Making homemade dog food
Whether you want to switch your pup to a more natural diet or save some money, mixing up their meals is the way to go.
The great thing about cooking for your dog is knowing exactly what they’re eating. You control the quality and quantity of the ingredients, which is important for maintaining your dog’s health. When it comes to what goes into homemade dog food, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.
First, you’ll need to decide on the protein source. This could be anything from chicken or beef to fish or tofu. Once you’ve selected the main ingredient, you’ll need to add some carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, potatoes, or oats.
Mix in some vegetables like carrots, green beans, or peas for added vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget to add fruit to the mix for a healthy treat. Just avoid any fruits or vegetables that potentially can harm your pup, i.e., grapes, raisins, and avocados.
Now that you have all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking!
1 – Cook the protein and carbohydrates separately. If you’re using chicken, beef, or tofu, cook it until it’s fully cooked through. For fish, cook it until it flakes easily. Remember that you’ll need to chop the meat into small pieces before starting.
Tip: If you’re short on time, you can cook the protein in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it.
2 – Once the protein and carbs are cooked, mix them in a large bowl. Be sure there are no hard pieces of meat or vegetables that could choke your dog. Even a large breed may have trouble with big pieces of food.
3 – Add the vegetables and fruit to the mixture and stir everything together. Some people don’t see the need to add fruits, but most pups love the sweetness. Not only that, but their bodies also need fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.
Note: If you read the label of most dog foods, you’ll see that they contain some form of fruits and vegetables. So, it makes sense to add them to your pup’s homemade meals, too.
4 – Now it’s time to portion out the food. You can either do this by weight or by using storage containers. That’ll depend on the size of your dog and how active they are. A good rule of thumb is to feed them one cup of food per day for every 20 pounds they weigh.
5 – Once you’ve portioned out the food, you can feed it to your dog immediately or store it in the fridge or freezer. If you’re storing it, label it with the date and contents.
Homemade dog food will last in the fridge for three to five days or in the freezer for two months.
Why is Homemade Dog Food Better?
Now that you know how to make homemade dog food, you might be wondering why you would go through all the trouble. After all, there are plenty of commercially prepared foods on the market perfectly safe for dogs to eat.
The answer lies in the quality of the ingredients. When you make your food, you know what goes into the recipe. This means you avoid fillers, artificial flavours, and unhealthy preservatives.
You’ll also know exactly where the ingredients came from. For example, if you use organic chicken in your recipe, you’ll know that it was raised without hormones or antibiotics. The same goes for fruits and vegetables. When they’re organic, you’ll know they were grown without harmful pesticides.
Of course, using all-natural ingredients will cost more than using the cheaper filler ingredients found in most commercial foods. But, when it comes to your dog’s health, isn’t that worth it?
If you’re still on the fence about whether to make homemade dog food, talk to your veterinarian. They’ll help you weigh the pros and cons and decide if it’s the right decision for your pup.
Keep Track of Allergies
Making homemade dog food makes it easier to keep track of allergies. If your dog is allergic to something in their food, it’ll cause all sorts of problems. Itchy skin, hot spots, hair loss, and digestive issues are the most common symptoms. In severe cases, an allergic reaction could even be life-threatening.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to figure out what’s causing the allergy. That’s because most commercial dog foods contain a long list of ingredients, many unfamiliar. However, when you cook your pup’s meals, you’re confident of what you’re giving them. This makes it much easier to narrow down the list of potential allergens.
If you think your dog might be allergic to something in their food, talk to your veterinarian. They’ll help you figure out the best way to proceed. Once you’ve determined what’s causing the allergy, you then avoid that ingredient in the future and find a suitable replacement. For example, if your dog is allergic to chicken, you might use turkey instead.
Making homemade dog food is a bit of a commitment. But, if you have a dog with allergies, it’s often the best option.
The Bottom Line
Making homemade dog food isn’t as daunting as it may seem. And, when you know how to do it properly, it’s quite easy. Plus, plenty of benefits come with feeding your pup a homemade diet.