I'm always interested in knowing what I can feed my dog or what's not good for my dog. In researching I came upon these Dog Food Commercial Brands vs. Homemade.
( Scroll down for the Homemade Dog Food Recipe.)
Dogs are our best friends. For most of us, this will never change. They are our companions, guides, and sometimes soul mates.
We care for our pets, walk them, bathe them, and feed them. We even know when they are smiling!
Yet trying to learn the best way to feed them can be challenging.
Looking Inside Commercial Dog Food
Walking through a grocery store and looking at all its commercial dog food can be confusing. Most people don’t know what dogs need in their diet.
But commercial pet foods are an industry more concerned with sales and marketing than providing high-quality foods for our pets.
The pet food industry is a $50 Billion a year industry between pet food and medicine for our pets.
With the financial backing of commercial pet foods and veterinarians selling these foods, it’s hard to know what is best for our pets.
We believe the hype that pet food companies are making the best decisions for our pets by providing a type people grade food dried inside a bag of food.
Many who want to claim this is what our pets require. The advertising messages that came across were that table scraps were harmful.
To be safe, you needed to feed your pets processed food! Never mind that table scraps have been a canine staple long before the processed food came on the market.
There is a certain amount of convenience in having a bag of dog food you only have to scoop of twice a day.
It was easier, and people had concerns about what they were feeding your pets. Especially when an advertiser tries to make pet food look natural.
While most pet food companies want you to think their food is 100% complete, the fact is that no one knows the nutritional requirements of a cat or a dog.
Why some brands of Commercial Dog food is so bad for our pets.
Problem number one: is that process which destroys nutrients inside of dog food.
- No matter if it’s canned, dry dog food processing destroys the nutritional value of the food.
- Dry dog food is cooked under pressure, dehydrated, flavored, then coloring is added.
- Afterward, dog food is sprayed with unnecessary and unhealthy fats so that our pets will eat it.
Problem Number two: Most commercial pet foods are made of low-quality meats.
- Most of them are not human quality ingredients because the fat pet food Industry considers them too expensive.
- The U.S. Government allows pet food companies to use meat-by-products. These products are not fit for human consumption.
- They call them the “4-D” of meat ingredients, which means dead, dying, diseased, or disabled. Most of this “4-D” product has rotted. They use phosphoric acid to halt the rotting process.
- These ingredients aren't just grocery store dog foods. They can be sold as “premium” brands by Veterinarians.
Problem Number Three: Additional ingredients in commercial foods is not fit for human consumption.
- And if it’s only been in recent times that people asked more questions about their pet's nutrition.
- In doing so, we have seen a decrease in health issues by feeding homey diets to our pets. Our pets are designed to eat meats.
Problem Number Four: Most commercial pet food contains stabilizers, flavor enhancers, chemical preservatives, and thickeners.
- Chemical preservatives like sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), glutamate (MSG), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and ethoxyquin.
- They have linked cancer to ethoxyquin and sodium nitrate.
- If a manufacturer includes these items separately, they must be listed on the package.
- But pet food manufacturer buys the ingredients that already have preservatives such as ethoxyquin, they are not required to list them.
If you choose to Feed Dry Homemade Dog Food, what can you do?
Having enough time to make a nutrient balanced homemade diet to help your dog be healthier can be extremely hard.
All healthy homemade dog food only to be supplemented with vitamins. A lot of people, myself included, preferred to rotate between commercial food and raw meat proteins.
I travel a lot, so at times my pets need to eat commercial dog food.
When choosing commercial pet foods from my dogs, I always choose human grade pet food.
Human grade in pet food means it's legally approved for pets and humans.
It is edible and has gone through rigorously regulated standards approving it for pets as being edible for humans.
So what to do if you don’t want to make your own pet food?
Homemade is the absolute best for your pets, but for some people, it's just not possible to spend the time or even something you want to do.
Along with being more time-consuming. Sometimes homemade dog food can be more costly and commercial dog food.
Wet food, in cans or pouches, is the next best alternative.
You’ll want to combine that with a few raw food items and nutritional supplements.
At the very least, you’ll want to add in some raw vegetables daily.
I always cringe when I see people posting recipes that do not include the vitamins and minerals for each dish.
Regular checkups and routine bloodwork are an essential part of feeding a homemade diet.
Here are a few items you can add into your canned pet food.
- Raw Vegetables—For every 10 pounds of your dog's weight, add ⅛ to ¼ cup of raw vegetables.
- Grated carrots
- Chopped lettuce
- Green Beans
- Steamed broccoli
Raw Fruits: You’ll want to provide your pets with a few fresh fruits several times a week.
Organic Meats: For every 10 lbs of your dog's weight you'll add ⅛ to ¼ cup of baked, broiled or raw organic meats.
- Free range is best, be sure to grind or remove all the bones.
Raw Eggs: Providing your pets with a raw egg once a week is a great source of antibiotics.
