Calories To Feed Per Day
WSAVA has provided a quick and easy reference of caloric needs for healthy dogs of ideal weight if you want to skip the calculations.
The Pet Food Alliance has published information that simplifies the process of estimating a dog’s MER. The following information is based on this publication and should be used for general purposes only. Consult your vet for help customizing your dog’s MER.
Not All Calories Are Equal
Feeding treats or table scraps will add to your dog’s calorie intake. Be sure that treats and snacks make up only 10 percent or less of your dog’s daily intake. At least ninety percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake should come from a complete and balanced diet. Consult your vet for advice when choosing a diet for your dog.
When choosing a commercial diet, look for diets that meet AAFCO standards for your dog’s life stage . The daily feeding recommendations on the label can be used as a general guideline and are fine for many dogs. However, you may need to adjust the amount you feed based on your dog’s needs. Dog food labels typically list the kcal per cup or can of food. The kcals may also be listed by the amount per kilogram.
Homemade dog food is more complicated. In addition to calories, you must consider protein, fat, and water content as well as the appropriate amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It is essential to work with a veterinarian to design a complete and balanced homemade diet for your dog.
Calorie Needs Of Dogs
Like humans and all other animals, dogs need a certain number of calories to maintain energy and body mass. To determine a dog’s caloric needs, the dog’s resting energy requirement and maintenance energy requirement must be calculated from the dog’s weight in kilograms, or kg.
To calculate kg, divide the weight in pounds by 2.2. For example, a 22-pound dog is 10 kg. A 60-pound dog is about 27 kg. A 100-pound dog is about 45 kg.
Resting energy requirement, or RER, is the basic energy needed to sustain essential bodily functions like metabolism, circulation, respiration, and digestion. To calculate RER, multiply 70 by the body weight in kilograms raised to 3/4 power.
RER does not include additional energy needed for activity, growth, and overall health maintenance. It must be multiplied by certain factors to estimate the dog’s maintenance energy requirement or MER. A dog’s MER is the estimated number of calories needed in a day. To calculate this, multiply RER by “X,” the number that represents the dog’s additional energy needs.
To estimate “X” and calculate a dog’s individual daily caloric needs, consider the dog’s activity level, life stage, and any health conditions or environmental circumstances that may affect energy needs.
The general caloric needs of dogs are listed here by weight. Once you have determined your dog’s life stage and activity level, use your dog’s weight in pounds to find the appropriate caloric intake.
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More Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Just Food for Dogs is a California-based company that sells prepared fresh dog food made from human-grade ingredients. They employ veterinarians and animal nutritionists on their staff and have been offering high-quality products since 2010. JFFD products are a great option if you want to feed fresh, human food to your dog without having to cook it yourself.
In addition to prepared dog food, they offer DIY Kits with a recipe and powdered supplement to make your own dog food at home. The site has several recipes made from common ingredients like chicken breasts or thighs, fish, turkey, and ground beef that are nutritionally complete and balanced after adding the prescribed amount of powdered supplement that comes in the DIY Kit.
The company states that its recipes have been through third-party feeding trials and are complete and balanced. They also have options for feeding puppies!
Just Food for Dogs uses ingredients that may add to a dogs healthy nutrition. For example, the chicken and rice recipe includes not only chicken thighs, but also organ meat like chicken livers, chicken gizzards, and spinach.
Ive made several different recipes that they provide for free on their website. Ive found them to be simple and my dogs love the meals!
Heres one of the recipes from the site for beef and potato homemade dog food. My dogs love this one!
- 1 Tablespoon JustFoodForDogs Omega Plus Fish Oil
- 3 Tablespoons JustFoodForDogs Beef and Russet Potato DIY Nutrient Blend
Mix And Portion Homemade Food For Dogs
The best way to store fresh food for your doggie is to use freezer bags. I have a small dog, so using this recipe I calculated the calories she needs per day. Measure a few day supply based on your dogs caloric needs. And portion it into a 5 day supply, so it is food safe after it defrosts.
Simply pull out a frozen bag of new food and let it defrost in the fridge every 5 days. I give her â of the baggie daily. The bags compress flat in the freezer or you can place them in an airtight container. Store in an airtight container or larger zip-top bag in the freezer.
