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Top 20 healthy homemade dog food recipes your dog will love

by Lorna Ladd 2 Comments
Top 20 healthy homemade dog food recipes your dog will love

If you’re looking for recipes your dog will love that are super healthy and nutrient-rich you’ve come to the right place.

As you know, there’s no shortage of dog food recipes. We looked through literally hundreds of recipes and separated the wheat from the chaff to give you the absolute cream of the crop in one article.

Whether you’re a new pet parent of a rambunctious puppy paving the waprey for a healthy future or have a senior dog with special needs, these recipes are nutritious, wholesome and dogs love them.

There’s no better way to ensure that your dog is getting exactly what he/she needs in their diet than making meals for your dog. But for some the idea of hand making meals is just another thing we don’t have enough hours in the day for.

That’s why when selecting the top 20 recipes we ensured that they were simple enough to make, both in regards to the ingredients and the time and steps to make them.

And we’ve already done the research for you so click through our list of amazing recipes and bookmark your favorites! Remember to keep any dietary restrictions (like food allergies) in mind, and be sure to talk to your vet about the switch to homemade meals and how it could affect your pup.

Now, onto 20 of our favorite homemade dog recipes available online!

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1. The Old Standard

We call this meal by Damn Delicious the “Old Standard” because it’s made up of ingredients you’ve likely seen in many a homemade dog meal – brown rice, turkey and veggies. It’s healthy, easy to make and inexpensive. This is also the perfect meal to make in large batches and then freeze as single servings you can thaw for days and days! Damn Delicious was started by Chungah, a foodie without any formal training who turned her passion into a popular website and cookbook. She lives in California with her Corgi Butters, who we think it’s safe to assume inspired her foray into dog food recipes.


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped


  • In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned,
    about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
  • Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated
    through, about 3-5 minutes.Let cool completely.


This recipe was created by Chungah, the creator of the blog Damn Delicious. She’s a self-taught foodie who loves dogs.

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2. Scooby’s Stew

These colder nights have us dreaming about soups and stews, which lead us directly to this doggie style stew created by Happy and Yummy. The story of the stew begins the way a lot of homemade dog food recipes do – Happy and Yummy creator Michelle’s pup got sick and she had to get creative with her meal making in order to right their upset stomach.

The bug might have gone away, but the kitchen bug remained, and now their pups (adorable Finnegan and Buford) often receive homemade meals whether they require it or not! Michelle knew she wanted to create something she could whip up once a week and serve all week (another common thread we found across our recipe digging) and settled on a stew that that only takes about 15 minutes of prep and then 5-8 hours in a slow cooker. She says it stays fresh in the fridge for a couple of days and thaws beautifully while she makes human food the other nights of the week. She hilariously writes, “Be warned that it smells really good, and once you make it the first time, the dogs will stalk the crock pot and leave piles of drool on the floor in front of it while it finishes cooking. I recommend a strategically placed washable rug to address this situation to keep you from stepping in a giant puddle.” The stew is named after the sweet pup she originally made it for, Scooby, who lost his battle with cancer over a year ago. We’re so glad he’s forever immortalized with this delicious stew, sharing some of his favorite ingredients with puppies far and wide!


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped


  • Place ingredients in slow cooker in order listed, covering chicken completely with vegetables
  • Cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  • Remove from slow cooker, shred chicken and stir into rice and veggie mixture until evenly distributed.
  • Store covered in fridge for up to three days or freeze in single-serve portions.

Melissa Heller

Melissa Heller is the chef and author over at The kitchen is her happy place even when it comes to cooking for her two dogs Finnegan and Buford

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3. Beef + Veggie Crockpot Creation

We obviously love Damn Delicious and Chungah’s creations, as two of her recipes made our list! This crockpot version of her previous recipe includes veggies that hold up a bit better in the slow cooker. We also love that she used beef, a protein we saw used less often in other recipes available online. She advises that the veggies in this recipe can easily be swapped out with anything your dog prefers (just be sure it’s something you know they can have!)


  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned


  • Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
  • Let cool completely.


This recipe was created by Chungah, the creator of the blog Damn Delicious. She’s a self-taught foodie who loves dogs.

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4. Chicken + Veggie Slow Cooker

We had a lot of luck with excellent dog food recipes found on sites not specifically catered to dogs. This gem is courtesy of lifestyle blog Life in Pearls and Sports Bras (cute!), run by a PA and lover of DIY and health and fitness tips who goes by A. A provides another chicken and veggie slow cooker recipe, it’s true, but this time – with apples! Yep, you read that right. When A’s pup Aylah started having issues with diarrhea, she switched her to a high-grade mix of wet and dry food that was breaking the bank and not always appealing to her pooch anyhow. After consulting her dogs vet, she came up with this recipe, Aylah licked her bowl clean and neither have looked back! She also has a few alternative recipes on her blog if you like this one and are looking to spice it up. We love the inclusion of fruit here, which we didn’t see much in the recipes we found elsewhere.


  • 2 1/2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts
  • 2 c. frozen peas
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 large or 2 medium apples, cored and cubed (no seeds!!)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. frozen green beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • Place meat in the crockpot and add water so that it just covers the chicken. Then, add potato, carrots, kidney beans, green beans, and apple.
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours, when it is about finished, add the frozen peas and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • When finished, drain off excess liquid, add olive oil, and stir to mash (or place in a food processor).
  • When cooled, scoop daily servings into individual ziploc bags and freeze. Each night, remove one bag from the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost overnight.


Blogger and Chef known simply as A, is a twenty-something fashionista with a career in medicine and a creative side. She writes about style, health, and beauty and decided to create her own dogfood recipe to make a completely natural food, that was less expensive than store bought food.

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5. Turkey + Veggie Mash

With this recipe, we switched to a new protein – turkey! The Skinny Ms. site is a full service site for all people looking to transform their health and wellness, and that extends to the lives of their pets. This mash is made with 100% natural, human-grade ingredients and the lean, ground turkey and nutrient rich veggies are sure to be a hit with your pup. We love the addition of Safflower oil here, which is added to help give shine to your dog’s coat and provide needed fats for a healthy diet. It’s important to remember that when you consult your vet about making your own meals for your dog, that you ask about supplements that might work well for them as well, and anything else you might provide to be sure they’re receiving all the nutrients they need! This can differ a lot from dog to dog.


  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons raw turkey or chicken liver, finely diced or pureed
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets


  • Add 1 1/2 cups water to a double boiler, place carrots in a steam basket over the pot and cover. Heat until boiling, reduce heat to a low boil and steam until carrots start to get tender, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, add the turkey and liver to a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat until done and there’s no more pink color. Drain off any fat and discard.
  • Add broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini, and continue steaming until all vegetables are tender, but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Allow vegetables to cool slightly then either chop in a food processor use a knife. The size of the vegetables will depend on the consistency preferred. We usually pulse about three times in the food processor and get the vegetables to a finely chopped consistency, similar to canned dog food.
  • Add chopped vegetables to the turkey and liver, stir to combine. Add the olive oil and toss to combine with the turkey & veggie mixture. Allow to cool before dividing into freezer safe containers.

 Dogs Treat

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6. Meatballs

Meatballs – how fun! We loved discovering recipes that felt close to actual human meals, or that were presented in an interesting and fun way. Sumika, the writer behind the Mrs. Pacman blog, created this recipe while searching for a way to please her then 11-year-old pup Maru, who had grown tired of her usual dry food diet. At first, she tried simply switching her to a wet food diet, but Maru had difficulty licking her mushy wet food up, which is where the idea for meatballs originally started. After that first meal, Maru and Sumika knew they’d found just the right solution! Beyond the meatball styling, this recipe is great for it’s use of pumpkin (a stool softener, important for any seniors) and oat bran (fiber, which helps with a healthy digestive system).


