Imagine eating the same food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every day of your life. Not only would it be painfully boring, but you would want some variety to ensure you’re getting a balanced diet, right? Haven’t you ever wanted someone else’s meal when you’re out to eat? Welcome to your dog’s life. There’s a reason dogs beg for our food. They smell a delicious meal that is new and tempting. Homemade dog food has tons of benefits for your pup, especially for specific issues such as allergies, gastrointestinal sensitivity, or skin problems.
Dogs are family too, so you should treat them like it with a variety of nutritious foods from trusted ingredients. In this article, we will give you tips on nutritional guidelines, the benefits and disadvantages of homemade dog food, and our favorite healthy dog food recipes. We guarantee your pup will benefit from these dietary changes and even improve behavioral problems due to possible deficiencies.
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Benefits of Homemade Dog Food
A homemade dog food diet is a great way to give Fido a real nutritious meal that will promote health and longevity. These meals are packed with wholesome meat, nourishing fruit and hearty vegetables. Unlike commercial kibble, homemade diets allow you to control the ingredients of your dog’s food.
No matter your pet’s overall health, homemade dog recipes will keep them enticed with ingredients that will benefit their body. Some advantages of feeding your pup homemade food include:
1. No Filler Ingredients, More Nutrition
Commercial pet foods add cheap filler ingredients to create larger amounts for a reduced cost. These fillers lack nutritional value and if your pup suffers from food sensitivities, they can often get sick after eating these meals.
Similarly, filler ingredients in dog foods are sometimes allergy-causing ingredients. Homemade dog food diets allow you to eliminate those unnecessary fillers and potential allergens and add foods with nutritional value.
2. Homemade Dog Foods Are Fresh, Not Preserved
You will see many so-called best quality commercial dog foods on the market. However, in order to keep these foods “fresh” they add artificial preservatives and salts, but with homemade dog food you don’t need to add those unhealthy additives.
These preservatives can cause many health issues, such as heart disease, upset stomach, and diarrhea. They can also contribute to general poor health. Just like humans, eating fewer preservatives and more fresh food will keep your pets healthy and happy.
3. Increased Variation of Food
Think about how awful it would be if we didn’t have the choice to change up our food every day. Most pet owners buy a 30lb. bag of kibble which lasts for about a month. The same food for a whole month? Yuck! I know I wouldn’t want to do that, so why should our pets? They deserve better than that, don’t you think?
Feeding dry kibble is not only boring for your dog, but it is also limiting them from nutritional value. Homemade dog food diets give you the opportunity to vary the ingredients in your pet’s meal that offer a wider range of beneficial nutrients. The more variation in your pup’s food, the healthier they will be.
Nutritional Guidelines You Should Follow
If you’re thinking about starting homemade dog food diets for your pup, you should consult with your veterinarian to make sure the meals will satisfy all of your dog’s basic nutritional needs. Here are some must-have food guidelines that will help you make the healthiest homemade meals for your furry companion.
40% Protein: Animal meat should make up almost half of your dog’s diet. This could be sources of chicken, beef, lamb, pork, or turkey. Protein is beneficial for their muscle mass and energy.
10% Carbohydrates: Foods such as barley, whole oats, brown rice, whole wheat, sweet potato are great additions for your dog’s food to provide them with more energy and beneficial fiber.
50% Fruits and Vegetables:Fruits andveggies offer a range of nutrients, such as water, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. Safe fruits and vegetables to add to your recipes include carrots, blueberries, apples, peas, green beans, bananas, cranberries, and broccoli.
Fats: Adding fats to your dog’s diet not only provides energy, but they also help development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissue. You can add oils such as coconut oil, fish oil, sunflower oil, and vegetable oil.
Our Favorite Homemade Healthy Dog Food Recipes
We’ve put together a list of our favorite homemade dog food recipes from Canine Journal to share with you. We also included some yummy organic dog treat recipes your pup will love!
1. Beef Stew Recipe
- 1 pound of beef stew meat
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1/2 cup of carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup of green beans, diced
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of water or organic vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying
- Cook the sweet potato in a microwave for 5 to 8 minutes until firm but tender. Set aside.
- Slice the stew pieces into smaller chunks, about the size of a nickel.
- Cook the stew pieces in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until well-done.
- Remove the beef chunks from the pan, reserving the drippings.
- Dice the sweet potato.
- Heat the drippings over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and water into the dripping while whisking to create a thick gravy.
- Add the meat, sweet potato, carrots and green beans into the gravy and stir to coat.
- Cook until the carrots are tender – about 10 minutes.
- Serve cool.
- Store remaining stew in the fridge for up to five days.
2. Turkey, Rice, and Veggie Mix
- 6 cups water
- 1-pound ground turkey
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 (16 ounces) package frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower
- Place the water, ground turkey, rice and rosemary into a large Dutch oven.
- Stir until the ground turkey is broken up and evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the frozen vegetables, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Chicken and Veggie Recipe
- 2 1/2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts
- 2 c. frozen peas
- 1 sweet potato, cubed
- 1 large or 2 medium apples, cored and cubed (no seeds!!)
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 c. frozen green beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Place meat in the crockpot and add water so that it just covers the chicken. Then, add potato, carrots, kidney beans, green beans, and apple.
- Cook on low for 8-9 hours, when it is about finished, add the frozen peas and cook for another 30 minutes.
- When finished, drain off excess liquid, add olive oil, and stir to mash.
- When cooled, scoop daily servings into individual Ziploc bags and freeze. Each night, remove one bag from the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost overnight.
4. Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
- 1/3 cup extremely cold water
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
- 2 cups whole grain brown rice flour
- 1 large egg (you can omit this if your dog is allergic to eggs)
- 2 1/2 tablespoon flaxseed oil or olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 320 – 350 degrees.
- Use two baking sheets and baking paper to avoid sticking.
- Mix lightly beaten egg and pumpkin in a separate container until smooth. (If you don’t want to use egg then smooth out the pumpkin puree separately and proceed to the next step.)
- In a larger bowl, combine flax-seed oil and brown rice flour.
- With constant stirring, add the pumpkin mixture to the rice mixture and slowly add water. Be sure to leave some of the rice to be used as some sort of toppings.
- Hand mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Using two pieces of baking or waxed paper, roll dough out to desired thickness.
- Remove the top baking paper.
- Evenly pour rice flour onto the top of the dough and lightly press it to the waxed baking paper.
- Remove the paper and cut to desired sizes.
- Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is completely dry.
- Cool and store in a dry plastic or glass container until ready to be served.
5. Frozen Banana Treats
- 4 cups plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed
- Blend all ingredients into a puree.
- Pour into 4-ounce plastic cups (ice trays work well).
- Freeze until firm.
- Can be kept in the freezer for up to two weeks.