Canine Bible is reader-supported. We receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Learn more.
This is the most comprehensive Miniature American Shepherd homemade dog food guide.
All dog breeds are different and each dog has its individual needs in terms of diet and nutrition. This especially important to address if you are cooking homemade dog meals.
Today we show you some of our favorite recipes for homemade Miniature American Shepherds and tips on how to ensure your dog gets the right nutrients and you cook balanced meals. Let’s get started!
Miniature American Shepherd Homemade Dog Food Benefits
These are some benefits when cooking homemade meals for your dog.
- Healthy eating habits
- Quality control
- More affordable
- Portion size control
- Fresh ingredients
- Dietary requirements can be met
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., also agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with great advantages such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over food recalls.
Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.
Food & Miniature American Shepherd Health: Why Feed Homemade?
Research shows that dogs that eat fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those who don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs by Lippert and Sapy found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.
Home-cooked meals for dogs also ensure that your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and allergen-free foods as no chemicals, additives, or fillers are used when cooking at home, preventing allergies.
More importantly, you have control over the ingredients used. You can pick safe ingredients that you know won’t trigger allergies in your Miniature American Shepherd. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before selecting the ingredients for their next meal.
Miniature American Shepherd Homemade Dog Food Risks
Understand the risks of cooking for your dog is essential before jumping in the kitchen and whipping up a recipe.
- Not understanding the nutritional needs of Miniature American Shepherd
- Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
- Not preparing a balanced meal
- Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
- Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
- Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs
- Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
A study by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.
Even more shocking, research published in The Journal of Nutritional Science concluded 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal. What’s more alarming is that 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe, 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough, and 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acid.
In a survey published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vets reported 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.
It’s vital to understand that dogs’ nutritional requirements are unique. We recommend consulting with a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Miniature American Shepherd’s dietary requirements and help you craft nutritionally balanced recipes or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.
Miniature American Shepherd Nutritional Guidelines to Follow
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO), the entity regulating dog food nutritional value in commercial dog food, states there are six indispensable nutrients that all dog meals require to support life and function in dogs and provide a balanced and healthy diet.
A proper homemade diet should also consider your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.
Your Miniature American Shepherd will grow strong and healthy if these six components are present. Below is a breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.
|Protein||Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggs||Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
|Carbohydrates||Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat||Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
|Fat||From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others||Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
|Minerals||Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.||Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
|Water||Water||Hydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
|Vitamins||A, B, C, D, E, and K||Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.
You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your Miniature American Shepherd pup is getting the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.
Always consult with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. We suggest consulting a veterinary nutritionist to help create a diet plan for your Miniature American Shepherd. Formulating a completely balanced diet without professional help can be tedious for some dog parents.
If you need more advice on Miniature American Shepherd nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book it’s considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.
Health Dietary Changes In Miniature American Shepherd
It’s necessary to consider changing your Miniature American Shepherd’s diet if it is experiencing any of the issues below.
|Condition||Dietary Needs & Adjustments
|Coat Color Changes||Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)|
|Concurrent GI Signs||Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial|
|Dull Coat and Scaling||Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
If your Miniature American Shepherd has skin allergies or joint pain, adding dog fish oil may be good. The AKC states that fish oil promotes healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Other significant effects include promoting improved immunity (especially against cancer) while strengthening heart health in dogs.amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “caninebible-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_design = “enhanced_links”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B0002ABR6E”; amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “59822b5d9a7a139eee4a63235877e714”;
Miniature American Shepherd Calorie Requirements
The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult Miniature American Shepherd usually weighs between 20 and 40 pounds, which means most Miniature American Shepherd need between 587 and 983 calories a day.
Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treat the remaining 10%.
For instance, if a Miniature American Shepherd weighs 30 lbs. he would need 793 calories per day. For those eating treats, that’s 714 calories in food (90%) and 79 in treats (10%). Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. So, you need to split 714 into three meals of 238 calories each.
You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs for your dog based on his weight.
Pregnant or lactating Miniature American Shepherd may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
Homemade Dog Food For Miniature American Shepherd Puppies
A Miniature American Shepherd puppy diet is different from an adult Miniature American Shepherd’s.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus. Too few (or too many) of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.
According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN), puppies need about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.
Most people worry that their puppy requires more food and calorie intake every day because they are rapidly growing. This isn’t necessarily the truth. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom, advises that to promote normal growth, most puppies need about the same number of calories and the same type of food, from 4 months to 12 months of age.
Miniature American Shepherd puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older (6 – 12 months), you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.
For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppy’s diet needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
Making nutritionally complete homemade meals for Miniature American Shepherds can be difficult. It can be difficult to balance ingredients and meet your dog’s nutritional requirements. Maybe you don’t have the time. Or maybe it’s both. No matter what your reason is, you can still enjoy homemade food for your dog with a dog food delivery service like Nom Nom.
