If you are trying to decide if switching you dog to a homemade dog food diet, rather than a store bought commercial brand there are a few basic questions you should ask yourself.
1. Can any dog eat a homemade dog food diet?
Most dogs tend to adjust very well to homemade dog food. This is just another form of the same food that you have been feeding your dog, but much healthier and better for your pet. If your pet is sick, or needs a very specific diet due to disease or illness, I would make sure to talk to your vet before trying this method of diet.
2. My grandparents used to just give the family pets whatever leftovers there were after dinner every day. Is this okay?
No. Leftovers of our food will not be healthy for your dog. There will be unnecessary extras in the food that is not good for your pet such as butter or salt and spices. Also a homemade dog food diet consists of specific amounts of meat, vegetables and fruit, and also carbohydrates. A recipe for this must be followed.
3. Do I need to give my dog extra supplements when he is on a homemade dog food diet?
Yes. Certain necessary supplements are needed such as extra calcium, which can be given in the form of bone meal. This replaces the bones from a raw food diet that our dog’s ancestors would get when hunting for food in the wild.
Also a multi vitamin made specifically for your dog’s weight can be given every day. By following a prescribed homemade dog food recipe from your vet, or from a book written by an authority on dog nutrition, your dog should get the proper nutrition mostly from the home cooked food. Just don’t overdo the supplements.
4. What is a carbohydrate that is considered acceptable for my dog?
Carbohydrates are an important ingredient in a dog’s daily diet and you can use cooked pasta, rice, oatmeal, barley, or potatoes. The less refined the carbohydrate, the better, such as brown rice rather than 5 minute quick cooking white rice.
5. Isn’t meat the only thing a dog really needs?
No. To balance out a dog’s daily diet the meat portion is the largest, but carbohydrates and veggies and fruit must be added. These are also required and important ingredients.
6. Fruit? I’ve never heard of feeding a dog fruit. What’s that all about?
Fruits contain large amounts of vitamins, minerals and vital energy, the same as vegetables. This adds extra variety and of course some sweetness to your dogs meal. Dried fruits such as apricots or dates can be used as special treats between meals in small portions also.
7. How do I know how much to make and feed my dog every day?
Just like a recipe book we use has ingredients and amounts listed for different meals, so do dog food recipes. Your dog is fed according to weight. There are many excellent dog food cook books available through the internet, at your library, or at your local bookstore that are written by specialists such as pet nutritionists or veterinarians.
8. Isn’t it a lot of extra work? Some days I don’t have enough time to cook for myself.
Yes, at first, until you get a set routine it may take a little extra time out of your regular time. Once you get going though, you can make the food in batches and freeze portions ready to thaw and serve. I usually spend an hour on the weekend making one week of meals, and this fits my schedule. If you really want to feed your dog homemade food, you won’t mind the extra time, and you will be satisfied knowing your dog is getting the best nutrition and a healthier life.
9. Is it expensive?
No more than if you buy your dog a premium brand or organic dog food. In the long run, with reduced vet visits due to increased health, you will ultimately save money.
10. So I can feed all the same fruits, vegetables meats and starches to my dog that I eat.
Almost all with a few important exceptions. Grapes and raisins, along with onions and garlic can be toxic to dogs and should never be fed to them. There is also a list of other foods that should never be given to your dog such as chocolate or coffee, but they are not on the list of nutritious foods anyway. Just be aware of which foods are dangerous so you don’t have an emergency run to the vet.
Source by janed54