Home Made Diet Recipes for Dogs It is my firm belief that a fresh, unprocessed, protein-based diet is the optimum way to feed our domestic dogs. They are a carnivorous species, and as such are generally very well adapted to diets high in protein. The advantages of unprocessed foods come through a slowing of the digestive process, which leads to less metabolic demands. This has been shown to promote weight loss, as well as reduce the tendency to many common diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and cancer.
For a more complete and scientific explanation of the research behind these statements, please ask for my full article on feeding dogs and cats. In the meantime – please consider either replacing or at least supplementing your dog’s current diet with a home-made alternative.
Nutrient Sources MUST include;
Protein (40-80%) Animal proteins (meat) are the preferred source unless allergies preclude them. Includes poultry, fish and red meat. Also eggs, organ meat and dairy products can be included here. Avoid processed meats like ham, sausages, bacon etc. Vegetable sources high in protein include soy products, beans and peas – but try meat in preference.
Fats/Oils Can provide either in the form of meat fat, or with fish or vegetable oil. Fish oil is also beneficial in managing arthritis, skin and heart disease. Flax (sometimes called linseed) and olive oils are good choices for vegetable oils if required.
Carbohydrate and Fibre Source(0-60%) I strongly advise minimal use of grain products and other highly digestible carbohydrate sources such as corn and potatoes, except in highly active dogs. This means minimising the use of rice, pasta, bread and most types of prepared dog food. Fibre is important for most animals and should be incorporated – either a fibre supplement (e.g. Metamucil) or use of fresh vegetables is a good way to provide this. If you have a juicer, the pulp left over from juicing can work nicely. You can drink the juice, and leave the pulp for the dog. Don’t be concerned if your dog doesn’t eat this portion – if they feel they need the nutrients, they will eat it, so keep providing this portion of the diet.
Vitamins and Minerals Dogs have a need for quite high levels of calcium and phosphorus in their diet, and for safety most dog diets should include a vitamin-mineral supplement. A good variety of fresh seasonal vegetables (use lots of colours!) will help provide some of these vitamins and minerals too. Raw bones in the diet can reduce the need for calcium supplementation as well as being very beneficial for a dog’s dental health.
Paleolithic Diet- (daily ration for 23kg dog) A good basic start to home-cooked meals for all dogs, this diet has been recommended for use in many of our cancer patients.
Meat (Cooked or Raw) with some (but not too much) fat 285g
Grains (may use some in working or very active animals) 0g
Mixed Vegetables (Seasonal, Variety, NO potato or Corn) 185g
Fish and/or Olive Oil (less if using fatty meat) 6 tsp
Salt (preferably iodised) 1 tsp
Calcium Carbonate (3 x 600mg tab) or preferably Calcium Citrate (1x600mg tab)
Human Multi-vitamin Tablet 1 tablet
Hypoallergenic Diet - (daily ration for 16kg dog) Indicated for use in some animals with chronic, allergic skin or gastrointestinal disease, and in patients with auto-immune disease.
Rabbit, Fish, Venison, Quail or Goat Meat 340g
Cooked millet, amaranth or organic potato with skin 230g
Mixed Vegetables (Seasonal, Variety, NO potato or Corn) 120g
Olive Oil 4 tsp Calcium Carbonate (2 x 600mg tab) or preferably Calcium Citrate (1/2-1x600mg tab)
Salt (preferably iodised) 1 tsp
Human Multi-vitamin Tablet (look for “hypo-allergenic” one) 1 tablet
To begin – just use a fraction or multiplier of the amount mentioned above based on your dog’s IDEAL weight. For example a 12 kg dog should have ½ the paleolithic, or 2/3 of the hypoallergenic recipe per day. This is the dog’s ENTIRE daily ration – no additional food or treats should be given – or if they are then reduce the ration of food for the day. The volume of food may need to be adjusted to suit your dog’s caloric requirements – up in the case of active dogs, down in the case of dogs that tend to put on weight easily.
For weight loss, begin with 2/3-3/4 of the volume calculated using the above method – and calculate using the dog’s IDEAL weight.
I prefer dogs to be fed at least twice a day – more often if possible. In this case split the daily ration evenly between the multiple feeds.
Like any diet – some individuals may require alterations to the make-up or quantity of this diet to optimise their response. Please keep in contact with your veterinarian about your animal’s progress on these homecooked diets.
Also – think about HOW you feed your dog. The “hunt” can stimulate digestive enzymes, so simulating this using treat balls or paper packets to destroy before they get their food can improve not only digestion but mental stimulation as well.