Homemade Vegan (Whole Foods Plant-Based) Dog Food
I've had a lot of people ask me how we make our dogs' food. Since 2012, our SHINY VEGAN PUGS have been 100% whole foods plant-based. Our vet says they are the healthiest pugs he has ever treated. Our pugs weigh around 16-16.5 pounds, and they are just the perfect weight for their size.***Updated on 12-5-2021***NOTE: You do not have to feed your dog a commercial dog food if you feed our homemade food. Just make sure your dogs are a healthy weight and you are feeding them enough calories. Supplement their meals with some raw fruits, veggies, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, homemade dog biscuits, etc.) And ALWAYS consult with your vet to make sure they understand what kind of diet you plan to feed your dog(s).Here's what we feed our 16 1/2-lb dogs daily:6:00 AM: Heaping 1/3-1/2 cup of our homemade food (see recipe below) plus 1/6 cup of V-Dog kibble12:00 PM: One serving of fruit (they share 1/2 apple, a few berries, or other fruit) and some low-cal veggies (like a few pieces of red bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, sugar snap peas, steamed cauliflower, beets, etc.). I usually give them 1 T of homemade unsweetened plain soy yogurt or tofu, as well. See additional snacks note, below.6:00 PM: Heaping 1/3-1/2 cup of our homemade food (see recipe below) plus 1/6 cup of V-Dog kibbleRight after dinner: One homemade Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oat Biscuit ADDITIONAL SNACKS: Periodically, we also treat them with kale stems, colored bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and other raw veggies, as well as occasionally, some air-popped organic popcorn and a small amount (1 teaspoon) of nut butter (peanut or almond) or organic tofu.***UPDATED ON 12-5-2021***Homemade Vegan Dog Food – Made in an electric pressure cookerTHIS RECIPE MAKES about 18-22 cups (depending on whether or not you add the pumpkin and sweet potatoes to the mix.
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 cup dry organic brown rice
- ½ cup dry lentils
- 1 cup garbanzo beans measured after being soaked or 1 1/2 cups cooked
- 1 cup great northern or navy beans measured after being soaked or 1 1/2 cups cooked (replace with 1 cup of oats if your dog is over the age of 7 years old)
- 1 1- lb bag organic frozen spinach NOT thawed
- 1 1- lb bag organic frozen peas thawed
- 1 1- lb bag organic frozen green beans thawed
- 1 1- lb bag of frozen broccoli or cauliflower optional but healthy and will extend the food
- 1 lb organic carrots shredded in food processor or chopped small (you can also buy them pre-shredded)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 7 cups water
- 1 15-oz can of organic pumpkin optional
- 1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes optional (you can add more if you need to increase calories)
- Shred carrots in food processor or chop into tiny dice by hand. Transfer to pressure cooker. This will be at the bottom of the pressure cooker to prevent burning.
- Then, change to an S-blade and process cooked or soaked beans to a medium coarseness.
- Add the ingredients to pressure cooker in order: beans, rice, lentils, oats (for dogs over 7 years old, if using) peas, green beans, broccoli, and spinach plus water.
- Cook for 12 minutes with natural release. It can take almost 45 minutes for the pressure to come down and release. Remove the pressure cooker lid and stir in chia seeds and ground flaxseed. If adding, stir in 1 can of organic pumpkin and 2 or 3 cooked sweet potatoes. Cool and put into individual containers with tight lids and freeze for future use.
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I have read that spinach should only be given on a very limited basis. I won’t include it next time.
We have fed our pugs this homemade dog food for almost 9 years with no issues. Please share where you read that.
I believe she is referring to the high amounts of oxalate in spinach that can lead to kidney stones. There is an article from American Kennel Club that says it can lead to kidney damage: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/#:~:text=Yes%2C%20dogs%20can%20eat%20spinach,can%20lead%20to%20kidney%20damage.
I love your recipe! I will have to make this for my dog. He is mostly plant based because he is my mother’s dog so she doesn’t want him completely without meat.
My terrier has EXTREME skin allergies so I can’t wait to try this and see if it helps. We have a great vet that will help us make sure she stays healthy. I’ll let you know if changing her food helps.
How did your terrier fare with the homemade food?
How much grams (or cups) need my 14lbs dog ? Thank you !
Our dogs are about 16 lbs. You might try starting with slightly less than what we are giving, along with the additional V-dog and/or fruits and veggies snacks. If your dog is the correct weight, you don’t want him/her to lose any. Also, just make sure to check with your vet regularly to see if she/he is the right weight and doing well. Every dog is different, and we don’t give medical advice . You need to always speak with your vet first and while making food changes. Also, transition slowly over a week.
Thank you !!
