Cooking for your dog: Here’s a DIY dog food recipe

Picture of Sky


Chief Editor

Picture of Sky


Chief Editor

There’s lots of benefits to home cooked dog food. You get to choose exactly what ingredients go into it, you can adapt the diet to your budget, and it's simple to cater to your dog's individual needs. We share with you how to DIY a nutritionally complete meal for your greyhound including links to international DIY dog food suppliers.

Table of Contents

Why cooking for your dog might be the right decision for you

Before we adopted Sky, we thought a lot about what we were going to feed him. Somehow, the thought of serving up kibble everyday didn’t quite entice us. I mean, can dogs even drink enough to make up for the number of dry pellets they consume on the daily? Then, there is the other common alternative: Having to run to the recycling plant every other day, in order to get rid of piles and piles of empty dog food cans. Not only do they stink up your house when stashing them in the bin, they also cause an unnecessary negative impact on the environment. So, what’s left to feed, then?

By doing research and talking to a certified dog nutritionist, we opted for a species-appropriate, nutritionally balanced homemade dog diet. This comes with the benefit of knowing exactly what ingredients go into it, where you source them from, and if the plan aligns with your budget and ethical requirements. Homemade dog food can be served up raw – this is the closest you can get to mimicking a natural diet – or you can take up cooking for your dog.

And there are a couple of reasons why you might put your dog on a cooked diet over raw.

Homecooked dog food is excellent for

Whether you feed your dog raw or decide to serve up cooked meals: It is crucial that your greyhound’s diet is species-appropriate and nutritionally well balanced. While this might sound challenging at first, I assure you that it is not a daunting task at all, provided you follow certain core principles.

What a homecooked dog diet should be based on

As with the BARF raw feeding method, the ingredients and ratios of a cooked dog food diet are based on the anatomical make-up of an average prey animal. As we will be cooking the ingredients, we’ll have to make certain adjustments to the raw BARF recipe we shared with you previously. For example, there are vitamins that won’t survive the cooking process, as they aren’t heat-resistant – specifically vitamin B, for instance – which we will have to add through a supplement after the cooking process is done.

These are the ingredients of your cooked DIY dog food diet

A homecooked dog food diet will mimic the amounts of muscle meat, innards, fiber, and bones potential prey would consist of in the wild. Now, as most of you already know: NEVER, EVER FEED COOKED BONES to your dog! This is super serious, as cooked bones are brittle, porous, and easy to splinter, which can be lethal for your greyhound to consume. That being said, bones do provide calcium and phosphorus, as well as sodium, potassium, and magnesium – all these elements play an integral part in a balanced diet for dogs. Therefore, bones are a recipe component that you will have to replace with an appropriate substitute.

How do I replace bone in homemade dog food?

When cooking for your dog, you will have to add a high-quality bone meal product to their diet. Bone meal is real bone from beef, lamb, etc., that was ground into a flaky powder you can buy in cans. Make sure the product you buy clearly declares its calcium-to-phosphor-ratio. Ideally, this should sit somewhere close to 1,3 (Ca) : 1 (P) (Bubenzer, R.H.: Knochen- und Calcium-Phosphorstoffwechsel. Effem, Verden, 1994).

Once you found a quality bone meal, all that’s left is figuring out how much you need to feed your hound. You can find a trustworthy calculator here: Bone Meal Calculator

Now that that’s clear, let’s move on to the other ingredients of your cooked homemade dog food.

Muscle Meat and Fat Content

Muscle meat refers to meat from various herbivore animal species and fish. Note that the component muscle meat must contain between 15-25% fat. To ensure the best possible coverage of your dog’s nutritional requirements, you should feed muscle meat from at least three different species of land animals – plus fish once a week for vitamin D.

Attention: It is not healthy to feed lean meat only! If you do, your dog will solely metabolise protein for energy production instead of fat, which strains their kidneys and can lead to severe illness.

In well-assorted pet food shops, the fat content of muscle meat will always be indicated. If you buy muscle meat from your trusted butcher, ask them for an estimate of the fat content. In case you have to estimate the fat content yourself, take a close look at the piece of meat and guess what percentage of white (=fat) is visible in comparison to meat (=red).

