Homemade Raw Dog Food Recipes With Grain-Free Ingredients

Published March 23, 2020
Raw dog food ingredients

Many dog owners are wary of feeding their dog's food that contains grains because of fears there may be a link between grain in dog food and health problems. A benefit of switching to using raw dog food recipes is you can feed your dog a grain-free diet.

Feeding a Grain Free Raw Dog Food Diet

With many raw dog food recipes, you'll see discussions of the 5:1:1 ratio. This refers to the ratio of meat, organ meats, bones, vegetables and fruit. A typical 5:1:1 raw dog food recipe would be:

  • Five parts meat with bone
  • One part organ meats
  • One part vegetables and fruit as well as other supplements

If you choose to go with a grain free diet, you can still stick with the 5:1:1 ratio as long as you do not include any supplements that include grains.

Are Grains Bad for Dogs?

There's much debate about whether grains are really bad for dogs. Some research may indicate that grains are linked to heart disease in dogs, particularly dogs of certain breeds like Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Boxers and Cocker Spaniels. The latest report from the Food and Drug Administration in 2019 was inconclusive, finding that some grain-free foods may be linked to heart disease, but there are other factors that might also come into play such as how the food is made, sourcing of the ingredients and more. Research continues to be done on the issue and the FDA advises owners to speak with their veterinarians if they're truly concerned.

Grains in Raw Food Recipes

For raw dog food supporters, grains are generally kept out of recipes because they're considered "fillers" that are not necessary for a dog's nutritional health. They're also often not included because of a belief that dogs cannot digest grains, although this is not true. Finally' some raw dog food feeders choose not to include grains because of food allergies. While food allergies can occur in dogs, grains are rarely the ingredients that leads to an allergic reaction in dogs.

Before You Make Grain Free Raw Dog Food Recipes

Before you make the grain free recipes, you'll need to know how to safely prepare them and how to figure out the proper amount of food for your dog.

Safe Preparation

With all of the recipes below, be sure to observe these important safety precautions to prevent foodborne illness for both your dog and you and your family:

  1. Always wash your hands with soap and water right before and immediately after you handle raw meat. This may mean you wash your hands several times during your food preparation.
  2. Wash all of your kitchen counter preparation areas and your cooking utensils, knives, and bowls prior to starting and after you're done. Be sure to wash utensils, knives and bowls between uses of multiple items.
  3. Make sure you wash your dog's bowls after they're done eating.
  4. Serve food immediately or free right away if you're making in bulk for future use.

How to Determine Amount of Ingredients in These Raw Dog Food Recipes

The following recipes use percentages rather than exact measurements, as every dog will need a different amount of food based on their weight and activity level. Figure out your dog's daily amount of food by their weight and energy needs. Then take the percentages in the recipes to come up with measurement for ounces.

  • For example, an active 100-pound dog needs about three pounds of food a day, or 1-½ pounds for each meal based on two meals a day.
  • A 5:1:1 ratio would then be 50% meat on the bone, or 24 ounces, and 10% bones and 10% organs, or about three ounces of each.
  • To make food in bulk for freezing for future use, just take your dog's daily numbers and then multiply the number of day's worth of food times the measurements.
Dog eating natural food from a bowl

Brunswick Dog Stew

A tasty recipe your dog will enjoy in the style of a traditional Brunswick stew.


  • 50% pork meat such as ground pork, shoulder, butt or cushion
  • 15% beef and chicken hearts and livers mix
  • 10% turkey or chicken necks
  • 5% oil, such as olive or coconut oil
  • 5% sweet potatoes
  • 10% lima beans
  • 5% nonfat or low fat yogurt


  1. Cook the sweet potatoes and allow them to cool. Chop up in smaller bite-sized pieces and include the skin.
  2. Boil or steam the lima beans lightly and allow to cool.
  3. Cut the liver and hearts into smaller pieces. If you are grinding the pork meat, add them in together and grind the meat and organs together.
  4. If grinding, add the vegetables to the grinder and mix, or place the meats and vegetables all into a bowl and mix together with a spoon or your hands. (Note, if you use your hands, wearing gloves is safest.)
  5. If grinding, throw the yogurt and oil into your mix. Otherwise mix them into the meat, organ, vegetable mix in your dog's bowl read to eat!

Fisherman Stew

Fish is an excellent source of protein for dogs, and they'll love this seafood stew.


  • 60% canned or fresh sardines, salmon, or mackerel, ideally packed in water
  • 15% beef and chicken hearts and livers mix
  • 10% bone meal powder
  • 5% tripe such as PetKind Tripett Green Beef Tripe
  • 5% carrots, canned, frozen or fresh
  • 5% broccoli, canned, frozen or fresh
  • Kelp powder supplement, based on your dog's weight, such as NaturVet Kelp Help


  1. If using fresh vegetables, chop them up into smaller pieces.
  2. Boil or steam carrots and broccoli lightly and allow to cool.
  3. Chop the organ meats into smaller pieces.
  4. You can serve items whole or ground. If grinding place the fish, organs, bone meal powder, tripe, vegetables and supplement into the grinder and mix.
  5. If you will not be grinding, place everything into a bowl and mix together with a spoon or your hands wearing gloves.
  6. Serve to your dog and store any bulk amounts in the freezer.

Winter Beef Stew For Dogs

This hearty beef stew should make your dog do a happy dance!


  • 50% beef stew meat, excess fat trimmed off
  • 15% beef and chicken hearts and livers mix
  • 10% beef oxtail bones
  • 5% oil, such as omega 3 fish oil, olive oil or coconut oil
  • 5% zucchini, canned, frozen or fresh
  • 5% carrots, canned, frozen or fresh
  • A vitamin supplement, based on your dog's weight, such as Earth Animal Daily Raw Complete Powder


  1. Chop up vegetables, if not chopped already, into smaller pieces and boil or steam lightly. Set aside to cool.
  2. Chop the organ mix up into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add the organs, beef, vegetables, oil and supplement into a bowl and mix. You can also place them all into a grinder.
  4. Serve to your dog with the oxtail bones on the side.

Rabbit Hash

If you can't find rabbit you can substitute with other easier-to-find ingredients.


  • 50% rabbit meat, ideally on the bone (if you can't find rabbit, you can substitute pork, lamb or chicken)
  • 10% chicken livers
  • 15% chicken wings and necks
  • 5% oil, such as flaxseed oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil
  • 5% nonfat or low fat yogurt
  • 5% sweet potatoes, cooked with skin on
  • 5% dark leafy greens such as kale or spinach
  • 5% peas, canned, frozen or fresh


  1. Chop up the leafy greens and the sweet potatoes.
  2. Boil or steam the peas and leafy greens gently. Set aside to cool.
  3. Chop the up the livers and put into a grinder with the rabbit meat, oil, and vegetables. (If you choose not to grind, place them all in a bowl and mix with a spoon or your hands, preferably wearing gloves).
  4. Serve to your dog with the wings and/or necks on the side.

Grain Free Raw Dog Food Recipe Videos

This video shows you how to prepare easily a grain free raw dog food recipe that can be served raw or cooked.

Feeding Your Dog A Homemade Grain Free Raw Dog Diet

If you wish to avoid feeding grains to your dog, it's easy to do so with a raw dog food diet. Making grain free raw dog food recipes does not require a lot of work although it's best to discuss your dog's diet with your veterinarian first to ensure he or she is getting a balanced, nutritious meal each time.

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Homemade Raw Dog Food Recipes With Grain-Free Ingredients