  • 10 lbs ground beef (lean)
  • 3 slices of bread, cubed small
  • 2 cups of oat bran
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cans pumpkin puree
  • Some salt
  • 4 carrots, boiled/steamed and mashed
  • Flour
  • Leaves of 4 kale stalk chopped finely


  • Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix them all together and form them into any size of balls you’d like.
  • Dredge the balls lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Put them in 400 degree oven until done. Bake time will depend on the size of your balls; usually mine only take
    about 25 min. (Mine are about the size of a muscadine or those donut holes)

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7. Raw Food Cakes

We fell head over heels for the blog of an artist named Maureen in Montana called Water Earth Wind Fire. Here, she houses recipes, DIY projects, poetry, photos and more! Contained in all that magic is a magical raw dog food recipe. Why do we think it’s magical? Well, Maureen created the recipe for her large breed dog Sam and the flat coated retriever lived to be 20 years old! Pretty impressive, and likely largely attributed to his healthy diet. She developed the diet with her holistic vet sister after observing what Sam loved to eat and doing a bit of her own research. The food cakes she came up with were a hit, and she now feeds the same diet to her new canine companion, Charlie. A bit more labor intensive than some of the other recipes, but positively chock full of amazing ingredients and a real dream meal for any dog. We’re happy to have found a raw recipe to share and are thankful to Sam for the inspiration!


  • 2 cups rice (brown or white)
  • Other fruit: peaches, pears, plums are all okay for dogs and nutritious.
  • 4 cups unsalted, no-onion chicken broth
  • 1# green beans (sometimes more.)
  • 2 large yams, steamed or baked (I use the microwave to make it quickly)
  • 1# snap peas, or whatever peas in the pod you have around
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (in season)
  • 1# snap peas, or whatever peas in the pod you have around
  • 1 large bunch parsley
  • 12 eggshells or more (baked to dry, grind in small “coffee grinder”)**
  • 8 large carrots
  • 9 eggs, poached lightly then cooled
  • 1/4 head cabbage (optional — warning: ground up cabbage has a strong smell!)
  • 1 c. peanut butter (more or less — I use this as a binder & for protein)
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast (lots of vitamins) or 1/3 cup dog multiple vitamin powder
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 1 cup flax meal (if you just have the seed, finely grind it in food processor)
  • 1 large zucchini and/or yellow summer squash (in season)
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds or raw almonds (finely processor)
  • 4 large apples (more is good)
  • 2 cups rolled oats, optional (1/2 ground in food processor, 1/2 whole)
  • 1 # cranberries (in season, sometimes more)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 # blueberries (in season. These turn food gray. If it bothers you, skip blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup rose hips, dried and ground in coffee grinder


  • Cook rice in broth til done (the way you usually cook rice — I use a rice cooker) Then, let cool
  • Puree the yams in food processor, skin and all.
  • Finely chop or grind the fruits and vegetables in a food processor (the finer the more digestible.) I do one thing at a time in my Cuisinart and save time by NOT washing it out between ingredients. It doesn’t matter anyway since all of the ingredients get mixed together.
  • Put all of the ingredients into a very large bowl (I use a huge bread bowl my brother gave me over 20 years ago) Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. (I use my hands to mix it — there is a lot here.)
  • Mix with your hands or a spoon til all the ingredients have been incorporated into a squishy, moist glop.
  • Put waxed paper or parchment paper on 2 large cookie sheets. Scoop out measured amounts of the mixture in “balls” or “cakes” and place on waxed paper close together. Freeze until hard. Put the cakes in airtight freezer bags and thaw as needed.

Maureen Shaughnessy

Maureen Shaughnessy a full time artist and co-owner of 1+1=1 Gallery in Helena, Montana. The diet she is sharing here is the very one she fed her dog who lived to be 20 years old!

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8. Chili

Chili, for a dog!? Yep, you read that right. We found this fun recipe over on BarkPost, where it seems to have been written by a six-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog named Shirley. Impressive skills, Shirley! Shirley had us from the first paragraph with this line, “I have a master’s degree in hiding people’s’ shoes and socks + driving my two-legged sidekick Shell crazy. (That’s my mom.)” Ha! We love how different this recipe is, utilizing both cheese and pasta, not something you see often in dog food recipes. You’ll definitely want to do your research before trying this one out, and it shouldn’t be your go-to meal for your pup. But it’s the perfect meal to treat your pup with from time to time, and a fun meal to share with your pup, since you can easily make a side-by-side version for yourself.


  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 Can of tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Beef Broth (NO SALT)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Optional Can of Corn


  • First you need to boil the macaroni. In a frying pan, cook the beef.
  • Add butter, carrots, corn and tomato paste to your beef and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Then add your beef mixture to your casserole dish, add your beef broth.
  • After that, put in oven at 350 degrees and cook for half an hour.

Shirley Girl

Shirley Girl is a 6-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog living, working, and playing in Mont-Tremblant. A former obedience school dropout, best friend, model, and blogger she created this recipe out of boredom of eating the same food everyday. She gets really hungryy when she gets to run around the forest with her 8 Bernese co-workers.

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9. Meat Cakes

We snatched this tasty recipe straight from All Recipes, an uber popular human recipe site that has a surprising number of homemade dog food recipes snuck in. This one comes from Shelly, who started looking for ways to cook for her four dogs after facing a bit of a dog food scare (recalls will do that to ya!) She says her favorite thing about the recipe is that, like the chili above, it can be consumed by humans as well! It’s a bit on the rich side to be an everyday meal, but is a perfect now and again treat meal for that special pooch in your life. The recipe is a hit on the site, with 42 reviews and nearly a five star rating! Users raved in the comments about how much their dogs loved the recipe, and many relayed how they adapted the recipe for their own tribe. We love recipe share sites like this, and are so happy to see dog recipes up in the mix!


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • Market Pantry Ground Beef 1-lb Pkg
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 large potatoes, grated
  • 1 dash salt
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease 36 cups of 3 large muffin tins.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, and cook 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool several minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, celery, ground beef, and eggs. Mix ingredients together using your hands or a sturdy spoon. Add salt, olive oil, rolled oats, and rice; mix well.
  • Fill each muffin cup with some of the meat mixture, and pat down the to make it firm. Bake 45 minutes, or until surface feels set. Cool on a rack 10 minutes or longer.
  • Remove the meat cakes by turning the muffin tin upside down over a sheet of aluminum foil. Tap each muffin cup to release the cake. Refrigerate or freeze in sealed plastic bags.

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10. Meatloaf

From meat cakes to meatloaf! This recipe comes to us courtesy of Amy Tokic’s pet website Pet Guide, where she reviews pet products, gives tips and advice and blogs about dog health and insurance. She also, from time to time, posts dog food recipes! We love this meatloaf recipe for it’s creativity and beautiful presentation. It looks good enough for us to eat. We love comfort food during the fall and winter months, and we know our dogs won’t mind chowing down on something heavy and wholesome too. Amy offers this up to her pup Oscar around every four days, splicing his diet up with less rich fare on the other days. Amy is always looking for new recipes to try out and feature on her blog, so if you’ve got one to share, hop over and fill out her contact form.


  • 1 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups grated mixed vegetables (use your dog’s favorite veggies – Amy used broccoli, carrots and apple)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Hand-mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined thoroughly. Press evenly into a loaf pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Refrigerate or freeze in slices for easy serving.

Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross. She writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with Oscar).

 Dogs Butter

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11. Dinner Layer Cake

When it comes to food, the word “cake” will definitely get our attention. Wag the Dog UK is a blog run by Maggie the Beagle (her “peep” helps out from time to time, wink wink) where she shares stories of her travels, tips and a few recipes too. We fell hard for this savory cake recipe, which looks gorgeous but is easy and cheap to make. We think it’s the perfect thing to whip up for a doggie birthday party! Like chicken pot pie without the crust, you’ll be drooling over this one yourself. If you like the recipe, check out Maggie and Trina’s other recipes on their blog!


  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Chicken
  • 1 medium Apple
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1 Egg shell and all
  • 1/2 cup of peas
  • 1 cup of Brown rice
  • 1/2 cup of sweet corn


  • Preheat oven to 170º C
  • Pop the chopped carrots, peas, and sweetcorn in a pot to cook and soften.
  • Peel and chop apple into small pieces
  • Minced the chicken in a food processor (or just buy it already minced)
  • Cook brown rice according to package
  • Mush vegetable mix
  • Pulverize a whole egg so that shell is totally crushed.
  • Blend chopped apple, egg and chicken together in a mixing bowl
  • Mix vegetable melee and rice together in bowl


  • Grease a cake pan or line with baking paper.
  • Take 1/2 of chicken mixture and place in bottom of cake pan.
  • Take about 2/3 of the veggie and rice mix and place on top of chicken base
  • use the rest of chicken mixture and place on top of the veggie and rice mix
  • Top up the cake with the last of the veggie mixture
  • Pop it into your pre-heated oven and cook for 35 minutes or until juices run clear
  • Let cool and then remove from pan and slice a piece of posh chicken heaven for your dog.

