Healthy Homemade Dog Food 101

Choosing the right kind of dog food you provide is probably the most critical decision you’ll ever make for your dog- puppy or senior. Dog food nutrition without delay impacts every facet of your dog’s life. Aspects such as how pups grow, their behavior practices, health, overall well-being and physical appearance are all tightly linked to the nutrition dog owners provide. Needless to say, this is an enormous responsibility.

Considering the latest news concerning the dog food recall and associated issues with commercial dog foods, the homemade dog food alternative has really come to the forefront.

Planning and preparing your dog’s meals from scratch has numerous benefits, which includes the full control of all meals served. You know precisely what goes into every meal and where the produce and ingredients were sourced. In addition to knowing that it has been prepared in clean surroundings.

It does require an organized person to put together a homemade feeding plan and then make all of the everyday dog meals. Common homemade dog meals include big meaty stews, healthy soups, veggies and perhaps some raw bones from time to time. The homemade dog food alternative also has the added responsibility of making nutritionally balanced meals, and achieving the calorie demands for your dog. If you arm yourself with the right dog food recipes, vet’s approval and get into a program, this practice isn’t all that hard to keep.

Feeding Your Dog

To sustain your dog’s good health condition, it’s vital to feed him a well-balanced diet and the correct amount of it every day. There is a wide variety of canine foods available, so it can be hard deciding which selection or make is the most beneficial choice for your pet. There are, however, particular dietary nutrients that a dog can’t do without – protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water – , in addition to age, health and lifestyle factors to consider, and this helps to make the task of picking out the most suitable diet less difficult.

Diet Plan

Dogs are omnivorous in the feeding habits and can be kept satisfactory on specially designed vegetarian diet programs, although they do prefer meat-based meals. In a wild state the dog hunts, kills, feeds, then rests. He may stuff himself on a whole animal one day, and then go without food for the following two or three; this is why a lot of dogs are keen to eat until they’re fit to burst – intuition tells them they may have to hold out some time before their next mealtime.

Adult domestic dogs are often fed once a day, but dividing that feed into two meals adds relationship and interest. It’s also preferable to feed certain deep-chested breeds, like Weimaraners, German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Setters, several small meals as opposed to one big one, to avoid potentially terminal digestive conditions such as bloat.

You will find retail produced clinical diets available, typically only obtainable from veterinarians, that can assist dogs struggling with a wide range of disease, like kidney stones, signs of senility, obesity, digestive disturbances, diabetes, mellitus (commonly known as diabetes) and tooth and gum problems. There are even food items engineered for long-coated breeds, in addition to life-stage formulas. You may also choose from holistic diets that incorporate no synthetic additives and diets designed for allergy sufferers.

Required Nutrients

Usually, dogs aren’t difficult to feed, and they thrive on a diet not really different to humans, albeit with a little more protein. The majority of foods of animal origin, cereal products, root vegetables and fats are easy for them to break down. The trick of correct feeding is to give a balanced diet that provides all essential goodness in the appropriate proportions to one another with the objective intended – work, breeding, growth or health adulthood. These types of nutrients are listed below:


Carbohydrates, by means of cooked cereal starch or sugar, provides up to 70% by weight of the dog’s food (after taking away any water present) or about two-thirds of the calories. Dog biscuits, pasta and rice are three useful energy foods for dogs, and rice is a useful food item for canines allergic to wheat.


Proteins within meat and plants (although the latter is substandard to the former) improve body tissue, carry out “repairs” and produce hormones. The dry matter of dog food ought to contain at least 15% protein, of which the majority should come from animal foods (meat and dairy products), or high-quality vegetable protein like soya.


Minerals are occasionally referred to as “ash” on dog-food labels. The essential ones are calcium, phosphorus and sodium chloride (common salt) in a well balanced combination. Calcium and phosphorus constitute most of the mineral matter of bone and must be utilized at the rate of about 3% calcium/phosphorus in the diet; an excessive amount of calcium in the diet, particularly in large-breed puppies, can result in skeletal irregularities, while an excessive amount of phosphorus (found in high meat and offal diets) could potentially cause eclampsia in lactating female dogs.

