Integrative Nutrition Blog

Healthy Homemade Food for Your Dog

May 9, 2018

Image via Shutterstock.

We consider our pups family, so it makes sense to give them the same love and care we would a child or sibling, especially when it comes to food. But with a long list of unfamiliar ingredients and a lack of necessary nutrients to keep our furry friends’ energy going, those store-bought pet foods we’re feeding them often fall short in the quality department. Instead of being skeptical about what’s in your pet’s bowl each day, skip the packaged food and make your own at home! It’s simple, tasty, and cheaper than the premium brands. 

To keep your four-legged buddies healthy and happy, remember these tips when making your own pet food: 

  1. Keep it simple. Homemade dog food doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep your ingredients list short and buy in bulk when you can. Remember that, like humans, animals need key nutrients to ensure optimal health – protein, carbs, fat, fiber, calcium, iron, and zinc are all vital to their well-being.
  2. Find low-cost options. Oatmeal, brown rice, frozen or canned vegetables, and potatoes are all perfect for your dog’s meal. Plus, they can be found at extremely low costs! If you choose to keep your pet on a vegetarian or vegan diet, this can be enough. If not, add chicken, eggs, or turkey for an extra dose of protein. This goes for making yummy treats, too! Combine and bake peanut butter, canned pumpkin puree, rolled oats, and eggs to make the perfect treat. It may surprise you how these few simple ingredients will have your pet begging for more.
  3. Make large batches. Making your own pet food can sound time-consuming and exhausting. Save time by making food in large batches and freezing it in single servings. Then each meal can be thawed and served individually.
  4. Have fun. Enjoy being in the kitchen and continue to change up the treats you’re making for your pup. Knowing that your best friend is getting all the nutrients needed to be happy should make you happy, too!

Try this recipe to make your first homemade meal!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 potatoes (sweet or white)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 cup peas (canned or frozen)
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables (carrots, spinach, corn, zucchini, broccoli, etc.)

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Cook rice and oatmeal according to package instructions.
  2. Dice potatoes. (Optional: Leave skin on for even more nutrition!)
  3. Add potatoes and olive oil to a large pot. Cook until potatoes have softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add ground turkey and cook until browned.
  5. Add vegetables and stir until thawed.
  6. Let cool and serve! 

*Servings vary based on dog size and breed.

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