Last year, I decided to start making my own dog food. I started my research by picking up a copy of "Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats," which includes nutrition advice and several recipes. Then, I read more on the Internet and talked to my vet. I think the BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diet is probably best, but I don't have the resources to do it at this time. Homemade seems to be the next best thing. I definitely feel better about feeding this than I did about feeding commercial chow.
It's important to vary your dog's diet somewhat, to make sure they're getting everything that they need. Mine also get a daily multivitamin, plain yogurt, and the occasional whole egg. This diet may not be appropriate for all breeds, so you should check it out with your vet.
There have been numerous benefits to feeding my little pack this way. They are shinier, have less "doggy" smell, better breath, smaller stools (because there're more absorbable nutrients and less food filler). They even seem to be a bit more mellow and relaxed.
Making your own dog food is very easy, and it's also pretty cost-effective.
Step 1: Start with clean bowls.
Stainless steel is best. Ceramic is ok too, but these two are way too enthusiastic at mealtime for those.
Step 2: Add a complex carbohydrate source.
In this recipe, I am using brown rice. I vary this step with oats, potatoes, or yams.
Step 3: Add veggies.
Here, I've used carrots and romaine lettuce. Also popular with the doggies are: broccoli, tomatoes, swiss chard, peas, parsley, cauliflower, green beans, etc.
Step 4: Add flax oil and supplements.
Liberally drizzle your dog dinner plate with oil. I like to use flax oil, but you can also use fish oil. I also like to add chlorella powder when feeding fish meals.
Step 5: Add a protein source.
Here, I've used jack mackerel (juice and all). I also like to use salmon, turkey/chicken, and organ meats. Dogs are carnivores; they need quality meat sources!
Step 6: Stir it up!
I like to add the contents of a few powdered beef liver capsules for added taste and nutrition. The big carrot chunks in the bowl on the left are there to slow down one of the dogs who eats too fast (without chewing). It's an idea I had that's based on the "Brake-fast" bowl design, and she likes to crunch down the carrots when she's done.
Step 7: Serve.
And watch your best friend enjoy a healthy, satisfying meal.