Many of us think of our dogs as a part of our family, which means that we want to keep them as healthy and happy as possible. For some people, this means avoiding the chemicals that go into store-bought dog foods and creating meals for our pooches from scratch. If you're interested in building your dog's own homemade food, then you're going to need to teach yourself some important lessons first. Making food that meets the nutrition needs of your dog might not be as simple as you think, and it can take a lot of work, dedication, and some expense too. In this article, we'll discuss some things to consider when exploring the nutrition behind homemade dog food.
Starting With a Good Recipe:
In most store-bought dog food, you'll find that the recipes fall short on a lot of important nutrients, such as calcium, copper, zinc, and iron. Even certain recipes that you'll find online won't measure up to giving the right level of nutrition for your pet. This is why it's important to look for something that meets your dog's requirements exactly.
The best way to get the right nutrition behind homemade dog food is to choose a recipe that has been developed by an expert with plenty of training in dog nutrition. This could mean looking for help from a certified pet nutritionist or animal nutritionist. If you're unsure where to start, then your vet may be able to point you in the correct direction.
Important Facts to Remember:
When considering the nutrition behind homemade dog food, it's important to remember that your pet needs a number of different ingredients to stay healthy, from protein taken from seafood, animal meat, eggs, and dairy to fat from oil or meat, and carbohydrates from vegetables and grains. Your dog should also be getting some calcium, essential fatty acids, and more. If that's not enough to think about, when looking into the nutrition behind homemade dog food, you'll need to think carefully about your dog's unique needs. For instance, if your pet has a health problem then it may require a special diet, and you may need to speak to a pet nutritionist to create some custom recipes.
Don't be tempted to start experimenting with different ingredients in the kitchen once you have found the right recipe for your dog. Following the recipe is important as alterations can have dangerous and have unintended side effects. For instance, cooking chicken without the skin or bone will change the nutrient profile of your dish. You could also find that you subtract or add essential calories without meaning to. At the same time, some ingredients in a recipe may seem similar but don't provide the exact same nutrition. This means that you shouldn't attempt to switch one ingredient for another. Walnut oil and canola oil offer different essential fatty acids when compared to coconut oil and olive oil.
A good way to prepare yourself before making dog food at home is to purchase a food scale. This is often far more accurate than standard measuring cups, particularly when it comes to measuring meat. Make sure that you cook all of your animal products fully to kill any bacteria that could make your dog sick, and cook beans, grains, and starchy vegetables to ensure that they are easier to digest. Try to avoid adding foods that could be toxic to dogs in any way.