Many people today are interested in getting healthy dog food recipes when feeding their dogs. When you prepare meals at home for your dog you can choose the ingredients yourself so you know what goes into the food. You know you are using quality ingredients. The food is always fresh because you can make just enough for a few meals. And, honestly, homemade food always tastes better than food from a dog food bag. Here is some information about healthy dog food recipes to help you make meals for your dog.
When you make your dog’s food you can assure yourself that you are choosing high quality ingredients from your own stores. Most people like to use human grade ingredients that they would eat themselves when making food for their dog. You can set the bar as high as you like which means that, if you prefer, you can use organic foods and other foods that you consider better.
Once you bring the food home you will need to follow strict safety guidelines about storage and handling. Although dogs usually have a stronger stomach and gastrointestinal system than humans, you still want their food to be clean and safe. It’s a good idea to read the USDA’s fact sheets on safe food handling if you are going to cook for your dog or handle raw foods: You can download the relevant PDFs and keep them handy in your kitchen for reference.
Dog owners often hesitate to make meals for their dogs at home because of fears that they won’t be able to provide their dogs with complete or balanced nutrition. This is a natural fear since we want our dogs to be healthy. However, most of us are able to keep ourselves healthy without buying food out of a pre-packaged bag. You probably know how to cook for yourself or your family or at least make basic meals. If you can cook for yourself and keep yourself healthy, then you can cook for your dog and keep him healthy, too. You don’t have to be a nutritionist or an expert in canine nutrition in order to make food for your dog. Commercial dog food has only existed for about 100 years. Before that time it was normal for people to feed their dogs from the kitchen. We’ve learned some things about nutrition since that time, but you don’t have to buy commercial food in order for your dog to be healthy.
The key to keeping your dog healthy is providing him with a variety of different meats, organ meats, dairy, and vegetables over the course of each week so he gets all of the vitamins and minerals his body needs.
Most dog food recipes are fairly simple. They usually feature meat, dairy, a smaller amount of an organ meat, and some vegetables which act as a filler and provide vitamins and minerals. You can mix and match meat proteins, dairy products, organ meats, and veggies in almost endless combinations as long as you keep the same basic proportions.
If you are cooking for your dog you should give him:
• 50 percent animal protein (meat, organ meat, fish, and dairy such as plain yogurt or cottage cheese, eggs)
• 10 percent organ meat (liver, kidneys)
• vegetables which have been pureed or steamed so they are easily digestible
And, you should give your dog 800 to 1000 mg calcium (in addition to any dairy products in your dog's food) per one pound of prepared food. Your dog needs this calcium to offset the phosphorus in the meat he is eating. If you are feeding your dog raw meaty bones you won’t need to add this calcium to his diet since the bones are full of calcium.
If you stick to these proportions then you can make your own recipes. Here’s one that you can use:
Turkey and Veggie Dinner
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 2 cups brown rice
• 1 cut carrots, chopped
• 1 cup broccoli, pureed
• 4 cups water
Cook the ground turkey over medium heat until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
Add water, brown rice, and turkey to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook another 15 minutes or until the rice is soft. The longer you cook the rice, the easier it is for your dog to digest it.
Add the carrots and broccoli to the mixture and cook for another 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Cool before serving to your dog.
Don’t forget to add the calcium to the meal before serving. Depending on your dog’s weight, this meal can be divided up and some of it can be set aside to serve again later. The rule of thumb for feeding dogs is to feed them 2 to 3 percent of their ideal body weight. So, if your dog weighs 100 pounds, you would feed them two or three pounds of food per day. A 50-pound dog would eat one to one and one-half pounds of food per day. Not per meal. Per day.
You can also use a good chicken recipe such as this one:
• 4 skinless chicken breasts (bone optional)
• 1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped
• 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
• 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
• 4 cups low salt chicken broth
• Cut chicken breasts into small chunks.
• Cook chicken breasts over medium heat until cooked thoroughly.
• Add chicken, vegetables, rolled oats, and chicken broth to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft (about 15 minutes).
• Cool before serving to your dog.
• Leftovers will store in your refrigerator for several days.
• Remember to add calcium to the meal before serving to your dog. You can use any vegetables that your dog likes, or change them each time you make this recipe. Other good vegetables to use include sweet potatoes, squash, and zucchini.
It’s really not difficult to make healthy food at home for your dog. Some people worry about it because they have fed commercial dog food all their lives. However, you can feed your dog a very nutritious diet that you make yourself if you follow a few simple guidelines.