Then paired that with a complex carbohydrate – quinoa along with spinach and blueberries for antioxidants. To finish off the recipe I added in walnut oil as a source of linoleic acid (a essential fatty acid for dogs), and fish oil to balance out my omega 3 to 6 ratio to help with inflammation.
The chicken and quinoa dog food 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.
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.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN and QUINOA DOG FOOD RECIPE
DIET COMPOSITION ON A PERCENT CALORIE BASIS:
- Protein: 60%
- Fat: 25%
- Carbohydrate: 16%
- Moisture: 71%
- Calories: 1080
CHICKEN AND QUINOA 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 / 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.
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 ingredients into bite-size pieces, weigh, and portion according to the recipe above. 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.
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.
CALCULATING HOW MUCH TO FEED OF THIS RECIPE
The amount of this Chicken ad Quinoa Dog Food Recipe that you feed will be highly dependent on your dog and their individual needs. These are things like metabolism, activity level, size and body condition. If you’d like a detailed look at estimating your dog’s caloric needs feel free to check out my blog post which explains this in detail.
This Homemade Chicken Dog Food Recipe is about 1000 calories per recipe. The chart to the right gives the caloric needs of the average spayed/neutered adult dog with moderate activity each day. To know how much to feed of the above recipe simply take the calories your dog needs in the “food” column and divide it by the calories in this recipe.
For example a 10 lb dog needs 273 calories per day, and this recipe is 1080 calories. That means that a 10 lb dog would eat about 1/4 of this recipe each day.
I would suggest you package foods in baggies or containers into daily portions for ease of feeding. Then divide the daily portion into how many meals you would like to feed each day.
So for that 10 lb dog – you would divide this recipe into 4 containers. Then if your pup is fed twice daily – feed 1/2 the container in the morning and half at night.
TRANSITIONING TO THE CHICKEN AND PUMPKIN DOG FOOD RECIPE
When you consider transitioning to a homecooked diet I highly recommend taking it slow, especially if you are new to cooking for your dog. Even though this Chicken and Quinoa Dog Food Recipe is designed to be simple and easy for people starting out… Rushing into it can be overwhelming to some, and cause others to make mistakes.
There is no need to rush, simply slowly increase the amount you are feeding of the fresh food recipe, and slowly take away the previous diet. Ideally I usually recommend using a Probiotic during the transition, and keeping macros and ingredients as similar as possible to previous recipe your pup has done well on in order to have a smooth transition.
NEED HELP WITH HOMEMADE DOG FOOD?
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!
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, AS Animal Health -2013) 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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