by Healthy Barks May 19, 2022 7 min read
Imagine eating the same thing every day repeatedly, be it caviar or delicious mouth watering steak - for a whole month. Will you eat it?
In addition to being super dull, you may also wonder if you're getting all the nutrients you need. Now when you understand, think about your dog. He/She may experience a similar feeling. There's a reason dogs look so long at what we eat; they want variety even if it means eating table scraps!
Homemade dog food recipes keep your dog healthy, and are also helpful in maintaining distance from commercial dog food. Moreover, don't forget to consider any food allergies or dietary restrictions your dog may have before giving anything because of the puppy eyes.
The other reason people turn to homemade food sometimes is when they run out of Kibble or have adopted a new puppy and don't know what to feed him?
Let’s get started - we're here to talk about some homemade food options that are good for your dog and healthy. If you're a responsible pet parent, you should be aware that all the human food choices are not suitable for your dog.
Food products like chocolate, lemon, grapes, raisins, onions, alcoholic beverages, and tomatoes are toxic to your dog, even in small amounts. Many foods that a human digestive system can handle well may not suit your dog, such as cow's milk, which causes frequent loose stools.
Although dog owners in India now have access to commercial dog food brands such as Royal Canin, Pedigree, and us (for providing healthy and balanced meals) they can hardly resist the urge to share a few portions of their meal with their furry friends.
Moreover, let’s accept we cannot also resist sharing our meals with them (and they steal them too).
Although these acts are purely out of love, Indian cuisine contains many ingredients and spices that cannot be consumed by dogs. However, the good news is that some staple dishes in Indian households can be a source of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for our dear friends.
First thing First!
No matter how nutritious you may think a particular ingredient is, it may not have the same effect on your dog. Therefore, you must always check with your veterinarian what foods may be beneficial or harmful for your dogs, as these can vary between breeds.
How much to feed your dog – It depends not only on the breed but also the age, level of physical activity, and the environment in which the dog grows up. It is essential to develop a suitable meal plan for your dog in consultation with your veterinarian.
Portions often vary depending on your dog's size, weight, and activity level. Some brief nutrition principles you may want to keep in mind that you should always use when preparing a meal for your four-legged friends.
Can the Roti / Chapati form a meal for your dog?
Offering roti and milk is almost a long-standing tradition in Indian culture, and every household has done it sooner or later while raising their dog. Whether feeding strays or feeding your dogs, we have provided them with a bowl of milk-soaked roti at some point in their lives.
However, based on studies and surveys, a diet consisting only of roti and milk is not sufficient for your dog's growth and holistic development. Moreover, it’s essential to include fruits, vegetables, and meat in your dog's diet and does not rely solely on humble roti/chapati and milk for your dog's nutritional needs.
Ensure that milk is not given to puppies under six months of age. For adult dogs – dilute the milk with a bit of water, or it may cause problems in their digestion.
Animal protein should be the main ingredient in your dog's diet, preferably a meat-based diet. Protein from eggs and meat is very beneficial for your dog's health. Meats such as fish, chicken, and lamb are common in some households.
You're wrong if you still have the perception that you can give your dog meat from your plate.
Always ensure the meat is not undercooked and free of spices and seasonings, and do not give them cooked bones. They are brittle and can cause mouth sores, leading to blockages in the intestines and possibly surgery.
For eggs - Eggs should be boiled or poached without seasoning preferably. For vegetarian households, getting meat/eggs into your dog's meals can be complicated. Still, it's vital to your dog's health. That's when a combination of home-cooked meals, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and dog food brands come to the rescue.You can always get the meal delivered or contact us.
Add Grains and Legumes in the diet
Contrary to popular belief, whole grains are not harmful to your dogs and are a rich source of B-complex vitamins, fiber, and iron. So, when dog owners fall for the misleading hype surrounding grain-free diets for their dogs, they deprive them of essential nutrients that contribute to their dogs' health, growth, well-being, and activity of the dog's body enzymes.
A mix of brown rice and mashed vegetables makes a healthy snack for your dog. Just like some of us, some dogs can be allergic to gluten. However, for the majority of the canine population, whole grains such as brown rice, wheat, oats, barley, millet, and quinoa seeds are healthy and nutritious.
