Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your dog.

Dangers of Homemade Diets for Dogs

Making food for your dog can come with some risks.

Making your dog a homemade diet can be an enticing idea. Having full control over the ingredients and making something your dog likes can have significant benefits for his health. Not only that but with the plethora of dog food recalls that have happened over the past several years, many people wish to know exactly what's in their dog's food and where it came from.

Sometimes a homemade diet can greatly aid a dog with certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, cancer, or food allergies. However, there are some things you need to be aware of before you embark on the path of making your dog's food consistently.

Are There Risks to Homemade Diets for Dogs?

Dogs don't have the same nutritional requirements as humans, and simply feeding them part of what you eat every day isn't going to cover their needs. The ratio of ideal fat-protein-carbs that needs to make up their total diet is different from what is ideal for people.

Similarly, there are some nutrients that must be supplemented, and how much of each varies depending on what else the dog is getting in his diet.

Dogs at different life stages can require vastly different nutrients. Puppies, older dogs, dogs that are hunters or otherwise extremely active, and those with medical problems all have very particular dietary requirements to support them optimally. It's quite easy to be missing vital nutrients from a homemade diet.

Can a Canine Homemade Diet Be Made Safely?

Yes, a homemade diet can be made that is nutritious and safe for your dog, but it should be formulated by a veterinary nutrition expert and individually tailored for your dog's needs.

Even a formulated diet can fall short if the instructions and ingredients aren't followed exactly every time a batch is made. This is a common issue among those who make their dogs' food; it's quite easy to begin to cut corners when life is busy and you are making your 100th batch of dog food.

Consult with your veterinarian for direction on formulating a diet for your dog. Another good, reliable source is BalanceIT.com.

What About Raw Food Diets?

Raw food diets are gaining in popularity with many dog-owners. Homemade versions of raw food diets also need to be formulated and balanced for the individual dog.

It's critical to be aware of potential issues with bacteria for both you and your dog if you are going to feed a raw food diet.

We recommend consulting with your veterinarian for further direction if you wish to pursue a raw food diet option for your dog.

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