Homemade fish and sweet potato dog food is good for dogs showing signs of food allergies. The fish and sweet potato food is a very limited-ingredient diet made up of foods that are generally hypoallergenic for dogs. The limited-ingredient diet is maintained until allergy symptoms subside. Then other food items are added to the diet, one by one, until the food that is the source of the allergies is discovered. Homemade fish and sweet potato dog food also makes a tasty occasional treat for dogs not suffering from allergies.
Purchase fresh fish and sweet potatoes from your local grocer. Stay away from tuna and swordfish, which can have high mercury levels. Trout, salmon and mackerel are good choices for dogs. Include only one type of fish in the recipe to reduce the chance of allergies. Choose certified organic sweet potatoes if available, for a healthier choice. This recipe calls for twice as much fish as it does sweet potatoes, so keep this in mind when purchasing the ingredients.
Steam or bake the fish until it is cooked throughout. Do not add any spices or other ingredients. Allow the fish to cool and remove the bones, which could be a choking hazard or cause intestinal damage. Cut the fish into bite-size pieces.
Cook Sweet Potatoes
Peel and boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender enough for a fork to easily pierce. Once tender, remove the sweet potatoes from the water and mash them with a fork.
Prepare Dog Food
Combine the fish and sweet potatoes in a bowl, remembering to use twice as much fish as sweet potatoes--e.g., 1 cup of fish and 1/2 cup of sweet potatoes. If desired, stir in 1 tbsp. of olive oil per 1 cup of food to add healthy fats to the recipe.
Stir a canine vitamin and mineral supplement into the food if you intend to serve it as the only source of food in your dog’s diet. This food is not completely balanced by itself and must be supplemented if served as a sole food source. Ask your veterinarian from the proper supplements and dosages to add to your dog’s food.
As a general rule, feed your dog the same amount of the fish and sweet potato food as you normally feed it in other foods. For example, if you normally feed your dog 1 cup of kibble, feed your dog 1 cup of the fish and sweet potato food. Adjust feeding amounts as necessary to match your dog’s appetite and to maintain ideal weight.
The finished fish and sweet potato food can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you make extra food, store it in the freezer for up to three months. It is most convenient to freeze the food in single serving containers, which allows you to defrost only what you need. To defrost the food, place it in the refrigerator overnight.
The Cold River Veterinary Center recommends feeding a hypoallergenic dog food solely to your dog for 60 to 90 days before adding other foods to the diet. Mar Vista Animal Medical Center lists fish and sweet potato as a good hypoallergenic diet for dogs. If the diet does not eliminate your dog’s allergic symptoms after two weeks, non-food-related substances in the environment should be suspected. Take your dog to a veterinarian for allergy testing.
Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.