As more and more concerned pet owners learn about the horrors of what goes into commercial grade bulk dog food and the dangers it poses for their pets, they are seeking to make home made dog food. If you are NOT aware of the horrors of what go into your dog’s commercial pet food I BEG YOU to watch this video. At first, making healthy dog food at home may seem like an overwhelming and time consuming task, but there are many easy healthy dog food recipes to be found.
If you are looking to give making healthy homemade dog food a try, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Think balanced nutrition. Dogs, like humans, have a need for balanced nutrients, not just a set of ingredients. Depending on the size and age of your dog, you will need to determine the appropriate balance of protein and carbohydrates, as well as how much fat they will need. Looking at a website specific to your dog’s breed can help, as can talking to your vet.
In general, good protein sources for your healthy dog food recipes would be chicken, beef or lamb. Good carbohydrate sources would be potatoes, rice, past and vegetables. Fat should come from the meats and maybe once in a while some fish oils.
2. Don’t just make “extra” of whatever you are eating. While you might have got into the bad habit of giving your dog “treats” for your dinner table, you will not be able to feed your pet solely from “extra” food that you cook. One of the main reasons for this is that many of the ingredients we regularly eat are in fact TOXIC to dogs. This list includes:
- grapes and raisins
- macadamia nuts
3. Cook in bulk. You don’t need to cook for your dog every day! Once you find some good recipes that are healthy and easy to make and that your dog seems to enjoy, shop in bulk for the ingredients to save money, and cook in bulk and freeze, to save time and be more convenient. Don’t fret that you need a lot of recipes. You are not cooking for a spouse or a picky child! It’s likely that you fed your dog the same commercial dog food every day for years before you decided to try some home cooked recipes! Quick Tip – when cooking in bulk freeze individual portion sizes. Grab and defrost before you go to bed for breakfast, and before you go to work for dinner.
4. Don’t be alarmed if your dog decreases his water intake. Dogs eating only dry dog food for hunting dogs tend to drink more water than dogs eating home made or wet dog food. If there is suddenly water left in your dog’s bowl, don’t be alarmed. Although a significant and sudden decrease in water intake is never a good sign and you should consult a vet.
5. Have fun! Involve the whole family and don’t be afraid to experiment. My kids LOVE to make home made dog biscuits! Buy your kids some bone shaped cookie cutters and see how much fun they will have!
The dog is a man’s best friend, it says, so it makes sense that the opposite should be also valid. Taking care of your dog is not limited to providing food and a shelter, but also to keep a close eye to your dog’s health condition. There are several issues which can ruin your dog’s day and among the pesky ones are allergies. Yes, dogs have allergies and these medical conditions can be as equally irritating to them as they are to humans and that’s why you must be on lookout for any sings that would suggest your pet has contracted an allergy.
The allergies you need to take into account are:
Flea related dermatitis – this condition is related to a dog’s increased sensitivity to certain proteins found within a flea’s saliva
Environmental allergies – also known as seasonal allergies, these are caused by various airborne allergens such as pollen from flowers and trees, dust mites and so on.
Food allergies – usually provoked by a hypersensitivity to a protein found in everyday food.
Allergic contact dermatitis – among the rarest types of allergy, is manifesting whenever the dog gets into contact with your usual household chemicals like detergents and soap.
However, dog allergies can be separated into two central categories, depending on their symptoms: Inhaling type allergies, commonly known as atopy
These two are the most common and, thus, more of a pest when it comes to your dog’s protection. These types of allergies will be fairly aggressive and can cause your dog to experience a lot of discomfort. Unlike human beings which can experience allergies under a wide range of symptoms, dogs will manifest similar reactions, basically regardless of the type of the allergy: skin irritation. You should start being skeptical about your dog’s general health the moment he starts scratching and licking more often than usual and especially if he’s insisting over certain areas. This could indicate a skin inflammation which, untreated, can lead to all sorts of aggravated medical conditions.
Dog atopy, or inhaling allergy, is, as we mentioned, provoked by grass pollen for instance and this type of allergy can persist throughout the year if untreated. The best way to detect a dog atopy is to perform regular skin testing. This will allow you to take measures in time and save your dog for further discomfort. The treatment is fairly simple and would involve antiallergenic shots in those cases in which reducing exposure to the allergens fails in having the desired effect.
On the other hand, food allergies are detected during a process called elimination trial, prescribed by your personal veterinarian. Basically, your dog will go through a diet consisting in ingredients that weren’t part of your dog’s alimentation before, over a time span of 4 to 12 weeks. If the symptoms will vanish during the treatment, you will know what caused it’s allergy in the first place. Treating a food allergy in dogs might be easier said than done. Basically it implies you quit feeding the dog the food that he is allergic at.
Whatever may be the case, the most important thing of all is to keep your dog under a strict supervision and take actions immediately as he starts manifesting any rash or irritation. The faster you act, the easier his allergies will respond to treatment.