Mini Muttballs


I’m straying a bit from my people recipes on the blog here, as you can tell from the above photo, but it’s not unlike me in real life to make food for my dogs. I really do. I buy them top-of-the-line dry dog food, but I still feel that occasionally some meat and vegetables are in order.

Recently I came across a website called It’s a fabulous resource for people looking for dog sitters. The dog sitters actually dog sit your dogs in their homes, and the website provides the links to those who provide this service.

But then, the website had this post: 8 Holiday Recipes for Your Dog! I was very amused by it, because all of the 8 recipes look like actual people food, including a doggy eggnog that’s actually made with yogurt. Of course, all photos that have dogs in them get me excited.

So just because I’m a dog lover and I love dog lovers, I decided to make one of the recipes from that post – Mini Muttballs. I have three fairly mini dogs, and they’re all mutts – rescued mutts – so it all made perfect sense.

The original recipe came from the website Entirely Pets. I’m not going to follow the recipe exactly, because I never follow a recipe, but if you’ve never made dog meatballs or a doggy meatloaf before, it’s a good way to start!

When I do make meat-based food for my dogs, I always include vegetables – especially spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and also parsley. I also tend to minimize dairy, but I’m not sure why. And of course you know to omit the aromatics – they can be problematic for dogs.
So following is a generalized recipe for the muttballs that I made for my three mutts – just because I love them!

Mini Muttballs

Ground turkey
Chicken livers (I had some leftover from making paté)
Grated carrots
Parsley, chopped
2 eggs
quick oats, finely ground, or you can use breadcrumbs

Place all of the ingredients except the oats in a large bowl.

Then mix together well using a fork or your hands.
Add some of the oats; I ground mine up in the food processor.
Keep adding oats until a mixture is formed that resembles an actual meatball mixture. You don’t want it too soft, or too stiff.

Place a little bit of oil in a skillet over fairly high heat. Form little meatballs with a scoop, or just with a teaspoon. The dogs won’t care, I don’t think, if they’re misshapen. But try to keep them about the same size overall for cooking consistency.


Toss them about so that they brown on all sides, and then, using a slotted spoon, place them on a paper towel-lined platter. Continue with the remaining meatball mixture. I didn’t cook these all the way through but you can. I think a little rawness is good for dogs. But you can cook them further in the skillet, and even place them in the oven after browning. That’s a personal choice.


Serve them warm or at room temperature.

Of my three mutts, Louie is the one most crazed about food. Any kind of food. That’s why he got top billing in the featured photo.

Every summer he gains weight eating dead locusts. We can hear him crunching away, but we can’t stop him. But, in his defense, he was a puppy mill dog. Here he is again, wondering why the hell my husband hasn’t put the plate on the floor!

Then he decided to share the limelight with Roxy, our eldest. She’s so deaf she didn’t hear all of the commotion; she just happened to come into the kitchen. Her big nose still works…


Then Frankie came in, who is the most blazé about food. Except when it comes to meat. He weighs 9 pounds but rules the roost. Alpha dog. Head boss. Top dog.


Frankie managed to get his chin into the tomato sauce.

Please don’t think we were teasing them with this magnificent mini muttball dinner. All three dogs got muttballs. And they loved them. People could certainly eat these muttballs as well, except for the extreme lack of seasoning.


40 thoughts on “Mini Muttballs

  1. Oh, my… the cuties! Loved to see your pups, but I am not showing this post to our dogs, that might give them some uncalled for leverage ;-)

    nothing like a spoil dog… or three! ;-)

  2. Mimi … this is just adorable – love you afford into making Christmas for your boys – you can see in their eyes how much they love the dish and the smell of it, can reach the plate quick enough. This is a heart-melting post, Mimi.

  3. You’re a true dog-lover, Mimi. We have a Pug who sits patiently watching while we cook–she doesn’t beg. She knows that somewhere along the line there will be a treat. Ken

  4. I cook for Chanel too. I tried to feed her kibble this morning just with carrots and peas in broth and she turned up her nose. She wants real meat in it! Spoiled brat!!!!

  5. Your doggie is so cute, I love the meatballs. I cook every day for my dogs, they have never had commercial dog food. Both of my senior dogs are diabetic, I have to be very careful what I feed them, very strict diets. They would love those meatballs, I would bake rather than fry because of the oil (not allowed for them) I love that dog vacay site, bookmarked. So nice that you have 3 dogs and I know they have to love hanging out in the kitchen with you.

  6. Ha, I knew it, another dog lover. My mutt Monty, who looks like is a white version of your Frankie, would love these. He has a sensitive gut so no rubbish dog food for him. Raw carrot is his favourite treat! It’s plain to see that your pups are much loved!

  7. I too have a rescue dog, but not quite so small. Her name is Hannah Banana and we love her to death. She has dietary restrictions (no grains) due to skin allergies, but this recipe would fit the bill for her if I sub with a non-grain filler. Maybe I should make these for our Hannah B for her Christmas dinner!

  8. Your dogs are beautiful. All pets should be spoiled rotten. Just purchased some prawns ready for Miles on Christmas Day and I will be dropping into Epsom Riding For The Disabled Xmas morning to help check over the horses and give them their christmas lunch. Emma xx

  9. Thanks Mimi. It is very kind of you to say so. I often struggle to see it myself as I have suffered on and off with depression since my teens. Cooking is my meditation now. I hope to give surreyKitchen a bit of a makeover in the next few weeks. I just finished a wordpress course at a local adult education college. Emma xx

    • I’m so sorry. That is not an easy thing to struggle with. Fortunately there are a lot of drugs to try out these days. My daughter, Emma, doesn’t hear much good about doctors in the UK, but she’s fortunately not had to visit one since she’s lived in London. Might be worth trying, though. The alternative is not fun for you or anyone around you.
      But on the other side of things, I’m really excited about your new website!
      Have a wonderfully Happy New Year!

  10. Thanks Mimi. I think I’ve finally found a good doctor. I have seen a lot of terrible ones in the past. It’s not all bad, if I hadn’t have had depression I probably never would have trained to be an occupational therapist. My experience helps me to empathise with the disabled kids I work
    with. I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year!

  11. Oh my goodness…these “muttballs” are such a great idea (and I love the name!)! Your pups must have been so excited. I’ll have to give these a try sometime.

    • I had to have my husband help with these photos! The black and white one Roxie is no longer alive, so I am really happy that I have photos of her, especially in her Christmas garb. She loved Christmas! Yes, I still have 3 dogs – definitely a dog lover!!!

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