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Basic Foundation for Homemade Dog Food

  • May 30, 2017
  • By MaggieLovesOrbit
Basic Foundation for Homemade Dog Food

Homemade dog food guideline = 80/10/10 (80% protein, 10% organ meat, 10% vegetables)

I follow a basic guideline when I’m cooking Maggie and Orbit’s dog food.  The core components are as follows:

  • 80% Lean Protein.  This can be chicken, beef, pork, lamb, white fish and turkey.  I have a professional food grinder at home so I grind their meat.  Typically get 90% lean 10% fat or if you must increase the fat go no less than the 85/15 ratio.  Too much fat can lead to obesity and other health problems for the dog.  You can also use cooked eggs as a protein.a
  • 10% organ meat (this would be the excreting organs such as liver and kidney)
  • 10% vegetable.  Dogs cannot process raw vegetable so you can either put them in the food processor or lightly saute them.
  • You can change the amount of protein down to no less than 50%.  Scroll down to the bottom to see the infographic containing all the different ratios you can use to make your dog’s food.


DISCLOSURE:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation.  This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I have tried and trust.

Maggielovesorbit, Ilovebostons  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


Other notes:

  • Heart and gizzards are considered protein not organ meat
  • I don’t add any grains and legumes
  • For vegetables I typically focus on cooling vegetables.  If I’m pureeing them it will be half a cucumber plus whatever vegetable I have on hand (broccoli, brussels, bok choy, squash, and chard are my go to’s)
  • I give them a raw meaty bone (beef rib twice a week)
  • Fish is given every 3rd or 4th meal.  I focus on oily fish sardines, mackerel, and salmon.  Always remove the bone.
  • If you don’t have fresh fish, you can add sardines.  I look for very low salt fish – and the lowest sodium sardines I have found are from Amazon and linked in our shopping list.
  • If you use white fish as one of your proteins – it could be tilapia, cod or Pollack
  • Even though I have turkey and chicken listed above – I currently don’t feed those to my two – they have allergic reactions to poultry meat
  • You could decrease the meat but no less than 50% of your recipe.
  • Non protein starchy ingredients include grains and legumes (if choosing to feed) and starchy vegetables.
  • Starchy vegetables include: sweet potato, winter squash, pumpkin, green peas, carrots, fruits
  • Starchy vegetables and grains should be no more than ½ of the non protein portion of the recipe. Preferably use more non starchy vs starchy.
  • Dairy is ok.  You can give them yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, kefir
  • I also add sauerkraut once or twice a week.  I started off giving 1/2 a teaspoon and now they are up to a full teaspoon.  I don’t know how to make it.  I currently buy the organic kind from Costco.


  • A very easy option would be to buy the base mixes from Honest Kitchen or Grandma Lucy’s and all you have to do is add your protein.  They are already balanced and take the calculations off your hands as to what to add and how much to add.  Sojos also makes a good one that although is labeled for raw feeders – is also good for DIY Home Cookers.


  • Calcium:  If you are not providing raw meaty bones, then you must add calcium.  I save my eggshells, bake them at 35 degrees for 5 minute and then grind them in a food processor.  The girls get 1/4 teaspoon per meal.  Or when I don’t make it – Animal Essentials makes a calcium powder (via Amazon) and this version meets the phosphorus to calcium ratio.
  • Omega oils: I used to add Omega oil but now I prefer to feed them their fish via sardines from Costco (lowest sodium count I found) or cooking oily fish that I purchase from the local Asian market (I debone after cooking it) and they get fish every 3rd or 4th meal.  You can also purchase them from Amazon which is easier since Costco doesn’t always have the type stored in water.

OPTIONAL but highly recommended supplements

  • Multivitamins – Currently there is a Green Vitamin I add made by Animal Essentials (via Amazon)
  • Prebiotics – Fresh Digest (via Amazon)
  • Collagen (Bone broth) – I either make it from scratch or use “Custom Collagen” (via Amazon)
  • Minerals – I purchase Animal Essentials (via Amazon)
  • All these supplements can be seen on our Amazon List.



I’ve read a few books, my two favorite books are by Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (Amazon) as well as Feed Your Best Friend Better:  Easy Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs (Amazon).  There are two websites I go to: Planet Paws (Website:
Dr. Karen Becker (Facebook and Website:

There’s also a Facebook Group called “Homemade Healthy Dog Food and Treats” that shares recipes and resources.

There’s a great article on Whole Dog Journal.

How much does it cost me?

