We all want our dogs to live happy lives. And when it comes to food, most people think that the best way to feed their dogs is to buy expensive commercial diet dog foods. However, homemade dog food is much cheaper and healthier than most premium brands sold by pet food companies. It's often more affordable than buying groceries for humans.
Which is better: homemade meals or commercial dog food?
The pet food industry is an ever-growing behemoth, and many different kinds of commercially produced dog food are available today. Many of these foods contain meat meal, wheat gluten, corn gluten, soy protein concentrate, dehydrated vegetables, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. These ingredients help provide dog nutrition, but they come with some downsides.
Commercial dog food companies will tell consumers that their products are made from "all-natural" or even "100% natural." But what does this really mean? Does it matter whether the food is labelled "natural"? Is it safe to feed my dog a product that contains animal by-products like meat meal, wheat gluten and corn gluten?
Most people don't realise how processed most commercial foods for dogs are. They might think that they're feeding their pets something healthy, but they could risk their dogs' health.
1. Homemade diet dog food may not provide the right nutrition for your dog.
Commercial dog food is often expensive and contains ingredients that aren't necessarily good for your pet. Homemade food is usually much cheaper, and you'll know exactly what goes into it. But some commercial dog foods contain ingredients that could potentially harm your dog. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to commercial dog food, here are five things to consider before making your own homemade dog food recipes.
Ingredients matter. You want to make sure you choose a brand that doesn't contain artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, fillers or additives. Be wary of products that use corn syrup, soybean oil, wheat gluten, animal fat, meat meal, fish meal, poultry meal, bone meal, beet pulp, brewer's rice, molasses, sugar, dextrose, salt, hydrolysed vegetable protein, maltodextrin, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, monosodium glutamate, disodium phosphate, citric acid, fumaric acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, vitamin D3, vitamin E acetate, vitamin K2, vitamin B12, beta carotene, choline bitartrate, copper gluconate, iron sulphate, manganese sulphate, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, selenium, zinc sulphate, alfalfa extract, flaxseed extract, kelp extract, garlic extract, onion powder, paprika, turmeric, ginger root, cinnamon bark, coriander seed, cumin seed, clove bud, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, black pepper, rosemary leaves, sage leaves, thyme and bay leaves.
Commercial pet foods have unnecessary additives and preservatives.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all additives in pet foods. There are over 200 types of additives used in pet food. Some are harmless; others aren't. And some work differently than you might think.
In addition to regulating what goes into pet food, the FDA also tests those ingredients to make sure they meet safety standards. But it doesn't test each ingredient individually. Instead, the agency looks at how the combination of ingredients works together. This makes sense because we know that no one additive works alone. For example, adding vitamin A to a dog's diet won't help him become healthier. He needs to eat whole foods like meat, vegetables, fruits and grains.
Antioxidants are natural substances found in plants that protect against free radicals – molecules that damage cells. Free radicals are produced naturally during normal metabolism. So eating antioxidants helps prevent cell damage caused by free radical production. However, there are many different kinds. Some antioxidants can be harmful. But there are many different kinds of antioxidant supplements. Others do nothing at all.
2. The feathers, hooves, and feces found in poultry byproducts, meat, and bone meal are indigestible.
The term "poultry by-product" refers to anything left over from slaughtering poultry. This includes bones, blood, fat, feathers, intestines, livers, lungs, muscle tissue, skin, tendons, trimmings, viscera, and waste products such as manure. Some people call it "meat by-product," but technically speaking; there is no difference between the two terms.
Meat by-products include everything except actual meat. For example, you might find chicken feet, chicken heads, chicken hearts, chicken necks, chicken backs, chicken wings, chicken legs, chicken breasts, chicken gizzards, chicken liver, chicken kidneys, chicken livers, chicken hearts, chicken tongues, chicken brains, chicken feet, chicken tails, chicken hearts, chicken feet, chicken heads and chicken feet.
A bone meal is a mixture of ground-up animal bones and minerals used as feed ingredients. Bone meal contains calcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, potassium chloride, sodium sulphate, sulfuric acid, and zinc oxide.
In addition to being nutritious, these materials are inexpensive and easy to obtain. You can buy them at most pet stores, grocery stores, farm supply stores, feed mills, and even some supermarkets.
You can use these items as part of your dog's diet, but remember that they are not digestible. If you decide to give them to your dog, ensure he gets plenty of water and exercise.
3. Carbohydrates are not needed in dog food; dog food should not contain grains and carbohydrates.
The average adult human needs about 2,500 calories per day. This includes macronutrients such as protein, fat, and carbs and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. For dogs, it's different. They tend to eat less and don't need as many calories as humans.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs should consume around 10% of their body weight each day in food. A healthy adult dog weighing 30 pounds (13.6 kg) should eat about 1,800 calories daily. But what constitutes "healthy?"
To find out, we asked our nutritionists for tips on feeding your dog properly. Here's what you need to know.
