Recipes And Tips For Homemade Dog Food

  • Dog Care

Your dog is your family member, and you may be feeling to do the most for them. That includes preparing their meals from scratch. If it is so, then get ready to learn a few tricks. There are many things you should know to keep your pet strong and healthy.

Preparing dog food that also meets nutrition needs isn’t as easy as you think. This can be achieved, it just needs some a lot of work, dedication, and some ingredients, a bit of investment.

Most of the dog food recipes do not contain certain nutrients, especially zinc, iron, calcium, and copper. Some recipes that are created by veterinarians don’t get included. The University of California has tested 200 recipes, mostly written by vets. Many researchers have found recipes that were short on a few crucial nutrients.

Your pet requires protein (dairy, animal meat, eggs, seafood), fat (from oil or meat), and carbohydrates (vegetables or grains). They further need calcium (from eggshells or dairy), and vital fatty acids (from several plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods).

Tips for Making Dog Food

  •   Don’t add pepper, salt, or any seasoning.
  •   Fresh vegetables usually are cheaper than frozen or canned, and they have extra vitamins if they were picked at their peak ripeness.
  •   If you use canned greens, ensure the content with the lowest salt.
  •   Keep the meal in large batches so that you just have to make the food once every week.
  •   Be careful when using your leftovers. If they have seasonings, butter, or any other ingredient that is not good for the dog.
  •   Always verify with the vet when modifying the diet of your dog.

The Old Standard

You can call this meal the “Old Standard” as it includes ingredients that you might have seen in most of the homemade dog meal – veggies, turkey, and brown rice. It’s wholesome, easy to prepare, and reasonable.

INGREDIENTS

  •   1 tablespoon olive oil
  •   1 1/2 cups brown rice
  •   1 zucchini, shredded
  •   2 carrots, shredded
  •   1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned
  •   3 pounds ground turkey
  •   3 cups baby spinach, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  •   In a big pan of three cups of water, make rice according to packet instructions.
  •   Heat the olive oil in a big Dutch or stockpot over moderate heat. Add ground turkey and then cook it until it is browned for about 4-5 minutes, ensuring that you crumble the turkey being cooked.
  •   Stir in carrots, zucchini, spinach,  peas, and brown rice until the spinach has become wilted, and the mix is heated for about 3-5 minutes. Let it cool.

Beef & Veggie Crockpot

This is a crockpot variant of some other recipes that involve veggies that hold up slightly better in the gradual cooker.

 INGREDIENTS

  •   2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  •   1  and 1/2 cups brown rice
  •   1 and 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
  •   1 and 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  •   1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned
  •   15-ounce kidney beans, rinsed or drained

DIRECTIONS

  •   Stir with ground beef,  kidney beans, brown rice, carrots, butternut, peas squash, and 4 cups water into a slow cooker.
  •   Close and cook on low heat for 6 hours or on high heat for 3 hours, stir as required.
  •   Let it cool.

Chicken & Veggie Slow Cooker

We had a lot of luck with excellent dog food recipes found on sites not specifically catered to dogs.

INGREDIENTS

  •   1 large or 2 medium apples, cubed or cored
  •   c. frozen peas
  •   2 tbsp olive oil
  •   1 sweet potato, cubed
  •   2 1/2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts
  •   2 carrots, sliced
  •   2 c. frozen green beans
  •   1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

 DIRECTIONS

  •   Put meat inside the crockpot. Then add water so that it can cover the chicken. Then, add carrots, potato kidney beans, apple, and green beans.
  •   Cook on low for 7-8 hours, and when it is approximately completed, start adding frozen peas and simmer for another 25-30 minutes.
  •   When it is finished, drain all excess liquid, add the olive oil, and stir to mash.
  •   When it is cooled, scoop the daily servings into separate ziplock bags and refrigerate. Every night, remove a bag from the freezer and place it in the fridge to defrost during the night.

Meatballs

This recipe is close to human meals, and it is displayed in an exciting and fun way.

INGREDIENTS

  •   2 cups oat bran
  •   3 slices of bread, cubed small
  •   Leaves of 4 kale stalk chopped finely
  •   10-11 lbs ground beef
  •   Salt
  •   3 cans of pumpkin puree
  •   4 carrots, boiled/steamed and mashed
  •   Flour
  •   4 eggs

DIRECTIONS

  •   Place all the ingredients in a big bowl. Mix them together and cut them into whatever size of balls you’d prefer.
  •   Then, dredge those balls gently inside flour, swaying off the excess.
  •   Keep them in a 400-degree oven until it is done. Bake time depends on the size of the balls; it usually takes 25-30 minutes.

Spinach and Salmon Scramble

Fish oils have proved to be great for pups, and it is not hard to find various recipes that include fish in the constituent list.

