If you’re a dog parent, you’ll know that there are several reasons why you may have to prepare their food on your own. Your dog can be a fussy eater, you may just wish to avoid letting him have artificial additives in commercial dog food or you may just want to show some dog love.
If you’re a dog parent who occasionally makes homemade healthy meal for your dog, you don’t have to worry much about balancing the nutritional requirements. But if you plan to make this a regular habit, you have to first consult a vet nutritionist in order to design a balanced diet that is tailored to meet the needs of your pet. Here are few points to consider.
How to create a perfect balance of nutrition
Get in touch with a vet nutritionist
In an ideal situation, your dog should have a meal that is catered to his dietary requirements. Something that is nutritionally perfect for one dog might not be perfect at all for another dog. This is particularly true if you’re feeding a growing pup rather than an adult dog. Speak up with a vet nutritionist so that you can seek his assistance in developing a meal plan for your pup. Your vet will definitely suggest some of the healthiest options for meals for your pet dog.
Identify the vitality of a balanced diet
It is pretty easy to fall into a routine in case you prepare food regularly for your dog. In case the meal that you make is missing a certain nutrient, your dog will gradually develop nutritional deficiency. If you don’t want this to happen, feed the dog different types of meals over a span of 7 days. Give him a mixture of rice, chicken and veggies for 3-4 days. The remaining days you may feed him with a meal of seafood and grains. This way you can bridge the gap of his nutritional deficiency.
Know the list of foods to avoid
There are some foods that humans can comfortably eat but that become toxic when given to dogs. In most cases, your dog would have to either eat a big amount or small amount to start developing health issues. But this risk if not worth taking. Supervise your dog for few weeks in case you think that he has eaten something that he shouldn’t. Speak to a vet if you are not sure about whether or not a food is safe for your dog. Avoid feeding your dog garlic, onions (in any form), avocado, grapes, chocolate, raisins, bread dough, alcohol or xylitol (an artificial sweetener).
Add in vitamins and calcium supplements in your dog’s food
In case you’re a dog parent who is only feeding your dog with homemade meal, you may skip giving him supplements. However, if you feed him regularly, you have to give him dietary supplements. A supplement makes sure that your dog gets enough Vitamin D, calcium, Vitamin E and other important minerals. Choose one supplement that will give your dog at least 800-1000 mg of calcium per pound of food that is fed. Ask your vet about the mineral and vitamin supplement.
Making the Meal for your pet dog
Dump in proteins
When you’re preparing a meal for your dog, meat should be the highest priority thing. However, it shouldn’t constitute more than half of the meal. Select lean meat that has fat and bones removed. Most dogs don’t require the extra calories or energy that comes from fatty meat. Fatty meat could rather make your dog gain weight. The ideal break-up of his food should be 50% chicken, 25% rice and 25% vegetables.
Put in a mix of veggies and carbs
As half of the dog’s meal will come from meat, the other half should comprise of equal parts of vegetables and carbs. Carbs come from pasta, cooked rice or boiled potato. Proper veggies that can be given are green leafy veggies, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, chard and Bok Choy. You can also include turnip, butternut squash, okra, French beans and parsnip.
Make it a habit to give him fish
Fish is one of the greatest ways of adding protein to the meals of your dog. Fish carries high level of omega-3 fatty acids and these are vital for developing a healthy coat. Fish is also rich in Vitamin D that helps your dog convert calcium into strong bones. Provide him with a small amount of fish everyday or try to give him fish at least twice a week. For every pound of meat, add one ounce of fish. Good fish includes mackerel, tuna, pink salmon and sardines.
Add dairy products and eggs in small amounts
Dairy and egg can also offer a variety of nutrients that are required by your dog like calcium and protein. However, make sure you don’t overfeed your dog as that may lead to an overweight dog. Feed one egg for every 20 pounds of the weight of your dog. In case your dog weighs less, you have to scale this down. And in case you think of giving him dairy, offer goat’s milk or cottage cheese. Not all dogs can digest the lactose and hence can lead to stomach upset.
Prepare the rice or carbohydrates
Depending on the total number of meals that you’re making, cook a pot of rice or small amount of rice that can be used for several meals. As the rice is cooked completely, set it aside and prepare the remaining meal. In case you use veggies as the only resource of carbs, cook them well. Good carbs include apples, lima beans, sweet potato, lentils, peas and garbanzo beans.
Therefore, by now you must have gathered all the required details on preparing a healthy meal for your pet dog. What are you waiting for? Fix an appointment with your vet nutritionist and ask him/her about the accurate nutritional requirements for your dog breed. Start preparing meals accordingly so that you make sure your dog gets all the nutrients that his body requires.