How To Prepare Raw Dog Food At Home? – [Step By Step Guide]

Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by Teresa Williams

Are you planning to prepare raw dog food at home?

If so, this is the article that will help you find out what exactly raw food diet for a dog is and how to prepare raw dog food at home.

Besides, I will also talk about how much raw dog food should be fed every day and the best way to grind raw dog food at home.

I hope this detailed post on preparing raw dog food at home can help make your way of feeding your furry friend a lot easier!

So, without making any further ado, let’s dive right into the discussion….

What Is Raw Dog Food?

The raw dog food diet is a type of homemade dog food that consists only of uncooked, fresh, and unprocessed foods.

This means that the ingredients in a raw diet for dogs are either ground up or chopped into small pieces so that the dog can easily chew and digest them.

Some pet owners choose to prepare their own raw food diet for their furry friends while others may purchase pre-packaged raw diets from specialty stores.

In this case, you should also have a clear idea about the BARF diet for dogs…  

BARF Diet For Dogs

BARF is a more specific type of raw food diet for dogs that stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food“.

While many people use the term ‘BARF’ to refer to any kind of homemade dog food, its true meaning only applies to diets prepared with foods similar in nutritional content and structure to what can be found in an animal’s natural habitat.

So, if you are preparing your own homemade raw dog food, it will fall under this second definition.

Basic Formula To Make Raw Dog Food At Home

Now that we know a little more about raw food diets for dogs, let’s take a look at the basic formula you need to follow in order to make your own homemade raw dog food.

The following recipe will give you an idea of what proportions of different ingredients are typically used in a raw diet for dogs:

  • 50% raw meaty bones (chicken, beef, lamb).
  • 25% organ meats (heart, liver, kidney).
  • 15% vegetables and fruits (carrots, green beans, apples).
  • Approximately 20% water.

How To Prepare Raw Dog Food At Home?

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients and tools required for preparing raw dog food at home, let’s take a look at the actual process.

The steps below will guide you through the preparation of a simple raw diet for dogs:

Step 1

Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before use.

Step 2

Peel and chop carrots, green beans, and other vegetables into small pieces that your dog can easily chew.

Step 3

Grind raw meaty bones (chicken, beef, lamb) in a meat grinder or food processor. You can also ask your butcher to do this for you if you don’t have access to one yourself.

Step 4

Mix ground meaty bones with chopped vegetables, organ meats, and apples/bananas (if you prefer!). Add water until the mixture has the consistency of thick stew.

Step 5

If you are preparing food for multiple dogs, it is best to store the mixture in an airtight container and freeze it until use.

These are the steps that you need to follow for making a raw food diet for your furry friend!

How To Grind Raw Dog Food?

While grinding raw dog food at home, you have to keep in mind that you definitely need one of those top-rated meat bone grinders that is specifically designed for grinding raw dog food with ease.

At this point, I would assume that you already have the required type of meat grinding machine for grinding raw food for dogs.

However, if you don’t have one, you can check out this detailed discussion on the Top 10 Best-Rated Meat Grinders For Raw DogFood Diet.

Anyway, here’s the process you have to follow for grinding raw dog food at home using a meat grinder:

Step 1

Cut the raw meaty bones into small pieces that will easily fit into the grinder.

Step 2

Grind the chicken, beef, or lamb bones first, and then add the chopped vegetables, fruits, and organ meats.

Step 3

Add water until the mixture has a thick stew-like consistency.

Step 4

And, you are done!

Actually, these are the EXACT steps that I follow for grinding raw food for my dogs.

So, if you want, you can FOLLOW the same! 😊

However, if you follow a different method for grinding raw pet food, then don’t forget to share that in the comment section below!

What Can I Mix With My Dog’s Raw Food?

Most pet owners prefer using a variety of vegetables and fruits like carrots, green beans, apples/bananas (depending on the preference), peas, etc. along with ground meaty bones such as chicken or beef.

As long as they don’t trigger any allergies or sensitivities that your dog may be experiencing then there’s no reason not to include them in the raw diet!

I usually add the following ingredients to a raw diet for my dogs:

  • Yogurt.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Cooked eggs (hard-boiled).        
  • Pumpkin seeds.                                    
  • Grains (oats, quinoa).

If you add any other ingredients to your dog’s raw dog food, don’t forget to share that with us! 😉

Best Homemade Raw Dog Food Recipes Vet Approved

As I’ve already mentioned above, the most important thing to remember when making raw dog food at home is that your furry friend gets all of his essential nutrients from it.

