Nutrition is an important characteristic of every living thing and it has been suggested that it contributes to over 50% of her wellbeing. This same principle applies to dogs just as in humans; hence, the choice of food is an important consideration for every pet owner. Generally, there are two options of feeding; Commercial/Processed food and homemade foods. While there are several debates on which option is better for your dog, it is safe to say they are both good except that commercial/processed foods are prepared with a balanced ration but with homemade food, the responsibility rests on you in ensuring that the prepared meal is a balanced diet.
Six basic nutrients are needed by your dog; water, fats, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, and vitamins. These nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the body and should be regularly included in their diets. Although the quantity and ratio of inclusion depend on the nutrition requirement of your dog which is subjected to age, health status, and energy need. It is important to consult your veterinarian in choosing the number of nutrients to be included in your pet’s diet.
THE SIX NUTRIENTS YOU NEED IN YOUR HOMEMADE FOOD FOR YOUR DOG
Carbohydrates: Food rich in carbohydrates and safe for dogs are Oats (Whole Oats), Brown rice, whole wheat, and Whole corn among others.
Proteins: Animal protein such as turkey, duck, chicken, beef, pork, and fish are a suitable source of protein for your dog’s diet. Muscle meats and organs (Heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys) are protein-based and should be included.
Fats: Important fatty acid needed by your dog includes Linoleic acid, Omega-6, and Omega-3. Whole egg, fatty fish such as Salmon and Sardines are good sources of fats and oil. To meet up with the fat requirements, you can also provide supplemental oil for pets and add it to your daily dog’s diet.
Vitamins & Minerals: Food rich in vitamins and minerals include: All animal tissues and products (Egg, Fish, and Milk), Sweet potatoes, Organ meats, Carrots and vegetables.
Water: Your dog can drink the same water you take either tap or filtered. However, if your dog has a history of a urinary disease or renal dysfunction, your source of water should be discussed with your veterinarian.
The combination of these six classes in a meal gives your dog a complete and balanced diet.
THE DO’S OF HOMEMADE DOG FOOD
- Feed Meat and other Animal products: Dogs naturally feed on flesh and their meal should be 50% of meat/animal products. It is advisable to remove poultry skin and feed lean meat to prevent obesity.
- Feed whole foods: Most people opt for homemade food over commercial food to avoid feeding food preservatives to their dogs. So far, there has not been an established report that commercial 1. Avoid feeding raw meat: Dogs are carnivores and naturally feed on flesh. Raw meat diets are known to enhance digestion, reduce allergy, strengthen the immune system and promote dental health. However, raw meat diets pose a risk of food borne illness (which can be zoonotic) to your pets. Feeding cooked meat helps to kill off these bacteria making it safer for your dogs. Moreover, Dogs have been domesticated over the years to consume cooked meats provided by their human parents.dog foods are harmful to pets. Nonetheless, if you are trying to avoid processed ingredients probably due to health-related reasons, ensure that your ingredients are whole. A common example is using chicken (An unprocessed protein) instead of hotdogs (Processed protein).
- Always Include Dietary Supplements: This includes vitamins, minerals and oils. If your ingredient selection covers these nutrients, this might not be necessary. Most times, you might not be sure of what proportion to include, hence, the need to supplement with vitamins and oil.
THE DON’TS OF HOMEMADE DOG FOOD
- Avoid feeding raw meat: Dogs are carnivores and naturally feed on flesh. Raw meat diets are known to enhance digestion, reduce allergy, strengthen the immune system and promote dental health. However, raw meat diets pose a risk of food borne illness (which can be zoonotic) to your pets, especially when not properly sourced. Feeding cooked meat helps to kill off these bacteria making it safer for your dogs. Moreover, Dogs have been domesticated over the years to consume cooked meats provided by their human parents. If you do choose to feed raw it is imperative to get the meat from a clean and healthy source.
- Do not feed bones: Bones are a good source of Calcium, one of the required minerals for your dog. However, it also causes Gastritis and Enteritis in dogs which can be fatal.