The Ultimate Guide to Making Homemade Dog Food for Small Breeds

Have you ever looked at your small breed dog, watching them chomp down their store-bought food delightfully, and thought, "I wonder if I could make something like that at home myself?"

If you answered, "yes" or anything similar in the affirmative, then let me tell you, you're not alone!

A lot of pet parents want to get hands-on when it comes to preparing their dogs' meals, these days. After all, few things can express how much you adore your little doggo better than some homemade culinary goodness, served with a large sprinkling of love, right?

In this ultimate guide, we'll delve into the world of homemade dog food, specifically tailored for small breeds of dogs.

We'll explore why a homemade diet might be a good idea every once in a while. And then we'll look at exactly how to meet the unique nutritional needs of small dogs, and how to whip up delicious meals that will get those little tails wagging like never before!

And whether you're a newbie to the homemade dog food scene or you're looking to perfect your doggo meal prep skills, we've got your back. By the end of this guide, you'll be well on your way to becoming the top chef in your dog's world!

Remember, this isn't just about making food. It's about providing the best possible nutrition for your small dog to ensure they live a long, healthy, and happy life.

So, let's get started, shall we?

Understanding the Dietary Needs of Small Dogs

Small dogs aren't just pint-sized versions of their larger counterparts; they have unique dietary needs that we need to consider.

And sure, they might think they're just as big and tough as a Great Dane when they're barking at the mailman, but their nutritional needs beg to differ.

So what's the big deal about being small? Let's dig in.

  • First up, small dogs have faster metabolisms than larger dogs. This means they burn off energy at a quicker rate, and so they need more calorie-dense meals to fuel their bodies and keep their little tails wagging.
  • The next big thing (or should we say small?) is their stomach size. Small dogs have small stomachs (surprise, surprise!). This means they can't eat huge volumes at one go. They need meals that are compact but nutritionally dense, so they get all their dietary needs met without overstuffing their tummies.
  • Now, the key nutritional components for our little friends aren't much different from us humans: they need a balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

In the upcoming sections, we'll get into the nitty-gritty of selecting the right ingredients and proportions for these nutrients. But for now, just remember: our small dogs need balanced, nutrient-rich meals to thrive.

Common Scenarios Where Homemade Dog Food Can Come In Handy

Now that we understand our small dogs' dietary needs, let's talk about why homemade dog food could be a game-changer.

Now let's look at other scenarios where making your dog's food yourself could really help.

  1. Do you have a picky eater on your hands, or maybe your vet has recommended a special diet? No problem! Homemade dog food can be customized to suit individual preferences and dietary needs. You can easily adjust ingredients, portions, and even the texture of the food.
  2. Next up is allergies. Many small dogs suffer from food allergies or intolerances, and often, the culprit is often an ingredient in their food. When you make dog food at home, you can easily eliminate potential allergens and monitor your dog's reaction to different foods.

While making homemade dog food might seem daunting, with a little preparation and knowledge, it can be an enjoyable experience. And the best part? Seeing the look of pure, tail-wagging joy on your small dog's face when they get to eat delicious, wholesome food that's been lovingly prepared just for them!

Ingredients to Use and Avoid in Homemade Dog Food

First things being first, let's talk ingredients. Not all foods that are safe for us humans are safe for our canine friends. Plus, remember those unique nutritional needs we talked about earlier? We'll need to keep those in mind as well.

Ingredients to Include


Go with high-quality, lean meats like chicken, turkey, beef, and fish. Remember, variety is key – you don't want your dog getting bored with chicken day in, day out. Rotate between different protein sources to keep things exciting.

Eggs are also a great protein source, just make sure they're cooked to avoid any risk of salmonella.


Carbs provide your small dog with the energy they need to keep running around like there's no tomorrow.

Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, or oatmeal. You can also use starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or pumpkins.

Fruits and Vegetables:

These add fiber and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Apples (minus the seeds), blueberries, carrots, peas, and green beans are all good choices. Just be sure to cook them to make them easier to digest.


Good fats are essential for your dog's overall health, particularly their skin and coat. Think fish oil, olive oil, or flaxseed oil. But remember, fats should make up a small portion of your dog's diet – too much fat can lead to obesity and other health issues.


Depending on your dog's specific needs, you might need to include supplements to ensure they're getting all their essential nutrients.

Things like calcium or certain vitamins often need a boost. Consult with your vet to understand if any supplements are required.

Ingredients/ Food Items to Avoid At All Costs :

There are some foods you should NEVER include in your dog's diet.

These include (but are not limited to) chocolate, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, macadamia nuts, avocado, and artificial sweeteners. It would also be prudent to keep any consumable items with caffeine or alcohol content in them, at a safe distance from your dog.

And the golden rule to remember at all times is, to always consult with your vet, when in doubt.

How to Make Balanced and Nutritious Dog Food at Home

When it comes to ensuring your little one gets a balanced diet, here's a basic guideline: Half of your dog's meal should be composed of protein, one-quarter should be carbohydrates, and the remaining quarter should be fruits and vegetables.

Remember, these are general guidelines and might need to be tweaked based on your dog's age, activity level, and overall health.

