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How to make dog food in your Instant Pot

Whip up batches of homemade dog food with your Instant Pot to keep Fido coming back for more.

With just a few ingredients you can make tasty dog food in your Instant Pot.
Brian Bennett/CNET

For some dogs, dry, store-bought kibble isn't ideal. Either they find it unappetizing, or it doesn't meet their specific dietary needs. Perhaps you, the pet owner, would like more control over what your dog eats, and prefer food that's minimally processed. That's a tall order to expect from most supermarket brands. 

No matter your motivation there is a solution, and that's to cook Fido's meals in your trusty Instant Pot. Doing so is easier than you may think. And because you'll be using an Instant Pot, there's hardly any mess to clean up when you're done. 

Good nutrition comes first

Any change to your dog's diet is not to be taken lightly. Before making any major alterations, consult your veterinarian to confirm your dog's dietary requirements. These mainly depend on the age and size of your pooch, but there may be other factors, such as medical conditions. 

Instant Pot dog food ingredients

Gather together what you'll need.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Gather your ingredients

You can find plenty of homemade dog food recipes scattered across the internet. Most involve a protein, starch and vegetables. I decided to keep my recipe just as simple, and the ingredients are as follows:

  • 3 pounds ground turkey (fresh) 
  • 2 cups brown rice (uncooked)
  • 1 12-ounce package peas and carrots (frozen)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Add the remaining ingredients after you've browned the turkey.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Time to cook

Start by setting the Instant Pot to saute mode at high heat. When it's hot, add the canola oil and ground turkey. Cook while stirring occasionally until the meat has browned and no residual water remains.

Next add the brown rice and frozen vegetables. Lastly, pour in the water and stir again to fully mix the ingredients inside the pot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and set the steam valve to "sealing." Lastly, engage the cooker's rice mode. 

It's an automatic function so there's no need to punch in a cooking time. I recommend using the natural pressure release method. When it was all said and done my batch took 44 minutes to complete.

When you're done you'll have a big batch of food so you can use some right away and store some for later.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Serve, store, then make more

After cooking you should have enough food to fill three 4-cup containers (12 cups total). In my case I put one container in the fridge and the other in the freezer for storage. That's because I plan to use small amounts of this fresh dog food to season the pounds of dry kibble I already have on hand.

She likes it! Good girl.

Brian Bennett/CNET

One of my dogs in particular isn't too excited about consuming dry chow. Now, with wet hash in the mix, she goes to town at mealtime. I'll bet it also helps that I reheat the doggie hash right before serving. The aroma of hot turkey no doubt drives them wild. 

Of course there are many different approaches to homemade dog food. Some other possible ingredients include ground beef, beans, sweet potato, even pumpkin and squash. For further inspiration be sure to take a look at the wide range of dog food recipes out there

Read more: 7 basic essentials every new dog owner needs

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