Making homemade dog food does require a little more effort than just scooping food from bag to bowl, but once you see how happy it makes your furry family member, it will make it all worth it. That said, your dog’s joy and happiness are not the only reasons to make your own dog food. There are multiple reasons why I started cooking for my dogs, and here are 11 reasons that it may be right for you as well:
By Samantha Randall – podcaster, blogger and editor-in-chief at Top Dog Tips
You’re a vegan, and you wish your dog was, too. Yep, I said it – a vegan dog. It isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Popular belief states that dogs are carnivores, but this just isn’t true. They are omnivores, and as long as they have a well varied diet of fruits, veggies and protein, there is no reason they couldn’t be an herbivore. As far as the dairy products go, mammals become lactose intolerant as they age, so your adult dog doesn’t need dairy anyways.
You want to save money. While making dog food your self takes more time, it saves money. This is the deciding factor in many people’s decision to make the switch to homemade dog food. Yes, if you are feeding the unhealthy dollar store brand food, then making it at home will be more expensive, but if you are already buying a higher end kibble, then you can reap the savings benefits like I’ve done. Just try it for a few weeks and see how it works out for you.
You love to cook. If you love spending time in the kitchen, then cooking for your pet is a no-brainer. You can even cook your pup the same things you eat. When you cook for yourself, just pull out some of those veggies, meats, fruits and carbohydrate sources before you season them. The unseasoned (cooked) food goes into the dog’s bowl. Feeding your dog a raw diet is much different than cooking him homemade food. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about the pros and cons of a raw diet before making this choice.
You can’t always trust store bought dog food. It seems that several times a year we hear about major dog food recalls. You are trying to nurture your furry family member, but feeding a commercial diet may make him sick. If you prepare a homemade dog food diet, you’ll know that the ingredients and preparation methods are healthy and safe. With homemade dog food, you know your utensils are clean, you know you cooked your meats long enough, and you know it didn’t sit around in a warehouse for a year before making it to the shelf.
You treat your fur-baby like a human child. Maybe you are single and live alone. Your canine is the only other member of your household. Show your dog how much you love the special companionship that only he can give you. You can feed your pup snacks like scrambled eggs, apples, spinach, oats and other dog-friendly foods. And, you can also go all in and start making the food for your dog’s entire diet. Just be sure to feed dog-friendly foods, as some human foods can be toxic to your canine companion.
You like variety, and you know your dog would, too. There are so many recipes for dog food out there. Even if you don’t make a total switch, you can supplement your pups diet with homemade treats. If your dogs are anything like mine, they will love the new treats better than the old store-bought ones. You don’t have to give your pooch something different every day, just pick a couple of your favorites and you are on your way.
More and more vets are recommending it. Some vets, maybe even your own, do not agree with the homemade dog food craze. As time passes though, more and more are starting to praise the benefits of homemade dog food. If you can make sure that you are still feeding your four-legged family member a proper diet, then there is no reason you can’t have a healthy, happy pet with the food you make. With quality ingredients and better safety standards, your kitchen can crank out a better food for your pet. It’s important that you work with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to ensure you are serving your dog a balanced diet that is offering the appropriate amount of nutrients for his size, weight and activity level. They’ll also guide you in feeding meals that cater to any health conditions that your dog may have.
There will be no more additives and preservatives. If you are storing food for a hurricane, then yes, you need preservatives, but if you buy your food, cook it, and eat it within the span of a few days, then preservatives are not needed. The fresh food you make will look great, no need to add colorings and dyes. Your fresh dog food doesn’t need to be packed into bite sized chunks that require emulsifiers and stabilizers. By feeding your pooch the same foods you feed yourself, you eliminate all that unneeded, potentially harmful stuff.
Your pet will be healthier than ever before. Once your pet starts getting all those vitamins and minerals, they will look and feel better. It isn’t just your standard vitamins and minerals though. Dog food recipes include foods with Omega Fatty Acids, Anti-oxidants, and other beneficial components. Those things make for brighter eyes, healthier skin, and a shinier coat. Making your own dog food also gives you an easy way to add supplements to your dog’s diet without having to force him to take a pill every day. This is especially important for pets that suffer from health conditions that are treated with oral medications or natural supplements.
Homemade dog food gives Fido more energy and may even increase brain activity. Once your dog starts receiving proper nutrition, he will not only be healthier and prettier, he will be smarter and more energetic. With improved concentration and more energy, your four-legged friend will be ready to tackle all that learning. Brain-boosting ingredients like antioxidants, amino acids and B-vitamins can be included in your recipes to help promote healthy brain function and development.
Fewer grains mean a healthier dog. Studies are showing that dogs (and people) cannot digest some grains very easily, meaning they can’t get the nutrition they need from the grain. Just like the commercial says, if your dog’s food has corn in one of the top three ingredients in his food, then he is not getting proper nutrition. When you make the food yourself, you can cut down on wheat and corn and feed better grains like oats and brown rice. Corn and wheat are okay, you just don’t want them to be the main ingredients in your pup’s food, which is the case with many commercial products.
It may sound like a lot to know, but once you get started, it will all come pretty easily. Just like you had to learn proper nutrition for yourself, you just have to learn it once. The same is true with your dog. Spend a few hours researching and consulting with your vet (or a canine nutritionist), then you got it! All the days after that will be spent preparing wonderful food for your four-legged family member.
Article By: Samantha Randall – podcaster, blogger and editor-in-chief at Top Dog Tips
[Disclaimer: Luma-Tech, LLC does not directly endorse any particular products or dietary changes in you pets current feeding methods / habits. Prior to changing your pets diet please consults with your Veterinary physician.]