A Complete Guide to the Most Affordable Homemade Dog Food

groceries spilling out of shopping bag onto wooden surface

Homemade dog food is healthier than many commercial alternatives because it has fewer preservatives and additives. Similarly, you have complete control over the ingredients that allow you to make interesting recipes for your canine. Last but not least, cooking for your pet enables you to save a handful of money. Therefore, homemade dog food enables you to arrange quality meals for your pup for less money.

Having said that, it is also important to know the nutritional requirements of your dog before feeding a homemade recipe. For this reason, you should always check with your vet before feeding homemade dog food. The detailed analysis (cost-wise) of some of the most affordable homemade dog foods is discussed below.

Mutt Loaf

meatloaf on a cutting board surrounded by herbs and tomatoes

This tasty recipe is quite healthy because it offers the perfect blend of animal protein and vegetables. In contrast to its benefits, it is quite light on your pocket than any commercial dog food. The mentioned quantity of ingredients is for 10 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium-size sweet potatoes ($0.78)
  • 2 large carrots OR 1.5 cups French cut carrots ($0.46)
  • 1 can kidney beans ($0.89)
  • 4 eggs ($0.88)
  • 1 tsp. crushed rosemary ($0.65)
  • 1.5 lbs. ground beef, 85-90% lean ($6.94)

NOTE: The total of all these ingredients is $10.60 which means that each cup costs a little more than $1.

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Add rosemary, kidney beans, and eggs in a food processor. We also included the eggshells (not necessary) because they are a great source of calcium for dogs. They also provide several other nutrients (collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin) that promote joint health.
  3. Puree the ingredients in your food processor and pour them in a medium-size mixing bowl. Then, add the grated sweet potatoes, carrots, and ground beef. Use your hands to thoroughly blend the ingredients, just like you would if making a meatloaf.
  4. Place the mixture in as many loaf pans as needed. Bake the loaves for about 60 minutes in the 350° oven.

Thank you to My Pet Channel for this recipe.

Homemade Chicken Stock for Dogs

Dogs are extremely fond of chicken and love to consume it in their everyday diet. It is also a healthy alternative for those canines who are allergic to other forms of meat. Therefore, this delicious chicken stock can be an amazing addition to any meal. The given quantity of ingredients is for 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 skinned chicken carcass ($2.90 for a 2-lb. chicken)
  • 2 chopped, medium-sized carrots ($0.36)
  • 2 chopped stalks of celery ($0.25)
  • 1 cored and chopped apple ($0.50)
  • 1 cup of packed fresh spinach ($1.92)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary ($0.65)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil ($2.52)

NOTE: The total of all these ingredients is $9.10 which means that each cup costs around 90 cents.

Directions

  1. Boil the water in a large stockpot at a high temperature.
  2. Add the chicken carcass, the carrots, celery, apple, spinach, rosemary, and basil. Boil them as well.
  3. Skim the foam from the top and decrease the heat. Leave the mixture to simmer with a lid for about 40 minutes.
  4. Once it’s ready, strain the stock and discard the bones. After that, you can refrigerate or freeze it for later consumption.

Thank you to Top Dog Tips for this recipe.

Healthy and Cheap Dog Food

Chicken, vegetables and rice mixed together on  a white plate with chop sticks

Looking for an easy and economical homemade recipe for your canine companion? This mixture of ground turkey and fresh vegetables is exactly what your dog needs. The stated quantity of ingredients will yield 8 cups of dog food.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups brown rice ($1.2)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
  • 3 pounds ground turkey ($5.94)
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped ($ 4.68)
  • 2 carrots, shredded ($0.36)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded ($0.76)
  • ½ cup peas, canned or frozen ($0.24)

NOTE: The total of all these ingredients is $13.29 which means that each cup costs around $1.65.

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas, and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through (about 3-5 minutes).
  4. Let cool completely.

Thank you to Damn Delicious for this recipe.

Affordable Dog Food

Cooking for your canine gives you the flexibility to fine-tune the ingredients as needed. The materials used in this healthy homemade recipe can be changed according to your dog’s specific needs. For instance, you can switch brown rice with sweet potatoes or replace chicken with beef. The mentioned quantity of ingredients makes 4 pounds of dog food.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil ($0.48)
  • Ground turmeric for seasoning ($0.14)
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless raw chicken ($3.90)
  • 1 pound raw vegetables, like carrots and peas ($1.00)
  • 1 pound cooked brown rice, cooled ($2.40)
  • 4 clean crushed eggshells ($0.88, this price is for 4 eggs)

NOTE: The total of all these ingredients is $8.8 which means that each pound costs around $2.2.

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the coconut oil in the skillet and swirl it around to coat the surface.
  2. Season the chicken generously with ground turmeric and add it to the skillet. Sauté on both sides until fully cooked (time varies according to the thickness and type of meat used).
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the meat into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
  4. Coarsely chop the vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
  5. If you are using a starchy vegetable (like sweet potato), coarsely chop it into 1-inch chunks and set aside. In case of grain type carbohydrate (brown rice), simply cook them according to label instructions.
  6. Add the eggshells to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely crumbled.
  7. Add the chicken and vegetables and pulse until finely chopped. (You may work in batches, if necessary.)
  8. Add the cooked rice and pulse a few times to combine. You want the mixture to be fluffy, not mushy.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate. (Alternatively, you can transfer all or part of the mixture to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for future use. Thaw the frozen food in the refrigerator before using.)
  10. To serve, scoop the food into a bowl for your dog.

Thank you to Garden Betty for this recipe.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.