Introduction: Homemade Dog Food - for Sensitive Tummies

Picture of Homemade Dog Food - for Sensitive Tummies

For the first two years, my poor puppy could barely eat anything that didn't make her sick. We tried every dog food on the market and from the vet, but nothing worked. That's how I found myself cooking for the dogs. I introduced new foods slowly until I had enough ingredients for well balanced meals. I also worked out cooking methods that minimized the kitchen work. Here's how I got my puppy eating...

Step 1: Awesome Food

Picture of Awesome Food

First, I should say that any dog will love this recipe. It helped my young dog with bad digestive problems eat and put on weight, but it's awesome food for all dogs.

Second, I'll make a disclaimer here that I did research, but I'm not a vet. My dog's stomach problems were very bad and everything we did, we did with the vet's approval. Also, I mixed my homemade food with some commercial food to make sure I didn't miss any nutrients that my growing puppy needed.

Step 2: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

(This makes about 3 weeks of only homemade food, or 5-6 weeks if I added kibble.)

2 lbs uncooked brown rice

6 eggs

Sunflower oil (About half a cup to 1 cup)


2 cans of string beans

1 pound of carrots - washed and trimmed, leave whole

6 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 to 2 pounds of yams - washed and trimmed, leave whole

and/or 1-2 cans of pumpkin

Note: I added ingredients slowly to my puppy's diet with each new batch of food, so I would know which foods were problematic. This is my final "good" list. For a dog who can eat anything, like my older dog, just follow the recipe as is, all at once.

Step 3: Cooking

Picture of Cooking

This took me a while to work out - because how much time does anyone really want to spend in the kitchen cooking for the dogs?

1) Cook the rice (I use a rice cooker - set and forget)

2) In a really big pot (use a stock pot, if you have one), add the chicken first and all fresh veggies (carrots, yams) after. Then add enough water to cover everything. Cover the pot and cook on a medium heat on the stove. When the water is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 90 minutes, or until everything is very soft.

3) While the rice and chicken cook, make the eggs. The easiest way to cook the eggs is to break them into a microwave safe bowl and microwave them for a minute at a time. Stir in between. When the eggs are firm, they're done. It won't take long.

Step 4: Combine

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1) Let all the cooked ingredients cool off a bit.

2) When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut up into 1/2" pieces. Don't worry about precision. This is not gourmet cooking. Then throw it back into the stock pot.

Now this is the hard part. This gets to be a huge amount of food. You can try combining everything in the largest bowl you have or use the stock pot. Or, what I do, is mix everything in two batches. Whatever works for you.

3) Starting with the rice, oil and salt, thoroughly mix in one ingredient at a time. Make sure to break up the eggs. Stir in the chicken and veggies last. The veggies will fall apart as you stir. Stir in as much of the liquid from the stock pot as you can with out making everything soupy.

Use a heavy spoon for stirring. I get help when I can. It's a workout.

Step 5: Save in Batches

Picture of Save in Batches

This recipe freezes very well. Freeze in batches that will last about 5 days each. I use reusable stacking containers.

Take a container out of the freezer and defrost in the frig about 2 days before you'll need it. Then you'll always have a fresh, thawed supply of food ready.

Step 6: Nom Nom Nom

Picture of Nom Nom Nom

I hope your dogs like this as much as mine do!


darspleen (author)2018-01-08

Thanks for this! My dog Archer looks exactly like yours - down the long legs and super large,deep chest! He took has sensitivity to lots of food and we are looking at going down this journey for homemade dog food. It is such a difficult process and I am hoping your pupper is doing well

Wow! In 5 years I haven't seen another dog that looks so much like mine. Even the way he reaches out to your other dog is the same. Do you know what breed he is? Is he also very skittish?

My girl is doing much better. I now give her a combination of puppy food and homemade food. And when her stomach starts acting up, I immediately give her otc anti diarrhea and antacid pills. (You'll want to check w a vet on meds)

Also, it's counterintuitive, but she does well with fats. Meat drippings, chicken skin, etc. You'll have to see what works for Asher.

Thank you so much for sharing! Let me know how he does : )

I was so surprised how similar they looked to each other - right down to the "Widow's peak" fur pattern on their head! He is a foster fail, and we got him DNA-ed and it came back as 50% Doberman (Which makes sense because of his deep chest) and 25% German Shepherd and 25% Lab. He is hyper-alert and will bark at a mosquito coughing across the street but he does love everyone and not too skittish.

He has lots of allergies to food and we have been feeding him Kangaroo kibble from Zignature, but I think I am going to try homemade food with Bison or something and start there. He does well with fats and coconut oil and also kefir with his food keeps him very regular and firm!

Thanks for all your support in this journey!

