After having a dog with unusual health issues, I have learned a lot about what makes for a healthy dog’s diet and have discovered that it’s really, really easy to give your dog a home made nutritious diet that keeps them healthy, happy and with coats that shine. Even picky eaters happily chow down on it.
Here’s the thing about kibble-only or kibble and wet dog food diets. Dogs often eat the same exact meal day after day for years. No wonder they get unhealthy! Think about it – while salads are good for you, how healthy would you be if that’s the only thing you ate for your whole life? Not very, because you’d be missing essential vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients in your diet. The same is true for your dog’s diet.
In general, a dog’s diet should be similar to ours – 1/3 carbs, 1/3 fruits and veggies, and 1/3 protein. You may need to experiment with these proportions for your dog, but in general, these are good guidelines to start with. I feed a mixture of half grain free kibble and half home made.
I hate cooking, so do something really, really simple. Here’s what I do about once a week:
- 1/3 long grained brown rice (I put in 2 cups of rice to make 4 cups cooked)
- 1/3 mixed vegetables (one pound pack of frozen mixed veggies found on sale)
- 1/3 protein (whatever is ground, lean and on sale – beef, chicken, turkey, etc.)
- Culinary herbs such as rosemary, garlic, basil, etc. – herbs contain essential micro-nutrients that aren’t found in quantity elsewhere. Although a few dogs are allergic to garlic, I always include it because garlic is a natural flea repellent and has the same health benefits for dogs as it does for humans. Use culinary herbs, rather than fresh, because they’re not as hard to digest.
Let the rice cook for 30 minutes, then toss the frozen veggies in the pot, bring it to a boil, and crumble in the meat and herbs while it’s coming to a boil again. Cover and let it simmer for another 15 minutes (depending on the directions on the rice package). This recipe makes 5 quarts and lasts for days in the refrigerator.
By alternating the types of mixed vegetables (no onions!) and the protein (turkey, chicken, beef), this same recipe provides nutritional variation and dogs love it. It’s easy and provides variety in their diet – which goes a long way to keeping them healthy and happy.
Try it! Your dog will thank you. And if you’re a kitchen loving cooking type, there are tons of home made dog food recipes that can be found online with simple web searches. Enjoy!