Trina Cooper

An expert on traveling with a pet, Trina has brought her beagle Maggie to the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and all over the United States and other European cities. Her successful blog Wag The Dog UK features advice, tips and stories from how to take your dog abroad, pet care, and recipes for home cooked dog food.

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12. Crunchy Kibble

The makers of The Knot and The Bump created The Nest, a blog helping new couples navigate their new life and it’s chock full of home, food and relationship content. Which, lucky for us, extends to dog food recipes like this divine crunchy kibble recipe. This recipe is perfect for the pup who just so happens to love their standard dry food and for whom you’d just like to fancy-up the old standby. Herbs and
spices may also be added to your dog’s kibble, as long as they are not considered toxic to your dog (such as onions or garlic). This is a perfect first recipe to try if you’d like to dip your toe into making at home meals but don’t want to go too over the top and would rather ramp up to the meats and veggies seen throughout the rest of the recipes featured here.


  • 6 cups of flour — white, whole wheat or oat
  • 3 large eggs or four medium eggs
  • 1 cup of powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup baking oil
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 2-1/2 cups of milk, broth or water
  • 2 wooden spoons


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with a light coating of baking spray and set it aside.
  • Pour the flour and powdered milk into a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients and set the bowl aside.
  • Mix the eggs, baking oil and liquid choice in the second mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix into a thick, moist dough, similar to bread. Add any additional ingredients that you wish to mix in, such as the cheese, shredded meat, pureed fruits or vegetables. If the dough is too dry, add some additional liquid; if it is too wet, add some additional flour to get a smooth consistency.
  • Use the wooden spoon to spread the kibble dough onto the greased cookie sheet until it is approximately one-half inch thick. Place the tray in the oven.
  • Bake the dog food for approximately 45 minutes until Trit is brown and firm to the touch. Pull the cookie sheet from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Remove the baked “cookie” from the tray and break it into bite-sized pieces for your dog. Store the crunchy dog food in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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13. Spinach and Salmon Scramble

Fish oils are excellent for pups, and surprisingly it was tough to find many recipes that incorporated fish in their ingredient list. That’s why we were pumped to find this spinach and salmon recipe! This yummy dish from Rachael Ray is another dish you can share with your canine companion, as the meal works perfectly well for their
human counterparts. Dinner for two, coming right up!


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 can skinless, boneless salmon (3 ounces), drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 eggs


  • In a small nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO over medium heat.
  • Add the spinach and salmon and cook until heated through.
  • Add the eggs and stir continuously until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly and serve in a dog bowl.

Andrew Kaplan

Andrew Kaplan is Director of Special Projects at Rachael Ray. Andrew went through both culinary school and the hospitality program at Florida International University. He then worked in the hospitality industry in Miami and under Lee Schrager at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which led to his current role with Rachael Ray and her Yum-O! Organization.

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14. Vegan Happy Dog Bowl

Vegans and veggos rejoice, we’ve uncovered the perfect vegan meal to whip up for fido! This beautiful dish comes courtesy of VegAnnie, a blog run by Annie, a holistic health coach and PhD student in Austin. She shares several vegan dog food recipes on her site, but her happy dog bowl is by far our favorite, and it’s not just because the name screams pure joy! We love the wholesome ingredients, ease of cooking and the fact that it’s a favorite of Annie’s dog Ginger. Annie notes that switching her pup to a vegan diet has helped with her digestion, but it’s always best to use trial and error and talk with your vet to determine what’s best for your pup. Either way, using a vegan diet from time to time certainly can’t hurt! And with a 64 cent cost of serving, it won’t hurt your bank account either.


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cups uncooked brown rice + 1 1/3 cup water (yields 2 cups cooked)
  • 6 kale leaf stems, broken into 1 inch pieces


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line baking sheet with tin foil.
  • Pierce sweet potato with a fork multiple times around the sweet potato.
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for one hour.
  • While sweet potato is baking, cook rice: Bring rice and water to a boil in stockpot. Lower temperature and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
  • Chop sweet potatoes into small pieces when cooled.
  • Combine rice, beans, sweet potatoes, and kale stems and separate into 3 equal servings.
  • Serve your pup this delicious and nutritious meal and see how much they love it!


Annie is a Holistic Health Coach and PhD Student at UT Austin who loves creating and sharing simple plant-based recipes for both humans and pets!

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15. Kale + Quinoa Creation

We won’t lie – we’re obsessed with Pretty Fluffy, a lifestyle site for dogs created by fluffy dog owner and lover Serena. Here you’ll find everything from the most wanted new products, chic DIY projects, pet-friendly home tours, product reviews and behind the scenes glimpses into your favorite pet brands. Serena has created many homemade meals for her dog Soda (lucky pooch!) and this kale and quinoa creation is a favorite for it’s ease of making and for how excited Soda gets every time the bowl comes down with this stuffed inside. Bon appétit!

Get the full recipe at

Serena Faber Nelson

Serena Faber Nelson is a writer, television producer and fluffy dog owner. In 2010 Serena created Pretty Fluffy as a place where dedicated dog owners could find stylish products, modern advice, and inspiration for living well with their pets.

Dogs Bar

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16. Chicken Rice Balls

A blog called Mommy? I’m Hungry! – how could we resist? Created by mommy of three Rachelle, the gluten free blogger shares recipes she whips up for her family, including a few she’s created especially for the family dog Winks. She writes, “Having a dog hasn’t always been in our family future, I am more of a cat person, so I thought. We always told the kids they can have a dog when they’re grown.

Well, that all changed one day at the kid’s race banquet when our friends brought one of their fosters with them to hang out. His name is Winks. He’s a mix chihuahua (we think Chipuggle) and he’s had eye trauma sometime before in his short 2 years so he only has use of his right eye, thus he’s called Winks. We decided to try out the 2 week foster to adopt with him. We loved him from the get go as well as he loved us! So he became ours.”

There’s nothing we love as much as a happy ending, but a beautiful dog food recipe comes close. These chicken rice balls are gorgeous and full of so many things pups love – chicken, sweet potatoes and eggs. Yum!


  • 4-5 C. cooked brown rice
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 2 plain whole chickens, about 4 lbs each
  • 2 small bunches fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 medium orange sweet potatoes (yams), chopped
  • 2 small-medium bunches kale, stems removed
  • 8 whole carrots, chopped
  • 8 eggs


  • Roast chicken in 350′ oven for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until juices run clear. As chickens are roasting, cook the rice (4 C. water & 2 C. rice) and let cool.
  • Peel and chop yams, and carrots, add to a large stock pot with about 1/2 cup water. Add in peas, kale and apple. Allow to boil then simmer until carrots and
    yams are tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to remove any liquid to a food processor, add fresh parsley and pulse until pureed.
  • Cook scrambled eggs, plain.
  • Cool chicken, then pick apart and add meat to a large stand mixer. On medium speed, mix until chicken is shredded. Add in cooled
    rice, veggie puree and eggs . Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out portions onto a lined baking sheet. Flash freeze then place
    portions in a freezer safe container/baggie.
  • To use, keep a day or two worth in your fridge to thaw. I microwave thawed portions for 22 seconds, frozen for about 45 seconds. Feed to your furry baby.

Rachelle Shockey

Wife, mom and blogger of Mommy? I’m Hungry! Rachelle enjoys blogging about food recipes for people and pets.

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17. Food Pucks

Holistic Nutritionist + keto enthusiast Leanne runs Healthful Pursuit, a women’s website aimed at recipes and meal plans to help the busy lady keep her diet (and therefore life) on track in a healthy way. She recently added this dog food recipe, creating food pucks that are packed with nutrition for pups and are easy to eat and dethaw. These raw food pucks use much of the food scraps you would normally throw away, saving you money and improving your dog’s health. She knew she wanted to try out making raw food for her two pups, but didn’t want to shell out the $7
per meal for the premade stuff.

