Ingredients for Homemade Healthy Dog Food

With an increasing number of pet food recalls and concerns over commercial dog food, making homemade healthy dog food is a great alternative for pet owners concerned with their dog's nutrition and dietary needs. Knowing your dog's nutritional requirements and the best ingredients to meet these needs is essential if you are looking to make your own dog food.

Ingredients in Healthy Homemade Dog Food

Protein is one of the most important nutrients in a dog's diet and should always be included in your dog food recipes. The raw food diet emphasizes the need for protein, but for homemade dog food it is better to cook any meat used in the recipe unless you are fully prepared to research the raw diet and dedicate yourself to this new lifestyle. Proteins that are great to include in your homemade dog food when broiled or cooked include skinless chicken, ground beef or turkey, hard-boiled eggs, salmon, lamb chops and pork loin. Tofu and dairy products like cottage cheese can also be good sources of protein.

Carbohydrates and grain fillers are considered a major problem in commercial dog foods. Too many carbohydrates are a serious issue in many manufactured dog foods but some grains are necessary and perfectly healthy, contributing fiber and nutrients to your dog's diet. Cooked oats, brown and white rice, barley and sweet potatoes are great carbohydrates to include in your dog's food.

Vegetables are filled with essential vitamins and minerals that your dog needs but should be given in limited amounts and only when ground up into the food in order to be properly absorbed into your pet's digestive system. Dogs don't chew their food like humans so vegetables like celery, peas and carrots should be run through a food processor or blender. Never feed your dog garlic, onions, seeds or pits, grapes, mushrooms, corn on the cob, raisins or avocados, and limit the amount of broccoli you put into homemade food.

Flavoring can come from beef or chicken broth to moisten the food and give it a taste your dog will love. Vitamin supplements and fatty oils can also be mixed into dog food to boost nutrition and provide all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your dog needs.

The Benefits of Homemade Dog Recipes

The benefits of homemade dog food are numerous, especially due to the personal touch added to the diet. Recipes can be adjusted for any allergies or medical conditions your pet may have, age, activity level, size and breed in order to give your dog the best nutrition for his own lifestyle. Owners will also know where the ingredients are coming from and keep all preservatives, colorings or sweeteners out of the diet in a way that just isn't possible with any commercial dog foods.

The danger of making your own homemade dog food is that the diet may not be well-balanced and can cause your dog to become malnourished, especially if you have a puppy or young dog. Consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any new diet.