3 min read

3 Gourmet Meal Ideas for Dogs


Written by Mel Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 11/02/2021, edited: 11/07/2022

November 1 is National Cook for Your Pet Day, a holiday that's sure to have your doggo drooling! Our dogs eat the same kibble every day for their whole lives. Most humans can't imagine eating the same thing for every meal. And while our pups don't seem to mind too much, it's always nice to treat our fur-children to a home-cooked meal now and again.

Before we serve up our top 3 meal ideas, let’s cover some important safety tips. When cooking your dog's gourmet meal, avoid these spices and ingredients that are toxic to dogs:

  • onions (and onion powder)
  • garlic (and garlic powder)
  • salt/pepper
  • asparagus
  • mushrooms

If you have any doubts about whether an ingredient is safe for your dog, ask your vet for advice, or chat with a veterinary professional now.

Need some inspo for Fido’s fancy feast? We've got you covered with 3 versatile doggy dishes the whole fam is sure to love! Each meal idea comes with preparation tips and 3 of our favorite recipes.

casserole in a white ceramic platter

Healthy casserole

The "ultimutt" family dish for those hectic weeknights, casserole is convenient and versatile. When it comes to ingredients and cooking methods, you're spoiled for choice. The best casserole recipes for dogs contain 3 key components: meat, veggies, and grains.

Ingredients to use in a dog-friendly casserole

From the list below, pick one meat source, a variety of veggies, and one grain*. Try out different combinations and see which one your dog likes best!

  • Chicken 
  • Turkey 
  • Ground beef 
  • Venison 
  • Bison
  • Wild boar
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Cabbage
  • Brown rice
  • Barley

*In recent years, there's been a lot of controversy about grains in dog food. The bottom line is, grains are part of a healthy, balanced diet for dogs. While some dogs suffer from grain allergies and sensitivities, these allergies are relatively rare. 

Some tips for making a gourmet casserole for dogs

Chicken, turkey, and ground beef are casserole staples. But if you really want to treat your pup to a meal worthy of a Michelin star, opt for an exotic meat like venison, bison, or even wild boar.

If your woofer is watching their weight (or you're watching your budget), choose chicken or turkey. These lean meats contain just 15 calories per half-ounce serving.

If you're making chicken casserole for dogs, you may want to boil the chicken instead of frying or baking it. This helps preserve moisture and nutrient content and also makes a tasty broth.

Casserole recipes for dogs

vegetable soup in a white bowl on a brown table with green herb garnish in the background

Hearty soup or stew

Just like casserole, soups and stews are one-pot dishes capable of feeding an army. Broth-based dishes are "grrreat" for picky eaters and pups with dental problems.

Ingredients for your dog-friendly soup or stew

Choose a meat and some veggies from the list below and get cookin’!

  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Turkey
  • Venison
  • Celery
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Whole-grain pasta noodles
  • Brown rice

Some tips for making a soup or stew for dogs

When making soup or stew for your dog, avoid adding salt, pepper, chives, or onion or garlic powder. Your broth should be homemade without the use of any stock cubes, which are high in sodium and often contain spices that are toxic to dogs.

While bone broth is safe for dogs, cooked bones are not. Remove all bones before serving, or opt for boneless cuts of meat, like chicken breast.

Avoid feeding your dog canned soups or stews, which are high in salt and could contain toxic ingredients.

Soup and stew recipes for your dog

slices of meatloaf on a white plate set on a blue table with tomatoes


Because it contains onions, garlic, and other ingredients that aren’t safe for dogs, meatloaf is one human food that's paws-off to mutts. Fortunately, you can adapt this classic recipe so it's safe for Sparky! Go with a traditional beef meatloaf, or experiment with other meats like turkey and even salmon. 

Ingredients for your dog-friendly meatloaf

Choose a meat and some veggies, then add in an egg and breadcrumbs to make a meatloaf Max will love!

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon*
  • Ground beef
  • Brown rice
  • Cranberries
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Brown rice

*If you do opt for salmon, you'll need to take some precautions. Boneless, skinless canned salmon in water is best. The small bones in canned salmon are a choking hazard. Never feed your dog raw or undercooked salmon. Parasites found in raw or undercooked salmon can cause severe poisoning.

Meatloaf recipes for your dog

Share snaps of your dog's gourmet meal with us on Instagram @wag! Don't forget to tag #wagwalking to get your mutt's meal featured on our feed!

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