The dinner's in the dog...

With the emphasis on natural healthy eating, it is not surprising that many agility people looking for ways to feed their dog with nutritious and reasonably priced food rather than shop-bought pet food. The best way to know what goes into your dog’s food is to make it yourself. Why take a chance? Make your dog's food yourself. It's not as difficult as you expect. You don't have to be a Master Chef, Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver to cook up something tasty for your dog. Here is a selection of home-made treats and special diets that you can try at home.

For those people whose dogs have renal failure or need special diets, there are also tried and true recipes for you.

If you have a favourite recipe why not share it. Email Agilitynet

Beat the heat. Whip up these quick frozen treats for your dog and his canine pals with food you have on hand. All you need is 5 minutes, a few ingredients, and a freezer.

Modern Dog Poochie Pupsicle
from Modern Dog Magazine


  • 1 ripe banana

  • 4 cups orange juice

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt


Puree all ingredients in a blender—or simply mash the banana by hand and combine with the juice and yogourt—then pour into a popsicle mold, freeze, and serve to your favourite hot dogs.


Switch up your fruit. Try subbing in:-

  • Blueberries

  • Strawberries

  • Peach

  • Watermelon

  • Or mix in some peanut butter

You can also vary the juice you use. Try pineapple juice or apple juice. Just check to be sure the juice you use is all-natural and has no added sugar.

Modern Dog pup-approved combinations include:

  • Watermelon, strawberry, pinapple juice and yogurt

  • Peanut butter, banana, apple juice, and yogurt

Homemade No Salt Chicken Broth Pops
from Modern Dog Magazine

Had barbequed chicken for dinner? Don’t chuck the carcass!


  1. Throw the chicken into a large pot, cover with water, and let it simmer for an hour and a half.

  2. Cool, then pick the meat off, discarding the bone but keeping the cartilage, meat, and broth. Left over cooked carrots and/or peas? Mash them up and mix them in!

  3. Pour the chicken broth into your popsicle mold.

  4. Freeze

Best served outside.

Save whatever's leftover as a tasty addition to your dog's next few meals.

Easy Ice Cream Treats
from Hazel Compton

These frozen yogurt treats are sure to bring a smile to your dog's face. This 'ice cream' is perfectly safe for dogs in moderate servings.



  1. Mix peanut butter and yoghurt together.

  2. Place the mix in a freeze proof container. Push the mixture down into the container you've chosen, and place it in the freezer.

  3. Now your patient dog can help you clean the bowl and spoon, while waiting for the treats to freeze

  4. After a couple of hours you have some delicious ice cream treats for your dog!

You can choose if you want to make large or small treats, and any shape you want! Maybe some cute bone-shape treats.

Variations: Add in bacon or jerky to make them extra special.

Sheila's Dog Sardine Biscuits
from Sheila Harper

This is a tasty recipe that Sheila Harper that she picked up somewhere that her dogs love.


  • 2 x tins of sardines in oil

  • 60g (1/3 cup) of wholemeal flour

  • 300g (1 1/3 cups of oats

  • A splash of water

What else you’ll need

  • Cookie cutter

  • Baking Tray


  1. Add the two tins of sardines (including the oil) to a bowl and mash them up. Remove any large bones.

  2. Add the dry ingredients plus a splash of water and mix thoroughly to make a firm dough ball.

  3. Roll the dough ball out and cut the dough into whatever shapes you like.

  4. Put the biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 190ºC (370ºF) for 20-25 minutes or until cooked

Let your dog enjoy once cooled.

Source: Sheila Harper Newsletter

Mini Christmas Puddings
from Lily's Kitchen

This is a delicious, healthy Christmas treat for dogs. There's always so much chocolate, sweet mince pies and puddings around during the Festive season - many of which can be harmful to dogs.
You can make these gorgeous puddings knowing your dog will love them and that they are full of good nutrition too.

IngredientsMini Christmas puddings

  • 100g Fresh blueberries

  • 65g Porridge oats

  • 350g Apples

  • 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses

  • 1 Tablespoon of olive or sunflower oil

  • 1 Large sweet potato

  • Cream cheese for the topping

  • 6 Tangerine segments (optional, if you want to give this a Heston twist!)

  • Parsley for decoration


  1. Peel and chop up the sweet potato, cook in simmering water until soft. Drain the water,  mash the potato and put to one side.

  2. Grate the apples discarding the stalks and pips. Put the grated apple into a small saucepan.

  3. Add the blueberries to the apples and then add the oats. Stir together.

  4. Add the oil and molasses, mix together. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the blueberries are cooked and break up easily with the back of the wooden spoon.

