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How to Prepare Nutritious Dog Food at Home

After the pet food recall, dog owners have become more sensitive to what they feed their dogs.

In fact, during that time a considerable number of owners switched to feeding their pets with homemade meals. There are many benefits to feeding your dog a homemade meal

- You prepare it yourself so you are sure what goes into the food

- Your dog can eat a fresh meal almost every day

- You have the chance to mix and match ingredients to find what your dog will like best.

Preparing a homemade meal is not rocket science and you can get some useful dog food nutrition tips here. Sure, there are challenges when it comes to figuring the correct balance of nutrients and the quantities of each food group to include but this can be fixed. Dogs are not entirely carnivores; they need some veggies to provide fibre that aids in digestion and acts as a source of some nutrients that may be lacking in meat.

The trick when it comes to homemade meals, is giving your dog a meal that is nutritionally balanced. To start with, the food should include ingredients from the three major food groups, that is, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

The quantity of these groups of food will vary based on who you ask but I recommend 30% protein (preferably meat) 50% carbohydrates 15% veggies. Dogs also require some essential fatty acids that they are not able to synthesize in the body. You can use some fish oil or primrose oil in the food or supplement with it.

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Use high quality sources of protein such as chicken, lamb, beef and avoid using animal by products as much as possible. Good carbohydrate sources to include are brown rice and potatoes. Try out different combinations of foods and see which your dog likes best. You may need to supplement with some minerals so your dog does not suffer any deficiencies.

Different dogs will have different nutritional requirements, for example, a lactating bitch has a higher demand for calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D in diet. Failure to give enough levels may result in eclampsia. Working dogs will have higher energy requirements than dogs that stay indoors all day thus must be provided with a rich carbohydrate source.

Growing pups need food that will promote the development process, their food should have high amounts of protein.

Switching food from commercial to homemade meal may go very smoothly for your dog or it may not. If your dog suffers from digestive upsets, stop feeding, then return to commercial food for a while before gradually introducing the homemade meal. You should also be on the lookout in case your dog suffers from a food allergy.

Food that should never be fed to the dog or included when preparing their food include

- Raisins

- Macadamia nuts

- Onions, garlic

- Chocolate

- Yeast dough

- Milk

Though feeding milks to dogs is not dangerous, dogs’ lack an enzyme that processes milk and it may result in digestive upsets and flatulence.

Be sure to consult the vet for guidelines on nutrients and to get some recommendations.

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