What should go in Homemade Dog Food?

Narrated from: Dog Nutrition

Most people who make their own dog food use one meat, two vegetables and one starch. There are also vegetarian diets and a raw meat diet, but these are not recommended for most pet dogs. Before you start an alternative diet of any kind with your dog please check with your vet to be sure you are meeting all of your dog’s dietary needs. In most situations your veterinarian has the best suggestions for feeding your dog and he knows your dog, along with any medical conditions he may have. He will likely suggest more protein if your dog is young, lactating or is a breed or breed mix with a high energy level like that of a Boxer or a Jack Russell Terrier.

Once you have decided that a home cooked diet is best for your dog, select one of the following meats; beef, chicken, turkey, pork, venison or fish. Keep in mind that organ meats such as liver can be used sparingly but should not make up more than ten percent of the meal. While organ meats are a great source of nutrients, over use will cause health problems in most dogs.

The next step is to choose your vegetables. You can pick from any of the following: tomatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, or corn. It is most often a good choice to cook all these vegetables until they are at least crisp but raw carrots are loved by most dogs and can be used as healthy treats. From there you will need to select a starch to go with the meal. You can choose from white or brown rice or potatoes. Anytime you change your dog’s diet you will want to do it slowly so add a little of his old food to the mixture at first. An abrupt change can and will cause stomach upset. Very slowly reduce the amount of the store-bought dog food until it is removed completely. Remember also that you will need to control the portion size according to the size of your dog.

Buy boneless meat or debone the meat you want to use. Many meats will fall off the bone if you use a crock pot to prepare several meals at once. Most often people who have moved to this kind of diet will prepare one crock pot full of food each week. It can be served reheated or cold once it has been cooked. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces with the size of your dog in mind. You can boil or broil the meat for your dog food if you wish but it isn’t mandatory if you plan to use a crock pot. You can add water, chicken broth or beef broth to boil the food or put it in the crock pot. When the meat is about half done you can add the vegetables.

You can add the potatoes while the other vegetables are cooking and you can even add rice to soak up some of the liquid. Once everything is cooked through allow it to cool and refrigerate or freeze it until you are ready to use it. Make sure it is sealed well in a zippered baggie before you freeze it so it doesn’t leak. It is best to seal them in individual serving sized baggies and thaw them one at a time. The individual servings can be stored in the fridge, and homemade refrigerated food can last up to about 4 to 5 days so be sure to freeze what you will not use over the next few days.

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