Meat should make up at least half of a dog's diet, so creating a turkey-based dog food recipe is a healthy decision. With ground turkey and a few other ingredients, you can whip up a balanced recipe your dog will gobble up -- and you will feel good about giving it to him.
Meat Forms the Base: Veggies, Starches & Healthy Fats Fill Things Out
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Along with meat as a dietary base -- about 50 to 75 percent of the diet -- dogs should also have about 15 to 18 percent fat and 25 percent carbs. So a balanced recipe will also include produce, fats and starches in the correct ratios.
Dogs can eat many vegetables, including carrots, broccoli, peas and leafy greens. Healthy oils include flax and safflower oil, which offer essential nutrients and omega-3. Starches include rice, potatoes and other similar items.
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This recipe offers about 900 calories, a one-day supply for a 30-pound dog. You can adjust it to your dog's needs, once you establish her calorie requirements.
All ingredients below are in the correct ratio so your dog has a balance of animal protein, veggies, oils and starches.
Ingredients: 8 oz. ground turkey (mix of light and dark meat) 6 oz. peeled potatoes 2 oz. nonfat yogurt 7 oz. vegetables 1 egg 1 oz. flaxseeds 2 oz. oatmeal, quick cook
Peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes and vegetables into bite-sized pieces. In a large saute pan, add the potatoes, vegetables, turkey and a few ounces of water. Reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add egg and oatmeal and stir. Cook for an additional two minutes. Remove from heat and add yogurt and flaxseeds. Allow to cool. Turkey should be cooked through, while vegetables and potatoes should be fork tender.
If your dog is not used to eating homemade recipes, offer small amounts so she can adjust. A general guideline is that each week, new foods comprise 10 to 25 percent of the diet. Adding too much too soon can cause tummy upset.
If your dog is new to homemade recipes like this one, you might consider serving it to her over the course of several days, or freeze some of it for the future.
People Food = Dog Food
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Before commercial pet food was invented -- only about 100 years ago -- dogs ate what humans ate, and thrived. They still can, as long as it's done gradually, and each recipe includes healthy options in the correct ratios for nutritional balance.
Remember to watch for any signs of tummy upset. Also, egg whites can cause intestinal upset in some dogs. If tummy upset occurs, use the yolk next time and save the whites for your egg white omelet.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
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.