Homemade Dog Food Seasoning

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***

A white dog on a leather sofa

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!  

A big pan of homemade dog food that has brown rice, ground beef, chopped hard boiled eggs, and parsley all mixed together

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.

A close up of a jar of Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend

There are 5 dried herbs in my Homemade Dog Food Seasoning blend, let’s break down why I chose each of them….

Basil

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

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.

A white dog standing on her back legs looking out the window

Parsley

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. 

A small white dog with big spotted ears sits on a leather couch

Rosemary 

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.”

Oregano

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! 

A woman and a dog going each other high fives

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 1/2 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.

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Homemade Dog Food Seasoning

a jar of Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend

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.

 

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: 10 tablespoons 1x
  • Category: gluten free
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Dog Food
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

2 tablespoons dried curly parsley

2 tablespoons dried dill

2 tablespoons dried orgeano

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons dried basil

Instructions

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.

 

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37 Comments

  1. rashmi February 1, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Hi Cathy, I also feed homecooked meals to my 3 yr old portie. I switch between bison and lamb and occassionally feed him grass fed organic fed beef. I mix 3-4 kinds of veggies with either organic brown rice or pearled barley. I mix organic home made organic egg shell powder and some herbs and a home blended powdered sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds flax seeds I’m surprised that you use so much Rice! I read that the food should have more protein so i’ve been doing 70% meat, 15% grain and 15% veggies.

    I’m going to try making the Herb blend with dill and basil I did not know these are good too. I’ll also buy the green powder

    Thank you for sharing your recipes!
    Rashmi

    Reply
    1. [email protected] February 4, 2021 at 11:45 am

      Hi Rashmi! It really sounds like your pups are well fed and I love that! Thank you for sharing your recipe with me 🙂

      Reply
  2. Cathie January 24, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    I halved the recipe, and froze some in muffin tins for my boxer/sheepdog mix. He was by my side the whole time the meat was cooking. I let him lick the bowl 🙂 he loved it!

    Reply
  3. Linda January 18, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    your store sells cute pet treat cutters and molds, but do you have recipes for healthy dog bones or other things (for the molds)?

    Reply
    1. [email protected] February 4, 2021 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Linda!! sorry for my delayed response here – virtual homeschooling has had me buried underneath a mountain of work and I’m just working through comments. Ok, so I am working on a dog biscuit recipe currently now, so it will be coming very soon! I use those little molds to freeze plain Greek yogurt and canned pumpkin together for our dogs in the hotter months. It’s a great treat for when they need to cool down! As soon as I share the dog biscuit recipe, I will be sure to add it to our comment here so you will be notified!

      Reply
  4. Kelly N. January 18, 2021 at 6:17 am

    What vitamin supplements do you use and why do you like them? I’ve made up the herbs. Love them! Thank you! I found the Curley parsley at Natural Grocers. I dried it in my dehydrator. I appreciate all your hard work!

    Reply
    1. [email protected] February 4, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      Hey Kelly! We use Dog Greens powder as a supplement for our dogs and have never looked back. I found it when I was doing a lot of research on kidney disease last year after our dog’s diagnosis. It’s easy to administer, sold on Amazon so I can be sure to get it when we need it, and it’s organic. Our dogs are 11 years old and 1 1/2 and they are both thriving!!

      Reply
  5. Alice B. January 17, 2021 at 6:49 am

    Going to make this dog food up today. What serving size do you suggest for small dogs. I have a 12 lb Yorkie/Maltese and a 15 lb Shitzu/Bischon mix.

    Reply
    1. [email protected] January 17, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Alice! Typically it is 1 cup per 10lbs of pup. So, I would start at a cup or a cup and a half at feedings if they seem hungry and go from there. Oh my goodness, our dogs are SO big compared to yours – our biggest eats 8 cups a day!

      Reply
      1. Ros Rodriguez January 30, 2021 at 12:31 pm

        It is an excelent teaching cooking course for a special companior at home. I decided to follow your advises and stop experimenting with all kind of processed foods. My concern is about the time Lucky needs to go to a kennel. I need to make sure they accepted refrigerated food. Thank you for sharing all this excellent information.

        Reply
        1. [email protected] February 4, 2021 at 11:47 am

          Hi Ros! I totally understand your concern – our vet has no problem accommodating our special diet when we board our dogs as long as I clearly label and separate the feedings out individually. It is a bit of a time investment for me up front to make everything SUPER easy for them, but it is worth it!

