As pet parents, we want what is best for our dogs. However, there is so much contradicting information on the internet today regarding homemade dog food that I figured a blog post with all your most asked questions will do some good. If you do have more questions, feel free to ask them below.
1. Can I give garlic to my dog?
This one is a challenging one. On one hand, garlic has lots of beneficial effects, such as it's antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, and antiviral properties. Further, it helps resolve stagnation and lameness, getting the body's blood and fluids moving. However, it can cause hemolytic amenia when fed in large quantities.
I personally avoid garlic in my everyday cooking for dogs and use it only when necessary to treat a disease or a cold.
If you do choose to feed garlic, a safe guideline to follow is one garlic clove per 20 pounds of body weight.
2. Can my dogs eat mushrooms?
Yes, absolutely. I include mushrooms in my homemade dog food very often and my pups love it. However, I advise sticking to those found in the store, such as Shiitake, Maitake and Reishi mushrooms. Since some mushrooms found in the forest can be poisonous, I would not risk it on your dog.
3. How much liver is safe to give to my dog?
Liver should not compromise more than 10% of your dog's diet. Since liver is high in vitamin A, and vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that gets stored in the body, too much can be toxic. Further, liver is a filtering organ in the body, thus contains a certain amount of toxins. Calves' liver and liver from free-range, antibiotic-free poultry will contain fewer toxins.
4. Are nuts safe to feed my dog?
Some nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, pistachios, macadamia, and brazil nuts may be contaminated with aflatoxins from molds which can cause liver failure. The aflatoxin is usually found in the hulls, not the nut itself. Peanut, actually a legume, is also commonly contaminated with aflatoxins.
If you do choose to feed nuts, give a small amount. A human-size serving of nuts is 1/4 of a cup (an average human is about 160-180 pounds). When you translate that into a 20-pound dog, a nut a day will go a long way.
5. Do vegetables cause kidney stones in dogs?
Some vegetables, such as dark leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard), sweet potatoes, and beets are high in oxalates, which can over time cause kidney stones. Certain breeds, such as Yorkie, Maltese, Dalmatians, and Bichons seem to be more susceptible to producing oxalate stones. Limit or avoid these vegetables, or serve in soups, where the high amount of moisture will help break down any stone formation.