Overlooked Reasons to Choose A Homemade Dog Food Recipe Vs Processed Food: Part 1

Introduction

There are many articles that tout the reasons one would choose a homemade dog food recipe over manufactured dog food such as kibble when feeding their pet. Some of the more common reasons include: 1) Increased health, well-being and vitality for your dog; 2) Fewer allergies, illnesses and vet visits (in other words you save a ton of money!) and 3) The questionable quality of many processed dog food ingredients.

However, in this article, I wanted to highlight reasons that are often overlooked in choosing a steady diet of homemade recipes vs. processed food for your pet.

Overlooked Reasons To Go Natural

1. Control

When you make your own recipes, you control every, single ingredient that goes in. For dogs with allergies, remove ingredients from his favorite recipes until you find the culprit. Or better yet, start with just a few basic ingredients.

With processed food, you have to switch foods and it is likely that the heavy grain concentrations or additives in his kibble are causing the allergies in the first place.

Is your dog overweight, does he/she require less protein? Again, you can control every ingredient to match your dog’s nutritional need perfectly.

2. Community

There is such an incredible community that exists on the Internet now for owners who prepare their own dog food recipes.

When you join the ranks, you will be embraced and you will meet some of the most passionate, caring dog lovers who have as their mission your dog’s full and vital health. (This is not something that can be said for your average corporation in charge of profits for selling dog food.)

You needn’t stagger around not knowing what to do, or where to buy the best supplies or how to prepare delicious and healthy recipes. There are plenty of people to help you along the way with advice, books and other recommendations.

You will be among so many friends who will love you and your dog.

3. Creativity

With homemade dog food recipes you are free to experiment with so many varieties of food for your pet. I shudder to think about millions of dogs who live their whole lives eating sub-standard, processed food every single day. (They must truly love us because they hardly complain…)

Feeding our pets has turned into a boring, meaningless routine based mostly on convenience (not necessarily the best nutrition.)

But with only a small amount of effort and really not too much additional time, feeding time can turn into a great adventure for you and your pet. The smile on your dog’s face at feeding time will make your heart burst because he / she knows that a wonderful surprise awaits.

Conclusion

There are several more less common (but important) reasons I can highlight for choosing a homemade dog food recipe over processed food; however those will have to wait for another article.

In the meantime, remember the three C’s (control, community, and creativity) as you being to experiment the joys of feeding fresh homemade recipes to your dog.

Woof, woof!

Anatomy of a Homemade Dog Food Recipe

Introduction

If you have been scouring the Internet for a good homemade dog food recipe, I thought it might useful to share a simple set of core ingredients that you can use to create a wide variety of delicious homemade dog food recipes.

A Few Core Convictions

I am a firm believer in two things:

1) It is better to teach principles than specifics This belief is best captured by the adage, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

As an example, when a person learns the principles of cooking, they can easily improvise for specific meals based on the ingredients, equipment and desire that they may have at any particular moment. The same holds true for learning the principles of a good homemade dog food recipe.

2) I believe you have what it takes to control your dog’s nutrition The pet food industry has done you, the dog owner, a great disservice by making you feel as if only chemists and nutrition doctors truly understand what is best for your dog.

Nonsense! I believe you have everything it takes (love and motivation) to experiment and create your own delicious and nutritious recipes for your dog, recipes that are far more nutritious than the pablum that is served in most doggy bowls today.

Homemade Dog Food Recipe Principles

Thus, without further ado, here is the anatomy of a good homemade dog food recipe:

1) Begin with animal meat of some kind

This can be beef, chicken, turkey or lamb ground up or served in chunks. If you wish to serve ground meat you can purchase whole and use the excellent Maverick Meat Grinder to prepare ground meat.

In addition to these meats, you can feed fish (fillets) or even wild game such as rabbit, elk, venison, etc. (50% of your recipe should consist of one of these ingredients)

2) Add in organ meat of some kind

This can include beef, chicken, turkey, lamb or pork liver as well as beef or lamb kidney. (10% of your recipe should include one of these ingredients)

3) Add other fresh ingredients.

Add in either eggs, yogurt or cottage cheese. (15% of your recipe can include one of these ingredients)

4) Add a vegetable of some kind

This can include broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, zucchini, cabbage or cauliflower.

NOTE: Vegetables must be mashed or puréed in a blender. (25% of your recipe can include one of these ingredients)

5) Supplement every meal with calcium.

If you are not feeding raw meaty bones to your dog, which contain calcium, you must provide a supplement in your meals. (You can add ½ pound teaspoon of ground eggshell to every pound of food.)

Feeding Suggestions

Finally, feed once or twice a day (these would be ½ portions) at about 2-3% of your dog’s body weight. For a 100 lbs. dog, this would be 2-3 pounds of food per day or 1 to 1 ½ pounds of food per meal if feeding twice a day.

Conclusion

And there you have it. Mix and match these various ingredients in the right amounts and your dog will receive great nutrition as well as healthy, homemade, delicious recipes.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients altogether.

Feeding your pet a diet of homemade recipes allows for great flexibility as well as variety!

Dogs with allergies need special consideration and part of that is a change in diet. This can be easily accomplished by a simple search for dog food recipes for dogs with allergies. Dogs that have allergies in the large part have a serious sensitivity to commercially prepared food, which is the food that is generally available for a fairly low cost in your local supermarket.

Although commercially prepared dog food may be convenient, there is actually very little that the manufacturers take into consideration when it comes to your dog’s health and need for a nutritious food. Dog food recipes for dogs with allergies tend to be a more healthy choice for several reasons.

  • The ingredients that are used in these recipes are usually whole or fresh foods, or foods, lean meats and broths for flavoring. There are no added preservatives or fillers. Fillers are added to commercially prepared dog food to increase their bulk and weight, but provide absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever.
  • You can control exactly what goes into dog food recipes for dogs with allergies by choosing the recipes that you deem appropriate.
  • Large batches of these recipes can be prepared and then divided into individual serving sizes which can be frozen for future use.

Many dog owners find that dog food recipes for dogs with allergies are readily available in many popular sources.

You may go to your local bookstore and purchase a book, download one online or even find recipes for free. The recipes in themselves are great; however, you will need to supplement the food by adding minerals and vitamins to ensure that your dog is getting all of the nutritional value that he requires daily.

There are many ways to prepare dog food recipes for dogs with allergies.

The best thing to keep in mind is that you want to prepare large quantities of the recipe as mentioned earlier, so that you do not have to prepare it repeatedly throughout the week. You may wish to prepare enough for several weeks, and you also may wish to prepare more than one recipe to give your dog some variety.

Eating the same thing day in and day out can become very mundane, as you are probably quite aware. In addition, if you are supplementing, be sure to keep the vitamins and minerals separate from the recipe, adding it in only at the last moment in order to ensure optimum benefit from a fresh supplement.

Once you stop feeding your dog a commercially available food and begin feeding him a restaurant quality home recipe dog food (restaurant quality when compared to the garbage available for purchase in a bag). You will begin to notice many changes for the better. Your dog will probably stop scratching, hot spots will disappear, there will be no more paw licking and his skin will begin to become less dry. Your dog deserves to be healthy and happy and you have a responsibility to feed him as best as you can, while also ensuring he is receiving the proper nutrition.

Following dog food recipes for dogs with allergies is a simple and cost effective method of enhancing your pet’s general wellbeing.