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!

Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The best homemade dog food recipes are those that provide your dog with all the nutrients the dog needs. A good recipe is judged by the quality of ingredients used and preparation rather than how much the dog likes it. However, palatability of the food is also an important consideration when choosing a good recipe for the dog since good food is of no value if the dog won’t eat it.

There are several sources with good recipes for making homemade food for the dog. When choosing a recipe it is important to look at the ingredients. Consider availability of ingredients and if you know how to prepare them. Do not go overboard looking for things you cannot afford, your kitchen pantry should serve as a guide. What ingredients do you have that you can use? Are there ingredients that you can source from your grocery store?

Dogs are different and will vary in their needs, for example an obese dog needs to cut down on calories. High fat ingredients such as peanut butter and eggs only add empty calories; the nutrients they provide can be obtained from other less fattening ingredients. Working dogs on the other hand will require high energy foods while a dog suffering from cancer will need a food high in protein. All these factors should be considered when choosing a recipe for homemade dog food. If you find a recipe you like with some unsuitable ingredients, you can always make adjustments to suit your preference.

The internet is a good source of recipes for homemade dog food. To start looking, just type the words “Best homemade dog food recipes” and this will get you a lot of hits. The first page is usually the best place to get your recipes from; it has the most reliable information. Go to the various websites and scroll through the recipes they have. If you are not sure about a certain ingredient or overall nutritional value of the food you can always ask the vet to show you how to calculate.

The reviews given at the bottom of the page will also give you an idea of how good the food is since most have already tried making it. Some pages also have discussions on various foods and ingredients used in preparing the dog food. Scroll through the comments paying attention to the negative comments…I find that these comments give you the real rating of a certain food. Critics will usually give credit where it’s due and indicate problems where they find them.

The best homemade dog food recipes are what work for your dog. If your dog is in good condition and does not suffer any deficiencies or excesses as a result of the food, then I believe you have a winner. It is up to you as the owner to decide which recipes are the best for your dog and which are not. Remember when switching your dog from one food to another it is best to do it gradually so that the stomach can adjust to the change.

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!