If you are here, I am guessing you want to learn how and why you should be making healthy dog food. There are tons of great benefits to making the food yourself, even if it might be cheaper and easier to buy discount food. There is a little more work required in making the food yourself from scratch, but not much.
Many things you cook for yourself can also be cooked for your dog. There are some foods you can eat that will make your dog ill. But not many. By the end of this article, you will almost be an expert on dog nutrition and diet. Many people are afraid to start making healthy dog food themself. Don’t be! It truly isn’t that hard, and besides, its pretty fun.
What are the benefits of making healthy dog food yourself?
There are so many great benefits of making healthy dog food yourself. The benefits far outweigh the cost of having to buy the ingredients and the time it takes to make the food finally. Here are some of the biggest benefits of making healthy dog food yourself:
It may sound obvious, but making healthy dog food yourself is healthier than buying canned goods. The reason is that there are no preservatives in the food. You can also ensure that you are hitting all of their dietary requirements. Most dog food, especially biscuits and other dry food, is mostly carbohydrates. Dogs don’t need that many carbohydrates; they mostly need protein and a little fat. They use carbs because they are cheap and filling. They bulk out the food without providing much nutritional benefit at all.
Making dog food is fun! Cooking for your furry friend is not only satisfying but truly enjoyable. It feels good to do a nice thing for your dog. Besides, cooking is fun anyway. Dogs are not picky eaters. You don’t have to worry about seasoning (don’t season their food). You just need to ensure that it is safe to eat. If you boil your dog a chicken breast for dinner and give them a roasted carrot (No salt, no oil, no butter, no herbs or spices), you will blow your dog’s mind. They will be over the moon about a dinner that we might perhaps find boring and bland. Dogs make great dinner guests.
You know what’s in them
If you cook the food yourself, you know for certain what they are eating. If you boil them a chicken breast, roast them some carrots, and give them some plain cooked rice, you can be one hundred percent sure there are no dangerous chemicals or preservatives. Dog food manufacturers don’t always label everything that’s in their food. Even if they did, the chemical names would mean nothing to you or me.
It’s more interesting for your dog
Canned dog food, be it biscuits or wet food, is pretty boring and bland. This does not mean you should try to spice up the food you make; it just means there is more flavor in fresh, healthy ingredients than dry food (or even wet). You can mix up their meals to keep things interesting. Dogs are pretty happy eating almost anything, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to make them better food.
Can save you money in the long run
If you prepare and freeze food for them, you can save yourself a lot of money over time. Dogs are better off eating rice, vegetables, and chicken than almost any dog food. If you cook, portion, and freeze the week’s food on Monday, it can cost you less for the week and saves you from cooking for them every day. You may be familiar with the idea of meal prepping, and this works just as well for dogs as it does for people.
What nutritional requirements do dogs have?
Dogs may not be incredibly picky eaters, but they do have very very specific dietary requirements. Here is a breakdown of what your dog’s diet must contain and why. These are listed in order of their importance. Notice how there are no sugar requirements. Dogs do NOT need any kind of sugars; even fruits should be given in moderation. Fats and carbohydrates are needed, but in moderation. A cup of rice, baked potato, or beans per day is more than enough. Fat is great in moderation, too; the fat on a nice steak is enough. Dogs are better off eating boiled chicken than fatty red meats daily. Steak or beef should only ever be given as a treat.
Water Vitamins Minerals Protein Fats Carbohydrates
What are the best ingredients for making healthy dog food?
There are many foods that you have probably been told a million times over that you shouldn’t give your dog: grapes, onion, chocolate, etc. What you probably haven’t heard is what you should be giving your dog. Here are some of the best foods to include in your dog’s diet:
Apples, Banana, Carrot, Berries (in moderation) Spinach, Beans, Squash, Pumpkin, Peas, Oats, Barley, Brown Rice, Chicken, Beef, Duck and Turkey and Eggs.
How to make healthy dog treats:
Making healthy dog food is pretty simple. For the most part, you are just boiling or roasting the above ingredients. Some, like apples, can be given raw, of course. Making healthy dog treats is the part many people assume will be difficult. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are two great healthy treats and how to make them:
A frozen Banana is a very healthy treat for dogs (and people). This can be a great treat for your dog on a warm summer day, or as a little doggy desert. A frozen Banana is very low in calories and very low in cost. Simply peel the Banana, slice it into 1/4 inch chunks, put in a freezer bag, and freeze. They can last for years, though they are best used within 6-12 months. This truly is one of the absolute easiest treats to make.
If you are someone that enjoys giving your dog puppy milk still, you should know that it isn’t good for them. Adult dogs do not produce enough of the enzymes that break down the sugars in lactose. This is why your dog may have an upset stomach after drinking some puppy milk. A good alternative is chicken water. This is a drink that is cheap, healthy, and arguably free to make.
DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG CHICKEN STOCK.
Chicken stock contains herbs, spices, a lot of sodium, and potentially onion. Chicken water is simply the water leftover from when you boiled chicken. If you are already boiling chicken for your dog, you might as well keep the water. It is a delicious treat for your dog and is virtually free.
As you can see, making your dog healthy food and healthy treats does not need to be overly challenging or time-consuming. It can even be pretty cheap. The benefits are enormous; your dog will truly appreciate the extra effort. They will be happier and healthier eating food you make them yourself.