General Tips That'd Help:

  • When it comes to preparing the food, make sure all meat is cooked thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria. Vegetables should also be cooked to make them easier to digest.
  • Portion size and feeding frequency are also important. Small dogs have small stomachs and can't handle large meals.
  • It's better to feed them smaller meals several times a day. The exact amount will depend on your dog's age, size, and activity level, but a general guideline is 1 cup of food for every 10 pounds of body weight, split between two meals a day.

In the next section, we'll walk you through some simple, tasty recipes to get you started. Stay tuned!

Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipes for Small Dogs

Okay, it's time to put on your chef's hat and start cooking! Here are three simple, nutritionally balanced recipes to get you started. And don't be afraid to tweak them based on your dog's taste preferences and dietary needs.

Chicken and Vegetable Mix


2 cups of chopped chicken, 1 cup of carrots, 1 cup of peas, 1 sweet potato, 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, and a splash of fish oil.

  • Start by cooking your chicken thoroughly. You can either boil it or bake it. Once it's fully cooked, chop it into small pieces that are suitable for your dog. Make sure to remove any bones.
  • While the chicken is cooking, steam your carrots, peas, and sweet potato. You can use a steamer or just a pot with a little bit of water. They should be cooked until they're soft - it should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions. You could rinse it before cooking and use about 2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of quinoa. Then let it simmer until it's fluffy and the water is absorbed in about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once everything is cooked, combine the chopped chicken, steamed veggies, cooked quinoa, and a splash of fish oil in a large bowl. Mix it all together until well combined.
  • Let the mixture cool down before serving it to your dog. The food should be at room temperature to prevent burns.

Beef and Sweet Potato Stew


2 cups of ground beef, 1 sweet potato, 1 apple (deseeded and de-cored), 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal, and a dash of olive oil.


  • Start by cooking your ground beef. Use a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook the beef until it's fully browned and no longer pink.
  • While the beef is cooking, steam your sweet potato until it's soft. You can also include the deseeded apple in the steamer at this time. Once they're soft, you can mash the sweet potato and chop the apple into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Cook your oatmeal as per the packet instructions. It's usually a ratio of 2 cups of water to 1/2 cup of oatmeal, simmered until the oatmeal is soft and the water has been absorbed.
  • Once everything is cooked, combine the beef, mashed sweet potato, chopped apple, cooked oatmeal, and a dash of olive oil in a large bowl. Stir everything together until it's well mixed.
  • Allow the mix to cool down before serving it to your dog.

Fish and Pumpkin Mash


2 cups of deboned fish (like salmon or mackerel), 1 cup of pumpkin, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice, and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed.


  • Start with your fish. You can grill, bake, or steam it, but make sure it's fully cooked and deboned. Remember, bones can be a choking hazard or cause blockages.
  • While the fish is cooking, steam your pumpkin and carrots until they're soft. Once done, you can mash the pumpkin and chop the carrots into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Cook the brown rice as per the packet instructions. It's usually about 2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of rice, simmered until the rice is soft and the water has been absorbed.
  • Once everything is cooked, combine the fish, mashed pumpkin, chopped carrots, cooked rice, and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed in a large bowl. Mix everything together until it's well combined.
  • Allow the mix to cool down before serving it to your dog. Make sure the food is at room temperature to avoid burning your dog's mouth.

Remember, these recipes can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also make larger batches and freeze them for later use. Just be sure to thaw them properly before serving.

Transitioning Your Small Dog from Commercial to Homemade Dog Food

Kudos to you! You're now equipped with the knowledge and skills to start making your small dog's food at home. But hold on a second! Before you rush right into it, it's crucial to understand that transitioning to homemade food needs to be done gradually.

Dogs have sensitive stomachs, and sudden changes in diet can lead to digestive issues. Start by replacing a small portion of their usual food with the new homemade food, then gradually increase the homemade portion over a week or two until you're fully switched over.

Monitor your dog closely during the transition period. Look out for any changes in their energy levels, skin and coat condition, stool consistency, and overall behavior. If you notice any adverse reactions, consult your vet right away.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. It's always a good idea to consult with your vet before making any significant changes to your dog's diet.

The Joys of Having It Homemade: Concluding Thoughts on Making Homemade Food for Small Dogs

Congratulations! If you've followed along with us till here, you're all set to begin your journey into the world of homemade dog food - one that you will surely find rewarding in the times to come!

In reading this article and equipping yourself with the requisite know-how, you've taken the first big leap toward enhancing the health and well-being of your beloved small dog.

And not just that, you're now on your way to further strengthening the bond between you and your canine companion. For you are, through the simple yet significant act of preparing their meals, showing your dog just how much you love and care for them!

So, whether you're a novice home cook or a seasoned chef, don't be afraid to try your hand at making homemade dog food. With the guidelines and recipes we've provided in this guide, you're more than ready to get started.

Also good to note that it's okay to ask for help. Consult with your vet or a pet nutritionist if you have any concerns or questions. They can provide additional guidance and make the transition to homemade food smoother for both you and your small dog.

We hope this guide has inspired you to give homemade dog food a shot. We guarantee you'll be rewarded with wagging tails, wet-nosed kisses, and a healthier, happier small dog. Good luck, and happy cooking!

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