How to make homemade dog food? Larsen warns dog owners about fear-mongering in the pet food industry. Myths about ingredient quality are frequently to blame. While homemade diets have no scientifically proven benefits, whole-food-based diets are better in the long run. Dr. Bartges adds that commercial foods are designed to be complete and balanced, albeit not the most exciting of meals.
In that light, feeding your dogs a variety of whole foods makes perfect sense. According to Dr. Larsen and Dr. Bartges, there are numerous reasons why you might want to prepare homemade foods for your dog.
Gaining control of your dog’s diet, appeasing picky eaters, combating food intolerance issues, being concerned about food recalls, or simply the bond-building joy of preparing a home-cooked meal for your dog are some of these reasons.
Ideally, it would help if you created a custom recipe for your dog with the help of a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. Consider factors such as your dog’s eating history, weight, and overall health. To ensure that the food you’re giving your pet has the desired effect, keep an eye on their health over time.
Benefits of Homemade Dog Food
How to make homemade dog food – the best of the best for your dog! Cooking for your dog has many advantages, including fewer preservatives and additives in their diet, more varied and potentially better quality ingredients, and, of course, the ability to customize the recipe to your pup’s preferences. Homemade meals may even allow you to feed your dog well for less money. Even after adding the cost of a vitamin/mineral supplement and calcium, it can still be less expensive than commercial food (as little as $3 per day). But there is a catch: you must make up for what you save in cash in time and commitment.
It is beneficial first to understand the history of dog diets. When dogs first began accompanying humans, they ate from a diverse menu as capable hunters and scavengers. An omnivorous diet of fat, carbohydrate, and protein sources is best for them; healthy pups can handle fat in their diet better than humans can — their bodies use it for energy and then efficiently clean it from the bloodstream.
What are the Caveats
Dogs have different nutrient needs than humans. For example, their proportional body size requires more protein, calcium, and minerals. Calcium is essential. Dr. Katy Sommers, the co-author of The Complete Holistic Dog Book, states that “calcium is perhaps the most important supplement for a successful home-cooked diet.” Even if you feed a variety of foods, you’ll need to provide an additional source of calcium.” (She also points out that if you combine homemade and commercial foods, you don’t need to supplement as much because commercial foods contain adequate, if not excessive, calcium and phosphorus.)
Ingredients to Include in Your Dog’s Diet
In general, homemade recipes should include:
- A high-quality protein source (liver, eggs, fish).
- A fat source (olive, safflower canola, or fish oil such as cod and salmon).
- A carbohydrate with fiber (brown rice, sweet potato, barley, oats).
- A phytochemical source (fruits, vegetables, herbs).
Substitutions are possible; for example, if you know your dog prefers whole-grain pasta, use pasta instead of barley as a carbohydrate source. Some dogs (like some children we know) dislike vegetables but will eat fruit, so use fruit instead.
Yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, and tofu can be used as protein sources occasionally, but bear in mind that not all animals can tolerate dairy products, and beans or soy may turn them into tooting machines or cause other gastrointestinal “issues.” Before serving your dog a full meal, test their tolerance with small amounts.
Things To Be Mindful Of When Making Homemade Dog Food
- Using Dangerous/Unhealthy Ingredients
When preparing meals for your dog, there are many unhealthy and unsafe foods to avoid. Among the potentially toxic ingredients are chocolate, xylitol, avocado, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and macadamia nuts.
The list above is not exhaustive; other potential issues can arise if you are not careful with ingredients. So always be aware of which foods are suitable for dogs.
Furthermore, according to Dr. Bartes, a type of heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy has recently been reported in dogs eating homemade grain-free, legume-based, and high-fiber diets.
- Not Preparing Nutritious Meals
Preparing balanced meals tailored to your pet’s specific needs can be costly. Nutrition deficiency (or excess) can cause diseases such as malnutrition or obesity, which can be fatal.
“Each of the 40 essential nutrients dogs needs serves a specific function in the body.” “When they are provided in insufficient concentrations, the function is not optimal, and suffering may result,” Dr. Larsen explains. “Excess in nutrients could cause illness.” While the effect of an unbalanced diet may be mild, and the owner may not even notice or attribute the problem to the diet, these problems can be severe, and pets do not always survive.”
- Failure to Follow Recipes
“The majority of general recipes give hazy instructions for ingredients or preparation. Dr. Larson warns of the potential difficulty in following dog food recipes. Rather than winging it, it is critical to run any questions by a veterinary nutritionist. You’ll be able to understand the effects of different ingredients on your dog.
Top Tips For Making Homemade Dog Food
According to Dr. Sommers, a healthy adult medium-sized dog (approximately 35 to 40 pounds) who is moderately active requires about 1,800 mg of calcium daily. If your animal is smaller or larger, you can calculate its total calcium needs by multiplying 600 mg by 12.5 pounds. (If your dog is a senior, is still growing, or has health problems, please consult your veterinarian — we can’t stress this enough!)
Allow a batch of food to cool before portioning it into reusable, washable containers and freezing or defrosting as needed if you make more than your dog can eat in a couple of days. You may safely store cooked food in the refrigerator for three days; spoilage is a concern.
The Costs for “How to make homemade dog food”
The cost of feeding homemade food will vary depending on your dog’s size, activity level, and health. Pregnant or lactating dogs, growing puppies, and those who participate in endurance activities require significantly more nutrition (calories, protein, fatty acids) and other special nutritional requirements.
“Cooking for your pet is a time, labor, space, and financial commitment,” Dr. Larsen says.
However, home cooking is not for everyone and does not have to be. Another option for providing whole ingredients to your dog is to purchase carefully prepared, ready-made meals.
“There are commercial foods available that contain whole, pre-cooked ingredients.” “Which is very close to cooking,” Dr. Bartges observes.
So, while you may believe that cooking for your dog is better for their health, purchasing pre-prepared food with the same principles can be just as beneficial. Whatever method you choose, always cater to your dog’s health and nutrition needs.
How to Make Homemade Dog Food
How to make homemade dog food? Only the best for your dog! Many veterinarians believe that, while pet food recalls and poor quality of some pet foods are causes for concern, homemade diets, when fed exclusively, may result in nutritional imbalances and vitamin/mineral deficiencies that could endanger your dog’s health. If you decide on feeding your dog a homemade diet, you must understand and provide what your dog requires to stay healthy; veterinary nutritionists can assist in developing appropriate homemade diets.
While we have made every effort in this article to provide safe recommendations and accurate instructions, it is impossible to accurately predict an individual dog’s reaction to any food or ingredient. When using this information for their dogs’ diets, readers should consult their veterinarians and use their best judgment.