Should You Make Your Own Dog Food?

Canine nutrition is a complicated topic. And, there are many well meaning dog owners who are interested in bypassing commerically produced dog foods so they can provide meals that they deem are more wholesome and contain ingredients that are healthier. Or maybe they have a dog who is a really picky eater and they want to make foods they are sure their dog will eat.

But if you want to prepare your dog’s meals at home,  how do you know you are feeding your dog a balanced diet? How can you be sure the food you make for him is meeting all of his protein and vitamin and mineral requirements? And, are you absolutely sure 

which human foods are safe for your dog to eat? (See this list of toxic foods to avoid

A lot to think about!

Also, dog owners may instinctively think that home cooked foods will be better for their dogs, but there are no hard studies to support this. Commercially prepared foods are specifically formulated to be complete and balanced, even though most of them are highly processed.

If a dog is fed only home cooked foods for a period of time and that food is missing one or more of the forty critical nutrients your dog needs for health, or if the food contains an excess of a particular nutrient, your dog could become ill or in the worse case, might die.

If you want to prepare homemade foods for your dog, you should do so under the guidance of a qualified canine nutritionist. Or you could consider pre-cooked commercial food which has whole ingredients. 

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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