By The Farmer's Dog | November 22, 2020

If you’re reading this, you need a healthy meal for your dog to tide them over until their next order of fresh, complete and balanced food arrives at your door. 

You can prepare a few days’ worth of food at home by following the recipes below. While it’s OK to home-cook in a pinch, it’s important to note that these recipes are for short-term feeding only. You should be feeding these home-cooked options for no more than 3-5 days. You should avoid feeding them for a longer period as they don’t provide complete and balanced daily nutrition like fresh recipes from The Farmer’s Dog do. The ready-to-eat recipes in your dog’s plan are carefully formulated by board-certified nutritionists to be complete and balanced and safe to feed for the life of your dog. Feeding improperly balanced food long-term can lead to nutritional deficiencies and serious health issues.    

Here’s a list of foods to use, what to avoid, and preparation instructions. When selecting ingredients, you can mix and match! Choose one option from each category. 

Ingredients to use

Choose one option from each category. 

Meat Options 

  • Ground beef
  • Ground turkey
  • Ground pork
  • Ground chicken

Use ~85% lean meat, fresh or frozen.

Fiber Options 

  • Sweet potato puree
  • Lentils
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Chickpeas

Use canned or cooked, plain, with no added ingredients. If you’re using dry lentils or chickpeas, be sure they’re fully cooked before adding to recipes—you should be able to crush them easily with your fingers. 

Vegetable Options 

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower

Use fresh, frozen, or canned, with no added ingredients

The basic recipe

Start with a half meat/half veggies and fiber mix. 

Gently cook ground meat in a pan. 

Cook the veggies by boiling or steaming. The veggies can be fresh, frozen, or canned—just look for plain vegetables with no added salt, seasoning, or other ingredients. 

Chop veggies or puree and add to meat. 

Add in your fiber: If you’re using canned chickpeas, lentils, or pumpkin puree, you can just add them into the meat when it’s cooked and stir for a few minutes. If you’re using dry chickpeas or lentils, make sure that they’re fully cooked and completely soft before adding in. 

Or, make in one pan! Add the raw/frozen veggies to the pan with your cooked meat and continue cooking until veggies are tender. Let the food cool before serving. 

Food can be kept covered in the fridge for two days. 

Microwave Instructions

If you’re using pre-cooked, frozen meat and frozen vegetables, you can whip up a batch of food for your dog just using the microwave! 

Combine a half-and-half meat-to-fiber/vegetable mix and microwave from frozen for 3 minutes, rotating and stirring the meat once to ensure even cooking. Let the food cool before serving. 

Ingredients to avoid

Be sure to SKIP these foods and extras when preparing food at home:

  • Extra salt
  • Spices and seasoning
  • Onions or onion powder
  • Garlic or garlic powder
  • Spicy peppers
  • Butter
  • Fat trimmings and cooked bones
  • Bacon
  • Human vitamins 
  • Cooking oil
  • Table scraps

How much food to make

You can estimate your dog’s portions based on the amount of food they typically receive. If you’re not sure where to start, a rough portioning guide is to feed 1/4 pound per meal for small dogs, 1/2 pound for medium dogs, and 1 pound for larger dogs, but please tweak the amount to suit your dog’s needs when necessary!

Don’t worry about making the recipe to any exact measurements, or adding any extra vitamins or supplements. While feeding your dog the right quantities of nutritionally complete and balanced food is extremely important over the long term, it’s safe to give your dog just meat and vegetables for a few days. 

Sample dog food recipes

Beef recipe

  • Brown the ground beef. 
  • Boil or steam the carrots and cut into small pieces or puree. 
  • Boil a sweet potato and cut into pieces or mash (or look for plain, canned puree).
  • Add all veggies to meat and stir to combine. 


Turkey recipe

  • Brown the ground turkey. 
  • Add cooked, chopped carrots or green beans along with canned chickpeas and stir. 


Chicken recipe

  • Brown ground chicken.
  • Cook and finely chop broccoli and Brussels sprouts and stir into the cooked meat.


Pork recipe

  • Brown ground pork. 
  • Boil or steam green beans and cut into small pieces. 
  • Boil or steam a sweet potato (or look for plain, canned puree).
  • Mash the sweet potato and add to meat along with green beans.