          Reply
  6. Cindy Lawrence December 7, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    I have a 5 # chihuahua who is extremely picky and refuses to eat any kind of dog food. It is my fault for letting her eat human food sometimes and now that’s all she wants. She would rather not eat than eat dog food. I am excited to find your recipe and am going to order the vitamin powder and then make this for Daisy Rose. I live in a tiny town in the midwest and have a hard time finding herbs. Can you recommend a place online that carries the herbs for your seasoning? Are you able to get the curly parsley online?

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply
    1. [email protected] December 13, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Hey Cindy!!! Sounds like your pup has good taste, I don’t blame her! haha! You can get most of the herbs from Amazon honestly, just for ease of shipping and I know they ship most anywhere. Dried flat leaf parsley specifically can be harder to find as most places just sell the curly variety. It is SUPER easy to make in the microwave though if you want:

      I have found that making dried flat leaf parsley is easy to do in the microwave though!
      1. Place 1 paper towel flat on your plate
      2. Lay out Parsley bunches in a single layer on the paper towel, then add another paper towel on top.
      3. Microwave 1 minute, then in 15 second increments until dry. {mine are usually dried out and ready after a total of 2 minutes} If you have a larger bundle of parsley you are microwaving, you may need to add a little extra time.
      4. After leaves are dry and crunchy, remove and discard stems.

      Reply
  7. Danielle Belknap December 7, 2020 at 11:51 am

    I found your recipes after researching foods since my Australian Shepherd/Boxer would not eat anything resembling dog food after blood transfusions and meds. She was diagnosed with Immuno-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (Auto-Immune Disorder) and I’m trying to figure out if the herbs and diet change is going to be helpful. (Has anyone dealt with this?) thank you for your recipes!

    Reply
    1. [email protected] December 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Oh my goodness Danielle, I am so sorry about what you and your pup have been through! I have not personally had any experience with that auto-immune disorder, but I hope someone else that has sees your comment and can offer some words of wisdom!

      Reply
  8. Devin Theriot December 6, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    This is just what I’ve been looking for! I homecook for our two Aussiedoodles but have get like they need seasoning! So afraid to give them something that is not good for them.
    So can you use typical seasoning out of the jar? Like dried parsley, dill weed etc just like we buy on the seasoning isle?

    Reply
    1. [email protected] December 13, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      Hi! yay, I am so glad you found our recipe! You can use dried seasonings out of the jar, just note that dried parsley is often curly parsley. I have found that making dried flat leaf parsley is easy to do in the microwave though!
      1. Place 1 paper towel flat on your plate
      2. Lay out Parsley bunches in a single layer on the paper towel, then add another paper towel on top.
      3. Microwave 1 minute, then in 15 second increments until dry. {mine are usually dried out and ready after a total of 2 minutes} If you have a larger bundle of parsley you are microwaving, you may need to add a little extra time.
      4. After leaves are dry and crunchy, remove and discard stems.

      Reply
  9. Meredith moran December 1, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Hi, Thank you so much for posting your recipe! I’m definitely going to try it. a couple of questions, my dog seems go get sick of the same flavor day after day. Is it OK to substitute any meat such as chicken thighs, lamb, or turkey? If so would the amounts be the same? Also, are the herbs just for taste or do they provide some other nutrients that Dog Greens- Organic and Wild Harvested Vitamin and Mineral Supplement don’t provide. Thank you so much for your help

    Reply
    1. Meredith moran December 1, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      I actually see that you posted what the specific herbs do..so they should be used in addition to Dog Greens- Organic and Wild Harvested Vitamin and Mineral Supplement?

      Reply
      1. [email protected] December 13, 2020 at 2:38 pm

        Hi Meredith, I use the homemade seasoning blend in tandem with the Dog Vitamins for our pups!

        Reply
    2. [email protected] December 13, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      You can trade up the ground meat from beef to turkey or pork. Just make sure there are no seasonings added, they do that a lot with pork! The amount is the same though. I add the dried herbs on top of the vitamin blend for the added nutritional oomph, but you could just use the Dog Green vitamins and be fine.

      Reply
  10. Jessica W November 21, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    I made this for our 5 year old rescue girl. She was eating lamb kibble from previous owner, so I made this today with 1 lb of lamb and halved the recipe…I also didn’t use the eggs for this evening, but will make some tomorrow. Anyway, she loved it and wanted more. I fed it with her kibble today to transition.

    Reply
    1. [email protected] November 24, 2020 at 11:49 am

      Oh my goodness that is amazing Jessica, I am so glad she liked it and yay for you rescuing your pup! Both of our dogs are rescues and we wouldn’t change a thing!