Her pup Pebbles was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in May, which catapulted her original slight interest in feeding the dogs a raw food diet to an all out obsession in figuring out how to make raw dog food happen for the least amount of money. That same week, she spent oodles of hours formulating the perfect homemade dog food
for both of them. Lexy is 50 pounds and Pebbles is 5 pounds. So already, there had to be a drastic difference in the food she made for each of them. Combined with Pebbles’ thyroid condition, she set to work and created this gorgeous recipe that works for both pups. While you can do this 100% raw, after chatting with a couple of vets
about it, she developed a 50/50 raw to cooked formula. Raw where it counts, cooked where it benefits them and their little bodies! Her little ones have been on this food for 6 months and have visited the vet for bloodwork and Pebble’s thyroid is now within normal range again, both of them are energetic, their dry skin has vanished and they have perfectly formed bowel movements twice a day. Score!


Raw Base Recipe
  • 3 cups raw grass-fed beef
  • ½ cup coconut oil or grass-fed tallow
  • 6 eggs, whole (you use the shell, too!)
  • Dog multiple vitamin powder
  • ½ teaspoon grey sea salt
Cooked Base Recipe
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • ¾ cup ground flax seed, pumpkin seed or hemp meal
  • 1 (300 gram) sweet potato
  • 6 chicken livers or 2 calf livers
  • 2 apples, seeds completely removed

Get the full recipe at

Leanne Vogel

Leanne. is an ultra passionate Holistic Nutritionist and food blogger in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who has two dogs, a 9 year old German Shepherd Border Collie Cross whose loyalty runs deep. And Pebbles, a 6 year old Pomeranian with an attitude that just won’t quit. She was inspired to create this recipe because she knew she wanted to feed her dogs raw, but didn’t want to pay $7 per service twice a day, per dog that the pet store was offering.

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18. Woof Loaf

This recipe comes from Popsugar, the popular lifestyle site. Just take one look at the photos of this doggie approved woof loaf and see why we fell in love – divine! Not that you need worry to much about presentation, yours is for eating not photographing, after all. Loafs are a great way to ensure ease of making while stockpiling a large amount of food for the week and turkey and veggies with eggs and oats are a great combo for most canine pals.


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs


  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, mix together the lean ground turkey, chopped carrots, and peas. Both are healthy for cats and dogs, giving them the nutrition they need for strong eyes and good digestion.
  • Add the oats and eggs. Mix until the loaf mixture comes together. Oats help your pet’s coat shine, and eggs offer extra protein. Lightly grease a loaf pan with olive oil and then add half the mixture to the pan.
  • Place the three hard-boiled eggs along the center of the loaf and then cover with the other half of the ground turkey mixture. Pop in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Cut a half-inch slice from the cooled loaf and offer it to your pet. He’ll be woofing for seconds! If feeding a slice to your feline, it’s a good idea to chop it up before adding it to her feeding dish.

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19. Mini Omelettes

Calling all breakfast for dinner lovers! Pawsh Magazine is a philosophy site about celebrating a life lived well with dogs. For four years it produced 10 stunning volumes in a traditional magazine format and in 2014 Pawsh changed
its format to serve as a beautiful blog catering the same top-notch dog-loving content in a more convenient digital package for readers. Today Pawsh is a lively blog that is read worldwide. Basically they gush about dogs on a daily basis. Pretty nice, right? We’re loving this egg-centric recipe, a three ingredient dish that is a wonderful source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for both you and your dog — and it takes only ten minutes to prepare! This healthy recipe is incredibly easy to make and can be whipped up at a moment’s notice. It is also incredibly versatile — not a fan of green pepper? Simply replace it with tomato instead, or broccoli or shaved smoked ham. Whatever your little pupster loves to gobble up! The egg offers your pup a wonderful protein boost, but just be sure that the egg is cooked all the way through as uncooked eggs can cause an upset stomach for canines. This recipe also makes tasty bite-sized treats if you cut it into smaller sizes once cooled.


  • 2 organic eggs
  • green pepper, diced
  • smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1 oven-safe ramekin


  • Lightly grease ramekin with a small drizzle of olive oil. Crack eggs directly into ramekin.
  • Stir thoroughly with a fork until combined.
  • Bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned on top and cooked completely.
  • Allow to cool and serve.

Laura Benn

Laura is the founder and editor of Pawsh, an online magazine devoted to celebrating a dog-friendly lifestyle. They publish heart-melting photographs of animals and write about a life lived well with dogs

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20. Chicken Casserole

“Homemade pet foods are less likely to lose nutrients by cooking methods. Since the food is cooked in small batches, they are cooked in less heat and water and so they also lose lesser nutrients during the cooking process. Compared to commercial food preparation, home cooking also makes use of lesser heat whereas industrial grade commercial cooking use extremely high temperatures.”

This helpful info comes from Dogsaholic, a fun and informative blog that covers all things dogs. There’s a lot to learn here! “There is also lesser stand-by time for the food before it is served to your pet so nutrients which are lost through light or air-exposure are better preserved. If you are also going to judge by the look and texture of homemade versus commercially bought dog food, you will notice the difference – commercial dog food does not resemble any normal food at all. Homemade dog food does not contain preservatives. This is perhaps one of the most valuable health aspects of making your pet’s food at home. The only way you can lengthen the shelf life of homemade food is by storing it in the freezer, which does not pose any serious health risks for your pet unless you serve the food frozen. You will definitely give a large chance for your pet to gain better health if you serve foods that are not contaminated with these toxic chemicals.” Dogsaholic posted a whole slew of their favorite homemade recipes, but we nabbed this chicken casserole as a personal favorite.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables (carrots, green beans, potatoes, broccoli)
  • Oil for frying
  • ¼ cup rolled oats


  • Start by chopping the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and sauté them in oil until cooked.
  • Add the chicken broth, rolled oats, and chopped vegetables in the pan and simmer from 10 to 15 minutes.

Anna Smith

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Annas passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed.


So there you have it! Twenty homemade, healthy dog food recipes straight from dog loving owners around the web. We hope you’ve found a few that speak to you and your pup, and that you’re excited to get in the kitchen and start cooking! We can’t wait to hear how it goes, and to get your advice on making homemade dog food.

In the comments below, be sure to leave tips and tricks, and of course include your own tried-and-true recipes that you’ve found or come up with yourself. Together, we can make mealtime a lot more pleasurable for our favorite furry friends.

3 Reasons you should Feed your Dog Strawberries

3 reasons you should feed your dog

As the internet has taught us, there’s a holiday for just about everything. And as it turns out – fruit is no exception, as May is national strawberry month. National Strawberry month is when we celebrate the pure love of strawberries and take notice of all the value this delicious fruit has to offer. Did you know – one cup of strawberries constitutes approximately 45 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids? A favored fruit of many, strawberries are both fun to eat and an excellent way to enjoy a healthy dose of sugar. This week, we thought it would be fun to talk about why – and how! – you should feed your dog strawberries.


Strawberries are a healthy treat for both dogs and humans alike. You know that summer is almost here when a bounty of strawberries starts to makes its way into local grocery store, or if you’re lucky, your own garden! These sweet berries pack a tasty and healthy punch for humans and dogs alike. And that’s why they’re the star of this amazing Strawberry Sensation Dog Treat Recipe. Check it out below!



  • 1/2 cup strawberries diced
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/4 cup Whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup whole grain rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk




  • Put banana and strawberries in a blender. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add flour, oat flour, whole grain rolled oats, and The Honest Kitchen Perfect Form. Mix until combined.
  • Add strawberry and banana mixture, and almond milk to the dry mixture. Stir until dough is moist but firm, knead with hands if necessary.
  • On a parchment paper lined surface, roll out dough to ¼ thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on cookie sheets.
  • Place cookies in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and place on cooling rack overnight.
  • Store cookies in airtight container or bag and keep in refrigerator or freezer.



Summer (and any warmer times) can be tough on dogs, and making them a delicious frozen treat is an excellent way to ensure they get their needed dosage of H2O and stay hydrated. Why not try one out that includes strawberries?



