While most store-bought kibble is nutritious, some owners prefer to add their own twist to their dogs’ diet. Homemade food, in addition to your pup’s normal kibble, can add flavor and variety to his meals. As with any dietary change, check with your vet before beginning.
Homemade Food Basics
Adding to your dog’s diet isn’t an absolute necessity, but many owners feel good about giving their furry friends an extra treat with their meals. There is some dissension over whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores, but many authorities give fruits and veggies two thumbs up, in moderation. Lean meats, including beef, chicken, and turkey are acceptable, as are wild meats such as elk and deer. Vegetables such as broccoli and carrots are safe for your furry friend, as are small chunks of fruits including apples and bananas. You can add rice or pasta to your homemade food, as long as Fido is free of grain-based allergy issues.
Turkey and Rice
Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a big, hot frying pan, and add 1 pound of ground turkey to the pan. Cook the meat until it is brown and crispy, and sprinkle in one package of frozen mixed vegetables. Boil up a cup of rice in a separate pan, and add it to the turkey and vegetables once they warm together. Soak the turkey, veggies and rice in two cups of low-sodium chicken broth, cover and boil for 20 minutes, or until the rice cooks down and takes on the consistency of puppy pudding. Transfer to a storage container, and refrigerate between meals. At mealtime, add 3/4 of your dog’s normal ration of kibble to his bowl, and substitute the remaining 1/4 with the poultry pudding. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of hot water, stir thoroughly and let the mixture meld for 5 minutes before feeding your hungry pup.
Dice 1 pound of stew meat into 1/2-inch cubes, and cook very low heat until brown and slightly crispy. Bathe the beef in 2 cups of low-sodium beef stock and 1 cup of water, and bring to a simmer. Simmer the beef for 20 minutes, and liven up the mix with one can of unsalted green beans and 1 cup of frozen carrots. Crank the heat to medium and boil for 20 minutes. Whisk up 1 tablespoon corn starch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl, and stir into the beef stew. Boil for another 5 minutes to transform the watery mixture into a thick, bubbling beef stew. This stew adds plenty of flavor and gravy to the kibble, and is a perfect addition for picky pups.
Give your vet a call before switching up your dog’s eating routine. Discuss your delectable doggie recipes, and make sure he approves of your ingredient list before you tie on an apron. Skip full sodium ingredients when making food for your dogs; while it may not seem like much to you, too much salt makes for sick puppies. Toss out uneaten food after 4 days to avoid a houseful of sick critters.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.