There is nothing more important to the health and happiness of your dog than providing a balanced, easy to digest, and tasty meal every day. While there are many superior commercially prepared diets available for purchase, many dogs do not tolerate these preparations well. Some ingredients can cause allergic reactions while others may make existing health conditions worse. In addition, commercially prepared diets include artificial ingredients like colors, flavors, and preservatives that are simply not necessary for the health of the dog and have been implicated in causing a number of serious conditions such as cancer.
For dog owners that prefer to prepare wholesome meals for their dogs at home, there are a number of recipes available for ensuring that their pets receive the optimum nutrition necessary to promote good health while providing tasty meals that their pets will be sure to love.
The main consideration when making a well balanced dog food at home is choosing a quality protein source. While dogs are omnivorous by nature, the predominance of their natural diet is made up of animal proteins. The base for any well-prepared dog food should be a quality protein source such as chicken, duck, lamb or fish. The source of protein is completely up to you and the preference of your dog unless he has a specific food allergy. The second component is a quality carbohydrate source. Dogs expend a lot of energy playing and require a great deal of carbohydrates to keep him going. Good sources of carbohydrates include: rice, potatoes, and oatmeal. The third component includes finding innovative ways to provide your dog with the vitamins and minerals he needs for optimum health. The easiest way to accomplish this is to add a green and a yellow or orange vegetable to the mix. First stage infant foods provide an easy way to add these items into the food.
Additional supplements may be required based on your individual dog’s needs. Homemade dog foods can be higher in sodium that commerically prepared feeds, so limit sodium wherever possible as excess sodium can cause electrolyte imbalances and kidney problems. Consult with a veterniarian before beginning any homemade dog food regimen.
Doggie Chicken Helper Meal:
1 cup shredded, boiled or broiled chicken breast (remove all bones)
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 packet plain instant oatmeal, prepared using package directions
1 jar 1st stage mixed vegetables (pureed baby food)
2 tbsp cottage cheese or plain yogurt
Prepare the chicken by boiling or broiling until no pink is visible. Boil the eggs for 2-3 minutes until solid all the way through. Prepare the instant oatmeal per the package directions. Combine all ingredients and serve. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
1 cup protein source of your choice (remove all bones before preparing)
½ cup rice, preferably brown
1 cup regular mixed vegetables. (if your dog refuses to eat these, substitute with baby food puree)
3-4 tbsps of unsalted broth
Prepare each ingredient and then combine and serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 48 hours.
Homemade Dog Biscuits
1 jar 1st stage mixed vegetables
1 jar 1st stage protein (any meat protein will do)
1/3 cup wheat germ
¼ cup powdered milk
¼ tsp garlic powder
Preheat over to 350*. Combine all ingredients and cut shapes with cookie cutters and bake until brown. Cool and serve.