Commercial puppy kibble is an appropriate diet for many dogs. However, many puppies can benefit from a homemade kibble if they have food sensitivities or allergies. In addition, some owners prefer to make their own kibble because of concerns about ingredients that may be present or absent in commercial kibble preparations. Fortunately, homemade kibble can be simple to prepare and store in the average household kitchen.
Benefits of Homemade Puppy Kibble
The primary benefit to making homemade puppy kibble is knowing precisely what ingredients are in it. Homemade kibble contains only the ingredients the owner decides to add, of the quality and quantity the owner considers important. Homemade kibble doesn't contain preservatives unless the owner chooses to add them. Such control over the ingredients reduces the possibility of triggering allergies. In addition, the lack of fillers will reduce the amount of solid waste the dog produces.
Drawbacks of Homemade Puppy Kibble
A puppy’s nutritional needs are strict and narrow. Their bodies are growing rapidly, both inside and outside. It is important that homemade kibble contain the nutrients required to support this growth in such quantities that will be both safe and beneficial. Commercial preparations have been developed through years of experimentation and to create a proper balance of nutrients. Calcium and protein are two nutrients to control to ensure proper puppy growth; however, they are also two ingredients that owners might be tempted to offer in quantities that may compromise your puppy's health. In addition, homemade puppy kibble is difficult to make in large quantities. If the owner is feeding a large puppy or several puppies, it is possible that he or she is frequently preparing kibble in small quantities, making it inconvenient to feed. Be sure to check with your veterinarian so you have the right balance of nutrients.
Preparing Homemade Puppy Kibble
Many kibble recipes call for beans or rice as a starch; however, some recipes call for potatoes, oatmeal or even quinoa. Chicken, beef and turkey are all reasonable sources of protein for homemade kibble, as they are all readily available in a ground form. Basic kibble recipes can be altered for use with a young dog or dogs with special needs. All ingredients are typically cooked together to soften them before processing them into a paste. The paste is then spread into a thin layer onto cookie sheets and dried in a 300-degree to 350-degree oven. Homemade puppy kibble must be dried completely throughout, so that it will not become moldy.
Storing Homemade Puppy Kibble
Homemade puppy kibble should be stored in airtight containers or bags. Refrigerated, it will stay fresh for up to two weeks. Frozen, homemade puppy kibble will stay fresh for up to three months. Any discolored or moldy kibble should be discarded.