Is Fido tired of his dry kibble? And are his taste-buds crying out loud for a change of scene? If you are you thinking of going the homecooked-food route, and want to make his food from scratch, it isn’t a bad idea at all. But it isn’t as simple as you think it is. It takes effort, dedication and a few important things to be borne in mind. So, before you get that apron out, you may want to read this.
1. Which Recipe To Choose
Your pooch needs a lot of important nutrients from different sources to take care of his energy and nutritional needs. He needs protein, that he can get from sources like eggs, dairy products, meat or fish. He needs carbohydrates that he can get from veggies and cereals. Apart from these energy-giving foods he also needs his daily intake of calcium and essential fatty acids, that he can get from eggs, their shells and plant oils.
Many dog recipes, even when they’re designed by experienced veterinarians may lack in some or the other nutrients especially iron, minerals and calcium. Which is why your best bet would be to choose a recipe that has been created by an expert certified in pet nutrition or someone PhD trained, who has had experience in making pet food. Your vet should be able to guide you in finding the right recipe for your dog.
2. Stick To The Instructions
When you’re cooking for your pooch, it’s best to stay as close to the dog food recipe that you’ve chosen, as possible. Resist the temptation to experiment and add a dash of this or that. Altering the recipe even a little bit may change the quality or quantity of nutrients that your recipe promises to provide. You may also be inadvertently changing the calorific values of the ingredients.
3. Keep The Ingredients The Same
It’s important to stick to the same ingredients that your recipe mentions. Swapping ingredients with even their closest alternatives, can change health benefits or nutrient value that the recipe is made to provide. Changing the oil used, for instance, from walnut to coconut, may not be a great idea as it may alter the kinds of essential fatty acids the recipe needs.
4. Invest On A Scale
Having a good food scale is important, especially when you’re going to be measuring meat. Make sure you cook any animal products that the recipe needs, thoroughly. It helps to even cook grains and starchy vegetables well, to make them easier on your dog’s tummy. Remember to steer clear of foods toxic for your pet – chocolates, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and a few nuts.
Despite your having added all the ingredients, your recipe may turn out to be deficient in some nutrients. And these may be essential for your pooch. This brings us back to the recipe that you’ve chosen. A good recipe should have instructions on the additional supplements required. And always, when in doubt, its best to talk to your vet or a pet nutritionist.
6. See If The Diet Works With Your Dog
After trying the new food with your dog for about 2-3 weeks, have him examined by your vet to make sure his health is okay and to make sure there isn’t a drastic change in his weight because of the new diet. Also, have him visit his vet twice a year for a routine exam to make sure there are no problems with his skin, fur or his overall body condition, due to the new food that he’s on.
Good luck with that recipe!