The recent dog food and pet food recall that has claimed the lives of dogs across the United States as a result of eating contaminated commercial dog food tainted with aminopterin, a rat poison, and melamine, a chemical used in making plastics and fertilizer. As a result many dog ​​owners considering homemade dog food as a safe and nutritious alternative for their dog.

In a recent news article, a law professor states that little change is anticipated (in the dog food industry) after the current onslaught of dog food recall news and attention subsides.

The probable reason for this conclusion is that there are insufficient financial resources and manpower to effectively monitor and regulate the dog food industry. You can't trust the dog food industry to watch out for your dog and the government is not your answer either.

This is unfortunate. The dog food industry was born in postwar America to meet a need …. the need of business interests to recycle slaughterhouse and industrial waste. This refuse had potential uses as fertilizer, landfill and such, but a more profitable horizon existed in the packaging and selling this "junk" as food to unsuspecting dog owners. It is now a common misconception that your dog can not maintain a healthy life unless he is fed commercial dog food. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To save your dog's life, you may want to consider making your own homemade dog food. This is one of the best ways to guarantee your dog a healthy and safe diet.

Just glance at some of the regular ingredients delivered by rendering plants to commercial dog food manufacturers in the Unites States, Europe and worldwide.

o Euthanized dogs -Toxic chemicals such as Sodium Phenobarbital, the euthanizing agent injected to kill dogs daily at dog shelters. (This comes with the euthanized dog who is ground up at a rendering plant to be added to dog food. The dog may still be wearing a flea collar and be in a plastic bag when rendered)

o Blood

o Feathers

o Undeveloped eggs

o Downed, dying, diseased and dead animals (Known as the 4Ds)

o Hooves, beaks, feet and hide

And a host of other unsavory, unhealthy and toxic products that will slowly kill or euthanize your dog with every feeding.

So what's the alternative? Well, if you are willing to spend a little time, and maybe even some money, there is a better way to feed your dog. You can halt the daily toxification, provide needed nutrition and increase your dog's lifespan

What You Should Feed Your Dog

A variety of homemade dog food options are available for you to make your own dog food at home.
Some of these include completely natural dog food diets that are currently the rage with certain dog nutrition experts such as The Bones and Raw Food, (BARF) diet also known as the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet.

BARF Diets typically include a variety of uncooked foods such as:

o Bones with meat flesh attached

o Organs

o Muscle

o Eggs

o Fruit

o Yogurt

o Enzymes

o Herbs

o Vegetables

o Supplements and herbs

o Cereals

As to the preferred meat, there is none. BARF proponents use beef, chicken, goat, buffalo, whatever is fresh and available.

The same philosophy seems to exist for vegetables. Again the emphasis is on freshness, availability and variety.

While anecdotal tales of remarkable results are reported daily by BARFers, some veterinarians have found that BARF diets can be deficient in certain required nutrients. The inability to qualitatively analyze each prepared meal may account for these research results.

Vegetarian Homemade Dog Food Diets

Dogs, while primarily carnivores are also actually omnivores. In the wild, 10,000 years ago, dogs would take down their prey, and eat not just the meat of the carcass but the contents of the stomach which included undigested grains, berries and grass.

This natural desire for a balanced diet suggests to many dog ​​nutritionists that a vegetarian diet containing sufficient protein sources is desirable. The advantage of a vegetarian diet is that disease and other health related issues can be avoided as well. Additionally, the philosophical objection of vegans to killing any animal as a food source is accomplished.

Homemade Dog Food Vegetarian Diets include

o Bread

o Brown rice

o Sprouting grains

o Carrots

o Apples

o Dog biscuits

o Cottage cheese

o Eggs

o Lentils

o Baked beans

Make a Combo Homemade Dog Food Diet

o A Combo diet is in essence a blend of all philosophies and might include

o Meat

o Vegetables

o Eggs

o Brown Pasta

o Brown Rice

No matter which approach you choose for a homemade dog food diet there are a few pitfalls. One is the difficulty of preparing a properly balanced dog food diet with each batch.

The Whole Dog Journal states that a properly balanced dog food diet should include whole meat, vegetables, fruit, grain and high quality dietary fats.

Others suggest that the best alternative is to use a very high quality dog ​​food that is natural, without preservatives, additives and the toxins that are found in many of the private and major kibble brands sold in retail outlets. These dog foods will typically cost quite a bit more than dog foods of lower quality, but guarantee a balanced diet for your dog.

If you do choose to prepare homemade dog food for your dog be certain to avoid certain foods which can be toxic and potentially fatal to your dog. These include but are not limited to avocado, raisins, grapes, and chocolate.

If the pros and cons, yin and yang, of the various approaches to making homemade dog food for your dog has your head spinning, don't despair. I have been researching this field for years and learn something new daily that confuses me even more.

There is a good way to get some perspective on this.

If you decide on making your own homemade dog food there is a wonderful free primer online at http://www.pet-grub.com

Don't be afraid to get started making homemade dog food if you don't have access to every recommended ingredient. The improvement in your dog's health by simply removing the toxins of his current commercial dog food and his new and improved healthy, nutritious homemade dog food will be worth getting started today!


by M. Bruno