This high fat, high protein lamb and brown rice dog food recipe is perfect for highly active or picky dogs. This homemade dog food recipe has added omega 3s fatty acids to support joint health and antioxidants from the combination of blueberries, carrots and broccoli to help with oxidative stress. This dog food is low carbohydrate, grain-inclusive, legume-free, poultry-free and perfect for dogs picky dogs and those with allergies to chicken.
Make sure to check out our supplements section to learn more about how to balance this recipe using either a multivitamin or a combination of human supplements.
Lamb and Rice Dog Food Recipe Ingredients:
Ground Lamb: Naturally high in fat, lamb is a favorite protein for many picky dogs. Lamb is also an excellent protein source for dogs with allergies to poultry such as chicken.
Beef Liver: Organ meats such as beef liver are commonly called “nature’s multivitamin” due to their high amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. With the inclusion of liver within this recipe we can use significantly less supplementation.
Salmon: A natural source of both protein and omega 3 fatty acids EPA & DHA which play supporting roles in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in active dogs, and overall helping support the function of many different organs within the body.
Brown Rice & Barley: We are using a combination of both brown rice and barley in order to provide a combination of both insoluble and soluble fiber sources. This combination of fibers is useful to help support the microbiome, and provides short-chain fatty acids which feed the lining of the gut, and help with blood glucose regulation.
Carrots, Spinach & Blueberries: All three of these foods are antioxidant rich and full of phytonutrients. Research studies has actually shown that adding vegetables in particular dark leafy greats and colorful veggies like carrots at least three times a week reduces cancer rates by almost 50%.
Safflower Oil: We use Safflower Oil in this recipe as a source of linoleic acid – which is an essential fatty acid in dogs that helps with inflammation, skin health and organ function.
Fish Oil: Additional Fish Oil is used within this recipe in order to achieve effective dosing to support joint health.
- Protein: 31% or 73g / 1000kcals
- Fat: 56% or 63g / 1000 kcals
- Carbs: 13% or 33g / 1000 kcals
- Calories: 1008 kcal per recipe / 1.95 kcals per gram / 55 kcals per ounce
This recipe was created to be higher in protein, high in fat, and low in carbohydrates. This is the nutritional profile we typically look for with highly active dogs. This composition is also typically a great choice for picky dogs as well, as both protein and fat are preferred by dogs over carbohydrates.
Since this recipe is high in protein and fat it would not be appropriate for dogs with pancreatitis, kidney or liver disease, certain urinary conditions or those that struggle with protein metabolism.
If you have a senior dog make sure to follow-up with bloodwork as recommended by your veterinarian while on this recipe due to it’s higher protein and fat content.
How to Make Homemade Lamb and Rice Dog Food:
To start preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Then get out a small sauce pan with a lid. Start with 1/8 cup dried brown rice and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a slow & low boil and cover for approximately 30 minutes to cook through. Once cooked, remove cooked brown rice, and wipe pan clean. Then add 1/8 cup dried pearled barley with 3/8 cup water. Bring to a slow & low boil and cover, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes until cooked through. Once cooked set aside.
While your grains are cooking – place about 2 ounces beef liver and 3 ounces of salmon on a baking dish. Place in the oven at 350 F for 10-15 minutes. Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool.
Once you have started your grains and placed the salmon and beef liver in the oven – place a large cast iron (or other nonstick) pan on medium heat and pan-brown approximately 3/4 lb of raw 80% lean ground lamb. After cooked through set aside and allow to cool.
A special note – meats will loose water weight when cooked, thus we start with more raw lamb, beef liver and salmon than what the final recipe asks for. You will be measuring all ingredients after cooked.
While meats and grains are cooking, it’s time to prep your produce!
In a large shallow dish add water until it fills the dish 1/4 of the way. Bring water to a boil. Then add either fresh or frozen spinach into the water to cook. Boil spinach until wilted – about 2-5 minutes – then drain away water using a mesh colander. If you don’t have a mesh colander you can place a paper towel or dish towel into a regular colander to drain away water, and then squeeze out excess.
In the same shallow dish fill again 1/4 of the way with water and bring it to a boil. Then add raw carrots and cook for about 8 minutes, then drain away water.
Next chop your blueberries into bite-sized pieces (or puree).
Fruits and vegetables can be offered raw, steamed or boiled. Depending on your dog’s individual digestive system they may do better with cooked vs. raw fruit/veggies, or even with them pureed vs. chopped.