  • Fresh Strawberries
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • Knife
  • Blender
  • Ice Cube Trays


  1. Cut off strawberry tops.
  2. Add strawberries and water to the blender.

  3. Blend together until smooth.

  4. Pour into ice cube trays.

  5. Add a dollop of DOGSBUTTER to the tops

  6. Freeze and serve.

Strawberries are an excellent way to indulge canine sweet tooths without the dangers of chocolate or processed sugar overload. Fresh fruit offers a natural sweetness to dog treats, along with all the benefits of fresh fruit- strawberries for their phytonutrients and antioxidant properties, while bananas offer potassium and amino acids. You can feel really good about slipping your beloved pet these treats knowing they are made with wholesome ingredients and no additives, food dye, or preservatives.




  1. Mash bananas and strawberries.
  2. Add in flour, oatmeal, and yogurt. Stir until well combined.
  3. Turn dough out onto well floured counter, dough will be sticky.
  4. Flatten to 1/4” with your floured hands or rolling pin.
  5. Cut shapes with cookie cutters or use a small cup for circles.
  6. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake in oven preheated to 350° F for 15-17 minutes until golden and still slightly soft.
  8. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Strawberry fun facts:

  1. Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  2. Strawberries are the only fruit with the seeds on the outside.
  3. Strawberries are actually a member of the rose family.
  4. Strawberries are low fat, low calorie; high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid and potassium.
  5. In medieval times, strawberries were served at important functions to bring peace & prosperity.
  6. Americans eat approximately 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries each year.
  7. Ninety-four percent of U.S. households consume strawberries.
  8. Strawberries, as part of a five-servings-a-day fruit and vegetable program, can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart attacks.
  9. Unlike some other fruits, strawberries don’t continue to ripen after being picked.
  10. California produces some 80% of the strawberries in the U.S.

So, dog lovers, what fun ways are you looking forward to celebrating national strawberry month with? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below, along with any dog-friendly recipes you’ve got that involve the celebrated fruit!

10 Activities to Occupy your Puppy While You’re at Work

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

10 Activities to Occupy your Puppy While You're at Work

Last week, we celebrated an especially fun “holiday,”  National Puppy Day with a list of adoptable puppies from our donation partners. Whether you’ve recently adopted a new puppy or are thinking about bringing a new addition home, we thought it would be fun to celebrate even more because everyday should be national puppy day with a post on ten things that will occupy your puppy while you’re at work. Because no matter how much time you’re able to devote to your new pal, you’ll likely have to at least leave them alone from time-to-time. Toys for puppies and other activities geared towards puppies are plentiful, and we’ve tracked down some good options for keeping those little critters occupied in your time away. We know it’s easy to feel worried or guilty about living your little guy or girl at home alone, but with a little research and imagination, there are ways to keep even their time alone fun and stimulating.

  1. Create a safe space. Pick one area in the house where you think your dog will feel safest and most comfortable while you’re away. It could be a corner in the living room or a separate room, closed off from the rest of the house. Make sure they know that this is their designated area by inviting your new dog to sniff around. Give him treats so he can associate positive feelings with it, and leave some of his toys and his favorite blanket around. If you’ve decided to crate your pup while you’re away, this is the perfect space to put it. Make it cozy and attractive so that they’ll want to take ownership of it and feel safe there.
  2. Pick a super awesome bed. Whether it’s going in the crate or pin or just sectioned off in a certain area of the house, be sure to provide your pup with an awesome bed they can spend some serious time snoozing in. A majority of the time you are working, your dog is probably asleep. On average, dogs can sleep between 14 to 18 hours a day. For this reason, you should provide your dog with the most comfortable, cushiony bed while you’re away. If you notice that your dog is a sprawler, try and get a bed that is slightly larger so it can fit his entire body. If your dog likes to rest his head on something, find a doughnut bed. If your dog likes his sleeping area super soft, get him a cushiony pillow bed. You have your preferred sleeping style, and so does your pup! See what fits their snoozing style and purchase accordingly.
  3. Provide your dog with fresh water throughout the day. H20 isn’t just vastly important for humans, it’s also essential for animals. Not only should there always be a steady flow of water for them at all times, but it should also always be clean and fresh. Consider purchasing a self-filling pet water bowl so you don’t have to worry about your pup going thirsty while you’re gone. Of course, in the training stages you also have to worry about accidents, so do your research and know your pup before setting up their water station.
  4. Try out treat-dispensing toys. While you’re away, one of the greatest gifts you can give your pup is an interactive toy to play with that will engage their mind and get them working for an awesome reward. Many dogs are food motivated, and treat-dispensing toys are in high-demand for people who spend time away from home. This is a fantastic way to distract your canine while you’re gone! While some owners opt to scatter kibble across their house, you can also purchase a handy food-dispensing toy that will keep your house tidier and will also last longer for dogs who are quick foragers. Find a fun toy you can hide food in, like the Buster Food Cube. These kinds of toys will keep your furry friends engaged and challenged. In addition, most food-dispensing toys give you the option to adjust the degree of difficulty so that it can keep things exciting for your dog. There are so many good options out there, so do your research and try out a few with your pup. You’ll figure out the best fit for them in no time.
  5. Leave them with indestructible toys that will keep them busy for hours. Some pets have a harder time being left alone than others and all animals have a range of separation anxiety that they experience. Your dog’s ability to chew through a toy or bone will also vary, as some pups are more gentle than others. Either way, leaving them with ample chew toys or bones will help ensure that they chew on something other than your sofa! You can discourage this bad behavior by providing them with strong and safe chew toys that also won’t end up being a choking hazard. Giving them indestructible chew toys, like the Monkey Fist Bar Rope Dog Toy, will provide hours of entertainment while keeping your dog’s gums and teeth healthy. Bonus points!
  6. Another great option? Puzzle toys. Sturdy bones and treat-dispensing toys are old-school winners, but they aren’t the only game in town. On the rise in popularity are puzzle toys, offering another way to keep your dog entertained during the day. These brain-teasing toys keep your dog stimulated, especially if he is left alone for multiple hours of the day. Keeping your dog sharp can extend his life by fighting canine cognitive dysfunction. Brain teasers give dogs the opportunity to problem solve and use some of the functions that they don’t ordinarily use in their brains. Check out a few here.
  7. Play them some tunes. Studies have shown that classical music can calm and soothe a dog’s nerves, so consider providing your canine with a soundtrack while you’re away by creating a Spotify playlist of relaxing classical symphonies, or consider getting “Through a Dog’s Ear,” a CD set of psycho-acoustically designed piano music that has been tested in dog shelters, clinics and homes.
  8. Leave the TV on. Some people just leave it on a random channel, but if you think your dog could use a little visual stimulation, there is a channel just for him. DirectTV teamed up with DogTV, a channel that provides 24/7 programming aimed at stimulating, entertaining, relaxing and habituating dogs with shows that are filled with different sounds, objects and movements, all seen from a dog’s point of view. Hey, it couldn’t hurt!
  9. Stuff a toy with all-natural DOGSBUTTER. This is a classic dog-stimulating choice for a reason! Most dogs love the smell and taste of peanut butter and can take hours finding every last dollop in a Kong® in puppy size or similar hollow toy. To provide an extra challenge, freeze the toys after stuffing them overnight before you hand them over in the morning.
  10. Consider hiring a dog walker. It is cheaper and easier than ever to secure a reliable dog walker, and for some dogs it’s an essential and important way to offer them a little mid-day relief, especially if you’re going to be gone for long stretches of time. A dog walker not only provides them with an extra pee break, but yields them all-important human interaction, gives them a break from their crate or small space (if you’re using such) and gets them a little extra exercise (which is great for their health, both physically and mentally). It will also tire them out and make the time waiting for you to get home breeze by. Dog walkers vary in their services, with some providing brisk, 30-minute walks for those dogs that don’t need a whole lot of exercise, and others offering hour-long hikes for those canines bursting with energy. The most important thing to remember is to find a reliable, trustworthy walker that both you and your dog get along with. Consider checking out DogVacay, Rover and Wag to connect with walkers in your area.

Did you know that DOG for DOG now has puppy food? Have a full grown pup? Check out our list of 14 ways to keep your dog busy while at work. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ideas for keeping your pup entertained while you’re away from home. In the comments below, share your own tips and tricks for new puppies faced with temporary indepen-dance. 

