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Many regard their pets as members of their family. They share a last name, a bed, and appear in annual holiday photos. But did you know that the FDA allows waste that equals the weight of 1,300 Brooklyn Bridges to be dumped into commercial pet food? That’s right, mass-produced pet food has become a waste disposal system that contains diseased and decomposing animal carcasses. Therefore, it’s no wonder that plenty of pet owners are turning towards DIY dog diets.
Before you begin to serve your dog some fresh, homemade goodness, it’s essential to understand what foods to eliminate from your dog’s diet. For example, dogs should not be eating excess fat, sodium, or spices. Always keep oils and salt out of your dog’s food, and make sure you never use onion or garlic products, as these can be lethal to dogs.
Common food myths that are true include dogs cannot eat chocolate, grapes (or raisins), and the sugar additive xylitol. However, there are also less widely known foods dogs should avoid. This list includes avocados, macadamia nuts, bones, certain pitted fruits, and yeast dough. And dogs, of course, shouldn’t ever consume alcohol, caffeine, or human medications.
Because there are so many products that are dangerous and even lethal for dogs to consume, it’s important that you don’t just toss your dog table scraps or share your pre-cooked meals without taking the time to actually explore what’s in the meals. This is where preparing your own dog food really proves to be beneficial because you can be aware of every ingredient.
Make your own food.
Once you’ve determined what food products your dogs can and cannot consume, it’s down to the fun part: Making your own homemade dog food. Crunchy homemade kibble can be made using ground turkey, brown rice, water, frozen veggies, and rosemary. This only involves purchasing a few ingredients, and you can make this daily kibble in bulk to lessen doggie meal prep time.
Another excellent protein base for dog diets is salmon. Though dogs should not consume all fish because fish that are larger and have longer lifespans contain too many toxins, salmon is a very beneficial fish that contains essential fatty acids. You can make savory salmon dog chow by using salmon, fresh broccoli, squash, potatoes, carrots, and olive oil. Though dogs could develop pancreatitis or obesity if they consume too much fat, olive oil is healthy for them.
Overall, the essential components of homemade dog food should be high quality protein (meat, seafood, eggs, or dairy), fat (meat or olive oil), carbs (grains or carb veggies such as potatoes or squash), calcium (dairy), and essential fatty acids (certain fish, egg yolks, or oatmeal). Cooking your own dog food might not be as quick as running to the store, but it’s an easy process that will guarantee your furry friend is only consuming healthy products.
To raw or not to raw?
While many pet owners are moving towards personally curating their dog’s supper in order to avoid dangerous additives and other waste, some are taking their dog’s diets a step to the extreme by only allowing their dogs to consume raw meat and products. But the evidence is still mixed as to whether or not dogs can eat raw meat.
Of course, dogs evolved from ancestors who consumed raw meat on a regular basis. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that raw meat is a healthy solution for domesticated canines. Any benefits that raw meat can provide for dogs are also met with risks since raw meat can contain harmful bacteria and pathogens. The same dangers can also be applied to eating raw eggs.
Because raw meat can contain diseases such as salmonella or listeria, both the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) don’t approve of serving raw meat to dogs. Therefore you should keep in mind that it’s always best to thoroughly cook the meat before serving it to your dog. As a final warning, it’s always important to consult your vet before deciding on a meal plan for your precious pup.