Dog owners are willing to do anything for their pets, including making their meals from scratch. Making a homemade dog food may appear to be a task for a pet owner, but you would realize that it isn’t that tall a task at all given the numerous homemade dog food recipes that you can try.
Why do dogs need homemade food?
Makers of commercial dog food products may want you to believe otherwise, but feeding your dog with homemade food is actually good for him.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that you can personally choose the ingredients to be used in the dog food. This is very critical if your dog has allergies, or you just want to spare him from consuming certain ingredients.
You can also be assured that the food you are giving him is 100% safe. In times when dog food recalls due to possible contamination have become a very common occurrence, you will have peace of mind knowing that the food your dog is eating won’t make him sick.
It is also possible to save time and effort when you prepare your dog’s food. Preparing foods in large branches would let you do so, as you would be able to freeze smaller portions which you can feed to your dog later on.
Of course, you get to benefit from preparing your dog’s food, too. While preparation may take up time, you can save a lot of money in the long run especially if you buy ingredients in bulk.
What nutrition guidelines should you follow?
While there are many benefits that you can get from preparing your dog’s food, this doesn’t mean that you just give him whatever food that you have at home.
And please, don’t even think of giving him table scraps particularly oily and fatty foods. Doing so can increase his risks of health problems like diarrhea and pancreatitis. Worse, he might end up eating toxic foods like onions.
Just like us, our dogs need to have a complete and balanced diet. This means that the food you give to your dogs must meet all of his nutritional needs.
The following is a general nutritional guideline you should follow in feeding your dog:
- 50 percent of his diet should consist of vegetables
- 40 percent should consist of protein from animal meat, eggs/dairy and seafood
- 10 percent should carbohydrates composed of grains and beans
Yet this should not give you the impression that you would feed your dog with the same meal every day. Like people, dogs want variation in their food.
But you may wonder—what are the ingredients that I can use in making dog food?
For protein, good sources are ground or small strips of beef. I also recommend turkey as it is very easy to digest. It is also widely available and cheap.
You can also give your dog with chicken. Just like turkey, you should have no problems getting it. Lamb is another good source of protein. You may also give beans and eggs, although in moderation.
As for vegetables, safe choices include carrots, spinach, green beans, peas, celery, pumpkin, and cucumber. Be wary of giving them broccoli and cauliflower as it may cause gas.
For carbohydrates, good choices are rice, cooked potatoes, yam, and oatmeal. You can also give him pasta without oil or salt.
Important reminders in preparing dog food
There are many things that you need to consider in preparing a DIY dog food for your pet. But here are 10 reminders that you should keep in mind when you are to plan or make food for your canine friend:
Whatever recipe you might want to prepare for your dog, you should prepare the recipe correctly by avoiding experimentation. Follow the recipe to the T, so to speak. Don’t experiment by adding recipes, as it can cause unintended effects on your dog.
Be careful when swapping ingredients. Because there are some ingredients that may have the same flavor or taste, but don’t have the same nutrition. Whenever you use ingredients in lieu of another, be sure it can be accepted.
For instance, olive oil should not be substituted for corn oil which contains essential fatty acids that are beneficial to your dog’s health. Doing so could lead to him being fed with an unbalanced diet.
Invest in a food scale. This can help you in accurately measuring cups.
Don’t add seasoning. Unlike many of us who can’t cook without adding a lot of seasoning to their dishes, dogs don’t need seasoning. As such, you don’t have to use salt or pepper for your dog’s homemade food.
Certain foods are considered dangerous and even lethal when given to dogs. Aside from onions, don’t give chocolate, raisins, avocado, grapes, walnuts, and raw yeast dough to your dogs.
Use large pots in cooking vegetables like potatoes, especially if you intend to cook in large quantities. This should let you make your dog food once or twice a week and let you save time.
One mineral that your dog needs fairly high levels of is calcium. Adult dogs need 50 mg of calcium for every kilogram of body weight. So a 10-kilogram dog will have to take in about 500 mg of calcium every day.
If your dog’s stool becomes loose following consumption of homemade food, you should switch back to bland meals. You can also cut back the amount of food that you give him by about 30 percent. If the condition doesn’t improve within a few days, might as well bring him to a vet.
If you want to get tremendous savings, ask the butcher at your local grocery if he can give you inexpensive cuts of meat such as large knuckle bones and organ meats.
Consult with your veterinarian first before introducing your dog to a homemade diet. The vet may be able to help you in formulating a diet according to the growth needs of your pet. This is also very ideal if you have an older dog.
Top 10 Homemade Dog Food Recipes
The following are 10 excellent homemade dog foods that you can prepare for your dogs:
As you can see, making a homemade food for your dog isn’t that complicated at all. The recipes are very basic and not far from the way we prepare our foods.
Moreover, you can get a lot of savings if you make your DIY dog food. The recipes discussed in this article can yield many servings that there will surely be leftovers. You can simply store the leftover dog food in the fridge, and give these to your dog over the course of 3-5 days.
The other advantage of making your own dog food is that you will be sure that the foods you are feeding to your canine are safe. Since you are the ones picking the ingredients, you can be assured that your dog is eating only foods that are safe and healthy for him.
But if I were you I would also research more on a canine diet. Your vet is a good start. Ask him the type of foods that your canine should be eating more, taking into consideration the age and health condition of your dog. And try to learn more about dog nutrition before you start preparing food for your furry friend.
Once you have started getting into the practice of making food for your dog, you will realize how advantageous it is not only for your dog but also for you. You’ll get to save more and have peace of mind knowing that your dog is eating only nutritious foods.