Following on from my previous article on homemade dog food, is it any good (part1) here are some additional tips and things to consider when deciding whether you should cook your own dog food rather than purchase ready-made dog food.
Ignore the restaurant doggy bag. Nowadays, more dogs are eating their own patios, gulping down homemade canine food. There have been gradual rises in the number of people who are requesting help with creating homemade diets for their canines, according to a majority of veterinarians in the US. The trend to homemade dog food started about a decade ago, and the vast majority of dog owners continue to feed their dogs commercial pet foods. The rise for homemade dog food got stronger after the spring 2007 recall of melamine-tainted pet food.
Apart from product contamination scares, numerous pet owners feel that homemade meals are a fresher option to ready-made pet food. There are also pet owners who have considerable time and have a quite strong bond with their pet and feel that if they’re going to maintain a healthy diet, they want their dog to eat healthy, as well.
Owners may also prepare and cook for their pets as an expression of affection since most pet owners see their dogs as children.
So you’re lured to try home cooking for your pooch. Exactly what should you take into account?
Whether owners are getting recipes from a guidebook, the net, or via their vet or veterinary nutritionist, one issue tops the list. Owners intend to make sure the recipe is going to supply something that is complete and balanced for their dog. From a nutritional perspective, that’s the biggest obstacle that someone has when trying to feed homemade. There aren’t any magic foods or ingredients for this.
Commercial pet foods are designed to provide sufficient nutrients. But dog owners who make homemade dog food must ensure that the diet includes a protein source, a carbohydrate source, sufficient vitamins, and minerals, plus some fat. Dogs do have a necessity for a small sum of fat.
Home cooks can blend protein and carbohydrates in a variety of combinations, such as lamb and rice, beef and potatoes, or chicken and pasta. Carbs are an economical source of energy and supply some important amino acids and fatty acids.
Furthermore, a selection of vegetables would be perfectly suitable, even though vets caution towards onions and garlic, which can be poisonous to dogs.
Additional foods to protect your dogs from raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, chocolate, and raw meat, which unearths canines to risks, like salmonella and E. coli. All meat must be cooked properly.
Even though owners can find plentiful recipes for homemade dog food online and in books, some professionals encourage pet owners to take the recipes first to their vet and ask if their pet doctor could help them determine if it’s balanced.
Moreover, owners doing homemade diets must have their dog and the diet assessed at least twice a year. Owners also need to remember that dogs in different life stages or with health disorders can have totally different dietary requirements than a normal, healthy adult canine.
Owners can also search for a reputable vet nutritionist to assist them to produce a balanced diet. Often, these specialists are available through a close by vet school or may be open to consulting with your regular vet by means of phone or the web.
For pet owners who wish to find dog food recipes online, internet sites that are run by board-certified veterinary nutritionists are a good source for recipes.
Do dogs eating homemade dog food require supplementation to make certain they’re getting sufficient nutrients? The answer is YES.
Specialists say nutritional inadequacies can result in health issues. Calcium is the most common deficiency in a homemade diet plan that isn’t professionally balanced. When canines don’t get adequate calcium, they’re vulnerable to a condition known as nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, which can result in soft bones and bone injuries.
Vets have seen these kinds of results on young dogs consuming unbalanced homemade diets. They see issues with their bone growth — they’re clearly not growing normally, thus you’ll see bent limbs, or they’re really bent and bowed. Sometimes, it may also be serious enough that they see actual broken bones.
Apart from calcium, other vitamins and minerals are crucial, too, such as magnesium, iron, and zinc. These nutrients need to be covered, which can be very tough for homemade dog food.
Canine owners must ask their vets with regard to supplementation.
Time and Cost
Needless to say, it’s more time-consuming to cook than to buy commercial dog food at the store. As for expense, a lot will depend on the size of the dog.
Large dogs, for example, Saint Bernard and Rottweiler, are more expensive to feed compared to small breeds. If you have a dog that’s over 50 or 60 lbs. — for instance, you have two or more of them — obviously, the cost will be more, compared to the owner that has two tiny Yorkie.
It’s also critical that owners keep in mind to stay through and strictly follow the suggested dietary formula. A lot of owners, as time passes, will make little alterations in the diet as a result of ease of cooking or price of ingredients, an event known as recipe drift. You should not make these changes without conferring with a vet, as they could trigger malnutrition.
Shelf-life and Storage
Packaged foods have a long shelf-life. Not so with homemade meals. It’s an advantage that with homemade food you’re opting for fresh ingredients; it’s a disadvantage that you don’t have a long shelf life.
For small dogs, owners can make a big batch, freeze it, and take out servings as required. This is going to last for some time. But meals for large canines are best kept in the refrigerator since it’s most likely going to be gone in just a couple of days.
The important thing: Home-cooked diets can be very healthy and gratifying for owners but demand a commitment of time and extra cost from the owner, and assessment with a vet to make sure the diet is not causing the dog harm.