But try to avoid Soya beans as they are not at all good for dogs - being allergens and incomplete protein sources. Moreover, Legumes can cause an upset stomach as well as allergic reactions. Grains like brown rice oats, sorghum are fine in moderation
Vegetables are a source of essential nutrients and can be included in your dog's meals to provide a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. Vegetables such as potatoes (avoid using the green parts that grow on top of potatoes), sweet potatoes, green beans, squash, bottle gourds, and peas should be boiled and mashed before feeding. White potatoes are not good for your dog, keep this in mind when feeding.
Fresh, crunchy vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, and spinach can be included in your dog's diet, providing a lot of relief and variation from regular food for your dog. Vegetables can be served in the diet fresh or boiled.
Ripe tomatoes can also be included in your dog's diet. However, ensure your dogs do not ingest the leaves or stems of tomatoes, as they can do more harm than good.
The vegetables that should NOT be in your dog's diet are: onions and garlic (in any form - raw, cooked, powdered, dried) as they contain a toxic ingredient called thiosulfate, which can cause life-threatening hemolytic anemia in dogs. Therefore, we must resist the urge to feed our dog curries/treats every day.
Fruit is a great option, especially for snacking on people and dogs between meals. However, remember not to give your dog grapes, raisins, or grapes as they can damage their kidneys irreversibly. When you feed them apples, make sure they don't eat the seeds as they contain cyanide and are toxic to dogs. Seeds of any kind of fruit are not good your dog; always ensure they don't eat any.
Your dog's diet includes other fruits such as melons (water and musk, no rind) and berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries). Serving a bowl of a variety of fresh seasonal fruit cut into small pieces can help encourage your dog to eat these healthy treats.
Similar to gluten, some dogs are lactose intolerant, so do not use Cow milk, use Goat milk in diluted form.
However, boiled milk / homogenized milk cartons and pasteurized milk can be provided for the most part. Milk is inherently not harmful to your adult dog. Moreover, giving milk in moderation and in a diluted form is vital.
You can also add small amounts of cheese and yogurt for your dog's enjoyment from time to time.
Chocolate: Dark chocolate, toasted chocolate, and cocoa beans contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine, which can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, muscle twitching, increased urination, and shortness of breath if consumed in large quantities. Avoid giving your dog any kind of chocolate.
Coffee/Tea: Like chocolate, coffee and tea also contain caffeine, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and it may harm a dog's heart and nervous system.
Avocados, plums, and peaches: While these fruits aren't necessarily on the list of toxic foods for dogs, they contain a cyanide compound that can be toxic to your dog if he eats them all.
"We are vegetarians, and it's hard to cook non-veg," we know. We also understand that some self-proclaimed dog experts have said it's OK to give a vegetarian diet to your dog. But what their little brains don't understand is that you're asking, "How can I cook a non-vegetable dish in the house when my family doesn't let me?"
The right question is about permission
1st: Dogs are happy with home-cooked meals; they finish it fast. But as said earlier, dogs are biologically different from us and if you give them vegetables and rice, mix it with cooked eggs or meat. As you can’t cook at home add boosters and make the meal full.
2nd: Avoid giving milk to your dog as a replacement for meat protein. You can sometimes mix curd and rice or vegetables mixed with rice.
3rd: Get eggs and give them to him on alternative days.
You will have to watch while introducing eggs to their diet.
4th: Arrange a small stove, cook one a week for your dog.
This way, you can give it boiled meat as well; and with a little bit of an investment you can give them all the essential nutrients.
If you can't get a stove, get boiled chicken from outside (without salt or anything) and feed it to him without bones.
Consult your vet, if your house is strict they can suggest you calcium, and multivitamin tablets for your dog.
We should be suggesting people to cook rice and veggies at home, and purchase our toppers for the meat portion. This is the best option, if costing is an issue.
Like anything else, even nutrients for your dogs such as grains, fruits and vegetables, junk food, and meat can be harmful when given in excess.
Therefore, it is essential to dose your dog's meals and check their meal frequency with your veterinarian. Also, allergic reactions to certain foods vary from dog to dog. Hence it’s always good to observe your dog each time you feed him a new food.
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