This is an excellent recipe for those dogs who either have poultry allergies that are looking for a novel protein diet – or for those dogs with grain sensitivities where they need a grain-free diet. This diet is high protein, moderate in carbohydrates, and lower in fat – making it a good overall choice for the typical urban dog who gets a couple of walks a day, or a dog that needs some fat restriction.
What is BalanceIT?
BalanceIT is a free online software that anyone can use to create complete and balanced recipes for your dogs. This software was created by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, and as long as you follow the recipe as instructed it will contain everything your pup needs – meeting all the AAFCO minimum nutrient standards for adult dogs.
When using this software it will give you two options – one is using their BalanceIT supplement, and the second is using Human Supplements. Personally, I find BalanceIT to be much for convenient and cost-effective than the Human Supplements, however, if for some reason the Human supplements are easier for you to acquire I do have a full list of the recommended supplements on my blog here.
Pork Loin: A great source of lean protein, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and phosphorus. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as zinc and potassium.
Sweet Potato: A rich source of dietary fibre, along with vitamins A, C, B, and several minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium 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.
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.
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 omega 3 fatty acids. Nordic naturals fish oil is a purified, third party tested oil that has an excellent EPA to DHA ratio, perfect to balance out the omega 6 fatty acids within this recipe.
Supplement (BalanceIT Canine): Without using the supplement this recipe will be deficient in
PERCENT CALORIE BASIS:
- Protein: 44%
- Fat: 24%
- Carbohydrate: 32%
- Moisture: 73%
- Calories: 1048
HOMEMADE DOG FOOD RECIPE
- 336.7 g Pork Loin, roasted
- 350.0 g Sweet Potato, baked in skin, served with skin removed
- 135.0 g Spinach, boiled
- 54.5 g Apples, raw
- 3 ½ mL Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
- 2 1/8 tsp Walnut Oil
- 3 ⅝ 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.
HOW MUCH TO FEED
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).
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the oven is heating up, wash and prep your produce. If using frozen spinach, place in a pan with a lid and a small amount of water and allow to come to a boil. For fresh spinach, boil water, then add the spinach to the pan. Keep in mind that the spinach will shrink if using fresh spinach, start with about 180g of fresh spinach or 150g of frozen spinach to cook.
After your oven is pre-heated place your pork loin on the baking sheet or in a baking dish. I suggest starting with around 425g (a bit less than 1 lb) of raw pork loin for this recipe. Depending on the batch size you are cooking you can also add the sweet potatoes as well, start with about 1 lbs of potatoes as well. Pierce the skin with a fork, then bake broth until done. Meat should have an internal temperature of 165, and sweet potatoes should be tender.
While the meat and potatoes are cooking, you can chop your apples into bite-sized pieces.
Once all the ingredients are cooked and cooled, weigh out each ingredient and either chop them into bite-sized pieces or use a large food processor to chop and mix everything together well.
If you are meal-prepping larger batches of this meal, you can either weigh ingredients individually into each container or multiply the recipe out then mix in a large bowl.
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!
Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Chicken and Quinoa: using chicken breast, chicken thighs, spinach, blueberries, walnut oil, fish oil and balanceIT supplement.
Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Beef and Sweet Potato: using lean ground beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, walnut oil, fish oil and balanceIT supplement.
Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Fish and Sweet Potato: using cod, salmon, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli walnut oil, and balanceIT supplement.
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, Dip. Animal Nutrition, AS Animal Science) 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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