Making Your Own Dog Food

Nutrition is important for your dogs, so how should you make your own dog food?

by Guest Blogger, John Myers

It can be a chore to keep your dog from eating everything he sees. Unlike cats, who can shun the most expensive and luxurious offerings, dogs often have garbage in their mouths before we even see it happen.

Their nutrition is important. The amount they eat and the amount will depend on the dog. Age, size and even breed play a big part. Active dogs need a lot of nutrition, where older dogs need softer and lighter foods that are easier to digest.

Making your own dog food is easy, far better for your dog and healthier. This way, you know exactly what is in their food when it comes to additives like seasonings, vitamins and other fillers some brands use.

Ingredients

You know your dog better than anyone, so you can pick and choose what ingredients you want to use. As dogs don’t tend to be fussy, you should be okay.

Proteins should make up half of the percentage of nutrients, with 25% vegetables and 25% grains. You can adjust these figures to accommodate your dog.

Proteins:

Meats like chicken, turkey, pork, beef and even seafood will work fine. With pork or beef, aim for lower fat content unless your dog is bigger and very active. If your dog is not active, remove the skin from the chicken.

Eggs are always a good option, as they are high in protein and when added to the mixture, help give it substance and hold it together.

Fats:

Fats, from meat, oil or dairy. Dairy foods help with adding calcium, as well.

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates can come from rice, oatmeal or other grains like lentils and potatoes and even pasta.

Other nutrients:

Vegetables not only add moisture, but they are also healthy and add nutrients, proteins and vitamins.

  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

These foods should be cooked, not given raw. Here is a list of foods to avoid, just to be safe.

Preparation:

If you are starting from scratch, cook your proteins first. If you are adding rice or lentils, cook them separately at the same time. Chop the vegetables up in small pieces. If you have a food processor, take them down to a shredded texture. Smaller vegetables, like frozen peas, can be added in as is.

You do want to be careful with seasoning. You can cook in some onion, garlic and even add some salt, pepper and other spices, but don’t put too much until you know your dog will actually eat it.

Mix all the cooked ingredients together and blend. It’s that easy. If you make a big batch, you can portion them up and freeze them for later use. Perhaps make a few different kinds. Label and date them freezer.

 Tips:

  • Save your leftovers for mixing up in your dog food recipes. If there is seasoning or sauces, you can rinse them off or just use as is for more flavour.
  • Don’t make a large batch until you know your dog will eat it or doesn’t have a reaction to something in it.
  • Buy the ingredients in bulk. Find vegetables from the farmer’s market.

Your dogs will love their homemade food. They always want what you’re eating, so cooking for them will let them know they are special.

About the author

John Myers, founder of Puppy Pointers also talks about various dog food guides. Check out their website for more great tips.

For a collection of recipes to create your own home-prepared dog diet, visit this website by Dr. Strombeck.

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