Here are some points to consider before DIY-ing your dog’s dinner!
Many animal owners consider their pets to be members of the family. As such, this means that they want to give them the best care to ensure that they live long, healthy lives. And since we all know that the cornerstone to optimal wellbeing is a balanced diet, it’s only natural that people would want to feed their canine companions the freshest and finest food available.
Most people buy their dog food at grocery stores or from their local veterinarian. The kibble available at conventional retailers is more cost- effective, but doesn’t always offer the best nutrition, and is often loaded with artificial dyes and chemicals. The more upscale variety that can be bought from vets often have ranges catering to specific breeds or health requirements and conditions. They are also generally considered to be the healthier option, containing the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy development.
But, more increasingly, dog owners are looking for options that don’t come in a sealed bag with an extraordinarily long shelf-life. This has led many owners to consider the idea of making their own dog food instead. If you are one of them, here’s what you need to know before becoming your pooch’s personal chef.
Dog’s dinner, DIY style
It’s only natural that loving pet owners would want the best for their animals, and this extends to their daily diet. Not all commercial dog foods are made equal, with many containing low-quality ingredients. Others, however, are created by trained animal nutritionists who understand the necessary dietary requirements. But the better the formula, the higher the price tag.
The raw-food movement has also been gaining traction across South Africa, with many dog owners claiming the benefits of this diet.
The raw meat blend can be purchased from several pet shops and requires some assembly, with owners adding anything from leafy greens to raw eggs for an extra boost. Despite its popularity, however, the veterinary community cautions that it can lead to parasites and bacterial infections.
What about a home-cooked meal?
While it might seem like the most wholesome option, it comes with both pros and cons. It will require you to do your homework so that you can ensure that your dog’s diet is a balanced one and the process can be time-consuming.
The most obvious advantage to preparing your dog’s food is that you are aware of all the ingredients going into it. It also guarantees freshness and allows you to cater to even the fussiest eater.
The downsides are that it has a shorter shelf- life and might not meet the nutritional needs necessary for healthy development and long- term wellbeing.
While it’s not impossible to make the switch from shop- bought to homemade dog food, it will require time and a lot of research to strike the perfect balance. A mix of vet-endorsed dry or wet food with the addition of some dog-safe vegetables and supplements can ensure that your four- legged friends live a long and happy life.
Is your canine companion counting calories?
This doesn’t mean they can’t get treats! There are a host of fruits and vegetables that are safe for them to eat that are healthy and nutritious. Fruit options include apples, blueberries and pears. As for veggies, they can sink their teeth into carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumber and more. Just be mindful of portion control!
Treats to try out
While making their food might be more complicated, treats are significantly less so! Many animal owners bake biscuits and treats for their pets much as they would themselves. Because, as we all know, nothing beats homemade when it comes to freshness and flavour!
Try these easy, three-ingredient dog treats to bake for your best friend.
- 2 cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- Add the flour, peanut butter and eggs to a bowl and mix until combined.
- Slowly start adding water until the mixture has reached a wet, dough-like consistency.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Then roll out the dough and cut out dog treat shapes.
- Once the oven has reached temperature, put in the dog treats and bake for 20 minutes. Once baked, set aside to cool.