When commercial dog foods no longer appeal to you or your dog, an all-natural diet that is high in protein and nutrients is the obvious alternative, but you need to decide on a raw meat or cooked meat diet. Both diets have pros and cons that need to be considered before feeding your four-legged friend.
While the natural diet of dogs is raw meat and vegetables, raw meats may contain bacteria, such as salmonella and e. coli, and parasites that can make your pet sick. By thoroughly cooking meats, you rid the meat of these dangers and still provide your pet with the benefits of an all-natural diet. Make sure the meat is fresh and free of fat, gristle and bones that may splinter or get caught in your dog's throat. In other words, if the meat or meat byproducts are not good for a human, they are likely not good for your pet, either.
Avoid using seasonings in the cooked meat for your dog. Onion and garlic can cause anemia in your pet that can lead to vomiting and breathlessness. Other spices and seasonings, such as salt, can also cause problems. Too much salt in a pet's diet can cause sodium ion poisoning. Baking soda, baking powder and nutmeg are among some of the pantry items that could make your dog deathly ill.
An all-meat menu will not provide your pet with a balanced diet. Just like humans, canines need a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables and grains. Commercial dog food producers carefully gauge the amount of each nutrient that is needed for a pet. You will want to do that for your pooch, too, based on your veterinarian's recommendations. Specific health conditions, age, dog breed and size are all factors that play a role in determining the balanced diet needs of your pet.
Avoid drastic and sudden changes in your pet's diet from a commercial dog food to a cooked meat diet. The shock to your dog's system may cause him to get sick. Rather, begin by mixing a little cooked meat with his regular dog food and gradually -- over the course of a couple of weeks -- add more meat and vegetables as you decrease the amount of commericial dog food.