How to Make Pet Food at Home

There have been several recalls of major pet food brands in the last year. Finding out your best buddies food might have been contaminated is never a good thing. Factory food contamination can be avoided by making your pet's food at home. However, it's important to remember that pets have different nutritional requirements than humans. Homemade pet food is a great way to add some fun and interest into meal times.

Dog Food

All dogs are descended from the grey wolf. Wolves were domesticated roughly 18,000 years ago in Eurasia. Scholars believe that wolves were attracted to human settlements because of the trash. Over many generations, the wolf became the wide variety of dog breeds we see today. Dogs learned to live off of tables scraps from humans and their digestive systems changed accordingly. Dogs still require protein from meat, but they can also eat a lot of vegetables as well.

Dog food should be made up of

  • quality protein from meat or eggs
  • fats from meats or oils
  • a good source of calcium such as dairy
  • essential fatty acids like eggs or oatmeal
  • carbohydrates like grains and vegetables

Balance IT will help you create a recipe using what you already have, perhaps elk if you hunt or squash if you garden. Then the recipe will be created with the perfect ratios of each ingredient to make sure your dog is getting the proper nutrition they require. The Dog Bakery has lots of fun dog recipes to try. Here is a recipe both you and your dog can enjoy. Since dogs evolved eating our scraps it's easy to make dog food using the things you would normally toss in the trash.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 salmon portions SKIN ON (1 oz per 10 pounds of dog plus any amount you would like)
  • 1 squash
  • 1 head of broccoli (with stem)
  • 3 potatoes (any kind)
  • 2 carrots

Cat Food 

Cats require a different diet than either humans or dogs. Cats were likely domesticated in Ancient Egypt. Cats began living near gain stores as they were a wonderful source of mice. Ancient Egyptians enjoyed their company and their skill at keeping the rodent problem down and began worshipping them. Anyone who owns a cat knows they are still wild at heart, they enjoy hunting and exploring on their own terms. Cats were never 100% domesticated and as such need a more wild diet than a dog might.

Cats don't eat grains and vegetables, they only get them through the stomach contents of their prey. However, adding a small amount of carbohydrates can help keep your cat more full and satisfied for a longer period of time. It is a good idea to include organs so your cat doesn't miss out on important nutrition. Make sure to add water to your homemade cat food as cats typically don't drink enough. Getting proper nutrition through a homemade diet for a cat is more difficult, but it can be done. You may want to add powered taurine or a vitamin mix to your cat food to ensure they are getting enough in their new diet.

Cats are obligate carnivores and need

  • proteins from meat or fish
  • fatty acids 
  • vitamins  
  • minerals 
  • water 
  • amino acids such as taurine and arginine from meat or fish 

  • 1 lb chicken thighs, deboned, deskinned, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 lb chicken livers (or other organ meat)
  • 1/4 cup mix of carrots and peas
  • 1/8 cup blueberries
  • 1/8 cup rice or pasta
  • don't forget the vitamin mix

Homemade pet food can be prepared in advance then divided into servings and frozen for freeze-dried for use later. Becarefull when preparing dog or cat food at home. Make sure you follow the same sanitation rules you would for yourself. Don't leave homemade pet food out for long periods of time since it doesn't have preservatives it can spoil leading to illness for pets and humans alike.

Always check with your local veterinarian to make sure a homemade diet is best for your pet. 

Do you have a picky dog or cat? Is your pet on a restricted diet? What recipes do you like to use to feed your pets at home?

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