As a dog owner, you may opt for homemade dog food instead of store-bought feeds. There are many benefits to this, including saving more money and offering a well-balanced diet to your pet. But this isn't as simple as sharing whatever you're having for dinner with your pup. Read on to learn three safety rules to help keep your pet happy and healthy with homemade dog food.
Some Ingredients can Be Dangerous, Avoid Them
Simply because your pet can feed on something, doesn't mean you should allow them to. Some foods which are healthy and safe for human consumption can be harmful to your pet. For example, chocolate is perfectly fit for human consumption but dangerous to your dog. It contains theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe conditions like seizure and death to your pet.
Other foods such as garlic and onions are toxic to dogs and can cause anemia, while macadamia nuts can be lethal even when consumed in smaller quantities. Before you can start cooking for your dog, do your research and learn more about healthy and toxic dog foods.
Strike the Optimal Balance
Dog food bought from stores may not be the tastiest, but it's appropriately balanced to fulfil a dog's dietary needs. If you will be cooking for your dog, it's crucial to work towards striking a similar balance.
While not every meal must feature a balanced diet, envision a bigger picture every week. Generally, half of your pet's diet should at least contain protein, either from milk, meat, eggs or fish. The remaining half should consist of a mixture of raw or cooked greens, starch or carbohydrates.
Consider adding fats too, but sparingly. Furthermore, bones offer an excellent source of calcium, but they may pose a choking hazard to your dog. For this reason, it'll be wiser opting for calcium supplements instead.
Be Cautious with Spices and Seasoning
When preparing dog food, don't focus much on how flavorful it is. Interestingly, non-flavoured food that humans find bland is perfectly fine with dogs. Dogs can also suffer from dehydration and tummy disorders because of overly salty foods.
While puppies don't perceive spicy foods as humans do, such foods can also cause significant problems. For example, you must avoid hot pepper and paprika for homemade dog food because they cause eye and skin irritation.
As you work towards achieving a balanced diet, always do the same for your dog to help them get all the necessary nutrients. Follow these three safety rules when preparing homemade dog food to achieve a safe, tasty and balanced diet for your dog. Before switching to homemade dog foods, however, consult your vet for advice.