Making Homemade Dog Food for Puppies & Old Dogs.

I work have made homemade dog food for my dogs for many years. I tried raw food, but didn't like handling it, and I've found that my dogs prefer cooked food anyway. I wrote my thesis on Herbal Healing for Dogs for my Master Herbalist Degree. I make herbals formulas & herbal supplements for my dogs as well.

Diet for Puppies and Older Dogs

This is Rodney, 7 weeks old, Christmas 2001. I fed him the diet outlined below for puppies.

Puppies need to eat several times a day, until they finish teething. Their food needs to be cut up very small, or grated at first, and gradually increased in size and amount. Their food needs to be warmed as well, little puppies especially can get a chill if they eat cold food.


Soak the following overnight, to feed your puppy for breakfast. You can mix up a large container of the dry ingredients, and just soak one or 2 breakfasts worth at a time.

finely chopped raisins or dates

coconut (no sugar), hemp hearts, ground & soaked nuts or seeds

oil (olive oil or cod liver oil in the winter, the Vitamin A & D in the cod liver oil can build up in the body to toxic levels if too much is given. The source I found, recommends 1/2 tsp. of cod liver oil for a 25 lb. adult dog or a 12 lb. puppy. This amounts to 2,500 IU of Vitamin A per day)

Paco, 10 weeks, Nov. 2004
Our newest little schnauzer, he likes
red & yellow peppers, pineapple,
carrot bits... pretty much anything!

slippery elm

apple pectin


ground flax and ground pumpkin seeds
plain yogurt
grated apple


Feed the puppy the same as the adult dog food, but chopped up into smaller bits.


Sometimes puppies are growing faster, and get hungry between meals, or as the lunch meal is phased out you can replace it with a snack. Crunchy snacks give their teeth and jaws exercise, try bits of hard dried homemade bread (save your crusts, slice, & let them dry until hard), slices of raw vegetables (try carrot, yams, cucumber... whatever you are slicing up for your salad... celery is too stringy), fruit: bits of dates, raisins or raw apple.

I like to give my dogs & puppies raw hides to chew on as well, make sure to throw the raw hide away when it gets small, or the puppy can choke on it.

Older Dogs

If you would like to change an adult or older dog's diet to a homemade one, it should be done gradually. Adding some of the adult dog recipie to your dog's regular food until he gets used to it.

Depending upon your older dog's general health and the health of his digestive system, he may tolerate a lightly cooked diet better than raw meat. Gorky, at the right lived to be 15. He ate homemade food all his life & had very few health problems over the years.

I feed him a lightly cooked diet, and never change it or give him different snacks as it effects his health. I have recently tried giving him raw meat bones when the other dogs have one, they seem to agree with him, and he really enjoys them. Since he doesn't get much exercise, this is very enjoyable for him. I have found that the only way his digestive system can tolerate chewing on bones, is if there is plenty of fiber included in his diet and he only eats bones on a full stomach, after dinner.

I give him the same diet as the adult dog diet recipie, but add the meat at the same time as the vegetables, so it gets cooked. I also add slippery elm, and sometimes digestive enzymes or acidophilus to help his digestion. I aways add extra bran and/or psyllium husks to the recipie. He uses herbs for relaxation and anxiety, since his hearing and eyesite are going and he gets upset sometimes.

If he is not feeling well, I give him some honey and cream with slippery elm to settle his stomach.

He is also using Glucosamine and MSM for joint support, and sometimes uses other herbs for pain relief in the joints and calming herbs for anxiety because his vision and hearing are going.

Not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian.

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Any information presented here is for informational purposes only and not intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a medical practitioner. Please remember that dogs, like people, can have sensitivities or allergies to foods, try only a small amount of a new food to make sure it agrees with your dog.

Copyright © 2002 Dragonfly Herbals