Commercial dog foods are usually heavily-processed and filled with artificial preservatives and additives which are not good for your dog. If you have the time, a healthier alternative would be homemade dog food. With home prepared meals, you can ensure that only the freshest and healthiest of ingredients will make it to your dog’s plate. You can choose between cooked dog food or raw dog food. Each has its own perks. But what matters more is the quality of ingredients you’ll be putting in them.
Here is a list of essential ingredients that you should have to make healthy homemade dog food.
Some type of animal protein
Dogs need some kind of animal meat in their diet to fulfill their protein needs which contributes to their growth and development. Some dog breeds require 75% of daily food intake to be proteins while some prescribe only 50%. Some rich sources of animal protein are chicken, eggs, turkey, beef and even wild game. However, you should avoid feeding your dog pork as the meat contains a type of parasite that can be a threat to dogs.
Vegetables are a vital part of a dog’s diet as they contain plenty of essential nutrients, vitamins and enzymes that your dog needs to keep healthy. A word of caution though, avoid feeding your dog vegetables with a large amount of oxalates which could eventually lead them to developing kidney stones.
Vegetables like zucchinis, carrots, parsley and celery are among the recommended veggies to feed your dogs. Meanwhile, avoid feeding your dogs onions, beans, mushroom and garlic as they may have adverse effects on them.
Fruits and grains
Fruits and grains are the perfect source for carbohydrates to keep your dog energized. Just remember to feed them fruits and grains in moderation as they can cause diarrhea or cause unwanted weight gain due to the fruits’ fructose contents.
There are also some grains you should avoid as they are genetically modified and may be difficult to digest. Avoid corns and wheat while loading up on sweet potatoes and brown rice.
Fats and oils
These two ingredients help your dog’s fur coat to stay shiny and healthy. Good oils to use are cod liver oil, olive oil and canola oil. Nut oils may be deemed healthy but they are to be avoided at all costs as dogs are allergic to them. Fish oil is another great choice as they are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is recommended that dogs get at least one or two teaspoons of healthy oils in each meal.
Sometimes nutrition contents from whole foods aren’t enough to fill your dog’s nutritional needs especially if they have a certain nutritional deficiency or if they are suffering from a serious health issue. You can choose to add supplements with calcium, taurine, magnesium and other vitamins as needed. Just be sure to consult your veterinarian first to know which supplements your dog needs and in what daily dosages.
Making your own dog food is a sure way of avoiding the harmful additives present in commercial dog food. In the end, every dog will have varying needs when it comes to food and nutrition. But knowing these essential ingredients to include in your homemade dog food is important to ensure that your mutt is getting the basic vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.