With the increase in health consciousness and lifestyle change, many pet parents want to prepare home cooked meals for their dogs. Home cooking for dogs can be a challenging task. The biggest concern that pet parents have when they are new to this is, that they do not know what to cook, will it meet the nutritional requirements of their dog? Many dog owners and vets suggest we do not share our food with our pets, so how do we make a meal for our furballs at home?
WHAT OPTIONS DO WE HAVE?
Keep it different. Just like humans dogs also get bored of eating the same food repeatedly. Variety is the key here. Commercially brought food tastes the same, give your pet food of different flavors and textures. This encourages them to eat food and provides them with a variety of nutrients they might not get by eating similar food.
You don’t always have to cook for them, packed pet food or a mixture of different packed food is just as good as a home-cooked meal.
A lot of times it happens that pet parents just assume that their dog’s food needs are limited to protein. No doubt protein is a very important part of any animal’s meal, they like us also need minerals, vitamins, carbs, and fat. To prepare healthy and balanced home cooked meals for dogs, a good suggestion would be 40% protein, 50% vegetables, and 10% starch. Some breeds can handle more amount of protein but the best way would be to visit your vet and get the right ratio for your pet.
In home cooked meals for dogs, For protein, we can use Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Pork, Shrimp (fully cooked with the shell removed), Tuna, and Eggs (in moderation). Use meats like ham in moderation which are usually high in sodium and fat. The best source of minerals would be vegetables like Carrots, Green beans, Spinach, Peas Celery, Cucumbers, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Corn. food items like Rice, Potatoes, Pasta, Oatmeal, and Quinoa would be good sources of carbohydrates.
Not just home cooked meals you can also prepare snacks for your pooch at home. For snacks, we can use Coconut, coconut milk, and coconut oil. Honey. Fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, apples, pineapple, and melon. Peanuts and peanut butter are okay in moderation. Avoid salted peanuts. Unsalted, unbuttered, air-popped popcorn is okay in moderation. Watch for unpopped kernels.
Food items like Alcohol, Almonds, Avocados, Chocolate, Coffee, Cinnamon, Garlic, Grapes, Onions, Macadamia nuts, Raisins, Raw yeast dough, Xylitol, artificial sweeteners, and Mushrooms should be avoided while preparing a meal for your dogs.
If you are planning to leave your pet with a pet sitter make sure to inform them all about the home cooked food for dog plan beforehand. Always look for trained and professional pet sitters. Try new recipes all the time. Experiment with ingredients and see what your pet likes the best. If you are leaving your pet with a pet border, you can pack some home-cooked meals and store them with them. Cooking meals at home might be overwhelming in the starting but it turns easy and interesting with time.