Your dog isn’t simply a pet. He or she is a beloved member of your family. From daily walks, to nutritious meals, you do all that you can to keep your pup healthy and happy.
Unfortunately when it comes to food quality, all dog foods are not created equal. In fact, a majority of commercial dog foods are made primarily of highly-processed corn, soy, and meat byproducts - meat that is deemed “unfit” for human consumption. A handful of high-quality commercial dog foods do exist; however, they tend to be rather expensive - costing more than $70 for a 25-30 lb. bag.
So, are you forced to either break your budget, or sacrifice quality? Fortunately, there is another option. A well-planned homemade diet provides an affordable and nutritious alternative to commercial dog food.
Is home-cooked cuisine the right option for you and your dog? Review the following benefits, and potential drawbacks, of a homemade diet.
Here we collected some benefits of homemade diet for your pet.
The greatest benefit of switching to a homemade diet is the degree of control that it provides over the specific foods you feed your dog. Instead of the poor-quality, ambiguous meats frequently found in commercial foods, you can opt for pristine, lean cuts of chicken or beef.
Not only do you possess a great deal of control over what you include, you are also in complete control of what you exclude. With homemade meals, you can completely avoid potential irritants and allergens, as well as chemicals, preservatives, emulsifiers, and artificial colors and flavors.
At first you may worry that “high-quality” necessitates “high-cost”. Luckily, with a bit of proper planning and preparation, you can actually cut your overall costs.
But there are some drawbacks as well...
Dogs have their own unique nutritional requirements that, if not met, can lead to chronic deficiencies and illness. Commercial dog foods are supplemented to ensure that these needs are met; homemade meals may lack some of these critical vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Guard against deficiencies by incorporating a wide variety of foods into your weekly meals, and by supplementing your meals when necessary with additional vitamins, minerals, and oils.
When switching to a homemade diet, you trade a bit of convenience for quality. The most appealing aspect of commercial dog food is its almost nonexistent preparation time. Simply open the bag, pour it into a food bowl, and - voila. In comparison, with a homemade approach you must set aside time to prepare, cook, and package your meals.
If you aren’t a chef at heart, keep kitchen time to a minimum:
Dog owners may have wondered whether their dog needs boots to protect their paws from the cold and ice. It will depend on the individual dog’s cold tolerance as well as the breed and how long the dog will be outside.
Online research reveals the earliest mention of dog boots in the October 1972 issue of Field and Stream... Vets agree that their paws are vulnerable to serious injury during a sled race such as the Iditarod. Or any activity outside, especially in icy or snowy conditions.