November 21, 2012

Homemade Dog Food Diet Important Warning

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.

September 19, 2012

Is a Raw Food Diet Good for Your Dog?

Filed under: dangerous foods for your dog,home made dog food — Dr. Amber Reed @ 2:00 pm

Some pet owners have recently embraced getting the best ingredients for their dog’s pet food. As a result, the high-end prepared dog food industry has seen a boom.

But some owners are looking at nother new option: raw dog food.

The trend has particularly taken off in New York City.  It consists of specially prepared foods like uncooked lamb livers, bison, alfalfa sprouts, and kale.  Yet, raw food diets are not a new initiative; many dogs were fed uncooked meat before kibble was introduced in the 1950’s.

The advocates of the raw food diet give multiple anecdotes as evidence of raw food diet benefits. Below is a list of the pros and cons of the raw food diet.

Be an informed pet owner and make a decision on whether the raw food diet is right for your pet.


  • Raw food acts a natural tooth brush.
  • The time it takes a dog to chew a raw meaty bone gives their stomach adequate time to get the acids moving. This is meant to help proper digestion.
  • Advocates argue that sluggish dogs become completely new dogs once they have begun the new raw food diet.
  • Raw bones are safer than cooked bones because they don’t splinter.
  • Your dog will have better breath.
  • Raw food diets are ideal for dogs that need to lose weight – they contain fewer calories and more energy than regular kibble – or for dogs with other diet related diseases like diabetes
  • No chemicals, preservatives, sweeteners, fillers and additives.


  • Sanitary concerns: raw food carries microbes that could harm the pet and the household.
  • Modern dogs have been domesticated for centuries, or even thousands of years. They may not be able to properly digest raw food.
  • Some dogs with allergies can’t stomach raw food diets.
  • The benefits aren’t proven; they’re anecdotal.
  • Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.
  • They are time-intensive: as an owner, you will have to take the time to figure out what raw meat is the best for your dog, and this will take time.  Additionally, you need to be present when the dog is eating they’re bone – you don’t want them to swallow a bone whole!
  • Raw food diets are more expensive.

Warning to all: before starting a raw food diet, you should consult with your vet. He or she will know what to watch for in future visits.

If a raw food diet isn’t right for your dog, but you are looking to increase the nutritional value of your dog’s meals, consider a nutritional supplement

March 26, 2010

The benefits of making your own dog food

While commercial pet food is usually healthy and meets the nutritional requirements for your pets, the fact is that you don’t always know what’s in this food. In the past couple of years there has been a surge in the number of pet deaths related to commercial pet foods. These deaths were almost always the result of some kind of bacterial contamination and while the risk of illness associated with commercial pet food is low, it’s still nice to have the option to make your own pet food from home.

First of all, it’s never advisable to feed your pet table scraps. Dogs or cats that are fed from the dinner table tend to develop begging behavior not to mention the fact that human food isn’t always appropriate for animals. However, if you’re interested in making your own pet food, speak to your veterinarian about which foods are healthy for your animal and which are not. Online you can find a variety of recipes that are good for your animal but you need to keep a couple things in mind. First of all, the size of your pet will determine the size of portions. Moreover, if your cat or dog gets a lot of exercise, they’ll need to eat more. But you want to be careful to balance your pet’s caloric intake with expenditure so that weight gain isn’t a concern.

While making your own pet food can be time consuming, animals generally prefer fresh meals and they can be much better for their health as well. Commercial pet foods often contain preservatives and additives but with homemade pet food you have total control over what your pet is eating. Just remember to feed your animal a balanced diet with proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.