For two dogs my cost is about $2.50 to $3.50 per day.  Since they eat 10.5 oz per day between the two of them.

How long does it take to prepare.  

Approximately 1 hour a week (I make enough for a week or two weeks)

How much to feed them?

As a puppy they need anywhere from 6 to 4 % of their body weight.  As an adult they eat about 3% of their body weight.  Maggie and Orbit eat their homemade meals twice a day.

What Ingredients to use when cooking your dog’s own food at home?

I follow the guidelines from my vet to stick to cooling or neutral foods.  You can learn more about this in a the book Four Paws Five Directions.

infographic showing home cooking for your dogs cheat sheet

A list outlining the main ones are below:



Beef Beef Liver, Goose, Pork’ Pork Liver, Pork Kidneys, Pork Feet, Quail, Tripe, Bison


Carp, Catfish, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Sturgeon, Tuna


Black Soy Beans, Kidney Beans, Beet Root, Broad Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Green beans, Peas, Red Beans, Aduki Beans, String Beans, Pumpkin, Potato, Shitake Mushroom, Yams


Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry


White Rice, Brown Rice, Rye, Lentils, Corn


Chiarella, Spirulina, Tofu, Goat’s Milk, Yogurt Cheese, Chicken Eggs, Cow’s Milk, Duck Eggs, Honey



Rabbit, Duck


Clam, Cod, Crab, Scallop, Whitefish


Tomatoes Yellow, Soy Bean, Bamboo, Broccoli, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kelp, Lettuce, Mushroom, Seaweed


Apple, Banana, Cranberry, Kiwi, Lemon, Mango, Orange, Pear, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon


Barley, Buckwheat, Job’s Tears, Millet, Mung Bean, Wheat, Wild Rice


Eggs (Duck), Flax Seed Oil, Marjoram, Peppermint, Salt, Sesame Oil, Tofu, Yogurt, Chicken Egg Whites



Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Pheasant, Ham


Sturgeon, Lobster, Mussel, Shrimp, Prawn, Anchovy


Black Bean, Squash, Sweet Potato


Cassia Fruit, Cherry, Date, Peach, Longan


Oats, Sorghum, Sweet Rice


Chestnut, Coconut, Pine Nut, Walnut


Bay Leaves, Brown sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger, Molasses, Goat Milk, Turmeric, Vinegar, Basil, Clove, Dill Seed, Dried Ginger, Fennel Seed, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme



Lamb, Mutton, Sheep, Venison, Kidney





In Conclusion

Feeding my dogs a home cooked diet takes me less than an hour each time I prepare a batch.  The cost isn’t too expensive but the health benefits far outweigh what extra amount I might spend.



I am not a vet.  I am a pet parent that has made a personal choice to feed my dogs either raw or homemade food.  Please do your own research and discuss your choices with your vet to ensure they support your decision.

More Reading

Did you enjoy this article?  Here’s another to help you as a dog mom.  This one isn’t food related but it will give you some ideas on WHAT INDOOR GAMES TO PLAY TO KEEP YOUR DOG BUSY


Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier to help you learn more about the breed or provide practical tips as you raise your own.    Read more about us. 

By MaggieLovesOrbit, May 30, 2017
  • 5
Fear-Based Health Care
The Unlearning
  • Lien
    June 7, 2017

    Do you have a calcium supplement other than the eggshells you recommend?

    • MaggieLovesOrbit
      June 9, 2017

      Great question. I am going to start to give raw beef ribs every other day. Maybe just one rib. And then also calcium in sardines, mackerel and smelt. Also I heard chia seeds and green tripe can be used.

    • MaggieLovesOrbit
      April 23, 2018

      I recommend Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium which is what we are using now – I purchase it on Amazon.

  • Jen
    April 10, 2018

    I’ve been making Sora food on and off since we returned from traveling. We had a nice supply of chicken coming in from a co-worker of my mom’s who used one every week for something she would make. I was giving her salmon oil at home, but now that we’re in Spain, with an abundance of sardines, I’m thinking of making the switch. I’m curious to know what you consider “low salt?” I saw a pack with 1g of salt, which seemed pretty low to me, but I don’t know much about what the levels should be.

    • MaggieLovesOrbit
      April 11, 2018

      Wowza ship some of that over. I went to Whole Foods and Sprouts and Trader Joe’s and then Costco and the lowest I have found is 110g. Maybe I need to go to an international store that has sardines from Spain. The Asian store has over 400mg for their brands.

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