We’ve all been there; you want to feed your dog healthy, real food, but it seems so hard! We are bringing you a list of homemade dog food tips to help you remember the essentials in your homemade dog food.
– after you read these tips, you might just forget about ever feeding your dog another prepackaged, unhealthy meal. Read on!
tip #1: variety in your dog’s diet!
Imagine eating the same meal, day in, day out. Even if it was your favorite food, the excitement would eventually wear off and you would never want to eat that food for a long time. Our dogs are the same in that they require a variety in their diet. Rotating ingredients on a periodic (daily or weekly) basis in order to get a wide range of nutrients and ingredients is the best way to go. By switching it up, your dog is more likely to get all of the nutrients he needs. Feeding a wide variety of healthy foods in appropriate proportions should meet the needs of most healthy dogs. Thus, the best diet for dogs is a diverse diet.
tip #2: calcium is essential!
One thing that your dog's diet needs is the supplementation of extra calcium, which they will not be able to get enough of from their foods alone. You can use eggshells ground to a powder (1/2 teaspoon provides about 1,000 mg calcium) or purchase pre-ground calcium, such as calcium carbonate or seaweed calcium. You can read our full post on calcium for dogs here.
tip #3: fats
Most homemade dog food recipes require added oils for fat, calories, and a supply of nutrients. There are many different types of oil you can use, based on what your dog needs in their diet. Fish oil provides important omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA. Cod Liver Oil provides vitamins A and D, as well as EPA and DHA. Use this oil if you do not feed organ meat or fish.
I like to alternate olive oil, coconut oil, hempseed, and flaxseed oil, changing it up every week. I also use wheat germ oil or sunflower oil, which adds essential vitamin E to their diet.
tip #4: organ meat
Organ meats contain about 10 to 100 times the nutrients of muscle meat. The liver has large amounts of vitamin A, several B vitamins, iron, trace minerals, and CoQ10. It is also a good source of protein. Beef liver is especially nutritious, but include chicken or other types of liver as well. I like to feed liver several times a week, with food or as a treat. It should make up about 5% of your daily/weekly protein portions.
tip #5: do you have a picky eater?
I have had many experiences with picky eaters. My dog Charlie likes to spit out his vegetables and hates liver. It is practically impossible to get them into his diet. One sniff and the look on his face says he would rather starve. And he will.
For those dogs who are not getting all their nutrients, I like to add nutritional yeast, spirulina, or a multivitamin to their diet.
We love to hear from you! Add any additional homemade dog food tips that helped your dogs stay healthy on a fresh diet, ask questions or just say hi! And remember, if you have nothing nice to add, don’t leave a comment