Additional essential minerals for good health, like zinc and copper, occur naturally in meat, cereals as well as other components of a balanced diet.


Vitamin A (also called retinol) is important for growth and eyesight, while vitamins of the B group are crucial for the upkeep, in particular, of the nervous system. Vitamin D assists the body create calcium, required for healthy bones and teeth, as is phosphorus. Vitamin E (tocopherol) is important for the leveling of cell membranes. Since canines can create their own vitamin C (ascorbic acid, essential for maintaining healthy connective tissue and skin), this doesn’t necessarily have to be part of the diet.


Fat contributes to food palatability, but is in fact only essential as a source of the essential fatty acids (EFAs, also known as polyunsaturates) which are vital to maintain body health. They work mainly by handling water loss through the skin. A deficiency in EFAs can lead to reproductive, skin, coat and wound therapeutic problems.


An absence of fiber in the diet may result – particularly in elderly, inactive dogs – in bowel problems and other digestive problems cause by sluggish bowels. Fiber is provided through the indigestible plant matter in foods like cooked and raw veggies as well as cereals.

Balancing Act

It’s critical that the balance of nutrients provided to a dog is correct, since excesses could cause as many health issues as inadequacies. If your dog gets more calories each day than his body requires, he will get fat. Just as in humans, obesity accounts for many canine illnesses, like heart problems, joint ailments and decline in lung function.

Just How Much Must I Feed to My Dog?

This relies on your pet’s size, activity level, age, personality and temperature of surroundings.

Young puppies and those being worked, or which are really active every day, may require more food (calories) per day than the average pooch, while an old, inactive dog will need less.

Keeping Track of the Calories

Energy is calculated in units of heat called calories. In a healthy dog, the amount of calories he requires levels out the number of calories that his body uses daily. If this balance is well kept, the dog stays healthy and fit and his weight remains regular. An underfed dog steadily loses weight and condition as his body pulls on the reserves of fat and protein to make up the insufficiencies his diet.

The amount of calories a dog needs daily is dependent on his size, life stage, activity level and individuality. As an example, a little healthy adult dog with two hours of regular activity a day demands anything between 125 and 700 calories daily depending on his size; a big dog will need from 1,400 per day, depending on size.

Puppies require more calories with regards to their body weight since they’re growing swiftly, tend to be more susceptible to heat loss because of their small size, and their energy requirements are greater. Lactating female dogs require some 50 to 60% more calories than usual, and highly active (working) dogs require at least 40% more calories than normal moderately energetic requirements.

When Should I Feed My Dog?

Most owners feed either in the morning or the evening, and quite often both, determined by their dog’s age needs or individual preferences. Some canines fare better with their daily ration broken into two or even three meals, while some are pleased to eat their daily allowance in just a single helping, providing it’s safe for them to do so.

It’s best to not feed adult dogs at the same periods each day, since counting on a rigid routine can upset the dog if you come home late and aren’t able to give him food at the predicted time. Being unsure of when it will be fed likewise helps feed a dog food orientated, which often proves most helpful when training; additionally, it discourages fussy eating.

Homemade Dog Food, Is It Any Good?

Ignore the restaurant doggy bag. Nowadays, more dogs are eating their own patios, gulping down homemade canine food. There have been gradual rises in the number of people who are requesting help with creating homemade diets for their canines, according to majority of veterinarians in the US. The trend to homemade dog food started about a decade ago, and the vast majority of dog owners continue to feed their dogs commercial pet foods. The rise for homemade dog food got stronger after the spring 2007 recall of melamine-tainted pet food.

Apart from product contamination scares, numerous pet owners feel that homemade meals are a fresher option to ready-made pet food. There are also pet owners who have considerable time and have a quite strong bond with their pet and feel that if they’re going to maintain a healthy diet, they want their dog to eat healthy, as well.

