Sometimes, as a DIY raw feeder, it can be hard to figure out what to give your dog for dinner. I don’t know about you, friend, but sometimes I love getting creative and planning out an intricate meal for my dogs…and sometimes, I just want a tried-and-true recipe that I can throw together without thinking too much about it. So here, I want to share with you some of my favorite “easy weeknight” raw dog food recipes—you know, for those times you just want to throw some stuff together for your dog without a lot of fuss or time.

Using the sample recipes

Now, since I don’t know how much your dog weighs, I’m not going to include any specific amounts to feed. How much you feed depends on your dog’s size, metabolism, and what you’ve fed recently. That last thing—what you’ve fed recently—is especially important. That’s because, as a DIY raw feeder, you’re aiming for balance over time, not balance in each meal.

Because you’re the best judge of what your dog needs, I’m going to just list the types of things you might feed in each recipe, and you can adjust as necessary. Remember, over the course of a week, to should aim to feed approximately 75-80% muscle meat, 10-15% bone, 5% liver, and 5% non-liver organs. Also, to avoid driving yourself crazy, don’t worry about trying to figure out how much meat is attached to a “bone” category item—just count the whole thing as bone. In other words, if you’re feeding a duck wing that weighs 6 ounces, count the entire 6 ounces as bone. Don’t worry about stripping the meat off to find out the bone itself actually weighs 4.2 ounces.

If you don’t have something I mention in a recipe, I would suggest substituting a protein that matches the type of protein you don’t have (in other words, if the protein you want to substitute is a red meat protein, substitute for another red meat protein. If it’s white meat, substitute for another white meat protein). You can see a list of red and white meat proteins here.

Ok, enough of the suggestions. Let’s get to the recipes!

Recipe example 1: Where’s the beef?

  • Boneless beef chunks (falls under “muscle meat” category)
  • Beef tripe (falls under “muscle meat” category)
  • Whole eggs (falls under several categories, but eggshells count as “bone”)

This recipe has very little calcium (which is mostly coming from the eggshells here). However, it’s a good example of what you can feed if you’ve been bone-heavy the past few meals.

Recipe example 2: Venison, anyone?

  • Venison (chunks or grinds) (falls under “muscle meat” category)
  • Sheep rib (for bone) (falls under “bone” category)
  • Liver (of any protein type) (falls under “liver category)
  • Kidneys of some type, or other non-liver organs of your choice (falls under “non-liver organ” category)

When I serve this to my dogs, I usually include some sort of rib because giving them a lot of organ can soften their stool. If you just wanted to feed them venison for one meal, you certainly could do that (and skip the bone and/or organ). Remember, it’s balance over time, and we’re looking at getting close to 70-80/10-20/10 over the course of a week. So, if you feed a meal of just ground or chunked venison (or beef, or turkey, or rabbit, or chicken, or any other protein source), consider feeding a good dose of bones in the next meal: maybe “Got calcium?

Recipe example 3: Meal on the hoof

  • Goat, sheep, bison, or beef (chunks or grinds) (falls under “muscle meat” category)
  • If above is boneless, include some bone: ribs are a great choice (falls under “bone” category)

Even our 16-pound-dog, Motley, can eat sheep ribs, but if your dog is too small to eat ribs or you can’t find them, go with a poultry back, a duck or turkey neck, or a chicken wing or two.

Recipe example 4: Surf ‘n’ Turf

  • 1-2 (or more, if you’re feeding a really large dog) raw whole sardines (can be served frozen, semi-thawed, or thawed. Deboning is not necessary) (falls under all categories, because it’s whole prey. Includes bone, meat, and organs)
  • Boneless beef (chunks or grinds) (falls under the “muscle meat” category)

Recipe example 5: Dem bones, dem bones

  • Turkey neck (falls under “bone” category)
  • Duck head (falls under “bone” and “non-liver organ” categories)
  • Liver (falls under “liver” category)
  • Kidneys (fall under “non-liver organ” category)

This is another great recipe if your dog needs more bone/calcium. Adding in the organs helps to round out the recipe so it’s not all bone.