What can I feed my dog to fill him up? A Step-by-Step Guide


Another safe human food for dogs is yogurt. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, making it a great treat for canines. Furthermore, yogurts with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for your dog’s dog’s digestive system.

Keep in mind that you should choose only yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Greek yogurt is typically the best choice for dogs, as it has less lactose than regular yogurt. You may also feed your dog kefir as long as it’s plain and unflavored.

What About Just Using Another Dog’s Food?

Is it safe to borrow a cup or two of dog food from your neighbor? For a generally healthy adult dog, a temporary food substitution is fine but…

  • Consider your dog’s allergies or any chronic health conditions being managed by diet.
  • If the other dog is on a higher-fat food, cut the amount you’d normally feed in half and fill up the rest of the bowl with a carbohydrate such as cooked pasta or rice for bulk.
  • Sudden changes in any pet’s diet can cause gastrointestinal distress.

    Watch for:

    If they’re not feeling well, switch to a very basic diet of boiled chicken and rice or oatmeal. Learn more about how to switch your dog’s food safely.

    Here are a few tasty recipes from Dr. Saker’s canine kitchen. All recipes below will yield enough food for one day and are based on the daily nutritional requirements of a healthy, 40 pound adult dog. Adjust portions for smaller or larger dogs.

    Always consult with your vet if you have any questions. Just don’t feed these substitute meals for longer than 1 week.

  • 65 grams of cooked, white meat chicken
  • 1 large cooked egg
  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 1 cup high fiber cereal
  • 2-3 teaspoons canola oil which provides essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Serving size: Approx 6 cups (or 48 oz)

    Raid Your Pantry For Added Nutrition

  • Canned vegetables like corn, beans, peas and carrots – well-rinsed and drained
  • Plain pasta – cooked
  • Plain, cooked rice, couscous or quinoa – avoid the flavored varieties which are loaded with sodium and spices that may upset your dog’s tummy
  • Plain, cooked oatmeal – not the sugary-flavored packets but the plain boring stuff we should all be eating
  • Canned chicken and fish packed in water – well-rinsed and drained
  • Cooked farina
  • High-fiber or multigrain healthy cereals – avoid cereals with raisins or magically delicious kids cereals
  • Low-sodium vegetable, beef or chicken broth for flavor or to tempt a picky eater
  • Low-sodium, plain tomato sauce (no garlic or onions)
  • Honey – just a bit to tempt a picky eater
  • Cooked eggs (egg whites only for dogs with renal disease, please)
  • Boiled, baked or simply prepared poultry – skinless and boneless. Rotisserie chicken is fine, just remove skin and bones.
  • Cooked beef, at least 80% lean or trimmed of excess fat
  • Mild cheeses such as American or Colby
  • Homemade Dog Food for Weight Gain – Satin Balls Recipe (Cheap, Simple)

    It’s dinner time and your dog has made it clear that their food bowl is ready to be filled. Filled with what, though? With sinking dread, you realize that you are completely out of dog food. Now, your dog is looking at you with soulful eyes as if to say, “Seriously? You don’t have my food?”

    As your mind races to figure out what to do, you decide that it’s time to get creative with the food that you have on hand. Chances are good that you have the ingredients for an “in a pinch” meal or two for your dog until you can purchase more regular dog food.

    The meal that you prepare should be a good balance of lean protein and complex carbohydrates. Fortunately, you have a lot of foods in your pantry and fridge from which you can choose.

    Remember that dogs aren’t picky eaters. Just make sure that the meal has a good nutritional balance of protein and carbohydrates. For example, a quick and easy meal is plain chicken served over plain brown rice in about a 50:50 mix. If your dog isn’t impressed, add a small amount of low-sodium broth to make the meal more appealing.

    Another quick meal, particularly for breakfast, is 2-3 scrambled eggs over vegetables and a cooked grain. Add some fruit to give your dog something sweet to munch on.

    You can also cook some ground beef and add that in with some cooked or raw vegetables and plain brown rice.

    If you really want to have some fun, check out these recipes for more ideas on what to feed your dog in a pinch.

    Now that you’ve solved the immediate problem of feeding your dog, you’ve given yourself some time to get more dog food. Once you’ve done that, it will be time to get your dog back to their regular diet. Not so fast, though—abrupt dietary changes can upset a dog’s tummy.

    Transition your dog back to their regular diet gradually. Over several days, mix in increasing amounts of their regular dog food with the “in a pinch” food until your dog is eating only their regular food.

    To avoid another food emergency, consider placing about a week’s worth of your dog’s regular food in a plastic baggie. Once the big bag of dog food is empty and you’re reaching for the baggie, it’s time to replenish your dog food supply. If you order your dog food online, choose the “auto delivery” option so that you always have some extra dog food on hand.

    Life gets busy, so it’s understandable if you run out of dog food every once in a while. Surely, your dog won’t mind having some human food for a meal or two. Remember to keep those “in a pinch” meals healthy and get some regular dog food as soon as you can.

    Want to make sure your pets are covered from those unexpected illnesses or injuries with no limits on payouts? Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those dog and puppy mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

    JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM, is a veterinarian and freelance medical writer in Atlanta, GA. After graduating from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine with her veterinary degree, JoAnna completed a 2-year research fellowship in neuroscience at Emory University. During this fellowship, she learned that she could make a career out of combining her loves of science and writing. As a medical writer, JoAnna is passionate about providing pet parents at Healthy Paws with clear, concise, and engaging information about pet care. Through her writing, she strives not only to educate pet parents, but also empower them to make good health decisions for their pets. JoAnna is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and Dog Writers Association of America.