There have been 38 recalls of pet food products in 2018 alone reported by the FDA, which have some dog parents searching for a better way for their beloved fur baby to enjoy eating while still getting all the nutrients they need. It’s no secret people love their dogs and would do just about anything to keep them happy. Letting your dog be a part of the pack while eating is good for togetherness in the household, but does it mean that you have to feed them exactly what you’re eating? More people are leaning toward cooking food for their dogs, and you know dogs will do just about anything to get a taste of what their human is snacking or munching on.
Meals For Your Dog
People feed their dogs scraps or little forkfuls of their meals under the table all the time. The only issue with that is some of the ingredients we love are not so great for your dog. Creating dishes your dog will love is not as difficult as it seems.
Lean meats with no more than 10% fat, like chicken or turkey, are a good start to a recipe. Add in some vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and brussel sprouts, and you have the makings of a good lunch or dinner for your dog. Meat should be at least half of the diet and grains and starchy veggies should make up less than half the diet. Don’t forget to chop all the food into a size which fits your dog, because you know how they love to basically swallow everything without chewing.
If you’re short on time, don’t forget about your slow cooker. You can use it to throw together a special meal for you and your pet. You get to create the dish, walk away and enjoy your day or perform whatever task is needed. It allows you to create a large amount of food to possibly have the rest of the week or freeze for later use, if you have several recipes you would like to try. You can also order a pre-prepared home-style cooked meal on a subscription service if you don’t have the time to cook. Need some ideas to get you started? Check out recipes in dog cook books.
The Great Protein Debate
It’s not really a debate, but more of the theory that dogs only need protein such as chicken, beef and pork without really anything else to accompany it. This can occur because of a lack of information, and people making the mistake of not consulting their veterinary regarding nutrition topics. The vet will be able to give their ideas about what vitamins or supplements might be needed on a homemade diet.
It doesn’t hurt that the vet knows your dog’s history and can give advice accordingly throughout the dog’s lifespan. Too much protein can cause a lack of vitamin deficiencies, possibly leading to thyroid issues, and too little protein may cause poor immune function, muscle deterioration and blood disorders. As with humans, there always needs to be a way to balance the diet of your dog, no matter the size or age.
What About Raw Diets?
Both of these options offer something unique for your pet. Some benefits of a raw food diet are shinier coats, clean teeth, healthy skin and higher energy levels. The raw food is closer to what their ancestors would have had for their diets. However, with issues like salmonella and other bacteria which can be found in raw meat, the option to cook might be a better solution. You can still feed your dog raw fruits and vegetables in moderation with little issues, but like everything else, it’s probably best to consult your vet.
Deciding to cook your dogs meals at home, you are accepting the responsibility for the nutrition of your dog. If kibble is all they know, be sure to add in a home-cooked dinner little by little to avoid any gastrointestinal issues. You love your dog, and cooking for them is the best way to show everyone, including them, that you care.