Home Prepared Dog Food

No one food or diet is great for every dog. Dogs can thrive on a raw or home-cooked diets. The key is that home prepared meals need to have the proper ingredients in the proper ratios to include vitamins and minerals for the food to be nutritionally complete. If you include vegetables in home prepared foods lightly cooking them can increase digestibility, but cooking too long may increase vitamin loss. When adding vitamin and mineral supplements they can be destroyed by heat so they should be kept separate from the food and not added until just before serving.

Homemade Food Mistakes to Avoid With Your Dog  By Dr. Becker

“Many (and I would say most) homemade and prey-model diets and even some commercially available raw diets are nutritionally unbalanced. This can cause dogs to become deficient in antioxidants, or the correct amounts of trace minerals and vitamins, or the right fatty acid balance for appropriate and balanced skeletal growth, and organ and immune health. Just because nutritional deficiencies aren't obvious in your dog doesn't mean they don't exist.” [12]

Although fresh meat is a good source of protein and some minerals, it doesn't represent a balanced diet.  Wild canines eat nearly all the parts of their prey, including small bones, internal organs, blood, brain, glands, hair, skin, teeth, eyes, tongue and other tasty treats. Many of these parts of prey animals provide important nutrients, and in fact, this is how carnivores in the wild nutritionally balance their diets.

There are only two options for assuring nutritional adequacy in homemade diets: feeding a more expensive, whole food recipe that contains a significant number of diversified ingredients necessary to meet nutrient requirements, or using supplements. Most homemade diets lack the correct calcium and phosphorus balance as well as essential fatty acid balance.” [12]

There are several good options. But be very careful you find nutritionally complete recipes. Too many recipes are lacking trace minerals, vitamins, and the proper fatty acids. So there are two primary options. Use a recipe with a wide range of diversified ingredients or use a recipe with a limited number of ingredients and use supplements.

Both of these are nutritionally complete and use supplements.

Trusted Recipes Resources

Planet Paws

Just Food for Dogs

Pet Diet Designer

Make your own scientifically balanced and complete homemade pet food personalized for your dog or cat with our pet nutrition software. $20 per 12 Months (USD)

Recipe Creator Dr. Karen Becker

Meal Mix for Dogs is a vitamin and mineral mix that takes the guesswork out of helping prepare nutritionally balanced, fresh homemade meals for your dog. Use with the recipes and feeding directions provided on our Recipe Creator to prepare a variety of customized, nutritionally balanced meals for your adult dog..

Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet: Healthier Dog Food the ABC Way” These recipes use a variety of ingredients to achieve a balanced diet.

USDA Food Composition Databases

You can search the database by food item. For example: raw broccoli