Pet parents have been dealing with poor-quality dog food since the 1930’s. In those days, processed horse meat was the go-to choice. Since then, millions of products have come and gone, but none can hold a candle to homemade dog food.
Home cooking for your dog has numerous benefits. You could end up saving a bundle of money while improving your pup’s quality of life. But, most importantly, switching to a homemade diet could save your furry best friend’s life.
1. Know What Your Dog is Eating
Commercial dog foods might boast about their nutritional content, their tastiness, and their quality of ingredients. But, due to loose FDA regulations, these claims don’t need to be backed up by fact.
Rotten and diseased meats are perfectly normal additions to both dry and wet pet foods. Imported products (especially those from China) have been shown to contain dangerous contaminants and toxins.
Even reputable brands can be hazardous. Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness are two of the most popular and beloved brands of pet food. Their advertising promotes the idea that their products are healthy and all-natural. They’re not.
In 2007 alone, over 8,000 dogs died as a result of food poisoning after eating Blue Buffalo food. Pet parents were outraged at having been duped into buying something they felt was safe, only to lose a precious family member.
Homemade dog food is far safer than commercial options. You know exactly what your pup is chowing down on, and what they’re not. This affords pet parents a little peace of mind, especially when using vet-approved homemade dog foods.
2. Embrace Peace of Mind
While at work or out and about, it can be easy to let your mind wander to your dog’s welfare. Are they tearing up the furniture and eating gobs of toilet paper? Are they waiting dutifully by the front door? Are they doing alright?
Sadly, these questions aren’t unfounded. Many pet parents have come home to find that their favorite canine companion is very ill or even dead. Many times, this sickness is the result of toxic pet food.
With homemade dog food, you’ll never have to worry about your pet being poisoned by their dinner. You can release some of the stress of owning and caring for a dog. The fact that you could also save tons of money by switching to homemade options also helps.
Embrace that peace of mind!
3. Save Money As You Go
Depending on your pet’s needs and your preferences, you could save money by switching to homemade foods. Dog food, especially higher quality brands, can end up costing a fortune. In fact, in 2018, it was estimated that US pet owners would spend $33 billion on pet food.
But buying raw or frozen ingredients in bulk can lower grocery bills and eliminate the need for expensive pet food. There are hundreds of online recipes, tips, and tricks to help you get more for less.
Delicious meats and vegetables can be frozen to extend their shelflife, and pet parents can easily save time and energy by preparing dishes beforehand. With all of the time and money you save, you might even be able to afford a new hobby!
4. Give Your Pup More Energy
A diet of real, human-grade meats and vegetables can boost your pup’s energy. If you’ve noticed that your once-lively pet has become sluggish and depressed, healthier, and more nutritious food may be the answer.
Complex carbs, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables, provide a tremendous amount of longlasting energy. However, they can also be difficult for your pup to digest. Many commercial dog foods overload their products with grains, leading to a grain-free backlash.
Sadly, many animals on a grain-free diet fall victim to heart disease and pass away. As such, it’s important to add healthy carbs to your dog’s food. Legumes, quinoa, and brown rice are excellent options.
5. Improve Your Dog’s Eyesight
Now that you have complete control of your dog’s diet, you can add targeted ingredients to help improve their eyesight! Common, inexpensive ingredients like pumpkin, carrots, and broccoli all contain a significant amount of Vitamin A. This vitamin is crucial in maintaining proper vision.
However, dogs with special dietary needs (such as pups with diabetes of kidney/liver issues) may need a more customized diet. Be sure to consult with your vet before introducing new foods into your pup’s diet.
When you have the all-clear to continue, take advantage of your ability to make fully customized meals. The higher the variation, the happier your furry friend is likely to be.
6. More Variation Means More Tail Wagging
Adding variety to your pet’s diet has some astounding benefits. Also known as rotational feeding, changing up your pet’s meals can reduce allergies, increase water intake, and create a sense of excitement during every mealtime.
Happier pups mean happier owners, and adding a little variety is a small price to pay for ceaseless tail wags.
7. Take Advantage of Your Options
If you’re saddled with a hectic schedule that prevents you from being home during most of the day, don’t worry. Time isn’t something that will prevent you from providing excellent meals for your pup.
In addition to making food ahead of time, freezing it, and only thawing it out when necessary, you can also buy premade homemade meals. When choosing a premade option, be sure to look for one that covers all of the nutritional bases.
Proper research into ingredients can also help you to avoid unnecessary and potentially dangerous allergic reactions.
8. Avoid Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions in dogs and cats are rare, but not unheard of. Grain allergies helped to push the grain-free movement, as many pet parents failed to understand that grains are a crucial component of their pet’s diet.
The fear of an allergic reaction can cause us to avoid foods that may be good for us. With the help of your vet, you can quickly and easily determine any food allergies your pet may have. This will allow you to avoid potentially hazardous ingredients while taking full advantage of the ones your dog can eat.
