Making your own homemade dog food can be very rewarding – not just for your pet, but for you too. Many dog owners, after discovering and trying homemade dog food cooking, enjoy making home cooked meals for their pets. Those of you who watched my recipe videos on our YouTube channel know that I cook a lot, and that is where this dog food recipes eBook comes from.
A Brief Introduction
I got into home meals for dogs because I started to cringed every time I'd read about a recently dog food recall in the news where a commercial kibble brand that I've fed my dogs got recalled. I wondered if the food and treats that I was feeding my dogs contained harmful ingredients, and maybe there was a better way to feed our canine companions.
I always made it a point to buy commercial dog food that was made in the United States. I thought that was enough, but then I found out that some companies make their food here but source ingredients from other countries. Just because the food wasn’t made in China doesn’t mean that it didn’t contain ingredients that came from there. At that point, I began learning about cooking for dogs, how to do it correctly and make it affordable.
The best part of making homemade dog food meals is the ingredient choices that you make yourself. It allows you to cater every meal to your pup's individual preferences and health needs. In this short “25 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes” eBook, I've collected a number of recipes that are calibrated for specific health conditions in dogs.
There are countless benefits to feeding a homemade dog food diet for your pets, but my three top reasons are:
- I can cater recipes to meet my dog’s nutritional needs while also adding ingredients that they love to eat;
- I can make different recipes for all three dogs without going over my monthly pet food budget;
- I can use the healthiest and safest ingredients that I can afford.
If you're completely new to homemade dog food recipes and would like to first give it a try, I would recommend browsing my previous recipes here (there are 100+ of them). You'll get a feel for the process, how to pick ingredients that work for your pooch, what supplements you may need to add and, eventually, how to make it fit your budget. All those recipes are free, I have included videos to help you through the process and it'll be a good place to start.
Once you get the basics down, and if you have a pup with a health problem, I would recommend downloading (download link below) my free eBook “25 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes” and see if you can get use out of these recipes, too. If you want more recipes, you can also pick up a copy of Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs on Amazon.
Before you attempt any of these recipes, however, it's very important that you read the below disclaimer. While we had our senior veterinarian Dr. Fiona Caldwell, DVM here on Top Dog Tips to review these recipes, this only means that she saw no harmful or toxic ingredients; this does not mean that every recipe will be good for every dog or every case of mentioned health condition.
Important Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian or canine nutritionist, and it's crucial that you discuss any recipe or meal you choose to make for your dog with your veterinarian. This eBook has been composed of my recipes, and they are not written by veterinarian Dr Fiona Caldwell. While these recipes are adjusted for specific health problems in dogs, remember that it's based on the theory alone of what may or may not work for pets with said conditions. None of these recipes claim to cure, treat or prevent any health problems, and there is no scientific evidence where these recipes have been tried and tested.
Because homemade diets for dogs are not scientifically tested for safety and nutritional adequacy like they do with commercial pet food, deficiencies could develop. Before feeding a home diet, consult with a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist (acvn.org).
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What Dog Food Recipes Are Good for Your Dog?
The concept of “well-balanced dog food” is crucial when it comes home-cooked meals. What it means is that the meal, with the addition of essential supplements, will cover all of your dog's nutritional requirements. However, because every dog is different – age, breed, daily activities, health conditions, etc. – it's nearly impossible to create a single “one size fits all” recipe that would be well-balanced for all dogs.
For this reason, it's crucial that you discuss these recipes with your vet to ensure they're well-balanced, and if they're not, make necessary adjustments to make them so. When it comes to recipes in this eBook, it's unlikely that many of them can be fed for a prolonged period of time without adjustments. Your vet will tell you how and when to do it.
Now, how do you know what the right nutritional balance is for your pet? There are a lot of factors that play into what nutrients and how many calories your dog requires on a daily basis. The five most important variables to consider are:
- Activity level
- Health conditions
No one expects you to figure all of this out on your own, and in fact, it’s nearly impossible to figure these numbers out and make an accurate assessment without proper training in canine nutrition. That’s why you always, always need to consult an expert before you switch your dog to a homemade diet.
A homemade diet may not be right for every dog. I wish it was as simple as me telling you exactly what your dog needs and giving you a recipe for that, but because every canine has individual nutritional needs, you will always need to do some of the research on your own. And, unless you’re thoroughly educated in canine nutrition, you won't exactly know what your pet needs any more than I do.
Your veterinarian is a great place to start. You could also consult a canine nutritionist, but it may be a bit more expensive than an office visit with your regular vet. Either way, the expert you work with will review all of your dog’s individual needs and help you create the perfect nutritional recommendations for him, review the recipes in either one of these eBooks and, if necessary, make adjustments to make them fit your pup's requirements.
You’re still not out of the woods. A dog’s nutritional needs change as the pet ages. Puppies need different nutrition than adults or senior dogs. If your dog’s weight has changed significantly, his diet needs to be examined too. If your dog now has a different health problem, his diet will change again. If your dog is now more active, or less active, his diet will change again. As you can see, there are many variables to consider.
Feeding a homemade diet isn’t something that you figure out once and then you’re good to go for the life of your pet. For the best results and the most healthy approach, this is something that you need to keep revisiting as your dog ages and his health changes. Any major change in the animal's body, whether because of age, weight, or a new health condition, needs to be evaluated by a specialist so they can help you alter his diet to meet the new needs of the body.
Once you’ve been given the green light by your veterinarian or canine nutritionist to switch to a homemade dog food diet, you’re ready to begin. Now it’s time to review these recipes from the eBook, those that were said to be fine by your vet (and any adjustments the vet recommended), make them, and see the dog begging for more. I’ve included some of my favorite recipes in this “25 Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes” eBook, and I’ve also found many recipes that will help manage a number of health issues that your pup may have. I hope your dog enjoys them as much as my pack does!
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