With the rising cost of dog food and the recalls that seem to be getting more and more prevalent, some dog parents have started making their own homemade dog food. While this isn’t necessary as better brands of dog food are safe and provide complete nutritional value, some pet parents enjoy spending time in the kitchen. No matter your motivation, cooking an occasional meal for our best friend is a great way to bond with our furbabies, as well as bond with our human children who help prepare the meal. There are a few important things to know before you get started.
With the exception of these fruits and vegetables, dogs can eat many of the same foods you make for yourself. Never add foods that are toxic to dogs. including chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocados and Macadamia nuts. Also, avoid giving your dog bones or skin from meat to avoid choking hazards.
You should be aware that dogs need multiple nutrients and if they do not receive them on a regular basis, nutrition deficiency can lead to serious health issues. Keep in mind that what works for humans doesn’t necessarily work for dogs. Dilated cardiomyopathy, for example, has recently been reported in dogs eating homemade diets that are grain-free, legume-based and high-fiber. Always speak with your veterinarian if you plan to move completely away from packaged dog food to make sure your furbaby is getting all the nutrients he needs.
Human Foods That Are Great Great For Dogs
Coconut Oil – offers a variety of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion and reducing allergic reactions.
Ground Turkey – adds necessary protein to your dog’s diet, as well as important vitamins and minerals.
Some Vegetables – are great for dogs, including zucchini, pumpkin, spinach and carrots.
Turmeric – a dog-safe seasoning that also provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Egg – for extra protein and nutrients.
Brown Rice – a complex carb that provides energy and aids in gastrointestinal function.
Homemade Dog Treats
Baking treats for your dog is easy and fun, and the cost is significantly less than pre-packaged treats. Plus there are no added preservatives so they’re healthier than those mass-produced treats. Here are two great recipes to try.
Easy Pumpkin Treats
1 cup instant oats
1/3 cup pure pumpkin
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (no added sugar or salt)
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the oats to a food processor and grind until they reach a fine powder. Add in the pumpkin and peanut butter and blend until a sticky dough is formed. Remove from the processor and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies using a small cookie cutter of any shape, or cut into squares with a knife. Lay the treats on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the treats are dry and hard. Let cool before giving to your pup and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
3-Ingredient Grain-Free Treats
1.5 cups chickpea flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (no added sugar or salt)
In a large glass bowl, combine all ingredients to form a dough ball. The dough should be smooth and not sticky. If it feels sticky, add an extra teaspoon of flour at a time until the texture is smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an extra square of parchment paper on the counter, or use the plastic wrap you covered the dish with. Sprinkle a rolling pin and the plastic wrap or parchment paper with flour and roll until the dough is a half-inch in thickness. Be sure to dust the cookie cutters with additional flour each time you cut a shape. If you’re not using cookie cutters, dust your knife with flour as you cut the dough into squares.
Place treats with about 1 inch of room between them and cook for 30 minutes, then leave in the oven for another 30 minutes with the oven turned off. Remove and allow to cool for about 4 to 5 hours. Store in a container with the lid off for up to four weeks. Do not refrigerate.
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