  5. Add in the mashed sweet potato and stir the mixture together over the heat for a further 5 minutes.

  6. Put the mixture aside until it is cool.

  7. If you are adding the tangerine segments, then chop each segment into 3 or 4 small chunks and add to the mixture and stir gently.

  8. Roll the cooled mixture into balls - a small size for small dogs and a bigger size for larger dogs. This is a rather sticky process!

  9. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes so they can firm up a bit.

  10. Take them out and put a small amount of cream cheese on top. You can then put a couple of parsley leaves on the icing for special effect... and parsley is very healthy for dogs, too!

These will keep for up to five days. You can feed your dog several of these a day, but perhaps no more than three or four.

Brie's Turkey & Cranberry Dog Bones
from The British Baker


  • 3 1/2 Cups of whole wheat flour

  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 Cup shredded cooked turkey

  • 1 Cup dried cranberries

  • 1 Egg

  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil

  • 1 Cup low-sodium chicken broth, or as needed

Method (makes about 45 dog treats)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175°C/Gas mark 4 approx.)

  2. Lightly grease baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, mix the whole wheat flour and baking powder together until thoroughly combined, then stir in the cooked turkey meat and dried cranberries and whisk until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and drop the egg into the centre; pour in the olive oil and about 1/2 cup of chicken broth.

  4. Mix into a soft dough. If the mixture is too dry, mix in more chicken broth - about 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is of the desired consistency.

  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick and cut out with your favourite cookie cutters.

  6. Bake until the treats turn brown - about 25 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the dog treats in the oven an additional 30 minutes to dry out.

  7. Refrigerate leftover dog treats.

Tasty Turkey Treats
from Carlow DTC newsletter


  • 2 C. cooked turkey - cut up

  • 2 Cloves garlic

  • 4 Teaspoons grated cheese

  • 1 Tablespoon parsley - freshly chopped

  • 2 Eggs

  • 2 C. whole wheat flour

  • 2 Tablespoons brewer's yeast

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Combine turkey, garlic, cheese, parsley and mix well.

  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour over turkey mixture.

  3. Add the flour, yeast and oil.

  4. Stir until thoroughly mixed and all ingredients are coated.

  5. Line the tray with grease proof paper.

  6. Drop mixture into small lumps onto baking tray.

  7. Cook at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes, until brown and firm.

  8. Store in fridge.

The Two Chris' Liver Cake Recipe
from Chris Mancini & Chris Hack

Liver cake is the choice of many obedience and agility handlers. Dogs love liver but can be too rich for them and play havoc with their stomach. Liver cake is relatively inexpensive, not as rich as raw liver and can be frozen.


  • 1Lb (450g) lamb or ox liver

  • 1Lb (450g) self-raising flour

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • Milk or water


  1. Crack the eggs into a measuring jug.

  2. Add an equal volume of milk or water to the measuring jug and whisk.

  3. Blend the liver and garlic in a food processor.

  4. Add the egg mixture and blend to a cake-like consistency.

  5. Empty contents into a baking tray.

  6. Bake at Gas Mark 6 / 180 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

  7. Allow to cool.

  8. Divide into 12 pieces and freeze.

If you cook the liver in oven, cover with water and chopped garlic and leave to cool.

You can swap liver for fish to make a nice fish cake to. Have fun cooking

Peanut Butter Poppers
from Carlow DTC newsletter


  • 240g whole wheat flour

  • 1 tbsp. baking powder

  • 8fl oz /2 40ml peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

  • 8fl oz / 204ml milk


Preheat oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5

  1. In a bowl combine flour and baking powder

  2. In another bowl mix peanut butter and milk and add to the dry ingredients and mix well

  3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead well.  Roll dough to a thickness of 1/4inch thick and cut out shapes

  4. Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown

  5. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container

  6. This is an original recipe but keep a close eye while cooking as they do burn easily

Microwave Doggie Doughnuts
from Carlow DTC newsletter

Dog in picture not eating a doggie doughnut but great imageIngredients:

  • 2 Cups whole wheat flour

  • 3 tbs. oatmeal

  • 1 egg - lightly beaten

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder 

  • 2/3 Cup beef or chicken broth


  1. Place flour in a bowl, add egg and broth, mix well

  2. Blend in oatmeal and garlic powder

  3. Roll dough into a ball

  4. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2inch thick

  5. Cut with small doughnut cutters.

  6. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Shape last bits by hand

  7. Arrange rings on a shallow baking dish or on a sheet of parchment paper in a single layer

  8. Cook on high 10 minutes or until firm

  9. Let cool until hardened. Store in covered container when doggie's not looking

Party Pupcakes
from Carlow DTC newsletter


  • 1 large apple

  • 180g wheat flour

  • 22g oatmeal

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 120ml water

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 60ml plain yogurt

  • 120ml water

  • 60ml vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 x eggs

  • 90g grated cheddar cheese

For the icing

  • 230g low fat cream cheese (room temp)

  • 2 tbl honey

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt

  • 2-3 tbl plain flour


Preheat oven to 400 ° F (200 ° C).

