Homemade Dog Food
I have two large dogs, a 2 year old boxer and an almost 6 year old pitbull who is pushing 75 pounds of solid muscle. I don't say this to intimidate, I'm saying that because, I would like to start making my dog's food at home verses feeding them pedigree, like we've been. I have only google'd a little bit at the moment but I found this site:
Would anyone recommend those recipes? They don't seem to have much nutrients, more of a filler it seems? Does anyone on here prepare their dogs food at home from scratch?
Also, if you do, how much would you feed a large dog? I know dry kibble is around 2 cups per day for one dog up to 75 pounds. Atleast that's what I was informed. So if you do make from scratch, how much do you feed? What recipe do you use?
i have not made dog food, but looking at the ingredients of that recipe, I don't think it would be sufficient.
Even though dogs are omnivores, they need complete protein. Typically one has to combine a legume and a grain if it's from plant sources. The first recipe has some soy milk or soy milk powder, but it would be easier to make it more protein-dense by using textured vegetable protein instead; soy protein isolate is used in many dog foods, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The amount of protein in 1/4 cup of soymilk is only going to be about 2 grams, whereas most of the nutrients in TVP are protein.
Secondly the recipe does not contain quite enough fat, about 17g versus 46g of carbohydrate from just the oat flakes (there's more carbs with the other ingredients, but I didn't calculate it). Dog food typically contains 15-25% fat on a dry matter basis and 20-25% protein on a dry matter basis; so if you have 100g of nutrients, About 20g should be fat and 22.5g should be (complete) protein. The remainder (57.5g) is carbohydrate. So if you calculate what a recipe has, you can adjust it accordingly - add more dense protein sources (certain grains, soy) if you need more protein, add more oils for more fat, and so on.
Additionally, minerals such as calcium and phosphorus need to be balanced... it can also be calculated, and if there is a mismatch, you can add a measured amount of a mineral supplement depending on what's needed. It's harder to adjust for this if you want to use all whole foods than added supplements, but it's still possible.
Anyway, it also all depends on your dogs. If your dogs are younger and more active, there should be more fat and protein, and if they're older dogs, there can be less. Also, many commercial dog foods have glucosamine & chondroitin added to their foods for older dogs, as well as other supplements such as l-carnitine.
If you want to be absolutely sure about a home-made diet, you can consult a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist; home-cooked diets are becoming more popular, so the request to formulate a diet probably isn't all that unusual.
WOW that seems complicated. Think i'll stick to store bought for now.
Although I once had a dog, personally I've never thought of this issue before. Looking at the ingredients, I don't think your pet will be able to get all the nutritional needs it require. Have you consulted opinions from experts especially veterinarian? I'm sure they will be able to guide you on this.
This is really useful information.
Dr Pitcairn has some good info about dogs nutritional needs and some vegetarian recipes.