Low-residue dog food can benefit a dog suffering from inflammatory bowel issues, a sensitive stomach, diarrhea or other digestive issues. Focusing on highly digestible, low-fiber foods is central to the concept of low-residue diets. Making this food yourself allows you to control the ingredients and quality.
What Is a Low-Residue Diet?
The term "low-residue diet" refers to using foods that are easily digestible and low in fiber-rich foods, which are difficult to digest. Essentially, low-residue foods leave little residue in the intestines, and are almost fully digested. This kind of diet is sometimes used in cases of inflammatory bowel disease or other digestive problems such as diarrhea or nausea. The goal is to reduce the amount of work, stress, waste and bulk within the digestive system.
Cooking Foods, Focusing on Animal Protein
Digestibility is key, so ingredients should be cooked. This includes all meats, vegetables, starches and other ingredients. Healthy oils, especially those with omega-3, are beneficial as they slow digestion, help absorb nutrients and fight inflammation that may plague the intestines. When constructing a concept for homemade low-residue dog food, focus on animal protein. The reason is twofold: A dog's diets should consist of 50 to 80 percent animal protein; and meats, fish and eggs are soft, low-fiber, highly digestible foods.
Along with the 50 to 80 percent animal protein base, serve cooked vegetables such as green beans, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini and peeled potatoes. Avoid produce with fibrous skin and seeds. Some low-fiber fruits include ripe bananas, melon or canned fruits without sugar. In addition to produce, digestible starches such as rice, oatmeal and pasta can be included in the diet, as well as healthy oils. Dairy products contain no fiber, however they may cause intestinal upset in some dogs.
Pulling It All Together
An dog-friendly low-residue menu might include 1 pound chicken, 4 ounces cooked rice, 4 ounces yellow squash, 4 ounces cantaloupe, and a half tablespoon healthy oil. These amounts offer a ratio of 56 percent protein, 20 percent carbs and 23 percent fats. Adjust the recipe according to your dog's caloric needs. Also, dietary changes should be made gradually. Serving new food in small portions maximizes the chances your dog's body will react favorably. After all, the last thing he needs is a tummy ache.
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.