Human Foods To Avoid For Dogs
Certain foods can be toxic to dogs. Below is a quick list of what not to feed your dogs:
- Grapes and Raisins
Not all human foods are bad for our dogs. There are certain fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat. For instance, strawberries, cherries, bananas, watermelons, and cucumbers are safe and give our dogs health benefits.
A Healthy Balanced Diet For Dogs
Nurturing your pup with a healthy, balanced diet isnt as hard as it seems. Its true that it will take more time and some additional effort on your part but the benefits to your dogs health make it worth the effort.
Just as we are required to eat a recommended amount of different nutrients over a period of time, so are dogs. Protein, fiber, and fat intake are all equally important for your dog. As are a variety of vitamins and minerals for health and wellbeing.
Store-bought dog foods are often made with cheap filler ingredients rather than real foods with balanced nutrients. Feeding your dog these cheap foods over time can result in nutrient deficiencies and lead to health issues.
Finding the right balanced diet for your dog is essential for your pups health. If you are making the food yourself at home, you will have complete control over what your dog is eating.
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.
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I Ran Out Of Dog Food: What Can I Feed My Dog
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One night I was stuck at home alone, without a car, and with two very hungry 70 pound boxers looking at me with those mournful we havent eaten allll day eyes. I hurried to the pantry only to find we were completely out of dry dog food and canned food!
This got me thinking. In times of desperation, what are the right kinds of foods to feed pups in a pinch? Lets say youre out of food and unable to get to the store, out of money, on the road, or worse, impacted by a natural disaster. Dogs still have to eat, right? So what do you do when theres no dog food to be found?
We talked to Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD., DACVN*, and Associate Professor, Nutrition, with the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. If anyone knows what to whip up for a hungry pup, its Dr. Saker.
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Get Back To Normal Eating Habits
Remember, no matter how much your dog may dig this culinary adventure, dont let them get used to it. Switch back to their nutritionally complete dog food as soon as youre able for a happy, healthy pup with a full tummy!
We recommend signing up for a dog food delivery subscription so youll have food auto-shipped to your home on a regular basis and never have to worry about adding it to your grocery list. Many of our team members are big fans of the fresh, human-grade food .
Special thanks to Dr. Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD., DACVN, for her contributions to this article. Dr. Saker can be contacted at kesaker at ncsu.edu.
*Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition
Dog Food Substitutes: A Nutritious Meal In A Pinch
Theres a good chance that you have at least some of the foods listed above in your kitchen right now, so theres no need to panic the next time that you run out of dog kibble.
Rustling up a quick, nutritious meal for your dog is easy, and in many cases, your dog will find the substitute food just as appetizing as their regular chow.
Just be sure to switch your dog back to their regular food as soon as possible. Not only will that reduce the risk of an upset stomach, but it will also prevent your dog from thinking that personal chef is part of your job title.
Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock
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Kelly is a former Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, and Poodle breeder and specialized in handling Toy and Non-Sporting group breeds.
Learn about our Editorial Policy.
More and more pet lovers are turning to homemade dog food rather than continuing to feed commercial kibble mixes. Find out what it takes to prepare nutritious home cooked meals for your own canine companion.
What Can I Feed My Dog If I Run Out Of Dog Food Summary
Life can be hectic, and sometimes, we get too busy and forget to buy food for our dogs. And we may realize it when it’s too late!
Don’t worry. It’s happened to me too! So when you wonder what to feed your dog now that you’ve run out of dog food, you learn a few simple ideas here.
As a dog food substitute, a few choices can be making homemade dog food, buying online, and other human foods that can serve as dog food temporary alternatives.
But in times like these, we have to be more careful. Make homemade dog food, and make sure to check the recipe for possible ingredients that can harm our dogs.
You should avoid chocolate, caffeine, and dairy products. Make sure that your pup is still getting a lot of health benefits from their diet even when you run out of their dog food.
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Bland Diet Recipe Ideas For Cats
You will make this in a food processor or blender. Dont over blend and make it watery. Check temperature before serving.
- 1 cup of boiled, boneless, skinless chicken cooked
- ¼ cup steamed and mashed broccoli
- ¼ cup of steamed and mashed carrots
- Chicken broth start with a few tablespoons add more if too thick
- You can use lean ground beef instead of chicken.
- You can use rice and peas instead of broccoli and carrots.
Good For Humans Good For Dogs What You Can Safely Feed Your Dog
Unless youve been given any special dietary guidelines by your vet, what you should aim for is a good balance of lean protein and complex carbohydrates. If youre a meat-eating home, then chances are you have some good sources of protein on hand, whether fresh, frozen or tinned. Another protein that makes a perfect emergency meal for your dog is eggs.
Leftovers are a great option as foods dogs can eat, as long as they meet the 3 criteria above. If you have any recently cooked grains, plain meats, and/or veggies in the fridge, it can be as simple as throwing a handful of each in your dogs bowl. If you dont have suitable leftovers, one of the quickest, easiest dog meals you can prepare is plain, cooked chicken with rice. Low-sodium beef or chicken stock is a nutritious and tasty addition to any home-cooked dog meal.