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Homemade Dog Food Sources
- Meats: chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison
- Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, thawed frozen peas
- Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, winter squash
Recommended Serving Amounts
- 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog
- 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog
This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Every dog’s dietary needs are different. Please consult with your veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your own dog’s diet.
Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Want to try your hand and learn how to make homemade dog food? The classic proportions are 50% protein , 25% vegetables, and 25% carbohydrates . But which ingredients should you use, and how can you make sure your dog food recipe is healthy?
To help you find the best recipes, weve put together this list of 10 healthy dog food recipes to try today. Making dog food at home can save you money and give you more control over what your dog eats. Scroll down to try one of our favorite homemade dog food recipes! And if you have questions, take a look at our recipe tips at the end.
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What Should I Put In My Dogs Homemade Food
In general, homemade dog food needs a source of protein, all the essential fatty acids, all the required vitamins and minerals and enough fiber to optimize digestion. Not only do these components need to be present, but they must also be in the proper ratio to the other ingredients. Its not an easy thing to make a safe homemade dog food recipe!
Researchers have analyzed hundreds of recipes for homemade dog food. Invariably, they find the recipes are deficient in one or more vital nutrients.
One of these studies done in 2013 looked at more than 200 recipes and found that only a handful of them was nutritionally complete and balanced. And all of those were written by veterinarians!
It is possible to create safe, nutritionally complete and balanced dog food at home. But it requires careful analysis based on data that are difficult for consumers to find.
Thanks to a couple of innovative companies, anyone can make nutritionally complete homemade dog food. And these recipes are safe to be fed every day, long-term.
If you are the owner of a healthy adult dog, check out the free recipe software at BalanceIT.com. You can choose from hundreds of common and exotic food items to produce a recipe and instructions for making safe, nutritious dog food.
If your dog has specific health issues or is a puppy under 12 months old, you can purchase a custom recipe made by one of Balance ITs veterinary nutritionists.
Now Let’s Break Down The Recipe For My Easy Homemade Dog Food Shall We
The recipe box below contains a printable version of my go-to recipe for homemade dog food, which consist of lean ground sirloin, brown rice, carrots, hard boiled eggs, parsley, and a few tablespoons of oil that is high in Omega’s. But sometimes, especially since social distancing, I’ve found that it is helpful to have a list of easy substitutes for when ingredients run low. Plug in or swap out any of the items below based on what foods your pup likes/needs and what you have on hand to create your pup’s ideal dog food flavor profile.
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How Do You Make Homemade Dog Food
Cooking Our Way To A Healthier Dog Diet
Ever since I started raising my own dogs, Id always wanted to make their food at home but thought it would be too expensive or too time consuming, or that they wouldnt get the nutrition they needed.
During the month of Bugs doggy depression, I vowed to make her precious life as comfortable as possible.
Both of my pugs had a range of health issues growing up, which I unfortunately found out were common for the breed.
My older one had persistent hot spots and itchiness that no commercial dog food could cure .
Bug was overweight for a while when she was younger, even though she ate the recommended amount of food for her target weight. Eventually, I settled on Wellness kibbles and they did well with that brand.
But, I wanted to explore other options. I wanted to give them real food fresh, nutritious ingredients that I recognized and could even eat myself.
Ive mentioned in my post on homemade whole grain chicken feed that the entire household all share the same whole grains and seeds that we buy in bulk, as well as the bounty that comes from our edible garden.
Everything our animals eat, we can eat.
When it comes to homemade feed for our laying hens, we stick to a tried-and-true formula that works for every layer: 16 to 17 percent protein , vitamins, minerals, and amino acids from a wide variety of grains and seeds, and free range of a pasture for weeds, greens, and insects.
Dogs, on the other hand, arent bred for a standard function the way chickens are.
Nothing Beats A Home Cooked Meal
Theres something wholesome about cooking for your pet, the same way you cook for your family. Plus, home-cooked meals for dogs are beneficial for their digestive system. If youre worried about GMO or filler ingredients, you can take matters into your own hands for peace of mind.
But if you dont have a lot of experience in the kitchen, or you cant find the time, picking the tastiest and healthiest dog food is the next best thing.
