What Can I Feed My Dog Instead Of Dog Food?

It’s supper time and you go to feed your dog, only to realize, you served the last kibble for breakfast. Don’t panic. It’s common for pet owners to run out of their pet’s food at one point or the other during their pet’s lifetime.

Maybe due to your health conditions, being busy or insufficient cash until payday you forget to get your friend their food, there are more than enough items in your fridge or cupboard you can put together to make a quick alternative for your dog’s food. 

Whether you have run out of dog food and need an emergency dish or your furry friend will be sleeping hungry -both of you don’t want such whining- or, you are considering switching your dog to homemade natural food, we have listed some options that might interest you to know before making a decision.

Before getting into these food options, you should know that there are some ingredients or food items that should never touch your dog’s tongue, else, being hungry for more than twelve hours would have been your best option. 

You should take into consideration the following before making your dog a quick meal.

  •  Avoid sugary, spicy, salty, or fatty foods: the meal you give your dog does not have to be a well-seasoned cooked diet. Plain meals are better as too many spices and excess sodium content can cause digestive upset like vomiting and diarrhea. Plus, remember dogs have the tendency to eat their poop. If their meal is sugary and well-spiced, their poop might become enticing to them.
  • Consider your dog’s allergies and conditions: having known what triggers your dog’s allergy, you should make sure none of such ingredients are included in their quick meals or the homemade recipe you are about to switch your dog to. Most dog allergies are caused by meats like chicken, beef, and grains sometimes. Be careful not to add items that could worsen the condition of your dog afterward.
  • Don’t serve raw meats, fish, or vegetables unless your dog is used to raw foods: these items should be cooked as raw foods may contain bacteria that could make your dog sick. Remove all bones from the meat and fish to avoid injury to your dog’s intestines or choking. Fish that live longer like mackerel may contain a higher amount of mercury so make sure to avoid them or use smaller amounts. Cooked veggies digest faster but carrots and green beans can be served fresh.
  • Avoid toxic processed foods: not all human foods are good for your dog. Some contain ingredients that are toxic to your dog’s health including avocado, alcohol, caffeine, coffee and tea, corn on the cob (the cob can cause a blockage), cooked bones, grapes, raisins, and sultanas, onions, garlic, and chives, salt, sugar, sweets or chocolate, xylitol (an artificial sweetener). Watch out for these ingredients when preparing a quick meal.
  • Avoid dietary products if your dog is lactose intolerant: if the only ingredient you can find for a quick meal is a dairy product that will only make conditions worse for your furry friend after filling their tummy, it is better to let them sleep hungry while you make arrangements for an early breakfast.

Now that you know what to consider before fixing your dog’s fast food, let us talk about what ingredients are perfect to make an alternative-to-dog food meal.

What Can I Feed My Dog In Place Of Dog Food

Most commercial dog foods offer all the nutritional value your dog’s body needs in the right proportion and so they are highly recommended. Some are designed especially for dogs with one health condition or another other so you can easily find food with the help of your vet that can suit your dog’s palate, provide their nutritional needs and take care of their allergies or sensitivities if they have any. Some of the recipes recommended here are not to be fed to your dog for a long period of time as they might be deficient in some nutrients essential to your dog’s body. It is just to fill in for the meantime before their regular meal arrives.

  •  Cooked meat

Meat like beef, pork, turkey, and especially chicken -because it contains lean proteins- can be served to your dog. Dogs are carnivorous in a way and cannot resist meat. Do not serve your dog raw meat except if they are used to raw meat. Make sure they are not from unknown sources as they can be contaminated with microbes and pathogens that can get them sick. Debone all the meat to avoid injuring the intestine during digestion or choking during eating.

  • Sweet Potatoes

Veggies are good for your dog’s digestive health. Sweet potatoes contain high fiber and are rich in a variety of vitamins. They contain starch and can soothe your dog’s hunger. They take a long time to digest so can keep our dog full for the time being before their regular meal gets home. Avoid serving raw and when cooking, keep out spices and too much salt.

  • Yogurt

Yogurt is another option for your dog when you are out of their food. It contains a load of protein, calcium, and probiotics that can regulate your dog’s digestive system. It can also help dogs with digestive issues. If your dog has lactose intolerance, please consider other options.

A lot of yogurts contain sugar and other ingredients that might be unhealthy for your dog so it is advisable to get plain organic ones.

  • Cooked Grains

Grains like rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and the like are good grain options for your furry friend. Oatmeal is full of fiber and gentle on the tummies and should not cause any digestive issues as a result of the brief switch of diet.

Rice is a good option because it is also easier for your dog to digest and will not pose any digestive issues.

  • Eggs

Eggs are another affordable high-protein food. They contain vitamins and you can serve them as a simple treat to your dog. Cooking them is preferred to serving them raw, although you should not overcook them. Watch your dog closely if they have any digestive issues after eating eggs and switch to a better protein option if you notice anything.

  • Broccoli

This is one of the best veggies packed with various nutrients that are essential for your dog’s health. Your dog may not like the taste, but it is worth serving. Do not serve too much as excess can cause bloating and irritate your dog’s digestive system. You may serve raw or cooked if you know your dog’s preference.

  • Fruits

Fruits are a nice option for your dogs. They contain lots of vitamins and essential minerals, fibers, and probiotics and will support your dog’s digestive function. Fruits you may give your dog include apples, bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. Do not give them citrus, grapes, and raisins as they are not good for their digestive system because of their acidic content.

You can also make a meal with a mixture of the ingredients mentioned above.

Here are two recipes by Sharon Waddington who is the founder of World of Dogz. You can explore any of these and see if your dog will love any.

  • Turkey and Brown Rice Blast

This homemade dog food will make 10 cups and can be prepared in about twenty five minutes. It is quite simple to make. It might not contain all the nutrients your dog needs but for the reason of your friend not going to bed hungry, this will help.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 16-ounce pack of frozen peas and carrots
  • 6 cups water


Place the ground turkey, rice, and water into a large cooking pot. Stir the mixture until the ground turkey is broken up and distributed evenly. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Finally, add the frozen peas and carrots, and cook for another 5 minutes. Cool before serving and refrigerate the remainder.

  • Beef and Brown Rice Bonanza

The second is the beef and brown rice recipe. If you do not have brown rice, you can as well use white rice. This recipe makes 13 cups of food in about thirty minutes. 


  • 2 pounds of cooked ground lean beef
  • 6 cups cooked brown rice (3 cups uncooked rice)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil


Cook the eggs, rice, and beef separately. Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate in-between feedings.

How To Never Run Out of Dog Food

One major reason pet owners run out of dog food is that they forget it is just one serving left in the storage container. 

To avoid this happening again, when you get the new regular food your dog eats, take out some portions, like three to four servings. Store in a different bag. As you feed your dog from the storage container, once it’s out, place an order for a new one or you can visit a store and get one while you feed your dog from the portion you saved earlier. The new food you ordered should get to you before the portion in the bag finishes. This will save you the stress of thinking of other food to feed your dog when theirs is out.