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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Homemade Dog Food for Your Australian Shepherd

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Introduction to Healthy Dining for Your Aussie

Video: How To Make A Simple, Balanced Fish & Sweet Potato Home Diet

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Homemade Dog Food

Homemade Dogfood Recipes

Homemade Dog Treats

Share Your Favorite Home Made Dog Food or Dog Treat Recipes

Many of us are concerned about the commercial dog foods on the market today. We hear about recalls and health concerns even deaths related to them. They often contain fillers with no nutritional value and a list of ingredients that we don't understand.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) Notice

DCM is a heart condition that has been reportedly linked to certain low carbohydrate dog foods. However, the FDA has still not confirmed a specific cause and its latest study is also inconclusive. As such, at the time of this writing (July 16, 2020) there have still not been any recalls. For further information see: FDA, Dog Food Advisor article, and an article by Daniel Schulof, the founder and CEO of KetoNatural Pet Foods, Inc. addressing potential Bad Science and Financial Conflicts of Interest Plaguing the FDA's Investigation Into "Grain-Free" Pet Foods and Dilated Cardiomyopathy.


You may want to consider making your own homemade dog food. You don't need any special training or tools just the motivation to ensure that your homemade dog food is the best choice for you and your dog. It is simple to do and can be done at the same time you are making your own dinner.

Basically, whatever you are having, minus added salt and hot spices, your dog can have—and let's face it, what four legged friend of our's doesn't appreciate a homemade meal too.

For the most part your dog's nutritional requirements are the same as yours. Water, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals ensuring your dog is getting his daily dose of each of these elements will help keep him happy and healthy. Generally speaking most dogs require a mix of different ingredients in order to make it the healthiest dog food for your Aussie.

Homemade Dog Food for Your Australian Shepherd - Photo: Some ingredients for homemade dog food.

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While there are many high quality commercial dog food brands available these days, making your own healthy homemade dog food is a great option that your Aussie will love.

In most cases, this means you should make your homemade dog food 40% meat, 30% fiber and 30% starch. This variable may change a little bit, depending on the breed and size of your dog, but it's a pretty consistent guideline that can be used to make your own homemade dog food

Supplying fresh clean water daily not only helps keep her hydrated but helps nutrients and waste products flow through the body.

Protien plays a role in tissue growth and repair. Fats supply energy and vitamins as well as add flavour which can determine how much food they will eat. Fat also helps maintain a nice healthy coat.

Carbohydrates are an energy source as they are broken down and metabolized.

Vitamins and Minerals help the proper absorption of fats and carbohydrates and for the chemical reactions in the body. It is essential that you get enough vitamins and minerals in your homemade dog food. It's recommended that you also include high quality dog food supplements to make sure your dog is getting everything she needs.

Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, eyes and your immune system and can be found in:

  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage

Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system. Some examples of foods high in vitamin C are:

  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers (small amounts, you can also steam or cook them—but not with onions or garlic)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Oranges
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumber
  • Squash
  • Green beans

Vitamin E is a valuable antioxident and helps repair cell damage and can be found in spinach, broccoli and other leafy greens.

You can also include fruits in your homemade dog food recipes. Dogs also like fruit and get the same benefits from them as we do. Remember that dogs can not have grapes or raisins!

Apples have vitamins A, B, C, iron, potassium and magnesium. They can help bring down bad cholersterol.

Bananas are good source of potassium, folic acid, vitamin A & B6. They are easily digested and high in fiber. They make a good energy boosting snack as well they can provide moisture in healthy treat recipes instead of adding oil.

Carrots are a nice crunchy snack raw. They are also full of nutrients and vitamins B, C, D, E, & K along with folic acid and the anti-cancer protecting ingredient - beta carotene. They also contain potassium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and silica.

Strawberries is another popular one. They also contain cancer fighting beta -carotene, bone building calcium, potassium and iron and of course vitamin C.

Pineapples are packed full of vitamin C and fibre so they help the immune and digestive system. They also have anti-inflammatory effects.