Thank you for this recipe. More poor little Maltese shitzu has chronic skin conditions. I would like to try her on your recipe. I just started giving her some commercial dry dog food. She doesn’t eat much but maybe I should avoid it. All the additives.
Do you give your dogs any supplements?
Not so to speak. We do give them some organic, unrefined coconut oil when their skin gets drier in the colder months. I’m not sure you’d call that a supplement, though. I note pretty much everything we feed them in this post.
You listed the measurements of the beans as “after being soaked”, but Im wondering what the dry measurements are? Otherwise I will have to guess the amount and potentially waste beans or not have enough since they absorb so much water
To be honest, we soak a 1-lb bag and then separate that into about five 1-cup baggies and freeze those for future use. I would say that about 3 1/5 oz would equal 1 cup after soaking.
If you do use oats for dogs 7+, do you mean 1 cup raw oats into pressure cooker or less raw oats that will total 1 cup when cooked? Thank you.
1 cup of UNCOOKED oats. It would be hard to know what the cooked amount would be since it will be mixed in with all of the other ingredients. Let us know if your fur baby loves the food!
I don’t have a pressure cooker. Can I use a slow cooker instead? And how long should I cook for?
You should be able to. I would add a bit more water and cook it on low for 6-8 hours. I would try it on a day when you’re going to be home and can check it often. Also, give it a good stir once in a while.
Thank you for this recipe! I have cooked it for my 1 year old 30 kg Rhodesian Ridgeback X Staffy and he loves it! I doubled the recipe and it makes about 24 containers (filled 3/4). So the portion sizes you mentioned seem accurate and I just feed him double as he’s a big boy. I freeze the containers and take out two at a time to defrost. He gets half a container mixed with about a cup of V-Dog vegan biscuits plus cooked and blended pumpkin to make a thick soup consistency. For the pumpkin (if anyone is interested), I buy 4 x whole pumpkins per week. Every few days I chop up 1 pumpkin, remove the seeds and place into high pressure cooker for 26 mins on high. Once done I blend in a blender and then store in 2 large containers in fridge. Once a day to his meal I add a Hemp Nectar oil supplement and sometimes some coconut yoghurt (helped initially to get him to eat this new food). His skin is looking better than ever, as he is allergic to many foods and environmental things like pollen. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!
Renee…That is awesome news! We always love to hear stories of beautiful dogs feeling better after eating our recipe and following a plant-based diet. So happy for you! Please email me a picture of your beautiful pup!
Renee, I don’t have a dog yet, but in organic livestock, deworming often consists of feeding them pumpkin seeds (or just raw pumpkin with seeds intact), so it may have the same deworming effect if you leave them in for your dog. Let me know the result if you try it!
Do you drain the water after cooking in the pressure cooker?
No, you will mix it in. The food gets thick in the fridge or freezer.
How many cups should I feed my 80lb pit bull mix if I’m not doing any v-dog kibble food?
I never give advice on how much to feed other people’s dogs. That is something you should discuss with your vet or figure out based on what I feed my dogs, which is in this post. With a dog that weighs that much, you’re probably going to have to supplement with some vegan dry food like V-Dog. You have to cook a lot of homemade food to keep him satisfied! Just make sure if your dog begins to lose weight and doesn’t need to, that you give more food/calories. You don’t want your dog to become underweight. A lot of pet owners like our food recipe because it helps their overweight dogs get to a healthy weight. Plant-based food is lower in caloric density but still keeps dogs feeling full. Hope this helps!
Would this recipe be ok to give to my pup with a liver shunt. She needs a low protein diet.
Are any combination of leafy vegetables okay if I can’t follow this recipe exactly?
That should be fine as long as you know your dog isn’t allergic to the greens you choose.
Very excited to have found this! Would a plant based diet be appropriate for a puppy? We will be bringing home a Corgi puppy sometime this summer and would like to start them off right. Even if it means retaining a meat based diet for a time. Any help you might offer would be appreciated. I’d ask the vet but we don’t yet have one – ‘cuz we don’t yet have the pooch. LOL!
I can only say that our dogs were about 2 1/2 years old when they became 100% plant-based, but I have known a lot of people who have started their dogs as puppies. I would always consult your vet first.
For my puppy I increased foods that are rich in omega 3 and fat. So I added flax oil and algae powder to the food mix. She’s doing great!
There are already flax and chia seeds in the recipe. You mix them into the cooked food at the end. They are specifically for Omega 3s and included as healthy plant fts.
When you say to mix in the flax and chia after its pressure cooked, you mean mix it in dry?
Yes, you will be mixing it into the wet/cooked food. Sprinkle and stir to avoid clumping.
We recently adopted a 6 month old mixed breed pup and have him on Vdog Kibble. He was rescued from Tijuana, Mexico and we have no idea what he is, Jack Russell, Schnauzer, Dachsund, and who knows?
