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Making Your Own Dog Food: Just a Few Things You Should Know

Updated on August 24, 2016

The pet dog food industry has capitalized on millions of faithful dog owners for decades. We see their commercials all the time on the television networks. Most companies promise that their product will bring your dog a life of longevity and prosperous health, but is this really true? I'm here to urge you to not get caught up in the all of the marketing hype.

Your dog's health should never be compromised for fancy packaging and cute TV ads. Good dog food begins with love and research. I want to show you some benefits of making your own dog food.

Super premium dog food doesn't necessarily have to be purchased from Petco or your local feed store. One glance at the average bag and you'll see that dog food ingredients sometimes make no sense at all. Yes, you will find top notch products like Blue Buffalo dog food, but at $50 a bag that may not be feasible for most budgets.

So why not make your own dog food? My wife and I started doing it and we haven't turned back since. Of course there will be some conflicting opinions, but here's what we do to make homemade dog food.

Avoid fatty and cholesterol packed meats.
You know very well that pork and red meats aren't good for you. Why make your four-legged friend eat it? If you want nutritional dog food, don't for one second think that this is okay. Also, don't think that this should be the majority of their diet. Not all breeds digest meats similarly. To keep it safe (and healthy) try preparing ground turkey or chicken instead.

We suggest fish like tuna, salmon and sardines when making dog food. The tissues break down easily, and the omega fatty acids in fish set you up for being the proud owner of a dog with an envious coat and healthy skin. Consider the right fish for puppy dog food, too. You'd be surprised at what it will do for a developing brain stem.

Never underestimate fruits and vegetables
Good dog food definitely requires quality protein. However, you want to make sure that you don't neglect to add the stuff that grows from soil. A dogs food diet with too much protein can lead to irritability, and of course, obesity. Dogs are generally more moody when they get too much meat in their diets. What we like to do when making dog food is "season" the cooked meats mentioned above with either garlic or onion powder.

It purifies your dog's blood, and those vegetables in particular keeps the fleas and ticks away. What we love the most about garlic and onion powder is that it's chemical properties creates an environment that makes it tough for tumors and cancers to thrive. Don't overcook them, as too much heat lowers its effectiveness. We even add blueberries or cranberries for vitamin C and their anti-oxidant properties. Keep in mind that like everything, too much of one thing can be toxic. I have always given my dogs onion and never had health issues.

It's as good as grains!
When making your own dog food, its always good to add wheats and grains. We keep a bottle of wheat germ to sprinkle on the dogs food. This promotes a healthy heart in your dog, and the fiber is great for their bowels. Flax seeds are also a great idea for a boost in omega fatty acids. Making dog food with bananas, celery, and even green peas helps mask the flavor of your concoction, but also provides the necessary fiber.

Sub-par foods contain the popular filler, cornmeal. Corn is rarely ever broken down properly, and usually passes right through your dog's system. An excellent substitute for a nutritional dog food filler is oatmeal. Again, great for their hearts and is very digestible.

As dog lovers, we have owned several breeds and our homemade dog food recipes have gotten us great results. The Diamond dog food brand was our favorite before we converted to making dog food. Considered by some to be a "premium" type, but even it had the undesirable fillers. Coming up with your own dog food ingredients isn't for everyone but we like to know what our little loved ones are getting.

After all, we want them to have long lives. If you decide that you do want to make your own dog food, be sure to stay away from spices and peppers. Sometimes it's tempting to think that your dog doesn't want a bland dish. It doesn't take much to flavor it up with beneficial ingredients, though.

The majority of popular ailments can be prevented by simply using nutrional dog food. I find it amazing how many dog owners are so quick to pump medicines and man made chemicals into their pet. Of course, you want to use common sense. But don't allow your dog to suffer because of slick marketing techniques. Execute proper research on vitamins and such, and making your own dog food will benefit you for years to come.

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    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Moderation is key, as in everything else.

    • profile image

      Stacy 5 years ago

      I want to warn everyone reading this article to do further research. Onion and garlic powder (or in whole form) can lead to anemia. This is true in large doses or in small doses given regularly. The author mentions fruits and veggies, but be careful in that area too. Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure. Dogs can tolerate some grains, but most grains should be avoided. Stick to rice and oats, and as the author mentioned, stay far away from corn. ALWAYS talk to your vet before putting your dog on a homemade diet. It can definitely be healthier than the crap they sell at the store, but it can be worse if you are uninformed.

    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      I have also read these things regarding onions and garlic. Not only have I been doing this for years, but I also use them both in small dosages.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      I've read not to allow a dog to eat garlic either unless given only in small doses and not often for the same reason they shouldn't eat onions.

      I've been making my own dog food also, but keep running into warnings about what they shouldn't eat. I mainly use rice, chicken and veggies. We throw in some regular dog food each week since I'm not sure if I'm giving them a well-balanced diet or not.

      I use the rice instead of wheat because one of our dogs has allergies.

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 6 years ago from Florida

      Please be careful when adding onion powder to dog food onions are toxic for dogs and cause a form of anemia