Once You Go Homemade You Won’t Go Back
Make sure youre fully committed to cooking for your dog before you start feeding her homemade fare. Once shes had a taste of the fresh stuff, theres a good chance that shell have zero interest in eating kibble, says Christine Filardi, holistic pet chef and author of Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog. Even if you havent had time to go shopping and cook a new batch of food.
Make an effort to plan ahead, or put a system into place so you always have a batch of food on hand. For instance, try prepping your dogs food for the week on Sunday, just like youd meal prep for yourself. And if you know that you have a crazy week coming up and wont have time to cook, make a double batch and stick it in the freezer.
And if all else fails? Keep your kitchen stocked with a few non-perishable ingredients for fast, easy meals when youre in a pinch, Filardi recommends. Think canned fish , canned pumpkin, and frozen berries or greens. This isnt rocket science, so dont put pressure on yourself, she says. If you have to whip up a box of instant rice and throw in a can of fish once in a while, its fine.
Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes
“Why make dog food at home when you can just buy it at the store?”
The #1 reason is simply this: Control. You have full control over every single ingredient with no surprises.
Dog’s with allergies, sensitivities, or intolerance can live a happy life and you can live worry free. Which is why we like making grain free treats at home too.
The second reason is money savings! When it comes to healthy dog food the top brands are quite expensive, but you can simply use the same ingredients at home and save an absolute ton.
Of course, the next biggest concern is your time investment.
But surprisingly this isn’t as bad as it looks, and with just an hour or less per week you can make enough food to last for several days. We recommend you make use of a some big ziplock bags or containers and freeze what you’re not immediately using.
Each recipe allows for customization based on your dog’s individual nutritional requirements and tastes. But, before you get started you must speak with a Vet to see what your dog should and should not eat, as each dog’s diet will vary.
German Shepherd Raw Diet
Like homemade diets, formulating a raw diet for German Shepherds requires lots of effort and planning. There is more risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance due to its raw nature.
Raw dog food usually consists of uncooked and unprocessed animal-based products. These include raw meat, bones, vegetables, fruits, eggs with shells on them , dairy products such as butter and cheese made from raw milk without pasteurization or homogenizing. A dog raw diet is supposed to resemble the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago.
Raw dog food is a growing trend These diets provide canines more nutrients than cooked foods and help them protect their teeth, coat, digestive functions, among other health benefits. Read our German Shepherd Raw Diet Guide to learn all about raw feeding GSDs and their benefits. We also recommend visiting our best raw dog food article to find the best brands to feed your dog.
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Dietary Supplements For Home
Some supplements are required in addition to natural food for dogs. Others may be needed if you are not able to feed a variety of foods, or if you leave out one or more of the food groups above. In addition, the longer food is cooked or frozen, the more nutrients are lost. Here are some dog supplements to consider:
Unless you feed RMBs, all homemade diets must be supplemented with calcium. The amount found in multivitamin and mineral supplements is not enough. Give 800 to 1,000 mg calcium per pound of food . You can use any form of plain calcium, including eggshells ground to powder in a clean coffee grinder . Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium provides additional minerals, as well. And here is a good list of calcium-rich foods your dog may like. Just please note this list is for humans and includes orange juice, which is not a good thing to give your dog as the acidity can cause stomach upset.
Most homemade diets require added oils for fat, calories, and to supply particular nutrients. Its important to use the right types of oils, as each supplies different nutrients.
Fish Oil: Fish oil for dogs provides EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that help to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Give an amount that provides about 300 mg EPA and DHA combined per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight on days you dont feed fish. Note that liquid fish oil supplements often tell you to give much more than this, which can result in too many calories from fat.
Complete And Balanced Dog Food Diets
Its important homemade dog food is complete and balanced, meaning it meets all of the dogs nutritional needs. It is not important, however, that every meal be complete and balanced, unless you feed the same meal every day with little or no variation.
Home-prepared dog diets that include a wide variety of foods fed at different meals rely on balance over time, not at every meal. Similar to the way humans eat, as long as your dog gets everything he needs spread out over each week or two, his diet will be complete and balanced.
A human nutritionist would never expect someone to follow a single recipe with no variation, as veterinary nutritionists routinely do. Instead, a human would be given guidelines in terms of food groups and portion sizes. As long as your dog doesnt have a health problem that requires a very specific diet, homemade dog food should be the same way.
Keep in mind that puppies are more susceptible to problems caused by nutritional deficiencies or excesses than adult dogs are. Large-breed puppies are particularly at risk from too much calcium prior to puberty. See Puppy Food: Nutritional Guidelines to Maximize Health, for more on puppy nutrition.