LynnS94 (author)2017-01-07

Thank you for sharing your journey. We have two year old dogs with rough digestive issues. Both came from the same place. Brother and sister. I bottle fed Mister (White one) gave him colostrum, (He was the runt) and he grew and eats everything, BUT when I say everything I mean everything! From sticks, to furniture, to poop, to pens, paper, books, We have them on organic, non grain kibble like food with extra organic chicken and he vomits...alot...I am about to buy a muzzle to protect him from himself. I can't leave him for 60 seconds without finding him chewing on something. The other one Kissy, is very diva like and barely eats. Dear Lord...I am slowly changing their diets to home made food and after another awakening this morning with Mister vomiting and just paying off thousands of dollars in vet bills I am desperate. How is your sweet pup doing now? I hope you found your answer.

Hi Lynn. I understand your frustration! My girl is almost 4 now and is doing much better. I still worry about getting her to eat, and she still throws up when she doesn't eat, but it's far less often. I now have her on dry puppy food mixed with extra protein - chicken, tuna etc. I sometimes also add extra fat, like beef drippings, if her weight is dropping too much. In addition, I've learned her subtle indications that she's starting to have a bad tummy episode. This allows me to do a few things. I'm usually able to get her outside before she vomits. This makes everyone happier. When her tummy is making loud noises, I know it's time to give her Imodium (vet approved), before she gets diarrhea. When there's nothing more for me to do, the vet prescribes anti-everything to get the episode under control.

Good luck. Let me know how it goes for you. I hope your pups start doing better!!

amberc46 made it! (author)2016-04-14

How can i figure out how much of this i should give my dogs? One is 11lbs the other is 60lbs.

I made it lastnight, i definately wanted to chow down myself.

Looks tasty! It probably smells great too! I'm sorry, but I don't know how much to feed the dogs. My dog was underweight, so we fed her all she would eat, which was 2-4 cups/day. (She's 60lbs now) My older 90lb dog gets less. So, I'd probably call my vet and ask. If you find any guidelines, feel free to post them here : ) Thanks!

MoeedS1 (author)2016-04-05

Thanks for sharing the recipe, my pet dog absolutely loved it, unfortunately I didnt take pictures. I could tell the happiness of my dog after watching his face. I saw another website that shared some homemade dog food recipes for sensitive stomach. However I am unsure should i try them, i just needed an advice from you.

Can you please review the recipes? Are they worth trying?


Thanks for the comment! First, I just want to make sure you know I'm not an expert on this : ) That being said, all of the recipes you sent are pretty much variations of of what I posted. In fact, I tried most of these ingredients until I found a combination Shiri could tolerate. Good homemade dog food is basically a meat, a green veggie, a colorful veggie, a fat, a starch (rice, oatmeal, sweet potato), some salt. So, I think they're all good to try (Except the berries and yogurt).
I will add 2 caveats:
1) My dog was very underweight, so the fat was important in her food. My understanding is that most dogs need fats to be healthy.
2) If your dog has a really sensitive stomach, you should try to stick with one food that is working. Changing diet can set off tummy episodes.
There's my I'm-not-a-vet advice : ) I hope it's useful!

JessicaC76 (author)2015-11-20

I made this yesterday for my dog, Ella (13 y.o. Pug), who has had bigtime GI problems for the last few years. On top of that, she's a picky eater. Well, after slaving at the stove, I'm happy to report that she likes it (so far) & gobbled it all up (probably too fast)! Thank you for this recipie! (Ella says thank you, too!)

Thanks for letting me know! I'm really glad this was helpful to you and Ella!

lipstic (author)2015-07-15

Good for you for not being afraid to make it yourself. Before I go further let me say I am certified in canine health and nutrition (which sadly is more than I can say for some vets). That is a lot of carbs! And only string beans and carrots? That's not a lot of variety and does not cover all essential vitamins, antioxidants etc. Chicken from the grocery store is often washed in chlorine same for eggs. Eggs in grocery stores sit on shelves or trucks for a long time before you take them home.

I am all for raw feeding, but please be mindful of where you get your food from, and make sure you are rotating recipes.

Btw, in most cases puppies simply needed some pro&prebiotics, enzymes and some diatomaceous earth as they are making the change from mommies enzymes to their own.

If you have questions send me a message.

Thank You! I can tell you know your dog nutrition better than anyone I consulted and waaay better than me. My recipe was not raw and I supplemented with commercial food and Forti Flora. It was such a tradeoff with the veggies/carbs/fats. She needed calories more than anything (and still does), but so many things made her sick. And many she just wouldn't touch. (My other dog is crazy with food jealousy!) I recently tried a high quality raw food and she wouldn't go near it. She's still underweight, but otherwise healthy and eats every day now. Mostly I mix canned or cooked chicken with a kibble she can tolerate. If you have better suggestions, I'm open to trying most things. Very slowly : )

Have you ever tried her on lamb, I get a lot of dogs that have an issue with chicken but do really well on lamb. Of course each dog is different too.

I have similar issues trying to get my girl to eat some foods, she hates carrots actually so I cover them in coconut oil. I do the same when she has decided she is going to be picky about any food or supplement.

