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Tips On Cooking For Your Dog
November 1, 2022

Today, November 1st is Cook For Your Pet Day! It’s probably safe to say that your canine companion would be more than happy to help you celebrate. Man’s Best Friend is very enthusiastic about dinner. (He’s also pretty fond of breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks.) You may have noticed that quite a few people are experimenting with making their own dog food these days. But is this actually a good idea? A Bellaire, TX veterinarian delves into the topic below.


There are some key benefits to cooking for your canine buddy. For one thing, you’ll know exactly what your pooch is eating. You’ll be able to control the quality of the ingredients, and eliminate unhealthy fillers, such as corn syrup. You can also customize Fido’s meals to suit his taste and/or medical needs. You may even find it saves you some money!


The majority of your furry pal’s menu should be based on animal-sourced proteins, such as chicken, turkey, duck, steak, fish, or hamburger. (Note: Always remove the skin, bones, and fat.) You’ll also need to include safe fruits and veggies, such as carrots, spinach, peas, pureed squash or pumpkin, and/or blueberries. Your vet may also recommend adding healthy grains, such as rice or quinoa. Just don’t include anything that isn’t safe for Fido. The list of foods to avoid includes garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; chocolate; xylitol; alcohol; avocado; meat on the bone; and pitted fruits. Ask your vet for more information on safe and unsafe foods.


Choosing the right ingredients is very important, but it isn’t the only thing to consider. You’ll also need to get the percentages of protein, fat, fiber, and other elements correct. This is the only way to ensure that you’re providing your pooch with the proper nutrition for his age, size, breed, and health. Otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good. Keep in mind that dog food recipes are not one-size-fits-all. A senior Great Dane will have very different needs than a Chihuahua puppy! Sorting through various recipes to figure out which one is best for your furry friend can be tricky. Before trying a recipe out on Fido, have your vet take a look at it.

Our Advice on Tips On Cooking For Your Dog in 2024

What are the basic ingredients in homemade dog food?

Homemade dog food typically comprises animal-sourced proteins like chicken, turkey, or fish, with skin, bones, and fat removed. Safe fruits and veggies such as carrots, spinach, and blueberries are included. Healthy grains like rice or quinoa may also be added. It’s crucial to avoid harmful ingredients like garlic, onions, grapes, chocolate, and alcohol. The right proportions of protein, fat, and fiber are essential for proper nutrition, varying based on the dog’s age, size, and health. Consulting a vet ensures recipes meet individual dietary needs, preventing potential harm. While you focus on your dog’s diet, also stay informed about local health alerts such as ‘The Mysterious Canine Respiratory Disease: Dog Owners Should Know‘ to keep your pet safe.

How much time does homemade dog food preparation typically require?

Homemade dog food preparation usually takes varying amounts of time depending on the recipe complexity and batch size. Simple recipes with minimal ingredients may only require around 30 minutes of preparation time. However, more intricate recipes that involve cooking multiple components or require precise measurements can take up to 2 hours or more. It’s essential to allocate enough time for preparation, cooking, and cooling to ensure the food is safely prepared and ready for consumption by your canine companion.

How important are proportions in homemade dog food?

Proportions play a crucial role in homemade dog food as they determine the balance of essential nutrients needed for your dog’s health. Getting the right percentages of protein, fat, fiber, and other elements is vital to ensure proper nutrition tailored to your dog’s age, size, breed, and health. Incorrect proportions can lead to nutritional deficiencies or excesses, potentially causing health issues. Therefore, it’s essential to follow balanced recipes or consult with a veterinarian to ensure homemade meals meet your dog’s dietary requirements and promote overall well-being. To ensure your homemade dog food is nutritionally balanced and safe, consider our ‘Veterinary Diagnostics’ services for a thorough assessment of your dog’s health and dietary needs.

How should homemade dog food be stored, and for how long does it stay fresh?

Homemade dog food should be stored properly to maintain its freshness and nutritional value. It’s best to refrigerate homemade dog food in airtight containers to prevent bacterial growth and spoilage. Generally, homemade dog food can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. For longer storage, portions can be frozen in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 2-3 months. Thaw frozen portions overnight in the refrigerator before serving, ensuring that they are thoroughly reheated before feeding to your dog to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

What’s the best way to gradually introduce homemade dog food and avoid digestive upset?

To gradually introduce homemade dog food and avoid digestive upset, start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your dog’s current diet. Slowly increase the proportion of homemade food over 7-10 days while decreasing the old food. Monitor your dog for any signs of digestive discomfort, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite during the transition. If any issues arise, slow down the transition process or consult with your veterinarian for guidance on adjusting the diet to better suit your dog’s digestive needs.

Do you have questions about your dog’s diet or care? Contact us, your Bellaire, TX animal clinic, today!