5 Fun Dog Activities Using DOG for DOG DOGSBUTTER

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments



As we all well know, there’s not much dogs love more than a spoon (or Kong, or finger, or whatever else) full of peanut butter. The sweet and salty treat is not only oh-so-tasty, but delightfully fun to eat. That’s why one of DOG for DOG’s most popular and important products is our DOGSBUTTER. Made with all natural ingredients and without sugar, salt, soy or hydrogenated oils, it’s the perfect treat to hide medication in or fill hollow treats with. And like all of our products, for each DOGSBUTTER sold, we donate an equal amount of food to a dog in need.

We have three varieties – immunity and digestion (topped off with coconut and ginger), skin and coat, and flaxseed, to fit your dogs needs. It’s important to note that while many dog lovers give their pups generic store-bought peanut butter, the ingredients can be taxing on your pet’s stomach and overall health, especially xylitol (which of course ours doesn’t contain). 

While thinking of all the great uses for DOGSBUTTER, we thought it would be fun to round up five fun activities to do with your pup using our dog safe version of peanut butter. Check out our ideas below!


Teaching your dog to discover prizes using only his nose is a great game for the body and mind. While all dogs have a great sense of smell, sometimes they have to be reminded to use it, and this exercise can get your dog excited about solving the problem of a hidden prize. Set up a bunch of boxes or opaque containers (start with at least four or five) upside-down next to each other and, without your dog seeing you hide it, place some DOGSBUTTER (or a treat made with some) under one of the containers. Next, encourage your dog to smell the boxes and as he (hopefully) pauses at the one with the prize, lift up the box and enthusiastically congratulate him on his discovery. Let him eat the treat and soon your dog will know what’s expected during this game and be excited to sniff out the prize. Keep adding more boxes and space them at further intervals to increase the challenge as your dog’s scent work improves.


Cook up some simple peanut butter bites and try out hide and go seek with your pup. If they’re good at the “stay” command, you can get them to wait while you find a hiding spot. Then, you can tell them to come or leave a trail of treats to where you are. While it doesn’t work for every dog, we’ve known plenty who love a good game of hide and seek as much as the kiddos in our lives!


Photo by dogster


Firing up the blender for an afternoon smoothie? Concoct something awesome that your dog can enjoy too and enjoy your smoothies together!

You will need:

  • 5 ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt (I used one of the single-serving Chobani 0% yogurts)
  • 2 globs of peanut butter
  • 8 small strawberries (use frozen for a frosty treat)
  • A tablespoon of maple syrup (any grade is fine, but grade B is more flavorful)

You know what to do.


There’s almost nothing better than a Kong with DOGSBUTTER, frozen overnight and ready for hours of enjoyment while you’re away from home or getting things done around the house. But Kong’s aren’t the only toy to hide treats in – there are tons of great options on the market. One that we like are puzzle toys, which you can hide frozen treats in and your pup has to figure out how to get them out. These puzzles provide mental stimulation and rewards your dog for being able to complete a tough and stimulating task.


A frozen DOGSBUTTER treat? Yes, please!


  • 1 cup peanut butter, preferably unsalted and unsweetened (Check your peanut butter’s label to make sure it doesn’t contain any kind of xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.)
  • Half a ripe banana, mashed
  • Water as needed


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with a little water or half a mashed banana. (The water and banana aren’t essential, but they help with freezing consistency.)
  2. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, or use Kong-style rubber toys that have a cavity you can fill.
  3. Spoon the mixture onto the tray just like you would cookie dough, or stuff it into the toys. Freeze the tray or toys for several hours or overnight. If you need to reuse the tray right away, pop out the cubes and store them in a bag or container in the freezer.
  4. Serve, and turn any hot dog into a happy camper.

Check out these links here and here for more ideas on fun games to play with your pups incorporating DOGSBUTTER.

When you purchase our DOGSBUTTER or any of our other all natural dog food products, we will donate an equal amount of DOGSFOOD to a dog in need. DOG for DOG was built around a passion to help dogs in every way we can. We make an effort to connect and partner with local shelters and rescue foundations, and with your purchase of DOGSBUTTER, you’re helping us achieve our goal.  Every dog deserves a chance to live a healthy and happy life, and we thank you for joining the movement to make this happen. Don’t forget to browse our entire catalogue of DOGSBUTTER and all-natural dog food products, and order yours today. Your dog—and a dog in need—is ready to enjoy the benefits that come from a tasty treat like DOGSBUTTER! 

10 Delicious Peanut Butter Based Dog Treats

by DOG for DOG Team 1 Comment

No matter how fickle your dog is with treats and toys, there is likely one thing you can always get them to enjoy – peanut butter. The salty, tasty treat not only tastes fantastic but is so darn fun to eat, lending hours of enjoyable licking-of-the-lips. Thankfully, peanut butter is great for our canine friends, as it not only is a good source of protein but also contains heart healthy fats, vitamins B and E and niacin. Whether you stick it in a Kong treat or let them take it right off the spoon with their medicine or vitamins, peanut butter is an excellent way to treat your pup.


We thought it might be fun to round up ten recipes that use peanut butter as a base for homemade treats for pups. Next time you have some extra time to do some baking, consider whipping up one of these wholesome recipes for the furry friend in your life!

  1. Peanut Butter Gingerbread Dog Treats



  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix + extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (if making crunchy treats, leave this out)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 generous tbsp. fresh finely grated ginger or ginger paste (if substituting dried, use 1 heaping tsp.)
  • 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. DOGBUTTER Peanut Butter for Dogs
  • 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. water


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, peanut butter, molasses, water and vanilla. If you are using fresh ginger stir it into the wet mix. (If you’re using dry, add it to the mix below.)
  3. In a second bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Don’t be tempted to use a pre-made gingerbread spice mix. These mixes contain nutmeg which can be toxic to dogs, even in small doses. Stir the dry mix into the wet mix, adding a little at a time until combined and dough comes together.
  4. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn out your dough and roll it out to a generous 1/4″ thick. (For crunchy treats, roll it to a thin 3/16″). Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares.
  5. Lay out dough on your parchment lined baking sheets. Pierce the center of the cookies to allow air to escape and prevent surface bubbling. (I used the holes to make it look like buttons.) Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. (Don’t worry if the inside still looks soft. The cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.) Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  6. For crunchy treats, turn the oven off and allow the cookies to cool inside the oven for several hours.


2. Peanut Butter Dog Treats


  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour (see note below for substitutions)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and the egg. Add peanut butter, water, honey and stir until you have stiff dough. the dough becomes very firm and sticky. you may need to use your hands, or the paddle attachment on your mixer.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about ½ inch thick and use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes. the treats barely spread and rise, so get creative with your shapes.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
  5. Keep in an airtight container or give as gifts!

IMG_5510edit3. Peanut Butter Dog Bones


  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.54.25 PM

4. Gus’ PB Dog Biscuits


  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and peanut butter.
  2. Paula’s note: as a general rule, most homemade dog biscuits do well with 1 part liquid to 3 parts dry. You can customize the recipe by adding and subtracting ingredients your dog likes.
  3. Add in the flour and baking powder to make a very stiff dough, using your hands to work in the last of the flour if necessary.
  4. Flour a work surface and roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired sizes depending on the size of your dog.
  5. Bake on a parchment-lined baking tray at 325° for approximately 20 minutes. Turn biscuits over and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Dog biscuits can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.                                            

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5. Peanut Butter Dog Bone Treats


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats and baking powder. Stir in the broth and peanut butter until the mixture forms a crumbly dough. Press the dough together to form a ball.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds until smooth. Roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. Using a bone-shape cookie cutter, cut out bones and place on the prepared baking sheet (any scraps of dough can be formed into a ball and re-rolled). Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  4. Bake until light golden, 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


  1. Mini Bone Cookie Cutter Dog Cookies


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana
  • ¼ cup vegetable, chicken or beef stock
  • bone shaped cookie cutter




  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flour, peanut butter and applesauce in a large mixing bowl. Add stock and stir until well-combined. The dough will be thick. Once combined use your hands to press the dough into a ball. Place dough ball on a flat service (with a sprinkle of flour if needed) and roll out evenly with a rolling pin. Dough should be about ¼ inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into desired shape and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Store in an airtight container.


