Research has shown that, for both pets and people, eating the same diet every day can result in missing nutrients, development of allergies, toxic kidneys and liver, and chronic health conditions. There are great information sources on pet nutrition that are worth reading.
Signs of a nutrient-poor diet include:
These all can be addressed simply by paying attention to what you feed your dog.
Even adding a small amount of more natural foods to their diets can make a big difference. Try some of these easy recipes and see what happens. My two dogs get a mixture of kibble and raw or homemade food with every meal. Their coats shine, they're energetic and happy, and my vet bills are small.
There are a few things to avoid feeding your dog. Do not:
Here's what you can (and should) feed them:
You can make a big batch up and store it in the refrigerator for several days. Just warm it slightly before feeding to take the chill off.
I hate cooking, so do something really, really simple. For my dogs, I've found that a diet of equal thirds is great. Here's what I do:
Toss the frozen veggies in the pot, bring it to a boil, toss in the rice, and crumble in the meat while it's coming to a boil again. Cover and let is simmer on low for 40-50 minutes (depending on the directions on the rice package). This recipe makes 5 quarts and it lasts for days in the refrigerator.
Here are some other quick and easy dog food recipes for your experimentation pleasure.
Here's a simple recipe with basic proportions that contain items from three major food groups:
It's a good idea to add a pet vitamin/mineral supplement and, possibly, a digestive enzyme - especially during the transition period from the prior diet to the new diet.
This is a really simple diet that can be combined in many forms. Essentially, the proportions should be:
Blend or chop these into small particles, and add an essential fatty acid, Omega 3, supplement such as fish oil.
Here's a really simple recipe that can be prepared in very little time - and stored in the refrigerator
Tip: Gradually move your dog from their existing diet to a home-made diet. For the first two days, give 1/4 of their diet as the new diet, then do 1/2, then 3/4s and so on.
It can be a good idea to add some basic supplements just to make sure you've got all of the micro-nutrients and the like covered - especially while you're first converting your dog to the new diet. Camping Dog Supplies carries a series of supplements from the American Kennel Club (the RenewTrients brand) that are specially formulated for things like digestive aids, shedding, hip and joint issues, as well a good general multivitamin.
Happy experimenting! It's fun for you and your dog will thank you!
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