Homemade food for dogs

Like most dog owners, you’ve probably been concerned a time or two about what your dog is eating. Especially when- particularly recently- news stories come up with tainted dog food or treats. Have you ever considered making your own food or treats?

I’m very picky about what goes in Reggie’s mouth. He has severe allergies (beef, chicken, turkey, carrots, potato, and yeast). I have wrestled him to the ground more than once when he has scooped something up on a walk that has fallen out of someone’s trash. He eats a stable main diet, but treats that he can eat are hard to come by. There are a few good brands that I can count on to have quality ingredients and flavors that Reggie can eat. I was really happy to find that some treats from one of my favorite brands came in Reggie’s BarkBox this last month.

So in an effort to provide to some variety for my best buddy I set off on a quest to make dog food. Here’s what I found.

Food Basics

Make sure to check out the ASPCA website for foods to avoid, as well as things you might not think about right away like herbs. Certain herbs are no-nos. Never use raw foods (unless you are well-schooled in the raw food diet, which I am not), and make sure to check the cooked meats you are using for bones.

Food Basics…Part 2

Switching foods on your dog frequently can cause tummy upset. Just because we like variety in our diets doesn’t mean it’s good for them. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t have the occasional treat, whether it’s a different meal or treats that you make with your own two hands! Don’t get overzealous (what, me…) and watch how they respond to what you give them.

Meals

The great thing about DIY meals is that a lot of what you make for your dinner, you can give to Fido- as long as it doesn’t have seasonings, salt, skin, bones, or off-limit veggies. Dogs love chicken, apples (not the seeds- they contain arsenic), and oats- how about making a great doggie stew? Check out this recipe for doggy stew from Modern Dog Magazine.

I won’t try new meals on Reggie, he has a stable main diet and I just won’t mess with it. But way back in the beginning, before knowing about the allergies, I used to sprinkle his food with chicken broth. He likes wet food, broth, gravy-like items. Could I make a gravy? Hmmm…maybe that would be a subtle enough addition that it wouldn’t upset his delicate digestive balance. Try this gravy recipe from Henrietta Morrison’s book Dinner for Dogs.

Treats

Treats are where I’m at. I found this blog site a while ago and I love all of the stuff on here. I love to cook and I can modify recipes to suit Reggie’s allergies. Reggie loves peanut butter so I made the Peanut Butter Parmesan treats for Valentine’s Day (complete with heart shaped cookie cutters) and they were a hit. I think I will try the recent posts (home page) treats next. For the Loaded Potato I can substitute the potato flour with a blend of rice and corn flour, and the Peanut Butter Banana I’m sure will be a hit!

Whatever you make, be sure to check with your vet first and of course follow good food prep guidelines. Look at the ASPCA website for foods to avoid, especially herbs. Making food at home for your dog can be fun and rewarding for both with a few well planned ideas.

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