It’s pretty much common knowledge that most standard, commercial dog foods do not provide optimal nutrition for your dog. For starters, they’re grain-based, mostly filler, with high levels of fats, sodium, and empty carbs.If you’re currently feeding your dog one of these you may want to consider switching to a premium, or super-premium brand. Another option is making your own dog food.
Now, I know that this seems overwhelming. But when you consider that dogs are omnivores, like us, it’s no more difficult than cooking for a family member who has special dietary needs.Here are a few tips on making healthy homemade dog food for your dog.
Canine Dietary Needs
If you thought of dogs as pure carnivores, think again. In the wild, dogs are adapted to eat just about anything, including roots, berries, grasses, and insects to supplement their diet. It’s a key reason behind their success as a species.
Unfortunately, this diverse diet is not catered to in commercial dog foods. Mostly, they consist of filler – corn, wheat, soy, and meat generally not suitable for human consumption.
Ask yourself if this is what you want your dog to be eating, rather than the fresh, lean meats, vegetables and starches he needs.
Making Your Own Homemade Dog Food
There’s no great secret to making food for your dog. Just include a good balance of protein, starch, and carbohydrates, in the right quantities and you’re good to go.
Don’t worry too much about flavorings. Dogs have a poorly developed sense of taste, so cordon bleu cooking is not required. In fact, human flavorings like garlic and onions are not at all good for dogs and should be avoided.
Here are some ideas on what to include in your homemade dog food;
- Balance – A balanced canine diet consists of
40% meat, 30% vegetables and 30% starches. Most commercial dog foods
have too many empty carbs and too much meat. Your goal is to achieve balance.
- Good Quality Meat – Most dry and wet dog foods contain meat that is low quality, fatty and generally what can not be sold for human consumption. You want to buy good quality, lean meats for your dog.
- Other Ingredients – Other than meats, you’ll want to include vegetables and carbs for bulk. Rice is always a good base as it is easy for a dog to digest. For vegetables, carrots have a good chewy texture, but avoid veggies like broccoli or celery.
Other foods to include in your homemade dog food are ground beef, turkey, pasta, and any non-gassy vegetables.
If you want a quick and easy way to work out what to cook for your dog buy a few of the freshly made dog foods sold at an organic pet store. You can then copy the ingredients into your own recipes.
You should also speak to your vet before switching your dog to homemade dog food.