Don't Have Time to Make Homemade Dog Food?

This is also an excellent option of feeding your dog healthy and nutritious meals. A company called Spot & Tango provides a high quality natural dogfood. Spot & Tango gives you the quality nutrition of all homemade but with the convenience of prepared dog food. I suggest you give them a try and see what you think. You can get more information about ordering their high quality natural dog food products here.

If you must feed a commercial dog food at least make sure it is of excellent quality.

Australian Shepherd smiling and running across field.

How To Choose The Best Dog Food Brands

Choosing the best dog food brands can be very confusing. Let's look at how to decide on the best food for your dog.

How To Make A Simple, Balanced Fish & Sweet Potato Home Diet For Your Dog

In this video Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM from the Nelson Animal Hospital in British Columbia, Canada shows how to prepare a simple homemade dog food recipe and discusses the use of supplements to ensure a healthy diet.

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Homemade Dog Food

Some food should be avoided completely, including:

  • Grapes and raisins have been shown to cause kidney problems, vomiting, diarhea, abdominal pain and lethargy.
  • Onions and garlic can cause anemia, laboured breathing, liver damage, vomiting, diarhea and discoloured urine.
  • Mushrooms contain toxins which affect multiple systems in the body, causing shock, abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarhea, convulsions, coma and may result in death.
  • Chocolate, coffee and tea all contain caffine and other chemicals which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems. Symptoms may include staggering, laboured breathing, vomiting, diarhea, abdominal pain, tremours, fever, heart rate increase, arrythmia, seizures, coma, death.
    Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
  • White foods (white bread, white rice) are very hard to digest.
  • Yeast dough can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
  • Tomatos may cause tremors and heart problems.
  • Avocados – all parts may cause difficulty breathing as they can cause fluids to build up in the chest, abdomen and around the heart.
  • Potato and Rhubarb leaves and stems contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
  • Other foods that can be harmful to your pet are hulled foods (corn, beans, peas), fruit pits and seeds, walnuts, cooked bones, nutmeg, salt in large quantities, eggplant, hot peppers, iceberg lettuce, and raw spinach.

So if you're adding any of these ingredients to your portion simply remove your dogs portion first. Or you may prefer to make her her own 'meatloaf' or 'stew' once a week and keep it in the fridge or freezer. That way if you decide to have pizza night your dog will still have a regular home made meal.

One big advantage of making your own homemade dog food is that you can control the amount of chemicals and fillers in it and well as salt and preservatives, and again you can control the variety.

It is probably a good idea to supplement their diet to ensure total proper nutritional content.

Related Article:

Dogs and Chocolate & Other Dangerous Foods

If you think your Aussie has been poisoned contact your vet immediately.

Animal Poison Control Center

As the premier animal poison control center in North America, the APCC is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make the call that can make all the difference:

(888) 426-4435
A consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Here are a few quick and easy homemade dog food recipes.

Daily Diet


1 lb meat, chopped or ground.
3 oz chopped liver
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp ground eggshells or calcium supplement, (1000 mg)
1 tsp salmon oil or 2 caps fish oil
Vitamin E capsule
1/2 cup pureed veggies

Preparation: Mix and serve.
Optional....add 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice or barley.

Comments: The biggest problem with homemade diets is NOT ENOUGH CALCIUM to balance out the phosphorus in the meat. If your diet does not include ground bones, you should always add calcium. Use eggshells 1/2 tsp per pound of food, or calcium supplement 1000 mg per pound of food. You can also use bone meal, 1-1/2 tsp per pound if you like. Cottage cheese is not a good source of calcium and it is high in phosphorus which negates its benefit. Use ricotta cheese instead.

Veggies are only needed for bulk if you do not include raw bone in the diet. Dogs can't digest plant materials well.

Sardines are a good treat, and are high in essential EPA/DHA.
You need to include organ meat along with muscle meat; it provides essential vitamins and minerals.

Dogs produce their own vitamin C so that is not necessary to add. If you cook the meal you might want to add a B vitamin compex to replace destroyed vitamins.

