Portuguese Water Dog Homemade Recipes & Diet Guide

portuguese water dog homemade

Canine Bible is reader-supported. We receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Learn more.


Are you a Portuguese water dog lover looking for homemade food recipes that will make your pup happy and healthy? You’ve come to the right place!

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of feeding homemade food to your dog, provide a few easy recipes to get you started and share tips on transitioning your pet to a homemade diet. So, whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced pet parent, read on for everything you need to know about cooking for your furry friend.​

Chapter 1: Nutrition, Benefits & Risks

Ch 2 

Portuguese Water Dog Homemade Dog Food Benefits

Here are some of the main benefits of cooking for your Portuguese Water Dog

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Quality control
  • More affordable
  • Healthier
  • 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 significant advantages, such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over dog food recalls.[1]

Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.

Food And Portuguese Water Dog Health: Why Feed Homemade?

Portuguese Water Dogs generally live between 11 to 14 years. This breed’s most common health problems include hip dysplasia and genetic eye abnormalities like progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and Addison’s disease. Conditions like allergies, juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, thyroid problems, as well as a condition known as sebaceous adenitis are also common in the breed. Other minor and less common health problems this breed suffers include irritable bowel syndrome, seizures and GM1 storage disease.[2]

How Can A Homemade Diet Help Portuguese Water Dog Health Issues?

  • Increased lifespan. Research shows that dogs eating fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those that 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.[3]
  • Avoid allergies. Cooking for your dog lets you pick ingredients that won’t trigger allergies in your Portuguese Water Dog. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an at-home dog food allergy test before selecting the ingredients for your dog’s next meal.
  • Obesity & joints. Switching to homemade dog food allows you to easily calibrate the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity in dogs can increase their risk for bone and joint problems (i.e., hip dysplasia) and subsequent osteoarthritis. Studies show that dogs maintaining their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer (with significantly fewer diseases) than their overweight siblings.[4]
  • Bioavailability. Home-cooked dog food is easier to digest — more digestible food means dogs can absorb nutrients more efficiently and faster. Quicker nutrient absorption means minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids act quicker in the body to carry out different functions, such as decreasing inflammatory responses that can help prevent allergies or help boost overall health.
  • Cancer prevention. When it comes to cancer, homemade dog food removes the highly processed food from the equation, often linked to cancer issues in dogs. Food processing has been shown to cause free radicals and carcinogenic chemicals to be released. With homemade, you no longer have to worry about oxidative stress due to processed food.[5][6]
  • Fresh ingredients with no chemicals. Homemade meals ensure your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and chemical-free foods without additives, fillers, high-glycemic carbs, or colorants commonly found in kibble.
  • Easy digestion. Homemade dog food is easier to digest than those hard-kibble mystery balls. Feeding your pet freshly made food puts less stress on their digestive system and liver, reducing the likelihood of bloating or other digestive issues.
  • Excellent taste and smell. Dogs love the taste, smell and texture of fresh dog food.

Portuguese Water Dog Homemade Dog Food Risks

Here are some of the risks you need to keep in mind.

  • Not understanding the nutritional needs of Portuguese Water Dogs
  • Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
  • Not preparing a balanced meal
  • Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
  • Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
  • Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
  • Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs

Research by the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary and two studies published in The Journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine and The Journal of Nutritional Science found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.[7][8][9]

Here are the findings:

  • 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities
  • 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal
  • 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
  • 28.3% didn’t use any recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acids.
  • 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 a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Portuguese Water Dog’s dietary needs and help you make nutritionally balanced recipes or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.

Portuguese Water Dog Nutritional Guidelines to Follow

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO), the entity that supervises the nutritional value of commercial dog food, there are six essential nutrients all dog meals must contain to ensure a balanced and healthy diet for dogs.

A homemade diet should also consider your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.

Below is a breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.

NutrientFoodDescription
Protein Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggsBuilds 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, growth and development. Supports the function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and 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.
WaterWaterHydration 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.
VitaminsA, 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.

Recommended Supplements For Portuguese Water Dogs

Here are the top recommended supplements for Portuguese Water Dogs based on their main health susceptibility issues.

