4 Top Tips On Making Homemade Dog Food

"Cook for Your Dog and Save His Life"! In lieu of all the FDA Recalls it seems the best way to keep your dog safe is to cook (or semi-cook) for your pooch.

Your dog is part of your family, and you may be willing to do most anything for him.

If so, get out the apron... and get ready to teach yourself a few new tricks. There are things you need to know to keep your pet healthy and strong.

Below are 4 top tips on making homemade dog food

1. Start With a Good Recipe

Many dog food recipes fall short in certain nutrients, especially iron, copper, calcium, and zinc.

Even some recipes created by veterinarians don't measure up. The University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine tested 200 recipes, many written by vets. The researchers found most of the recipes were short on some essential nutrients.

The best way to make sure a recipe has what it takes is to choose one created by an expert with training in dog nutrition, says Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD.

That might be a certified pet nutritionist or a PhD-trained animal nutritionist with experience making pet food. Your vet should be able to point you in the right direction.

Your pet needs:
  • Protein (animal meat, seafood, dairy, or eggs), 
  • Fat (from meat or oil) and carbohydrates (grains or vegetables). 
  • Calcium (from dairy or an ingredient such as egg shells), 
  • Essential fatty acids (from certain plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods).
And if that's not enough to consider, if your dog has a health problem, he may need a special diet. You may need a pet nutrition expert to create custom recipes.

2. Prepare the Recipe Right

Tempted to experiment in the kitchen? Save it for yourself. It’s best not to improvise when you cook for your pooch.

Follow the recipe. Altering it can have unintended effects. For example, cooking chicken with or without skin and bone changes the recipe’s nutrient profile, Larsen says. You might also add or subtract calories without meaning to.

Buy a food scale. They are much more accurate than measuring cups, especially for measuring meat.

Cook all animal products to kill bacteria that could make your pooch sick. Cook grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest.

Never add foods that are toxic to dogs. These include chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocados, and Macadamia nuts.

If you want to mix things up, do it with the treats you feed. Offer dog-safe fresh fruits and vegetables as treats. (See the list below for "people food" that's good for dogs.)

List of Foods To Avoid Giving To Pets

3. Add the Right Supplements

Even the best recipes often don’t provide enough of certain nutrients, such as calcium.

Your pup needs supplements if you’re feeding him from scratch. Which ones depend on which nutrients are missing from his meals. A good recipe should include specific supplement instructions. If you're unsure, talk to a pet nutritionist. 

4. Make Sure the Diet’s Working

After your dog’s been dining on your kitchen creations for 2 to 3 weeks, take him to the vet to make sure he’s not gaining or losing too much weight.

If his weight is changing, check it again in a couple of weeks.

Take your pooch for a checkup twice a year. The vet can look at his skin, coat, body condition, and “any type of problems that might be happening as the result of the diet,” Larsen says.

By Marianne Wait
WebMD Pet Health Feature
NOTE: Pets-N-More deleted a portion of this article about "oils". They suggest you use canola oil and corn oil, which is a product of harmful GMOs... 
10 Reasons to Avoid GMO's ... or “genetically modified organisms”. 

An alternative oil to use would be coconut oil, olive oil (good for pets and humans), sunflower and safflower oil - in my opinion are the most healthful oils to cook with and consume for humans and our four legged friends.

If your're interested in giving people food as treats to your pet, here are some more safe and healthy options which may include:
  • Green beans 
  • Cucumber slices 
  • Zucchini slices 
  • Apple slices (without seeds) 
  • Cooked lean meats 
  • Baked potatoes (no unripe potatoes or potato plants) 
  • Bread (no raisin bread or raw bread dough) 
  • Unsalted pretzels 
  • Bananas 
  • Unsalted almonds 
  • Plain, cooked pasta
  • Unsweetened peanut butter without Xylitol or artificial sweetners. 
Make sure that all treats are cut into sizes that are easy for your pet to chew. If you notice any digestive upset as a result of adding new foods, be sure to discontinue giving foods that are causing trouble.

Please remember that treats should make up only five to 10 percent of your pet’s diet, the rest should come from a nutritionally complete pet food.

Make your own nutritious pet food from ingredients you trust.

Supplements need to be added when cooking for your dog. I've been using 
 Nupro Supplements for Dogs for my dog(s) for many years and find it the best on the market. I had a rescue dog that sneezed a lot, however, when I started using this supplement the sneezing disappeared. I recommend it highly.
They also have supplements for cats, which works wonders for our feline friends.

Cooking your own dog food is easy and safe...check these out.
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