You, and your pet, don’t have to stress out at every mealtime. Peace of mind and excellent nutrition aren’t far away. In no time at all, your dog will be practically glowing with life and energy.
9. Make Your Pup Shine
A healthy coat is one of the telltale signs of proper health. Dry skin, patchy hair, and other fur problems are significant red flags. If your pup is eating a proper diet, their coat should shine as brightly as the sun, and their skin should be hydrated.
The most popular — and one of the safest — ingredient for improved coat quality is fish oil. It is cheap, readily available, and there are organic options as well. Your pup might even enjoy the taste of fish oil, helping them to wolf down their meals more easily.
10. Eliminate the Waste
Food waste is a severe problem in many parts of the world, and switching to homemade dog food can help lessen the problem. Many times, we throw out foods that are unsightly, warped or a little past the expiration date.
But these “ugly” foods make fantastic meals for your pup. Cuts of meat that your family refuses to eat, or veggies that have started to wilt and wane, are perfectly healthy options. In this way, you can reduce the amount of food waste that you and your family produce.
Who knew that homemade dog food could have world-changing implications? It’s amazing!
11. Improve Quality of Life
Pet parents want the same things that human parents want: The best possible life for their little one. People spend billions of dollars every year on pet toys, clothing, housing, and veterinary care. But a dog’s quality of life can be drastically improved just by changing their diet.
Pups that suffered from allergies, weight conditions, or other health issues can find relief in a proper meal. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Ensuring that your furry friend is eating only the best ingredients results in the best quality of life.
Low-fat homemade dog food can turn an obese pet into an athletic, healthy one. Even older dogs with arthritis, poor eyesight, and failing health and benefit significantly from a customized, homemade meal plan. Of course, a veterinary consultation is vital to determine the right plan for your pup.
12. Choose the Right Portion Size
Dogs come in many shapes and sizes. There is more variation in the canine family than nearly any other animal group, besides maybe birds. As such, every pup needs a diet that fits their size and their nutritional needs.
Homemade dog food portions can be difficult to size without a kitchen scale. Your pup’s weight, activity level, and breed can all help you to determine the most appropriate homemade dog food serving size.
However, premade homemade options typically provide different products and meal plans based on your pup’s size. Larger dog breeds will need heftier meals, and the opposite it true of smaller breeds.
Choosing the right portion size for your pet can help prevent obesity and ensure that they’re getting the perfect amount of nutrition with every meal. Because you’re making nutrient-rich, protein-rich meals, it’s unlikely that your dog will ever suffer from a growling tummy!
13. Decrease the Bowel Movements
Commercial dog foods typically contain loads of fiber. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does result in more bowel movements. As any dog owner knows, more bowel movements mean more walks and, potentially, more accidents.
Creating a specialized diet for your precious pooch can help reduce the amount of poop you’ll end up cleaning up. While fiber should still be incorporated, it doesn’t need to overabundant. Reducing grain and increasing other nutrients can also result in firmer, more comfortable to pick up movements.
So, instead of grasping at a crumbling dog doodie, you can quickly and easily bag and continue. Also, owners are less likely to encounter accidental elimination in the home!
14. Home Cooking for Your Dog Is Fun
Cooking meals for your family is often a rewarding experience, and the same can be said for cooking meals for your dog. The feeling of satisfaction and pride that comes from caring for your loved ones is irreplaceable. And, while you’re laboring over a stove or oven, your dog is sure to run circles of excitement.
Getting your spouse, children, and pets involved in the home cooking process can be a lot of fun. You can educate each other about ingredients, healthy lifestyle choices, and spend some quality time together!
You could even choose to put on some music, and make a month’s worth of meals for your pup in one fun day! Considering how hectic life can be, this may be the perfect opportunity to come together with your loved ones.
15. Your Dog Could Enjoy a Longer Life
Perhaps the most meaningful benefit of switching to homemade dog food is the chance of enjoying more time with man’s best friend. Commercial diets can shorten your pup’s life, mainly if it contains allergens or toxins. But a holistic, naturalistic approach can do wonders for a dog’s lifespan.
There’s no way to bring a loved one back from the dead, but there are ways to help them enjoy a longer, healthier life. Diet and nutrition are essential components of good health, and pairing proper meals with plenty of love is the best way to show your pup that you care.
Help Your Furry Friend Live Their Best Life!
With so many reasons to start doing some home cooking for your dog, there’s no time to waste! Use your hard-earned wages to give your dog a longer, better, and healthier life. You don’t have to get suckered in by a devious dog food commercial ever again.
Making the switch to homemade dog food today could make a tremendous difference in your pup’s life — and your budget. Whether you’re determined to do the work yourself or buy from a reputable company, nothing is holding you back from being the best possible pet parent!