  1. Grease muffin tins.

  2. Core and mince the apple (use a food processor if you have one & set aside

  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, oatmeal, baking powder, and baking soda

  4. In a medium bowl, blend yogurt, water, oil, honey, and eggs and then stir in the apple and cheese

  5. Add to the flour mixture and stir until mixed

  6. Spoon into the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full

  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

  8. Let rest in the muffin tins for a few minutes, then remove and set aside to cool

For the icing

  1. Combine the cheese (room temperature), honey, and yogurt until smooth

  2. Add enough flour to thicken the frosting to a good spreading consistency

  3. Frost the pupcakes and you're ready for a doggone good party!

Makes 16-18

Renal Failure Diets I
from Brenda Tenten

Canine Restricted Protein Diet

My vet suggested these recipes from an American website many years ago when I had a collie with renal failure who wasn't interested in 'normal' food. They conform to the vet requirements for such a diet, as do the commercial renal diets. It certainly gave her back her appetite for the last six months or so of her life.


  • 1/4 lb. Ground beef (*do not* use lean round chuck)
  • 2 Cups cooked white rice (without salt)
  • 1 Hard-cooked egg, finely chopped
  • 3 Slices white bread, crumbled
  • 1 Teaspoon (5 grams) calcium carbonate*
  • (*--Calcium carbonate sources: Ground egg shells; Drug and Health food stores.)
  • Also add a balanced supplement which fulfils the canine MDR for all vitamins and trace minerals.


  1. Cook beef in skillet, stirring until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well.

This mixture is somewhat dry and its palatability can be improved by adding a little water (not milk).

Keep covered in refrigerator.

Yield 1-1/4 lbs.


Analysis as fed

Protein 6.9%
Fat 5.5%
Carbohydrate 21.1%
Moisture 65.5%
**Metabolizable energy 750 Kcal/lb.

**This diet supplies 17% protein calories, 30% fat calories and 53% carbohydrate calories.

Feeding Guide:-
Feed sufficient amount to maintain normal body weight.

Body Weight Approximate Daily Feeding

5 lbs. 1/4 lb.
10 lbs 1/2 lb.
20 lbs. 1 lb
40 lbs. 1-1/2 lbs.
60 lbs. 2 lbs.
80 lbs. 2 -1/2 lbs.
100 lbs. 3 lbs.

This is a recipe for a homemade restricted-protein diet, similar to Hill's k/d in nutritional value and effect on compromised kidney function (the recipe comes from a sheet of such that Hill's provides for vets to give to their clients.

Renal Failure Diets II
from Chris Kurzfeld

Tegan was diagnosed with kidney failure a few months ago. Since then she has been on Fortekor tablet and the Hill's KD diet but a few weeks ago she stopped eating. Tried putting in, on the vet's advice, a bit of sardine or pilchard which worked for a few days but then she stopped eating again. She is 14 years old and her illness already made her thin but I was really worried, we went on-line and found two recipes that are especially for dogs with this disease. Our vet said to try it and, boy, has it worked. She is eating everything put in front of her. Tegan has never been a big eater so I cook up both recipes and they last her three days kept in airtight containers in fridge. I give her the potato one in the morning and the rice one at night.

Potato, Egg & Chicken


  • 5 Medium crushed, cooked potatoes with skins left on
  • 1 Soft boiled egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Medium chicken breast, cooked and shredded. You can also substitute a small piece of white fish - thoroughly boned
  • 2 Crushed calcium tablets
  • 2 Crushed multi-vitamin tablets (I use a pestle and mortar).


Mixed well in a bowl, allow to cool and store in airtight containers in fridge.

Rice & Mince


  • 8 oz Cooked rice
  • 2 ozs Cooked mince beef
  • 1 Soft boiled egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 Crushed calcium tablets and 1 multi-vitamin


Mix well and store in airtight containers in fridge.

