Making homemade dog food for your canine companion is simple and healthful. Wholesome ingredients like sweet potatoes and eggs can be combined with other elements to form a fresh dog food that not only offers a natural nutrient source, but provides a taste that your dog will enjoy as well.
Eggs are a great source of nutrition for dogs. One large chicken egg contains six grams of healthy protein and five grams of fat. Most of the fat in the egg is contained in the yolk. If your dog is overweight, using several whites and only one or two yolks can help bring down the level of fat and calories.
Eggs also contain vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, vitamin E and phosphorous, that your dog needs to thrive. Like fat, these nutrients are located primarily in the yolk, so in order to take advantage of these nutrients, you will need to use at least some yolks in your dog's food.
Due to the risk of food-borne illnesses like salmonella, you should never feed your dog raw eggs.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of starchy carbohydrates. One medium sweet potato contains 24 grams of carbohydrates, which your dog will use for energy, and two grams of protein. Sweet potatoes do not contain fat and are easy to digest.
Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of fiber: one medium potato contains five grams. Fiber helps to keep your dog's bowel movements regular and his digestive tract healthy. They also contain ample amounts of vitamins A, C, B6 and potassium.
Boil two medium-sized sweet potatoes until they are tender. Allow the hot potatoes to cool for a few minutes, then cut them open in the middle and scoop out the starchy orange flesh and place it in a bowl. Sweet potato skins are healthy, but they are difficult to incorporate into dog food. If you wish to incorporate them, slice them into tiny pieces first.
Scramble four whole eggs or two egg yolks and four egg whites in a non-stick pan or in the microwave. Do not add oil or butter. When they are cooked, scoop them into the sweet potatoes and mix until the eggs are incorporated.
Add four cups of cooked brown rice, which contains carbohydrates for energy and fiber for digestive health.
For an additional protein punch, add two cups of cooked, unseasoned chicken or turkey breast that has been shredded. Alternatively, choose the same amount of cooked, drained and rinsed lean ground beef or ground turkey. Draining and rinsing ground meat reduces the amount of fat your dog will eat.
If you like, you can also add a cup of cooked, chopped green beans, peas or carrots. (Do not add onions, which can be poisonous to dogs.)
This recipe will make approximately six cups of food. If you have a large dog, you may want to double or triple the recipe. Store unused food in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to one week and reheat it in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish, if desired.
Homemade dog food can be served as a primary source of nutrition, or it can be served intermittently throughout the week. It can also be mixed in with your dog's kibble to make the kibble more appetizing to your pooch. Adjust your dog's kibble serving as necessary when adding homemade food. Always consult your veterinarian before making drastic dietary changes for your dog.
When prepared with whole eggs and one cup of chopped green beans, this food contains about 275 calories per cup. Most commercial dog foods contains about 350 calories per cup, so the dog will need about 1 1/4 times as much of this homemade food as he would kibble.
Leeann Teagno has been writing professionally since 2006. An English major, she continues to study information systems management at American Public University. Teagno is an organic gardener, cook and technology buff with past employment in mobile communications. She also volunteers at an animal shelter and operates a home bakery.