A homemade diet is a wonderful way to make sure your dog is getting the fresh, quality foods and optimal nutrition that it deserves but it can be a little confusing to figure out exactly how much home-made dog food you should be feeding your pup. What is the protocol when it comes to a homemade dog food diet? Should you fill up their bowl the same way you would with dry kibble or distribute it more sparingly like you would with wet food? Let’s look at the general guidelines for how much homemade food you should be giving to your dog.
Why feed my dog a homemade diet?
There is a multitude of reasons why you may want to feed your dog a homemade food diet. The fact that you can have full control over the quality of your dog’s food is a huge draw plus you can tailor the ingredients to your pup’s needs. A homemade dog food diet may be appealing to dog owners whose pups have food allergies, food sensitivities, and gastrointestinal issues. After all, if your pup has a food sensitivity to an ingredient like chicken that seems to be in just about everything, it may be hard to find a high-quality commercial dog food that’s right for them. You might be more comfortable knowing that you’re feeding the pup food that you yourself would eat and you can choose to eliminate unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients such as grains, corn, wheat, rice, and soy. Another draw to homemade food is you may notice your pup’s stools getting smaller, firmer, and less smelly as they are able to absorb more nutrients from fresh homemade pet food. If that’s not a great bonus, I don’t know what is.
Are there drawbacks to this pet food lifestyle?
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to feeding your pup a diet based solely on homemade pet food. It can be nearly impossible to know whether or not your homemade food has enough protein, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and nutrients for your pup. Every pup is different, regardless of breed and age group. This also makes it harder to determine how much homemade food to give your dog at each meal as there are no scientifically backed guidelines to tell you how much or how little you should give your pup. The quality of the ingredients themselves is not a problem. Figuring out whether or not your dog is getting enough of the right nutrients is the main drawback to a homemade dog food diet.
What is it so important to get the amount right?
It can be hard to gauge how much homemade dog food you should be giving your pup. After all, all store-bought wet and dry foods give you serving size guidelines complete with your pup’s weight and age. So, why can’t you just do a little experimenting and figure out your dog’s diet for yourself? See whether your pup is gaining or losing weight and adjust accordingly? There are supposedly reputable online sources that encourage you to do this to find your pup’s ideal serving size. To put it simply, this is something that you just should not do. Fooling around with your dog’s weight is a definite no-no and can quickly lead to health and nutritional problems. You do not want to put your dog’s health in danger by allowing them to become obese for any period of time as this could allow them to develop serious and sometimes irreversible health conditions. It is also possible that they could be consuming too many nutrients which is also dangerous for their health as they could develop nutrient toxicity. Nutrient deficiency can be just as dangerous, as being vitamin and nutrient deficient can lead to weakness and failing organs. In conclusion, don’t be messing with your dog’s portion control.
How much homemade food should I feed my dog?
This amount differs based on a variety of factors. These include your dog’s weight, breed, size, age, and whether or not they have any known health issues. This is not only going to affect how much homemade dog food you should be giving your dog but also what should be included in the dog food that you’re making. The homemade dog food that you’ve made your pup may not be (and according to statistics is unlikely to be) nutritionally balanced unless you’ve already consulted a veterinarian or a dog nutritionist. The reality is only a trained professional can look at your dog’s unique makeup and the recipe you wish to give your pup and give you an exact serving size. If you’re looking for a general guideline, though, the rule of thumb is to feed your adult dog 2 to 3% of their body weight when it comes to any food. Therefore, if your dog is 50 pounds, give them 16 ounces or two cups of food per day.
In conclusion, there is, unfortunately, no definitive rule to how much homemade dog food you should be feeding your pup. It depends too heavily on the specific homemade dog food as well as your pup’s age, weight, breed, and unique health concerns. While it is difficult to get both the amount and recipe right on the first go, homemade dog food is an excellent and extremely healthy option for any pup, no matter what age or breed. Consulting a veterinarian or a dog nutritionist is the best way to make sure that your dog is getting enough of what it needs. It would be useful to come up with a few recipes to share with your veterinarian that can be occasionally alternated to give your pup some variety. You want to make homemade pet food so you can take the best possible nutritional care of your pup so it’s necessary to put that extra bit of effort in to make sure you’re doing it properly!