When it comes to choosing the right kind of healthy dog food you may find that it is more difficult than you first thought. Certainly most of the dog foods that you find available in your local pet or grocery store contain large amounts of preservatives as well as being over processed. Therefore in order to help you find the most healthiest dog food for your beloved pet we provide you with some tips below. (Photo Credit: Tobyotter/Flickr )
Firstly you need to understand what your dog's diet should be made up of. It is important that you provide your dog with ample amounts of protein (40%), fiber (30%) and starch (30%). Therefore look only for those dog foods which contain these amounts of ingredients within their formula. Also when looking at the label ensure that the first ingredient that is listed is some form of protein (pork, chicken etc) and is not made up from meat by products. You will often find that some of the cheaper dog foods will least a meat ingredient first but then just below will provide details of by products and fillers that have also been used to make the food that they produce. Be wary as this means that you will not be provided with sufficient amounts of meat (protein) which your dog requires to remain fit and healthy.
Secondly look at what preservatives the dog food manufacturers are producing. Certainly they are essential as they help to keep the food from going and so remaining edible. However they do not need to be ones which are made from artificial substances as these could actually cause serious health issues for your dog in later life. Instead look for those foods which use Vitamins E and C within them as they are not only great for preserving food but are also much better for your dog as well.
If you can afford to then choose only premium brand foods such as Orijen, Acana or Eagle Pack as these contain the most healthiest of all ingredients that you are likely to find in dog food today. Plus they also provide a wide range of foods that are suitable for dogs of all ages and when they reach certain stages in their lives.
However if you really want to ensure that your dog only eats healthy dog food then you could consider making your own. Today if you were to carry out a search online you will find that there are plenty of sites now offering a vast array of healthy dog food recipes and meal plans that you could try out and see which your dog prefers.
Why Consider Making Homemade Dog Food
Many are people are now seriously considering making their own dog food simply because they are worried about what their dogs are actually eating. Whilst others are making their own homemade dog food as they then have more control over what it is their dog eats. Then there are others who make food for their dogs because they want to provide them with something that is healthy and nutritious. (Photo Credit: Lulu Hoeller/Flickr )
We all know that the dog is man's best friend and so it is important that we care for them and ensure that they remain healthy and happy whilst they are with us. So if you are someone who really cares about their dog then making food for them rather than using commercial ones is a great of ensuring this. Plus as well as knowing what ingredients are in your dog's food there are many other reasons why you should be using homemade food for your dog.
By providing your dog with good quality homemade food, you are actually better able to control their consumption of fat and calories. Also, using fresh ingredients in the food you make ensure that they are getting the proper kinds of nutrients, minerals and vitamins that their bodies need. Another reason why you should choose to feed your dog on homemade food is that you can prevent them from overeating and this increases their chances of leading a longer and happier life.
The food you make contains only fresh natural ingredients that many commercial dog foods do not. Along with commercial dog foods saying they contain vegetables and meat and rice they also contain other ingredients known as fillers. Plus they also use preservatives and dyes in their foods, which can affect your dog's health. So when next thinking about buying some commercial dog food read the ingredients label first. (Get the book on Amazon)
The reason why some people prefer to make food for their dogs is because theirs is a fussy eater. Often with dogs like these owners will find it very difficult to find a food that their dog will actually eat simply because they find it unappetizing. However, the smell and taste of homemade food will soon have the fussiest of eaters digging into their bowls and licking them clean.
Another reason why some people will choose to prepare homemade food for their dog is because they require a special diet or have recently undergone some form of medical treatment. By making it themselves people are better able to control and include the right sorts of ingredients which will help their pet heal because they are getting the right kinds of nutrients in their bodies.
If you think making your own dog's food is a waste of time then think again. You do not need to actually prepare it separately, but rather you can make theirs when you are preparing your own family's meals. This is because many of the ingredients you will be using in your food you will using in theirs. Plus if you make sufficient quantities each week then all you need to do is refrigerator or freeze the rest and take it out when required.
Above we have provided you with a number of reasons as to why more and more people are preparing homemade dog food for their pets rather than relying on those, which are commercially made. But when you do start to make your own it is important that you use the best quality ingredients that you can find.
Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes - The Ingredients Are Important
As a pet owner you are concerned as to what ingredients are contained within the commercial dog food that they eat. In fact a number of foods have recently been recalled because of this issue and although convenient are not the best option for your dog. The far majority of these types of dog foods are made up using fillers, artificial colors and unnatural flavors along with meat which is of a substandard compared to what we would eat. In some cases the meat may even have come from a country where they do not have any regulations relating to the processing of such products. So if you are at all worried about the health of your dog then why not think about making healthy homemade dog food for them instead. (Photo Credit: Lulu Hoeller/Flickr )
Actually making homemade dog food is much easier than you would first have imagined. To start with before you actually go looking for recipes you need to discuss it with your vet. In many cases they can provide you with some guidelines relating to the right quantities of ingredients that you need to include with the dog's food. A good balanced healthy dog food should contain sufficient amounts of meat, vegetables and grains in them. You may even find that they can offer you nutritional guidelines which you can follow in relation to the breed of dog that you own.
After you have been provided with this information by your vet, you can now start to look for recipes to try out. You can either go to your local pet store, bookstore or library to see if they have any books that you can use or you can go online and get some of the many free ones. However, if you are going to use the ones that you find online then you need to make sure that they ingredients they contain are healthy but will provide the right balance of nutrition that your dog needs. (Get the book on Amazon)
Once you have found some recipes for trying out on your dog, you now need to go out and get the ingredients to make them with. Ideally go for as good as quality ingredients as you can easily afford as this will ensure that the food is not only healthy, but also contains the right kinds of nutrients that your pet needs. If you can select the same kinds of ingredients as you would use for yourself when preparing a meal for your family. Also it is important that you avoid using foods which have been processed as these will lack the nutrients that your pet needs.
When shopping for these ingredients it is wise to spend time looking at what is available and comparing everything. Often people will use the much cheaper cuts of meat in the butchers to make up meals for their dogs. But if you want why not tell the butcher what you need exactly and he may offer some cuts that he would not normally sell and these could cost you even less.
Actually preparing and cooking homemade dog food is actually much easier than you would have first thought. What you can do in order to save yourself some time is as you prepare a meal for your family you prepare a large batch of the dog's as well. Then once ready it can be placed in a clearly marked container in the fridge or freezer and removed when required.
It is a good idea to prepare and cook large amounts of your dog's food on either a weekly or monthly basis. Not only will this save you time as you will not have to get and prepare fresh ingredients each day, but it can also save you money as well. So if you carefully plan out which recipes you are going to cook and when it will make the whole process of producing healthy homemade dog food much easier.
If you want to be sure that your dog is eating properly, then investing some time and effort into using homemade dog food recipes will ensure this. But it is important that you remember to use only the best quality ingredients that you can in the food that you prepare. Also it is important that you feed your dog regularly on these recipes and if at all possible avoid commercial dog foods altogether. After a while you will start to see changes in your dog not only in his health, but also he will often have increased energy levels as well. These are things which you may not see until you start feeding the on homemade dog food which have prepared using recipes that you have found.
Quick Cheap and Healthy Dog Food Recipes
If you feed your dogs manufactured dog food do you really know what you are feeding them? I recently came across a class action lawsuit that been filed against various pet food manufacturers, having read the details and done further research I decided that I couldn't safely feed my dogs any manufactured food so I needed to research some healthy homemade dog food recipes. The priorities when looking for good recipes was to ensure that the food would be healthy, it would be quick to prepare and it would be cheap. (Photo Credit: PraveenbenK/Flickr )
My first stop was my local butcher who I use every week. I explained to him that I was going to make my own dog food and asked him what he could supply that was cheap. He now happily provides me with a large bag of off cuts and meat that would soon be out of date every Saturday evening. I you don't have a local butcher speak to the local supermarket and see what they can provide you with. You'll often find that they drastically reduce prices on meat that will soon go out of date.
After sourcing the meat I then managed to source a supple of cheap vegetables from the local farmers market. Many farmers use to throw away misshaped or bruised vegetables at the end of the market, not anymore! The final ingredient I sourced was large catering packs of brown rice. The rice is very nutritious and helps to bind the food together.
Now that I have assembled all the ingredients it's time to prepare the food. A really quick and simple recipe is to take 2 cups of cooked rice, 1 cup of meat which can be raw or cooked and a cup of grated vegetables, carrots and cabbage are good but try to avoid onions. Mix all these together with a small bit of lard or vegetable oil and feed to your dogs. I can guarantee that after only a few weeks on a menu like this your dogs will be fitter and healthier than before.
There are a few things you need to be aware of before you start to change your dog's diet. Firstly their digestive systems aren't as advanced as human ones so you'll need to change their food gradually over a few days. Start by adding a small amount of your homemade dog food to your dog's meal mixing it with the normal food. Over a period of three to four days gradually increase the amount of homemade food and reduce the manufactured food. Always ensure that you keep plenty of fresh water available for your dog to drink with his meals. Small dogs need only to be fed once a day while larger dogs should be fed twice.
By choosing simple homemade dog food recipes it is possible to extend your dog's life span significantly and to save money. Why not try it for a month and see the improvement in your best friend.
About the Author
Allison Thompson who is an expert author and owner of several different breeds of dogs including a Spanish Mastiff and a Boxer has dedicated time to finding out everything she can to ensure that hers lead healthy and happy lives. She has also dedicated a large amount of time to finding out what is the best kind of foods that you she is able to feed her dogs. If you would like to learn more about all aspects of owning a dog, about healthy eating habits and dog food secrets, and about producing some great homemade dog food recipes then please visit Healthy Pets Are Happy Pets [http://healthypetsarehappypets.com/], [http://www.healthypetsarehappypets.com/food], [http://healthypetsarehappypets.com/dog-food-secrets].
Article Sources: Choosing The Right Kind Of Healthy Dog Food ; Why Consider Making Homemade Dog Food ; Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes - The Ingredients Are Important ; Quick Cheap and Healthy Dog Food Recipes .