Changing the diet of your dog from one brand to another should be done gradually to prevent gastrointestinal problems. The transition can be done very easily as follows:
1st day– Mix 75% old food with 25% new food
3rd day– Mix 50% old with 50% new
5th day – Mix 25% old with 75% new
7th day – 100% new food
¼ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) can be given on days 3, 4, and 5 with each feeding to help with any bowl problems that may occur. If your dog does not like the new food then try adding low-sodium chicken or beef broth to the new food until taste for it is acquired. Watch your dog’s behavior and stool for diarrhea or constipation. Lethargy or itchy skin could be a sign of a food allergy. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the new food once transition is made.
To change from traditional store bought dog food to natural and highly nutritious homemade food- follow the same guidelines as above. Canine nourishment can be achieved in your own kitchen at home and often with astounding results. Many people who go natural find that they have fewer trips to the vet (less vet costs) reduced allergies and less occurrences of chronic degenerative diseases. If done right you will have a happy, shiny and healthy coated furry friend. Because many store bought dog foods contain a lot of corn and filler, you will notice that there will be a reduction of stool on a homemade diet.
Protein and carbohydrates are essential nutrients. A good source of this is from rice, vegetables and meat. If you are worried about using rice then the amount of rice may be reduced by using oatmeal or potatoes for starch. The key is to achieve a balanced diet. Many food allergies are caused by feeding the same food constantly over a long period of time. That is why many dogs develop food allergies to the store bought dry dog food they eat for years on end. By making your own dog food you can add variety and your dog will enjoy meal time more. If you know the ingredients that are necessary for a balanced diet then you can save more in cooking by watching for sales.
A basic recipe I have used for homemade dog food that my dog really likes consists of:
- 1 lb hamburger
- 2 eggs
- 1 C. old fashioned oats
- ½ C. rice
- 1 raw apple chopped
- 1 large potato (sweet or white) diced
- 1 C. of peas (or vegetable in season)
- 1 large carrot sliced
- 1 C. water
- 2 T. Olive oil
Boil these ingredients together in a large pot until the meat is crumbled and the carrots are soft. Keep in the fridge and feed about one cup twice a day (adjust for size of dog) or freeze in ½ cup sized muffin tins if it will not be used up in three days.
For older dogs a cup of plain yogurt may be added to the pot after it is cooled to assist in digestion.
Hamburger can be substituted with ham, pork, chicken, or turkey. I never feed my dog raw meats. Living out in the country as I do, it is common knowledge that a dog fed raw meat will acquire a taste for live animals and may turn to killing chickens or other small farm animals.
Additional vitamin supplements may be added to a homemade diet. Before adding supplements advice should be sought from your veterinarian. Avoid garlic or onions for they may cause anemia. Senior dogs will need senior vitamins, bran, and yogurt for digestion and glucosamine for their joints.
Here is an easy homemade treat for your dog or cat that thy will love:
- one can tuna
- cup raw quick oats
- o ne egg
Heat your fry pan and grease with butter.
Fry dollar size patties. Makes about five patties.
Interesting reading on the subject:
Do not feed your dog the following:
Garlic in any form
Onions in any form
Grapes or raisins
Candy with the sweetener Xylitol
Coffee Grounds, tea, and alcohol
Go to ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Website for more information: