Savvy Pet Tips

Cooking For Your Dog: Do’s & Don’ts of Homemade Dog Food

Dogs that have been in the family for a long time are most often considered to be more than just pets. They add to the family members list. Dogs require a healthy nutritious meal to grow strong and healthy. While it’s not that difficult you need to learn more about healthy dog nutrition to give your dog the right and recommended diet. Each dog breed has foods and nutritional requirements depending on their genetic makeup/breed, size, food allergies your dog might have and personal food preferences.

Dog owners however are sometimes faced with challenges when it comes to choosing dog food, especially when picking homemade dog foods. If you prefer homemade dog food rather than the pre-packed store-bought varieties you need to know the do’s and don’ts to enable your dog to blossom. Homemade dog foods are healthier compared to canned or bagged foods. But, homemade dog food needs to be balanced and healthy. In case you are not sure, try consulting your vet before starting the diet. Here are a few dos and don’ts when considering homemade dog food for your dog.

The Do’s

Feed whole foods

Dogs are carnivorous animals and should be fed whole foods. Incorporate plenty of raw meat, bones, animal fat and cartilage. Homemade dog food aims at preventing the consumption of canned or bagged food containing high amounts of processed ingredients. Your homemade dog food should only contain whole, unprocessed ingredients.

Apart from raw meat, you can also feed your dog chicken or raw red meat. Avoid hotdogs that are highly processed. You can also include fruits and veggies but you need to consult your vet before doing so.

Follow the recipe as written

There are numerous dog food recipes online that offer a wide range of options but not all are healthy. Most general recipes have very little information on the ingredients or preparation. If you are using online recipes as a source, find trustworthy recipes. Also, read the instructions on the label and stick to the ingredients, the specified amounts and the method of preparation.

Do not attempt to alter the nutrient makeup of your dog’s meal by removing or substituting any specified ingredients. Avoid improvising if you don’t understand what is needed and consult a veterinary nutritionist if you have doubts. By consulting your vet in case you need to alter the nutrient balance of the diet, they will explain more on the impact of alternative ingredients.

If you can’t make your homemade dog food, order from a trusted dog food delivery service. There are delivery services that can have fresh dog food delivered straight to your doorstep saving you from serving food with wrong nutritional content.

Get expert advice

As previously stated, always consult your vet before preparing any homemade dog food. Vet-approved homemade dog food is safer than just mixing a bunch of ingredients. Inform your vet about your dog’s new diet if you are just starting to avoid the risk of exposing your pet to an unbalanced, or even dangerous, diet.

The Don’ts

Don’t always believe internet recipes

Avoid recipes sourced from the internet since most lack vital nutrients and some contain ingredients that are not safe for long-term use.

Don’t use unsafe Ingredients

Dogs need plenty of animal protein to stay healthy and less high-fiber or legumes. Don’t come up with a diet that you think might be healthy for your dog. Remember you’re your dog cannot eat anything or everything that you eat. Some foods that are healthy for humans can cause heart disease in a dog. Even with a list of recommended dog foods like chicken and rice, you still need the right amounts. If you’re unsure about an ingredient, do your research or consult your vet. 

Avoid highly processed foods

Highly processed dog foods and dog treats can be harmful to your dog. Most dog treats are filled with harmful chemicals, preservatives and fillers. 

Don’t force a change on your dog’s diet

Don’t introduce any strange diet to your dog. Any custom dog recipe should have been made under the guidance of a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. Most will take into consideration things like your dog’s weight, size, eating history, and overall health. You will then monitor your pet’s health for changes over time.

Cooking a homemade meal for your dog shouldn’t be difficult. Research more on a dog’s diet and the impact of dietary changes to avoid putting your dog in danger. Update your nutritional adviser on how the diet is affecting your dog to determine if you should continue or change it. This will be displayed through your dog’s demeanor, weight, stool, and other medical findings.

One Comment

  • Lauryn R

    It is definitely overwhelming to make your own food for your dog, I am not sure that I would feel comfortable enough doing it. I can definitely see the benefits though. Luckily there are a lot of healthy dog foods out there nowadays that make it a lot easier to feed your dog healthy, unprocessed food.

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