With recalls of commercial dog food products in the past decade, many pet owners are considering switching to homemade dog food. Some dogs need more protein than others, and simple ingredients can boost the protein levels in raw and cooked dog food. Making your own dog food is simple and cost effective, as you can make large batches at one time and store the food for future use. It's important to choose quality ingredients for homemade dog food and to add it into your dog's diet slowly.
Buy fresh, human-grade foods. Protein-rich ingredients include red meat, chicken and turkey. When you're shopping for these items, choose quality ingredients, whether fresh or frozen. Other nutritional items to include in a homemade dog food diet are rice, carrots and green vegetables.
Choose a raw or cooked diet for your dog, and stick to it. Be aware that raw meats and poultry can contain salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Cooked diets are often the safer option, and preparing them doesn’t need to be a hassle.
Follow the instructions for your slow cooker to roast the meat. Add vegetables and chicken broth or water to make a thick, stew-like meal. Cook rice on its own, using whatever method you normally use.
Combine the stew and rice, and serve the meal to your pet. In the beginning, add small amounts of your homemade food to your dog’s commercial dry food, and slowly phase out the commercial food. This will help your dog adjust to the new diet slowly so it won't upset his stomach.
Store homemade dog food as you would store food for yourself or your family: place meal-size portions in freezer-ready containers, and label them with the date you made the food. The food should keep in the freezer for about a month and in the refrigerator for two to three days.
Consult your veterinarian before changing you dog's diet in any way.
Certain foods such as garlic, onions and mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Consult your vet before deciding on a recipe for homemade dog food.
- chicken legs on the plate. Isolated on white. image by diter from Fotolia.com