Meal Prepping Lamb and Rice Dog Food Recipe:
Know that there isn’t really a “perfect” way to meal prep for your dog. This section will largely depend on the kitchen equipment you have, and batch size you are creating.
The lamb and rice dog food recipe is 1008 kcals which would feed a medium to large breed dog daily, or a small breed dog for several days. You can check out the feeding instructions below for more details on daily portion sizes by weight. What this means is you may need to adjust exactly how you are measuring or chopping things according to the batch size you are making.
But there are two rules I want you to follow regardless:
1. Supplements & oils should be added once foods are completely cooked to room temperature, as some supplements are heat sensitive. Typically batches of food take about an hour to cool in the fridge, or 15-30 minutes to cool in the freezer.
2. All foods are weighed after cooking, not before. Water will be lost during the cooking process, thus if you weigh before cooking you will actually be adding less protein to the recipe actually requires.
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How I Recommend Meal Prepping this Recipe:
Probably the easiest way to meal prep this recipe is if you have a large food processor. Personally I have a 12 cup food processor, which really helps me quickly throw together a recipe with minimal prep time.
I place my 12 cup food processor container with blade onto a the cooking scale. Then I weigh out all the ingrdients from my recipe.
- 213g cooked Ground Lamb
- 29g cooked Beef Liver
- 43g cooked Salmon
- 49g cooked Brown Rice
- 40g cooked Barley
- 45g spinach
- 39g carrots
- 37g blueberries
I make sure to “tare” or “zero” my scale between each ingredient so that the weights are accurate. Then after everything is added – I pulse my food processor until everything is well combined and chopped into bite-sized peices.
Next I will detach my food processor and place it into my fridge to cool for about 45 minutes.
After cooling completely I can add in my oils – the safflower oil and fish oil. Along with my supplements as per the recipe below
A quick note on supplement choice. If you plan to re-heat the recipe before feeding it to your pup you will want to purchase the BalanceIT Plus. This Multivitamin is heat-stable and can be reheated. The BalanceIT Canine cannot be reheated. If you use human supplements they will need to be ground using a pill grinder, and cannot be reheated.
If your pup does not like the taste of the supplements I would recommend either flavoring the supplements with a broth OR something sweet like honey (unless your dog is diabetic). OR choosing a recipe with more minimal supplementation.
I suggest making this recipe in whatever size batch-size works easiest for your schedule and time management. The Lamb and Rice Dog Food Recipe as written makes around 1000 calories of food which will feed a 5lb dog for about a week, or a 65 lb dog for about a day as the sole diet. You can find a full feeding chart by weigh.
Since this recipe uses human-grade fresh food ingredients it should be stored similar to human food. You can keep up to 3 days of this recipe in your fridge and the rest should live in your freezer. When you freeze fresh food some foods will change texture – if you have a very picky dog they may not like food after it has been frozen. In which case, you will probably need to do smaller batch-sizes so foods do not have to be frozen.
Lamb and Rice Dog Food Recipe:
- 213g or 7 1/2 oz 80% Lean Ground Lamb, cooked
- 43g or 1 1/2 oz Salmon, cooked
- 29g or 1 oz Beef Liver, cooked
- 49g or 1/4 cup Brown Rice, cooked
- 40g or 1/4 cup Pearled Barley, cooked
- 45g or 1/4 cup chopped spinach
- 39g or 1/4 cup chopped or shredded carrots
- 37g or 1/4 cup chopped blueberries
- 5g or 1 tsp Safflower Oil (High Oleic)
- 10g or 2 tsp Fish Oil (recommended brand – Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet)
- 3 tsp or 7.5g BalanceIT Canine OR 2 and 1/4 tsp (7.9g) BalanceIT Plus
This recipe is formulated to be complete and balanced for adult dogs according to AAFCO and NRC nutritional profiles when full directions are followed and supplementation it added. This recipe is not balanced for puppies.
Without supplementation this recipe is not complete and balanced and should be fed at no more than 10% of your dog’s overall daily calories.
You can download the full recipe, cooking instructions, feeding amounts, and AAFCO nutritional printout here.
