It has only been in the last hundred years or so that people have believed that dogs can not survive without packaged dog food. Many feel that we should only be feeding our dogs “quality” canned or packaged food, and that it would actually be harmful to give our dogs scraps from our own home-cooked meals. But dogs have lived off of the scraps of humans for thousands of years, and therefore their digestive systems have adapted to that kind of diet.
Many conscientious dog owners are becoming concerned with the dangers of preservatives and additives found in canned and dry “kibble” dog food. Most people would never consider feeding their family canned foods or processed fast foods for every meal, every day of every week of their lives. So why do that to our dogs? Some vets are also beginning to attribute many modern-day pet illnesses to the highly processed diets they receive from packaged dog food. Granted, there are a few pet food companies who do provide good-quality food for your pets, but unfortunately, most manufacturers are content with dishing out poor, substandard meals that contain things you wouldn’t give yourself to eat.
There is no animal on earth that naturally eats a diet of cooked food. That is why so many home-made dog food recipes call for raw food. They are veterinarian-approved and call for human-grade foods. Plus, many dog food recipes are easy to follow and prepare. Dogs, like us, love variety — and that’s why they are thrilled with home-made dog food recipes. Natural, home-made dog food recipes should contain some fat and oil, and should be low in sugar. Whenever possible, substitute the processed sugar in a recipe with a little honey or molasses instead.
In addition to the benefits of feeding your dog a diet that is full of nutrients such as protein, you also get to know exactly what you are feeding your pet. Did you know that the pet food companies can change up to fifteen percent of their pet food recipes without having to change the ingredient labels on their bags? Many times the ingredient panel of a dog food bag has four to five different forms of one type of grain listed. This may sound harmless to you, but it really isn’t. If pet food companies had to list their ingredients as corn or wheat instead of listing them individually as corn grits, whole corn, corn middlings, corn bran, or corn gluten meal, the different forms of corn ingredients added together might be a higher percentage than the meat ingredients. While this is legally allowed, there are many people who contest that the practice is misleading for consumers.
So when you discover that giving your dog a healthy, home-made meal is truly easier for you and better for them, you can start experimenting with dog food recipes you’d like to try to make. After all, if you wouldn’t give processed foods like dog food to your children, why are you forcing your dog to on live them?