  1. PB and Oatmeal Dog Treat




  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use another type of flour if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth (I used smooth this time)
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water




  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix in the peanut butter and hot water. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Knead the dough well.
  5. Roll out the dough into 1/4″ thickness and cut into shapes with dog cookie cutters.
  6. Note – This recipe doesn’t call for it, but I put an egg wash (one egg whisked with a fork and then brushed on with a pastry brush) on the treats before I baked them. It gives them a nice sheen once they’re baked. Here’s how they look before baking.
  7. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let them cool overnight.


  1. Soft Peanut Butter Carrot Dog Treats




  • 1 cup (255g) natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) skim milk
  • 1 large Eggland’s Best egg (or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded (or 8-ish baby carrot)– around 2/3 cup shredded
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (290g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (30g) oats (either whole-rolled or quick oats are fine)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently mix the peanut butter, milk, egg, and carrot together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the flour and baking powder. You may need to turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to work in the flour. Mix in the oats. The dough is extremely thick and heavy.
  3. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into 1/4″ thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Arrange on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and flip the treats to bake the other side for 10 more minutes. Want the treats to be a little more crunchy? Bake for 5 more minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  5. Make ahead/freezing: Since the pups can’t eat the whole batch in a week, I usually freeze them. Jude loves them right out of the freezer too! The treats freeze well up to 2 months.


  1. Homemade Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treats


  • 1 cup (255g) natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) nonfat milk
  • 1 large egg (or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 cups (244g) whole wheat flour* (measured correctly)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (30g) oats (either whole-rolled or quick oats are fine)
  • 2-3 strips cooked bacon, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently mix the peanut butter, milk, and egg together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the flour and baking powder. You may need to turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to work in the flour. Mix in the oats and bacon. The dough is extremely thick and heavy.
  3. Using a floured rolling pin, cut into shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Arrange on the baking sheets. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and flip the treats to bake the other side for 10-12 more minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  5. Make ahead/freezing: Since the pups can’t eat the whole batch in a week, I usually freeze them. Jude loves them right out of the freezer too! The treats freeze well up to 2 months.


  1. Homemade PB and Banana Treats


  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Put banana in a large bowl and use a spoon or potato masher to mash it thoroughly. Add oat flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter and egg and stir well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each; transfer to a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet as done. Use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to press each ball into a (1 1/2- to 2-inch) coin. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
  3. Storage note: It’s best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, freeze them to give to your pal later; just be sure to thaw the treats before handing them out.

And there you have it, ten awesome recipes for peanut butter treats for your pup. In the comments below, tell us about any of your favorite peanut butter based treats or other canine healthy treats you enjoy making for your dog.

New Year, New Dog Food Feeding Guide

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

Happy new year DOG for DOG fans! With each passing new year, it’s commonplace for us humans to make resolutions for the coming year, whether it’s to spend more quality time with family and friends, to quit bad habits or – perhaps most popularly of all – to start new, healthier eating habits. But us dog parents don’t just have ourselves to think about in the coming year, we also have our dogs to consider! Since we’re the ones choosing what activities they enjoy and foods they consume, it’s up to us to help them make great choices. So whether your pup could stand to shed a few lbs or needs to focus on a diet made especially for seniors or puppies this year, we thought it would be helpful to put together a new year, new pup feeding guide! Our tips below aim to help your dog make the best of their diet and eating habits this year.

Overweight: Just like it’s bad in so many ways for us to be overweight (both mentally and physically), it’s also tough on our dogs bodies to have extra lbs. And just like us, the fix is usually simple (to discern, not always to do!) – dogs that consume fewer calories than they burn will lose. While we know all of this is true, nearly 45% of all dogs in the US are overweight! Besides the obvious benefits, keeping your dog at a healthy weight can add about two years to their life… and who doesn’t want their pup to live longer. A healthier diet and weight goals can also prevent your pup from getting diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, lung disorders, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Wondering exactly how much you should be feeding your pup? Check out this dog food calculator and consider consulting your vet if you have additional questions. Many vets advise against free feeding, a popular method that allows dogs to eat out of boredom and can also lead to unnatural hormonal changes. Most dogs should be fed two to four small portions a day and timed automatic feeders can help for those of us who have trouble adhering to a more frequent schedule.

While it’s easy to just grab a bag of low cal or diet food for our pups, that solution is unfortunately not the best fix in the long run. Many of these foods contain high levels of carbohydrate fillers that create a low calorie, bulky food that helps your dog feel full but only for a short time. This can leave your pup feeling constantly hungry and begging for more food. You’ll need to find a quality food that isn’t necessarily one with good branding about being for weight loss. Our DOGSFOOD Grain-free formula is a great choice. Many times this can include adding a bit of wet food into a dry food diet, or some home cooked food along with their kibble. Speaking of home cooked food, you can consider switching from regular treats 24/7 to healthier options like carrot sticks! No matter what food you decide to go with, be sure to measure out each serving with a with a proper measuring cup. Even in your busiest moments, you have an easy way to be sure you’re feeding the proper amount.

Puppy: As you read above, a balanced diet is critically important to your pup’s growth and overall health and this is never more true that when they’re a puppy! Think about raising a child – while it’s hugely important to think about what they’re eating throughout their adolescence, we’re super concerned with what they’re taking in when they’re very young. Barring any special needs or illness-related deficiencies, your puppy is safe to consume a normal high-quality commercial pet food and can get all of the nutrients they need from it. Or you can get a formula specifically created with puppies in mind such as our DOGSFOOD puppy formula. In general, puppies require up to twice the energy intake of adult dogs and, depending on the breed, will need to be fed food that contains between 25-30% protein. While you may eventually choose to feed your dog twice a day (six months in is a good time to do the change if you’re considering it), it’s often advised to feed puppies smaller portions more often. Smaller meals are easier to digest and energy levels don’t peak and fall as often. Another important thing to note is that unless specifically instructed by your vet, supplements and vitamins are not usually recommended for puppies, as they’ll get everything they need from a balanced diet. In fact, many of the supplements you can find sold online and in local stores could actually do more harm than good!

Senior: Dogs begin to show visible age-related changes between seven to twelve years of age, including both metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes. Health issues like deterioration of skin and coat, loss of muscle mass, more frequent intestinal problems, etc. are common. While some of these are unavoidable, others can be managed with a proper diet. The main objective should remain to maintain health and optimum body weight. Studies have shown that the protein requirement for older dogs does not decrease with age and it’s important to feed older dogs diets that contain optimum levels of highly digestible protein such as our DOGSFOOD Duck formula to maintain good muscle mass.

While older dogs may start to eat a bit less, they’ve also been shown to progressively put on body fat. In this case, it’s okay to feed a diet with a lower caloric density while making sure the normal protein level is in balance. Talk to your vet about Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and omega-6 fatty acid that plays a role in the maintenance of a healthy coat which can diminish in older dogs. Senior diets should also include FOS to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene help eliminate free radical particles that can damage body tissues and cause signs of aging. Senior diets should therefore also include higher levels of these compounds. A more fun tip? Add a booster of flaxseed oil to help with arthritis!

Active: Assuming your dog just likes a weekly run at the dog park or playing around your house, your current diet is probably fine for them. But if this new year includes plans to turn your dog into your daily running partner, you may want to make a few small adjustments to their diet such as our DOGSFOOD Chicken Formula. In a story for the New York Times, Dr. Joseph Wakshlag (professor of clinical nutrition and sports medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine) said that “for dogs jogging along with you for 20 minutes a few times a week, a normal commercial dog food containing about 15 or 16 percent fat should be fine. But if you and your dog run five or 10 miles a day, that dog likely needs a slightly higher-fat diet.There are special high-performance dog foods now that contain as much as 20 percent fat. Or you can just add a teaspoon of olive oil to your dog’s kibble. That increases fat intake by 1 or 2 percent, which can be plenty. On the other hand, fat is somewhat indigestible and can lead to greater fecal mass. So if you increase your dog’s fat intake, be prepared to carry an extra plastic bag or two when you go running. Athletic dogs need protein to build and maintain muscle. In general, their diet should consist of at least 25 percent protein, preferably from meat. In one study, dogs fed plant-based soy protein experienced far more musculoskeletal injuries than dogs consuming meat protein.” Check out the full article here.

