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Are you planning on switching to homemade dog foods but don't know where to start? Below, we'll discuss the best meat for homemade dog foods.

The best meats for dogs are safe and healthy. That's why you must research and make sure that your homemade dog food recipe will be beneficial for your pup.

One of the first things to consider in making homemade dog food or even buying commercial products is the protein used.

Protein allows the dog's body to function properly. It can also help with your dog's coat and skin health, muscle development, and even tissue repair.

In addition, if you're new to making your homemade dog foods, one of the best benefits of this is that you have full control over what your dog is about to eat. That's why it's important to pick out the best, healthiest, and safest ingredients out there.

Meat for dogs

Benefits of Adding Meat to Homemade Dog Food

Before we discuss the best meat for homemade dog foods, let's talk about the benefits of adding meat to said dog foods. Dogs might be described as omnivores, but meat is a crucial part of their health and diet.

As we all know, meat provides great benefits to our beloved dogs. Meat is an excellent source of protein to make them feel full and stay healthy.

In addition, meat also contains taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that helps prevent dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.

Your Dog’s Protein Needs

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) advises that adult dogs should be given foods that are at least 18% protein. On the other hand, puppies and pregnant females should eat foods with at least 22.5% protein.

If you're making homemade dog foods, make sure that your dog is getting similar amounts of protein. Using a dry-matter basis is a good way to get precise results.

Tips for Making Homemade Dog Food With Meat

Balance the Diet

The most important factor in making homemade dog foods is to ensure that you're making a balanced diet. An unbalanced diet can lead to deficiencies.

A lack of vitamins or minerals in a dog's diet can result in health problems (especially puppies).

Choose the Right Meat

Dogs thrive on protein-based diets. Meat, either raw or cooked, is the base ingredient in making homemade dog foods.

A few options that we'll further discuss below are beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, etc. In addition, make sure that the fat content is less than 15-20%.

Add Veggies

Yes! Dogs can eat vegetables! Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber for dogs. It can make up about 1/4 of the meal you're making.

A few examples of vegetables that you can add to homemade dog foods are carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. An additional tip, dogs can get more nutrients if the veggies are lightly steamed, diced, or pureed.

Avoid Carbohydrates

Dogs have different digestive systems from humans. They lack digestive enzymes to break down and metabolize carbs.

Dogs gain no nutritional value from carbohydrates. Too many carbs can also lead to health problems like obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.

Considering raw meat for dogs

Things to Consider on Picking the Best Meat for Your Dogs 

There are a few factors to consider when picking out the best meat for your dogs. Below, is a list to help you decide on what meat is best for your pups.

Taste

One of the main things to consider when it comes to picking the meat is “will my dog love this?”. As dog owners, we love to spoil our dogs and we want to make sure that we give them their preferred meat flavors.

Cost

Another big thing to consider is the expense. Not all dog owners can afford freshly caught salmon for their everyday meals. These freshly caught tuna and salmon are far more expensive than other meats.

If you're having financial issues, it would be best to research and choose meats that are poultry-based, for instance, chicken and turkey.

Quality

Knowing the quality of meat is like knowing how to pick the healthiest option for your pet. Keep in mind to avoid meats that have added hormones or chemicals.

As a pet owner, you must read the chemicals present in the products you're going to buy for your dogs. Quality over quantity!

Popular Meats for Dogs and Homemade Recipes

Beef

Beef is one of the most popular meats in dog foods. Not only it's full of protein, but dogs sure love it.

One con from this is that it's a little bit more expensive than chicken (which we'll also discuss later). Beef also contains healthy fats that dogs need.

The quality of the beef will depend on the cut and mainly, on the animal that it's taken from. On the other hand, to ensure that your dog gets the best diet, include high-quality fruits and vegetables.

Ground Beef and Vegetable Homemade Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/3 Cup of Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup of Green beans
  • 1/3 Cup of chopped Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/3 Cup of chopped Carrots
  • 1/4 Cup of chopped Celery
Instructions
  1. Cook the brown rice accordingly
  2.  Brown the Ground Beef in a large skillet over medium heat
  3. Add cooked rice, green beans, sweet potatoes, celery, and carrots to the skillet
  4. Cook and stir it with low heat for an additional 15 minutes

Chicken

Chicken is probably the most popular meat for dogs. One big reason for this is that it is very affordable!

But unfortunately, some dogs can be allergic to chicken. That is why it is important to consult with your vet before changing their diets. Your vet or your canine nutritionist are the only people that know if a certain diet is appropriate for your dog.

Healthiest Homemade Dog Food with Chicken Recipe

This homemade recipe can also be as a food topper for picky eaters or to add extra nutrients to your dog's commercial kibble.

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. of coconut oil
  • 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • A cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • A cup of beets
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 2 chopped zucchinis
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa according to the instructions on the package
  2. Slice the chicken on the appropriate size for your dog
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet and add the chicken to cook in medium heat
  4. Add the quinoa and the other veggies
  5. Let it cook and simmer for about 15 minutes until the zucchini has softened

Salmon

If you love grilled or baked salmon, you can share this with your dogs too! Salmon is good in protein and high in fat.