  • Hip & joint: Portuguese Water Dogs are generally susceptible to hip dysplasia, a condition of hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis. To prevent or alleviate these problems, it’s wise to supplement their diet with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help maintain an active lifestyle and support joint tissue.
  • Eye health: Some Portuguese Water Dog might also develop progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic disease that causes retinal degeneration and vision loss over time.
  • Multivitamins: Incorporate a multivitamin such as Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your Portuguese Water Dog gets the optimal amount of vitamins and nutrients.

Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. You can get personalized nutritional advice from a registered vet nutritionist through Vetster anytime, anywhere. You can also chat with an online vet and ask them questions about your dog’s nutritional needs.

For further dog nutrition guidance, consult “Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative” by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a renowned veterinary expert. This book is the go-to resource for healthy homemade dog nutrition for most pet nutritionists.

Health Dietary Changes In Portuguese Water Dogs

Portuguese Water Dogs experiencing any of the issues below might benefit from the dietary adjustments outlined in this table.

ConditionDietary 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 Portuguese Water Dog suffers from skin allergies or joint pain, adding dog fish oil may help bring relief. 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.

Portuguese Water Dog Calorie Requirements

The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult Portuguese Water Dog usually weighs between 35 and 60 pounds, meaning most Portuguese Water Dogs need between 780 and 1167 calories daily.

Ensure you adhere to the 10% guideline when giving treats to your dog. Food should account for 90% of calories, while treats comprise 10%. For example, if your Portuguese Water Dog weighs 50 lbs., he would require 1019 calories daily. With treats included, that’s 917 calories from food (90%) and 102 from treats (10%). Typically, most adult dogs have two meals a day. Hence, you should divide 917 into two meals of 458 calories each.

Pregnant or lactating Portuguese Water Dogs may need up to 2 to 4 times the food they usually need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.

You can use our dog calorie calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight.

Homemade Dog Food For Portuguese Water Dog Puppies

A Portuguese Water Dog puppy’s dietary requirements differ from those of an adult’s Portuguese Water Dog.

Compared to adult dogs, puppies require higher protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus levels. Inadequate or excessive amounts of these nutrients can lead to deficiencies, hindered growth, or lifelong health complications.

According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN), puppies need approximately twice as many calories per pound of body weight as adult dogs of the same breed.

However, many assume puppies require more food and calories daily because they grow quickly. This is not necessarily true. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom, advises that to promote normal growth, most puppies need a similar number of calories and the same type of food from 4 to 12 months of age. Portuguese Water Dog puppies should be fed 3 to 4 times per day. As your puppy ages (between 6 and 12 months), you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.

Skipping meals is not advisable during your puppy’s growth and development. As previously stated in our nutritional guidelines, a puppy’s diet should include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins to ensure proper growth and development.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service

If you struggle to find time to cook for your Portuguese Water Dog but wish your dog could eat whole, fresh homemade foods more often, a homemade dog food delivery service might be the perfect solution.

Nom Nom is one of our favorite options. They offer various fresh, homemade dog food options tailored to your dog’s unique dietary needs, age, health conditions, and nutritional goals. For example, if your Portuguese Water Dog suffers from food-related health issues such as allergies or illnesses, Nom Nom can create a customized recipe that caters to those needs. Their meals are made with real, human-grade ingredients and delivered to your doorstep.

Take 50% Off Your First Order at Nom Nom

The food is developed by veterinary nutritionists who adhere to AAFCO nutritional guidelines. In our experience, using Nom Nom saves you time, allowing you to focus on more important things like walks or training your dog. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the hassle of meal planning, grocery shopping, or cooking, and you can mitigate the risks of cooking for dogs.

Our readers can access 50% off their first order. Use this link to get your Portuguese Water Dog’s first homemade meal.

Check out Canine Bible’s Kalshesi, trying out Nom Nom. She recommends it!

Best Homemade Food For Portuguese Water Dogs

The best homemade food for Portuguese Water Dogs is a balanced diet that provides optimal nutrients for proper function while considering your dog’s nutritional goals and health. We highly recommend Nom Nom or Open Farm as the best homemade food for Portuguese Water Dogs.