Which would you prefer for dinner – a microwaveable TV dinner or a homemade concoction at home? Just about everyone has eaten both, and have a personal preference. Odds are, whoever is making the homemade food can do a lot better than a frozen brick of “food.” This situation may make it simpler to empathize with your canine when you fill his bowl with nuggets of a processed meal and he looks up your with the facial expression that just about says, “are you be kidding me?”
Or perhaps, your furry best friend is more than willing to scarf down anything that gets in his bowl. If so, you may want to ask yourself, “Is traditional dog food the best thing for him?” Your dinner alternatives may well be a no-brainer, but finding the right option for your pet isn’t usually that simple. He’s counting on you to make the healthiest, and yes the most pleasurable, selections for him.
When you make food at home for your pet, you’re guaranteed that your dog is eating foods that are clear of preservatives, additives, and chemicals that are often present in commercial dog foods. The big question is: is this enough to meet his daily nutritional requirements?
Various Kinds of Homemade Dog Food
Yes, there are. Just like human food, homemade dog food can be classified so as to filter the search for your furry friend’s best diet. But, lines may be blurred, and ideas can overlap. For example, you may decide to feed a raw dog food diet while staying away from all of the foods that specialists have deemed possibly damaging. Or you may choose to use holistic health concepts while using all organic and natural ingredients. That is what homemade dog food is centered on, after all – modifying your dog’s diet in a manner that fulfills you both.
Raw Dog Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF)
Your dog is a wild animal that’s been domesticated. And, as with human beings, any species’ best diet is its indigenous one. And a dog’s native diet is meat. Furthermore, numerous would attest that raw meat is ideal. Unlike human beings, dogs aren’t usually prone to conditions lie salmonella and e-coli.
Organic Homemade Dog Food
You’d have to be living under a rock if you’ve overlooked all of the fuss pertaining to organic foods. An entire bunch of people believes that bug killers, herbicides, human waste, sewage gunge, radiation, genetic changes, and synthetic additives have no place in or on our produce. But how about meat? Are you aware that your meat – and the meat that you prepare for your pet – can be organic and natural, as well?
Organic meat is farmed from animals that have been grown devoid of synthetic growth hormones or medicines, and have not been fed animal by-products. Organic and natural foods provide no more nourishment than conventional ones, but their appeal is strictly about what’s NOT inside them. You’ll be spending more though for less but, it’s much less of what you don’t want and don’t need. Most grocery stores carry organic meat nowadays so finding them won’t be a problem.
Homemade Holistic Dog Food
Holistic feeding approaches and medicine stand upon the concept that feeding the mind and body assists to regain and manage health and vigor. Principles consist of ideals like balance and assortment. Holistic diets may be given raw or cooked – your decision.
Meal rotation and the assortment is important to holistic health principles, just like variety is vital to your own good diet regime. Holistic dog food concepts dictate that grains are acceptable for dogs – in line with the premise that when dogs eat wild animals, they likewise ingest the contents of the stomach of those animals, which includes grains and greens. Many holistic dog food recipes are positioned around two parts protein, one part carbohydrates, and one part veggies. Using these guidelines, you are able to create a variety of recipes.
Do Supplements Have A Spot In Your Pup’s Diet?
Though views differ significantly, it’s a belief of many others that a healthy dog’s nutritional specifications can be fulfilled with nothing more than food and exercise. Calcium supplement and Magnesium levels are often the only two deficiency considerations when feeding a homemade dog food recipe diet.
You may boost calcium with unflavored yogurt, white cheese, pulverized egg shells, and sardines. Vitamin D to discharge the calcium can be acquired from cod liver oil or time spent outside, on a sunny day. Magnesium is found kelp and spinach, that are both acceptable, but only when steamed first.
The Unquestionably Healthy Dog
Regardless of feeding principle that you select for your dog, some values encounter little discussion among pros:
- Canines need protein – vegetarian diets are broadly disputed and don’t offer complete nutrition for animals that are generally carnivorous.
- Commercial dog foods that include a large portion of grains provide little nutrition.
- Some commercial dog foods include additives and a lot more sinister components, like cancerous tissue, by-products of ill animals, shelter kills, and synthetic ingredients.
- Harmful toxins aren’t strangers either.
- Foods that are not good for you are most likely bad for your dog. Fried foods and sugar-laden goodies sabotage other valiant endeavors and provide little if any nourishment.
So, Should You Cook For Your Dog?
Not surprisingly, you may feel stressed out at the notion of feeding your dog from your own kitchen. Perhaps you have little time to cook even for your own human family. Take into account using the following time-saving suggestions to make your dog’s improved wellness and longevity achievable:
- Instead of dicing fresh veggies, keep bags of frozen ones readily available.
- Instead of pureeing veggies, make use of prepared baby food.
- Prepare meals ahead of time and freeze in individual helping sizes.
- Eat what your pet eats – make meals that everyone in the family, human and canine can enjoy.
- Strike a deal with your grocer or butcher. Talk to him about what you want, and schedule a specific day of the week when you are able to stop by and acquire what he’s reserved just for you.
- Use your slow cooker. Put approved ingredients into the slow cooker before going to work.
- Involve the whole household.
- Use the pleased expression on your pet’s face to energize your finding of some extra minutes daily to give him homemade food.