So, if you are aiming for a recipe that’s both healthy and easy on your budget then try out these top homemade raw dog food recipes vet approved:           

I have already tried the above recipes and my puppies have really liked each of the above raw dog food recipes.

If you want, you can also try them for your four-legged furry friend.

Raw Dog Food Nutritional Information

In terms of protein, homemade raw dog food should contain around 40% beef, lamb, or poultry.

The other 60% of the diet should be made up of fruits, vegetables, and organ meats like liver, kidney, and heart.

This mix provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are essential for your dog’s health.

When preparing raw food at home it is important to avoid grains as they are not beneficial for dogs.

Instead, you can include some healthy options like oats, quinoa, or brown rice.                             

Vitamins In Homemade Raw Dog Food

Vitamin A: Helps promote healthy skin and coat.                           

Vitamin B12: Maintains a strong immune system and supports nerve cells.

Vitamin C: Boosts the immune system, protects against infections, and repairs tissues.

Carbohydrates In Homemade Raw Dog Food

Oats, quinoa, and brown rice are all excellent sources of complex carbohydrates which provide sustained energy throughout the day. They also help to regulate blood sugar levels and can improve digestion.                        

So, as you can see, there are many benefits to feeding your dog a homemade raw diet.

Not only is it healthy and nutritious, but it is also affordable and easy to prepare.

In addition, raw diets have been shown to improve skin and coat conditions, increase energy levels, boost the immune system and reduce the incidence of allergies and health problems.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your dog’s overall health then I highly recommend switching him over to a raw food diet!

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How Much Raw Food To Feed My Dog?

The amount of raw food you will need to feed your dog will depend on his weight, age, and activity level.

Based on my experience, I can say that a 55-pound dog should eat approximately two cups of raw food per day, while an 85-pound dog would require around three cups per day.

Again, these are just general guidelines so it’s always best to consult with your vet about the right feeding amounts for your furry friend.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Feed My Dog Raw?

Assuming that you have decided to switch your dog to a raw food diet, the cheapest way to feed him would be by preparing the food by yourself.

As I’ve mentioned before, you don’t need any special equipment or ingredients for making raw dog food at home – just some simple kitchen tools like a meat grinder and basic ingredients like meat, vegetables, and fruits.

However, if you find it difficult or time-consuming to prepare homemade raw dog food then another cheaper option would be buying frozen raw dog food from a reputable brand.

So, depending on your preference you can choose the way to feed your dog.

Note: I personally like to feed homemade raw food diet to my furry friend. So, I would like to suggest you to follow the same; else is up to you!

Best Frozen Raw Dog Food You Can Try

There are quite a few good brands of frozen raw dog food on the market these days, but my personal favorites are:

Primal Freeze-Dried Formula

Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food Nuggets Lamb Formula,...
1,198 Reviews
Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food Nuggets Lamb Formula,...
  • Made with fresh, crate-free Lamb raised without antibiotics,...
  • Convenient and delicious raw nutrition that is shelf-stable...
  • Freeze-dried raw, minimally processed dog food delivers the...
  • Real whole food nutrition with no synthetic vitamins or...
  • Crafted in the USA with high-quality proteins for a 100...

Northwest Naturals Raw Frozen Diet

Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Raw Diet for Dogs...
1,061 Reviews
Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Raw Diet for Dogs...
  • ALL-NATURAL DOG FOOD DINNER: Give your canine companion or...
  • HEALTHY, PALATABLE DOG FOOD: Treat your puppy or senior dog...
  • SAVORY, CHEWY DOG FOOD: Perfect for finicky eaters, your dog...
  • DOG FOOD WITH PREMIUM FLAVOR: Offer your pet the dog food he...
  • DOG SNACKS MADE IN THE U.S.A.: Northwest Naturals offers a...

Steve’s Real Food Freeze-dried Raw Diet

Steve's Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets 1.25# (Beef)
439 Reviews
Steve's Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets 1.25# (Beef)
  • Freeze Dried: Raw Meals On the Go
  • Fortified with Raw Goats Milk
  • Vegetarian Fed, Free Range
  • Antibiotic-free and Hormone-free
  • Easy to rehydrate, pour and serve nuggets

Best Meat Grinders For Grinding Raw Dog Food – My Recommendations

According to my experience, I would like to recommend the following Meat Grinders as the best performing meat grinders for grinding raw dog food:

1. LEM 22 Meat Grinder

LEM Products Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric Meat...
2,048 Reviews
LEM Products Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric Meat...
Your purchase includes One LEM #22 Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder | First pass grinding plate, dual blade knife, second pass grinding plate 3/16”, stuffing plate, Coarse plate 3/8”, Tubes (5/8”-1”-1 3/8”)...

