Advertisement

healthy homemade dog food

How to Make Healthy Homemade Dog Food

Not all people food is bad for your pooch, but it's tough to provide all the nutrients canines need with a 100 percent home-cooked meal.

By Leah Zerbe

tags: PET CARE



How to Make Healthy Homemade Dog Food

Is your four-legged friend's food really fit for a dog?

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—People are paying a lot more attention to the quality of their food, with millions dodging corporate food manufacturers and opting for local, organic food. That concern isn't limited to the dinner table, either. More and more dog owners are more closely focused on the ingredients they serve to man's best friend. Some of those ingredients are enough to send you sprinting out of the pet store with your tail between your legs. (If you had a tail.) Tainted pet-food scandals serve as reminders that nasty stuff can and does sometimes wind up in our beloved pet's food supply. But you might be shocked to find out what dog-food makers can legally include in your dog's dinner.

THE DETAILS: Pet food, even brands labeled "natural" or "organic," may contain 4D-grade meat. This type of meat could come from animals that were dying, disabled, or diseased before being slaughtered, or even decaying carcasses, "It's an animal-grade, rancid product," says naturopathic doctor Lisa Newman, ND, PhD, author of Three Simple Steps to Healthy Pets: The Holistic Animal Care LifeStyle. She notes that shoe leather, used restaurant cooking oils, animal hair and skin, and even euthanized cats and dogs are regularly used in the pet-food industry. This rather sickening fact, along with the melamine-tainted dog-food outbreak several years ago, has prompted some dog owners to invest in preparing healthy homemade dog food for their pups. However, that can be very dangerous if you don't do it right, warns veterinarian Kathryn E. Michel, DMV, MS, DACVN, associate professor of nutrition at Philadelphia School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "You may produce a good meal for yourself, but not a balanced meal for your pet," she explains. A healthy diet for you probably lacks proper nutrition for dogs, who need more protein, calcium, and certain amino acids to stay healthy. For instance, a small dog needs 800 milligrams of calcium a day, the same as a grown woman, and a big dog needs even more, explains Dr. Michel. [UPDATE: Since this story posted, Dr. Michel has expressed disagreement with the above contentions about the content of commercial pet food.]

Another pitfall? Nutritious, home-cooked meals for your dog can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with a large-breed dog.

WHAT IT MEANS: With the rise of doggy spas and canine-friendly mainstream hotels, it's clear the humanization of pets is a growing trend in this country. But Dr. Newman, who holds a doctorate degree in nutrition and developed the holistic pet-food and supplement line Admira, hopes people pamper their dogs in the food department, too. She believes the lack of quality ingredients in many brands is leading to a rise of health problems in dogs, including irritable bowel disease, allergies, arthritis, and certain cancers.

Here's how to work healthy homemade dog food onto your pooch's menu.

• Find a reputable recipe. The Internet is chock-full of recipes for healthy homemade dog food, but some of them can be quite dangerous, warns Dr. Michel. If your dog is in good health and you want to find a reputable recipe, she recommends visiting the Balance It pet lovers' site, where you can pick key ingredients, and they will provide you with a healthy food/supplement recipe for $20. The cost is lower the more recipes you buy. You can also find reputable healthy homemade dog recipes at PetDiets.com. If your pet has a medical issue, Dr. Michel recommends consulting with a credentialed veterinary nutritionist. One who is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition is a good choice. And it's always a good idea to run a new diet—store-bought or homemade—by your veterinarian first. Also, don't forget to talk to your vet about using supplements from vet-recommended companies. "You'll never be able to make a complete and balanced diet without adding supplements," Dr. Michel says.

Cat owners: It's important to note that you shouldn't try to make your own cat food at home because of the very unique dietary needs of felines. Dr. Michel says only vets with a strong background in nutrition should do this; even then, cats often turn up their noses at the food because they don't like the texture.

Published on: November 23, 2009
Updated on: January 24, 2012



More from our Authors

Do you have a need for speed? Grow the 5 fastest vegetables and go from garden to table in no time flat!

My Dog loves fruit! Thats so

My Dog loves fruit! Thats so good for him. Now he can rund Faster and is a better friend for me. Werbung Dülmen

Excellent Blog! I really

Excellent Blog! I really admire your thinking and the way you have put these information in this post. Thanks for sharing an informative post.
quotes for facebook

Its amazing, looking at the

Its amazing, looking at the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you provide. I'll bookmark your blog and visit it weekly for your new posts
Logo design

Its amazing, looking at the

Its amazing, looking at the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you provide. I'll bookmark your blog and visit it weekly for your new posts
best movies of 2011

I have to say that the

I have to say that the information here was the most complete that I found anywhere. I am definitely bookmarking this to come back and read later.
best facebook status

I have to say that the

I have to say that the information here was the most complete that I found anywhere. I am definitely bookmarking this to come back and read later.
free classifieds

Thanks for sharing this great

Thanks for sharing this great article! I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. It is extremely helpful for me. I hope you post again soon.best facebook statuses

Substantially, the article is

Substantially, the article is really the best on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.Just saying thank you will not just be enough, for the wonderful lucidity in your writing.

SEO services

This blog contains a lot of

This blog contains a lot of informative data and news which i first time read from here. Thanks for writing about this important topic.
cute quotes

Substantially, the article is

Substantially, the article is really the best on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.Just saying thank you will not just be enough, for the wonderful lucidity in your writing.
free classified ads

Food allergies

Your maltese has food allergies like my bichon. They are basically in the same family of poodles and bichons. I have Baxter our beautiful two year old male bichon is on a no grain diet, and I also make homemade on the side for all my companion friends. I don't buy the cheap commercial dog food they are unhealthy and not nutritional and dangerous. I did a lot of research and reading and educated myself about dog food dangers and what to feed them and what the ingredients mean. Read the labels and be very careful. There are many search engines to learn more about your pooch. Since I put all six of mine fur babies on a no grain diet and I make homemade (to supplement the carbs, veggies, and they need good fat). They don't itch and scratch and there coats are healthy and shiny and they have bright eyes and normal stools. It is time consuming and expensive, but guess what they are a big investement and I love dogs!!It depends on you and your companion. They don't have a voice and they rely on you to take care of them. Good luck!

homemade catfood

I disagree with the statement in the homemade dogfood article regarding cats. There are many very instructive websites that relate excellent healthy catfood recipies in particular, raw diets. Cats are carnivores designed to consume raw meats. It is also my opinion that there are few veterinarians with adequate training in animal nutrition. I have successfully fed my cats raw without incidence. It is a commitment in research and practice, but worth it.

Check your facts!

The mythology that euthanized pets are found in common dog food brands has no truth behind it. Your choice to print unsubstantiated lies really makes me wonder about the rest of the things you print. Your expert even had a problem with the statement, yet you failed to take it out.

Are you trying to supply the public with truth or create a scandal that gets you more readers?

What about kitties

What about food for kitties too?

dog food

Our maltese is allergic to wheat and corn products. What kind of food should we give him to keep him from scratching and biting himself?

VIDEOS

FREE DOWNLOAD!
Download a FREE chapter from The Exercise Cure and learn how to get your daily dose of the world's most effective preventive medicine. Click here for your FREE copy!





Advertisement
Free Newsletter
Sign up for the FREE daily newsletter and get useful tips to keep yourself, your family, and the planet healthy and thriving.

  The Daily Fix
Authoritative reporting on the latest developments in health, food, and the environment

  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen Newsletter
Get cooking tips, learn about healthy living and even raising chickens—Maria does it all!



Your Privacy Policy

BE SOCIAL WITH US!