This is my story on how I came up with my homemade dog food recipe due to food allergies.
A few years ago, we adopted an adorable German Shepherd pup. My children were so excited to have a new family member in our home and named her Duchess. Little did we know, our little puppy was going to have major trouble with just about any commercial dog’s food. If she wasn’t regurgitating it, her eyes would be runny and she had very itchy skin which are both common for food allergies.
The first thing I did after getting home with our pup was to take her outside for a bathroom break while the kids put down puppy pads inside. This little beauty let us know that we weren’t alone by her adorable puppy barking. I quickly moved my flashlight to a field behind the house and saw 3 hooded individuals who took off running. They disappeared into the woods behind the house. Not knowing what to do, I called the local police department who sent someone to investigate. I welcomed the police officer into our home after he searched the area behind my house. He immediately noticed our new pup and told me to be careful what I feed her because German Shepherd dogs are known to have very sensitive stomachs and prone to food allergies. That was an understatement.
After trying Duchess, my allergic dog, on the cheaper grocery store brands which her tummy did not tolerate, we moved on to Natural Balance, Blue Buffalo, Wellness, just to name a few. I’m pretty sure we tried them all! I couldn’t find one for allergies that really worked for our girl!
My Aha Moment
Would you believe that we’ve been switching brands now for five years, trying to find a brand that our pup can tolerate. Alas, it’s time to move onto homemade dog food. This is one of the fresh homemade dog food recipes that she absolutely loves. I checked out a few veterinarian websites to come up with it. This is for a 60 lb. German Shepherd. If you have a 30 lb. dog, cut the recipe in half. Enjoy!
Directions for Making Homemade Dog Food Recipes:
- 1/2 lb. hamburger
- brown rice – 2 cups
- peas and carrots – 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- bone meal powder
- multi vitamin with Omega 3
You can mix this recipe up a bit by using chicken or other meat or different veggies. The bone meal powder and vitamins are optional. I use bone meal to make sure our pup does not get a calcium deficiency and Omega 3 for joints, hair and skin. My dog is allergic to chicken and eggs and finding recipes with limited ingredients was difficult.
You will want to combine protein and carbohydrates in various combinations like lamb and rice, beef and potatoes, or chicken and pasta. Carbohydrates are an inexpensive source of energy and provide some essential amino acids and fatty acids, says Abood, DVM, PhD, an assistant professor of small animal clinical sciences at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Foods to avoid: raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, chives, macadamia nuts, chocolate and maybe raw foods which may be tainted with Salmonella or E Coli.
Making in Bulk
This homemade food mixture is expensive, but not as expensive as bags I purchased a Petco. In fact, it’s actually much cheaper if you buy bags of frozen veggies on sale and put in the freezer for later. I mix up 3-4 days worth at a time now and stick in the refrigerator. If your dog does not like the food cold, you can heat it in a sauce pan or leave out on counter for a short time to bring to room temperature which would be worth it if your dog has allergies. Don’t feed it to them hot as dogs don’t tolerate hot food well. Microwaves can make food spotty and hot pockets in the food could cause burning of the mouth and throat. In addition, microwaving food can deplete vital vitamins and nutrients from this recipe.
When it comes to homemade food, vegetables are an important component to include. Here are some of the best vegetables to add to your dog’s homemade meals:
- Carrots – fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin A.
- Green Beans – fiber, vitamins C and K.
- Peas – protein, fiber, and vitamins A, B, and K.
- Sweet Potatoes – fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin A.
- Broccoli – fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Spinach – iron, calcium, and vitamin A.
- Pumpkin – fiber and can help with digestion.
When adding vegetables to your dog’s diet, it is important to ensure they are cooked and chopped or pureed for easy digestion. Additionally, always check with your veterinarian before making any major changes to their diet.
Vitamins for Homemade Dog Food
If you are feeding your dog a homemade diet, it may be necessary to supplement their food with certain nutrients to ensure they are getting a balanced diet. Here are some of the best supplements to add to homemade dog food:
- Multivitamin – A good quality dog multivitamin can help to make sure that your dog is getting all the vitamins and minerals they need.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Great for your dog’s coat and skin health, as well as joint health and brain function. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil, flaxseed oil, and chia seeds.
- Probiotics – For your dog’s digestive health and immune system, you can find probiotic supplements specifically for dogs on Amazon or your pet store, or you can add plain yogurt or kefir to their diet.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin – Senior dogs may need you to add to their food for sore joints.
- Digestive Enzymes – Especially for German Shepherd’s and big dogs but can benefit all. Helps with digestion and nutrient absorbtion. Don’t leave this one out. as enzymes are great for gut health.
It is important to talk to your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your dog’s diet to ensure they are appropriate and safe for your dog.
I’m now looking into slow cooker homemade dog food recipes to make my life a little easier!