What to do with meat that contains too much or too little fat?

If you choose a lean meat, such as chicken, you still have to achieve a fat content of 15-25%. To do this, replace part of the muscle meat requirement with fat, so that you get the desired fat content within the total amount of muscle meat.

If you choose a fattier type of meat, such as lamb, you must ensure that the lean meat portion does not contain more than 25% fat. To do so, mix the fatty variety of muscle meat with a lean variety in order to achieve the optimum fat content.

If that sounds like way too much math for you, I got ya! To make things easier, you can find a reliable fat calculator here: German Fat Calculator & English Fat Calculator

Innards for homemade dog food

Innards are a central component of a species-appropriate dog diet, as they contain essential vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Ideally, aim for the following ratio:

  • 1/3 liver
  • 1/3 heart
  • 1/3 kidney, lung, spleen (to equal parts)


This ratio roughly corresponds to the size of these organs in an average prey animal.

Dog-safe veggies

Veggies are primarily added for dietary fibre. On top of that, they also provide valuable secondary plant substances. You can find a list of dog-safe veggies here.

Which veggies and fruits are dog-safe?


While it isn’t a must for your dog’s meal plan, there are certain benefits to adding carbs to your dog’s diet. Specifically so for sighthounds, as they have a higher need for fast-available energy compared to other breeds. Suitable carbs would be millet, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, potatoes or rice to name a few.

Looking to serve your hound raw dog food with carbs? Here's how to calculate a BARF meal with grains. Learn which grains could be an addition to the diet.

Vitamin B substitute

In order to make up for vitamin B that gets lost during the cooking procedure, you must replace it once the rest of your dog’s meal is done. You can use a natural replacement such as organic buckwheat germ powder, for instance. You will find this either in a natural dog food store, a health store or alternatively on amazon.

Sea Algae/Kelp

This is commonly used to cover your hound's iodine needs. In the wild, a wolf would get its intake from eating the thyroid glands of prey. To simulate an optimal intake of iodine, make sure that you buy a high-quality sea algae/kelp product that clearly states its iodine content.

How to calculate:
Find amount of idone-content on packaging, then use this calculator: German Sea Algae/Kelp Calculator & English Sea Algae/Kelp calculator

Omega 3-6-9 Oil

Since most meat derives from factory farms, its content of omega 3 fatty acids is rather low. To balance this out, we compensate this lack with a high-quality, toxin-tested, animal-based omega 3-6-9 oil. Ideally, go for salmon or krill oil.

How to calculate: 0.3ml per kg body weight daily

Cod liver oil (as fish substitute)

Remember that one meal a week should consist of fish instead of muscle meat from land animals. In case your hound just really doesn’t like fish at all, make sure you substitute by using cod liver oil. It provides vitamin D, A, and omega 3 fatty acids – all of which are essential to a balanced diet!

How to calculate: 1 teaspoon per 10kg body weight per week

cod liver oil for raw feeding greyhound, homemade dog food

Where to buy ingredients for your greyhound's homemade dog food diet

Depending on where you live, you might find a local butcher, slaughterhouse, (ethnic) grocer, or farmer that can provide you with quality ingredients for your homemade dog food. Another option might be ordering from a trusted online supplier. From our personal experience, and with the help of some friends abroad, we’ve created a list of quality online raw food shops from around the globe:


(all ship within the whole EU, incl. to EU delivery addresses for Swiss customers)

Barfer’s Wellfood

Will even portion meals according to your own meal plan:
Herr von BARF


Raw Pet Foods / Instinct
For more, check out this amazing list:
Australia Vendors

Carnivore Carry Out
For more, check out this amazing list:
USA Vendors

How to put all ingredients together to make a tasty homecooked meal for your dog

As with BARF raw feeding, you need to calculate the exact amount of food that your dog requires. This is primarily based on your dog’s weight and activity level.

