Most dog owners would never feed their dogs anything harmful, and most are becoming more informed about the dangers of certain foods. Yet several times recent cases where commercial dog food has been responsible for the death of dogs, people still continue to feed these products to their pets. Why? Because they do not believe there is any alternative.
If this describes you, read on because in this article I'll provide some useful tips for making your own dog food.
It is pretty much accepted that commercial dog food companies fill their foods with all kinds of junk. Some of these ingredients, like the processed grains used as filler, have little nutritional value and are responsible for a whole range of dog allergies and skin ailments.
And then there are the chemical based colorings and flavorings that have been connected to all manner of diseases, including cancer. Even the meat components contained in these foods are generally extremely low grade and unfit for consumption.
Of course, not all commercial dog foods should be tarred with the same brush. Some, in particular the premium brands, are of much higher quality than what I've described. However, it is doubtful whether they provide the same level of nutrition as a whole food diet, so you may want to consider that for your dog.
Here are 3 quick tips on how to get started;
Quality is important. Feed your dog good cuts of unprocessed meat, fresh vegetables and unprocessed fiber, like brown rice. Avoid at all costs, junk food, table scraps and highly processed foods, like white bread.
Remember that your dog is an omnivore, and needs vegetables as well as meat. As a rough rule of thumb try for a three way split between meat, vegetables and fiber. If you're going to err slowly in any direction, feed more meat because protein is very important in a dog's diet.
Keep it bland and simple. Dogs do not need flavoring and seasoning on their food and highly flavored foods can actually cause diarrhea.
Also remember that not all foods that can be safely consumed by humans, are good for dogs.
Just about everyone knows that chocolate is harmful, but are you aware that there are many other human foods that are dangerous, even potentially lethal, to your pet?
Onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts are just some of the foods that fall into this category. Other things, like table scraps and junk food may not be deadly, but are just as dangerous, causing obesity and a plethora of related health problems.
Something else that not many dog owners consider is that giving bones to dogs can be dangerous. A bone that can be crunched up and swallowed may damage the stomach and intestines, while there is a risk of salmonella poisoning from raw bones.
Feeding your dog a whole food diet based on meat, vegetables and fiber is a wise choice, but have a word with your vet before making the change.