Should You Make Homemade Dog Food?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you want it done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.”

Unfortunately, homemade dog food is one instance where this doesn’t apply.


In this day and age, we often take advantage of the fact that we have a plethora of information right at our fingertips. From DIY projects around to the house to health concerns, the internet can provide almost all the answers you’re looking for.

The same is true for recipes. You can find a recipe for just about anything, including food for your furry friends. Though some of these recipes might seem healthy, they may actually be doing your dog a disservice.

Unfortunately, simply knowing what ingredients are safe for dogs and whipping them up is not enough to give the best nutrition for your dog. Dogs have very particular dietary needs when it comes to proteins, grains, fruits, and vegetables.

So, is it worth it to make your own dog food? Read on to find out.


Human Nutrition Vs. Dog Nutrition

You and your dog have different nutritional needs. While human dietary needs come more naturally to us (after all, you’ve been eating this way you’re entire life), dog food is another story.

If you try to make homemade dog food as if you were cooking for yourself, you would be missing out on key ingredients and proportions. This is especially true if you don’t read up on the ingredients that could harm your dog. For example, while grapes are healthy for humans, they can be deadly for dogs.

Much like us, it’s important that dogs receive the basic nutrients from their food: water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. It’s important that their food includes the minimum required amount of these nutrients but not exceed the maximum.

French bulldog in front of empty plate

Different dog breeds have different nutritional needs as well, and if you have multiple breeds in the same house, it can be difficult to address each of their health needs. A dog’s size, age, energy level, and time spent inside vs. outside are just some of the factors that go into deciding how many proteins and fats they need in their diet.

These aren’t easy calculations to make based on a recipe you might find online. If you’re committed to making homemade dog food, you’ll have to do the work and consult with a veterinarian about your dog’s specific needs.


Downsides to Making Your Own Dog Food

Even if you did all of the research on your pup’s needs, there is a very delicate balance to a dog’s diet. Dogs have very specific dietary needs that, unless you’re a professional, you really shouldn’t take into your own hands.

For example, if you have a senior dog and you make them food that has incorrect portion sizes or too many fatty ingredients, you could end up with an obese dog on your hands.

Conversely, if your puppy’s diet doesn’t have sufficient calories for their growing bodies, they could end up with nutritional deficiencies.

More Effort

You’re already making food for yourself (and possibly family members), so why would you add this extra step on your already full plate? Cooking for a dog is not as simple as throwing a portion of your food into their bowls. Dogs are not meant to have salted foods, sweet desserts, or dairy in their food.

It really is a lot to handle cooking separate meals all of the time. Here at the Deli, we have seen many clients turn to us after trying to make homemade dog food.

Not only is the cooking portion difficult, there are a lot of steps to make sure your dog gets the nutrients they need. For instance, at Rick’s Dog Deli, we grind eggshells into a very fine powder to make sure your dog gets the calcium they need (remember, dairy can give a dog an upset stomach). If done incorrectly, this step can damage your dog’s soft tissues.

We also take great care in gently cooking and immediately freezing the food so that it doesn’t succumb to freezer burn. Freezing also maintains all of those quality nutrients we are so proud of.

Trust us, it’s a lot of work.

More Money

Buying all the necessary ingredients or even canned dog food is just as expensive as buying fresh (not to mention already prepared!) Rick’s Dog Deli dog food. In fact, you may find that we are cheaper than your average “gourmet” food because we are able to buy items in bulk and in turn, offer a less expensive option than your local grocery store.

If you’re not convinced, do the research and price it out. We’re willing to bet it’s much cheaper—not to mention less time-consuming—to buy fresh food from a reputable company rather than making it yourself.

homemade dog treats cooling on rack

Homemade Dog Treats

If cooking is how you show your love, there’s no need to stop! There are plenty of easy treats you can make for your pup that boost their health and show them you care.

Check out these doggy popsicle recipes for this upcoming summer. It’s important to keep your dog hydrated in that hot sun!

Or you can keep your kitchen clean and stop by an Orlando dog bakery for an occasional treat.



There is a safe and cost effective way to get healthy and fresh food for your dog—one that doesn’t require you to do the hard work.

At Rick’s Dog Deli, we take the stress out of counting calories and nutrition information in your dog’s food and deliver a wholesome diet that is rich in protein, grains, vegetables, and fruits. We’ll even happily go over your dog’s particular issues and come up with a specific food for them if you wish.

Call us today to schedule your free dog diet consultation.