If you are a passionate dog owner you might have tried at one point to feed your dog a homemade meal.
Maybe you sneak a few bites straight from your plate or maybe you tried to make nightly meals just for Fido. The only reason you may have stopped is the perceived complexity of preparing a dog meal at home and the fear of causing harm to your dog's health. But if you adhere to dog nutrition guidelines, it is easy to switch your dog to a homemade diet.
Homemade dog food is a growing trend. Whether you are using commercial dog meals or homemade dog food recipes, the requirement for ensuring you meet a balanced diet still stands. So if you are mulling over the decision or have never even considered it, here are three reasons why you should offer your dog a home-cooked meal.
1. Lack of adequate regulation.
The one major reason why you should consider homemade meals for your dog is the lack of substantial regulation in the pet food industry. While several agencies are involved in the licensing and quality control of human food, the pet food industry has to make do with loose regulation.
Regulations in the pet food industry are not comprehensive. Things like the absorbability and ingestion of various ingredients are not covered and there are no benchmarks put in place.
All the customer is left with is blind faith that whatever the manufacturers say and indicate in the labels is the truth.
However, as the numerous recalls of pet food products have proven, sometimes they lead the consumer astray. The aggressive campaigns and veterinary specialist endorsements just leave consumers more vulnerable to pick up the latest popular food. The scary aspect is that no one knows for a fact the composition and amount of various nutrients stated in the labels is correct.
While this may work well for the manufacturers, it does not serve you and your dog well. With such low quality, you may find yourself noticing deficiencies and even health conditions affecting your dog despite feeding him or her all the recommended food portions.
2. Control and customize what dogs eat.
As with any commercial food product for humans or animals, your dog food, more often than not, contains additives. These could be to improve flavor, enhance chemical composition of certain nutrients, or, as in most cases, are chemical preservatives. These preservatives are comprised of nasty chemicals which significantly affect the system of your pet dog but make the shelf life longer. Some of these chemicals are behind digestive complications and other system failures common in pet dogs.
While there are many honest manufacturers, you cannot be sure of every product in the market.
To reduce such uncertainty, cooking your own dog food is the best option. This is because you can personally determine what your dog eats. In the case of a complication occurring you can also trace the dog's diet to each ingredient you used.
Cooking your own homemade dog food also allows you to tailor the food according to your dog's needs. In case your dog is having trouble with certain ingredients, it is easy to notice and change the food. You can also ensure the right balance in regards to the type of the dog, its age, and size.
Homemade dog food also allows you to leave out unnecessary grain. Dogs do not need grains like rice, wheat, or corn in their diet. In fact, these grains can easily lead to difficulties in digestion and absorption. Yet, lots of dog food uses grain as filler product.
3. Cut down costs but improve in quality.
The quality of most commercial foods is poor. They lack good, quality meat and are often mixed with grain. The cost of dog feed with human-grade ingredients is prohibitive to most dog owners. When compared to what you get with home-cooked meal you see the huge disparity in terms of the cost and the value obtained.
With a home-cooked meal you get fresh ingredients, most which are locally available in your market. The cooking is hardly labor intensive and you could cook once and have enough food for several days which you can refrigerate.
In return, your dog gets high-quality meals with no additives or other chemicals.
READ MORE: Should I Be Making My Own Homemade Cat Food?
The dog can enjoy having different fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, as well as quality protein from a variety of sources. The minerals portion can also be obtained from numerous options including egg shells.
Instead of exposing your dog to the limiting and risky option of commercial foods, you should look into the option of homemade dog foods. The first step is to do your research. Know which ingredients and in what daily quantities does your dog require. With this knowledge, identify the various sources of the ingredients with the help of a trained dog nutrition expert.
Once this is done, you can check online for the different homemade dog food recipes to guide you in your cooking. Get several dog food recipes for a variety of meals. Then, proceed to gradually introduce your dog to the new diet until it is fully accustomed to home-cooked meals.
For homemade dog recipes, visit June's blog, Toby's Bone.
Do you make your own dog food? Tell us in the comments below.
WATCH NOW: Bark Happy Ice Cream Social 2016