Source: Sherman Publications

Benefits of homemade dog food

May 11, 2011

Itís easy to run through the drive-thru on the way home from work to pick up a quick dinner or to rely on frozen food that can be easily made in the microwave.

Premade food is convenient, but it oftentimes lacks the nutrients for optimal health. The same is true with dog food. In fact, many veterinarians and animal experts encourage pet owners to make their own pet food at home, using ingredients that they would find in the kitchen.

The benefits of eating homemade dog food may include shinier coats, more energy, stronger and cleaner teeth and fewer allergies.

Preparing dog food at home gives the pet owner the ability to control what their dog is eating and how it is made. Of course, this requires extra time and a longer grocery store list, but the health benefits to the animal are enormous. When it comes to the price, there is little difference between homemade and store-bought dog food.

And the process is not nearly as complicated as it sounds. Homemade dog food requires using vegetables, proteins, herbs and fruits that are already found in most kitchens. Meats like poultry, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, buffalo, venison, elk, rabbit, and goat can be used as well as eggs, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, fruits, finely ground seeds and nuts, oils, like flaxseed and herbs like garlic, parsley are all possible ingredients for homemade dog food.

While dogs may eat many of the same foods as humans do, the cooking process is different, especially when it comes to meat. All kinds of meat should not be overcooked as doing so destroys many of the amino acids that dogs need. Raw meat bones should be grinded or cooked down and then added to the meal.

Eggs are best soft boiled to eliminate avidin, a substance linked to biotin deficiency. Egg shells can also be added but they must be dried over night and then ground before mixing them with the meat. Vegetables are best consumed raw to preserve their nutrient density.

Most pet experts recommended feeding a dog twice a day, with mature dogs consuming a 50 to 50 ratio between meat and vegetables and puppies consuming a slightly higher ratio of meat to vegetables.Pet owners that have a dog with a preexisting health condition should receive approval from their veterinarian before making any dietary changes.

Orion Healthy Pet is located at 1472 S. Lapeer Rd., Lake Orion, MI 48360or by calling 248-690-7796.