Recently, pet owners received 12.4 million of a 24 million dollar fund set up in response to the national 2007 melamine pet food recall. The recall affected more than 180 nationally recognized brands, causing sickness in thousands of dogs and even death in some cases. Most people took the opportunity to research their dog food and many were horrified to know what their dogs had been eating. Standards have improved but many dog foods still contain by-products and ingredients that can be detrimental to a dog’s health.
Many dog owners have turned to homemade dog food. Though time consuming and more expensive than store-bought dog food, a well-balanced homemade diet is great for a number of reasons. Dog food chefs know every ingredient is fresh, all the ingredients are real and there are no by-products or fillers. The homemade diet can also be modified to fit a specific dog’s needs. The most common reasons for moderation are allergies, chronic medical conditions, activity level, age and/or breed.
When deciding to make your own dog food, the most important thing to do is consult with your veterinarian before starting to cook for your pooch! Below are my tips for whipping up some homemade grub for your furry family members.
Ingredients to Include
Protein- 25%. Up to 50% for puppies and pregnant dogs.
Chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, pork loin, salmon, etc.
Brown rice, potatoes, pasta, etc.
Carrots, cabbage, zucchini, celery (finely chopped or pureed), spinach, etc.
Essential Fatty Acids- every pet is different; ask your vet!
Omega 3’s and omega 6’s
Ingredients to Avoid
Garlic, onions, chocolate (duh), raisins, grapes, corn, avocados, macadamia nuts, raw meat, seeds/pits. Consult with your vet for complete list of foods to avoid.
Check with your veterinarian first! It is very important to make sure the diet is well-balanced and will not cause malnutrition
Ask a vet what supplements are needed. Homemade diets can cause deficiencies, especially calcium deficiency.
Only use raw meat if it’s organic and fresh. Other meat should be boiled or steamed.
What are your thoughts on homemade dog food?
Dee Ray, best mom/dog knowledge source ever!