Owners may also prepare and cook for their pets as an expression of affection since most pet owners see their dogs as children.

Balanced Nutrition

So you’re lured to try home cooking for your pooch. Exactly what should you take into account?

Whether owners are getting recipes from a guide book, the net, or via their vet or veterinary nutritionist, one issue tops the list. Owners intend to make sure the recipe is going to supply something that is complete and balanced for their dog. From a nutritional perspective, that’s the biggest obstacle that someone has when trying to feed homemade. There aren’t any magic foods or ingredients for this.

Commercial pet foods are designed to provide sufficient nutrients. But dog owners who make homemade dog food must ensure that the diet includes a protein source, a carbohydrate source, sufficient vitamins and minerals, plus some fat. Dogs do have a necessity for a small sum of fat.

Home cooks can blend protein and carbohydrates in a variety of combinations, such as lamb and rice, beef and potatoes, or chicken and pasta. Carbs are an economical source of energy and supply some important amino acids and fatty acids.

Furthermore, a selection of vegetables would be perfectly suitable, even though vets caution towards onions and garlic, which can be poisonous to dogs. Additional foods to protect your dogs from: raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, chocolate, and raw meat, which unearths canines to risks, like salmonella and E. coli. All meat must be cooked properly.

Even though owners can find plentiful recipes for homemade dog food online and in books, some professionals encourage pet owners to take the recipes first to their vet and ask if their pet doctor could help them determine if it’s balanced.

Moreover, owners doing homemade diets must have their dog and the diet assessed at least twice a year. Owners also need to remember that dogs in different life stages or with health disorders can have totally different dietary requirements than a normal, healthy adult canine.

Owners can also search for a reputable vet nutritionist to assist them produce a balanced diet. Often, these specialists are available through a close by vet school, or may be open to consult with your regular vet by means of phone or the web.

For pet owners who wish to find dog food recipes online, internet sites that are run by board-certified veterinary nutritionists are good source for recipes.


Do dogs eating homemade dog food require supplementation to make certain they’re getting sufficient nutrients? The answer is YES.

Specialists say nutritional inadequacies can result in health issues. Calcium is among the most common deficiency in a homemade diet plan that isn’t professionally balanced. When canines don’t get adequate calcium, they’re vulnerable to a condition known as nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, which can result in soft bones and bone injuries.

Vets have seen these kinds of results on young dogs consuming unbalanced homemade diets. They see issues with their bone growth — they’re clearly not growing normally, thus you’ll see bent limbs, or they’re really bent and bowed. Sometimes, it may also be serious enough that they see actual broken bones.

Apart from calcium, other vitamins and minerals are crucial, too, such as magnesium, iron, and zinc. These nutrients need to be covered, which can be very tough for homemade dog food. Canine owners must ask their vets with regard to supplementation.

Canine owners must ask their vets with regard to supplementation.

Time and Cost

Needless to say, it’s more time-consuming to cook than to buy commercial dog food at the store. As for expense, a lot will depend on the size of the dog.

Large dogs, for example, Saint Bernard and Rottweiler, are more expensive to feed compared to small breeds. If you have a dog that’s over 50 or 60 lbs. — for instance, you have two or more of them — obviously, the cost will be more, compared to the owner that has two tiny Yorkie.

It’s also critical that owners keep in mind to stay thorough and strictly follow the suggested dietary formula. A lot of owners, as time passes, will make little alterations in the diet as a result of ease of cooking or price of ingredients, an event known as recipe drift. You should not make these changes without conferring with a vet, as they could trigger malnutrition.

Shelf-life and Storage

Packaged foods have a long shelf-life. Not so with homemade meals. It’s an advantage that with homemade food you’re opting for fresh ingredients; it’s a disadvantage that you don’t have a long shelf life. For small dogs, owners can make a big batch, freeze it, and take out servings as required. This is going to last for some time. But meals for large canines are best kept in the refrigerator since it’s most likely going to be gone in just a couple of days. The important thing: Home-cooked diets can be very healthy and gratifying for owners, but demand a commitment of time and extra cost from the owner, and assessment with a vet to make sure the diet is not causing the dog harm.

