Dogs, like people, thrive when fed a diet full of macro- and micronutrients. Ultra-premium dog foods that are lower in carbohydrates and made with high-quality meat without by-products and chemical preservatives are convenient, but can put a significant dent in the budget. Show your best friend you care by making homemade dog food from fresh ingredients, and save some cash in the process.
Choose a protein source. Use raw or plain cooked meats recommends Dr. Martin Goldstein, a holistic veterinarian who practices at Smith Ridge Veterinary Center in New York. Mix in some organ meats as these tend to be less expensive than premium cuts. Try mixing the meat with less-expensive cooked lentils to expand your meal and still provide bulk and protein.
Add fresh cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, pumpkin and carrots. Boil these vegetables with the meat and beans to create a stew-like mixture. Drain before serving if you used fatty meat.
Include small amounts of leftover cooked grains, such as brown rice. Keep the bulk of your pets food protein and vegetables.
Add a pet-specific vitamin/mineral mix and omega-3 essential fatty acids from salmon oil, says Dr. Goldstein. Check with your vet for the most economical versions of these supplements.