August 17, 2017

Making your own homemade dog food sounds like a perfect idea. With veggies steaming and meat sizzling on the stove, your dog sits beside you on your gently scuffed wooden floor patiently waiting for his dinner. This time is a beautiful moment of pet parent and pup bonding and creates life-long and Instagram-worthy memories and all the while saves you money. Yet, is it as easy as it sounds? I feel that for every article I read promoting homemade dog food, I read another one that cautions against it. Yes, there are pros and yes, there are cons but which one outweighs the other? With so many choices available to us as pet parents, how do we know we are making the right one? Throughout my research, I have found that the answer to this choice is different for every dog and every family. However, there are several important factors that every pet parent must keep in mind when making this decision.  

 

dog in house

 

Time 

Homemade dog food is time intensive. While cooking an extra pot of food on the stove doesn't seem like too much work, understanding exactly what nutrition your dog needs is. Here are some parts of this decision that will demand large swatches of your time.

  • Researching your pet's individual dietary needs
  • Meeting with your veterinarian to ask for their help in creating a meal plan
  • Finding the correct ingredients in the right quantities whether in stores or online routinely
Cooking or preparing your dog's food whether in large batches or each day. This time can compound over months and years. 




    Money

    It is said that time is money. This is true. Do you have will you make enough time to save you money? Or do you have enough money to save you time? Consider which one of these your family values more before making the switch to self-made dog food. The Bark claims you can feed a medium sized dog for around $3 per day with homemade food while normal premium dog food costs around $5.  However, this is not always the case. Homemade dog food prices often vary dramatically depending on the quality of ingredients, your location, shipping costs, etc. It is possible that while it could be healthier to make your own homemade dog food, it doesn't guarantee it will be cheaper.

    If your budget is slightly larger and depending on your location, there is always an option to have homemade dog food delivered to your home. With more and more dog food delivery companies are sprouting up every day it seems like a trend that is here to stay.  Here are some companies making a name for themselves in this market. The Farmer's Dog offers an extremely detailed menu catered specifically to your dogs nutritional needs. Rudy Green's Doggy Cuisine has several pre-prepared different choices of food and has a rewards program for long-standing customers. Dr Janice Elenbaas, creator of Lucky Dog Cuisine, claims that her product was born of a passion for education and health. If your budget and schedule require, having homemade dog food might be the best way for your family.

     

    dog outside, dog fitness

     

    Safety

    The main concerns about homemade dog food that are on everyone's mind are Is it healthier for my dog? and Is it safe?

    On the question of if it is healthier, it depends. When created correctly, homemade dog food is more healthy than premium dog food. However, a lot of time and energy must go into this food to make sure it meets your dog's needs. Dr. Cindy Lizotte states that homemade dog food has the possibility to be healthier but can be tricky to master. These are the baseline necessities for successfully providing your dog with the nutrition he or she needs. 

    • Diverse variety of food
    • Usually supplemented with vitamins
    • Quality, preferred organic, ingredients
    • Catered to your pup's individual needs based on vet recommendation

    The best way to create a healthy diet of homemade food for your dog is by working together with your trusted veterinarian. If the diet is not properly balanced it does have the possibility to do serious short and long-term damage to your dog's health.  Along those lines, with the popularity of raw food diets on the rise, safety must also be considered with the handling and eating of raw foods. VetMed points out some common and potentially dangerous pitfalls concerning raw diets. All in all, with professional consultation that includes time, money or both, homemade dog food can be a healthier and safer alternative to processed dog food. 

    With these factors in mind, feel confident in making the decision that is best for your family. 

     

     

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