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How to Make Safe Homemade Dog Food in 5 Steps

You may wonder why you should consider homemade dog food. After all, you can run to the store, even your local Walmart, and buy pre-made food to feed your dog. Isn’t that easier?

The truth is many dog foods have additives and preservatives in them just like processed human food. Many research studies have shown processed food being linked to obesity, diabetes and other health issues. 

If you want to know what’s going into your dog’s body, you may consider making low carb dog food at home. But if you're going to do this, it's important to know how to make homemade dog food the right way.

Ensuring a Safe Home Cooked Diet

Making your dog's food is not as simple as whipping up a home-cooked meal for humans and adding whatever you want. Dogs need an AAFCO complete and balanced diet to ensure they don't become deficient in important vitamins and nutrients.

As much as 95% of most homemade dog foods are deficient in at least one nutrient. This will likely lead to health issues over time.

It’s also important to keep the recipe under 30% net carbs to prevent insulin-related issues such as diabetes and kidney disease. To ensure your dog gets the right nutrients in the right balance, consider using a food mix that includes the proper amounts of vitamins and nutrients your dog needs.

Keep reading to learn our easier method of making homemade dog food in just 5 steps.

Step-by-Step Guide to Make Homemade Dog Food

Step 1: Choose a Nutritionally Complete Recipe

It’s important that you start with a nutritionally complete recipe. While processed commercial food has already done this step for you, with homemade food you'll need to do this yourself.

It's hard to know what recipes to trust online, but as a rule of thumb: if the recipe doesn't provide a Guaranteed Analysis, we recommend choosing one that does.

Almost all homemade dog food recipes require vitamin supplementation. It's simply difficult to fit all the nutrients your dog needs into a small amount of food. Your dog will also benefit from including fiber and antioxidants in their diet, so that's why we recommend a mix with whole food ingredients over a simple vitamin supplement

Fortunately, there's a dog food mix available to make this easy.

Step 2: Order a DIY Nutrient Mix

Like we said earlier, it’s important that you use a quality nutrient mix for your dog’s food. It’s not enough to feed our dogs meat or even meat and vegetables.

We can sometimes think this is healthy because we aren’t giving our dog additives or preservatives. Of course fresh whole foods are better than ultraprocessed foods, but unbalanced diets will be missing important nutrients that keep our dogs healthy.

Perfect Dog Food Mix is the best choice. It ensures your dog has a low carb diet rich in the nutrients that will help them live a long, healthy life.

Step 3: Buy Ground Meat at a Local Market

Unless your pet has gastrointestinal issues or allergies that prevent him/her from eating the same protein every day, you’ll want to stock up in bulk. Try buying in 5 to 10 pound quantities at stores like Costco or Sam’s Club for the best savings.

If you're using a nutrient mix, you’ll find dog food recipes for almost any type of protein including ground beef, turkey, chicken, cod and pork. The type of meat you choose is completely up to you and your dog's taste and cost preferences.

Step 4: Cook According to Instructions

It’s a lot less time consuming than most people think to cook dog food. You don’t have to slave over the stove like you do for most meals for humans.

You simply mix the ingredients and roast the meat according to your recipe’s instructions. Let the food cool for at least 30 minutes before storing or serving for best results.

It’s best to cook in batches too—we recommend making 5 to 10 pounds of food at a time to help save time. You can limit your dog food cooking to 1 or 2 days per month this way to easily fit it in your schedule.

Step 5: Store your Dog’s Food in 3-Day Containers

It’s best to store your dog’s homemade food in 3-day portions.

When you make a batch of food, place one 3-day portion in the refrigerator for immediate feeding, and freeze the remaining 3-day portions for future use.

We recommend keeping the frozen food in 3-day portions too. You can defrost smaller batches more easily, and it keeps the frozen portions fresh longer.

What to Watch Out for When Cooking for Your Dog

Before you cook for your dog, keep these ‘red flags’ in mind:

  • Don’t cook without using a dog food mix to ensure your dog gets the right nutrients
  • Rotate between a few proteins, but use one mix to prevent an upset stomach
  • Know which foods/ingredients to avoid or follow recipes to ensure you don’t feed your dog something he/she shouldn’t have
  • Understand and follow instructions to properly cook your dog’s food
  • Make sure you introduce any new food slowly to let your dog’s digestive system adjust
Try Perfect Dog Food Mix 👉

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to make homemade dog food can be a blessing for your dog. You’ll know what’s going into your dog’s body and how to keep him/her healthy. But, if you don’t do it right, you could cause more harm than good.

Never feed your dog homemade dog food without following a recipe and using the right dog food mix. You want to ensure your dog gets the right nutrients and doesn’t get any harmful additives or fillers.

It’s a delicate balance to cook for your dog. If you do it right, though, it can be the best way to give your dog the healthiest diet and of course, plenty of love from your hot home-cooked food.

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