Submitted by: Geneva Coats

Submit your favorite dog food recipe here!

Chicken, Veggies n' Rice


1 cup cooked chicken/tukery
1⁄2 cup cooked veggies (any kind)
1⁄2 cup prepared brown rice
4-5 tbsp low sodium chicken stock

Preparation: Mix it up well and serve!

Submit your favorite dog food recipe here!

Herder's Meatloaf


3 cups ground beef
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups oatmeal
1 cup mixed veggies (any kind)
1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese

Preparation: Mix well and bake for 45 mins at 350 degrees (This one can be made with ground chicken)

Comments: Besides rice and oats, you can also use whole grain pastas and barley, beef chunks and beef stock.

Submit your favorite dog food recipe here!



2 C Chicken gizzards & hearts
1/2 C Chicken liver
1/2 C Brown rice cooked
1/2 tsp crushed egg shells
1/2 C fresh tender baby carrots & cucumber shredded

Preparation: Cut gizzards, hearts and livers into smaller pieces and cook in frying pan. Add cooked brown rice and veggies. Heat. Add egg shells. Mix well and serve.

Comments: Use the blood from the meat containers too. I cook several pounds of meat at a time and use a ladle to remove the cooked meat from the pan and add it to a single serve bowl, 2 for a serving. (I save cottage chz/yogurt/riccota chz/dip containers for this). I do the same for the rice adding the 1/2 scoop on top. Then I lable and freeze the bowls. Shred veggies ahead of time too and put them in snack sized zipper bags and lable. Then just take a bag out (pre-measured) and add it to the meal when heating.

I find my dog, Chance, is very smart and will not do something that is going to hurt himself so I serve the food hot and find it keeps him from "wolfing" it down. He waits until a bite is cooler in order to eat it.

Submitted by: Tina Trombley

Submit your favorite dog food recipe here!

Let's Not Forget Homemade Dog Treats!

Your Aussie will love these homemade dog treats.

Peanut Butter and Banana Frozen Pops


1 mashed Banana
32 oz. Low Fat Yogurt
1/4 cup Peanut Butter

Preparation: Just mix all ingredients together and put into small cups. I use 4 oz. dixie cups. Make sure you don't leave the dog unattended with the treat so that you can pick up the cup after they are done to avoid them trying to eat the cup. I have looked for those paper type cups but I couldn't find any. My Australian Shepherd loves these after his walk in the morning.

Comments: You can put in whatever your dog would like as long as it is on the list of what to give. He just likes this combination and sometimes I don't put in the banana if I don't have it.

Submitted by: Lori Roberts

Submit your favorite dog treat recipe here!

Fruit Pupsicles

Try these frozen smoothies...


1 banana (or any fruit)
1⁄2 cup fruit juice
8oz yogurt

Preparation: Puree until well blended. Pour into ice cube trays or little cups and there you have it! Pupsicles!

Submit your favorite dog treat recipe here!

More Dog Food and Dog Treat Recipies...

Healthy Dog Food Stew

What's Your Favorite Homemade Dog Food or Dog Treat Recipe?

Share your favorite homemade dog food or dog treat recipe with other Aussie lovers. Just use the form below to tell us about your canine gastronomic delight.

Tell us your Recipe's Name (if you have one), what Ingredients we will need and if there are any special Preparation Instructions (ie. bake at 350 for 1/2 hour). There's also a Comment area if you have any additional information you would like to share about your recipe or how much your Aussie loves it!

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
First Name*
Last Name
E-mail Address*
Recipe Name

Final Thoughts:
Have Variety in Your Homemade Dog Food

One important aspect of your dog's diet, whether you purchase food or make your own homemade dogfood, is variety. Use a different type of meat each time you make a recipe and vary the veggies and fruit too.

Make sure to talk to your vet before changing your dog's diet from commercial to homemade dog food. And remember as with changing her to any kind of different diet it should be done slowly over a course of 7-10 days.

Bon Apétit! icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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