I have been adding veggies to his food with a little vegan broth to soften the kibble a bit for his little teeth. We transitioned to Vdog from the animal based kibble the foster family was giving him and he is loving it. I am going to make your recipe to add to his kibble and I’ll let you know how he fares.
Thanks so much for posting this!
Please let me know, and e-mail me some pics of your rescued puppernutter!
What size pressure cooker are you using? Will this recipe fit in the 6 qt instant pot? I’ve had this pinned for a while but haven’t tried it as 2 of my 3 dogs are over 60# which would be a lot of food! But my 20# dog is having issues w/ inflammatory vasculitis again and I’m thinking of splitting her off with her own food and see if this helps.
You can use 6 or 8 qt. We use 8 qt because we do add the pumpkin and sweet potatoes into the mixture, and that leaves us room to stir without it flowing over the edge of the pot. Hope that helps!
Would I cook it for the same amount of time if I wanted to cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t waste so much food if my dog won’t eat it, he’s very picky? He doesn’t like vegetables, loves apples, oranges and frozen bananas. He’s a 96lb mix of 7 breeds. If he won’t eat it how’s the taste for humans?
I would cook the food 7 minutes if you’re halving the recipe. The rice still needs to cook. Remember, you can freeze the food for future use. I definitely want to know if he liked it or not! I’m sure you could eat the mix if you added some salt, but personally, that wouldn’t be my jam. Lol
Can you use canned beans?
You can! Just follow the amount that is recommended for “cooked” beans in the recipe.
I have been feeding my rescue dogs plant based for 2 years..oatmeal for bkft and 1/2 cup homemade food for supper….I mix beans, rice and veggies together much the same as you, then in 1/2 cup measurements put the pucks on a cookie sheet , freeze the bag and keep in the freezer..2 min in microwave thaws 2 pucks…they love it and their skin has been cured
That’s great! I always love to hear about other plant-based pups! Just make sure they are getting a well-rounded diet with all the nutrients they need. Our food recipe is not random. It was put together in such a way that our girls get enough calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients daily.
Hi ms plant
Your transformation is inspiring.
I’m curious how you developed this recipe for dogs and how you know it has all the right nutrients for them?
We originally made something similar that our friend who is a friend shared with us. It wasn’t vegan. Then, we worked with our vet to make the recipe vegan and include varied ingredients to get all of the nutrients. Our pugs have been on this food for over a decade (they are almost 13 now) with great results and blood work.
I made this recipe for my dog yesterday and he is refusing to eat it. He won’t even go near it. I’ve tried everything with my dog. Every vegan dog food on the market. Homemade vegan dog food with tofu, or beans and I’ve even tried eggs. Sometimes he will eat and sometimes he won’t. I literally do not know what else to do with this dog. Pls help.
Please send me a message, and we can discuss.
My dog is the same he is very finicky. Try sprinkling some Parmesan cheese or peanut butter powder on his food although that doesn’t work all the time with him either
Can I ask please…. why do you add cooked sweet potato at the end? Why not in the pot to cook along with everything else?
Excited to try this recipe for our 7yr old Bichon Frise Baxter! He will not entertain vg dry kibble…any advice? It’s costing a fortune in trial and error! Does he need it?
Unless you have the 8 at Instant Pot, the sweet potato won’t fit until everything’s been cooked. It’s mostly a space issue. You don’t need the Vdog IF you make sure he’s getting enough of the homemade food. Many people only feed the homemade food without the kibble. Feel free to email me for further questions. ❤️
Ah! That makes sense then 🙂 thanks so much , recipe printed ready to cook up a batch tomorrow. What are your thoughts on pea pasta (or normal durum wheat pasta in general) is grain/gluten free the best way to go?
Is this appropriate for a puppy’s transition from non-vegan diet?
You need to make a slow transition over a week’s time to make sure they don’t have any allergies. We have them 1/4 of the new food, 3/4 of the old for a couple of days. Then, we moved to 1/2 and 1/2, then 3/4 new food to 1/4 old. Then finally, 100% on the new food. Should take 7-8 days to transition. I would also show the recipe to your vet to see if there is any reason he/she thinks this isn’t good for your specific dog. Many people have told me they started out their new puppies with our recipe without issue. Just make sure the calories are correct for your dogs weight.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I’ve been making it for my pups for several years now and it’s great. They love it and all are super healthy. It’s easy to make and stores well in the freezer. One huge plus I’ve found recently is that it’s great for my elderly Chihuahua who has heart failure. Most canned dog food has really high levels of salt, which is terrible for heart failure. But your recipe is perfect for him!
We love hearing about experiences like this!!! Would love to see your pups! Send me photos at email@example.com