More pet parents are seeking homemade food options. Dr. Sarah Abood, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor, says there's “steady increase in the number of people ... asking for help with making a homemade diet.” Eggs and sweet potatoes are healthy selections for these diets.
Eggs contain complete protein, vitamins D and E, and choline, a nutrient aiding in brain function. Yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants thought to prevent some eye problems. A whole egg has about 75 calories with 25 from protein, 45 from fat and 5 from carbs. Easy to cook, eggs can be scrambled, fried, poached and boiled. Eggshells offer extra calcium. They can be ground or blended (otherwise they are very sharp), and added to recipes.
Sweet Potato Nutrition
Sweet potatoes have about 22 calories per ounce, most from healthy complex carbohydrates. They're low on the glycemic index -- that's important for diabetic dogs -- and rich in vitamins C, E and B vitamins, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium and fiber. Sweet potatoes won first place in the Center for Science in the Public Interest's vegetable nutrition scorecard, due to nutrient density, fiber and complex carbohydrate content. Like eggs, sweet potatoes are easy to cook, whether baked, boiled, steamed, steamed or grilled.
Combining the Two: The Recipe
This recipe provides about 240 calories per serving with a nutritional profile of 23 percent protein, 39 percent carbs and 38 percent fat. Although it's chock full of nutrition, it's not designed to serve solely as your dog's diet. Dogs need more meat-based protein than this sweet potato-and-egg-only dish provides. This recipe or a variation of it makes a delicious accent to your dog's wider meal plan.
Wash and chop 4 ounces of sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place them in small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Crack 2 large eggs into a small bowl and scramble. Add the scrambled eggs to the pan and stir. For extra nutrition, save the eggshells. Grind or crush them thoroughly and add to the pan.Reduce heat to medium. The recipe's done when the sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool fully.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, remove the sweet potato skins before cooking. Egg whites can also cause tummy upset in some dogs. Whether your dog has a sensitive belly or a gut of steel, it's best to introduce new foods slowly. If he's new to eggs or sweet potatoes, start with a spoonful the first time. If he does okay, try two spoonfuls the next day. He'll enjoy the nutritional benefits and the flavor of every sample.
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.