Dogs don't need carbohydrates in their diets
Carbohydrates are essential for cell function, but most commercial pet foods already include enough. Dog foods often contain high levels of corn, wheat, soybean meal, and other grains, which provide energy and nutrients. In fact, according to the American Dietetic Association, dogs shouldn't consume more than 20% of their daily calories from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are essential...for cellular functions
While carbohydrates are necessary for maintaining muscle mass, they aren't essential for growth. As long as your dog gets adequate amounts of protein sources, fats, and amino acids, he won't grow larger. However, if your dog doesn't receive enough carbohydrates, his muscles may become weak and fatty deposits may form in his liver.
4. Homemade Dog Food Diet
A homemade dog food diet requires you to prepare it properly. You can find information online about what ingredients to use, but there are some things you shouldn't do. For example, don't mix different types of lean meat together. This could lead to digestive problems. Instead, stick to one kind of meat throughout the entire process. If you are unsure how to feed your pet correctly, it's best to seek advice from a veterinary nutritionist or pet nutritionist.
To ensure your dog gets the nutrients he needs, you should avoid adding too much salt to his meals. Too much salt can cause kidney stones, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. Your dog's kidneys are very sensitive to changes in water intake. They can easily become damaged if you add too much salt to his diet.
It would help if you never gave your dog table scraps. These can contain chemicals that aren't good for him. He won't enjoy the taste of leftovers. Even though your dog might like eating off the floor, it's better to serve him a proper meal.
When preparing your dog's food, always remember to follow the instructions carefully. Don't skip steps or cut corners. Make sure everything goes smoothly. If you cook your dog's dinner improperly (dry, raw or wet food), you risk causing severe health issues.
5. Dog's Daily Nutritional Requirements
Your dog needs food every day. But how much does he really need? How do you know what's best for him? This article will help answer those questions and give you some tips on feeding your pup correctly.
The food needed depends on several factors such as size, breed, activity level, and even health conditions. A general rule of thumb is to feed your dog about one-third of his body weight per pound of bodyweight. For example, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, he should eat around 8 ounces of dry food daily.
But there are exceptions to this rule. Depending on your dog's life stage, if your dog is very active, he might need more food because he burns up energy quickly. Also, puppies need more food than adult dogs because they grow rapidly and require extra nutrients. And finally, certain breeds tend to put on weight faster than others. So check out our list of common puppy foods to see what your dog needs.
6. Protein and calcium requirements
Calcium is an essential nutrient for humans. Bones are constantly being built and broken down, and calcium helps maintain bone density. Without enough calcium, bones become weak and break easily. This can cause fractures and make it difficult to walk. In addition, people who do not consume enough calcium in their diet may develop osteoporosis later in life.
The recommended daily intake of calcium varies depending on age. For children ages 2–6, the RDI is 400 mg/day; for adults over 19, it is 1000 mg/day. However, most Americans do not meet even half of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
The body generally needs about 300 mg of calcium daily for healthy bones. Some foods contain calcium naturally, while others must be fortified with additional amounts. Milk and dairy products are good sources of calcium, but there are many other options.
7. Fibre requirements
The human body needs a certain amount of fibre every day. This includes soluble and insoluble fibres. Insoluble fibres include cellulose, lignin and pectins. Soluble fibres are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, oats and barley.
Most pet foods contain some fibre. However, there is no scientific consensus on what fibre benefits dogs most. Some studies suggest that increasing the intake of high molecular weight soluble fibre may reduce cholesterol levels. Other research indicates that soluble and insoluble fibre is important for maintaining regular bowel function.
Pet food manufacturers should provide fibre content information for dog owners. Overfeeding could cause weight increases in pets.
8. Feeding a balanced diet over time
The most important thing you can do for your dog's health is to feed him a healthy diet. A balanced diet includes protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats, water, fibre, and probiotics. If you want to give your dog a healthier life, start feeding him good quality raw dog food.
Raw meat diets are very beneficial for dogs because they contain high levels of nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids. These nutrients help keep your dog's immune system strong and prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity.
Chewing helps improve dental health with clean teeth and gums, stimulates digestion, and keeps your dog's jaw muscles strong. A raw food diet is also a great way to teach your dog how to chew properly. When dogs learn how to chew correctly, it prevents problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even bone fractures.
Add some vegetables to his diet to ensure your dog gets a complete meal. Raw vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They also help your dog maintain proper weight and keep him lean.
Ensure you don't forget about bones when serving a raw diet for your dog. Meaty bones or raw bones (no cooked bones) are one of the best sources of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin D. Calcium is needed for strong bones, while phosphorus is used for energy production. Magnesium is necessary for muscle contraction and nerve function. Finally, Vitamin D promotes bone growth and protects against osteoporosis.
When you buy raw dog food, look for brands that use whole foods. They include organ meats, muscle meats, glands, and connective tissues. Whole foods are also free of preservatives, additives, fillers, artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners, and binders. You can find many types of raw dog food online, including kibble, dry, canned, frozen, and freeze-dried food.
You can also supplement your dog's diet with natural supplements. Vitamins and minerals play an essential role in maintaining a healthy body. Supplements benefit older dogs because they tend to lose certain nutrients faster than younger ones.
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