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The Benefits of Homemade Dog Food

The Benefits of Homemade Dog Food

Health & Safety

There is an overwhelming choice of dog food brands to choose from in the supermarket which are convenient and reasonably priced. If you glance at the labels then you will notice there are a variety of appetizing recipes and types tailored to specific health conditions; so with this is in mind why should you bother going to the trouble of making homemade dog food from scratch?

In actual fact many of the dog food brands that you find on supermarket shelves contain harmful chemicals and poor quality meat. If you read the ingredients list on a can or bag of pet food you will most likely see "meat by-products" listed as one of the main ingredients, unfortunately these byproducts are made from the parts of the animal not fit for human consumption such as feet, entrails and bones. These ingredients may not do any harm to your dog in the short term but they are certainly not providing your pet with optimum nutrition for the future, with poor quality dog food being linked to long-term health concerns such as cancer. Not all dog foods are the same and by researching different brands in depth you will be able to find the ones that contain the best quality, all-natural ingredients. However no canned dog food could beat good quality home cooking, and with the right information you can make homemade dog food quickly and cheaply.

Raw Vs. Cooked?

When making homemade dog food it is important to ensure your dog gets all the nutrition he needs and the best way to do that is to base his diet on 70% meat with the remaining 30% consisting of fibre and carbohydrates. The best meats to feed your dog depend upon the dogs age and health concern (if any), for example senior dogs and over-weight dogs will benefit from chicken, turkey and fish because they are low in fat.

In the wild dogs would obviously only ever eat raw meat but it is still a debatable subject as to whether owners should feed their pet dogs raw or cooked food at home. Some people believe raw meat contains diseases and that domesticated dogs have evolved to digest cooked meat more easily than raw meat. At the end of the day nobody is completely sure whether a raw food diet is beneficial or not and it is up to the individual owner whether to feed their dog raw meat.

Keeping Costs Down

The two main problems when making your dog's food from scratch are the cost and the time commitment. If you buy your dog a fillet steak every day of the week then you will end up with nothing but dry bread on your dinner plate! Clearly buying the best quality meat on a daily basis isn't reasonable for most people, especially if you have more than one dog or a large dog breed. Here are some tips on how to make homemade dog food affordable:

  • Leftovers. An excellent way to reduce the cost of meat is to feed your dog leftovers of the family meal; so if you have a Sunday roast then scrape the leftover chicken or beef into your dogs bowl.
  • Reduced Meat. Look for reduced meat/fish in the supermarket at the end of the day. If you go to the meat and fish counters around supermarket closing hours you may be able to grab yourself a bargain.
  • Cut Offs. Ask your local butcher for meat cut offs. It obviously helps if you are a regular customer but most butchers will happily give away cut offs if you ask nicely.
  • Special Nights. Choose one or two nights a week that your dog has "special" dinners, and the rest of the week feed him his normal dog food. One night a week might not sound like much but it adds up to 52 days of the year and will certainly have a positive impact on your pets health.
  • Cook in Bulk and Freeze. Making homemade dog food doesn't mean slaving over the hob every night. If you cook up a large pan of mincemeat, veg and pasta you can then freeze it and defrost a portion each evening.
  • Buy Better Quality Dog Food. If you don't have the time to cook for your dog then the next best thing is to by the best quality dog food available. Obviously this is going to cost more than standard dog food but if you buy in bulk or only buy the high quality stuff a percentage of the time then you can reduce the cost.

Warning - Food's To Avoid

You should not feed your dog - Grapes, Raisins, Chocolate or Pork. If you are ever unsure whether it is safe to feed your dog a certain ingredient then contact your vet first.

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Doggy Casserole RecipeCooking time - 15 minutes 200g of chicken or turkey 100g cooked vegetables such as broccoli, carrots or cabbage100g cooked brown rice A small amount of gravy for flavourSimply combine all the ingredients. Luxury StewCooking time - 20 minutes 400g of mincemeat or stewing meat200g of cooked vegetables A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 1 cloves garlic 100g cottage cheese2 raw eggs Gently cook the meat in a oiled pan for 10 minutes. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and give a quick stir. Freeze any leftovers for another night.