[mv_video aspectRatio="true" doNotAutoplayNorOptimizePlacement="false" doNotOptimizePlacement="false" jsonLd="true" key="luptb4xsoet9sqdm2w8g" sticky="false" thumbnail="https://mediavine-res.cloudinary.com/v1597609031/mm9ter02xgiqcqdesvip.jpg" title="Homemade Dog Food Recipe" volume="70"]It's no secret that fresh herbs and spices are beneficial to a person's health and diet, but did you know that your dog's diet could benefit from them too!? In the summer months, it's easy to include green leafy herbs like curly parsley and basil into our homemade dog food because I have lots of them growing in the garden. But, when fresh herbs are sparse I turn to my spice cabinet where I keep a little jar labeled 'Homemade Dog Food Seasoning'.
When fresh herbs are not an option
This easy to make custom spice blend combines dried parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, and oregano. I sprinkle on a little of the seasoning blend at every feeding for added nutrition. I know I'm contributing to fresh breath, happy tummies, and better long term health benefits for both of our dogs!
***Please note, I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes that we feed our dogs under our veterinarian’s careful supervision. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human grade food diet for your pup. POST UPDATE 9/25/20 to add more information on ingredients. The original recipe is still the same***
Why we switched to homemade dog food
Recently, I shared a blog post about our dog's health issues and why we decided to make the switch to a diet that is made up of 100% human grade food.
In our experience, the switch was easy, cost effective, and so much healthier for our dogs than a traditional doggie diet of processed kibble! The homemade dog food recipe that I make for our dogs combines lean ground sirloin, wholesome brown rice, fresh vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and tender herbs. This healthy, vibrant alternative to traditional dog food has given our 11 year old dog, Hooch, a new lease on life!
Since making the switch 8 months ago I have been so inspired by the improvements we have seen in Hooch! It's pushed me to continue to research different ingredients that might help even more. I'm excited to share my first Homemade Dog Food Seasoning blend with you and your pup! I really hope you will benefit as much as we have.
There are 5 dried herbs in my Homemade Dog Food Seasoning blend, let's break down why I chose each of them....
This dog-approved leafy herb, well-known for its delicious role in pesto, has antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. We began incorporating basil into Hooch's food to help alleviate symptoms of arthritis because basil has a high concentration of beta-carophyllene, which also makes basil useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease. Other benefits of basil for dogs include lifting their mood, decreasing stress, and reducing anxiety.
While very rare, some dogs can be allergic to basil, so incorporate slowly into your dogs diet and work up from there.
Dill is part of the parsley family and a sprinkle of this delicious herb could benefit your dog in all sorts of ways! If your dog is a living vacuum cleaner like our Rebel – picking up any food they see that has fallen on the ground! Or if the garbage can is your dog's idea of a buffet line; it’s a good idea to keep some dill on hand. Dill is known to be a digestive aid, helping with gas, nausea, cramping and appetite. As an added bonus, dill works wonders as a doggie breath freshener too! According to Herbs for Pets by Gregory L. Tilford and Mary L. Wulff, dill’s breath freshening action comes from its antibacterial powers that work well in the mouth for foul breath caused by bacteria and gingivitis.
First and foremost, when it comes to parsley for dogs, you want to feed the curly variety whenever possible and watch those serving sizes, as parsley does contain a toxic compound called furanocoumarin which can be dangerous in excessive amounts. In smaller servings, however, parsley does your dog way more good than harm!
Believe it or not, dried curly parsley can be hard to find, here is a quick an easy way to dry curly parsley in your microwave at home...
DIY Dried Curly Leaf Parsley
Place 1 paper towel flat onto a microwave safe plate.
Lay out curly parsley bunches in a single layer on the paper towel, then add another paper towel on top.
Microwave 1 minute, then in 15 second increments until dry.
After the leaves are dry and crunchy, remove and discard the stems.
Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Parsley, an excellent source of flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins, is often added to dog treats as a breath freshener and can be used to also soothe the stomach. Initially, I started incorporating parsley into our dogs food because I learned that it can help to relieve the swelling and pain from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. However, I wish I had started adding parsley into our dog's diets a long time ago as it also helps to flush toxins from the body which supports kidney health. As we discussed in my homemade dog food post, our 11-year old dog Hooch was diagnosed with kidney disease last December. I can't help but wonder if we could have avoided that diagnosis by switching him to a real food diet with ingredients like parsley much sooner in his life.
It is important to note, the positive effects that parsley can have on the kidney's is only preventative and will not reverse the progression of kidney disease if your dog has already been diagnosed. In fact, you should not be giving any parsley to a dog that is prone to developing kidney stones, because parsley contains high amounts of oxalates. Our Hooch does not have kidney stones, so we still incorporate small amounts of parsley at this time, but as his condition progresses we may opt to eliminate it from his diet.
