We only want what’s best for our pets. We walk them daily so that they get adequate exercise, bring them to the vet for regular check-ups, and give them a loving home; they are like a child to us. Like some parents, making homemade dog food is essential to the care we give our pets. Sometimes, however, we aren’t always sure if there is something more that we can do to provide our dogs with the best homemade foods possible, and you are not incorrect. There are things that you should know to keep your pet strong and healthy because it takes a lot of work, and some of the better ingredients are more expensive than a generic bag of dog food.
Find a Great Recipe for Homemade Dog Food
Like people food, many dog food recipes don’t contain all of the necessary vitamins and minerals they need to grow and thrive. Iron, copper, calcium, and zinc are four elements that your dog food is often lacking.
Your dog needs proteins, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, and fatty acids in their diets. These include:
- Animal meat
- Eggs and eggshells
- Plant oils
If there are any known health problems, your dog may require an even more specialized diet than what is listed above. In these cases, it is best to talk to your vet to ensure your pet is getting the best meals you can provide.
Preparing the Dog Food Recipe in the Proper Way
The best way to ensure that you are making your pet’s food the correct way is to follow a recipe that you want to prepare as it is written. Making changes to the recipe can have unintended effects.
A great example of these changes could be cooking chicken with versus without the skin. You could be changing the caloric content of the meal without knowing it and depriving your dog of things that are needed.
Another example is swapping out ingredients that seem similar because you don’t have the items in the house that are listed. This, again, can create an unbalanced diet.
Cooking the Food
The best way to ensure that you are making a balanced meal is to purchase a food scale and measuring cups. Most scales require a specific weight of meat or exact measurements of oils and vegetables.
Be sure to cook all of the ingredients thoroughly. Just like people, dogs can get sick if there are bacteria in served meat. Grains, beans, and vegetables need to be cooked thoroughly, as well, to aid in your dog’s digestion.
Never give your dog foods that can be toxic to them. These include:
- Macadamia nuts
Include the Right Supplements in Your Dog Food
Your pet may not be getting enough nutrients, even with the best recipes. Calcium is essential for our pets, just like it is for us. If the recipe you are using doesn’t give specific instructions on supplements, talk to your vet or pet nutritionist.
Regularly Check That Your Dog’s Diet is Working
When you start with a new recipe, it is essential to ensure that your dog is getting the right balance. It is a good idea to bring your dog to the vet every two to three weeks to ensure that your pet is not gaining or losing too much weight.
Make sure that your vet checks your dog’s skin and coat to be sure that they are also in good condition. Changes to the skin and coat can be a direct result of what your dog is eating.
Making your dog’s food is all about personal preferences. However, be sure that you are doing it with the right ingredients and at the correct ratios. Also be sure that you check in with your vet frequently so that you can be sure that he is getting the proper nutrients and not experiencing weight issues.