According to Donald R. Strombeck (DVM, PhD.) in the book, Dog and Cat Diets; The Healthful Alternative – most commercial foods wrongly contain carbohydrates as their PRIMARY energy source.
He also says that while dogs can digest some carbohydrates, an estimated 20% pass through undigested.
The excessive levels of carbohydrates in some commercial foods are there mainly to add bulk, and since they are not entirely digested are just wasted space in the can or bag!
The beauty in homemade dog food is that you control the amount of carbohydrates and can vary it according to your individual dogs needs!
Several home recipes for dog food feature a rice component because it is one of the best assimilated sources of carbohydrates for dogs.
White rice digests the fastest, while brown is much more slowly digested, due to the protective rice husk. Diabetic dogs benefit from the slower energy release of brown rice or a mixture of the two.
I have also used pasta, either white or whole meal, depending on what I am making. But you WILL find that dogs, like us – prefer white pasta?
Try using both fresh vegetables and frozen mixed vegetables – the frozen home brand vegetables are convenient and very cost effective. Studies I have read for humans, show that frozen vegetables are almost as nutritious as fresh.
These days we choose to cook our dog food, and the dogs LOVE it – but if you prefer the concept of a BARF diet (bones and raw food) you can also leave it raw, especially if you are using human grade meat sources!
One of the main reasons many vets recommend cooked meat over raw is that of food safety. Cooking meat kills many harmful bacteria – however if you start with quality human grade meat or verified fresh pet meat, the risk is greatly reduced.
On page 26 of his book Stromberg says “Dogs and cats in the wild select diets containing negligible fiber. Thus, dogs and cats have low requirements for fiber.”
Most recipes for homemade dog food have small amounts of vegetable fibre, this will be more than sufficient for your dog.
It has recently been discovered that Omega 3 & Omega 6 are helpful with human health – so too with dogs. Dogs need more Omega 6 than Omega 3.Recipes for homemade dog food should always contain good sources of both Omega 3 & 6 in LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond).
I also supplement with fish, olive and additional sunflower oil, to provide extra sources and to assist in keeping skin and coat condition. Our Staffordshire Bull Terriers are known to be prone to some skin conditions and grass allergies, the use of these oils can help to reduce these problems.
When using my recipes for homemade dog food – you can use pretty well any herbs you like in moderation – BUT do be careful with pepper and chili in large quantity – it may cause irritation to some dogs an especially puppies.
I use curry powder, additive free stock powder and tomato paste in my recipes, these are added for flavouring only.
NEVER add any sort of onion to dog food, they lack the ability to digest it and can make them ill. Onion in sufficient quantity can kill your dog!
If you are ready to give your dog the absolute BEST food that you possibly can; while still SAVING REAL $$$ compared to the putrid stuff they pack into cans and bags – then visit my site for more information!
Thanks for your interest!
by Steve Gaskin