Are you looking for an alternative diet for your dog? There are a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to dog food, and it can be challenging to understand what is best for your pet.

Homemade dog food allows you to control what goes into your pet’s diet and has become a popular choice among some dog owners. However, there are some things you should know before choosing this diet for your pet.

Why Make Homemade Food for Your Dog?

homemade dog food
Picking an appropriate diet is essential for your pet’s long-term care. For many pet owners, choosing a homemade diet boils down to three simple reasons; owner preference, dog preference, and medical need.

Many dog owners are skeptical of commercial dog food options and prefer to cook for their pets. Making dog food at home allows owners to monitor the quality of ingredients and what is going into their pet’s food. Additionally, some owners feel that cooking for their pets provides a unique opportunity to bond and connect with their furry friends.

However, switching to a homemade diet can also be a matter of necessity. Some dogs are picky eaters and may not be interested in kibble or other commercial foods. Additionally, dogs with certain medical conditions may require a specialized diet. Making your dog’s food at home can help you cater to your pet’s health needs and provide a tasty meal they’ll enjoy.

What Should a Homemade Diet Include?

homemade dog food ingredients

Every homemade dog diet will need protein, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids. Additionally, your dog will need a proper balance of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can be obtained from various sources, including pet-safe fruits and vegetables.

The most critical part of making homemade dog food is ensuring your dog receives a well-balanced diet. This means the diet should contain proper amounts and proportions of essential nutrients without causing a nutrient excess or deficiency.

Achieving this delicate balance can be tricky and may require some additional work. The National Research Council (NRC) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) have worked together to establish specific nutrient requirements for dogs. These feeding guidelines can be a great resource when planning your pet’s diet. You may also want to consider consulting with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure your pet’s dietary needs are being met.

Do Vets Recommend a Homemade Diet?

homemade dog food veterinarian

There are situations in which your vet may recommend an at-home diet. Homemade diets are most commonly recommended for dogs with multiple medical conditions. Commercial dog food is typically catered to healthy pets or those with a single medical issue. Although there are many commercial diets available, finding a diet that meets multiple medical needs can be tough. Luckily, homemade diets can be a great alternative option.

It’s important to keep in mind that feeding your dog a homemade diet can be time-consuming and challenging. Research has shown that a majority of homemade dog food recipes do not provide adequate nutrition. In fact, a study evaluating 106 homemade diets found that all of the diets were deficient in at least one nutrient. Because of this, it’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to understand your dog’s nutritional needs and create an appropriate diet plan.

Final Thoughts

Homemade dog food can be a beneficial option for your pet. As with any diet, ensuring your dog’s food is well-balanced and provides appropriate nutrition is essential. When making decisions about your dog’s food or health, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can provide additional resources for formulating a healthy nutritional plan and help determine if a homemade diet is appropriate for your pet.