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How to Make Homemade Dog Kibble

Learn how to make dry dog food with this easy homemade dog kibble dish.

by Daniela Lopez
January 24, 2023
Young couple petting their dog in the kitchen while they make homemade kibble
Duet Postscriptum / Stocksy

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

If you’ve ever caught yourself watching Top Chef and thinking, Hey, I bet I could do that, now’s your time to shine. And if you’ve ever caught yourself watching Top Chef and thinking, Whoa, I could never do that — well, now’s your time to shine, too. Henriette Morrison, founder of Lily’s Kitchen, a pet food company in the UK, created a recipe that’ll leave you feeling like an accomplished cook regardless of your level of kitchen expertise. And the best part? It’s all for your dog’s benefit.

Morrison started cooking for her dog Lily because of worsening skin allergies and found cooking homemade food was a real game-changer. “When I first started to cook for Lily, it was really out of desperation. I had tried almost all pet foods on the market, and she would either refuse to eat them, or they just exacerbated her itchy skin.”

As a proponent of healthy and proper foods, Morrison’s first recipes included oat flour, blueberries, squash, and sweet potatoes. She found that her homemade meals radically improved her pup’s itchy, irritated skin. “I was delighted but also furious. I could not believe that I had been feeding her ready-made pet food that was actually making her itchiness worse rather than providing her with the nutrition she needed,” she says.

In addition to removing allergens, homemade dog food can benefit your dog’s health and well-being by ensuring fresh, high-quality, easily digestible ingredients. “In an ideal situation, you would always use locally grown ingredients. What is critical is to...always ensure you are sourcing the best quality you can,” Morrison says.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding dog nutrition. For many pet parents, it can be difficult to decipher what the information means on pet food labels and how it impacts their dogs. What you feed your pup has a huge impact on their health, because their gut microbiomes rule their body. Whether you make your dog’s food every day or not, feeding your pup homemade dog food gives you a way to shake things up with them healthy bites — they enjoy variety as much as we do.

Morrison collaborated with several holistic and conventional veterinarians to formulate her recipes while developing her cookbook, Dinner for Dogs. This easy homemade dog kibble dish combines turkey, lentils, carrots and other healthy veggies, rosemary, and more delicious ingredients.

Homemade Dog Kibble

Create crunchy dog kibble at home that your dog will love. With wholesome ingredients and complete control, you can make this a healthy balanced diet with delicious nutritional toppers. You can also experiment by cooking this with a dehydrator, low and slow, for even better results.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup and 1 tablespoon (200 g) brown rice

  • ½ cup (100 g) lentils

  • 5 cups (1¼ liters) water

  • 3 medium carrots (200 g), peeled and chopped

  • 1 medium sweet potato (200 g), scrubbed and chopped

  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped, or ½ cup (100 g) unsweetened applesauce

  • ¾ cup (100 g) steel-cut oats

  • 1¼ tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 2¼ cups (500 g) ground turkey, about 18 ounces

  • ¼ cup (50 ml) olive, sunflower, or canola oil, plus additional oil for greasing

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put rice and lentils into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes.

  2. Add the chopped carrots, sweet potato, apple, oats, and chopped herbs to the saucepan once the rice and lentils are cooked and gently simmer for 20 minutes more. If the mixture is too dry, add an extra cup of water.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and grease two cookie sheets.

  4. Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey in a separate pan for about 10 minutes (or until cooked through), depending on your heat setting. Stir continuously while cooking to prevent it from sticking to the pan as it is very low in fat.

  5. Next, put half the cooked veggie and grain blend into a food processor with half the cooked turkey, add half the oil, and pulse until the batter resembles a thick purée.

  6. Spread the batter onto one of the sheets so that it is about ¼ inch (5 mm) thick. The batter will spread slightly as it cooks, so leave some room for this.

  7. Repeat steps five and six with the second cookie sheet and the remaining batter.

  8. Place both cookie sheets into the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.

  9. Turn the dog kibble over to dry through and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes. You should have what looks like two large cookies. If it is not thoroughly dried out, leave it in the oven for up to 20 minutes more.

  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F/160°C. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and cut them into small pieces. Place the chunks back onto the cookie sheets and bake for an additional hour or until the kibble is fully dried (but not burnt).

  11. Remove the kibble from the oven and let cool completely. The finished dog kibble should resemble pieces of broken pita bread and will keep in the fridge for 10 days.

Nutritional Information

Per 4 ounces (100 g)
Calories: 365
Protein: 20%
Fat: 9%

Adapted from Dinner for Dogs by Henrietta Morrison, The Experiment Publishing, 2013.

Illustration of food bowlDog

Note: While caution was taken to give safe recommendations and accurate instructions in this article, it is impossible to predict an individual dog’s reaction to any food or ingredient. Readers should consult their vets and use personal judgment when applying this information to their own dogs’ diets.

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daniela lopez

Daniela Lopez

Daniela Lopez is a digital media specialist and long-time contributor to The Bark.