If you would like to use human supplements instead of using the BalanceIT Multivitamin you will need:
– 1/8 tsp Morton Salt Substitute
– 1/2 tsp Morton Lite Salt Mixture
– 1/8 tablet GNC Iron Supplement (65mg tablet)
– 1/2 tablet Centrum Chewables Adult/Kids (400 IU Vit D, No xylitol)
– 1/4 tsp Freeda Calcium Phosphate Powder (dibasic calcium phosphate)
– 1 and 3/8 tablet Generic Calcium Carbonate (500mg calcium per tablet)
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Amount to Feed of Lamb and Rice Dog Food Recipe
Below is a feeding chart for this lamb and rice dog food recipe by weight. It is important to understand that every dog has their own unique metabolism. Some dogs will need more (or less) calories than others. In order to account for some of this variation there is a recommended feeding range.
This chart shows the amount to feed per day as a sole diet without treats or other diets. If you choose to feed twice daily simply offer half the listed amount in the morning, and half at night. Adjustments will need to be made to account for treats or if you choose to combo feed this recipe.
Calories: 1008 kcal per recipe / 1.94 kcals per gram / 55 kcals per ounce
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How to Transition to Lamb and Rice Dog Food Recipe:
First understand that it’s not a race, and that transitioning to a homemade diet really isn’t any different than transitioning between different premade diets. The only difference here is YOU are preparing the meal. Thus we need to work around both your schedule, while also taking into consideration your dog’s needs.
Second – don’t make things more complicated than your need to. And YES – you CAN mix the food. Even if it’s kibble. It’s totally fine. I’m honestly not sure who started the myth that you can’t mix fresh food & kibble but it’s just not true.
Our Dog’s Digestive System is Adapting NOT Detoxing
Transitions are done in order to help your dog’s digestive system adapt to the new diet. Including both the ingredients and the composition of the recipe. Did you know that your dog adjusts the digestive enzymes and their stomach pH according to the types of foods that they are digesting? Yep – it’s pretty cool. But it needs time to adapt and make these adjustments.
But it goes beyond just digestive enzymes – the microbiome – or the helpful bacteria within your dog’s large intestine also need to adjust too! Certain bacteria help with the digestion and breakdown of nutrients and byproducts within a food. As your adjust the diet the gut microbiome needs to change – and this takes time.
The Transition Period
Typically most dogs do well on a 5-7 day transition from one food to another, slowly decreasing one diet, and increasing the other. However for those of that cook a 5-7 day transition leads to weird batch sizes and/or cooking on days where we might not actually have the time.
So instead what I typically recommend is the “Two Week Transition”
Basically what you do is cook a week’s worth of the lam and rice dog food recipe, then you are going to divide it out.
- 4x 25%
- 6x 50%
- 4% 75%
Then you just fill in the old diet to equal 100% of daily calories. This will give you a two week transition.
If both diets are similar in composition & ingredients this timeline should work well for your dog. However it’s important to note that some dogs may need a longer transition – and honestly if you are just starting to cook for your dog you might need a transition period too!
Quick Tip! Consider adding on a quality probiotic during the transition period to help support your dog’s microbiome during this adjustment period!
Transitioning is not a Race
If cooking the first batch was overwhelming. Do it at 25% of the diet for four weeks (a month). Then next time go 50% for two weeks, then 75% for a week. And if any part of the journey it becomes too much. Look at alternative options – 50/50 with a premade diet, or just hang out where you are.
Remember to monitor your dog’s stools during the transition. They should remain firm or normal during the transition period – if they don’t then stay at the percentage you are at. If you can’t seem to advance the transition it might be a good idea to re-evaluate your recipe.
Monitoring After the Transition to Lamb and Rice Dog Food Recipe:
Monitor weight every 2 weeks for at least 3 months after transitioning onto the lamb and rice dog food recipe.
Follow up with your vet to see if additional testing or monitoring is needing. Often for dogs on homemade dog food recipes examinations every 6 months are recommended, along with yearly blood values.
Looking for a Custom Dog Food Diet Plan?
Looking for a bit more help moving your pup onto a fresh food diet?
Or maybe you are trying to figure out how to combo-feed your dog?
Would you like to discuss your dog’s nutritional needs in detail to make sure you are feeding them appropriately?
Then a Dog Food Nutritional Consultation may be for you. During a dog food nutritional consultation we will discuss:
- An overview of your dog’s nutritional needs – including macro-composition (protein, fat, carbs), caloric needs, and micronutrient needs due to disease states.
- An audit of your dog’s current diet to see if it fits your dog’s current nutritional, behavioral and lifestyle needs.
- Recommendations of how to improve your dog’s diet: this may include switching recipes, a homemade diet, combination feeding, supplements, enrichment activities, etc
- An overview of how to transition between pre-made/manufactured diets or onto a homemade dog food.
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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