INGREDIENTS

  •   1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  •   1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  •   2 eggs
  •   1/2 can skinless, boneless salmon, drained

DIRECTIONS

  •   In a tiny nonstick skillet, warm the EVOO on average heat.
  •   Add the salmon and spinach, then cook it until it is heated throughout.
  •   Then, start adding the eggs and stir them continuously until it is cooked entirely about 2 minutes.
  •   Let it cool and serve in a bowl.

When we talk about home-cooked food for dogs, people think pets should only eat protein. It is inaccurate. Like humans, dogs also need various starches, vegetables, and meat to fulfill basic nutritional demands. If dogs only consume protein, they can lack essential vitamins, which will lead to insufficiencies and thyroid problems. If they can’t receive an adequate amount of protein, they can suffer from immune function, blood disorders, and muscle deterioration. Therefore, a balanced diet is crucial. Many vets suggest a ratio of 50 percent vegetables and 10 percent starch and 40 percent protein.

Making High-Calorie Homemade Dog Food

There are many situations where you want the food to contain additional calories, like an underweight dog who has to bulk up. Always discuss it with the veterinarian, especially in an underfed dog, because feeding them more than enough can create other medical difficulties. A way to improve calories is by raising the carbohydrates and protein in the mix or adding in a chopped, cooked hard-boiled egg. Also, you can try feeding satin balls as it contains high calorie and is used by rescue volunteers, breeders, and shelter workers for decades to develop a dog’s weight.

Is a Homemade Dog Diet the Right Choice for You?

Veterinary technicians urge the pet owners to utilize the supplies and the veterinarian instead of creating a diet on their own, as serving homemade diets is not fit for everyone. It’s essential to have the exact stability of nutrients. Furthermore, you should be sure that you are handing the food products accurately to ensure no one will have bacterial contamination. The best way to ensure that the pet’s diet meets all the nutritional requirements is to get the recipe from a registered dietician – a vet with board certification in veterinary nutrition or experience formulating pet diets and a Ph.D. in pet nutrition.

Ingredients to Use in Homemade Dog Food

Every food category consists of a wide range of components to choose from. An essential aspect is that the ingredients should be fresh and have no additives.

Protein

People usually think about dogs as eating beef, yet there are various other opportunities to satisfy the protein demands. Any right muscle or gland protein is great. You can use the liver slightly as it may retain impurities.

  •   Chicken – Similar to turkey, it is easy to find and affordable.
  •   Beef – Either cut or ground into little strips
  •   Eggs
  •   Turkey – Widely accessible, economic, and easily digested.
  •   Beans – kidney beans or Lima beans, but should not substitute the meat protein.
  •   Fish – Herring or mackerel, but not more than once or twice per week

Vegetables

Dogs can consume a wide variety of vegetables. Though, some should get avoided. Safe vegetables include:

  •   Cauliflower
  •   Carrots
  •   Broccoli
  •   Celery
  •   Green beans
  •   Pumpkin
  •   Spinach
  •   Peas
  •   Cucumbers

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates include essential vitamins for pups. They can also provide fiber for a healthy metabolism.

  •   Cooked Potatoes
  •   Rice – Brown rice
  •   Oatmeal
  •   Pasta without salt or
  •   oil
  •   Yams

Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Food

People mostly think that dogs can eat almost anything, but certain foods can be dangerous and even toxic to dogs. Try not to include any of these things when you’re cooking for the dog:

  •   Onions
  •   Chocolate
  •   Avocados
  •   Raisins
  •   Macadamia nuts and Walnuts
  •   Grapes
  •   Raw yeast dough
  •   Coffee
  •   Spices, paprika
  •   or curry

Ingredients to Limit

Some ingredients are not harmful to the dogs, but they should only be consumed on a limited basis:

  •   Butter
  •   Cooking oils, like canola oil
  •   Added salt, as most of the canned ingredients, have salt
  •   Dairy foods, as some dogs have difficulty digesting.
  •   Corn, as many dogs have difficulty digesting.

As some people are feeding their dogs only homemade food, it doesn’t need to be a fixed proposition. Unless the dog has to consume a homemade meal for a particular reason, you can give your dog a blend of homemade and store-bought food. Even when you don’t cook for the dog, you can still cook on the event to give a healthy option to the usual diet. Just ensure that you check the diet with the veterinarian and have proper knowledge of the correct diets to add to a balanced meal. 

In case your dog gets intense, regular exercise, use lean meats, remove the peel from poultry, and cut off detachable fat. However, it’s more reliable to feed deep meat than breast meat, unless the dog needs a low-fat regime. Just make sure that you discuss your diet with your veterinarian and get accurate information on the correct amount of supplements to add to the diet for a truly balanced meal.