Raw Dog Food Recipes – ORDER UP, PUP!
Toys, treats, walks — it doesn’t take much to make our dogs happy. Pleasing their digestive systems can be a different story. The thought of making raw dog food is daunting, but there are many reasons to start fixing your pooch’s food from scratch. The best part? It can be easy, inexpensive and ultimately, healthier for your pet — here’s how.
The Benefits of Homemade Dog Food
At first glance, making your dog’s food seems unnecessary. That’s what store-bought dog food is for, right?
While store-bought foods are designed to satisfy Fido’s daily nourishment needs, even the most premium bags are often nutritionally unbalanced. Worse, these foods may be filled with additives, which can be extremely dangerous for your pet to ingest. Pet foods are recalled often and there are many reports of commercial foods causing illness. By making your own food, you have control over what goes in it, which could save your pet from harmful substances.
A major benefit of raw dog food is cost. You might have heard the saying, “I wouldn’t feed that to my dog!” Statements like this assume that dogs can eat ingredients that are lower-grade, but that isn’t necessarily true. Making your own dog food can ensure that you aren’t paying triple the amount just to feed your dog decently. By adding fresh ingredients to your dog’s food, you can dramatically lower the price of feeding your pet each month. With cost-efficient add-ins like carrots and sweet potatoes, it’s easy to prepare healthy meals at a fraction of the price.
The Basics of Doggy Digestion
From an early age, we know what our bodies need, from water to fruits and vegetables. In similar fashion, our dogs have dietary needs. In order for them to grow properly and sustain a healthy energy level, those nutritional needs must be met. Water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are all important steps on the pathway to a healthy pup.
Just like babies, kids, and adults eat differently, so do puppy, adult, and senior dogs. At different ages, dogs need different levels of nutrients and vitamins. This can seem like a hurdle to overcome when preparing to make your dog’s food. How are we supposed to know the perfect dietary balance for our dogs? Don’t fret — a simple conversation with your veterinarian about your dog’s needs will ease your reservations and empower you to make the healthiest food in the appropriate portions for your pet.
Raw Dog Food Recipes
It is important to note that for dogs, no one food should make up more than half of the dog’s meal. When changing your dog’s diet, don’t forget to do so slowly, instead of all at once, to avoid gastrointestinal upset.
There are many foods you can use in your dog’s raw food diet that are both healthy and tasty. Use combinations of the lists below to create a diet that is nutritional, nourishing and sustainable for your pet. Don’t forget that the amount of food your dog needs will vary based on his age, activity level and size.
Meat: This is the category most people think of when considering raw dog food recipes. Poultry, lamb, pork, red meat and raw, meaty bones (RMBs — think chicken necks) are appropriate to feed your dog. (Do not feed your dog cooked RMBs or throw whole chickens at them). Shoot for lean meats (no bacon or ham) and cut off the fat when possible.
Fruits: There are many fruits you can use in your dog’s meals, including:
- watermelon (without the seeds)
- apples (with no seeds or core)
- Fruits are enjoyable for your pet, and when frozen, can even be a sweet “dessert” treat.
Vegetables: When it comes to adding vegetables to your dog’s meals, think starch! Here are some good examples:
- green beans
- sweet potatoes
Too much of leafy vegetables, however, can cause gas and uncomfortable digestion for your dog.
Grains: This is a highly debatable food group for dogs. While you could include grains such as rice, barley or oatmeal in your pet’s diet, grains cause the most problems with allergies, gastrointestinal issues and even arthritis.
Eggs: Eggs (never raw) are a major protein powerhouse when feeding your dog. Don’t overdo it on the eggs, though — one a day or less, depending on their size, is plenty.
If your dog’s diet is lacking in any of the above food groups, supplementation is crucial to maintaining his overall health. Calcium, oils (such as fish oil) and other vitamins and minerals may be needed if you are not giving your dog enough nutritional variety.
Healthy Dog, Happy Owner
When we shop at the grocery, we search diligently for what’s healthiest for our bodies, reading through ingredient lists and researching before purchase. What we feed our furry friends should be regarded in the same way. Raw dog food has many benefits, but the best one might be the overall satisfaction of your pet. By reducing or eliminating additives and unnecessary preservatives, your dog profits. You may see better weight control, more energy and less (or no) allergic reactions. A healthier dog…what could make a pet parent happier?