There are so many reasons why dog owners decide to attempt cooking meals for their pups at home rather than purchasing dog food from a store. Sometimes it can be for medical reasons like allergies, while for some they prefer the idea of feeding their dog fresh cooked, whole foods.
There is an abundance of information for home-cooked recipes online, but the tricky part is finding the right information that is the best for the long term health of your dog. While most dogs can eat many of the foods we humans eat, their ability to digest the various nutrients is different from that of humans. Here are three big reasons why making your dog’s food at home may not be the best choice.
Misinformation leads to many inaccurate recipes posted that are not the best for your dog’s health. First and foremost, you need to find the most reliable sources for recipes, and more importantly, these recipes NEED to be complete and balanced for the needs of domestic dogs. Not all of the human-grade food will have all of the nutrients required for domestic dogs.
Ensure that the sources you read are written by a reputable animal nutritionist, a veterinarian nutritionist or veterinarian with extra training in nutrition. These experts have the training to understand which nutrients dogs require, but also what ingredients provide these nutrients, in the right amounts. They are also familiar with many of the different types of dog foods available out there and all of the pros and cons of them.
There are many websites that claim to have the best home-cooked recipes for dogs and may look easy to prepare, giving you the impression that this is the best thing you can do for your dog. Although there are many good intentions behind these recipes, there is not necessarily the adequate scientific backing or nutrition science fundamentals in these recipes.
This is not always easy information to find and there is also conflicting information out there. Portion size depends on your dog’s breed, sex, neuter status, actviity level, age, and any underlying conditions they may have. These needs also change over your dog’s lifetime and need to be adjusted as they age. Some nutritionists recommend online nutrient balancers like: BalanceIT, but they should be used in collaboration with your veterinary or animal nutritionist.
There is a learning curve for understanding macro and micronutrient balance. It takes time, dedication and the right tools to learn how to balance nutrients correctly. Often you will need to use a special formulation software to get the nutrients just right.
Once pet parents learn the proper recipes and buy all of the appropriate ingredients, then comes time to prepare the food, cook it, portion it out, and store it properly. Many dedicated dog owners have done this with the best of intentions, only to find it can be incredibly time consuming, especially if you are in a busy household where you do a lot of family cooking already.
There is also the need for more storage room for the extra ingredients and cooked meals. Additionally, it can end up being more costly than anticipated. If you can add up all of the expenses, food, storage containers, and food wastage, you may find it more practical to purchase fresh-cooked food for your dog.
There are many fresh cooked foods available now, stemming from these challenges that many dog owners have encountered. Kabo offers locally sourced, human-grade fresh-cooked recipes for dogs. These meals come portioned to your dog’s specific needs and are delivered right to your door. Having an animal nutritionist and veterinarian on the team ensures that Kabo recipes not only meet the nutritional requirements for the dog's daily needs but also helps take all that guess work out for owners, while still giving their dog fresh wholesome food.
If you are still thinking about cooking for your dog despite these challenges, jot down your reasons, your plan and the recipes you have looked at. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure this is the right plan for your dog’s health to see if it is realistic for you to do given your current lifestyle and daily routines.