Homemade Dog Food: FAQ

Why homemade dog food? While both commercial dog food and homemade meals can be good for your dog’s nutrition, there are a lot of additional benefits to making your own. Homemade dog food allows you to control what goes into your dog’s body. This can bring you peace of mind knowing that your dog is getting high-quality food and a healthy meal. 

A homemade diet can also be customized to your dog’s specific needs. Making your own dog food is a great option if your dog has food intolerances or certain health conditions that may affect its diet or appetite. Homemade dog food is also often more appealing to dogs.  

Homemade dog food must be made correctly to provide your dog with nutritionally balanced benefits. For homemade dog food tips from a veterinary nutritionist, check out our Homemade Dog Food Guide

Are there any disadvantages of homemade food for dogs?

Feeding your dogs homemade food provides you the freedom to custom-tailor a diet specifically for your pet’s needs. However, the diet must meet all nutrient requirements and nutritional goals, or it may not be safe and/or effective. Consult homemade dog food recipes created by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or better yet, have your veterinary nutritionist formulate a diet specifically for your dog. Otherwise, you may be creating nutritional deficiencies in your dog that could cause unnecessary medical problems down the line. 

 

Other disadvantages include: 

  • Homemade dog food diets sometimes more expensive 

  • Cooking for your dog can be time-consuming 

  • Refrigerator storage space for both raw ingredients and prepared meals may be limited 

  • Recipes tend to shift over time due to changes that may seem small, which could also lead to a nutritional deficiency 

 

By working with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or following veterinary formulated dog food recipes, you can ensure you’re investing your time, money and energy into a balanced and effective diet.

Where can I find vet-approved homemade dog food recipes?  

The best way to make sure your homemade dog food diet will meet your dog’s nutritional needs is to consult with an experienced veterinary nutritionist. We have an example of a balanced dog food recipe on our site to give you a launching point, but every dog is different. 

In general, it’s important to ensure that your recipe includes lower-fat meats and carbohydrates to minimize the possibility of upsetting your dog’s stomach. Some ingredients for a healthy diet include boneless/skinless chicken, ground turkey, white or brown rice, fruits such as apples and melons, and vegetables such as carrots and green beans. 

There are also differences in which nutrients are needed for puppies and adults, so it’s important to make sure you’ve consulted with a veterinary nutritionist if you have a puppy the requires a homemade diet.

Why supplements for dogs? 

Some supplements for dogs provide essential nutrients the body needs in order to function appropriately. Other supplements provide further functional ingredients which can also help them: 

  • Maintain a healthy coat and skin 

  • Aid in digestion 

  • Promote healthy joints and bones 

  • Support specific organs during disease 

  • Provide anti-oxidants 

For older dogs, supplements can help with age-related challenges like cognitive functioning, maintaining healthy joints and reducing inflammation.

 

However, just like when it comes to their diets, there is no universal standard for supplements for dogs. Supplements are especially crucial for those on homemade dog food diets, as nutrient deficiency is the biggest danger of making your own dog food. It’s important that you talk to your vet about your dog’s diet to make sure your furry companion is getting the essential nutrients he needs for good long-term health.

What supplements are good for dogs?  

While there is no universal answer to this question, there are a few supplements that tend to show the most benefit in dogs. These include: 

  • Multivitamins: Multivitamins are important for dogs that are not eating commercially formulated dog food that has the extra necessary vitamins built in. Dogs need vitamins and minerals to fill nutritional gaps that can’t be met through food ingredients alone. 

  • Hip and joint supplements: Hip and joint supplements for dogs help fight inflammation in the joints. 

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids: Omega-3 fats help your dog with cell membrane fluidity and decrease inflammation. 

  • Vitamins A & E: Vitamin A helps your dog develop strong vision and maintain eye health while also improving immune system and reproductive functioning. Vitamin E helps fend off radical damage while keeping your dog’s immune system, muscles, and skin cells  healthy. 

  • Calcium: Calcium is crucial for bone growth, but it can also cause skeletal problems – especially in large dog puppies – by causing increased risk for skeletal deformities if too much is fed. Be sure to consult your vet for the right balance of calcium for your dog. 

 

Our Canine Supplement for Homemade Diets offers an optimal balance of vitamins and minerals your dog needs to achieve a complete and balanced diet. Click here to view nutritional information.  

How is your dog supplement different from others?  

Unlike many other dog supplements, our product was developed by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to support common nutritional gaps that exist in homemade dog food formulations. Before Nourish, there was no canine chewable supplement compatible with homemade diet formulations for her to recommend to her patients, so she created her own to fill that need. Nourish is also a woman-owned business.   

 

What is your background? 

Dr. Renee Streeter holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University, after which she completed a clinical nutrition residency at Cornell. She is a board-certified veterinary nutritionist with and a Diplomat the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Nutrition). She started her own animal nutrition consulting firm, R.M. Streeter Animal Nutrition Consulting, in January of 2015 and now also works as the Principal Nutrition Consultant with BSM Partners. She focuses on the science of nutrition to provide advice to pet owners and pet food, treat and supplement manufacturers. She also helps with animal nutrition formulation and guidelines for the industry.  

Why are you doing this? 

Nourish was created by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. As she was creating homemade diet formulations for her patients, she found her clients often asking about canine chewable supplements that would be compatible with a homemade diet. After hearing this enough times, she decided it was time to create something to fill this gap in the industry and help balance homemade diets.  

How do I get in contact with you?  

You can reach Dr. Streeter by filling out our online contact form or by emailing RStreeter@NourishYourPets.com.