As a pet parent, may have wondered what the fuss over homemade dog food is all about.
You may be right in thinking "Why make dog food at home when you can just buy it at the store?"
The answer is quite simple “Control”. With homemade dog food recipes, you know what you are putting into their food. You have full quality control over each and every ingredient.
Especially considering the amount of allergies, sensitivities and gastric issues that our canine friends suffer from, it is certainly worth exploring if you have the time and inclination.
Secondly, you can save considerable amount of $ with homemade dog food. In fact, you can use a combination of all the top ingredients used by the best brands and still save remarkably well.
All you need is a willingness to learn how to make balanced and healthy meals for your pets. To start with, let’s analyse some of the most common ingredients in homemade dog food.
Most common ingredients in homemade dog food recipes
First, it is important to know that what’s good for human diet is not necessarily good for your pet. Make a list of ingredients that are safe, healthful and recommended for dogs. As always, there is no better advice than one that comes from your vet. A dog’s diet must ideally include proteins, fats, carbs, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Yet, some human foods are toxic for dogs, so the first thing is to find out what foods to avoid. As a rule, the following are some commonly listed foods that are bad for your dog:
- Salty food
- Fatty meat
- Garlic and onions
- Milk, cheese, ice cream and dairy
- Candy, gum, baked goods
- Grapes and raisins
- Coffee, tea and other caffeinated products
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw meat and fish
You can add to this list based on your knowledge of your dog’s specific allergies.
.Protein is of course a very important factor in dog food. Dogs require 22 amino acids to make the necessary proteins. While a dog’s body is able to make about half of these, you need to supply the rest via food. If you are making food from scratch, you need to be aware of common sources of protein in homemade dog foods.
Some good sources are:
- Whole boneless meat: chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, duck or other fowl/poultry
- Poultry organ meat such as chicken livers and giblets
- Chicken skin and soft cartilage
- Deboned fish like salmon
- Eggs including the shell. Including egg shells in your dog’s diet helps promote calcium intake.
- Bones are not typically not considered safe for your dog and you should avoid them.
Carbohydrates are equally important for your canine. The most important role that carbs play in the dog’s diet is to provide adequate energy. It provides the necessary glucose for ready energy and for the optimal function of the brain and nervous system.
Also Read: Dog Care and the Happy Healthy Dog
Common sources of carbs in homemade dog food
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Brown and regular rice
- Wheat germ
- Wheat germ
Balancing fats for a healthier dog
Adding fats to your dog’s diet is also necessary. For instance, Omega-3 oils help in minimizing inflammation and provide protection against joint diseases, heart diseases or even cancer.
Coconut oil is now officially super food for your dog. It not only has anti-inflammatory properties but also helps against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
However, balancing the fats is very important. You need to understand what is the right kind of fat for each meat type to avoid an imbalance.
The importance of homemade dog food supplement
In addition, you need to add supplements to your dog food. You need to ensure the food you serve includes calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, sodium etc. These vitamins and minerals are important for a range of functions from fighting infections and inflammation to keeping the nervous system in order.
It is not always possible to get the right amount of these essential vitamins and minerals naturally and so you must add a suitable homemade dog food supplement to your recipes.
For instance, AZestfor has created a special formulation of supplements that you can add to homemade dog food. This includes calcium supplements for your homemade dog food recipes and helps you provide the most complete and balanced foods that meets AAFCO standards.
If you are still wondering whether making your own dog food is worth the trouble, remember there were healthy pets long before pet food was commercially available and they probably had fewer allergies and diseases too. We’d say, go for it but remember to provide a healthful, balanced diet.