Do you have a picky dog? You’re not alone.
Dog owners who suddenly find their canine companion refusing food typically go into panic mode. After all – the only time a dog would refuse food is if it’s feeling sick, right?
Well, not really. After making sure with the vet that you have a healthy dog – the next step is to try and figure out what food your pet will actually eat. This often includes experimentation of various commercial dog food in the market. You might offer him one type of store bought dog food after another to figure out which one will keep him happy.
However, there is one way of skipping all the shopping fiasco while still giving your dog the healthy meals he deserves and that’s through home cooked food.
Pros and Cons of Homemade Dog Food Recipe
Meeting your dog’s unique nutritional needs is perhaps the primary reason why many pet parents decide to either make their own dog food or search for the best fresh dog food brands. This helps you better control what ingredients go in the basic recipe and what items can be left out. Dogs with food allergies can also benefit from a customized recipe that contains only the vitamins he actually needs.
Beyond food allergies, however, home cooked servings can be easily adjusted to meet the dog’s specific nutritional requirement based on his age, health status, breed, daily activities, and so on. Compared to canned food, you’ll find that fresh food at home offers a more rounded and nutrient-dense serving per 1 cup.
Obviously, it’s not all positive with going homemade. A common drawback would be the difficulty of finding the perfect combination of ingredients to create a balanced meal. If your dog has pre-existing health problems, it’s best to first consult with a veterinary nutritionist adding ingredients into the mix. Another great option is to subscribe to the best dog food delivery service platforms that offer customized meals.
The cooking process of homemade meals can also be challenging – especially if you’re cooking for your dog with specific health issues like arthritis, allergies, dog’s weight, or itchy skin. With a food processor and an excellent recipe, however – you can quickly get used to preparing dog foods. Also, note that soft food can be bad for the dog’s teeth over time. Slipping in some dry dog food can help get rid of the dirt in between your dog’s teeth. Of course, this is something you can also solve through regular brushing.
Ingredients of the Perfect Homemade Dog Food Recipes
A balanced dog meal should contain protein and mixed vegetables . However, throwing ground beef, sweet potato, and green beans in a bowl to feed your dog isn’t enough. According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition or ACVN, your dog’s diet should contain specific amino acids and minerals that are absolutely essential to your dog.
Specifically, your dog’s food should contain protein, fats, and fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, iodine, copper, selenium, and zinc.
Protein and Fatty Acids
Protein is perhaps the easiest. Perfect protein sources can include organ meat, ground turkey, ground chicken, pork, and so on. The meat can also be a source of fatty acids but feel free to include fat from other sources. COD liver oil and coconut oil are excellent add-ons to your home cooking.
Carbohydrates and Fiber
Pet owners add these in the form of leafy greens, flaxseed, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, carrots, and pumpkin pie filling. They’re added to meet your dog’s energy needs while making sure that they maintain excellent gastrointestinal health. Fiber also fills a dog and prevents them from overeating and becoming overweight.
Vitamins and Minerals
For vitamins and minerals, you can include a host of food products like tofu, fish, seafood, eggs, fish, brown rice dairy, organ meats, frozen peas, kidney beans, kelp, and various other items. You might need to mix and match as you find the perfect combination to match your dog’s health requirements.
How to Make a Basic Homemade Recipe
If you go online, you will find literally dozens of homemade dog fare recipes. Some are fairly complicated while others have a simple combination that allows you to just add in components as needed.
Here’s a typical recipe for making homemade dog food:
- brown rice
- ground turkey
- olive oil
- chopped baby spinach
Start by cooking around 2 cups of the rice and setting it aside. Grab a pot and cook the turkey and chicken in olive oil. Once it’s beautifully brown, stir in the vegetables until they’re completely cooked. Mix in the rice and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is homemade food better for dogs?
Yes – they’re definitely better and may be customized to the specific needs of your pet. If you’re following a DIY dog food recipe, however, it’s best to first ask your veterinarian for accurate feedback.
How do you make homemade dog food?
There are tons of recipes online that can guide you through the process. Most of these recipes require you to cook the ingredients, but there are also raw food recipes you can try out. There is no strict rule on what type of food guarantees a healthy diet so variety is still strongly encouraged.
Is it cheaper to make your own dog’s food?
Oddly enough – buying pet food is more expensive than making them yourself. Homemade is cheaper if you factor in the possibility of swapping ingredients, buying items in bulk, and maintaining a specific serving size for healthy dogs.
What nutrients do dogs need in homemade dog food?
As mentioned, your dog will need a healthy dosage of calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, iodine, copper, selenium, and zinc. While it’s perfectly possible to include these naturally in your dog’s diet, some may be added in through supplements.
What about homemade dog biscuits?
Yes, it’s definitely possible to make dog treats at home too! You can combine peanut butter with other ingredients and create nutritious food when taken in small quantities.
Creating a balance between what your dogs love and what’s good for them is the key to a healthy pet. Remember – nutritional value should be your primary guide when plotting out your furry friend’s meals! You’ll find that a well-loved dog with healthy servings can quickly turn into a happy, nimble, smart, and gorgeous pooch in a matter of days!