Many pet owners prefer to make their own dog food at home to save on costs and avoid the risk of contamination from brands that have had pet food recalls. Making dry dog food from scratch is a relatively simple process, and there are dozens of recipes available for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Dry dog food made at home can provide dogs with essential nutrients and minerals they need to be healthy.
Pet owners typically use dry dog food as a staple of their dog’s diet because it is much more cost-effective than wet dog food, and can be stored for several weeks or months without the risk of spoilage. Dry dog food is available in bulk bags and are typically made from dried vegetables, whole grains and dried meats. While premade dog food offers several benefits, pet owners can make their own dry food at home using everyday ingredients.
Pet owners who make their own food can prevent or reduce the risk of a number of health problems that result from eating toxic or contaminated commercially prepared items. Cooking the food at home may also reduce the total overall costs of each meal, especially when the pet owner can buy whole grains and other staples in bulk. Feeding a dog freshly prepared food instead of commercial products filed with additives and preservatives may also give them more energy and reduce the risk of obesity.
The most nutritious foods that can be used for homemade dry dog food are: dried meats, powdered egg whites, fresh bran, brown rice, dried vegetables, whole grains, powdered milk, yeast, and ground beef. These ingredients can be cooked, baked and combined in a variety of ways to create foods such as dry dog food morsels, pellets, dehydrated meat snacks and ground bone. Pet owners may also include multivitamin supplements, pureed vegetables and pet supplements in each food item to ensure that the dog is getting all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
When feeding a dog homemade food recipes, pet owners need to use fresh and natural ingredients, and ensure that every meal is nutritionally balanced. Gourmetsleuth.com recommends following a nutritional guide for nonworking adult dogs, young adult/pregnant/working dogs and puppies. For nonworking adult dogs, the breakdown is 16 percent protein, 10 percent fat, 44 percent carbohydrates. For young adult/pregnant/working dogs, the nutritional breakdown is 20 percent protein, 10 percent fat and 38 percent carbohydrates. For puppies, the nutritional breakdown is 24 percent protein, 14 percent fat, and 32 percent carbohydrates.
There are several foods that can cause illness or death in some dogs, so it’s important to prepare foods without any traces of the following ingredients: grapes, raisins, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, raw meat, onions, garlic and artificial fats. Because homemade dog food doesn't have preservatives and additives, the pet owner will need to monitor the food regularly to make sure it does not rot or spoil. Some dogs may not enjoy the taste or textures of certain homemade preparations, so finding foods that the dog enjoys may be a trial and error process.