Benefits of Homemade Dog Food
Since the 1940s, dry animal food has become so widespread that most people cant even imagine making homemade food for dogs. Still, some guardians choose to feed their furry friends healthy homemade dog food recipes that are vet-approved and discard commercial options. Here are a few reasons why:
When it comes to homemade food, building a balanced diet is crucial. Its best to alternate meals to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients it needs. Here are some must-have ingredients you should use:
If you want to learn how to make your own dog food, you should know what to avoid. Here are some ingredients that might be potentially dangerous and allergic to dogs:
Our Backstory: Common Food Allergies For Dogs
After Rascal turned a year old or so, he started developing really strange eating habits. He wasnt finishing his food, had loud intense stomachaches and frequently threw up. We went through a number of blood tests. He had been diagnosed with things like pancreatitis, anxiety and one vet even thought he had parvo. We were stressed and at a loss at how to move forward. That is until we did an allergy test.
We uncovered that Rascal was allergic to a dozen different food items, one being beef, the main ingredient in his traditional dry dog food. Our vet introduced us to an all-natural human-grade dog food company called Just Food for Dogs. The company sells premade food and teaches people how to make a homemade dog food recipe at home. Once we started this all-natural diet, the stomach aches subsided and he was the happiest we had ever seen him.
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Homemade Dog Food Recipes For Small Dogs
Its super important to feed a complete and balanced diet. If youre making homemade meals a long-term thing, you absolutely need to make sure your pup is getting all the amino acids, minerals, fats and vitamins he needs to stay healthy.
Balance IT® was started by Dr. Sean Delaney, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. They make home cooking for your dog easy by providing FREE recipe creation software and selling a supplement to make each recipe complete and balanced. Trust me, its way easier than buying 12 different human supplements and measuring out tiny amounts of each!
At BalanceIT.com, you can make recipes for one day or up to three weeks worth of homemade food. I recommend making one weeks worth of food at a time. Its a reasonable amount to prepare and store and this approach keeps you from having to cook every day.
I created these four homemade food recipes in about 15 minutes using easy-to-find ingredients. My basic approach is to choose a lean protein, a starchy vegetable or grain and another vegetable for flavor. You can add many more ingredients to the recipe-maker, but I like to keep things simple.
I loosely modeled the macronutrient ratio on popular dry dog food brands for small breed dogs. The protein and fat levels are moderate in every homemade meal recipe presented here.
Or if you want an easy option, customize one of the complete recipes they list under popular selections for your dogs weight.
Complete Nutrition From A Veterinarian
That said, homemade dog foods can require a significant amount of time and effort to get right. Homemade dog food needs to contain nutrients dogs need to be healthy. But those nutrients should be right amounts so as not to get too much or too little of any nutrient. A veterinary nutritionist has specialized training to help pet parents like yourself make nutritionally balanced meals for your dog. The recipes in this article have all been reviewed by our veterinary consultant with this goal in mind.
Its a good idea to have the recipes in this article handy in case you run out of dog food. Treat your dog like any of your other family members by preparing nutritious food from trusted ingredients.
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Homemade Dog Food Delivered
In the age of UberEats, DoorDash, and having just about anything you wish delivered, you also have the option to buy fresh, natural dog food for doorstep delivery. It can be a huge time-saver and may be worth the cost after adding all the ingredients youll need to buy to cook a recipe.
The Farmers Dog ships frozen, allowing you to keep it on hand or serve it daily as a regular meal. This food is made with fresh, healthy, and easy-to-pronounce human-grade ingredients. And you can spend your time on more important things, like belly rubs and walks.
You & Your Dog Will Love Diy Dog Food
- Homemade dog food vs store bought – advantages are you can control the ingredients for allergies which can cause health issues.
- Peace of mind ther are no unwanted preservatives, fillers, and shelf stabilizers.
- Packed with fresh leafy greens and colorful vegetables.
- Cooked raw meat like ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken can be used in this homemade recipe, it is going to taste better than dog foods that sit in a bag or on the shelf.
- Senior dogs lose their appetite and need soft food in small pieces as sometimes they don’t have all their teeth to chew.
- You can use up ingredients you have on hand from your freezer and not throw them in the trash.
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How To Make Homemade Dog Food In The Instant Pot
First, set your Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add coconut oil and the ground turkey. Break up the turkey as it cooks, using a spatula or wooden spoon.
When the turkey is cooked, turn the pot off. If there are any brown bits at the bottom of the pot, deglaze it with some of the water.
Next, add your rinsed rice, and the remaining water. You can pat the rice down with the spatula to make sure it’s covered by the water.
Then, add the carrots and green beans on top of the rice. Don’t stir everything together.