Having another living creature in your home that relies on you for its physical and emotional wellbeing is a major commitment. A parent would probably tell you that caring for a baby is a lot more difficult than caring for a dog, but that’s often because they’ve never had to deal with a difficult dog! Dogs can be just as demanding as infants can, and dogs never grow out of their dependency phase. You’ll be attending to their every need for their whole life – but that’s all part of the fun!
While most people rely on store-bought dog food to provide for their pet canine, there’s been an increasing trend in recent years to cook and prepare meals for your dog at home. We’ve even seen mainstream media outlets extol the virtues of home-cooking for dogs, and you may even have seen advice on how to go about it elsewhere on this website. We’re not here to tell you that it’s a bad idea. There are ways to provide everything your dog needs with home-cooked meals, and if that’s what you want to do, we won’t even try to talk you out of it. What we would like to make you aware of, though, is that it’s probably a lot harder than you imagine it is.
Dogs, like humans, can have tastes and nutritional needs that vary wildly. The difference is that dogs can’t verbally communicate their preferences and can’t warn you about their allergies. Most dog owners can think of a time where they’ve tried to feed something to their dog only to have it regurgitated all over the carpet a few hours or minutes later. It always reminds us of the online slots game, “The Dog House.” Just as you never quite know what’s going to happen next when you put money in that online slots game, you never quite know what your dog will do next when you’ve tried a new menu on it either! People are generally quite happy when they get something back out of a website such as Dove Casino, though. We can’t say the same thing about getting an ‘unexpected deposit’ from a dog.
Dogs Do Require Carbohydrates
It’s true to say that dogs are capable of metabolizing large amounts of glucose from fat and protein. That doesn’t make it true that dogs don’t require any carbohydrates at all. In fact, carbohydrates play a vital role in ensuring that your dog gets the full range of nutrition that its body requires, and you’ll be doing your pet no favors by cutting them out of its meals entirely. Your dog might not be at risk of getting scurvy, but it still needs carbohydrates for energy just like you do! There’s also some evidence that suggests that carbohydrates assist with the gastrointestinal functions of dogs, and we wouldn’t want to take the risk of second-guessing the science here. Starchy vegetables will give them all the carbs they require, but if your dog isn’t interested in vegetables, you could use brown rice instead.
Multivitamins Don’t Cover All Sins
Even people who have experience cooking meals for dogs accept that they can never be sure that they’ve got the vitamin balance of their meals right, so they use multivitamin pills or supplements to even things up. That won’t necessarily do everything you might hope it does. The evidence that multivitamins do great things for human beings is scant – for dogs, it’s almost non-existent. Most supplements of this kind that are made for dogs are created on the assumption that they’ll be paired with regular dog food, so they don’t contain enough of the missing elements of home-cooked foods to make up for the shortfall. You can only use vitamin supplements once you understand which vitamins your dog might be missing out on – and even some vets struggle to identify that.
Not All Vegetables Are Good
We’re aware that some vegetarian pet owners enforce a similarly vegetarian diet on their pets. With cats, that’s downright cruel. Cats have to eat meat, and they’ll get ill without it. With dogs there’s some leeway, but it depends on the vegetables being used. Peppers, white potatoes, and tomatoes have all been shown to aggravate the digestive systems of dogs, sometimes leading to inflammation. Leafy greens are known to contribute to bladder stones. Anything in the nightshade family might limit your dog’s absorption of minerals and vitamins – which makes the supplements you’re using as good as useless. For best results, stick to carrots and green beans. They’ll give your pet plenty of the things they need and haven’t been shown to have any negative side effects.
Dogs Don’t Love Yogurt
One of the first things you’ll (hopefully) have read when you’ve been researching the possibility of cooking for your dog is that they require huge amounts of calcium. For reasons that aren’t clear to us, a lot of people appear to believe that they can solve this problem by smearing their homemade dog food in yogurt. There is calcium in yogurt – so that’s theoretically a tick – but you’d need to serve your dog a minimum of three cups of yogurt every single day to provide them with the level of calcium they need. Calcium deficiencies are bad for bones and teeth – and you know how proud your dog is of its teeth! The best source of calcium for a dog is raw bones, but baked eggshells ground into powder can do the job as well. To make matters worse, dogs don’t tend to enjoy yogurt. If they have a strong objection to it, they might turn their nose up at your cooking altogether – and there’s nothing worse than being snubbed by a dog!
Store-bought dog food has been carefully formulated to provide your dog with everything it needs as part of its diet. Scientists have done the calculation work so you don’t have to, and those calculations are reflected in the composition of the food. The safest way to feed your dog is to buy food from the store. It’s possible to cook for your dog at home if you really want to – but as you can tell from everything we’ve outlined above, it’s a lot of work!