Want to make homemade dog food for your dog but want to make sure you have a complete and balanced meal? While there are many companies now offering delivery of fresh, frozen meals or purchase of pre-made refrigerated food at the store, that option can be expensive. A cheaper option is JustFoodforDogs DIY Nutrient Blend, a pack of nutrients added to a veterinarian-developed recipe that you prepare at home. Check out my experience making this recipe for our dogs, a puppy and a five-year-old dog.
What is JustFoodforDogs DIY Nutrient Blend?
Like the name suggests, the JustFoodforDogs DIY Nutrient Blend is a mix of nutrients for you to add to the homemade food you will prepare using a JustFoodforDogs recipe. It is NOT prepared food or dehydrated food but basically a pack of vitamins and minerals.
JustFoodforDogs makes several different DIY Nutrient Blend packs to match the recipe that you will prepare.
I purchased the JustFoodForDogs DIY Nutrient Blend for Homemade Dog Food, Chicken & White Rice meals because that recipe is formulated for all life stages. (Some of the recipes are formulated only for adult dogs.)
JustFoodforDogs makes a wide variety of nutrient blends for its recipes including Beef and Russet Potato, Turkey and Whole Wheat Macaroni, Fish and Sweet Potato, Lamb and Brown Rice, and Venison and Squash.
A DIY Nutrient Blend pack — along with the groceries you will purchase and prepare — makes about 30 pounds of dog food.
Which Recipe to Select?
The recipe you select–and thus the DIY Nutrient Blend you purchase–will depend on your dog’s taste, any allergies, life stage and activity level. Here’s a rundown of options for different types of dogs:
- Puppies: Chicken and White Rice, Fish and Sweet Potato
- Emphasis on Healthy Digestion: Chicken and White Rice, Fish and Sweet Potato, Venison and Squash
- Emphasis on Healthy Coat and Skin: Venison and Squash
- Adult Dogs: Chicken and White Rice, Beef and Russet Potato, Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni, Lamb and Brown Rice, Venison and Squash
- Active Dogs: Beef and Russet Potato, Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni
- Underweight Dogs: Beef and Russet Potato, Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni
- Large Breed Dogs: Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni
- Picky Dogs: Beef and Russet Potato, Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni, Lamb and Brown Rice
Download the Dog Food Recipe, Ingredients List
Regardless of the nutrient pack you purchase, you can download a list of ingredients and a recipe to follow–either to make on your stovetop or separate instructions for a slow cooker or Instapot.
You can even download the recipe before you purchase the pack to see if it looks like a good fit for you! The recipe download links are located on each product page of the DIY nutrient blend packs.
My Experience Preparing JustfoodforDogs Chicken and Rice Meal
As I mentioned, since Isla is a puppy, I opted for the Chicken and Rice Meal. Unlike a plain homemade chicken and rice meal you might make for diarrhea for a few days, this meal is complete and balanced so it can be fed long term (and still is a good option for healthy digestion).
The recipes are formulated for large batch (9 pounds of dog food) or small batch (4.5 pounds of dog food).
I wanted to make this first batch on the stovetop so I opened for the small batch. (In retrospect, given the amount of time it takes to measure and grind the food, I would go ahead and make the large batch in a slow cooker.)
Here’s a look at the JustFoodforDogs ingredients list:
The first step is grinding and measuring the ingredients. First I measured the dry ingredients. You’ll really need a food (or postage) scale to get the measurements correct:
As you can see, you don’t need much chicken liver so there’s plenty of leftovers for other meals or for liver dog treats:
I don’t have a food processor so I used my blender to chop the meats, carrots and apples. Isla was very curious about the food preparation!
If you’re going to make the meal on your stovetop, you’ll need to use an extra deep skillet:
While this mixture was cooking, I cooked the rice separately.
Once the meat, apples, carrots and spinach are done, I let it cool then combined the meat mixture and the rice in a large mixing bowl.
In the mixing bowl, I then added the DIY Nutrient Blend and the fish oil required by the recipe, mixing it completely to distribute the mixture evenly through the dog food.
And that was it! Now the food was ready to divide into serving portions. You can refrigerate the mixture for up to four days or divide out what your dog needs for four days then freeze the remainder for up to three months.
How much JustFoodforDogs Should You Serve Your Dog?
As with any food, the amount of JustFoodforDogs you’ll need to serve depends on your dog’s size, age and activity level:
Barli is a 30-pound adult, and Isla is a 45 pound puppy (over 4 months) so you can see that I should have gone with the large portion of food instead of the small!
What Did Our Dogs Think?
The JustFoodforDogs Chicken and Rice was VERY popular with both our dogs (even super picky Barli who is known for picking out bits and pieces from his meals and leaving the rest). Both of them completely finished their meals and wanted more.
What did I think?
OK, I’ll be honest: making this meal is a LOT of work. Like Thanksgiving dinner kind of work. I had a lot of dirty dishes and cleanup after this.
But I think I should have opted for making this meal in steps. I should have cut and measured all the meats in one day, refrigerating them for cooking the following day. At that time, I could also go ahead and cut, measure and grind the meats for future preparations, freezing them until needed.
I could have also made the rice that day and refrigerated it. That would have cut the workload substantially.
Or I could have opted for the slow cooker recipe which I think would simplify the work greatly. That makes it a one-pot meal (you add the rice and apples later in the cooking process.)
Because I love the vet-created recipes (and being able to see those meal recipes before committing to the nutrient blend), and really love the way the dogs reacted to the food, I’ll look forward to making this meal again for our dogs–and to trying out the other DIY meals after Isla leaves the puppy stage!
I’m also looking forward to trying the JustFoodforDogs Pantry Fresh chicken and rice food, especially for our next trip to the beach. It is the chicken and rice recipe (which is also sold in refrigerated packs) but in shelf stable form–perfect for traveling with dogs!