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In many respects homemade dog food is healthier and safer for dogs than any commercially manufactured dog food. However feeding your dog with home prepared food may hide a lot of risks.
Here are some guidelines to help you learn when and why home cooking for dogs can be dangerous and how to prepare safe, nutritional and healthy dog food at home.
One of the main reasons why many dog owners opt-in for preparing dog food at home, rather than buying it, is the quality of the ingredients used in commercial foods.
Indeed, even some of the premium dog foods available at the market are made of low-quality and even dangerous dog food ingredients such as animal byproducts, joints, bones as well as chemical preservatives.
In many cases such foods fail to provide adequate nutrition and can be unhealthy and even dangerous in the long run.
Preparing the food for your dog by yourself gives you control over what ingredients will be used and their quality. If you do not know anything about dog nutrition, homemade dog food may turn out to be as unhealthy as any ready-to-buy dog food and even much more dangerous.
To assuming a dog can eat the same food a human eats is totally wrong. Yet, it is one of the most common misconceptions among dog owners and one of the major risks associated with home-cooking for dogs.
Many of the foods included in a typical everyday human diet are unsuitable for dogs. Moreover some of the foods we may eat are very dangerous to dog’s health.
Products and ingredients absolutely forbidden for dogs are alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, onions, garlic, salt, spices, walnuts, yeast dough, grapes, raisins, avocado, any artificial sweeteners, aromas and food colorants.
Raw products of animal origin such as eggs and meat must be avoided due to the risk of salmonella poisoning, indigestion and other diseases. Bones must be avoided too.
Dogs are very sensitive to old and spoiled food as well as to molds of any type (including moldy foods that are perfectly safe for human consumption). Choose your dog food ingredients with great care and use only fresh natural food products.
Homemade dog food must not only contain suitable ingredients, but it must be well balanced and nutritional. A poor diet may put your dog’s health at risk. Any time you cook for your dog, keep in mind that his or hers meal must contain on average 1/3 proteins, 1/3 vegetables and 1/3 starch.
The best source of proteins is meat, followed by fish and dairy products. Any type of starch can be used with brown rice and oatmeal being among the top recommendations.
Healthy dog food is not only characterized by the quality of its ingredients and its nutritional balance. Dogs of different breeds and age groups as well as dogs in specific health conditions require differently diets.
Make sure the food you prepare at home corresponds to the specific needs of your dog. Special attention must be given to preparing food for pregnant and lactating dogs, puppies and older dogs.
Dog owners who cook for their dogs often find it challenging to estimate how much food their dog needs per day. Indeed, dog food prepared at home has no label with recommended daily consumption information. Feeding your dog excessively as well as not feeding it enough are equally risky situations.
The amount of food a dog needs differs in accordance to its size, energy and age. The best way to determine how much to feed your dog, is to consult with a veterinarian. They will be able to advise you on the daily nutritional needs of your dog according to its breed and current physical condition.
How safe is homemade dog food? The answer ultimately depends on the awareness of each dog owner of the specific food and nutritional requirements their pet as well as their dedication to provide the best possible food for their dogs.
For further information on dog foods, we suggest you check out the highly recommended Dog Food eBook and audio package today!