How to create your own homemade raw dog food


Thinking about taking your dog’s nutrition into your own hands and going DIY? Here’s what to consider before you switch

How to create your own homemade raw dog food

Article outline


Quick takeaways about homemade raw dog food

  • Homemade dog food gives you full control over what goes into your dog’s bowl.
  • The extra time, effort and research can be rewarding for both you and your dog.
  • For owners who are short on time, a personalised Natures Menu meal plan can be the best of both worlds.

In today's health-conscious world, dog owners are thinking more carefully about the quality of their pet's diet.

You want to give them the best possible nutrition – and homemade raw dog food is a great way to do this.

Making your own from raw meat, offal, fruit and vegetables with the right amount of carbohydrates (if you choose) can deliver many benefits.

So, homemade dog food can offer a more natural alternative to commercial options, but are the benefits worth the effort?

Here, we share what you need to know about homemade raw dog food, to help you make the decision…


Is homemade raw dog food healthy?

It certainly can be! Making your own dog food means you have full control over the ingredients. You can skip fillers, additives, and artificial colours or flavours that often find their way into commercial kibble.

Instead, you can focus on wholesome ingredients that you know are good for your dog.

But, it’s also on you to make sure that your dog is getting all the nutrients they need.

In the UK and Europe, commercial pet food manufacturers are often members of associations such as UK Pet Food. This means they agree to stick to standards set by the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) when it comes to safety and nutritional balance.

If you feed your dog homemade food, you’ll need to personally make sure they’re eating a complete and balanced diet.

It can be easier to go with a high-quality complete and balanced raw food provider like Natures Menu. We create perfectly balanced raw meals, tailored to your dog, minus the hassle.


What should I consider before making my own raw homemade dog food?

There are a few things to factor in before going homemade:



You’ll want to adjust your dog’s portions to make sure their calorie intake is suitable for their size, age, and activity level.

Your vet can help you work out how many calories your dog needs each day. But, remember that different offals, meats, and even different meat cuts will have varying calorie amounts which need to be accounted for.



Like us, dogs have specific nutritional needs to help them live a happy, healthy life. So, feeding an incomplete or imbalanced diet can lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies in dogs.


Regular vet visits

Talk to a professional before you make big changes in your dog’s diet. You can also take your dog for nutritional reviews at the vet – they can make sure your dog is getting what they need.

Or, you can ask for a referral to a pet nutritionist who specialises in all things foodie for your dog.


What raw ingredients do I need to include?

A raw diet typically includes raw meat, minced bone, organs, fruit, veg, and sometimes grains. It should contain the right balance of protein, fibre, fat and potentially carbohydrates (if you want).

Here’s how to choose the best ingredients:


1. Raw meat and offal

This should be the main ingredient in your raw dog food recipe, and this gives your dog protein, vitamins and minerals. Dog-friendly meats and fish include:

  • Poultry like chicken, turkey, goose or duck
  • Meats like beef, lamb, venison, wild boar or rabbit
  • Fish like salmon, cod, trout or mackerel
  • Offal like tripe and heart

To make things easier you could use our Ready to Mix range for experienced raw feeders. These contain only high-quality ingredients and are 100% meat, bone and offal for you to mix with other ingredients like vegetables at home.

As a DEFRA-registered raw pet food producer, our foods also undergo regular testing to make sure it’s as safe as possible to feed.

2. Fruits and vegetables

After meat and offal, other ingredients help provide a wide range of nutrients.

Adding healthy sources of vegetables such as carrots, swede, peas and spinach can provide your dog with a great source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain gut health.

Dog-friendly fruits can also provide taste, texture and smell. Check out our dog-friendly list of fruit and veg.

You should also blend or grind these ingredients to allow your dog to absorb the natural vitamins more easily.

Dogs are unable to digest the cellulose skins on fruits and veg so mincing or blending them before feeding can help with digestion.


3. Optional carbohydrates

Adding a carbohydrate source to your dog's homemade meals is up to you. Many pet parents add ingredients such as cooked brown rice, rolled oats, sweet potato or pureed pumpkin to their homemade meals.

Although dogs have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates, fed in moderation, they can offer several benefits like helping to maintain fullness or providing a readily available energy source for active, working or competition dogs.

