Dog owners spend a lot of time thinking about how to best care for their beloved companion, and perhaps no other topics get more attention than those related to your dog’s diet. Is the commercially prepared dog food you’re feeding your dog really providing the best possible nutrition without added fillers? Would my dog benefit from eating homemade dog food?
Keep reading for a discussion on the pros and cons of preparing and feeding homemade dog food to your pet.
The Pros of Homemade Dog Food
Providing your dog with homemade dog food allows you to control the type and quality of the ingredients. You can rest assured that you know exactly what’s in your pup’s bowl when you make the food yourself, and that appeals to a lot of people who find it confusing or frustrating to try to decipher commercial dog food labels.
You can also prepare food for your pet with the ingredients that you’re already buying at the grocery store and perhaps save yourself additional trips to the pet store on a regular basis.
In addition, if you’ve been buying freshly prepared dog food, the type that has to be refrigerated at the co-op or through a delivery service, you might save money by moving to a model where you prepare fresh homemade dog food.
The Cons of Homemade Dog Food
The list of considerations to take into account when switching to homemade dog food is longer than the list of pros, but that shouldn’t discourage you if you’re determined to try it. The list is longer simply because it’s not as easy to prepare food for your dog in the same way you may do so for your family.
Dog’s have very complex nutritional needs that vary quite a bit from that of humans. Humans, of course, are omnivores, and our systems are designed to get nutrition from a wide variety of sources. Dogs are carnivores, though, and their diet in the wild would consist mainly of protein.
Commercially prepared dog food is designed to meet all a dog’s micro nutritional needs. It can be challenging to include enough variety to meet those exact requirements with the food you prepare yourself.
Unfortunately, when it comes to making their meal at home, it’s not as simple as allowing your dog to mimic the diet of a wild dog or wolf. Not only would that get expensive, but there are other nutrients you may be missing or types of meat that your dog’s breed may reject. Prior to starting with a homemade dog food system, we recommend you first consult a vet or other dog health expert until you get to know what’s best for your dog’s diet.
As previously mentioned, cost is something to consider seriously when you weigh switching to homemade dog food. Quality commercial dog food can indeed seem expensive, but if you think that switching to homemade dog food will save you money, you’re probably not going to find that to be true.
What Supplements Are Needed For Homemade Dog Food?
The most important thing to do when you switch to preparing homemade dog food is to talk to a veterinarian or certified nutritionist. You’ll want to monitor your pet’s progress and make sure your pup is making the switch comfortably and that the new food model is meeting all his needs.
Inevitably, your veterinarian will recommend that you supplement your dog’s homemade food with a few key things to meet certain nutritional requirements.
It can be very difficult to provide enough calcium for your dog with homemade dog food, especially for a puppy that is still growing. Adding yogurt to your pup’s food won’t cut it. Your dog would have to eat an unrealistic amount of yogurt every week to meet a dog’s calcium needs.
Many dogs can benefit from a quality fish oil supplement, even dogs who eat quality store-bought food. Fish oil provides essential Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D, and other micronutrients. Fish oil can is also beneficial for dogs with itchy or dry skin.
Hip and Joint Health Supplement
As a dog ages, or if your pet’s breed is prone to hip and joint trouble, it makes sense to add something for hip and joint health to your dog’s diet. For dogs in the earlier phases of life, Wapiti’s Mobility Supplement combines elk velvet antler and other natural ingredients long used in eastern medicine to optimize your dog’s joint health. Switch to Senior Mobility as your dog ages to help maintain flexibility and vitality.
Gut Health Supplement
Consider adding something to support your dog’s gut health, whether your dog eats commercially prepared food or you’re feeding homemade food. A healthy gut and GI tract is as essential to your dog as it is to you. Dog’s who experience GI distress when traveling or on a regular basis could benefit from Wapiti’s GI Tract Supplement, which can help reduce the painful buildup of gas and soothe and calm your dog’s gut.
Supplements From Wapiti Labs
At Wapiti Labs, we incorporate elk velvet antlers from our herd of 200 elk that roam a pollution-free ranch in Minnesota. Wapiti’s supplements harness the benefits of elk velvet antler and include other natural ingredients to benefit your pet. We know you want the best for your beloved pup, and we do too. Learn more today.