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Homemade Pet Food Guidelines

Today’s Guest Blog, “Homemade Pet Food Guidelines” is authored by Mary Nielsen. Enjoy!

 

 Although there are a lot of good pet foods out there, and such foods as grain free or organic types are incredibly good for your pet, you always have the choice of deciding to make your own. Certainly, by doing so you can control exactly what goes into it every step of the way.

But before you think you can just throw your pooch a side of beef for dinner, or your kitty cat a chicken leg, there’s more to it than that. Just like you and I, your pet may enjoy just having chunks of meat for dinner every day, but the reality is that they will be healthier and happier if their meals are balanced, just like mine and yours. That might be the reason why you want to make home made pet food in the first place so that they are as healthy as they can be. So, here are the basics, and since the diets are different for dogs and cats, we’ll start with dogs first.

 

Homemade Pet Food

Canine Diet

Of course, you’ve already guessed that meat makes up the one single most important part of their diet, but this will give you a break down on how much and the other ingredients that must be added for proper nutrition.

  • Protein — This can be any type of meat from beef, pork, lamb, venison, what have you, and it should make up 40% of the total diet. If you can supply this amount of protein on a daily basis, then you are on your way towards proper doggy nutrition. One thing to take note of is that some of their calories must come from fat. Whether it is in the meat that you grind up, or whether your pour some liquefied fat into the mix, dogs need fat in their diet.
  • Vegetables — You may think that dogs are strictly carnivores, and while you won’t see them out grazing with cows, they need a proportion of their diet made up of veggies. Think about this for a second. Did you ever see your dog chewing on grass? They need that roughage and fiber to keep their digestive process normal. Vegetables like green beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots and others, are wonderful for your pup, and they are filled with vitamins and minerals that aren’t readily found in meat. 
  • Carbs — Beans are a great source of carbs, and you’ll only need 10% per serving. Grains work too, but if you want to go grain free, then stick with beans and/or potatoes.
  • Calcium — As a supplement for strong bones and teeth, grind up some egg shells into their meals.

If you follow those basics when making home made dog food, your dog will thrive!

 

Homemade Pet FoodFeline Diet

Just like home made dog food, cat food you make yourself is very similar. But there are differences, so here is the breakdown.

  • Protein — Cats need at least 25% to 30% protein in their diet, but here is a major difference between dogs and cats. 15% to 20% of their diet must come from fat. Whether you grind up chunks of fat for their food or pour liquefied fat over the top, they need at least 15% of their calories to come from fat. Another thing to consider is protein quality. Eggs offer the best quality of protein for kitty, with fish coming in second. Lamb is also high, and so is poultry. Beef and pork may be easier to get, but they are also more difficult for a cat to digest, and therefore it is harder to extract the protein that is needed.
  • Veggies — Your cat needs fiber for proper digestion, and they get it with their veggies. Add in about 50% vegetables, including oats, rice, sweet potato, broccoli and others.
  • Carbs — 10% carbs will do the trick. Beans are a good choice here.
  • Supplements — Supplements like fish oil, taurine, egg shell calcium and ground bone powder are a must for homemade food and should make up 10% of each meal. This is a major difference between dog and cat food, and supplements must be added to keep your cat healthy and vibrant.

If you are going to make your own dog or cat food, make sure you do it correctly, or it will be more of a problem than it’s worth and can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies if it isn’t done right.

About Author

Mary Nielsen is a passionate dog lover, blogger, and part-time music teacher. She started MySweetPuppy.net to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable mutts. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.

 

Recalls from Blue Buffalo and Wellness Pet Food Brands

The FDA released a statement regarding recalls of Blue Buffalo and Wellness brand pet foods. These voluntary recalls were prompted by the possibility that the food contains thyroid hormones: 

“March 27, 2017  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising pet owners and caretakers, veterinarians, and the pet food industry to be aware that pet food and treats made with livestock gullets (meat from the throat region) have the potential to contain thyroid tissue and thyroid hormones. Pets that eat food or treats containing thyroid hormones may develop hyperthyroidism, a disease that is rare in dogs and usually triggered by thyroid cancer.

…symptoms of hyperthyroidism include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, increased appetite, restlessness, hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, rapid and/or labored breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Continued exposure to excess thyroid hormones can cause damage to the heart and in some cases, death.”

 

Additional information about the Blue Buffalo recall is in their press release:

 “Blue Buffalo Voluntary Recall: One Lot of BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain RecipeTM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs Due to Potential Health Risk.”

Blue Buffalo

 

The Wellness company posted a note to consumers on their website:

“At WellPet, our team takes food safety matters very seriously.  …in an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily recalling a limited amount of one canned dog food product. A small amount of one recipe has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. Our Consumer Affairs team has received no reports of any health problems as a result of feeding this recipe. No other Wellness products are affected.”

food recalls

 

If you have pet foods from either of the recalls, contact the respective manufacturer right away. If your pet shows signs of possible illness, consult your vet. 

Dog Food Reviews

dog food

Dog Food Ingredients

“In early 2015, the law firm of Morgan and Morgan filed a class action lawsuit against Purina over ingredients found in its line of Beneful dog food. Despite this lawsuit, and the thousands of complaints of kidney failure that led to it, the products remain available to purchase at a store near you.”

In 2016, Reviews.com went on a quest to find which commercially available dog foods have quality ingredients. They spent over 1,400 hours researching more than 2,000 formulas to compile a list of the best ones:

“After reviewing all 2,223 formulas, we ended up with 134 dog food formulas — manufactured by 29 brands — that we confidently recommend.”

10 of Our Favorite Dog Food Brands

  1. Orijen
  2. ACANA
  3. Eagle Pack
  4. Fromm
  5. Nature’s Logic
  6. Stella & Chewy’s
  7. Wysong
  8. Pinnacle
  9. Primal
  10. Hi-Tek Naturals

See the complete list here and find out if your brand is on it: Best Dog Foods

NOTE: If you decide to change your dog’s food, remember to transition from the old diet to the new one in stages to prevent an upset tummy. Start by replacing about 25% of the old food in your pet’s meal with the new diet. Feed that mix for a few days. Next, feed a 50/50 mix then go down to a mix of 25% of the old food with 75% of the new formula. Finally, transition to 100% of the new diet. If loose stool occurs, cut back on the amount of new food in each meal until stools are normal then proceed. As always, if diarrhea, vomiting and/or lethargy occur, consult your veterinarian.

“Bone” appetite!

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