Health | Wellness, Nutrition
With increasing dog food recalls and more research being done into dry dog foods, many dog parents are considering more natural diets. A homemade diet is an excellent choice to provide your dog with a balanced, species-appropriate diet that you have full control over.

Some benefits of a homemade diet include:
1. Having complete control of all ingredients and the amounts.
2. You may never have to beg your picky dog to eat again!
3. Avoid allergens that might affect your dog. Even many limited-ingredient dog foods are not the best for allergies. By making a homemade diet, you can take control of exactly what is in your dog’s food.
4. Adaptable to you and your pets needs. You can add any supplements that are necessary for your dog.
5. Improve the bond with your pet. Your dog already sees you as the most amazing human in the world. But imagine what they might think if you started feeding a homemade diet!

What Ingredients do I need for a Homemade Dog Food?
If you are considering starting your dog on a homemade diet, it is important to understand what makes a diet species-appropriate and nutritionally-balanced. The National Research Council has developed nutrient requirements for dogs and catshttps://www.nap.edu/catalog/10668/nutrient-requirements-of-dogs-and-cats These guidelines can help provide a general guideline for dog owners to understand the dietary needs of their dog.

The number one mistake of people who feed homemade dog food diets is not adding in supplemental micronutrients to balance out the diet or only feeding chicken and rice and vegetables without making a specific recipe.

The Main Ingredients Found in Dog Foods
- Protein: meat, seafood, dairy, or egg
- Fat: from meats and oils
- Carbohydrates: Since dogs can get their energy source from proteins and fats, carbohydrates are not essential. However, whole foods, like sweet potatoes or plain canned pumpkin, are a great source of starch and fiber. These may be a better option to highly refined grains and white rice.
- Vitamins and minerals: Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and much more!

Common Whole Foods that are Toxic to Dogs
Though knowing what macronutrients should be found in dog food is very important. It is even more crucial to know which common whole foods can be toxic to dog:
- Chocolate
- Macadamia nuts
- Certain fruits: grapes, raisins, apricot/peach/cherry/plum pits, green tomatoes (including vines/leaves)
- Certain vegetables: onions/scallions, raw and green potatoes, rhubarb
- Raw dough or yeast
- Raw salmon or trout
- Avocado peel

Which Veterinarian Approved Recipes Should I Make?
There are homemade dog food recipes all over the internet. But, homemade diets can potentially be dangerous if they are not nutritionally-balanced for your dog.

The best recipes will be those that are designed by veterinarians. Also, if you decide to feed your dog only homemade recipes long-term, it may be a good idea to have them looked over by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. This will ensure that your dog is receiving all of the nutrients that they need to thrive.

If you feed your dog only homemade recipes long-term, it may be a good idea to have them looked over by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.

If you want to try out a homemade recipe to see if this is something that would work for you and your dog, the http://support.mspca.org/site/DocServer/MSPCA-Angell_Generic_HM_30_lb_dog_diet.pdf?docID=1563. This provides you with all of the ingredients needed for a complete and balanced diet for a 30 lb dog and can be adjusted to your dog’s weight. A homemade diet may feel intimidating and seem very time-consuming. Luckily, there are many subscriptions that can deliver homemade food directly to your door as well!

What is the Best Homemade Dog Food?
There isn’t one right answer! With homemade dog food, you have the ability to change ingredients regularly and depending on what’s fresh. This is a great benefit to your dog. You can provide a wide variety of quality ingredients and prevent one nutrient from dominating and creating health issues for your dog.

The most important thing is that the diet is complete and nutritionally balanced. In order to do this, follow veterinarian-designed recipes orhttps://secure.balanceit.com/ez/?rotator=NewEz

Transitioning food process to prevent GI upset
You may be worried about changing your dog’s food. Some dogs can be very sensitive to the slightest diet change, leading to diarrhea or vomiting. But, there are ways to reduce the chance of this happening!
A slow transition is always key. You should aim to transition your dog onto a new homemade dog food recipe over 5-7 days. If your dog is particularly sensitive to changes, it may be a good idea to extend this transition to 7-10 days. Do not expect to transition your dog’s food in one meal or one day.

To do this, you can gradually introduce more and more of the new diet over time:
- Day 1 & 2 25% new diet and 75% old diet
- Day 3 & 4 50% new diet and 50% old diet
- Day 5 & 6 75% new diet and 25% old diet
- Day 1 & 2 100% new diet

It will be important to monitor your dog throughout the transition. If at any point they begin experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite or decreased energy, slow down. If it continues despite a slow transition, this new food may not be best for your dog or your dog may be having an upset stomach for a separate reason. In this case, reach out to your veterinarian for help.

Food makes up a huge part of our dogs' lives and they absolutely love it. We should make it as delicious and nutritious as possible. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a homemade diet. But taking a deeper look into what we are feeding them everyday, may make a huge impact on their life.

#food, #nutrition, #dogs, #digestion, #health
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