If you have been put off feeding your dog commercial dog food by the reports on how it is prepared, then you are not alone. The huge pet food recalls of 2007 highlighted the dangers in dog food, and showed just what was in some of the so-called top brands of pet food. Thousands of premature deaths occurred, and many animals are now suffering long term illness as a result.
Pet owners are now looking at alternative foods to feed their pets.
Why go homemade?
If you’ve decided to skip the convenience of tinned, and dried, pre-packaged, long life pet food and add the task of preparing extra meals everyday, the first thing you will notice, especially if you have been feeding your dog one of the top brands of dog food, is you will now be spending less. I have found it works out to be far more economical to prepare my dog’s food myself.
Whatever you decide to feed your dog, the first thing to remember is to meet all the nutritional needs. Your dog will require a good balance of proteins that will come from meats, fish, poultry and a little dairy, while the soluble carbohydrates that he needs will come from vegetables and cereal grains such as a little corn, oats, barley and brown rice. If you decide to prepare your dog’s food yourself, you will need to spend a bit of time in getting the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates depending on the age of your dog or how active he is. Lactating bitches and puppies for instance need more protein than a grown dog, but fewer carbohydrates. It is not preferable to feed a working dog too much in the way of carbohydrates as they get their main energy from meat. In the wild, dogs will only consume vegetation from the stomach contents of their kill. Domesticated companion dogs don’t have such a hard life and can tolerate larger quantities of vegetation.
What’s in it?
When you look at a pet food label, you will notice there is a list of ingredients contained in the product. If you don’t recognize any thing on the label, chances are it doesn’t need to be there. When it comes to food in a can, unless you have a food diagnostics laboratory at your finger tips, you can only go by the label, and that is NOT always what is in the can. By preparing your dogs food yourself, you will know exactly what is in it, and what isn’t. You can source good quality, fresh meats and poultry that haven’t been processed at all. In general, everything you put into your dog’s bowl is food that you will find readily at your local grocery store or butcher.
A good rule of thumb when buying dog food ingredients is if you won’t eat it – why feed it to your best friend!
Another main point is you must avoid foods that are dangerous to your dog. Your pet well now be dining on less chemicals and fillers but this will be in vain if you don’t identify what is harmful in your pantry. Large quantities of onions and garlic, for example, are not healthy while chocolate can be quite deadly to smaller breeds. Other human foods to avoid are grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts and avocado should also be left off the menu.
Another advantage of preparing your dogs dinner is you can alternate with different recipes. You will find your dog will have his favorite meals, and you can give him plenty of variety instead of the same old brand, day in and day out.
A good time-saver is to make large quantities at a time and freeze smaller, daily portions that are easily thawed when needed. Also, start your dog on his new diet gradually. This will give him time to adjust. You may even opt to only feed your dog half homemade food and half commercial.
If you would like to know more about how to make your dog healthier and live years longer, I invite you to check out the dangers of your dogs food
If you are looking for ideas on making your own dog food, you will find Homemade Dog Food Recipes that I can recommend to you for your dog.