Dogs dont have sophisticated palates, so plain and simple works best. Many canned and dry goods are great for homemade emergency dog food. As a last resort, you can just make your dog a bowl of cooked oats. But keeping in mind that optimal nutrition requires both protein and carbohydrates, heres a list of common pantry items you can mix and match for dog food alternatives. :
Beef, lean and plainly cooked Avoid the fatty parts of the meat, bones and recipes containing any items from the dangerous foods list, any strange vegetables, oils, heavy seasoning or wine.
Bread one or two slices of whole grain bread
Cheese mild cheese like Colby or cheddar
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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.
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.
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Why Look For Dog Food Alternatives
A lot of information came out of the investigation connected to the 2007 dog food recall, and most of it wasn’t good. In addition to identifying the contaminated food sources responsible for the illness, and in some cases death, of a number of dogs, other manufacturing practices came to light.
We learned that although all commercially sold dog foods must meet a set of government standards before they can be labeled “100% nutritionally complete”, it doesn’t guarantee that the food sources used are digestible enough for your dog to render “complete” nutrition from the mix. We also learned that some of the inexpensive chemical preservatives used in these foods may cause cancer and certainly hold no nutritional value for our pets.
Finally, we learned that the term “fresh” holds minimal value when foods are manufactured and left to sit in warehouses for months before they ever hit store shelves.
An Alternative To Home Cooking
Cooking for your pet is a process thats demanding on your time, labor, space, and finances, says Dr. Larsen.
Home cooking is not for everyone, though, and it doesnt have to be. Another option to provide your dog with whole ingredients is to get carefully prepared ready-made meals.
There are commercial foods that can be purchased that contain whole ingredients that are pre-cooked. Which is very close to cooking, notes Dr. Bartges.
So, while you might think that cooking for your dog is better for their health, it can be just as beneficial to purchase pre-prepared food thats made with the same principles in mind. Whichever method you choose, just to make sure you are always catering to your dogs individual health and nutrition needs.
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Certain Types Of Fish
While dogs can consume fish, not all kinds of fish are recommended. The safest types of fish for dogs are the short-lived fish species, including:
These types of fish are generally safe for your dog to eat and are rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain healthy-looking skin and coat. Be sure to cook the fish properly, as raw and undercooked fish can carry harmful bacteria like salmonella and listeria in the skin and muscles.
Its best to exclude any seasoning when cooking fish, and avoid frying, as fats in the cooking oil can trigger gastrointestinal problems like pancreatitis. Also, thoroughly debone the fish before feeding it to your dog. Fish bones are small and can easily get stuck in the mouth, throat, and intestines of your canine.
Oops Too Late I Already Made The Switch
If you are reading this because you switched dog foods and now your dog has diarrhea, heres what to do.
If the dog seems fine and doesnt need the vet , then withhold food for 1224 hours. This allows the gut to rest and regroup. During this time, make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh drinking water.
When you feed them again, offer a bland diet that is easy to digest. Suggestions include:
- Protein: White meats such as chicken breast, turkey thigh, cod or other white fish, or cottage cheese
- Carbohydrate: Boiled white rice, pasta or potato
Offer 4 small portions spread over the day, rather than 12 big meals. Feed this until the dog produces stool that you can pick up. Once this occurs, you can go back to once or twice daily feeding and reintroduce the new food but gradually, as outlined above.
Doggy probiotics are also helpful. These are dietary supplements that contain the correct type of bacteria to assist a dogs digestion. My personal preference is for FortiFlora, which has saved the day many times after Pogss dietary indiscretions.
However, dont use human probiotics the bacteria are different. Plus, many human probiotics come in a dairy drink, and the lactose in these can be a cause of dodgy tummies in dogs.
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How To Make Homemade Dog Food:
Making homemade dog food is a cinch! Heres a quick rundown of the process:
- Brown the turkey. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add in the coconut oil and turkey and sauté until it is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the veggies. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the zucchini, spinach, carrots and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Mix in the egg. Turn off the heat and and crack in the egg. Let the egg cook in the hot food, mix it around to ensure it mixed through and cooked through.
- Stir in the rice. Add the rice and stir it in with the other ingredients until everything is well combined. Cool and serve!
Can Dogs Eat Rice Every Day
Yes, they can! But that doesn’t mean you should. You can feed your dogs rice every day but in small quantities only.
Cooked white or brown rice is generally safe for dogs. You can also mix white rice with your dog’s regular food.
Make sure to buy the best quality of rice to have the correct nutritional value and doesn’t contain any chemicals that can harm your pups.
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Choosing The Ingredients For Fast Food Pet Food
- Avoid too much fat as this can trigger digestive issues.
- Use low-sodium meats, vegetables, and broths
- Always keep in mind your pets food allergies or medical conditions to be sure the food you offer will not affect either situation.
The recipes below are just “fast food” recipes. They are not balanced for long-term feeding.
A General Guideline For Preparing Homemade Dog Food
My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.
However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:
- 50 percent cooked protein
- 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
- Fats and supplements
Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though weve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.
Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.
Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs joint health.
Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While well remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we dont worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.
A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet.
They tend to be the leftovers in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.
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