Homemade dog food is an increasingly popular choice among pet parents, a trend that spiked after the 2007 recalls of pet food made with tainted China-sourced melamine. Making homemade dog food with healthy ingredients ensures you nothing bad goes into your dog's diet. Many foods are suitable for inclusion, including chicken gizzards.
Chicken Gizzard Info and Nutrition
The gizzard is one of the giblets often found stuffed inside whole raw chickens. Individual giblets are sometimes offered separately in the meat department. Gizzards are a delicacy in some cultures. Chicken gizzards contain about 45 calories per ounce. From these, about 35 calories come from protein and 10 from fat. With their high protein content, they make an excellent addition to homemade dog food recipes. Chicken gizzards contain vitamin B-12, iron and zinc.
Chicken Gizzard Prep
Once you've found your gizzards, whether inside a chicken or sold separately, rinse them and cut them. To keep cooking simple, place the gizzards in a saucepan, cover them with water and turn to medium. Cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through, then remove them from the heat and let them cool. Due to their toughness, gizzards should be diced or chopped finely to increase digestibility. This is important if your dog is new to gizzards.
Incorporating Gizzards Into Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Making homemade dog food with gizzards and other ingredients is easy, and it creates a well-rounded meal. For a healthy homemade dish, bring 4 ounces of water to a boil. Add 4 ounces of gizzards, 1 ounce of dry rice, or about 2 ounces cooked, and 2 ounces of chopped carrots. Stir and allow it to cook for about 15 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it cool. A serving is about 250 calories, with a dog-friendly ratio of protein, carbs and fats.
Introducing Homemade Dog Food to a Newby Dog
Making homemade dog food means choosing a variety of animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, starches and fats. Animal proteins should form the base, so chicken gizzards can fit nicely into a well-rounded diet. Adding new items gradually will allow your dog to acclimate to the change, so try adding gizzards and other homemade food at a rate of about 10 percent to 25 percent per week. If you're transitioning to a homemade diet, reduce her current food as you add the new.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.