Dog Nutrition: Not Just for Hipsters *Recipe*


THIS PISSES ME OFF! It enrages me. My dog means everything to me, and I now know how moms feel when they see bad food or even toys being recalled that could potentially harm their children. Whether it’s pets or kids, we trust these brands to have their best interests at heart, but it seems some of the more “profitable” brands have become so by using substandard ingredients and corner-cutting methods. We, and they, deserve way better than that.

I live in potentially one of the most dog-friendly neighborhoods in the United States, so maybe we’re a little more exposed to hipster dog culture here (many OB dogs probably eat better than I do), but I swear I’ve heard so many bad things about the big-brand dog foods over the years that I probably would never purchase it even if it was the only option.

In the wild, dogs and their wolfy ancestors would typically eat meat. Even very early domesticated dogs were accustomed to “real” food – humans’ table scraps and extra meat. Where companies like Purina get off deciding that dogs suddenly eat crispy-crunchy cereal, rather than whole meats and plants, is beyond me.

Dogs may have changed but their nutritional needs are largely the same. They need carbohydrates and protein for energy, around 800 calories (kcal) per day for a small dog and up to 3000 for a really big and active dog. But too much processed grain (like what you’ll find in most big-brand kibbles) can actually puff up inside your dog’s stomach, causing bloating and failing to fully digest.

Learn how to calculate your pet’s daily caloric needs.

We’ve been making little Marley fresh vegetable-based food for some time now, and he absolutely loves it. For now, we’re still a little too busy to put together meals with raw meat, so we do alternate with a grain-free kibble food once a day to make sure he gets enough protein. He’s picky, so we change it up a lot, but right now he’s eating Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wild Game Formula. Luckily he’s a small guy, so he doesn’t need insane amounts of meat each day. One cool thing we noticed since Marley started eating this is that his coat is super soft and shiny. The food works for him and gives him plenty of energy to play hard.


So start taking better care of your best friend – Here’s a recipe for a delicious, plant-based dog food that you can actually eat too. No lie…it’s pretty mushy for a human to eat, but wholesome and tasty.


  • 5 large sweet potatoes, scrub & peel
  • 1 can sweet peas or green beans, drained of water
  • 1 can pinto beans

Wash, peel and quarter the yams, and then cut into even smaller chunks depending on the size of your dog. The chunks will soften as they cook, but it makes it easier to mash together if they’re small first.

Throw the yams into your slow cooker (you can also use a pot on the stove – will just take longer to simmer and you actually have to be home to watch it).

Next, pour the canned greens of your choice into the slow cooker with the yams, along with the pinto beans. Mix together a bit, throw the lid on, and leave the slow cooker on low for the day (or night).

We recently also started throwing in a couple strips of bacon in the mix for him, or the weird/fatty parts of chicken that we don’t want. You can also add more veggie or fruit ingredients if you know something specific that your dog loves! Apples and carrots are good ones.

Anyone else make their pets’ food at home? What kinds of ingredients do you use? I’d love to hear some more ideas!

7 thoughts on “Dog Nutrition: Not Just for Hipsters *Recipe*

  1. Thank you for sharing this, it’s very important and often overlooked. I feel that many people who coexist with animals take them for granted and treat them poorly in many ways, nutrition being a major way. I’ve encountered many mainstream brands of pet food including chicken meal, which is no more than a random mixture of diseased, disabled, and dead chickens, restaurant waste, slaughterhouse waste, and often includes the full body of the chicken rather than simply the healthy meaty parts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much for reading! it’s definitely important, and if you have a good relationship with your pet, you can visibly tell if they’re enjoying their food or not. seeing how excited he gets for his Yams is proof enough to me that it’s good food!


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great stuff! Because you’re altering with kibble, probably fine, but do remember dogs require calcium so if the home cooked becomes “more often than not” may want to investigate a balanced supplement regimen if the ingredients themselves don’t include them. Can also opt for some ingredients that help keep pests at bay so you can avoid toxic insecticide preventatives (although often just feeding home cooked and no kibble at all is enough). Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to know! I’ll remember about the calcium. As of right now he does get about 50/50 with the kibble. Thx so much for reading 🙂



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