When one thinks of the term “dog food,” what is it that often comes to mind? Most likely you thought of the smelly, slimy slop that your dog will be all too happy to dive into every night. Or even more unappealing, the dry bits of kibble that falls out of a dusty bag. For most people, this works perfectly fine. After all, your pup seems to like it, plus it’s full of the nutrients your dog needs.
Our lives are busy and complicated, and sometimes it is much easier to just give your pup the meal they are used to every night and be done with it. After all, most dog food companies have a standard of production, ensuring that your pup gets the energy they need to survive throughout the day. However, if you have the extra time and are willing to do the research, making your pups food at home from scratch carries many health benefits! Using fresh ingredients is much more beneficial than mass produced dog food!
The first major health benefit with making homemade food is the general quality of the ingredients put into it. Similarly to when humans cook at home, homemade cooking for your pup often rejects the use of processed foods in exchange for fresher, healthier ingredients. Even if you cannot remove all processed food from your pup’s meal, picking a majority of fresh ingredients will still make a noticeable effect. Consider even looking for organic meats and vegetables for the best quality for your pup!
In addition to the food being high in quality, it can be completely natural if it is made right. By having the power to ensure what ingredients are put into your pups food, you can ensure that they avoid foods with only the most natural makeup. While the standard of production does exist with many dog food companies, a lot of them choose to put profit over quality, putting many kinds of processed material in their foods. Processing food, while making it last longer and more resistant to spoilage, also deprives it of many of the nutrients that are essential to the growth of your pup. By sticking to natural foods, you can ensure that your pup will grow up healthy and strong, and have the necessary nutrients to stay that way. Homemade food is also great for dogs with food allergies!
Homemade food is also easier to digest! It allows nutrients to accumulate easier in the gut of your pup, and promotes a healthier microbiome. This healthier microbiome contributes to helping your pup with gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, and will also result in them living a longer, more active life than other dogs.
A bizarre benefit to making homemade food for your dog is the flavor aspect of it. While it may not be directly obvious, considering the look, taste, and smell of canned dog food, dogs do have a sense of taste. While their taste is very different to ours, putting fresh ingredients into the food that we give our pups will let them enjoy mealtime more than they already do. This is great for dogs who may be picky eaters.
In addition to tasting better, having a wider variety of flavors and foods for your pup will increase their quality of life tenfold. Just like humans, animals appreciate variety in the things that they do on a day to day basis. By giving them a wide variety of homemade food, and surprising them with new and exciting meals, they will become less bored, and learn to be excited for any new surprises come dinnertime. This variety will also be healthier for their body, as the change in food can lead to a better lifestyle for your pup!
Where Do I Start?
There are many places to start if you decide to give your dogs homemade food. However, the best way to start is to determine what you will need to put into your food to make it dog safe and healthy.
The first step, and one that is super important, is to include a type of protein in your food. Dogs can eat many meats, including chicken, lamb, and beef. If your dog is vegetarian, soybeans make a good substitution and supplement. Important fats can also come from these animal sources as well.
Carbohydrates are also useful, but it is important to remember that your pup, and most other dogs, must be on a low-carb diet. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes and bran allow for carbohydrates to be introduced to your pup’s diet safely and healthily.
Finally, keep track of the amount of vitamins and minerals present in each ingredient of your food. If done correctly, your pup will get all the necessary things they need to live a long and healthy life.
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