When I first started researching how to make my own dog food, I was overwhelmed by the information out there. There are many resources that will tell you how many milligrams of each ingredient, each nutrient, each vitamin to feed them. Then there are many discussions around the benefits of raw vs. cooked diets.
Another concern was budget. I expected homemade meals to be more expensive than kibble, but when purchasing ingredients in bulk, the home-made route turned out to be a little less expensive than the premium grain-free kibble I was purchasing before. I also discovered several pet food meal delivery that delivered pre-made, portioned food. This is a great option if you don’t have the time to make your own food, however it can be a bit pricier than homemade meals or kibble.
Many resources are very informative, but I quickly realized my concerns and issues parallel similar questions when I think about how I feed myself:
Why make your own food vs. eat take out?
Why do we strive to eat more natural and less processed ingredients?
When you ask these questions about your own diet, you can start to see why making your own dog food has its benefits.
**There are situations that require vet supervision, but if you have a healthy active dog, the main guidelines are balance of essential nutrients. Like any diet, meals can be altered for your dog’s eating habits, sensitivities, allergies, weight goals, and age group.
RECIPE FOR A HOMEMADE DOG MEAL
Ingredients: Select 1-3 ingredients from each and mix to the recommended percentages.
40-60% MEAT / PROTEIN
-lean ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground lamb
- eggs (raw or cooked), organ meats (chicken liver, necks) , sardines, canned salmon/tuna
* Prepare the ground meat: Saute in a non-stick skillet on medium heat until all the meat is cooked through.
*Boil organ meats & cut up into small pieces after boiling.
20-30% COOKED STARCH AND LEGUMES
-Cooked whole brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley and buckwheat are good sources of carbohydrates.
-Cooked potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes and squash are also suitable starches.
-Cooked lentils or garbanzo beans are good legumes. Monitor how your dog digest legumes; some are sensitive to them.
-Use flour products very sparingly or not at all. Do not give dogs raw potatoes or uncooked grains.