If you’ve been wanting to try out a homemade dog food recipe for your dog but didn’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. We have a simple and healthy recipe for you to try. We think your dog will love our pumpkin dog food recipe.
It has all the essential nutrients your dog needs plus it tastes great. Since every pup is different and some have food allergies or intolerances, we’ll also share some ideas for ingredient substitution.
Fresh & Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe: Pumpkin & Chicken
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 cups
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs (see notes)
- ½ cup cooked quinoa (see notes)
- 1 cup frozen green peas and carrots
- ½ cup pureed pumpkin
- Measuring cups
- Stainless steel pot
- Steamer pot
- Large bowl
- Large spoon or spatula
- Kitchen scissors or knife
- In a stainless-steel pot, add the skinless boneless skin thighs. You need to spread them out evenly, so use a large pot for this.
- Add water to the pot, making sure to cover the chicken entirely. The chicken thighs should be fully submerged in water.
- Bring the chicken to a boil and continue to boil for 12 minutes. Check to make sure that the water does not run out while it’s cooking.
- After 12 minutes, remove one of the chicken thighs and cut it in half to see if it’s fully cooked. If it’s still pink inside, that means it’s not fully cooked. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes or until it’s done.
- Allow the chicken to cool slightly. Place the cooked chicken thighs into a large glass bowl.
- Use kitchen scissors to cut each thigh into small bite-size pieces. If you’d rather use a knife for this, you can chop the chicken thighs on a cutting board.
- In a steamer pot, add the carrots and green peas. If using frozen veggies, steam them until they are defrosted. If you want to use fresh carrots instead of frozen, chop them into bite-size pieces. Steam them until they are soft. Add frozen peas near the end so they can fully defrost.
- Add the vegetables to the large bowl with the chopped chicken thighs. Using a large spoon or spatula, stir well until combined.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This food should be consumed within 4 days. You can freeze this chicken and pumpkin dog food recipe in smaller portions, in a Ziplock bag or other airtight container.
- We chose skinless boneless chicken thighs but you can also substitute ground chicken or chicken breasts. Just be sure that you use boneless meat.
- Do not feed your dog cooked meat with bones as that is a choking hazard.
- If you are using previously frozen meat, do not cook the meat until it is fully thawed.
- For this pumpkin dog food recipe, we chose to add quinoa because it’s both a carbohydrate and a good protein source. If desired, you can substitute rice or oats.
- Depending on your dog’s weight, you can feed your dog ¼ – 1 cup 2x a day. We recommend that you speak with your vet and always follow the feeding guidelines as advised by your veterinarian.
- You can double the recipe if you have a larger dog and need to make a larger batch.
This pumpkin dog food recipe has balanced nutrition and flavor your dog will love! Also, pumpkin is a great addition to your dog’s food if they happen to have an upset stomach and you need to modify their diet until they recover, like in this sick dog food recipe.
We tried this recipe out on our doggos and they absolutely loved it.
Below you’ll learn about the nutritional benefits of each ingredient and other ingredients that you can substitute if needed.
Why is Chicken Good For Dogs?
Chicken is a popular protein source for a reason, most dogs love the taste of chicken. Adding chicken to your dog’s diet will provide them with healthy protein and essential nutrients.
- High-quality protein
- Essential amino acids
- Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamins and minerals
Chicken is a good protein option for a majority of dogs, but it may not work for all pups. Some dogs have food allergies and intolerances. If your dog can’t eat chicken, you could substitute the chicken for a high-quality protein source that your dog can eat.
Try healthy alternatives like lamb, turkey, bison, rabbit or even salmon. One of the best ways to cook meat for dogs is by boiling it in water. This is a simple cooking method, and you don’t have to add any other ingredients like oil.
If you need to replace the chicken with another protein source, you can use the same cooking method as you did the chicken. Depending on which protein you use, the cooking time may vary.
Healthy Veggies for Dogs + Recipe Variations
For veggies, we decided to use green peas and carrots. Both veggies are an excellent source of nutrition for your dog.
If you are making homemade dog food long-term, the veggie ingredients in this pumpkin dog food recipe can be switched up for variety.
Below we’ll list some vegetables that are dog safe and would work well in this recipe. Be sure to always chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces and steam them until they are soft.
- Green beans
- Zucchini and summer squash
- Sweet potato
Quinoa is an easily digestible grain. It’s a great alternative to rice especially since some dogs don’t tolerate rice well. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and it’s high in protein. In our pumpkin dog food recipe, we used white quinoa. It is the type most commonly sold in stores. But if you find red quinoa, you can also use that.
Quinoa is high in calcium which is beneficial for your dog’s bones and joint health. Quinoa also contains all the 9 essential amino acids. Dogs need all amino acids to maintain muscle strength, promote muscle growth and fight against fatigue.
Making homemade dog food does not have to be a tedious task. Our chicken and pumpkin dog food recipe contains simple ingredients that are easy to cook and combine to make healthy dog food for your pup. We hope you give it a try!