With dogs being more like family than pets, more and more owners are taking extra steps to ensure the health of their dogs. Dedicated dog owners are choosing natural, homemade food for their pooch instead of the regular run-of-the-mill dog food.
While their intentions are good, creating a homemade dog food diet isn’t as easy as it seems.
Many people believe that if they themselves are eating a healthy diet that it is okay to serve their dogs the same foods that they are eating. They may even go as far to buy their dog fresh meat and produce to prepare their meals.
Dogs just aren’t the same as humans, when it comes to food. They have very different nutritional requirements.
If you don’t know exactly what constitutes a healthy diet for your dog, a homemade dog food diet can do more harm than good.
A Homemade Dog Food Diet: What You Need to Know
The nutritional requirements for all types of dog foods, from canned to dry to raw, have been established by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). If you choose not to buy manufactured dog food then the same nutritional guidelines should be followed as a homemade dog food recipe.
Certain vitamins and minerals must be present in specific amounts within a dog’s daily diet.
However, finding the right sources for these vitamins can be difficult. For example, different cuts of meat can contain different amounts of phosphorus per ounce. So giving your dog 3 ounces of steak isn’t the same as 3 ounces of chicken.
Every vegetable will have a different nutritional content, too. You can’t just swap out a cup of green beans for a cup of carrots.
The same is true for fruits, carbohydrates and any other food group. So, simply adding a cut of lamb with a few scoops of broccoli won’t necessarily create a balanced meal for your dog.
By choosing foods based on what is healthy for humans, you can leave your dog deficient in many vitamins and minerals. You might even mistakenly feed them foods that our poisonous. In addition, you could also end up feeding them too much of a nutrient.
Either way, poor nutritional balance could mean health problems, suffering, and costly vet bills.
Take a Homemade Dog Food Diet Seriously
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association recently published a research study that showed when people use a homemade dog food recipe online, it is often deficient in the correct daily nutrients required.
In fact, some recipes created by Board Certified Vet Nutritionists but still deficient. It’s not easy to feed a dog right.
The best way to make sure that your pet is eating a nutritional homemade dog food diet is by taking the time to specify the foods that you are feeding your dog. That way, you can compare your homemade dog food diet to the expert research on dog nutrition.
You can also add nutritional supplements into a dog’s homemade diet to make sure they are receiving the right amounts of what they need. However, supplements can also range in different amounts.
Compare your supplement to what you are already feeding your dog.
When you choose a homemade dog food diet, take the time to choose right. This not only shows how much you care, but that you’re willing to take the time to do it right, for real health benefits.