According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, homemade meals for dogs can be beneficial for canines with allergies or other certain health issues, but very few homemade recipes are nutritionally complete. The best homemade diet for dogs is one that is vet-approved or provided by a board-approved member of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
It’s hard to ignore the pleading eyes of your furry companion when you’re cooking dinner or enjoying a meal at the table. While pet owners know that feeding our leftovers to our pups is a no-go, making homemade meals specifically for dogs is on the rise.
Making a diet plan for your dog all on your own isn’t the best idea, so read on to find out all the ins and outs of homemade diets for dogs.
Table of Contents
- Is a Homemade Diet Good For Dogs?
- Is Homemade Dog Food Healthier Than Store-Bought?
- What Nutrients Dog Dogs Need In Homemade Dog Food?
- What is the Healthiest Food to Feed Your Dog?
- What Can I Make My Dog to Eat at Home?
- What Supplements Are Good For a Homemade Dog Diet?
- What Should I Avoid in Homemade Dog Food?
- Should All of My Dogs Meals Be Homemade?
- How Much Homemade Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog?
- Where Can I Find A Dog Nutritionist?
Is a Homemade Diet Good For Dogs?
Homemade diets for dogs have their uses for some pets, like those suffering from allergies that are triggered by certain ingredients in store-bought dog foods. The most important thing to keep in mind is that store-bought dog food is nutritionally balanced, so if you’re going to feed homemade, you need to make sure you’re also getting your canine the nutrients they need in their meals.
It’s nice to know exactly what is going into our animal’s meals, but always abide by a professional when making any health changes for a pet. A homemade diet can be good for dogs, but it’s imperative that your homemade dog diet is approved by a veterinarian, or better yet, a veterinary nutritionist.
Is Homemade Dog Food Healthier Than Store-Bought?
Not all store-bought dog foods are created equal! If you’re buying the cheapest dog food on the grocery store shelf without checking the ingredients, then you’re not feeding your dog the best food for them. On the other hand, dog food bought from a reputable retailer with high-quality ingredients will rival, and usually surpass, a homemade dog diet with nutritional quality.
For dogs that are sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients, a homemade diet can be healthier, as long as it’s providing everything your dog needs in their meals. Every dog is different, but mostly, their nutritional needs are similar.
What Nutrients Dog Dogs Need In Homemade Dog Food?
According to WebMD’s pet section, for any pet food, be it store-bought or homemade, to be sufficient, it must meet the nutritional requirements of the American Association of Feed Control Officials.
Some of the most important building blocks of an excellent dog diet are:
- Linoleic acid
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- B-complex vitamins
This is not a full list of everything needed in a dog’s homemade diet! Always consult your veterinarian before beginning any new feeding regimen.
What is the Healthiest Food to Feed Your Dog?
The healthiest food to feed your dog is the one that meets their specific nutritional needs and causes no allergic reactions.
Commercial dog food may seem bland and boring, but it provides everything your dog is going to need in their diet, so if you want to make sure your dog isn’t missing out on any key nutrients, a mix of commercial dog food and homemade dog food may be the key!
What Can I Make My Dog to Eat at Home?
If you aren’t looking to completely supplement your dogs’ commercial food for homemade food, there are some things you can make your pup to give them some variety!
A few yummy food additions for your dog are:
- Cottage cheese
Just make sure to skip any salt, pepper, or other seasonings when making food for your dog.
What Supplements Are Good For a Homemade Dog Diet?
If you’re feeding your dog a homemade diet, a daily multivitamin is going to be key. You can add in other supplements like calcium and Omega-3 once you’ve established what your dog’s diet is lacking.
Never give your dog human supplements! It’s incredibly important to only use canine-approved supplements and vitamins. Human medication can be toxic to dogs.
What Should I Avoid in Homemade Dog Food?
A surprising amount of human food is toxic to dogs, which is one reason it’s so important to consult a professional before starting a new diet.
According to the American Kennel Club, some of the most common toxic foods that are mistakenly given to dogs are:
These are not the only toxic foods for dogs! Consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure about any ingredient in your dog’s homemade diet.
Should All of My Dogs Meals Be Homemade?
You must carefully plan out a homemade diet for a dog and prepare it with all the appropriate nutrients. This can be a lot! If being painstakingly exact in preparing your dog’s food isn’t for you, consider using homemade food as a supplement to a commercial dog food diet.
This lets you get the best of both worlds! You can lovingly prepare a meal for your dog occasionally while resting assured that your pup is getting all the nutrition they need from their regular food.
How Much Homemade Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog?
Your dogs’ age, weight, and nutritional needs will all play into the amount of homemade food you will feed them.
With commercial dog food, the serving size is printed on the back of the bag. With homemade food, you’ll need to consult your veterinarian to discover your dog’s caloric needs and adjust your meal accordingly.
Where Can I Find A Dog Nutritionist?
The first place to check for a great dog nutritionist is with your veterinarian. They should have all the resources necessary to find you the best local canine nutrition specialist.
If your veterinarian is unsure, you can reference the American College of Veterinary Nutrition website. They have a comprehensive directory of certified nutritionists for canines across the country.