Canines are omnivores; animals that eat plants and meats. This means that dogs have a wide range of nutritional requirements that must be met to maintain their health. Processed and packaged dog foods are made to fulfill these nutritional needs. However, they also include a variety of artificial substances that are bad for your pet’s health in the long run. This is why homemade dog foods are becoming more popular. Today, we’re going to talk about homemade grain free dog food recipes. Some food items are bad for dogs, grains such as corn or wheat are a part of this list.
Grains are a rather disputed food item in the canine world. They’re packed with nutrients and can improve the quality of a dog’s diet. However, grains are also known to cause stomach problems in dogs.
Should You Consider Homemade Dog Food?
Is homemade dog food just something that overly doting pet parents are into or is it actually beneficial? Any vet or canine nutritionist will tell you that homemade dog food is incredibly beneficial. It provides your dog with a wholesome and qualitative diet — one that is free from chemical preservatives and low-quality filler ingredients. Before going to a vet for consultation, you can always figure out whether homemade dog food is a good option based on the following.
If you have a senior dog, then a homemade diet may be worth it. Dogs have fragile digestive systems that become weaker in their later years. Many older dogs develop health conditions that require serious dietary reevaluation to maintain their health. In cases such as these, switching to a homemade diet means that you get more control over what your dog is eating. This lets you make adjustments to deal with health conditions and other food-related problems.
Another reason for switching to a homemade diet can be that your dog’s general health begins to deteriorate. Plenty of pet owners notice that their dogs start shedding a lot of fur, experience skin problems and have trouble gaining or losing weight. Nutritional deficiencies cause all of these problems. Even the best-processed dog food is unable to fulfill a dog’s nutritional requirements completely. Switching to a homemade meal plan after consulting a vet can help you identify nutritional deficiencies and get rid of them.
Making homemade dog food is simple and easy. Some recipes involve cooking that is straightforward, and some have you mix raw ingredients and serve them to your dog. The benefit of cooked foods over raw ones is that they can be stored for several days after being prepared.
Are Grains Bad For Your Dog?
The answer to this question isn’t a simple yes or no. Every dog has its unique nutritional requirements. This means that you cannot come up with a “one fits all” meal plan. A dog’s health conditions, allergies, etc. play a role in determining its nutritional requirements and the kind of ingredients that it can stomach. Some dogs tend to be allergic to grains, which can make flour, corn, and other types of grains harmful to their stomach. Dogs that don’t have any allergic reactions to grains can gobble them up without any trouble. This is why grains are such a disputed food item.
Now, one cannot simply experiment with their dog to check whether they can eat grains or not. The reactions to grain allergies can range from mild to severe. One can avoid putting grains in their dog’s food entirely. However, this will also mean having to sacrifice a variety of nutrients and vitamins. The best way to check whether your dog can have grains or not is to take them to a vet. Have them thoroughly analyzed, perhaps even buy a DNA test kit and get in-depth genetic information on your dog.
We recommend that you always consult your vet before trying to make homemade food for your dog. Homemade food is a superb choice over processed food. However, you need to carefully plan your dog’s meals to make sure that their nutritional requirements are being met and you don’t accidentally feed them something harmful.
Can Your Dog Lead a Healthy Life on a Grain Free Diet?
What if your dog does have an intolerance for grains? What do you do? Will your dog have to live its life with an incomplete diet? Not at all. While grains are nourishing, they don’t contain any nutrients that cannot be found in other ingredients. You can find a range of processed grain free foods in the market that fulfill a dog’s nutritional requirements as well.
Preparing a grain free meal for your dog is easy. You have a ton of alternative ingredients to choose from that carry the same kinds of nutrients in them. Grains are a major source of:
- 1B vitamins
- 2Minerals (magnesium, iron, selenium)
You can find the same types of nutrients in:
- 1Leafy greens
- 2Starchy vegetables
A typical homemade grain free recipe will have you mix up these ingredients in a protein source such as red/white meats. Many recipes beautifully combine all of these ingredients to produce wholesome and delicious meals for your dog. You can check out some recipes that we’ve covered in a previous article. You can also eliminate nutritional deficiencies by adding natural or synthetic supplements to your dog’s food. Natural supplements such as coconut oil, eggshell, bone meal, and cod liver oil can add a burst of vitamins and nutrients to your dog’s food. Grain free recipes make up for the lack of grain nutrients by introducing more fruits and vegetables. You’ll notice in the recipes mentioned below that fruits are present in every meal.
If you plan on sticking to home cooked meals for your dog, then you should have at least a dozen recipes on hand. This ensures that your dog’s meals don’t become repetitive in taste and nutrition. A perfect doggie diet must be balanced, meaning that it should provide their body with all the required nutrients in a week or two.
Now let’s take a look at some great grain free recipes for your dog.
Homemade Grain Free Dog Food Recipes
Slow Cooked Chicken And Veggies
An easy to prepare meal that needs a slow cooker for preparation. The meal offers a plethora of nutrients and vitamins by including fruits and veggies. The preparation time for this meal is around 8 hours when left on low heat.
- 1Dice your chicken/turkey into smaller, more manageable portions.
- 2Chop your apple, carrots, and potato into cubes.
- 3Add the chopped veggies and fruits, and beans along with the diced meat into a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover all the contents of the slow cooker and leave it on low heat.
- 4Open the slow cooker 30 minutes before completion time and add the frozen peas and olive oil as well. Stir the contents and let it cook.
- 5Bring the meal to room temperature before serving or storing.
Stir-Fried Organ Meat And Greens
A fresh mix of proteins, fiber, and loads of other nutrients. This dish is a flavor bomb that any dog is bound to become fond of.
- 1Add coconut oil to a frying pan and leave it on medium heat.
- 2Stir fry your organ meat in the coconut oil until it is well-done (5 to 6 minutes).
- 3Take out the cooked organ meat and either chop it up with your hands or with a food processor.
- 4Add minced chicken to the frying pan and fully cook it (8 to 10 minutes).
- 5Take all of your fruits and vegetables and roughly chop them by hand or with a food processor.
- 6Add chopped organ meat into the cooked chicken mince and gradually add fruits and veggies mix as you stir fry the mix on medium heat. Cook the whole mixture for around 5 to 7 minutes and then let it cool before serving or storing.
Meatloaf is a very filling and hearty meal that is rich in protein. It’s also very easy to make. Both of these qualities make it a great meal to prepare for your dog. This dog food recipe is packed with loads of ingredients to ensure that it gives your dog all the necessary ingredients.
- 1Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- 2Chop or grind the organ meat.
- 3Roughly chop your veggies into more manageable portions.
- 4Take all of your ingredients and mix them.
- 5Take the meatloaf mix and place it in a baking tray or pan and place it in the oven. Let it cook for an hour.
- 6Bring the cooked meatloaf to room temperature before serving or storing.
Grains are rich in nutrients. However, they don’t suit every dog’s digestive system. The good thing about grains is that they can be easily substituted for some other ingredients. This ensures that your dog gets to eat nourishing food without having to deal with any unpleasant allergic reactions.