We all love our dogs and want them to eat healthy pet food. In many cases, they’re just another member of the family and we would love all our family to eat better. Unlike a human though, these babies are adorned with fur. You wouldn’t feed your family dried food all the time right? If your fur baby is still eating dried kibble out of a paper bag, it may be time to up your dog food game. With a little extra work, Fido will reap all the benefits of fresh dog food, and be excited to enjoy homemade and healthy pet food made right at home.
Fresh & Healthy Pet Food Is Better
We all know that processed food isn’t great for us as humans, and the same can be said for your pets. When it comes to eating healthy, especially healthy pet food, fresh is best. Fresh food recipes are generally filled with better ingredients, and nutrients are complete and balanced.
Research has shown that fresh dog food is more easily digestible compared to dry kibble and other increasingly processed diets. It also has been shown to increase longevity by almost three years in dogs, plus overall pets just love their healthy pet food better! Generally speaking, fresh pet food is also wet, so easier to chew, and being wet, also includes moisture or water, which is always great for a pet to intake.
And while store-bought “fresh” and healthy pet food is typically made with higher quality ingredients than its dry kibble counterparts, the food label is really the only way to tell. Plus many fresh dog foods are still not really fresh and sit in the store’s cooler for weeks. Then to top it off, it’s also incredibly expensive.
With a little extra prep and time, making healthy pet food at home is not only better for your pet, but also can be much cheaper.
Not just anything can go into homemade and healthy pet food. It’s important to choose fresh ingredients that create a balanced meal with the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. But in fact, many foods that humans love and can happily eat can also be poisonous to pets, especially dogs so it’s important to be careful. Below is a list of ingredients generally safe for dogs. Like with anything, please check with your vet before feeding your dog to make sure we keep our pets safe and healthy.
- Chicken (no bones)
- Turkey (no bones)
- Pork (in limited amounts)
- Fish like salmon, herring, flounder
- Organ meat (chicken livers, etc.)
Fats & Fatty Acids
- Plant-based oils like corn, coconut, canola, flaxseed oil
- Fish oil
- White or Brown Rice
- Dark, leafy greens
Just like humans, dogs love variety. But when mixing it up, make sure to not overwhelm your pet’s system. Slowly introduce new ingredients to make sure there are no allergies, and your pet’s tastebuds will be pleasantly surprised each mealtime.
Cooking and Storing Healthy Pet Food
Like human food, pet food can be cooked in a variety of ways. For a busy family who still loves their pet, using a crockpot is one way to make Fido fresh food each week with minimal effort. Another way is to whip it up on the stove in a pot.
With a quick google search, many vet-approved recipes are available online. For a quick and simple way to start serving your dog healthy pet food, check out the recipe below:
Healthy Pet Food Recipe
- 3 pounds of ground beef (cooked)
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 small apple, cored
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 2 whole eggs (including shell)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (any plant-based oil)
- Add the veggies to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the ground beef and process again until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the ground beef and mix together.
- Form into patties about the size of your palm and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze patties until solid, transfer to a storage container or plastic bag and keep them frozen.
- Remove one day’s worth of patties from the freezer the night before and place in the refrigerator to thaw before serving.
Talk to Vet
One of the biggest concerns when cooking healthy pet food at home is to make meals that are incomplete or do not have the proper nutrition. Talking to a vet about what your specific pet may need will keep Fido healthy, and may even help him thrive before your next pet checkup.
Pet diets are also based on their breed, activity level, age, and size. Ask questions like “How much should I serve my pet?” and “How often?” to make sure your pet doesn’t gain too much weight or lose too little. Many pet supplements are also available and maybe something to add to your recipes. Ask your vet for recommendations.
While fresh dog food is the best dog food and does have more water than dry kibble, no fresh dog food will ever provide enough moisture for your pet, so please always make sure your furry family member has plenty of fresh water available all day. Take care of your fur baby with healthy pet food made at home and with love and they’ll thrive.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Daily Mom’s article on Toxic Foods You May Be Giving Your Pets.
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