Homemade Recipes

Which would you prefer for dinner – a microwaveable TV dinner or a homemade concoction at home? Just about everyone has eaten both, and have a personal preference. Odds are, whoever is making the homemade food can do a lot better than a frozen brick of “food.” This situation may make it simpler to empathize with your canine when you fill his bowl with nuggets of processed meal and he looks up your with the facial expression that just about say, “are you be kidding me?”

Or perhaps, your furry best friend is more than willing to scarf down anything that gets in his bowl. If so, you may want to ask yourself, “Is traditional dog food the best thing for him?” Your dinner alternatives may well be a no-brainer, but finding the right option for your pet isn’t usually that simple. He’s counting on you to make the healthiest, and yes the most pleasurable, selections for him.

When you make food at home for your pet, you’re guaranteed that your dog is eating foods that are clear of preservatives, additives, and chemicals that are often present in commercial dog foods. The big question is: is this enough to meet his daily nutritional requirements?

Various Kinds of Homemade Dog Food

Yes, there are. Just like human food, homemade dog food can be classified so as to filter the search for your furry friend’s best diet. But, lines may be blurred, and ideas can overlap. For example, you may decide to feed a raw dog food diet while staying away from all of the foods that specialists have deemed possibly damaging. Or you may choose to use holistic health concepts while using all organic and natural ingredients. That is what homemade dog food is centered on, after all – modifying your dog’s diet in a manner that fulfills you both.

Raw Dog Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF)

Your dog is a wild animal that’s been domesticated. And, as with human beings, any species’ best diet is its indigenous one. And a dog’s native diet is meat. Furthermore, numerous would attest that raw meat is ideal. Unlike human beings, dogs aren’t usually prone to conditions lie salmonella and e-coli.

Organic Homemade Dog Food

You’d have to be living under a rock if you’ve overlooked all of the fuss pertaining to organic foods. An entire bunch of people believe that bug killers, herbicides, human waste, sewage gunge, radiation, genetic changes, and synthetic additives have no place in or on our produce. But how about meat? Are you aware that your meat – and the meat that you prepare for your pet – can be organic and natural, as well?

Organic meat is farmed from animals that have been grown devoid of synthetic growth hormones or medicines, and have not been fed animal by-products. Organic and natural foods provide no more nourishment than conventional ones, but their appeal is strictly about what’s NOT inside them. You’ll be spending more though for less but, it’s much less of what you don’t want and don’t need. Most grocery store-bought food carries organic meat nowadays so finding them won’t be a problem.

Homemade Holistic Dog Food

Holistic feeding approaches and medicine stand upon the concept that feeding the mind and body assists to regain and manage health and vigor. Principles consist of ideals like balance and assortment. Holistic diets may be given raw or cooked – your decision.

Meal rotation and assortment is important to holistic health principles, just like variety is vital to your own good diet regime. Holistic dog food concepts dictate that grains are acceptable for dogs – in line with the premise that when dogs eat wild animals, they likewise ingest the contents of the stomach of those animals, which includes grains and greens. Many holistic dog food recipes are positioned around two parts protein, one part carbohydrates, and one part veggies. Using these guidelines, you are able to create a variety of recipes.

Do Supplements Have A Spot In Your Pup’s Diet?

Though views differ significantly, it’s a belief of many others that a healthy dog’s nutritional specifications can be fulfilled with nothing more than food and exercise. Calcium supplement and Magnesium levels are often the only two deficiency considerations when feeding a homemade dog food recipe diet. You may boost calcium with unflavored yogurt, white cheese, pulverized egg shells, and sardines. Vitamin D to discharge the calcium can be acquired from cod liver oil or time spent outside, on a sunny day. Magnesium is found kelp and spinach, that are both acceptable, but only when steamed first.