WARNING: Spring Parsley (a member of the carrot family) looks almost identical to parsley but is toxic for dogs and cats.
There’s a reason rosemary essential oil is so often used as a natural preservative in dog food, it is a great pathogen-fighter against common food bacteria, meaning it can help keep food from spoiling! And those pathogen-fighting capabilities extend to your pet’s body too, where it can help fight against various bacteria and fungi! Since rosemary contains antioxidants it is a great ingredient to add to your pup's food to combat age-related illnesses like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
While big name dog food brands use rosemary essential oil, I personally only recommend using dried rosemary at home as essential oils are SUPER concentrated and can have adverse effects if not portioned correctly. Herbalist Gregory L. Tilford, co-author of Herbs for Pets wrote "Rosemary is generally safe when used appropriately, however, the essential oil, which is often used in very small amounts as a natural food preservative is very strong and concentrated. In small amounts it will lend a calming, relaxing effect, but if fed in too much abundance it can produce the opposite – a nervous system stimulant effect that may exacerbate nervous system disorders, like epilepsy. All said, as long as the oil is not used in concentrations greater than 1 percent of the entire composition of a food or supplement product, it can be used quite safely.”
Feeding your dogs small amounts of oregano can help cleanse your dog’s body from toxins due to its strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Oregano packs more than 40 times the value of antioxidants found in apples and is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K coupled with Omega-3s, calcium, iron, manganese, and dietary fiber which are all essential in your dog's diet! Oregano is a key player in this Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend because it can help to reduce inflammation and swelling as well as alleviate pain and improve mobility in joints. All which is very important if I want my sweet Hooch to move around easier and still give me ten like the picture below!
How much Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend should I be adding to my dog's meals each day?
Start small by adding a little sprinkle (a pinch for small dogs, a ½ teaspoon for larger dogs) of these herbs to your dog’s food each day and work up from there. Adding dried herbs like these is a safe way to give your pups a little boost in nutrition, freshen their breath, and heck it probably will make their food a little more flavor-able too!
If you’ve made our Easy Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend for your pup I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours. Want to be a part of our online community outside of the blog? It’s easy!! All you have to do is follow @THISMESSISOURS on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, YOUTUBE, or PINTEREST to see cooking demos, and peeks into our day to day life.Print
Homemade Dog Food Seasoning
I keep a BIG batch of this homemade dog food seasoning blend on hand at all times because it's fast and easy for me, but you don't have to go as big as I did. Simply combine equal parts of the herbs you are using in a jar and shake to combine.
I use this over top of my 100% human grade homemade dog food, but you can also use it over kibble or canned food.
- Prep Time: 1 minute
- Total Time: 1 minute
- Yield: 10 tablespoons 1x
- Category: gluten free
- Method: No cook
- Cuisine: Dog Food
- Diet: Gluten Free
2 tablespoons dried curly parsley
2 tablespoons dried dill
2 tablespoons dried orgeano
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried basil
Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine.
Start incorporating small amounts of this seasoning blend into your dog's diet and work up from there. A small shake or two will be enough over a small dogs food and you can work up to feeing a tablespoon at each feeding for larger dogs like ours.
To check out our homemade dog food recipe that goes along with this seasoning blend, click here.
I should have added to my last comment that my herbs are freeze dried. And they are made by LiteHouse. Not McCormick. My apologies.
Good morning! Thank you so much for all your recipes. I found you about a month ago when my 13 yo mixed breed(30lbs) became very ill with stomach issues and diarrhea. I knew then I wanted to make my own food. Little did I know then she would later be diagnosed with kidney issues. She loves the peanut butter treats, the yogurt bowls, and the homemade food!! My 14 lb mutt has been more of a struggle. Lol. She is picky!! My question is, can I use the McCormick herbs? And if so does that change the serving size?
Eliza Clendenin says
We are so happy that your dogs are loving the food, even if one is more of a struggle!
Yes you can use any the freeze dried herbs!!
I'm sure it's ok to put 4 tablespoons of each together and mix well.. just finished dehydrating curly parsley and have 4 tablespoons ..
Eliza Clendenin says
Yes, that will be fine!
Brooke O says
Hi! I'm making your seasoning blend this afternoon and wanted to ask a few things;
As well as dried herbs i also have the herbs listed in my garden and wondered if when possible could i finely cut up the same ratios you've listed but fresh to sprinkle through their meal?
I was planning on drying a bulk load of curly parsley as its almost impossible to find online or instore and expensive if you do find it on etsy. Whats the best way of doing this in the oven?
