Are you ready for a more holistic, healthy approach to feeding your puppy? Homemade puppy food is made from ingredients deemed essential for healthy growth as opposed to industrial manufactured food. Making “Fido’s” food yourself ensures that potentially harmful chemicals, preservatives and meat or vegetable by-products are not in the puppy’s food.
Homemade puppy food is preferable for the following reasons:
- Provides a more balanced diet
- Keeps costs down
- Choice of meat without the harmful fillers
- Reduced carbohydrate content
A Balanced Diet
When preparing homemade dog food, it is essential to ensure a puppy gets all the nutrition he needs and the best way to do that is to base his diet on 70% meat with the remaining 30% consisting of fiber-rich carbohydrates and good fats.
Vegetables should make up ¼ of the meal to provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. For best results, slightly steam vegetables to release the nutrients. Vegetables such as squash, pumpkin and seem to be especially beneficial to growing puppies. Onions, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, spinach and raw beans should be avoided.
Meat options that dogs especially appreciate are steak, lamb chops, pork, turkey, crocodile, venison and ostrich— Yes, crocodile, venison and ostrich! Remember, your puppy’s genetics haven’t changed from their wolf ancestors. The meat(s) you choose should be fresh and fit for human consumption with fat content no more than 15-20%.
Keeping Costs Down
Costs can be reduced by feeding your pup healthy leftovers from family meals. Also, look for reduced-price meat at the supermarket. This would be meat that is nearing its “Sell-by” date, but still has plenty of time for your to cook or place in the freezer for future use.
Another way to save money is by setting aside a special day or two weekly whereby a well-balanced whole-food meal is prepared while the rest of the week regular food (i.e. kibble) is given. Finally, to save money and time, purchase and cook in bulk, placing unused food in the freezer for future use.
Choice of Meats
One of the main benefits of making your pup’s food at home is that you have a choice of deciding the type of meat your puppy will eat. Dogs are omnivorous by nature, requiring both meat and plant-based foods for optimal health . The best meat to feed a puppy depends upon the puppy’s age and health concern.
Over-weight puppies will benefit from poultry, turkey, venison and different types of fish as they are low in bad fat content. For puppies that are on the right track for an ideal weight, stick to combinations of beef, pork, poultry and fish….and don’t forget the veggies!
Reduced Carbohydrate Content
Avoid feeding the puppy excessive amounts of carbohydrates, as puppies are lacking in the digestive enzymes to break down and metabolize such nutrients. Carbs have little nutritional value for dogs, other than short energy bursts Good sources of protein will provide sustained energy.
Carbohydrates are the main cause of canine diseases such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease and allergies. Carbs are mostly found in commercial pet food as they help the manufacturers cut down on cost but are by no means as healthy as homemade offerings.
Final Thoughts about Homemade Puppy Food
Since you are the one cooking the food and feeding it to the puppy, you maintain knowledge of exactly what the puppy is ingesting. There are many health benefits that come with preparing your puppy’s food at home. With experience one gets to know exactly what the puppy likes and is consuming. It gives the owner peace of mind and reassurance your puppy is getting what it needs to maintain an optimal and healthy life.
~And Remember: A puppy’s love is unconditional, but strive to earn it anyway.~