Don’t feel like cooking for your Portuguese Water Dog? Here is the most comprehensive guide to help you find the best dog food for Portuguese Water Dogs.

Best Dog Food For Portuguese Water Dogs
Chapter 2: Recipes, Cooking Tips & More

Ch 1

Portuguese Water Dog Homemade Food Tips

Before sharing our favorite Portuguese Water Dog homemade food recipes, follow these best practices when preparing your dog’s next meal.

  • Set a consistent feeding schedule
  • Feed your Portuguese Water Dog twice daily (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 five 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 Portuguese Water Dogs ( Video)

Watch this video and learn how to cook homemade meals for Portuguese Water Dogs.

Best Portuguese Water Dog Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Browse the best homemade dog food recipes for Portuguese Water Dog that will make your pup beg for more.

We’ve also included a special treat recipe for your Portuguese Water Dog, enriched with the health benefits of our favorite ingredient: dog CBD oil. CBD oil might help with issues like seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, and overall wellness.

Note: Consult your vet before adjusting your dog’s diet. The recipes below don’t specify serving sizes since they depend on your dog’s breed, weight, age, activity, and health. As a guideline, consider feeding the equivalent amount you’d give in kibble, but always consult your veterinarian for proper portioning.


Blueberry-Banana CBD-Infused Dog Treats

Treat your Portuguese Water Dog with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD dog treats. They are made with bananas, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6). Banana also aids with digestion and energy. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion and helps reduce allergic reactions.

Remember to consult your vet to ensure CBD is safe for your dog and that you are giving the correct dosage. Alternatively, you can buy commercially available CBD dog treats so your pup can experience CBD’s benefits without the cooking.

Ingredients

  • 120 mg of the best CBD oil for dogs
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional, for a hint of sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Brush a dog biscuit baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Mash the ripe banana in a bowl until smooth. Ensure there are no large chunks left.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, blend the gluten-free flour and oats.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the egg until it’s beaten. Add coconut oil, water, mashed banana, unsweetened applesauce, and fresh blueberries. Mix until well combined.
  5. Gently pour the wet mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Stir until you get an even consistency. Drizzle in the CBD oil and give it another stir to ensure even distribution.
  6. Use a tablespoon measure to scoop out portions of the mixture. Press each scoop firmly into the dog treat baking mold.
  7. Place the tray in the oven and bake the treats for 30 to 40 minutes. They should be firm to the touch and slightly golden when ready.
  8. Once the treats have cooled, transfer them to an airtight container for storage.

Chicken & Rice Delight

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup brown rice (or white rice if preferred)
  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup flour (whole grain is preferable, but white flour is acceptable)
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Chicken preparation. Cut the chicken into half-inch pieces. In a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, cook the chicken on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside the pan drippings.
  2. Rice preparation. In a pot, cook the rice according to the package instructions or until it’s soft and fluffy. Once done, set aside.
  3. Gravy creation. Over medium to low heat, warm the chicken drippings in the pan. Combine ½ cup of water or chicken broth with ½ cup of flour. Gently stir until it becomes a smooth mixture. Continue cooking until it evolves into a thick gravy consistency.
  4. Combining ingredients. Add the cooked chicken, rice, peas, and carrots to the gravy. Simmer the mixture for approximately 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
  5. Cooling. Let the stew cool down to room temperature before serving to ensure it’s safe for your dog.

Turkey, Vegetable & Quinoa Feast

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of green beans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fish oil
  • A sprinkle of turmeric (for anti-inflammatory benefits, optional)

Directions

  1. Cooking the turkey. Over medium heat, cook the ground turkey in a non-stick skillet until fully done. Ensure it’s crumbled well to make it easier for your dog to digest.
  2. Preparing the feast. Combine the quinoa, cooked turkey, and water in a large pot. Bring this mixture to a boil.
  3. Simmering. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the quinoa becomes soft and translucent.
  4. Adding vegetables. Introduce the carrots, green beans, and spinach to the pot. Allow the mixture to cook for another 10 minutes, ensuring the vegetables are tender but not overly soft.
  5. Finishing touches. Once off the heat, stir in the fish oil and sprinkle turmeric, ensuring it’s mixed well.
  6. Storing. Let the meal cool to room temperature before serving. Extra portions can be refrigerated and consumed within five days.

