How to Make Healthy, Homemade Dog Food with Beef (High-Protein & Grain-Free!)
Did you know that many brands of commercially-prepared dog food are filled with gross additives, highly-processed ingredients, and unspecified “meat byproducts”? If you’re like us, just reading that gives you chills.
Because of this, many dog owners have turned to homemade dog food. After all, you want the best for your dog—and that includes providing healthy, nutrient-packed meals throughout the day. Going the DIY route ensures you know exactly what your pup is eating.
Beef, in particular, is a fantastic ingredient to include in your homemade dog food. Not only is it high in protein, it’s full of important vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and selenium. Add in some carrots and sweet potatoes for beta-carotene and fiber, and you’ll have a delicious dinner your pup will love.
Note: The recipe below is also grain-free, which some pet owners find is easier on their dog’s sensitive tummy. While most healthy dogs can tolerate grains, keep an eye on adverse reactions to food—like excessive gas, itching, or vomiting—and talk to your vet if you suspect an allergy.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large carrot
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
- Prepare your ingredients: peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1” pieces, peel and dice carrot.
- Preheat a small pot to medium-high heat and add coconut oil.
- Add ground beef to pot and saute until it’s no longer pink.
- Toss in sweet potatoes and carrots, then add enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
- Stir to ensure all ingredients are well-cooked and soft.
- Remove from heat and let the food cool fully before serving.
FAQs with Our Vet Nutritionist
How do I serve this beef recipe to my pup?
You can serve this recipe right away while it’s still warm, or cool it in the fridge first. If your pup prefers wet food, you can also thin out the recipe with some beef broth. Serving size will vary depending on your dog’s size; check with your vet for a more specific recommendation.
How do I store this recipe?
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days; you can also freeze this recipe and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
What if my dog doesn’t like this recipe?
Similar to humans, some dogs are just picky eaters! Keep trying out recipes to find one your pup loves. If you notice any gastrointestinal issues or skin infections, talk to your vet. You may need to opt for an alternative protein that’s gentler on the tummy, such as lamb.
Can I feed beef to my dog every day?
Lean ground beef is a fantastic ingredient to feed your dog, but it’s also important that your pup gets a balanced diet! While many of the homemade dog food recipes you can find (including the one above!) are easy to cook, studies have shown that most DIY recipes still lack all the necessary nutrients that would make it an adequate everyday meal.
To ensure your pup is getting everything they need to stay healthy and happy, we recommend working with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.
How do I know if my dog should avoid grains?
If your pup has a sensitive stomach or is showing signs of an allergy, chat with your vet— they may recommend experimenting with a grain-free food to see if it helps. If your dog is healthy, there’s no reason to specifically seek out grain-free recipes, although some (like the one above) naturally fall into that category.
If you heard the news about the FDA investigating grain-free dog food back in 2019, don’t worry. While some dog food brands were linked to DCM, a type of canine heart disease, the issue was more so because of the filler ingredients they used to replace traditional grains like rice.
Remember: the best way to select what is really the best food for your pet is to ensure the manufacturer has excellent nutritional expertise and rigorous quality control standards. Avoid brands that use ingredient splitting to hide the fact that their recipes are dominated by non-meat items, such as corn, rice, or legumes. And as always, consult your vet if you have questions or need help planning your particular pup’s diet.
Tip: Save Time with PetPlate
Want to make life a little easier? PetPlate’s here to help. Our vet nutritionist, Dr. Renee Streeter, has been with us since day one, crafting each of our recipes to ensure they’re both highly palatable and perfectly balanced.
With four recipes to choose from—all made with high-quality, human-grade, and whole-food ingredients—you’re bound to find one that your dog loves. Plus, meals are delivered right to your door and on your schedule. You’ll have more time to spend with your furry family members, backed with the peace of mind that you’re serving them the best.
Note: Prefer to use chicken? Check out our homemade dog food recipe with chicken.