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Did You Make This Recipe
Tag on Instagram and hashtag it #thismessisours
This 100% human grade home made dog food recipe utilizes some of the best fall produce for your dog like sweet potatoes, cranberries, rosemary, and sage. Its perfect for every day feedings and does double duty as a really delicious holiday meal for your dog!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for all of us, even our dogs! Get your dogs day off to a great start with a healthy dose of protein, vitamins, and minerals by feeding him/her a delicious Pumpkin and Yogurt Bowl for Dogs. These yogurt bowls are filled with good for your dog ingredients like fat free Greek yogurt, 100% pure pumpkin puree, plant based vitamin and mineral powder, and my Homemade Dog Food Seasoning which is a blend of 5 herbs that have extraordinary health benefits for your dog!
Why Consider Making Homemade Dog Food For Your Chihuahua
Everyone has their reasons for weaning their dogs off commercial kibble. One of the most common is control. The commercial dog food industry has gone a long way in the last few decades. It’s become more varied and high-quality.
Premium brands emerged as more dog owners focused on providing healthy products for their canine companions. Even still, commercial kibble products aren’t perfect.
While you can use ingredients lists and protein analysis guides to paint a picture, there’s just no way to tell where the ingredients used came from. Oftentimes, ingredients travel far and wide just to make it into that piece of kibble.
When you make your Chihuahua’s food from scratch, there’s no question about quality. You know where it came from and how it has been processed. This alone is enough to get many to switch. You don’t have to worry about potential toxins, bad batches, or unhealthy ingredients. As the chef to your pup’s meals, you have all the control.
Making homemade meals can also help you keep your Chihuahua excited about eating. These dogs are small enough. Skipping meals is just unhealthy! Unfortunately, this is pretty common due to their finicky nature.
Homemade meals include stronger flavors and more natural ingredients. Plus, you can mix things up to prevent boredom! It’s a win-win!
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Ingredients Needed For This Homemade Dog Food Recipe:
This DIY dog food made at home is filled with rich protein, vegetables, and healthy grains. Heres what youll need:
- Coconut oil provides a variety of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, and reducing allergic reactions, just to name a few. And just like us, your dog needs healthy fats in their diet.
- Ground turkey will add necessary protein to your dogs diet, as well as important vitamins and minerals.
- Veggies this homemade dog food recipe uses a mix of zucchini, spinach and carrots. All are safe for dogs and will provide your baby with a variety of nutrients.
- Turmeric a dog-safe seasoning that also provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Egg for extra protein and nutrients.
- Rice a complex carb that provides energy and aids in gastrointestinal function.
How Can A Homemade Diet Help German Shepherds With All Of This
Home-cooked food for German Shepherd ensures that your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and allergen-free foods as no chemicals, additives, or fillers are used when cooking at home, hence preventing allergies.
More importantly, home cooking for your GSD allows you to pick only those ingredients that you know wont cause an allergic reaction to your German Shepherd. If you dont know what foods can trigger allergies in your GSD, we strongly suggest doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before choosing ingredients for your German Shepherds next meal. Plus, it could save you a trip to the vet.
Homemade dog food is easier to digest than kibble more easily digestible food means more efficient absorption of nutrients. Dogs with homemade diets absorb nutrients more efficiently thus, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids act more quickly on the skins inflammatory response, preventing or relieving symptoms of skin allergies, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and/or a potential case of Perianal Fistulas.
A condition like EPI in GSDs requires a low-fat diet and highly digestible food. Homemade cooking allows you to create the low-fat diet needed to feed your dog, plus research confirms that fresh diets are, in fact, more digestible than even a seemingly nutrient-rich kibble10.
Remember each dog is different, and always consult with your vet before making any changes to your GSDs diet.
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Diy Homemade Dog Food With Chicken
If you think about a dogs closest modern relative, the grey wolf, Pendelton AL, et al. . Comparison of village dog and wolf genomes highlights the role of the neural crest in dog domestication. DOI: 10.1186/s12915-018-0535-2 it makes sense that a canines diet should incorporate at least some produce perhaps a few greens in the belly of whatever omnivorous animal the wolf hunted down .
To that end, this recipe includes some of the other ingredients youve seen already, plus a few cups of spinach. Dogs dont need much in each serving a little greenery goes a long way.
Pro tip: You can also sub in ground turkey for this recipe.
Making Food Is More Time
Some highly admirable, organized people cook fresh food for their dogs several times a week, or even every day. Some even buy whole cuts of meat and grind it themselves in a meat grinder.
But I have no desire to do that, and I dont beat myself up over it. Usually, Ill buy two or three weeks worth of ground chicken or turkey at once, and store it in the freezer. Then once a week, I batch-cook Charlies food and portion it into individual glass containers. I store all of the containers in the freezer, and let the next days meal defrost in the refrigerator overnight. The whole processfrom cooking, to packing, to cleanuptakes less than an hour.