It’s best to use organic eggs from free-range chickens.
Garlic: For every 10 lbs. use ⅛ and no more than ½ clove of fresh garlic. Garlic must be chopped up small to feed to your dog.
Not everyone is willing to spend time chopping it, and some dogs may not eat it.
Because large amounts of garlic are toxic to dogs, you want to start with a low dose and introduce over a week or two.
Feeding no more than three times a week. As with any drug or herb, you'll want to watch your dog for signs of toxicity.
Acidophilus: This can be found in the refrigerator section of a natural food store.
You’ll add ¼ to ½ teaspoon acidophilus in either liquid or powder form.
Yogurt: Serving yogurt occasionally or once a week will help your pet to stay regulated.
Using ⅛ to ¼ cup for small dogs and ½ to ¾ cup for a larger dog.
Always use a plain natural yogurt from health food stores.
Cottage Cheese: Add a small amount up to three times a week.
Cottage cheese is easy to digest and an excellent source of protein.
Cottage Cheese is beneficial if your dog is not feeling well.
Goat’s milk or Cow’s milk: If your dog has digestions problems, you’ll want to avoid milk altogether.
Some dogs do not have the digestive enzymes to digest milk.
Most goat's milk is naturally homogenized and easy to ingest and is more complete than cow's milk.
You’ll never want to feed half-and-half or whole milk.
They cannot digest cream. These forms of milk will often cause diarrhea.
Cheese: Try feeding your dog a few small pieces of cheese in the beginning.
You’ll want to watch your pet's stools as cheese can cause constipating or diarrhea.
I feed my dogs small pieces (3 or 4) as daily snacks with no problems.
Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants for your Dog
Vitamin and Mineral supplements: I use high-quality natural vitamin and mineral supplements.
These come from natural pet food companies. The directions will vary on the brand you choose.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E are a supportive antioxidant and help the body’s level of toxicity and free radicals.
Most dogs tolerate antioxidants.
What's the most important thing our Dogs need?
Animal protein. That is what our pets need to live a long and happy life.
Animal proteins have all the essential nutritional needs that our pets have to maintain a healthy coat, good digestion, strong eyes, and body.
Dogs digestive systems can handle raw meats and fats.
Protein is the staple of a pet's diet.
Studies confirm that high levels of protein are necessary for dogs of all ages.
Protein in a pet food can consist of more than just meat, dairy, fish or eggs. These all are great sources.
Grains and vegetables are additional proteins good for our pets.
So what should you feed your dog?
Complete proteins include:
- Red meat
- Cultured dairy, which includes cottage cheese or yogurt.
- Organ meats
Our pets need a balance of these proteins for optimal health with calcium, antioxidants, and mineral supplements.
Chart for Feeding our Pets:
|Dogs Weight in Pounds||5||10||25||40||60||80|
|Proteins||2 ½ Tbsp||⅓ Cup||⅔ Cup||1 ⅛ Cups||1 ⅓ Cups||1 ¾ Cups|
|Grains||½ Cup||1 Cup||2 Cups||2 ½ Cups||4 Cups||5 Cups|
|Vegetables||1 Tbsp||⅛ Cup||¼ Cup||⅓ Cup||½ Cup||⅔ Cup|
|Oil||¼ Cup||½ Tsp||1 Tsp||1 ½ Tsp||2 Tsp||2 ½ Tsp|
|Vitamin and Mineral Supplements||Use according to the directons on the label.|
|Enzyme Supplements||Use according to the directons on the label.|
A Simple Recipe that includes all the Nutritional needs for our Pets:
- ¾ cup brown rice
- 1 ¼ cup cubed beef, chicken or turkey
- ¾ cup liver
- ¼ cup raw grated zucchini
- ¼ cup steamed broccoli
- 1 small egg - use the shell
- ¼ cups carrots
- 1 ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Vitamin and Mineral supplements
- Bring rice to a boil in a pan. Simmer and cover until done.
- Steam broccoli
- Boil or use the egg raw. ( Grind up the egg shell to use for calcium).
- Mix all the ingredients.
- Add Vitamin and Mineral supplement according to suggested uses on labels.
- Serve to and enjoy.
Go slow when introducing a Homemade diet
Once you feed a natural raw diet, you’ll notice an upswing of energy. Health problems can disappear and you’ll have a less gassy dog.
Your dog may take a few days or a week to adjust to his or her new diet. Sometimes the change in diet can cause diarrhea with your pets.
This is common with the change in diet and will go away in a week.
Feeding a Balanced Diet over time
Going from feeding processed dog food to homemade food is a more natural, complete and healthier state for your dog.
Changing your pet's diet is one of the most important things you can do for your pet.
The only reason to feed commercial food is for the convenience. If you want your pet to live a longer, healthier life, give raw homemade dog food a try.
Do you feed your dog raw food? Cooked food? Or processed food.