According to clinical nutritionist Joseph J. Wakshlag with the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University, pets not fed with the right balance of nutrients -- proteins, minerals, fats, could experience several health disorders and complications including anemia, loss of teeth and broken bone.
Over the years, the rate of dog food recall has become alarming. According to a report from FDA, more than 11 types of pet food has been recalled in 2016 only.
This is one of the reasons a growing number of dog owners are looking into homemade dog food. However, homemade dog food is way more than dropping some meat and cookies into your pet's bowl and calling it a day.
Lack of detailed attention into the technicalities of homemade dog food often results in nutrients deficient dogs with diet related health issues. As a result, there are several factors that you need to bear in mind before you go the route of homemade food for your lovely pet.
Here is the good news, there are lots of resources available online about the preparation of a balanced nutritious meal for your dogs. There are even sites that provide specific homemade dog food recipes of different kinds.
I have put together four factors that could guide you in making a decision that will be beneficial for your dog and favorable to you as well in the long run.
1. You could feed your dog for less.
A cost analysis of dog food published on "The Bark", a magazine of modern dog culture, put the cost of a 15-pound sack of high-end dry dog food at about $42, and a 5.5 Oz. of high end wet food at about $2.
This means a medium sized dog will take two cans of wet mixed with two cups of dry food at about $5 a day. This calculation does not include the bones and other special treats you might want you pet to enjoy.
On the other hand, the same article reported that a homemade alternatives of similar quality only cost about $2.25 per day including the cost of vitamins/Minerals supplements as well a little calcium.
What this type of analysis revealed is that homemade dog food save you more money than feeding your dog with high commercial food.
2. Making Your Own Dog Food Could be Time Consuming
Although homemade dog food might be cheaper, it definitely costs more time. Personally, I prefer to make Beverly's food in advance. I usually prepare food that will last him for about two weeks.
This means I have to dedicate at least three hours every two weeks for the preparation. This time estimate does not include the time I spend shopping for ingredients. Thus, if you are limited in time and cannot commit to full-time dog homemade feeding, you could try other options.
Another issue you want to put in mind is that making your own customized dog food might require investing in suitable equipment. For example, without a meat grinder, expect to spend more time to make a nice dog food.
3. Sourcing For Necessary Ingredients Could be Stressful
While there are ingredients you could easily access at your local grocery store, some special ingredients for a balanced dog food might not be within reach. Although I found liver and beef heart at a local specialty meat store for Beverly food, I had to order the bone meal.
I was lucky to get flax seed, hempseed oil and liquid vitamin E at the local food store. Even when some of these special ingredients are available at a local store, they were a bit expensive.
Thus, in making your homemade dog food, sourcing for ingredients could be a challenge.
Many abandon their quest of homemade dog food because of the need to go to different stores before they can get the complete ingredients needed.
4. A deep Sense of Satisfaction Will Definitely Follow
Many people have different motivation for making their own dog food. The way many people link their motivation for organic food to the claim that modern agriculture ruins foods flavor, is the same way many pet owners think homemade dog food tastes better.
However, for me I just enjoy the process of making my dog food. As a matter of fact, one of the highlights of my day is watching my dog, Beverly, eat.
Watching Beverly gulp down my investment both in time, energy and money brings down a deep sense of satisfaction. Knowing my effort will pay off in the long run also serves as a motivation.
Watching Beverly eat the healthiest meal she could ever come across that will save me heartbreaking visit to the vets in the long run is enough satisfaction.
While homemade dog food is best for your pet, it might not be right for everyone. While some dogs might detest the texture and flavor of some food, the time implication and stress in terms of sourcing for the needed ingredients could be impractical for a lot of people.
One thing however is sure, even if fresh food cost more at the onset, it will definitely save money in the long run.