 Here’s how to calculate a homemade cooked meal for your healthy, adult greyhound:

And here for the less visually inclined:

70% Animal-based & 30% Plant-based

The animal portion is divided into:

  • 85% muscle meat (2-3 animal types + fish)
    • 13-20% fat in muscle meat

  • 15% offal
    • 1/3 liver, 1/3 heart, 1/3 kidney, lung, spleen

The vegetable part is divided into:

  • 30-40% carbohydrates (cooked quantity)

  • 40-60% vegetables
    • 30-50% of vegetables should be green leafy vegetables
  • 70% Animal-based & 30% Plant-based 

    • The animal portion is divided into:
      • 85% muscle meat (2-3 animal types + fish)
        • 13-20% fat in muscle meat
      • 15% offal
        • 1/3 liver, 1/3 heart, 1/3 kidney, lung, spleen
    • The vegetable part is divided into:
      • 30-40% carbohydrates (cooked quantity)
      • 40-60% vegetables
        • 30-50% of vegetables should be green leafy vegetables

Homemade DIY cooked dog food recipe

cooked homemade dog food

Homemade Dog Food: Cooking for your dog

Chef Sky
Do you want to try cooking for your dog? There’s lots of benefits to homemade dog food as you know exactly what ingredients go into each meal. We share with you how to cook nutritionally complete homemade dog food, showcasing Gourmet Chef Sky's goat recipe.
Our greyhound boy Sky weighs 32kg and is quite active. Therefore, we calculate his food-intake per day at 2.7% – here’s one of his favourite cooked dog food recipes:
Total amount of food per day: ≈865g
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Dog
Servings 1 Dog/day


  • Roasting dish
  • Small pan


Meat-based ingredients (70% of total amount): 605g

  • 515 g grass-fed goat muscle meat with ca. 20% fat content
  • 90 g goat innards consisting of liver, heart, kidney, lung, spleen mix

Plant-based ingredients (30% of total amount): 260g

  • 155 g veggies endives, carrots, fennel, pumpkin
  • 105 g millet and left over plain potatoes cooked

Garnish aka. Supplements

  • 1 sprinkle vitamin B supplement this is what we use: https://www.danuwa.eu/produkt/vitamin-b-komplex/ (2 capsules per week)
  • 0.83 g sea kelp ours contains 480mg iodine
  • 1 tsp omega 3-6-9 fish oil
  • 10 g Bone Meal
  • 1 sprinkle chopped parsley optional, if you feel fancy


  • Place the goat meat, innards and veggies in a roasting dish, lid closed
  • Place dish in the oven, cook ingredients at 70-90° Celsius until done (takes around 2hrs from frozen). By using this gentle method of simmering your ingredients, you ensure that most nutrients stay intact during the cooking process
  • While your roasting dish is in the oven, put millet with water in a pan, place on stovetop and cook millet until (over) done, set aside
  • Once the ingredients in your roasting dish are thoroughly cooked, take dish out of oven, combine with millet and left over plain potatoes, stir well and let cool down to room temperature. Note: do not discard of the liquid in your roasting dish. This meat and veggie juice is high in nutrients as it contains all water-soluble vitamins and liquidized fat!
  • Before serving, add the garnish aka. supplements
  • Store left-overs in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze


Cooking Tips from Chef Sky

We use one medium-sized roasting dish to cook meals for three days at a time. The night before, we put the frozen ingredients in the dish, place it in the oven, and then program it to start baking at 80° Celsius convection in time for the food to be cooked by 8 o'clock
Keyword cooked dog food, cooking, DIY, Health, healthy, homemade dog food
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

And there it is: Your greyhounds new favourite, simple DIY dog food recipe. Cooking for your dog is super easy – as you now know! Let us know if gourmet chef Sky’s recipe was well received by your paw-dience! Tag @hound.today in your Insta-Story or post to our facebook page:

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Who Dis?

I'm Sky, the host and Chief Editor of HoundToday! I want to let the people know that us ex racing greyhounds make fabulous pets! Many of us are looking for the perfect forever-home to transition to after our time on the racetrack is over. My hoomans are helping me spread the message by providing information about diet, training, health, and the adoption process.

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