  • Meat pan with safety guard & plate extractor...
  • Modernized Brushed Steel Finish - Minimizes Fingerprints...
  • Rifling Pattern in Head Pushes Meat Forward with less User Interaction...

2. Sunmile SM-G50 Meat Grinder

Sunmile SM-G50 ETL Electric Meat Grinder - Max 1.3 HP...
339 Reviews
Sunmile SM-G50 ETL Electric Meat Grinder - Max 1.3 HP...
  • High Power and Strong Motor: Features 350W rated power and...
  • Large Size 12 Meat Grinder: Not a smaller Size 8 or Size 5...
  • Fully Functional to Prepare Food : Meat grinder comes with 3...
  • Easy and Safety Operation: Key switch of ON/OFF/Reserve...
  • Manufacturer Backup and ETL Certificated

3. Weston Pro Series #32 Meat Grinder

Weston (10-3201-W) Pro Series Electric Meat Grinders...
243 Reviews
Weston (10-3201-W) Pro Series Electric Meat Grinders...
  • Permanently lubricated, 2 HP / 1500 watt air cooled motor...
  • Grinds 12-18 lbs per minute; Offset Head Design with high...
  • Precision engineered steel gears for quiet performance &...
  • Disassembles for easy cleanup; Non-slip rubber feet for...
  • Disassembles for easy cleanup; Non-slip rubber feet for...

FAQs About Grinding Raw Dog Food At Home

Can you cook a raw diet for dogs?

Answer: Yes, you can cook raw food diets for dogs.
To cook raw food diet for dogs, you will need to purchase or create a balanced mix of raw meat, vegetables, and fruits.
You can either cook the food yourself or purchase good-quality pre-made frozen raw food diet for dogs.

Is grinding raw dog food dangerous?

Answer: No – it is not dangerous to grind raw dog food as long as the meat and vegetables are fresh.
I suggest using organic ingredients especially if your pet has any allergies or sensitivities.
This will ensure that all of the ingredients in his meal have been recently harvested and aren’t stored with pesticides or other chemicals which could cause an adverse reaction if ingested.

Is raw or cooked homemade dog food better?

Answer: Well, the answer to this question depends on your individual preference and dog’s health condition.
In general, raw food diets have shown better results when it comes to improving skin and coat conditions as well as reducing allergies in dogs.
However, you should note that cooking can reduce parasites or bacteria present in raw meat which could be harmful to your pet. 
For an in-depth idea about this subject matter, you can study this detailed discussion on raw vs cooked homemade food for dogs.

Is raw homemade dog food cheaper than kibble?

Answer: Yes! Raw homemade dog food is much more affordable compared to other commercial brands like dry kibbles.
This is because of two reasons:
Since vegetables and fruits are less expensive than grains; you will need a smaller quantity of ingredients per serving;
You don’t need any special equipment such as a slow cooker or high-quality meat grinder for making raw food at home.

What should a dog’s raw diet consist of?

Answer: A raw diet for your dog should consist of about 40% protein, 60% fruits, vegetables, and organ meats.
Protein can come from beef, lamb, or poultry while the other 60% should include a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You should avoid grains in a raw diet as they are not beneficial for dogs.

Should I grind my dog’s raw food?

Answer: It is not necessary to grind your dog’s raw food as long as you are providing a balanced diet. However, if you do choose to grind the food yourself, it is important that you use a high-quality meat grinder.

Can I add vegetables to my dog’s raw meal?

Answer: Yes, you can add vegetables to your dog’s raw diet. However, you mustn’t feed him too many fruits as they tend to be high in sugar and carbohydrates which are not good for a canine’s health. 

Final Words On Making Raw Dog Food At Home

So, raw food diet for dogs is an excellent way to improve your pet’s overall health and happiness.

As you can see, it is very SIMPLE to prepare raw food at home – all you need are some high-quality ingredients and a meat grinder!                     

Throughout the above discussion, I have already shared a Step-By-Step discussion on how to prepare raw dog food at home following the right way.

In addition, I have described the EXACT process that I follow while grinding raw dog food at home for my puppies.

Still, if you have any questions about grinding raw dog food or preparing raw food diets for dogs, you can send me a message or comment below.

I will try to reply back to you ASAP.

This is all I have for you this time.

Lastly, if you want to get the latest tips on kitchen appliances like meat grinders, you can check out this website.

See you some other day with a brand-new post!

Till then, Take Care!


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Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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