With the popularity of pet owners making homemade dog foods, it's no surprise humans want to make sure the dog food tastes good. After all, we're used to adding a dash of seasoning to our meal, so we may be enticed to do the same for our four-legged companions. According to pet experts doctors Foster and Smith, dogs can't properly digest many flavorful foods and seasonings that humans enjoy including onions, citrus oils and salt. Some human foods can cause severe illness or death to a pet.
Add an Italian flair to dog food. Mix a can of chopped tomatoes into a beef and rice homemade dog food recipe. Measure 1 tsp.of fresh parsley leaves and stems per 20 lbs.of dog weight, per serving of dog food. Parsley is high in nutrients, strengthens intestinal wall muscles and reduces flatulence.
Spice up the food. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper powder to each serving of homemade dog food for a spicy meal. The pepper strengthens the heart and has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe arthritic pain in dogs.
Season dog food with ginger. Adding a pinch of dried ginger root to each serving of homemade dog food will stimulate the dog's appetite. The spicy-sweet seasoning also helps reduce nausea and vomiting in ill dogs.
Sweeten homemade dog food with 1/4 cup of peanut butter or fresh blueberries per serving of dog food. These natural foods provide flavor and are palatable for dogs. Blueberries add extra antioxidants to the dog's diet while peanut butter packs on the protein.
Add savory seasoning to dog food with the herb sage. Boil 1 tbs.of dried sage leaves in 1 cup of water. Allow the mixture to cool, and strain off the sage leaves. Add 1 fluid ounce of the liquid per 20 lbs. of dog weight to the homemade dog food. The savory seasoning also prevents gingivitis in dogs.
Season dog food with green peppers. Add 1/4 cup of chopped fresh green peppers to each serving of dog food. Loaded with vitamin C, green peppers add a fresh flavor to meat- and starch-based dog food recipes.
Add seasoning to the dog food while it is cooking. This will allow the flavors to blend, ensuring you flavor the entire batch of dog food.
Never use salt as a seasoning on homemade dog food. If eaten in large quantities salt can lead to electrolyte imbalances in dogs. (See Reference 2)
Angela Tague writes marketing content and journalistic pieces for major brands including Bounty, The Nest, Lowe's Home Improvement and Hidden Valley. She also provides feature content to newspapers and writes health and beauty blogs for Daily Glow, Everyday Health and Walgreens. Tague graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications in 1999.