5 Easy Homemade Vegan Dog Food Recipes

Last Updated: September 27, 2023

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Making a Homemade vegan dog food recipe

Vegan diets are increasingly popular among humans. If you're vegan, you don't consume any meat or foods derived from animals. That includes eggs, honey, or any animal byproducts. It's a personal choice that millions make.

But what about feeding your dog?

As a vegan, living this lifestyle while still providing your dog with animal-derived foods can feel counterproductive and against your morals. Vegan diets for dogs are controversial. But despite what non-vegans say, feeding your dog a vegan diet is perfectly healthy.

The key is to use a balanced vegan dog food recipe that checks off all your pup's dietary requirements to stay healthy.

If you're looking for a vegan dog food recipe that meets the mark, you've come to the right place.

Are Vegan Diets Safe for Dogs?

Let's start with the elephant in the room: Is it healthy for dogs to be vegan?

We all know that protein is one of the most essential macronutrients dog needs to stay healthy. They require protein to build and maintain muscle mass. It also provides them with the energy for all those wild zoomies! Protein is indeed crucial. But it doesn't necessarily have to come from animal meat or dairy!

Canines are part of the Carnivora order of animals. But they're not strict carnivores. Modern-day dogs are actually omnivores. They can consume plant-based foods without any problems, thanks to their close connection to humans.

Diet research shows that dogs evolved to eat less meat and more carbs over time. Researchers believe that a mutation from thousands of years ago changed the gene coding for pancreatic amylase.

It likely happened when humans started to domesticate dogs and explore the world of agriculture. Because humans learned how to farm, they could feed their canine companions more plant-based foods. That genetic mutation allowed dogs to digest plant starch effectively, turning them into omnivores.

But even canines from the past indulged in plants for food. While they clearly preferred meat, prehistoric dropping show that they became omnivores roughly eight millennia ago!

Some people say that dogs need meat, but their anatomy says differently. Dogs can consume and digest plant- and meat-based foods and stay healthy as long as their diet meets their nutritional requirements.

What are the Benefits of Vegan Dog Food?

Dog waiting to be served a homemade vegan recipe meal

There are countless advantages to feeding your dog balanced vegan dog food recipes. Many of them are similar to what happens when humans go vegan.

Plant-based foods have higher fiber content, resulting in fewer digestive troubles and firmer stools. It can promote more regularity. An influx of vitamin-rich plants can also lead to more vitality, a healthier heart, and a lower chance of disease.

If your dog suffers from arthritis or other joint issues, a vegan diet may also help alleviate pain. Pair all that with a positive impact on the environment and animal welfare, and it's not hard to see why so many people are considering it.

There are potential downsides, too. The biggest is discomfort during the transition period. Dogs who spend years eating meat can struggle to adjust in the early phases. Luckily, issues typically subside once the body gets used to eating pure plant-based foods.

Another potential issue is how difficult it can be to meet your dog's nutritional needs. It can be a major problem for new vegans. For a vegan diet to work for canines, meals must meet all dietary requirements. That means providing tons of protein and using nutrient-rich foods.

If you're struggling to get things right, don't hesitate to consult your vet and work with a canine nutritionist.

5 Balanced Vegan Dog Food Recipes You Need to Try

We've compiled a handful of vegan recipes that check off all the boxes. These recipes are easy to prepare and can keep your dog healthy for years as they experience the benefits of going vegan.

Plant-Based Whole Foods Meal

This recipe has it all! Its ingredients list is long, but that's by design. The nutrient-rich recipe offers the right amount of protein while giving your dog tons of vitamins and minerals to thrive. To make this recipe, you'll need a pressure cooker and a food processor.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can create large batches. It can last several weeks in the fridge while maintaining its nutrient potency.


  • 1 cup of organic brown rice
  • Half a cup of dry lentils
  • 1 cup of soaked garbanzo beans (1 and a half cups cooked)
  • 1 cup of soaked great Northern or navy beans (1 and a half cups cooked)
  • 1 pound of frozen spinach
  • 1 pound of frozen and thawed peas
  • 1 pound of frozen and thawed green beans
  • 1 pound of frozen broccoli (can use cauliflower)
  • 1 pound of shredded carrots
  • Half a cup of chia seeds
  • Half a cup of ground flaxseeds
  • 7 cups of water
  • 15 ounces of organic unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 and a half cups of cooked sweet potato


Start by processing the beans. Process the cooked or soaked beans to a medium coarseness using an S-blade.