But in addition, it is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help with your dog's coat, brain, and joints. It can also help ease inflammation.

Breaded Salmon Dinner Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 and a half cups of brown rice
  • 16 ounces of frozen peas
  • 2 large shredded carrots
  • 75 ounces of canned salmon
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. of ground flaxseed
Instructions

This recipe is very easy to make since the only food that needs to be cooked is brown rice. After cooking the rice, mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Pork

Pork is affordable, its usual prices are between the cost of chicken and beef. Most dogs love the pork's appearance and flavor too.

Regardless, pork has more fat than beef and chicken, but it has about the same amount of protein.

If you're on a tight budget, look for leg and shoulder cut pieces as they are generally more convenient and affordable.

Another pro in making homemade pork dog food is that it's easy to prepare. It's practically similar to how to cook cut beef.

Nutritious Pork Dinner Recipe

Ingredients
  • 4 lbs. of ground pork
  • 1 large chopped sweet potato
  • 1 large cored and chopped apple
  • 2 large chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1.5 cups of water
Instructions

Add all the ingredients in a crockpot in the order that's listed above. Ensure that the lid is closed and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.

If cooked correctly, it will be easier to mix all of the ingredients and break the pork accordingly.

Raw Meat for Dogs

Other Types of Meat for Homemade Dog Food

Turkey

Dogs can enjoy turkey not just for Thanksgiving. This kind of meat is still a great source of protein for dogs.

Turkey is about the same as chicken from a nutritional perspective, but one major difference is that turkey contains less fat.

Pet owners tend to just use chicken rather than a turkey because it is slightly more pricey than chicken and it is harder to prepare. Turkey needs to be fully cooked before being served because it contains salmonella and other microbes.

Lamb

Lamb is somewhat a rare meat source for dogs. It has, however, lots of protein (more protein on a pound-for-pound basis than beef) and it's also low in calories.

Similar to beef, lamb doesn't have all the nutrients your dog needs. So if you're making homemade dog foods, it's important to know other additives like vegetables or food supplements that you can add to ensure a balanced diet.

In addition, lamb is a good alternative for dogs that are allergic to chicken, beef, or turkey.

Duck

Duck is probably one of the unpopular protein sources for dogs. One big reason is that it has high-fat content and is expensive.

On the other hand, duck is tasty! That's why picky dog eaters tend to love duck as their meat.

But if you're planning to help your dog lose some weight or make homemade dog foods, it would be best to find other alternatives.

Meat as Protein vs Vegetables as Protein

In general, dogs need a high-protein diet. They need proteins that are made up of amino acids.

Meat is a better source of protein than vegetables because meat has more important amino acids in them.

A dog's digestive system also relies on an acidic environment to help eliminate bacteria and to prevent bladder stones or urinary tract infections.

But remember that meat alone is not enough as a protein source. Vegetables still provide a lot of other nutrients.

In addition, another food that makes a great protein source for dogs is eggs.

But make sure that you'll feed them cooked eggs and never raw or undercooked eggs as they can be a source of Salmonella.

Meat on Raw Dog Food Diets

Frequently Asked Questions

Is raw meat safe for dogs?

Yes, dogs can eat raw meat! After all, raw meat is what your dog's body was built to eat. A raw-meat diet can provide a lot of nutrients.

A few benefits a dog can gain from raw meat are:

  • Healthy coat and skin
  • Improved oral health
  • Improved digestion
  • Maintenance of their weight

On the other hand, there are still potential risks when it comes to this diet. Raw foods are more likely to be contaminated by bacteria than cooked meat. An example of this is Salmonella.

Can I feed my dog chicken and rice every day?

It is not recommended to feed your dogs just chicken and rice every day since this meal doesn't consist of all of the nutrients a dog needs which they can get from red meats and vegetables.

In addition, dogs can develop an allergy to a food that they're always eating for a long period, forcing you to change their diet again, but now in a bad way.

What can you not put in homemade dog food?

In making homemade dog foods, it is also important to know that there are certain foods that you should avoid.

For instance, ingredients like chocolate, xylitol, avocados, grapes, onion, and garlic should be avoided as they can be toxic for dogs.

Again, this is one of the beauties of making homemade foods. You have the authority on every ingredient that will be present.

Meat meal in dog food

Best Meat For Homemade Dog Foods Summary

Making homemade dog foods gives you peace of mind or reassurance that what they're about to eat is good for their health.

As the dog owner, you must ensure that you're homemade dog food recipes that you're using have a balanced diet and consist of meat, vegetables, and other needed nutrients.

In choosing the best meat for homemade dog foods, a pet owner should consider the taste, the price, and the quality of the meat.

By now you should know that Protein is a very important part of a balanced dog diet. That's why choosing the best meats for dogs is crucial.

A few examples of the best meats for dogs are meats are beef, pork, salmon, and chicken. Consider the taste, how much it'll cost, and the quality of health benefits your dogs can gain when choosing their meat.

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