Homemade dog food is becoming increasingly popular among pet owners. Many veterinarians advocate this method as it allows dog owners to be aware of every single ingredient being consumed by their dogs, keeping them safe and allowing for easier diet monitoring.
Aside from the recent worrying dog food recalls due to hazardous ingredients infiltrating supposedly safe and harmless foods, it’s not surprising that many pet owners are feeling the need to turn to home cooking to ensure the safety of their dogs. Here’s why many vets recommend cooking homemade dog food, and how to do it right. If you’re here to find recipes, you’ll find homemade dog recipes here.
Why homemade food is good for dogs
Knowing exactly what goes into your dog’s food bowl is incredibly important to many pet owners. It gives them a sense of peace of mind and is particularly helpful for those who require special diets or have very specific dietary requirements that may fall outside of normal canine nutritional needs.
By preparing all of your dog’s food from scratch, you’ll know every last detail of what’s going into their mouth and digestive system, allowing you to better monitor their overall health and respond appropriately to any adverse reactions to the food. You can choose the right foods for them, provide the exact amounts of certain nutrients, and be sure there are no suspicious additives – which brings us to the next point.
2. Shady commercial dog food
Many dog food products contain unspecified meat and meat by-products, and by definition, manufacturers are not required to state exactly what type of meat they use. If a package of dog food vaguely states the meat content of its food, chances are the company doesn’t really want you to know what’s in it.
Many dog foods use unspecified meat in their manufacture, meaning they are legally allowed to contain so-called 4D meat — or meat from sick, disabled, dying, or dead animals. These types of meat can include offal, expired grocery store meat, rancid oil or fat, and in extreme cases, euthanized animals or even street carcasses.
Not only do these meats have a higher risk of transmitting diseases that could harm your pet, but they also are generally not very palatable, and this is a very good reason to avoid commercial pet foods.
When something has a lot of bad meat, it needs preservatives to have a long shelf life so you can feed it to your pet months after you bought it. But there’s a problem with that. Many preservatives have been linked to potential illnesses and when they are in dog food, essentially harmful substances are ingested by a puppy.
Some of these are BHA, which can impair brain function and cause cell abnormalities and cancer, BHT, which is also carcinogenic and can damage the nervous and respiratory systems, and ethoxyquin, which is literally labeled as a toxic substance.
To ensure your dog gets the best care, you’ll likely be willing to pull out all the stops to provide him with the necessary food and products, even if it’s expensive. But deciding to cook your pup’s meals at home could cut food prices in half!
The average cost of feeding a medium-sized dog two healthy meals a day of commercial pet food is probably around $5. This assumes you mix one can of wet food with one cup of dry food at each meal.
On the other hand, using a similar amount of homemade food with the same quality as commercial food will probably only cost you about $2.25 a day. This even increases the potential cost of supplements like vitamins, minerals, and calcium supplements. This means that cooking food for your dog at home is a lot cheaper than buying it!
What should be included in a homemade diet
It’s incredibly important that if you decide to feed your dog a home-cooked diet, you make sure he’s getting all of the necessary nutrients and components he needs to live a healthy life with a strong body.
It can be a bit tricky to ensure this when cooking dog food at home. Most commercial dog foods are designed to already contain most of the nutrients a puppy needs, meaning pet owners who use store-bought food never really have to worry about their puppies not getting enough.
If you are not educated on the correct proportions of food for your dog when preparing his food at home, you can end up doing drastically negative things to your dog’s overall health. This is why it is so important to educate yourself before embarking on the homemade pet food journey. Here is a list of the nutritional components necessary for a dog’s diet.”
All body tissues are made from proteins, but a pup’s body naturally makes only 13 of the 23 amino acids needed to build those proteins. Therefore, the remaining 10 must come from a high-protein diet.
Healthy fats provide a dog with energy and promote healthy skin and coat. Be especially careful to include fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 in your dog’s diet.
Carbs provide a dog with energy and the amount you give will largely depend on how active your pup is. High-quality carbohydrate sources also provide moderately fermentable fiber, which promotes healthy gut and digestive system function.
vitamins and minerals
This helps regulate the chemical reactions that need to take place in a dog’s body, such as: B. the strengthening of the bones and other necessary building processes. While dogs naturally produce vitamin C, they need vitamins A, B, D, E, and K, as well as a good amount of phosphorus and calcium.
Note that many homemade dog foods run the risk of neglecting certain nutritional groups, leaving a puppy deficient in key nutrients. This may result in the need for supplements or more varied diet plans. It is recommended that you speak to your veterinarian about the exact percentages to include in each food group as all dogs have different needs. Note that you should always discuss your options with a vet before starting your dog on any new diet or supplement.