There is a growing curiosity in feeding homemade food to dogs.
There are numerous reasons for that fact, some wish to feed natural or organic foods to their dogs, other wish to cook for their best friends.
Additionally, many owners find commercial dog food labels and ingredients unclear and want to evade artificial additives, preservatives, chemicals or other doubtful ingredients included in commercial dog foods.
But do you know how to make dog food?
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind to make your own dog food:
TIP #1: Determine the nutritional requirements of your dog according to life stage (puppy, adult, senior, reproduction, performance) and special needs (weight loss, allergy, renal disease, heart disease).
TIP #2: Choose the ingredients based on your dog’s nutritional requirements in order to provide proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals.
TIP #3: Carbohydrate source should be present in a higher or equal amount to that of the protein source.
TIP #4: Good choices for carbohydrate sources are: rice, barley, lentils, potato, pasta, couscous or quinoa.
TIP #5: Choose high quality protein (deboned meat or fish) and fat sources (named fish or vegetable oils).
TIP #6: Calcium or calcium/phosphorus supplement should be included (e.g. calcium carbonate, bone meal).
TIP #7: A vitamin and mineral supplement must be present (e.g. multivitamin tablet).
TIP #8: Individual ingredients should be cooked separately.
TIP #9: Vitamin and mineral supplements should be crushed and added after all the ingredients have been cooked and blended.
TIP #10: Raw ingredients are not recommended due to the amplified risk for foodborne disease.
TIP #11: Do not forget that homemade diets do not contain preservatives and are high in moisture. So they are very susceptible to bacterial and fungal contamination.
TIP #12: Prepare small amounts of food each time you cook.
TIP #13: A prepared diet can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen.
TIP #14: Previous to feeding, the diet should be warmed to just below body temperature. If the food is warmed in the microwave, you should check for hot spots.
My advice is that if you are feeding a homemade diet to your dog he should be observed by a veterinarian at least every six months.
There are lots of parameters that should be continuously monitored, such as, body weight, body condition score and activity level, so adequate modifications in the diet can be made.
I hope this helps you make healthier homemade dog food!