Place the ingredients in the pressure cooker in this order:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

When all the ingredients are in the pressure cooker, add the water. Cook the ingredients in the pressure cooker for 12 minutes with natural release. Once the pressure comes down, you can remove the lid and add other ingredients. 

Toss in the chia seeds and ground flaxseed. Then, mix in the pumpkin and sweet potatoes. After incorporating all the elements, allow the meal to cool before serving.

Dried Vegan Dog Food

Here's a unique recipe that mimicks the texture of commercial dog food. It takes some time to make, but the results are well worth it.

Your dog gets a meat and byproduct-free meal while getting the crunch they love!


  • 2 cups of dried pinto beans
  • 2 cups of organic brown rice
  • 1 large sweet potato (chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (chopped)
  • 1 cup of lettuce (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil


Cook your beans and rice according to the package instructions. You want them to be soft and plump. In a separate pot, add your beans, potatoes, carrots and flaxseed to boiling water. Boil the mix until the potatoes and carrots are soft.

After allowing the ingredients to cool, put them into the food processor to create a puree.

Grease a large baking sheet with the coconut oil and spread your puree to create a thin layer. Bake the puree for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

After 45 minutes, flip the now-firm mixture. Reduce the oven's temperature to 300 degrees and cook the meal for another 45 minutes.

Then, break the large slab of food into smaller pieces. Reduce the oven's temperature again to 200 degrees and bake the pieces for another 30 to 60 minutes until they are fully dry. After all that baking, you should have crunchy vegan kibble!

Lentil and Veggie Meal

This super-simple vegan recipe offers tons of protein. Lentils are great for dogs, and including turmeric offers many benefits. Usually, spices are a no-no for dogs, but turmeric can help with everything from joint stiffness to inflammation.


  • 1 and a half cups of red lentils
  • 1 cup of brown lentils
  • 1 and a half cups of brown rice (can use a mixture of millet, brown rice, quinoa, and steel-cut oats
  • 1 piece of wakame seaweed (broken into small pieces)
  • 1 large sweet potato (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 8 cups of water
  • 4 cups of kale (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup of organic natural applesauce
  • Half a cup of ground flaxseeds
  • Half a cup of nutritional yeast


Soak the lentils and brown rice in a large pot of water for about 10 hours to soften them. After the soaking period, drain the ingredients. Then, add the turmeric, sweet potatoes, and seaweed. Add the water and bring the mix up to a boil.

Simmer the meal for around 40 minutes. After removing the pot from the heat, add the rest of the ingredients and mix the meal thoroughly. Allow it to cool before serving.

Sweet Potato Mash

This simple recipe has a lot of flexibility. It uses sweet potatoes and squash as the main ingredient, but many possible substitutions exist. It's easy to make, and you can store leftovers in the freezer for later.


  • 3 large sweet potatoes (sliced)
  • 3 squash (yellow squash or zucchini sliced into chunks)
  • 8 carrots (sliced in thirds)
  • 2 tablespoons of natural organic peanut butter
  • 1 can of drained peas


In a pressure cooker, fill the pot with an inch of water before adding the potatoes, squash, and carrots. Cook the mix on high for about 20 minutes. After releasing the pressure, allow the mix to cool. Then, add the peanut butter and peas.

Chop the mixture until you create a thick mash.

Beans, Quinoa, and Spinach Mix

Here's another easy-to-make recipe. It uses beans and quinoa for protein, giving your dog all it needs to stay healthy. Spinach provides some much-needed vitamins and minerals. The same goes for the collection of fruit.


  • 1 cup of cooked black beans
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 2 ounces of spinach (chopped)
  • 2 ounces of butternut squash (chopped)
  • 2 ounces of apples (chopped)
  • 2 ounces of pears (chopped)
  • 2 ounces of zucchini (chopped)
  • 6 ounces of plain vegan yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of low-fat vegan cream cheese


The most time-intensive part of this recipe is preparing the ingredients. You can get beans and quinoa cooked already. But if you don't, make sure to cook them according to the instructions until they are soft.

Once everything is chopped and cooked, mix everything to form a mash.

Going Vegan with Your Dog

These recipes are well worth the try. They meet all your dog's needs without a single piece of meat or animal byproduct.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs can do well on a vegan diet. As always, monitor your dog's reaction and consult your vet and canine nutritionist if you're unsure about your dog's health.

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About the author 


Steve is a writer with over 10 years of experience in dog training and nutritiion.

His goal is to educate dog owners about the ins and outs of canine behavior as well as keeping up with the latest scientific research in the field.