How to Start Feeding Your Dog with Homemade Food – 10 Facts You Must Know
If I am not mistaken, your dogs must be friendly and loyal to you. This is dogs’ general characteristics. Dogs are one of your best companions men can think of. You get the best of them by making them hale and healthy. Not only that, keeping a dog for long is everyone’s goal. The best way to achieve this goal is to learn how to give your dog special care as her life style, life stage, breed, allergy and health status dictate.
Your dog is different from every other dog. This makes cares and foods your pooch needs for healthy long life different from your neighbor dog. Your dog will thrive most on tailored, customized homemade foods that fit her way of life, age, health status and all other attributes. Commercial dog food cannot give you this!
The following are the reasons commercial dog food may not be the best for your dog:
- Commercial dog food is formulated to meet a range of dog’s categories. Therefore it might not meet all your dog specific needs.
- It is preserved with substances that may be toxic to your dog.
Important Facts in Cooking for Your Dog
There are certain number of facts you must know to start preparing for and feeding your dog homemade food. The following certain pieces of information are vital:
1. Essential Nutrients
A good and balanced homemade dog diet should comprise all of the nutrients that a dog needs for sound health and wellness and must contain these elements:
- Proteins — is the building blocks of cells. They help to build muscles and repair the body. Good food sources of proteins are lean meat, eggs, and cheese.
- Vitamins and Minerals — they help to sustain your dog’s body frameworks. Body structure like bones, blood cells and skin are supported by vitamins. Minerals also support body system metabolism, turning food into energy and other products needed to sustain life. There are huge number of food sources for vitamins.
- Fibers — are tiny thread-like materials in food stuff. They help in absorption of nutrients by slowing digestion. Fibers also helps in prevention of constipation. Great food sources of fibers are rice, potatoes and vegetables among others.
- Fats — essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils help to maintain cells. They help growth and healing of wounds in your dog. The oils are great sources of vitamins A, D, E, and K. Meat, oily fish, sunflower oil and linseed oil are good sources of fats for your dog.
- Water — is very essential for your dog’s life. No amount of nutrients will be useful to an animal that is deprived of water. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water. Do you know how much water should a dog drink per day?
2. Food Allergies
Generally, allergy is hypersensitivity to harmless substances leading to strong reaction from a body. Food allergies in dog are over-reaction of dog’s immune system when a protein is taking from a new food source an animal is not used to. Proteins are present in wide range of foods dogs eat. Meats are not the only sources of proteins, grains and vegetables also contain proteins.
These are the signs you should look for to know if your dog have allergy for certain food:
- Ear infections (Otitis)
- Skin infections (Dermatitis)
- Dry itchy skin (Skin rash)
- High frequency of hot spots
- Excessive scratching of ear or feet licking
- Bald patches
- Soft stools
- Poor appetite
3. Dog Food Poisoning
There are quite a few homemade food stuffs dogs must NOT eat. These substances are harmful because the dog’s body cannot break them down. Hence, they can lead to slow or acute poisoning.
Food stuffs that lead to food poisoning in dogs are:
- Raisins and Grapes
- Onions and Garlic
- Macadamia Nuts
See detailed poisoning effects of these homemade dog foods.
4. Dog Life Stages
Do you know your dog life stage? Nutrition requirements of dogs vary from one life stage to another. Knowing phase of life your dog falls will guide you to feed her appropriately.
Depending on breed, the following are the life stages of dog:
- Puppyhood end between age 6 and 18 months.
- Adolescence begins between age 6 and 18 months.
- Adulthood starts between age 12 months and 3 years.
- The senior years begin between six and 10 years of age.
5. Dog Life Style
Is your dog’s life style an active or sedentary one? This has a long way in dictating the daily nutrients requirement of your dog. Note that an active puppy will end up as inactive senior dog. Therefore a dog’s life style changes as her life stage changes.
6. Health Status
Homemade dog food is a great advantage for dog with health issue. With it you feed your dog tailored customized diets as her health status dictates. Do you know your dog health status? If your pooch has no health problem, homemade food will help you keep her from getting sick and If she has one or more health problems, curative quality of home-prepared dog food will make her recover on time.
Visit your vet doctor today to ascertain your dog health standing.
7. Organized Cooking and Kitchen Safety
Organized cooking is all about scientific principles to meal preparations with greater accuracy in order to prevent food poisoning and food-borne diseases.
Kitchen safety are procedures put in place to prevent incidents that may lead to damage and injury.
These information will be beneficial not only to your dog but to you and your entire household.
8. Transition from One Diet to Another
When making changes to your pet’s diet, you must do so gradually, allowing her digestive system time to adjust. It is ideal that you take about 2 weeks for the process so that your pet is less likely to have stomach upset or diarrhea. Also allergic reactions will usually be seen within 48 hours of the introduction of a new food/meal and may last for up to 5 days.
- Days 1–4: Feed 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food.
- Days 5–8: Feed 50% each of old and new food.
- Days 9–12: Feed 25% of the old food and 75% of the new food.
- Day 13 and on: Feed all new food.
9. Ideal Dog Weight
Over-weight and obesity are serious threat to dog’s health. To keep your dog weight in check, keep checking her weight regularly and compare it to ideal weight for your kind of dog.
10. Food Intolerance
Food intolerance is the result of poor digestion, such as lactose intolerance. People and dogs with lactose intolerance are either missing or have low levels of the milk digesting enzyme lactase.
Before You Start Cooking for Your Dog: Conclusion
Before you start feeding your dog homemade food, you must be sure of the following:
- Essential nutrients your dog needs.
- Foods your dog is allergic to.
- Home-prepared foods that are poisons to dog.
- Life stage of your dog.
- Your dog life style.
- Health status of your dog.
- Organized cooking to prevent food-borne diseases
- How to change your dog meal from one to another.
- Ideal weight for your dog.
- Foods your dog does not tolerate.
With these information and facts on homemade dog food, you are good to start feeding your dog customized home-prepared meals.
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