Homemade Dog Food

 

Benefits of Homemade Dog Food

For many, the thought of making your own dog food may be a daunting task, especially when you look at the ingredients of commercial dog food- Corn gluten? Chicken byproduct meal? How would one even go about making pet food with ingredients such as these?

In actuality, making your own dog food is as easy as making your own! Once you understand how a dog’s body works, you will come to realize that not only is homemade the best way, but that it should be the only way.

The main reason for making your own dog food is the ingredients- dogs are omnivorous, meaning that they eat the same way we do. This also means they should be eating a diet of whole, fresh foods and not heavily processed ones loaded with corn and soy. Feeding your dog a dry kibble is akin to you eating frozen TV dinners every day! We know that this isn’t healthy for us, so how can it be healthy for our dogs?

Now, what if you are feeding a top quality, organic dog food with no corn, soy or fillers? You are doing better than many other pet owners, however you are also probably paying a pretty penny for that dog food, and odds are it is not even fully organic- organic dog food only has to have 95% of their ingredients be organic for them to claim that their food is organic (unless they claim 100% organic, then it MUST be 100% organic). Making your own organic dog food, especially if you buy your ingredients in bulk and freeze it, is considerably cheaper than processed, top quality organic dog food.

The next concern is making sure you are feeding your dog the proper amount of food to maintain a healthy weight. To find your dog’s daily caloric requirements, please see the chart below. Please keep in mind that this chart is to be used for adult dogs who are currently at a healthy weight and who get a moderate amount of exercise. If your dog is overweight, underweight, a small breed under 1 year old or a large breed dog under 2 years old, or if your dog is a nursing female, then please see your veterinarian to have them calculate the correct caloric requirements for your dog’s specific needs.

Once you have determined your dog’s caloric requirements (***), you need to determine how much of your homemade food you need to feed your dog. As an example, we will use the calorie content in the recipe below. Let’s say you have a healthy, 30 pound dog. The poultry recipe below provides 879 calories. According to the chart above, our dog needs 886 calories per day. So all you have to do is make the recipe as is and divide it up throughout the day, easy peasy!

Now, what if your dog is 15 pounds? Looking at the chart, your dog would need 526 calories per day. Again, the poultry recipe provides 879 calories. 526 calories is roughly 60% of 879, meaning you would need to feed about 60% of the provided recipe to your dog per day. You come to this conclusion by dividing your dog’s caloric needs by what the recipe provides (in this case, it would be 526/879= 0.598. Then you would move the decimal point 2 places to the right for 59.8, or 60%). If you are not mathematically inclined or if you just want to be sure your calculations are correct, call your veterinarian- they will be more than happy to assist you.

Below are two basic recipes to get you started on your homemade dog food journey. Please note that any changes to the recipes will result in changes in the calorie content of the recipe. These recipes were taken from the book by Dr. Donald Strombeck, DVM, “Home Prepared Diets for Dogs and Cats”, first addition. If you are interested in learning more about dog nutrition or if you would like additional recipes (including vegetarian and ones for pets with food allergies), then I highly recommend that you purchase this book. If you would like to add vegetables to these recipes, go for it! Broccoli, spinach, and green beans are great additions and all have less than 30 calories per ½ cup when cooked. Just remember no onions or garlic!

Poultry Meat and Boiled Rice Diet
1/3 pound (weight before cooking) poultry meat (152 grams)
2 cups rice, long-grain, cooked (320 grams)
2 tablespoon sardines, canned, tomato sauce (38 grams)
1 tablespoons vegetable (canola) oil (14 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt substitute-potassium chloride
1/10 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon bone meal powder (3 grams)
1 multiple vitamin-mineral tablet

Directions- cook meat and allow to cool. Then mix with rest of ingredients. Serve immediately or freeze for up to one month.

This recipe provides 879 kcalories, 43.1 g protein, 37.3 g fat
supports caloric needs of a 30 pound dog
Omission of sardines reduces caloric content by 68 kcalories, protein by 6.2 g and fat by 4.6 g.

Beef Meat and Boiled Rice Diet
1/3 pound (weight before cooking) very lean beef (152 grams)
2 cups rice, long-grain, cooked (320 grams)
2 tablespoon sardines, canned, tomato sauce (38 grams)
1 tablespoons vegetable (canola) oil (14 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt substitute-potassium chloride
1/2+ teaspoon bone meal powder (4 grams)
1 multiple vitamin-mineral tablet

Directions- cook meat and allow to cool. Then mix with rest of ingredients. Serve immediately or freeze for up to one month.

This recipe provides 890 kcalories, 44.3 g protein, 38.1 g fat
supports caloric needs of a 30 pound dog
Omission of sardines reduces caloric content by 68 kcalories, protein by 6.2 g and fat by 4.6 g.

*** Daily Caloric Requirements for Adult Dogs

 lb.  kCal  lb.  kCal  lb.  kCal  lb.  kCal  lb.  kCal  lb.  kCal
1 70 31 908 61 1508 91 2035 121 2520 151 2976
2 115 32 929 62 1526 92 2052 122 2536 152 2990
3 157 33 951 63 1545 93 2069 123 2551 153 3005
4 195 34 973 64 1563 94 2085 124 2567 154 3020
5 231 35 994 65 1581 95 2102 125 2582 155 3034
6 265 36 1015 66 1599 96 2119 126 2598 156 3049
7 297 37 1036 67 1618 97 2135 127 2613 157 3064
8 329 38 1057 68 1636 98 2151 128 2629 158 3078
9 359 39 1078 69 1654 99 2168 129 2644 159 3093
10 389 40 1099 70 1672 100 2184 130 2660 160 3108
11 417 41 1119 71 1690 101 2201 131 2675 161 3122
12 445 42 1140 72 1707 102 2217 132 2690 162 3137
13 473 43 1160 73 1725 103 2233 133 2705 163 3151
14 500 44 1180 74 1743 104 2249 134 2721 164 3166
15 526 45 1200 75 1760 105 2266 135 2736 165 3180
16 553 46 1220 76 1778 106 2283 136 2751 166 3195
17 578 47 1240 77 1796 107 2298 137 2766 167 3209
18 604 48 1260 78 1813 108 2314 138 2781 168 3223
19 629 49 1279 79 1831 109 2330 139 2796 169 3238
20 653 50 1299 80 1848 110 2346 140 2811 170 3252
21 677 51 1318 81 1865 111 2362 141 2826 171 3267
22 702 52 1338 82 1882 112 2378 142 2842 172 3281
23 725 53 1357 83 1899 113 2394 143 2857 173 3295
24 749 54 1376 84 1916 114 2410 144 2872 174 3309
25 772 55 1395 85 1934 115 2426 145 2887 175 3324
26 795 56 1414 86 1951 116 2442 146 2902 176 3338
27 818 57 1433 87 1968 117 2457 147 2916 177 3352
28 841 58 1452 88 1985 118 2473 148 2931 178 3366
29 863 59 1471 89 2002 119 2489 149 2946 179 3381
30 886 60 1489 90 2019 120 2504 150 2961 180 3395

 

(Chart has been taken from Strombeck’s book, “Home Prepared Diets for Dogs and Cats”, first addition).

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