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Second The Foods Your Dog Can Eat
There are actually lots of yum, nutritious human foods your dog can eat in moderation. But foods like turkey, sweet potato, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, oatmeal and so many more are on the menu. Check out the American Kennel Clubs list and be sure to check with your vet before adding any ingredient to your dogs diet. The American Kennel Club chief veterinary officer warns dog owners that it is always a good idea to introduce a new food item slowly into a dogs diet. If your pup hasnt had any of these foods before, prepare and add them incrementally to your dogs current diet to see if she tolerates them. .
Homemade Dog Food Recipes
- About 9 ounces of raw chopped beef or lamb
- 1 cup of chopped raw carrots
- 1 cup of chopped raw apples
- 1/4 cup of defrosted frozen peas
- 1 and 1/2 cup of chopped pumpkin or squash
- 2/3 cup of uncooked brown or basmati rice
- 4 Teaspoons of sunflower oil
- 4 Grams of fish oil
- Nutritional supplements
First, cook the rice and pumpkin together. You should end up with approximately 3 cups of cooked rice mixed with softened pumpkin. Let these ingredients cool. Then, simply mix the rest of the ingredients with this mixture.
You can portion this food up and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
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When Fresh Herbs Are Not An Option
This easy to make custom spice blend combines dried parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, and oregano. I sprinkle on a little of the seasoning blend at every feeding for added nutrition. I know I’m contributing to fresh breath, happy tummies, and better long term health benefits for both of our dogs!
***Please note, I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes that we feed our dogs under our veterinarians careful supervision. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human grade food diet for your pup. POST UPDATE 9/25/20 to add more information on ingredients. The original recipe is still the same***
What Kind Of Homemade Snacks Can You Make A Dog
- Peanut butter: Rascal has his own dedicated jar of peanut butter. He loves a traditional Kong but you can also mold and freeze peanut butter in any shape for a quick frozen treat. When the jar is almost finished I break out my peanut butter spoon.
- Greek Yogurt Ice Cream: In the summer we blend up unflavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Place a spoonful or two into a silicone cupcake pan and freeze for a few hours. These make for a great dog ice cream.
- Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes: Rascal’s favorite easy treat. We love bringing these over to family and friends’ houses so Rascal always has a healthy treat on hand.
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Essential Ingredients For Homemade Dog Food
To get your answer on making homemade dog food for small dogs, you have to think about bringing home these essential ingredients.
1. Muscle meat
Muscle meat comes from various animal sources like pork, lamb, chicken, rabbit, beef, and venison. You can also use the meat available for human consumption.
Moreover, fish can also be used for this purpose. Most commonly, fish, salmon, and mackerel meats are the ones that are used in homemade dog food.
2. Meaty bones and organs
Meaty bones are the trickiest ingredients for homemade dog food. These are particular types of bones with intact tendons and muscles to eat, not chew.
They are a good source of calcium otherwise, you can also use alternatives like ground eggshells and bones.
Moreover, the meat of organs like, heart, liver, and kidney should make up 10% of the homemade dog food. Furthermore, offal meat is another rich source of minerals and vitamins you can use for homemade dog food.
There is a wide variety of veggies that you can consider in homemade dog food for small breeds. These are
- First of all, take beef and brown it in a pan
- Take a bowl and mix rice and water and cook it for 5 minutes.
- Mix potato and beans with water in a pot and simmer them
- After that mix the rice and vegetables into meat
- Then serve it after cooling
Influencing Factors On Determining Feed Amount
Be honest with this assessment. Is your dog mostly a lounger that hangs out inside all day with a few backyard jaunts or is it a truly active dog like a sporting breed that hunts, a working dog like a police K9 or your pal that goes hiking with you multiple times a week for hours on end?
Human tendency is to over emphasize/assess activity levels.
Adjustments for weight gain or weight loss
Simply put, does your dog need to lose weight? Gain weight? Maintain? The answer to those questions will help you figure out which end of that 2-3% spectrum you want to start with when starting a raw food diet.
Notice I said adult dogs when referring to the 2-3% of body weight for food amounts. Puppies are an entirely different story as theyre quickly growing and need more calories to support that growth.
There are two approaches for feeding puppies:
- 2-3% of their expected adult weight
- 5-6% of their current puppy weight adjusting with the dog as it grows
Senior dogs shouldnt have drastically different needs than a middle-aged dog unless of course, activity level impacts them.
Pregnant dogs are something you should speak to your vet about in determining the best amount of raw food to support a healthy pregnancy.
Making her homemade raw dog food has just become a part of the weekly routine now.
Its a 30 minute weekly commitment that has made both her and I incredibly happy.
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