homemade dog meals
HOMEMADE MEALS FOR YOUR PUP DON'T HAVE TO BE OVERTHOUGHT
When I first started researching how to make your own dog food, I realized that there was so much out there about how and what to feed them. There’s a mountainous amount of resources that will tell you how many milligrams of each ingredient, each nutrient, each vitamin to feed them. Then there’s the whole debate regarding raw vs. cooked diets.
Another concern I had was budget. I expected the homemade meals to be more expensive than kibble, but it actually turned out to be a little less than the price of the premium grain-free kibble I was purchasing. There are also pet food delivery services that mail pre-made, portioned food for your pups. This is a good 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 of these resources were very informative, but I quickly realized that feeding a homemade meal required mostly common sense. The concerns and issues that arise parallel similar questions we pose when we feed ourselves and our families:
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 definitely situations that require vet supervision, but if you have a healthy active dog, the main guidelines are balance and a variety of nutrients. Like any diet, meals can be altered for your dog’s eating habits, sensitivities/allergies, weight goals or age group.
recipe for a homemade dog meal
Ingredients- Choose 1-3 from each group and mix to the recommended percentages:
-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.
-Dark greens such as kale, chard, spinach, parsley, cilantro, mint.
-Carrots, zucchini, peas, broccoli, cauliflower.
-Bananas, apples, mangos, pears and berries.
*Veggies can be prepared raw or cooked (for cooked, I like to lightly steam them)
*Then, dice or grate the cooked/raw veggies & raw fruits or pulse with a food processor to make an easily digestible texture.
Other ingredients to experiment with:
-raw pumpkin seeds
-raw whole or crushed eggs
-2000 mg of vitamin C
-1 tbsp safflower oil, walnut oil, corn oil (high in Linoleic Acid, an essential fatty acid)
-1 tbsp raw honey or tahini
-dried parsley, oregano, turmeric powder
-Use a measuring cup to more measure out the percentages and mix components from each category above together.
-The percentages above are just a guideline for a balanced diet. Change the ingredients weekly for a variety of nutrients. You can alter or tailor the amount of each ingredient for your dog’s health.
-I usually make enough for 3-4 days, so I’m able to keep the batches in big tupperware containers.
-If you make larger batches, you can divide up daily portions into separate Ziploc bags & freeze them. This way, you can have pre-portioned, ready to go meals.
Foods to Avoid:
-excessive amounts of onion, garlic, chives
-candy/chewing gum (xylitol)
-persimmon, peaches, plums