From Marilyn Gamble...
I had been searching on different agility and  flyball websites for information about dogs with renal failure and vestibular syndrome and there is was on Agilitynet - different recipes for the dogs that don't want to eat.

I had this problem with a 14.5 year old bitch who is now stable. This was a bitch who was diagnosed Uriemic. She was originally fed a raw diet. Tried her with Royal Canin Renal Dry Food. It took ages to get her to eat. It is heart wrenching to watch when you've had a beloved dog as long as that.

However, to look on the bright side, she is now going for walks with my other two dogs and enjoying life. She even likes to play.

She is on Fortekor & Vivitonnin. I feed a mixture of Royal Canin & Burns Duck & Rice, 2oz. scrambled egg, lightly cooked tripe. or shavings of chicken plus extra fish oils every day.

Don't give up. These dogs are worth the fight!

 Egg & Potato Diet

This is a low-protein, low-phosphorous, high-potassium, normal sodium recipe.


  • 1 Egg, large, cooked
  • 3 Cups potato, boiled with skin
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken fat
  • 1 1/2 Calcium carbonate tablets (600 milligrams calcium)
  • 1/2 Multiple-mineral tablet


Mix ingredients well together.


Provides 600 kilocalories, 15.1 grams protein, 18.5 grams fat. Supports caloric needs of an 18-pound dog. Also provides phosphorus at 53 percent, potassium at 322 percent, sodium at 114 percent of dogs daily needs.

To feed this diet with a normal amount of  phosphorus, substitute 3 bonemeal tablets for the 1 1/2 carbonate tablets.

Chicken and Potato Diet

This is a low protein low phosphorus, high potassium, low sodium recipe.


  • 1/4 Cup cooked chicken breast
  • 3 Cups potato, boiled with skin
  • 2 Tablespoons chicken fat
  • 1 1/2 Calcium carbonate tablets (600 milligrams calcium)
  • 1/2 Multiple vitamin-mineral tablet


Mix ingredients well together.


Provides 689 kilocalories, 18.9 grams protein, 26.8 grams fat. Supports caloric needs of a 21-22 pound dog. Provides phosphorus at 45 percent, potassium at 301 percent, sodium at 54 percent of a dog's daily needs.

To feed this diet with a normal amount of phosphorus, substitute 4 bonemeal tablets for the 1 1/2 calcium carbonate tablets.

Tuna Garlic Cake
from Sally Jones

This is Sally Jones' alternative to Liver Cake and is ideal for anyone who can't cook.


  • 2 Cans tuna in sunflower oil
  • Garlic
  • 4 Eggs
  • Flour/polenta/rice flour - anything like that!


  1. Mash up the tuna in the oil and add the garlic.
  2. Stir in the eggs and break them up (throw the shells to the dog). Do not beat the mixture as you do not want holes in the cake.
  3. Add sufficient flour to make a cake mixture type consistency. Okay, so you have to know what this looks likes.
  4. Put into greased microwaveable dishes. I have used two 8 inch diameter flat bottomed circular things. Nuke on full power for about five minutes.
  5. If you have covered the dish, take the cover off and give the cake a good poke - it should be rubbery.
  6. Put back in without the cover for about another minute.

Allow to cool and cut into hundreds of treats. Apparently it freezes well but mine has never got that far.

Good Pup Pie
from Monica Dixon

Take one puppy dog, roll and play with it until slightly pampered, and add the following ingredients:-

  • 1 Cup patience

  • 1 Cup understanding

  • 1 Pinch correction

  • 1 Cup hard work

  • 2 Cups praise

  • 1½ Ccups fun


  1. Blend well.

  2. Heat with the warmth of the heart until the consistency is such that dog and owner are one.

Home-Made Dog Food
from Paul Syrkiewicz


  • Large piece of liver, cut into cubes
  • 1 Cup rolled oats
  • 1 Teaspoon of oregano
  • 2  Carrots, diced
  • 1 Small potato, diced (skin can be left on)


  1. Fry the liver until it is thoroughly cooked but not rubbery
  2. Stir in the oregano
  3. Lightly boil the carrot, onion and potato until soft. Drain thoroughly
  4. Mix the liver, oats, carrot, onion and potato together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Store in an air-tight container until ready to serve to the dog. The mixture can be made even tastier by adding a couple of tablespoons of gravy (made from granules is fine).

This recipe is full of protein to give the dog added energy and help to condition the coat. Liver is packed with minerals and makes the perfect base for most dog foods. If preferred, substitute the liver for ground beef or any other meat.