Home cooking for your dog
How many of us have canine companions who would love – LOVE!!! – to help us clean our plates each time we eat? While it is tempting to give in to the pitiful “I’m starving down here” looks, we also know that human food can include ingredients, preservatives and spices that may not be good for our canine companions. Unfortunately, we run into that same issue with some commercial dog foods which include animal bi-products and ingredients which are either of low quality or harmful to our canine companions. In some instances, our fur babies have specific conditions which require a special diet which cannot always be found from commercial sources or which is cost prohibitive. For many pet parents, the answer is to prepare home-cooked food for their fur babies.
Things to consider when cooking for your canine fur baby
So, if you are one of the many pet parents who has decided to take the plunge and venture into home-cooking for your pups, below is a list of considerations as you plan your lucky pup’s meals:
- Good quality commercially prepared dog food can include all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals an average dog needs so if you make your own food, be sure to add ingredients which will provide the vitamins and minerals your pup needs. Some of these may include:
- Bee Pollen
- Chinese Herbs
- Coconut Oil
- Digestive enzymes
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Sea Kelp
- Dogs are omnivores which means that they can eat and process both meat and vegetables. Unlike cats, dogs can do well on a vegetarian diet.
- The food you prepare will vary depending on the weight and health condition of your four-legged canine baby. For example, there are certain foods that are ‘heart healthy’ or hypoallergenic and others, such as milk, grapes and artificial sweeteners, to name a few, which are not healthy for your pup.
- The supplements you add to the food will also vary depending on the age of your fur baby:
- Consider any special health issues your pup has, such as pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, diabetes and allergies.
- Consider the pros and cons of a raw diet for your pup.
- Be sure to include tasty treats in your fur baby’s menu – even those with diabetes or restricted diets.
- Remember that there are natural solutions to your pup’s dragon breath, including DIY toothpaste.
Now that you are fully briefed and are ready to get started, here are some simple recipes to try:
- Treats, including Peanut Butter and Banana Biscuits, Diabetic Treats and Peanut Butter Bones. You can also get ready-made healthy treats from our own Dr. Randall’s Serenegy line.
- Halle’s Frozen Pupsicles (frozen-pupsicles)
- Paula Terifaj D.V.M. provides the following daily feeding guidelines and sample recipe for home-cooked meals:
|Daily Feeding Guidelines for a 20 Pound Dog|
- Thanksgiving Turkey you CAN share with your favorite canine
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ½ C cooked brown rice
- 1 C cooked spinach
- 1 cooked carrot
- 1 cooked zucchini
- Cook the ground turkey in the olive oil
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the ground turkey and cook together to blend the flavors
- Cool and serve to your VERY excited pup.
Additional Recipe Resources
For additional recipe ideas, you may want to consult the following books which include nutritious recipes for your favorite animal companions:
- Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats by Beth Taylor
- Dinner PAWsible: A cookbook for healthy, nutritious meals for cats and dogs by Cathy Alinovi DVM & Susan Thixton
- Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard Pitcairn
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