      Reply
  11. Lynn November 3, 2020 at 2:57 am

    What do you have in between the 2 layers of green????

    Reply
    1. [email protected] November 24, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Lynn, it is just a jar if the 5 layered herbs I talk about in the post. So, flat leaf parsley is the fluffier dark green and herbs like oregano, dill, rosemary, and oregano make up the other layers.

      Reply
  12. Sandi October 4, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Our 15 year old poodle was diagnosed with early stage kidney disease a little over a month ago. I have made my own homemade dog food for several years now. My veterinarian preferred that I start her on prescription food for kidney disease. I started researching and found your recipe. She tolerates the canned prescription food but was not eating as much as usual. Well let me tell you, I made your recipe and she licked the bowl clean. I will be showing it to my veterinarian and hopefully gain his approval to at least substitute this recipe along with the prescription one. Thank you for shaing.

    Reply
    1. [email protected] October 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm

      Oh my goodness Sandi!!! How amazing!! Your sweet pup should be able to enjoy meal time. I believe that as time goes on with kidney disease it is important to add more liquid to their food so its easier for teh kidney’s to process so even with this recipe have a plan to add a liquid at some point. I like powdered goats milk reconstituted with a bit of water.

      Reply
  13. Kimberly Walker September 25, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Hi! Looking to switch my dogs to your homemade dog food recipe – I have two with digestion issues …. i.e. IBS 🙁 – & wondered if you know of a brand of herbs that has curly leaf parsley? I’ve been all over the Internet looking & all I’ve seen is the Italian flat leaf variety. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Reply
    1. thismess September 25, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Hey Kimberly!! I am so excited for your pups – I think they will love it and I hope it helps their sensitive bellies!!! I agree, it is hard to find the dried curly leaf variety. I have resorted to drying my own in a low temp oven at times out of pure frustration, but I did find a great little herb shop on Etsy that sells specifically the dried curly variety: https://www.etsy.com/listing/860843998/dried-curly-leaf-parsley-petroselinum?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_e-home_and_living-food_and_drink-herbs_and_spices_and_seasonings-herbs_and_spices&utm_custom1=2db07a1c-f5df-49cd-ae7d-21dd37d41a60&utm_content=go_1844702805_75381303731_346364747985_pla-306107311649_c__860843998&utm_custom2=1844702805&gclid=Cj0KCQjwqrb7BRDlARIsACwGad6YP_w79kOhAcgBNqOYk9dvUipbekyvkp3i9rrwncrjWiWeQ9T-MuIaArPWEALw_wcB
      You can always opt to just use the fresh curly leaf parsley and make a dried blend with the other herbs. I hope this helps!

      Reply
    2. thismess September 25, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Kimberly, I just found this online – you can dry your own curly parsley in the microwave! I will go back an add it to the blog post today so it can help others too.
      Place 1 paper towel flat on your plate.
      Lay out 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 leaves are dry and crunchy, remove and discard stems.

      Reply
  14. katie September 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Is there a difference between dill and dill weed? i can only seem to find dried dill weed and the internet only wants to tell me the differences between dill weed and dill seed lol

    Reply
    1. thismess September 15, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Hi Katie, great question! It is the same thing 🙂

      Reply
  15. Yvonne Silao August 17, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, it looks amazing. I have been trying out different recipes for my dogs by trial and error for many years now. I finally hit upon a recipe that I like which while it is prepared differently than yours has many of the same ingredients. I cook the brown rice in a rice cooker with a little bit of olive or coconut oil and a sprinkle of turmeric and pepper which helps prevent inflammation. I’m very excited to give this recipe a try.

    Reply
    1. thismess August 18, 2020 at 9:13 am

      Turmeric and pepper are so good for your dog Yvonne! It sounds like you have one lucky pup at your house. I hope they like our recipe as much as they do the other delicious foods you make for them!

      Reply
    2. Kate August 19, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Can you tell me if there is a problem with flat leaf parsley? I just have lots of it growing in my garden…

      Reply
      1. thismess August 24, 2020 at 5:55 pm

        Hey Kate!! Well, here is what I know for sure, The ASPCA claims that both Hamburg and Italian parsley are toxic to dogs, but really this is only true in large amounts. Before I did a deep dive into herbs for dogs our homemade dog food included small amounts of fresh flat leaf parsley. We fed our dogs this way for 4 months with our vets knowledge without any negative side effects. I think working in small quantities is fine – but I wouldn’t go overboard with it.

        Reply

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