When you said you add this to their meals upon feeding is this once or twice daily?
Lastly i think it may be a typo but noticed in some comment replies you wrote about doing flat leaf parsley in the microwave, is this a typo or a safe way of giving your dog flat leaf instead of curly?
Really appreciate your time and recipe! My dog has slightly elevated creatinine levels (only) so i'm hoping this helps lower it or if you have any other suggestions im open 🙂
Hi there Brooke!!
Yes, you can add fresh herbs to their meals!! If you still want to dry them in the oven- Place herbs on a baking sheet, and place herbs in an open oven for 2-4 hours at a low temperature (less than 180 degrees F). Check if the leaves crumble easily to check if the herbs are dry. We usually only sprinkle it on their meals at night.
I am so sorry that must have been a typo! Definitely only use curly parsley!! Your dogs need to stay as hydrated as possible, I highly recommend only giving your dogs filtered water (it works wonders)! Also feeding them in smaller quantities multiple times throughout the day helps!
Jordan W. says
Cannot wait to try this and your homemade dog food recipe!!! I have a 5 month old American pit bull terrier mix and a 10 month old mutt! How long does this seasoning and the homemade dog food recipe last before it goes bad?? Maybe I missed this if you included it, but I thought I’d ask!
Hi!! I am so glad you are excited - the seasoning should last as long as your spices are fresh for. Mine usually have about a 12 month shelf life on the bottle when I have checked. The actual dog food needs to be frozen if you have more than 4-5 days worth. It won't keep any longer than that. Hope this helps!
Hello!!! I’ve looked at this and your homemade dog recipe, how long does this last? And do you mind me asking how long the homemade dog food lasts for?? I CANNOT wait to start feeding this to my pups! I have a 5 month old pit bull terrier mix that needs to gain weight (he got parvo when he was very young and has struggled with gaining weight) and a 10 month old German shepherd/Staffordshire (and probably every other breed on this planet) mix! Another question!! Are they too young to be fed these recipes???
Hi!! This is a great question. We fed this to our puppy Rebel starting at 4 months when we adopted her. We transitioned very slowly to as not upset her tummy and to make sure she was getting what a growing puppy needs. At 12 months with the blessing of our vet we weaned her completely from other food solely onto this. If your dog's don't have any issue with their kidney's you should consider adding some type of organ meat to the equation, it is very good for them. You can find dehydrated powders that you just add to their meal at not like the vitamins.
Shena Flores says
Hi. What was the green powder and oil you put in your fur baby’s food once it was in the bowl?? I have been researching homemade dog food including raw and I know they need adequate nutrition just as we humans do. I will be trying your recipe. Thank you
Hi Shena! The green powder is called "Dog Greens" the oil is an Omega Oil blend. We use both of these every day without fail along with 100% human grade food and have super healthy dogs.
Hi Meg, do you add pro and postbiotics to your dog food in addition to "dog greens" and omega oil blend?
Hi! We do add Native Pet's probiotic powder and we make our own calcium powder. We add them on top just like we do with the dog greens. I hope this helps!
I've got 3 Golden Retrievers, 5, almost 4 and 3. I am worried about cancer and we have hot spots and allergies and skin issues spread across them. Making food for 3 is pricey but I have just started making your food recipe and yesterday went and got the ingredients for this. I'll try to replace half the food and sprinkle this everyday. I hope to stop all the supplements I buy which seem to do nothing and cost too much. The 2 brothers also have coprophagia, so I hope this resolves that as well. I am adding some pumpkin to the food as well. So glad I found your blog.
So glad to have you here Corinne! Goodness you do have your hands full! Your pups are lucky to have you looking out for them. Keep me posted on how y'all are doing ok?
Sharon Jahelka says
Meg: I cook a chicken for my 16 year old dog. I wanted to know if it is possible to use fresh herbs to season my chicken ? I grow all the seasons except for parsley. Thank you Sharon
Hi Sharon - you can absolutely use the fresh versions of these herbs for your dog. It's a perfect choice!
Sharon Jahelka says
Do we need to dry these spices ? I cook a chicken for my 16 year old dog, and i would like to season it with these spices. I grow all but the parsley.... Thank you Sharon
Hi Sharon - you can absolutely use the fresh versions of these herbs for your dog. It's a perfect choice!
Diane Samantha says
I'd love to try this with my dog! Im particularly curious if you buy these herbs dried or dry them yourself, and if so, how? Thanks!
Hi Diane! I honestly just buy them dried, but have from time to time dried my own parsley in the microwave.Teh instructions for that are in the blog post above under parsley.