Beefy & Veggie Medley

Ingredients

  • 6 cups organic brown rice
  • 4 eggs (hard-boiled, peeled, and finely chopped)
  • 2 pounds lean ground sirloin (preferably grass-fed, cooked through, with excess fat drained off)
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, either shredded or finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh green peas or chopped green beans
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil
  • A sprinkle of ground turmeric

Directions

  1. Egg prep. Begin by boiling the eggs until they are hard-boiled. Once done, peel and finely chop them.
  2. Beef cooking. Brown the ground sirloin over medium heat in a large skillet, ensuring it’s thoroughly cooked. Once done, drain off any excess fat.
  3. Mix & combine. In a large mixing bowl or container, combine the cooked brown rice, browned sirloin, chopped eggs, diced or shredded carrots, peas or green beans, minced parsley, and the optional sprinkle of turmeric. Drizzle with olive or safflower oil.
  4. Stir together. Using a large spoon or spatula, gently mix all the ingredients until they are evenly distributed and well combined.
  5. Serve & store. Serve the mixture in your dog’s dish, ensuring it’s cooled to a safe temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

If you want more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Portuguese Water Dog, cookbooks can be useful for various recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.

Best Dog Cooking Practices

These tips ensure that your Portuguese Water Dog’s meals are safe and nutritious.

  • 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

Monitor Weight And Health

A dog’s weight and gut health are essential indicators of their health, and you need to track them when switching to a new diet (i.e., homemade). Maintaining a healthy weight is easier when your Portuguese Water Dog is fed the right dog food. If your dog’s weight increases or decreases rapidly, it might be due to food-related health issues. A healthy gut can confirm a smooth transition to your dog’s new diet, among other health issues. However, identifying a healthy gut is not an easy task. Fortunately, an at-home dog gut health test can provide insight into your dog’s gut health.

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.

dog microbiome gut health test

What Foods Should Your Portuguese Water Dog Never Eat?

Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients dogs need to avoid.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocados
  • Raw bread dough
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol

Here is the complete list of toxic ingredients your Portuguese Water Dog should never eat. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Portuguese Water Dog Raw Diet (BARF)

Raw dog food mimics dogs’ diet in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods, organs, muscles, whole or ground bones, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are usually included. Several raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).

As the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods, preparing a BARF diet for your Portuguese Water Dog requires a lot of extra care and planning. Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coats, digestion, and allergies.

Best Raw Dog Food Delivery Subscriptions

Read our “raw diet for dogs” article to discover its advantages and risks. Also, find the top raw brands for Portuguese Water Dogs in our best raw dog food post.

Homemade Dog Food For Portuguese Water Dogs — Conclusion & Alternatives

If you are still unsure about what to feed your Portuguese water dog, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. Many commercially available foods are specifically designed for dogs and will provide all the nutrients they need. However, if you choose to make your food, include a variety of protein sources, fruits, and vegetables to ensure your pup gets the right balance of nutrients.

Read up on vegan dog food if your Portuguese Water Dog is prone to food allergies or food-related health issues. Plant-based diets are also becoming increasingly popular for dogs with food sensitivities and other health issues.


Like It? Subscribe & Share!

* indicates required

Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

[1] AKC, [2] PetMD, [3] Lippert & Sapy [4] AVMA [5] Lyka, [6] Hardvard [7] NCBI, [8] PubMed, [9] UC Davis

Editorial Team at Canine Bible | + posts

Canine Bible authorship represents the unified voice of our entire editorial team rather than a single author. Each article, blog post, and review published under the Canine Bible name undergoes a rigorous review process, involving all team members to guarantee accuracy and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research. This collaborative effort is an integral part of our editorial process and aligns with our four pillars of content creation. This approach ensures our content is backed by expert knowledge and factual information, offering our readers reliable, actionable, and trustworthy content.


Similar Posts