A carbohydrate addition is also useful for dogs that are underweight and are struggling to maintain a healthy weight.


What about bone?

Lots of pet owners consider feeding bones as part of homemade raw dog food diets.

Some people like to feed their dogs raw, meaty bones like chicken wings or duck necks – to provide protein-rich muscle meat. These types of raw chews can also help to clean your dog’s teeth and provide mental stimulation.

Some ready-to-mix raw dog foods also contain minced bone – our Ready to Mix beef mince contains around 6% bone.

With our 40 years of experience in the raw food industry, we have found that this level suits most dogs, no matter their size.

But, dogs are individuals and have different tolerances to things like bone content. Speak to your vet or a pet nutritionist to be sure of the best advice for your dog’s specific needs.


How do I create a balanced homemade raw dog food meal?

After you’ve chosen a diverse set of ingredients to feed your dog, you can look at mixing the quantities.

Ratios can vary from dog to dog, depending on their lifestyle, breed, age and exercise levels.

Generally, we suggest feeding 80% meat and offal with 20% fruits and vegetables. Alternatively, if you’d like to add some carbohydrates, we’d recommend feeding around 60% meat and offal with 20% fruits and vegetables and 20% carbohydrate.

You might also want to consider food toppers and adding supplements depending on your dog’s needs or conditions. For example, if they’re getting older, you might want to consider a joint supplement.

If in doubt, speak to your vet or a registered dog nutritionist.


The balance meal plan option

For owners who want to feed their dog high-quality raw but don’t have time to calculate the right ratios – or want peace of mind that meals are perfectly balanced, there’s always a meal plan subscription.

Our tailored meal plans have all of the natural ingredients listed above and can be personalised to your dog’s needs. Whether they have an allergy, a sensitive tum or they’re just a bit fussy, there’s an option for every dog.


What are the benefits and risks of homemade dog food?

Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of taking mealtime into your own hands.


The pros

  • Control over ingredients: You can give your dog wholesome ingredients and completely avoid fillers, preservatives, and artificial flavours.
  • Meeting specific needs: You have the flexibility to fine-tune the nutrients, cater to a picky dog, or avoid foods your dog is allergic to.
  • Big health benefits: Owners who feed their dog a raw diet have reported plenty of benefits, with research finding that raw can improve gut health.

The cons

  • Time and effort: Simply put, it’s a lot of work to make homemade raw dog food every day. Busy pet parents may struggle to meet the time commitment.
  • Research: It takes nutritional expertise to make sure you’re creating balanced meals, including research and calorie counting.
  • Cost: Depending on where you shop, going homemade can be more expensive than commercial options.

Is it cheaper to make your own raw dog food?

This one’s a bit tricky. The cost depends on the ingredients you use, where you buy them, and the size of your pooch.

Homemade food can certainly be cheaper than some premium commercial brands, but that doesn’t always make it the most budget-friendly option.

Buying your raw food on a subscription could also save you money each month.


What are the best homemade treats for dogs?

Homemade dog treats are easy to make and can be a fun way to bond with your pup. Here are some of our favourites:


1. Peanut butter and banana biscuits

This recipe only requires 4 ingredients and is sure to be a hit – just be sure to use peanut butter that doesn’t include xylitol.


2. Yoghurt and blueberry bites

Freeze some dollops of plain yoghurt and blueberries on a tray with parchment paper for a refreshing snack.


Pumpkin and oat balls

Mix up some plain, canned pumpkin, oats and peanut butter, roll it up into balls, pop them in the fridge for an hour, and voila! We love this recipe.

No time to make your own? Check out our superfood bars and meaty training treats.


So, is making homemade raw dog food worth it?

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Done right, making homemade dog food can be rewarding for both you and your pet.

But you’ll also want to weigh up the benefits against the time, effort and costs involved.

If you’re just not sure about the level of commitment, check out our meal plans. Nature’s Menu offers high-quality raw dog food that takes away the fuss and guesswork.

We follow FEDIAF guidelines to ensure your dog is getting a complete and balanced meal every time. And with a customised meal plan, you can still be in total control of what’s going into your dog’s bowl.

Try our personalised meal plans with high-quality raw ingredients to help keep your dog healthy and happy.