Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Select An Article
Font Size

Make Homemade Dog Food

By Marianne Wait
WebMD Pet Health Feature
Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM

Your dog is part of your family, and you may be willing to do most anything for him. That could include making his meals from scratch. If so, get out the apron -- but get ready to teach yourself a few new tricks. There are things you need to know to keep your pet healthy and strong.

Making dog food that meets Fido’s nutrition needs isn't as simple as you might think, says pet nutritionist Cailin Heinze, VMD. “It can be done, it just takes a lot of dedication, a lot of work, and for some pets and some ingredients, quite a bit of expense,” Heinze says.

1. Start With a Good Recipe

Many dog food recipes fall short in certain nutrients, especially iron, copper, calcium, and zinc. Even some recipes created by veterinarians don't measure up. The University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine tested 200 recipes, many written by vets. The researchers found most of the recipes were short on some essential nutrients.

The best way to make sure a recipe has what it takes is to choose one created by an expert with training in dog nutrition, says Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD. That might be a certified pet nutritionist or a PhD-trained animal nutritionist with experience making pet food. Your vet should be able to point you in the right direction.

Your pet needs protein (animal meat, seafood, dairy, or eggs), fat (from meat or oil) and carbohydrates (grains or vegetables). He also needs calcium (from dairy or an ingredient such as egg shells), and essential fatty acids (from certain plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods).

And if that's not enough to consider, if your dog has a health problem, he may need a special diet. You may need a pet nutrition expert to create custom recipes.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow