Home Cooking for Your Dog: A Low-Fat Starter Recipe

Author and veterinarian, Dr. Greg Martinez DVM, first started cooking for his pets as a way to introduce healthful ingredients and to help clients who had dogs with health problems. He wanted to find a more economical dog food for clients that could not afford more expensive canned, dehydrated, raw, or prescription diets.

After cooking for his pack of three and seeing the positive effects home-cooked food had on his own dogs, he became their full-time cook.

Cooking food in a slow cooker is much easier than most other ways of preparing dog food. Combining the ingredients and starting the pot takes only minutes, and it’s appealing to those people who shy away from home cooking because they think it takes too much time. Here Dr. Martinez shares his starter recipe for low-fat home cooked dog food from The Dog Diet Answer Book.

The Dog Diet Answer Book_dog food recipe_slow cooker_low-fat
The Dog Diet Answer Book

Low-Fat Home Cooked Dog Food Starter Recipe

For the first batch of slow-cooked dog food, I recommend making a small amount and using low-fat meat or fish* combined with white or brown rice.


  • 1 pound (454 g) cubed, skinless, boneless chicken breast, or lean beef, turkey, or fish
  • 1 to 3 ounces (85 g) chicken liver, hearts, and gizzards
  • 2 whole eggs (including shells)
  • 1 teaspoon (1,500 mg) bonemeal (per pound of meat)
  • 4 ounces (113 g) uncooked white rice
  • 1 can (14.5 oz. or 411 g) green beans
  • Water


In a slow cooker, combine the chicken breasts, chicken liver, chicken hearts, gizzards, and eggs. Add 1 teaspoon (1,750 mg) of bonemeal per pound of meat. Add the white rice and green beans. Add water to cover the ingredients, and then stir to mix in the eggs.

Cook on low for 4 to 8 hours until the breasts fall apart.

Stir and add water if needed to make a moister stew. Let the mixture cool and refrigerate.

Yield: 7–8 cups (60 oz.)


*Slow-cooked dog food may have more fat and vegetables than most canned foods, and may cause stomach or bowel upset in some dogs. If your pets do not have major medical problems and have tolerated food changes in the past, you can start the transition to home-cooked food by slow cooking or cooking on the stove a small batch of food.

Add increasing amounts to their normal diet and watch for vomiting, indigestion, or gas. Those are signs that their digestive tract either needs some time to adjust to them, which can take days or even weeks, or doesn’t like the ingredients if the symptoms persist. Other signs of allergic reactions to food are hives, itchiness, or red, itchy ears.

If your dog seems happy and has normal stools, then increase the amount of home-cooked food gradually over a long period of time—7 to 10 days. That means 10 to 15 percent homecooked food should be added to their normal diet each day. If you feed your dog 8 ounces of total food, for example, then each day you would feed 1 ounce less of the old food and 1 ounce more of the new food every day.

I recommend starting with chicken unless your dog has a known intolerance to chicken. If your dog can’t eat chicken, use the Limited-Ingredient Diet on page 170 in The Dog Diet Answer Book.

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Avoid the vet by learning how to treat your pup’s symptoms and know that a better diet means a healthier, happier dog.

Is your pup fighting to feel better? Your dog’s skin problems, ear infections, bowel issues, obesity, seizures, and bladder issues can often be treated by changing the type of ingredients, calories, or moisture in your dog’s diet.

The Dog Diet Answer Book helps dog owners better understand their dog’s dietary needs and what ingredients to feed them. With this practical guide, veterinarian Greg Martinez helps you:

  • Diagnose common health problems
  • Decipher ingredient labels
  • Feed your dog beneficial nutrients
  • Identify common allergens
  • Understand the difference between types of dog foods and diets
  • Make home-cooked meals and treats for your dog
  • Decide when to purchase high-quality commercial dog food or add healthy human food, oils, raw food, or home cooking to your pet’s diet

This resource will give you the tools to adjust your dog’s diet in accordance with his nutritional needs so that he leads a long, happy, and healthy life.

Greg Martinez has been a partner/owner of Gilroy Veterinary Hospital (Gilroy, CA) for more than 30 years. He found that many chronic problems were not helped by medication, like skin, ear, and bowel issues. He began to see more and more success when incorporating better feeding practices in his treatment. Greg’s self-published books, Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet teach pet owners how to choose commercial food, avoid grains, feed healthy oils, add human food, or feed home-cooked meals to avoid allergies or medical problems.