Nom Nom is one of our favorite fresh dog food deliveries. The company delivers freshly made homemade dog food tailored to the dietary needs of your pooch to your home. Real, human-grade ingredients (meats, vegetables, grains, etc.) are used in every Nom Nom recipe.
Their food is developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist and following the AAFCO nutritional guidelines. They do all the cooking for you, so you never have to worry about using the wrong ingredients, proper nutrition guidelines, portion sizes, and more.
All their meals are customizable to your dog’s unique dietary needs, age, nutritional goals, weight, and other key factors. For instance, if your Miniature American Shepherd has food-related health issues like allergies or an illness, they will create a recipe that caters to this.
In our experience, it’s a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. Plus, you avoid all the hassle of planning, shopping, and cooking. We think it’s worth the cost after adding up the prices of all the ingredients you’ll need to cook a recipe.
Our readers have access to save 50% off your first order of Nom Nom. Just use this link to get your Miniature American Shepherd’s first homemade meal.
Check out Canine Bible’s Maltipoo trying out Nom Nom homemade dog food. She recommends it!
Miniature American Shepherd Homemade Food Tips
Follow this advice to better plan ahead of your dog’s meals.
- Set a consistent feeding schedule.
- Feed your Miniature American Shepherd two times a day (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
- Meal prep weekly or monthly.
- Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
- Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
- Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
- If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
- Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
- Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
- Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.
How To Cook Homemade Food For Miniature American Shepherd ( Video)
Watch this video and learn to cook a meal for your Miniature American Shepherd.
Best Miniature American Shepherd Homemade Dog Food Recipes
We’ve picked our four favorite homemade recipes for Miniature American Shepherds.
We’ve also added a special treat recipe for Miniature American Shepherd that is delightful and tasty and packed with incredible health benefits. We kid you not; this recipe can do a lot for your pup’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and dog’s health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.
CBD-Infused Dog Treats
CBD dog treats are perfect for helping with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, preventive care, and many other health problems. (read our dog CBD guide to learn more)
Treat your Miniature American Shepherd with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD oil dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion, and helps reduce allergic reactions.
Just be sure to check with your vet before to make sure CBD is safe for your pup, and you are giving the proper dosage.
You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of sea salt
- 120 mg CBD oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
- Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake, 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Recipe from: Truth Theory
Crockpot Dog Food
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned.
- Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
- Let cool completely.
Recipe from: Damn Delicious
Meatloaf for Dogs
- ¾ cup of grated veggies (such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and/or zucchini)
- 2 lbs of lean ground beef
- 1 ½ cups of old fashioned oatmeal
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of cottage cheese
- Ground flax seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Divide the mixture evenly between two meatloaf pans.
- Cook for 20-24 minutes
- Divide into 24 portion sized pieces, placing wax paper between each piece. Store in a ziploc bag, freeze, and thaw as needed.
Notes: Use the leanest meats.
Recipe from: PetHelpful
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup of green beans, chopped
- 1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup of broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 cup rolled oats.
- 4 cups of low-salt chicken broth
- Remove excess fat from the chicken breasts and cut the breasts into small nickel-sized chunks.
- Cook the chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until no longer pink.
- Add the chicken, vegetables rolled oats, and chicken broth to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the carrots are tender – about 15 minutes.
- Allow cooling before serving.
- Store leftover casserole portions in the fridge for up to five days.
Recipe from: Money Crashers
If you are interested in more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Miniature American Shepherd, cookbooks can come in handy for a range of dog food recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices
Be sure that your Miniature American Shepherd’s meals are safe and nutritious with the following next practices.
- Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
- Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
- Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
- Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Research every ingredient before using it for safety
- Follow recipes as instructed
- Add supplements to their diet if needed
- Run any questions by a vet nutritionist
What Foods Should Your Miniature American Shepherd Never Eat?
There are some foods dogs aren’t allowed to due to toxicity dangers. Here the top ones you need to avoid in recipes.
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw bread dough
Check out this handy list for a comprehensive list of all foods to avoid. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.
Miniature American Shepherd Raw Diet (BARF)
A raw dog diet is meant to be similar to the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods usually include organs, muscle, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy.
Several kinds of raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).
Preparing a BARF diet for your Miniature American Shepherd requires extra care and planning since the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods.
Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coat, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article if you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Miniature American Shepherd.
Monitor Weight And Health
A dog’s weight is one of the best indicators of its health.
If you switch to a homemade diet, closely monitor your pup’s weight. If you notice your dog’s weight increasing or decreasing rapidly, it might be due to food-related health issues.
Skin or coat issues, excessive tiredness, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, and obesity can be caused by unbalanced and insufficient meal plans. If you detect any of these symptoms while feeding your dog meals, stop doing it immediately and seek expert advice.
Other Food Alternatives
We hope you found this guide helpful and that you will use some of the recipes we shared. Remember, the most important thing is that your dog gets a balanced diet.
Want more food alternatives for Miniature American Shepherds, check our vegan dog food. Plant-based diets for dogs are becoming popular and for very good reasons.