Homemade Dog Food: What You Need to Know
by Mike Mathews
Most dog (and cat) owners are seriously concerned about the safety
of the commercial pet food that they are using. With the pet food scares and
recalls that are all over the news recently, more and more dog owners want to
prepare their own nutritious dog food for their loving companions. However, a
balanced diet for you or I is not the same as the one required by our furry
friends. Their nutritional requirements are slightly different and these
differences need to be taken into consideration for them to have a healthy
balanced diet. The 3 major ingredients are discussed below.
All dog breeds require a significant
quantity of protein in their diet, whether from a concentrated meat source or
some other vegetable protein source. This is the first and foremost ingredient
in a dogs diet. Examples of good protein sources would be chicken, beef, lamb
(including organ meat) as well as fish, eggs and cheese.
Essential fatty Acids
The second most important
requirement is fatty acids. Of these, Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) is the most
important as it is the only one that dogs cant make themselves. Examples of
good Omega 6 sources would be vegetables, vegetable oils, grains and fruits.
Calcium is another important requirement for
dogs. They actually need significantly more than their human companions.
Examples of good sources of calcium for dogs would be animal bones which they
can chew and calcium supplements obtained from vegetable sources. The
disadvantages of calcium from bones are that they may contain disease ("mad
cow" disease), have a high amount of phosphorous and contain toxic elements
like arsenic, lead, mercury, & radioactive strontium.
Foods to Avoid
There are several foods that you should
avoid when making meals for your pet dog.
- Onions and garlic - the thiosulfates in these foods are
actually very toxic to animals and can potentially cause the red blood cells to
burst resulting in haemolytic anaemia.
- Chocolate and cocoa products - chocolate contains theobromine
which can be poisonous to dogs when eaten in large quantities.
- Raisins and grapes - large quantities of these can cause liver
- Macadamia nuts - small quantities can cause temporary
- Avocados- the plant and the fruit are toxic to dogs.
- Raw meat - the book is out on this one as many people advocate
giving raw meat to their dogs. However, there is a chance that your dog (and
you) will get sick from food-born parasites. Remember, if you do feed your dog
raw meat, to practice safe food handling procedures. Also practice safe
handling of your dogs waste as, although salmonella rarely affects dogs, they
can pass it in their feces.
- Cooked poultry bones - these bones can splinter and kill your
If you are thinking of changing your dogs diet to a home made one,
you should consult with your dogs veterinarian, just like humans consult a
physician for major changes in their diet. He/she is your best source of
information on pet nutrition and can advise you on creating a balanced home
diet. Dietary changes should be made gradually as rapid changes in diet can
cause stomach upset or discourage your dog from eating. Just remember that to
stay fit, healthy and active your dog needs a nutritious and well balanced
Mike Mathews is a writer and editor for Dog Breed Facts as well as the
author of a new ebook "Choosing a Dog for Your
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Canine Health Concern
CHC advocates real food for dogs.
That is, food that Mother Nature has designed, over millions of years, and
which has made the species thrive for millions of years.
So What's the Deal with Organic Pet
Many pet owners are discovering organic dog foods to feed their
pets. Just as we humans are conscious of what we put into our bodies, these pet
owners take that same consciousness and use it to make wiser decisions about
not including chemicals in their dogs' diets.
Cranberry-based Protein and
Fatty Acids Now Available in Unprecedented Dog Treat
health-conscious consumers seek natural products, many pet owners are choosing
the same lifestyle for their pets.
Feeding And Keeping Your Dog
Meat should be the main part of your dogs diet. Fresh,
canned, or frozen beef or horsemeat are good choices.
Dogs Need Good Food Too Your
Guide To Your Dogs Diet
To give your dog the best nutrition
available you will have to understand their specific needs and how to address
them. After all, taking care of mans best friend does take a little
preparation and know-how.
Pet Food Product Recall
Revives Interest in Homemade Dog Food
This recall only underlines the
necessity of paying more attention to what our pets eat. There is a lot to be
said for preparing homemade dog food for our dogs.
Premium Dog Food
dog food better for your dog? Should you reach for the generic brand dog food
to save money or spend a fortune on premium dog food to treat your dog
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