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Making Your Own Dog Food With Healthy Ingredients

The idea of making your own dog food is becoming more and more popular among pet owners today. Whether it's because of pet food recalls, price, or simply to have greater control over what their dogs are eating on a regular basis, many people avoiding the many commercial brands that are available. And for some dogs with various health conditions and ailments such as allergies to a certain ingredient, homemade dog food may be the ideal choice as you will have total control over their nutritional intake.

Healthy Ingredients To Consider Using When Making Your Own Dog Food

The simplest of dog food recipes include ground meat, brown rice, a vegetable, water, and a touch of brewer's yeast. Of course, you can always experiment as much or as little as you like and change your recipes based on your dog's preferences.

The best meats to use are lean cuts of beef, stewing meats, beef hearts and livers, boneless roast and steak, or boneless stewing lamb, boneless chicken including the breast, fillet and thigh. Buying fresh meat in bulk from a butcher will save a considerable amount of money and you can store what you don't need in the freezer.

The ideal vegetables to use for dogs include beets, carrots, cucumber, parsnips, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, yams, and zucchini. Vegetables should be steamed in order to retain as many nutrients as possible.

You can also make biscuits as treats for your dog using peanut butter, flour, bone meal, brewer's yeast and grated carrots. Getting treats with bonemeal included helps give your dog much needed calcium and powdered milk is often used in homemade dog foods for this very purpose.

What to Avoid When Making Your Own Dog Food

Not all "human" foods are safe for our dogs to eat and some are even deadly. Avoid using any of these ingredients when making your own dog food: Beans, beet greens, bell peppers, chard, chocolate, fruit pits, grapes, macadamia nuts, nutmeg, onions, peas, potatoes, raisins, raw eggs, spinach, and tomatoes.

A dog should also never be allowed to have coffee, tea, moldy foods, or dough with yeast. While broccoli is safe for dogs, it may be hard to digest for some and should only be given in limited amounts and preferably put in a food processor first. Other vegetables like carrots and spinach should also be chopped up as much as possible to aid with digestion.

Quick Tips to Remember When Making Your Own Dog Food

  • Your dog will digest his or her food best when it's served at room temperature.
  • Add small amounts of flax seed or cod liver oil for omega-3 fatty acids and also to help keep your dog's coat shiny and healthy.
  • Always remove all of the bones from the meat before cooking or serving to your dog.
  • Homemade dog food can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or wrapped in the freezer for as long as six weeks.

Final Comments

While many pet owners do prefer making their own dog food, there are a few disadvantages to first consider. First, it can be rather time consuming and you will have to make absolutely certain you are giving them the right amount of food per day. And, unless you buy ingredients in bulk, making your own dog foods can sometimes be more expensive than buying bags of commercial dog foods.

You should always consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on a diet of homemade foods to make sure you are using the right ingredients as well as in the right quantities. Your vet will also be familiar with your pet's health and will be able to advise you as to what vitamins or supplements may be needed to ensure optimal health.

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