HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE DOG FOOD – DO’s and DON’Ts
I am not a pet nutritionist, and am doing this through investigating, educating myself, and reading about the horrible commercial pet food industries disgusting manufacturing for profit mentality.
Always check with your vet or a professional animal nutritonist before starting your pet on a new diet.
NOTE: *TABLE SCRAPS are not nutritious or healthy and are NOT RECOMMENDED.
- Check with a professional, such as a pet nutritionist or a veterinarian that specializes in pet nutrition. Or ask your own vet before switching over to a homemade dog food diet.
This can be done easily by reading books written by animal nutritionists or veterinarians.
Slowly wean your dog onto the new food. A sudden switch could cause stomach upset. Let him/her get used to the new food by gradually mixing in the new food while slowly decreasing the old food. Once adjusted to one new foods, try another using this method.
You will find that your dog will tolerate many different types of foods, just as we do. A variety diet is much more enjoyable than the same bowl of dry kibble every day!
Ensure a well balanced diet by mixing 50% protein, with the balance consisiting of fruit and vegetables and carbohydrates, in their daily diet. Following this basic formula will ensure a well balanced, healthy nutritious diet.
I always cook the meat before serving, and let it cool off to room temperature. I found that feeding my dogs their food hot or too warm seemed to cause them stomach upset. (Lady always vomits if it is too warm – yuck)
Raw Meat can be used instead of cooked if that is your preference.
Organ meat (liver, kidneys etc.) and occasionally adding eggs are very good for your pet, and as we all know variety in our diets is always nice.
Feed your pet the daily amount as recommended by your vet, according to the animal’s size, or you can use this dog food feeding chart, that gives you the proper weight to food amounts. I separate their daily requirement into two portions – morning and evening.
Rotate for variety. I buy the meat every week that is “last day” sale. At my meat market this is the meat that is still for sale for human consumption, but has to be sold by today. My butcher sells this at 50% off the sticker price. I then bring it home and use it the same day, or freeze it and make the freshly cooked meals in batches later.
This is actually cheaper than the inexpensive dog food that I used to buy. I had a week’s worth of fast fry steaks for my two 80 pound Labrador retrievers that cost under $20.00. Just look for and stock up on sales. I made a big batches of meat, rice and veggie stew for them and freeze it in individual portions. Simple as when we grab for a frozen dinner on those nights when we’re too tired to cook, but nutritious, healthy and homemade.
Use unprocessed oatmeal, brown rice, bulgur, millet, whole wheat couscous, quinoa, barley, pasta or potatoes as the starch requirement. I slightly overcook this ingredient, as raw grains are not properly digested by dogs.
Use fresh or frozen fruit and veggies and cook until tender. Make a puree after cooking any combination of veggies and fruits that your dog likes. Don’t add extra salt when cooking veggies. Use more veggies to fruits (3/4 to 1/4) Start with basics such as carrots/green beans and apples. Get creative by trying new tastes and flavours as your dog will tolerate, such as: tomatoes, peas, corn, blueberries, bananas, peaches etc.
All recipes can be converted into a healthy homemade organic meal, simply by replacing the ingredients with organic ingredients.
DO NOT USE GRAPES AS A FRUIT PORTION AS THEY ARE TOXIC TO DOGS.
RELATED LINK: This is a list of dangerous food that could kill your dog.
BASIC RECIPE – How to Make Homemade Dog Food
(This recipe makes 4 portions for a 20 pound dog @ 2 servings daily)
Precook rice, meat and make a veggie/fruit mix ahead of time
Use any lean meat such as chicken, turkey, venison, lamb, beef. Remove fat.
Use brown or white rice (or subsitute cooked macaroni potatoes)
For the fruit/veggie puree I usually stick with the favourite of carrots and apples.
I mix 3/4 vegetables to 1/4 fruit. Cook fruit, cool and puree in food processor.
Mix meat, veggie/fruit puree, starch and salt together, drizzle with oil and serve.
Separate into 4 equal servings and feed 2 servings per day. (This equals 2 days worth of food.)
Make bigger batches when you have the time and freeze in portions for easy meal time.
ABOUT MAKING YOUR OWN VITAMIN/MINERAL/SUPPLEMENT
Adding vitamins and supplements to our home made dog food is essential as the food will be deficient of certain necessary vitamins and minerals for optimum health. Follow this guide below if you do not want to use the all in one Canine Supplement that I recommend here..
# 1. ADD YOUR OWN BONEMEAL (CALCIUM)
Bone meal (Calcium) is essential to a homemade dog food diet. Dogs calcium requirements are given according to body weight. The calcium is to replace bones that wild dogs originally ate when feeding in the wild.
This necessary addition can be found in human grade bonemeal, which is available through pet supply stores, health-food stores and of course speciality on line pet stores.
Make sure you NEVER use the garden grade bone meal as this contains toxins, such as lead.
I give my two Labs, Lady and Lola this daily all in one canine supplement, so I don’t have to worry about getting all the measurements of the bone meal, vitamins etc. in the correct proportion. TOO MUCH of these will be as harmful as not enough.
# 2. ADD YOUR OWN FAT
Fat in the form of canola or safflower oil should be added to each meal. Either of these oils provide linoleic acid, which is also known as Omega-6 fatty acid
This helps improve their skin and coat.
Too much causes obesity as it is high in calories.
The wrong kind of fat (butter, animal fat) can be dangerous and cause obesity and/or pancreatitis
Amounts per day:
- 5 lb. dog = 3/4 teaspoon daily
- 10 lb. dog = 1 teaspoon daily
- 20 lb. dog = 3/4 tablespoon daily
- 40 lb. dog = 1 tablespoon daily
- 60 lb. dog = 1 1/2 tablespoon daily
- 80 lb. dog = 1 3/4 tablespoon daily
- 100 lb. dog = 1/8 cup daily
Drizzle the oil over the prepared meal just before serving.
# 3. ADD A MULTIVITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENT
A good Natural Multi-Vitamin.
If you are using human supplements, keep in mind that the average human supplement is designed for a 150-pound adult. A cat should get about 1/6 to 1/10 of a human supplement. A dog dosage can be calculated from the weight of the dog compared to 150 pounds. Do not overdose! Some vitamins and many minerals are toxic at high doses.
The vitamin-mineral supplement should be a good quality, human-type supplement, at the very least. Some of the cheaper human supplements, particularly those with a heavy coating, are not well digested by people and will not be by animals.