I still love that you were making it yourself! I would just look for a recipe book and change up the recipe every once in a while. Or if you get lazy (like I do) check out a brand called Homest Kitchen, they have freeze dried raw that you add water too and you have so many options with them; grain free, whole grain, meat in, add your own meat etc

Hope this helped. I'm still not an expert (they call me one at work but I don't think it's justified), but I will help you out where I can.

I know this isn't canine friendly, but I don't eat lamb or veal and I can't bring myself to buy it for the pets either. I will try the freeze dried food, though. I think I've seen it around - sounds good! Thanks Again!

papa_bill (author)2015-07-06

Have you ever ground up the eggshells and add the powder to your dog food for an added dose of calcium? I have a small mix breed and have made her pretty much the same recipe as yours she loves it. Just wondering about the eggshells.

No, I haven't heard of doing this for the dogs. I'll look into it. Thanks!

thepantheonzaibatsu (author)2015-07-04

Your dog looks so much like mine!! He is @DobbyTheDogg on Instagram. He had terrible tummy problems as we'll and we made all sorts of food for him. Chicken, bison, kangaroo, you name it. Nothing worked until he went on a raw diet. Now he's put on weight and his poops are much better. :). Just wanted to share that with you.

Dobby looks like an awesome dog! And very similar looking to Shiri - though it's hard for me to imagine what she'd look like with a little more meat on her : ) Thanks for the tip about the raw diet. I'd like to try this, but I'm not sure how to go about it safely. I'd asked the vet about a raw diet a while ago an got the impression we don't really have good choices for buying raw meat near me. I think I'll push a little harder though. Thanks Again!

Yea, we had a few vets for do by as he was going through those hard times. Most vets just kept telling us it's a puppy thing and he'll grow out of it or he just has allergies and to keep trying other foods. We tried every food our vets recommended, hired 2 dog nutritionists and a naturopath and consulted multiple trainers. We bought a slow cooker and made his food from scratch, spending over $150 a week on it. Nothing could stop his runs and vomit. We were taking him out 5-8 times a night and he was using accidents all over the place. Poor guy just wasn't well and we felt so terrible we couldn't help him.
Raw was a last resort, although we should have tried it first.
We live in Toronto Canada and raw is pretty popular here. Our local pet food stores all carry balanced raw food but you could make your own.
For us, we tried Tolden Farms, Turkey Veggie blend. After starting, Dobby didn't poop for about 12 hours and then, all of a sudden, he took his first good poop!!! We never looked back!
Raw isn't the cheapest thing out there but we now believe that you either pay a premium for good quality food, or you pay a premium for vet visits.
There's a lot of resources online. I hope your pups stay healthy, but if things ever take a turn, have a look into raw.
All the best!!!

I won't wait to look into this. It's best to try her on new foods when she's doing well. We've also found that Imodium can curb a bad episode and let everyone get some sleep!

Majornav (author)2015-06-26

Your a good Mom

Thank you! I try : )

rsinton (author)2015-06-26

Great work! I'm glad you were able to find a recipe that works for your dog. I also have a dog that my vet claims has food sensitivities with skin symptoms, but the special kibble he eats now seems to be the solution, nothing like the digestion problems you described. I'm actually posting because of your 2 lbs. of rice. I love rice and only used to eat it brown, but I just spent a while researching rice recently and for many humans it is the leading source of arsenic in our diets, which is toxic in large enough concentrations. Recommendations for humans I believe top out at 7 cups of rice per week although this may vary because arsenic can be very variable depending on the type of rice and where it was grown. White jasmine or basmati rice from California, Texas, and India appear to have the lowest levels, you can also wash rice to remove 50-60% of the arsenic. I don't mean for my post to be alarmist, but as one contentious person to another, I know I appreciated discovering this dietary quirk.

I'll look into this. I usually buy organic rice - I wonder if that makes a difference.

Boost (author)2015-06-25

The last month of our dogs long life he couldn't eat his usual kibbles (high quality ones bought from the vet). We ended up buying lean beef and quickly fry it. What we noticed was that his fur got really shiny and almost no shedding. He passed away 14 years old. It got us thinking though. The kibbles maybe don't contain all that dogs need. So for our next dog we will make him most of his food ourselves. This is a great recipe that I'm sure we will use.

I'm sorry about your older dog.
If my dog could could eat chicken skin or beef I would add these things in to the food, especially for a puppy. They add calories and do make for an extra shiny coat. Let me know what happens : )

buck2217 (author)2015-06-25

Very nice, fortunately our dogs are not sensitive but I do like to mix their diet up a bit as it seems a bit dull and boring for them otherwise Great I'ble VOTED

Thanks! Let me know how the dogs like the food. PS-How many dogs?

momoluv (author)2015-06-25

Super cute, very clever! Great instructable!

Thank you so much!

amberrayh (author)2015-06-24

They look like very happy puppies! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

Thanks! I have pretty pampered pups : )

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