In this article we look at home made dog food, why we recommend you consider doing this and we also take a look at the nutrients that a dog actually needs in its diet
Why should feed your dog home made dog food
Picking the best type of dog food that you can give is one of the most important decisions that you can make with regards your dog whether its a young puppy or an older dog. The nutrition in the dog food can have an impact on every facet of your dogs life from how your puppy grows, how it impacts their behaviour, their overall health and also their physical appearance. These are all closely linked to the nutrional value in the food that they eat. So as a dog owner you have a responsibility to the best for your dog.
The Main Benefits of a Healthy, balanced and nutritious dog food plan
Here are a list of some of the main benefits:
A healthy skin and coat
Strong muscles and well developed bones
Bright, clear eyes
More solid stools
Good dental health
Less digestive related issues
Lots of energy
Lower amount of behavior problems
So as you can see that is pretty much most things related to a dog, that is why its so important
Homemade Dog Food
One of the main reasons for giving your dog home made dog food is that it has been known for commercially made dog food to have issues which has even led to it being recalled. Although I'm not saying that companies that make dog food are making bad products, the main points are
Do you know what is in the dog food, what has been added?
Do you know where the ingredients are sourced from – how good quality are they?
Do you know what standards the companies follow?
How about the value of the dog food, is it worth the money?
Planning and preparing your dog's meals from scratch has many benefits, one of the most important being the total control of all meals served. You know exactly what is going into every meal and where the ingredients were sourced. Another benefit is that you know the surroundings that your dog's food has been prepared in – hopefully nice and clean
Just as preparing meals for a human, preparing and planning meals for dogs is no different in that you require a little bit of organization to make the meals. Some of the most common homemade dog meals include stews, soups, veggies and perhaps the occasional raw bone from time to time. The homemade dog food alternative also has the added responsibility of making nutritionally balanced meals, and achieving the calorie demands for your dog. With the correct food recipes, your vet's advice and approval and get into a program, it is not that difficult to get into an easy to follow routine.
What does your dog need?
To sustain your dog’s health, it’s very important to feed him a balanced diet and the correct amount of it every day. There are nutrients that a dog cannot do without and these include protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water – , in addition to age, health and lifestyle factors to consider, and this helps to make the task of picking out the most suitable diet less difficult.
A Doggy Diet Plan
Dogs are actually omnivores (no not carnivores) so this does mean that they can be fed specially designed vegetarian diet programs, although they actually prefer a meat-based diet. Adult dogs are often fed just once a day, but splitting that feed into two separate meals adds relationship and interest. It’s also best to feed certain deep-chested breeds, like German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Setters, several small meals as opposed to one big one, to avoid potentially terminal digestive conditions such as bloat.
You can find retail produced clinical diets available, these are usually only available from vets, that can help dogs struggling with a wide range of diseases, such as kidney stones, signs of senility, obesity, digestive issues, diabetes and dental problems. There are even food items engineered for long-coated breeds, in addition to life-stage formulas.
A Dogs Required Nutrients
Normally, dogs are not that difficult to feed, and they thrive on a diet that is actually very similar to a humans, albeit with a little more protein. Most of the foods that are of an animal origin, cereal products, root vegetables and fats are easy for them to break down. The trick of correct feeding is to give a balanced diet that provides all essential goodness in the appropriate amounts to one another with the objective intended – work, breeding, growth or health adulthood. Now lets look at those nutrients
Carbohydrates, by means of cooked cereal starch or sugar, provides up to 70% by weight of the dog’s food (after taking away any water present) or about two-thirds of the calories. The common sources are dog biscuits, pasta and rice which are three useful energy foods for dogs, rice in particular is very useful for canines that may be allergic to wheat. Yes dogs get allergies just like humans.
Proteins within meat and plants (protein from meat is recommended here) improve body tissue, carry out repairs in the body and produce hormones. The dry matter of dog food ought to contain about 15% protein, of which the majority should come from animal foods (meat and dairy products), or high quality vegetable protein like soya.
The essential minerals are calcium, phosphorus and sodium chloride (common salt) in a well balanced combination. Calcium and phosphorus make up most of the mineral matter of bone and must be used at the rate of about 3% calcium/phosphorus in the diet; too much calcium in the diet, especially in large-breed puppies, can lead to skeletal issues, while to high a quantity of phosphorus (found in high meat and offal diets) can possibly cause eclampsia (an unpleasant condition which can result in weakness, muscle stiffness, seizures, and even death) in lactating female dogs.
Other essential minerals for good health, such as zinc and copper, occur naturally in meat, cereals as well as other components of a balanced diet.
Vitamin A (which is also known as retinol) is important for growth and eyesight, while vitamins of the B group are crucial for the upkeep, in particular, of the nervous system.
Vitamin D assists the body in creating calcium, this is required for healthy bones and teeth, as is phosphorus.
Vitamin E also called (tocopherol) is important for the leveling of cell membranes. Since canines can create their own Vitamin C (which is important for maintaining healthy connective tissue and skin), this does not need to be part of the diet.
Fat contributes to the taste of food, but is in fact only essential as a source of the essential fatty acids which are vital to maintain body health. They work mainly by handling water loss through the skin. A deficiency in EFAs can lead to reproductive, skin, coat and wound repair issues.
An absence of fiber in the diet may result – particularly in the more elderly and sedentary dogs , bowel problems and various other digestive problems cause by sluggish bowels. Fiber is provided through the indigestible plant matter in foods like cooked and raw veggies as well as cereals.
It’s very important that the balance of nutrients provided to a dog is correct, an excess could cause as many health issues as not enough nutrients. If your dog gets more calories each day than his body requires, he will get fat. Dogs are the same as humans, obesity is the cause for many canine illnesses, such as heart problems, joint ailments and reduction in lung function.