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 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, 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.  Also, the guide to shock collars for dogs mentions that you should avoid starting new foods at the same time as the collar, since very poor reactions have been observed when you do that. 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!

Why Does My Cat Scratch on Things?

Cat-ScratchThere’s nothing worse than coming home to the surprise redecorating of your kitchen table’s legs or living room upholstery, courtesy of your cat’s scratching instinct.  That doesn’t necessarily mean your cat has some inexplicable scratch problem that most other cat owners don’t experience as well.  There are many reasons why a cat will scratch anything sturdy enough to take a beating.  Let’s examine this further. [Read more…]

Liver Disease in dogs

DDD_liver_gallbladder_pancreas-150x150The liver is one of the most important organs in the body of your dog. It performs various functions like aiding blot clot, digestion, detoxification of waste products, and manufacturing of the body’s building blocks. If the liver fails to work properly, your pet can fall sick causing hepatitis which can progress into serious liver disease.

The liver is prone to being affected by a variety of diseases, including bacterial and viral infections, toxicities and neoplastic and degenerative diseases. According to, “Canine liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death for dogs, and it’s estimated that three percent of all diseases veterinarians see are connected to the liver”. However, liver diseases can be treated and your pet can make a full recovery. [Read more…]

Cats Whiskers

mittens2Did you know that the breed of cat called the ‘Sphinx’ often has little to no whiskers?  It’s true.  Do you even know what whiskers are and why cats have them? Well, truth be told – whiskers are quite important for our felines friends. The hairs commonly found on a cat’s face are called whiskers. They are long, thick, flexible, and they are also known as “tactile hairs” or vibrissae. Apart from the hairs which are located in horizontal rows on the cat’s cheeks, above their eyebrows and their chin, cats whiskers are also on their legs. [Read more…]

Separation Anxiety

Sandy-2000-150x150Has your dog been acting a little strange since school started back up? There could be a very good reason why, separation anxiety. Dogs are creatures of habit; they enjoy and thrive on having a routine and pattern to their daily lives. This is why when children are gearing up to go back to school in the fall, this transitional time can be a source of stress and discontent not just for children and parents, but our canine companions as well. Just a little understanding and preemptive measures can ensure that dogs are ready for the transition back to school and won’t be terribly upset when the children are suddenly gone for much of the day. [Read more…]

Pneumonia in Dogs

sick-dogThere is nothing more distressing then when someone you love is ill. It is even more difficult when the one who is sick cannot tell you what is wrong. It’s no different when your dog is not feeling well! When your dog is sick you just want to make him feel better! We understand. The best thing you can do for your dog is be diligent in your efforts to stay informed and educated! [Read more…]

Aggression in Dogs

aggressive-dog-150x150What does aggression in dogs look like and how does it manifest? Some dogs have behavior issues that can make them dangerous to other dogs and even to humans. They can be aggressive, especially when guarding things they consider their possessions, ie. bowls, toys, food, items they steal/find, people, etc. Unfortunately, these behaviors can be dangerous, especially if they tend to snap or bite. Do you think your dog may be aggressive? Here are some behaviors to look for: Growling, Bearing Teeth, Snapping, Aggressive Barking, Lunging, Biting, etc… [Read more…]

Ear Infections In Dogs


The medical term for the inflammation or disease of the outer ear canal is ‘otitis externa’. It is one of the most common diseases of pets and it is estimated that up to 20% of the dog population is affected by this disease. [Read more…]