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Recipes for Dogs: Meatloaf
An easy-to-make meal

We are big fans of a good meatloaf, and our dogs Jordan and Gertrude were too. We adapted a basic meatloaf recipe using lean meats and adding different grains and vegetables for variety. Our dogs loved garlic, so we always added it, finely chopped; if you have concerns about feeding it to your dog, it can easily be left out.

We would make a few of these at a time to freeze, using different flavors for variety. Use beef, ground turkey, chicken, or lamb, but avoid pork or veal, which can be too fatty. In place of the oatmeal, you can try other whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the middle slot. Mix all the ingredients together with your hands. Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan, or use a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and form a loaf in the center. You can also use a roasting pan, just space the loaf in the middle of it, you can cook potatoes or sweet potatoes in the pan at the same time too. Bake for 1 hour.

Feed according to your dog’s size and calorie needs.

• 2 pounds ground turkey or other meat
• 1 cup cooked organic oatmeal (We prefer a minimally processed steel-cut whole-grain oat, like Irish oatmeal.)
• 3/4 cup organic flaxseed meal or breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup fresh organic parsley, finely chopped
• 2 large organic eggs
• 2 cups fresh or frozen organic vegetables (Use a variety of vegetables, such as peas, corn, diced cooked potatoes, and grated carrots; do not include onion.)


[Optional:  pulverized calcium. Nori (seaweed), chopped pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. Can substitute bread crumbs for the flaxseed meal.]

Adapted from Eco Dog by Corbett Marshall and Jim Deskevich, photographs by Aimée Herring. Reprinted by arrangement with Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2008.

This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 47: Mar/Apr 2008
Corbett Marshall and Jim Deskevich are partners in Variegated, Inc., a manufacturer of custom bedding located in Catskill, N.Y.

Thumbnail photograph by Aimée Herring

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Anonymous | October 8 2010 |

Can anyone help me? I was under the impression that with an ingredient list like this, that calcium and iodine and other minerals would NOT be an option, but would be required to keep your pet healthy. True, not true?

Submitted by Anonymous | March 11 2012 |

this is meant to be a treat..not an everyday meal.

Submitted by Charlotte | July 16 2014 |

When you read the high quality dog foods and treats the best ones say "no corn, wheat, soy, artificial color, bi-products". It is a good idea to follow these recommendations when making something at home. The meatloaf made with ground turkey or beef is best for humans and our pets when the animals have not been fed antibiotics or hormones in their food before they go to slaughter. Egg can be added to the meatloaf to bind it and the oats will also help to bind. Corn is poorly digested.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 21 2011 |

A little late in giving my thoughts, but I think the recipe as it stands does not have a balanced calcium/phosphorus ratio. Plain muscle meat is too high is phospherus and one would have to add calcium.

Submitted by Dustin | June 21 2011 |

Thanks for another great recipe! My dogs love whenever I cook them food from your site. If anyone is looking for more homemade dog food recipes or any other nutritional info there are plenty of healthy recipes here also.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 21 2011 |


Submitted by Lisa Wogan | November 22 2011 |

Cooked turkey meat is fine for dogs. Raw turkey, turkey bones and skin can cause cause problems. Corn is not toxic to dogs, although some dogs have an intolerance to corn, like some people. Of course, if you have specific questions about your dog, it is always good to ask your veterinarian. The ASPCA also provides good information on toxic foods, etc. Also, you might want to check out Shea Cox's blog post about pancreatitis tomorrow (11/23/11).

Submitted by JD | January 17 2012 |

I didn't think dogs were supposed to eat garlic EVER. Am I wrong?

Submitted by Lisa Wogan | January 18 2012 |

Small amounts of garlic are fine. But you also don't need to use it if you are concerned.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 3 2012 |

You are correct. Garlic is not good for dogs and neither are onions. Please read the recipes carefully.

Submitted by Anonymous | February 13 2012 |

How long does something like this stay good for in the fridge? and/or freezer?

Submitted by Peg | August 14 2012 |

I would say that if you wouldn't eat it, don't give it to your dog. Same rule that applies for human consumption should govern the food we feed our pets. The meatloaf doesn't last long enough at my house to become an issue. Use the smell test. If it doesn't smell good, toss it!

Submitted by Georgia | April 20 2012 |

My elderly dog with medical problems who was refusing to eat any commercial dog food on his own just gobbles this up!! We've gone from hand/force feeding to cleaning the bowl and looking for more. I'll be trying this with chicken. Great recipe! If anyone is looking for more Homemade Dog Food Recipes ideas and other info there are tons of healthy recipes here also.

Submitted by Anonymous | July 11 2012 |

I have Great Pyr/Golden rescue. Her stomach cannot process any fish products and most dog foods(even the expensive ones) make her regurgitate about 10 mins after eating. We have tried several different brands and found that Pedigree is the only one she can tolerate. I love the idea of trying some of these recipes as she seems to do well with people....Now only if I could make millions off of her shedding fur. Love the magazine!!

Submitted by Donna | March 25 2013 |

Have you tried Honest Kitchen dog foods?

Submitted by Tanya | September 28 2013 |

My 13 yr old dog is getting old and very picky. I just made her a meatloaf. I used 1pd of ground meat, 3 slices of bread, 2 eggs and some breadcrumbs. I put it in a pan with a little bit of water and cover the top with baby food, chicken and rice. I cover with tin foil. Bake for 1 hr. I no longer need to hand feed her. She loves it!

Submitted by moop | December 11 2013 |

How much calcium should one add please? Thank you.

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