Home Made Dog Food
Home Cooked Dog Food Needs to Include
If you are considering a home made dog food diet for your canine, it's important that you research the ingredients you need for a healthy dog diet and discuss it with your veterinarian.
Many times a special diet plan needs to be laid out to ensure that your dog is receiving the proper amounts of nutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
There are several considerations for a home made diet. You need the time each day to prepare these meals. You need to make sure that you have the right ingredients on hand and the right supplements so that your dog will receive a well-balanced meal.
Some dog owners find this takes more time than they have available - and that's okay. Then you need to make sure that you find the best available commercial natural dog food available (even better is if it's natural (which means chemical-free, additive-free, preservatives-free) and organic).
If you decide to take control of your dog's diet by making the food yourself, make sure that you discuss the best ingredients for your dog's breed with your veterinarian first.
It's important that the foods are safe foods to eat and that the diet contains all the right nutrients to maintain a healthy immune system. Different dog breeds will need different nutrients so make sure you understand what is best for your dog.
You can also enlist the help of a certified veterinary nutritionist. You can locate one that is willing to help by visiting: acnv.org or PetDiets.com. These two sites are not affiliated with any commercial dog food company and will give online consultations.
One thing you need to be aware of when making your dog's food is that your dog will become accustomed to the home made food diet. If you ever have to switch back to the commercial diet you may find that your dog may not like it and may not want to eat it. It's important that you think ahead on this, particularly if you have to board your dog or leave them with a friend or family.
Make sure that you either have prepared enough food (and frozen it) for the time you are away, or that the person who is taking care of your dog knows ahead of time how to properly fix your pet's meals, and is willing to do so.
It is recommended that if you put your dog on home made dog food that you bring them to the veterinarian two or three times a year for a health assessment to make sure that your dog is receiving the proper nutrients.
The health assessment will check for nutrient deficiencies or excesses. The visits to the vet are not cheap and some visits may require blood tests, which will cost more. Keep this in mind when determining whether or not to go the home made dog food route.
If you put your pet on a raw dog diet you are putting your dog at potential risk. We say potential, because it depends on where you get your foods and how you handle them. Some harmful bacteria that live in raw meats are:
These bacteria are harmful to both pets and to people living with pets. There are documented cases of bacterial infections from dogs eating raw meats. Some of the problems a dog can have from this may not show up until years later. This is why it's imperative to have your dog assessed by a vet several times a year while they are on a diet other than commercial dog food and especially if they are eating raw meats.
There are many people who believe strongly that the best food for dogs is a raw food diet because dogs in nature have always eaten raw food. And, yes, a dog's digestive system is 'designed' to process raw food. But in today's environment the raw food is often coming from meat processing plants that might be passing on bacteria through their processes to your dog.
If your dog is underweight or overweight, listless, has digestive problems, diarrhea, or other illness symptoms make sure that you take him or her to your vet for a diagnosis.
Some dogs become picky eaters, develop food allergies (even to 'good' foods), and/or develop other digestive issues (and some dog breeds are more sensitive to foods than others). You need to make sure that you manage your pet's diet carefully. When adding new foods to your dog's diet, start with small quantities and don't mix the new food with other new foods. Keep the new food isolated, and watch carefully for at least a couple of weeks to see if there is any negative reaction to the food.
We also recommend providing your dog with a herbal supplement that will help balance stomach or digestion issues: PetAlive Digestive Support, which is a herbal remedy developed to treat digestive system problems in pets and is FDA approved.
This site is for informational purposes only. If you have an issue with your dog's health, please see your vet.
Return to top