Advice on cooking for your dog, and what to include in a balanced home-cooked diet.
You’ve decided on cooking for your dog, and I applaud you for that. However, before you put your apron on, there are some things you should know about your dog’s diet. Dogs have developed over the centuries to be the ultimate survivors. Wolves in the wild have learned to eat just about anything they encounter including live prey, carrion, insects, fruits and vegetables, even grasses!
As a result, dogs have evolved to become omnivores. Like, humans, they require a diet that includes both protein, and carbohydrates as well as fat, minerals, and vitamins. They cannot live on meat alone. Bear this in mind as you prepare meals for your dog because it is important that you include all the nutritional requirements for a healthy body. If in doubt, buy a book on canine nutrition, or consult a vet or canine nutritionist.
Cooking for Your Dog: Elements of a Healthy Diet
The list below provides a general guide to what should be included on your canine menu. This gives you plenty of options to prepare meals that your dog will love.
- Red meat: Beef, pork, mutton or lamb. Beef is lowest in calories, lamb highest.
- Chicken or turkey: Easier to digest and lower in calories than red meat.
- Fish: Canned or fresh. Be careful to remove all bones.
- Organ meats: Liver, kidneys or heart (in moderation because of the very high-calorie count).
- Vegetables & fruit: Cooked or raw. Avoid broccoli, onions, garlic, potato peels, and grapes and raisins – all of which are toxic to dogs.
- Pasta & Rice: A good source of carbohydrates, and a good way to provide bulk to the meal.
- Eggs: Scrambled eggs are easy to digest and are a great source of nutrition for puppies and dogs recovering from illness.
- Breakfast cereal with milk: A tasty treat which is high in vitamins. Avoid the sugared and chocolate varieties.
- Vegetarian Foods: Dogs can survive on a purely vegetarian diet, and if you’re a vegetarian yourself you may want to consider this. However, you should speak to your vet before taking this step as it is difficult to meet all of the nutritional requirements.
Cooking for your dog is fun and your dog will certainly appreciate it, but be certain that you are meeting his nutritional needs by following the recommendations above.
See Also: best dry dog foods.