Average (age and size): Once your pup is into adulthood, refrain from feeding them either senior or puppy food. Puppy food in particular is very high in calories and nutritional supplements so you want to make the switch appropriately depending on their breed and age (consult your vet if your unsure on best timing). When making the switch, do it slowly over the course of one to two weeks by gradually mixing in increasing amounts of the adult food with decreasing amounts of puppy food to minimize gastric upset. Making the switch will prevent obesity and orthopedic problems. An average, healthy adult dog can continue on the diet you’ve been giving them because, as the saying goes, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it! As long as they maintain a healthy weight and their stool looks good (dark brown and sturdy), you’re in the clear! If you ever decide to change their food anyways, use the same transitional advice from above for moving away from puppy food to get them used to their new food.

Popular add-ins for all dogs:

  • Salmon oil: showing benefits in both older dogs and puppies alike, salmon oil (normally squirted into food or available in pill format) can lead to better brains and bones and works as an anti-inflammatory supplement for older dogs suffering from arthritis. It may also help keep brain functioning sharp in aging dogs. Lastly, it can work as a cancer fighter!
  • Fish oil: Usually in pill form, this is a great treatment for dogs with allergies and/or skin conditions.
  • Coconut oil: Can aid in pets’ digestion, improve their coats and help prevent infection. It is important to dose correctly though, so check out this awesome story on the benefits and ways to administer.

Like any new resolution, these eating tips will require an ongoing commitment to making the best choices which we know change is never easy. Start small and create goals that are easily achievable and work up from there! Do research on your dog’s breed and age and consult with your vet on any questions you might have or further steps you’re interested in taking. We’d love to hear what changes you’ve already made to ensure a healthier lifestyle for your pups, so be sure to leave your own pieces of advice for fellow dog owners in the comments below! Have a safe and happy 2016. 

3 Reasons you Should Feed Your Dog Ginger

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments


Raise your hand if you get a tummy ache and immediately reach for the saltine crackers and ginger ale? A time honored remedy for feeling nauseas, the thing in ginger ale we’re really reaching for (outside of the bubbly carbonation) is the actual ginger root in the drink. Ginger works here most popularly as a digestive aid for an upset stomach, but that’s only scratching the surface of it’s potential benefits. From the same family as turmeric, the root of the ginger plant has been used as a spice and medicine in Asian, Arabic, and Indian cultures for ages for everything from osteoarthritis to cancer. Modern scientific research has shown that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, lowering cholesterol and as an aid in blood circulation.

Here are 3 reasons you should feed your dog some ginger.


If you haven’t tried it yet, you can consider adding this powerful root into the diet of your dog for a variety of conditions, as well as for general health maintenance. For nausea and/or vomiting, fresh ginger or a powdered spice version can help. If your dog is easily car sick, give them a few drops of ginger root extract about 30 minutes before a car trip. You can also give them a ginger capsule if they just get nervous riding in the car. Ginger is high in antioxidants, making it great in the fight against heart disease. It is also known to treat allergies as it can be administered as an antihistamine. One more? It can also help reduce cholesterol!


Ginger is great for bloat (gastric dilation volvulus), a life-threatening condition seen in larger breeds that involves the expansion of the stomach from built up food and gas that hasn’t been expelled. While the risks are great, no exact cause is known, making understanding and preventing it frustrating. According to materials written by Steve Marsden, DVM and Shawn Messonnier, DVM, ginger “may play a role in relieving or preventing bloat in dogs due to its ability to stimulate movement in the stomach and accelerate the emptying of the stomach.”


Another inflammatory disease, arthritis, is greatly helped by ginger, as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. A dog suffering from inflamed joints could gain some relief from taking ginger. As mentioned above, ginger is also believed to be a good addition to the fight against cancer, aside from the obvious benefits of treating the nausea common with cancer treatments. There is a study that shows great promise in using ginger to treat heart worm disease in dogs, a difficult and risky affliction to treat. In the study, a reduction of heart worm larvae in concentration ranged between 83 and 98 percent in infected dogs treated with ginger.


How to give it to your dog:


how to feed ginger to your dog



  • Ginger comes in a variety of forms: powder, pill, tincture, tea and raw root. To administer in raw form, you should cut off the skin and finely mince the yellow part of the root.
  • Give ½ teaspoon for dogs under 35 lbs and ¾ for larger dogs
  • Can be mixed in with their food
  • Always start slow and gradually add into their routine

In the video: This week on Kitchen Tails, Dog for Dog founder and Pet Chef Rocky Kanaka walks you through how to make gingerbread cookies or your pup. Click the YouTube video above to get his full recipe.

More recipes on Rocky’s YouTube Page.



Avoid ginger if your dog will be having surgery soon or if they are pregnant or have anemia, as ginger can thin the blood. It can also lower blood sugar and blood pressure, so it’s best to speak to your vet before giving ginger to a dog with diabetes or any kind of heart condition. As always, it’s also best to consult your vet first if your dog is on medications or suffering from any health conditions.

Do you feed your dog ginger? Tell us about it in the comments, or let us know what other good-for-dogs human treats you love to share with your pup!

Pumpkin is a Miracle Food for Dogs

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments
Pumpkin is a Miracle Food for Dogs



It’s fall you guys and you know what that means – pumpkin everything! Pumpkin carving, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie! Luckily, this is one sweet treat your pups can actually take part in, as pumpkin is great for dogs and a meal staple for a lot of furry critters. Pumpkin pie may be a classic fall dessert and comfort food for humans but it also regulates digestion and the oils contained in the seeds and flesh of pumpkins support urinary health in dogs and cats. Nice! It’s no wonder Cesar calls it the “miracle food” for dogs!


So why is pumpkin so great and how are pet parents using it for their pups? While raw pumpkin is not ideal, many pet parents are simply adding a dash of canned pumpkin to their dog’s food bowl, dolloping it on top or swishing it in with the rest of their food and a bit of warm water. Pumpkin can help with an upset stomach, and is known to promote a shiny coat and help with a pup’s immune system. Canned pumpkin is high in fiber, low in fat and cholesterol and loaded with beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamins A and C. The fiber alone in pumpkin can act as a binding solution through your dog’s digestive tract, absorbing excess water and therefore helping with things like diarrhea (and, funnily enough, constipation as well)!


Some vets have stated that the oils contained in the seeds and flesh of pumpkins support urinary health in dogs, especially if they have had kidney or bladder stones. Regularly adding pumpkin to a dog’s diet who has dealt with these issues can help with that. Our pups need fiber to stay regular just like we do, and pumpkin is a great source for that. Non-sweetened or spiced, pumpkin can help, and you just need to base the amount dispensed on the size of your dog. Tapeworms and other intestinal parasites become paralyzed by cucurbitacin, an amino acid found in pumpkin seeds that acts as a natural deworming agent. What works best for this is to grind up fresh or properly preserved pumpkin seeds into a powder and give your pup one teaspoon three times a day, mixed into a marble sized portion of canned food. Additionally, pumpkin is a great, whole-food source of carotenoids, and food based versions of beta-carotene yield a greater anticancer effect that supplemental based forms.

Photo by Jim B.

Photo by Jim B.

Pumpkin can also help with weight loss, so consider soaking dry kibble with a teaspoon of canned pumpkin for those looking to shed a few lbs. The mushy kibble makes them think they’re eating more, while the pumpkin fiber helps their tummies feel full. Lastly, the antioxidants and essential fatty acids contained in pumpkin seeds can help moisturize your pet’s skin and fur from the inside out.


Overall, pumpkin can add a healthy punch of moisture to a dog’s diet, which is especially important for those dogs who consume highly processed and dehydrated kibble. Composed of nearly 90% water, pumpkin works great in contrast to many moisture-deficient pet foods that have a dehydrating effect on the body, as they require increased secretion of gastric acid and pancreatic enzymes to promote digestion. Adding pumpkin not only helps with that, but decreases heat in the dog’s body by doing so!


The best way to store leftover canned pumpkin is in the freezer, as it will only last about a week in the fridge. You could try putting extra canned pumpkin into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Then, you have little pumpkin pups to serve up or you can thaw them out as you need them!


This week on Kitchen Tails, Dog for Dog founder Rocky Kanaka walks you through how to make a pumpkin pie for dogs. Click the YouTube video to get his full recipe in the video description.


Five pumpkin-based recipes to make for your pup this fall:



Do you feed your dog pumpkin? Tell us about it in the comments, or let us know what other good-for-dogs human treats you love to share with your pup!