Healthy Homemade Dog Food Ingredients

Healthy homemade dog food can save you money and provide your dog with a nutritious diet that isn't stuffed with carbohydrate fillers, chemical preservatives and pesticide toxins. Many owners are interested in finding out how to make healthy dog food at home. Read on to learn about healthy homemade dog food ingredients and recipes.

Benefits of Homemade Dog Diets

A homemade dog food diet has a number of health benefits for your dog. A homemade diet eliminates the risk of poisoning from contamination, such as the melamine contamination that led to the recall of many pet foods in 2007. A homemade diet eliminates the use of chemical preservatives and can also eliminate chemical pesticides from your dog's food, if you choose to use organic ingredients. Other dogs may have allergies or other medical conditions, such as liver disease, which require a specialized diet. If your dog has concurrent illnesses, there may literally be no appropriate commercially prepared food for him.

Planning a Healthy Homemade Diet for Your Dog

The number one concern in planning a healthy homemade dog food diet is nutrition. Most owners don't have a thorough understanding of their dog's complete nutritional needs, and that's okay; commercially prepared foods are always nutritionally balanced and complete. However, if your dog's diet isn't nutritionally complete, he could develop serious deficiency-related health problems. That's why it's important to make sure your dog's homemade diet will meet all of his nutritional needs.

To make sure that your dog's homemade food is healthy and meets all of his needs, consult your veterinarian before you begin the diet. This is especially important if you are pursuing a homemade diet to help manage a chronic medical condition in your dog. A veterinarian, or veterinary nutritionist, can help you plan a homemade dog food diet that's not only healthy, but tasty and interesting for your dog.

Healthy Ingredients for Homemade Dog Food

Homemade dog food ingredients consist largely of the same foods you eat yourself. Lean meats such as pork, fish, chicken and beef can meet your dog's protein requirements. Eggs and cheese are also good sources of protein. 

Meet your dog's carbohydrate requirements with rice, potatoes, oats or barley. Pastas, such as spaghetti or couscous, can form a part of a healthy homemade dog food diet. Vegetables, including yams, sweet potatoes, broccoli, beets, squash, pumpkin and zucchini can provide your dog with vitamins and minerals.

Don't feed your dog walnuts, onions, grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic or citrus fruits. These foods can be toxic to dogs.

Preparing Healthy Dog Food at Home

Make sure to thoroughly cook any meat or eggs you feed to your dog. Dogs can catch salmonella and other food-borne illnesses, too.

Wash your hands before you prepare food for your dog, to avoid contamination. If you must thaw meat to feed to your dog, do so in the refrigerator. Don't refreeze meat that has been thawed. Use a separate cutting board to prepare raw meats, to lower the risk of contamination.