Sunday, 18 March 2012

A sense of proportion

Getting the basic proportions right is key to a homemade diet. With dogs it's all about the protein - think Atkins!

It should really break down like this:

60 - 70% protein including:
Red meat
Oily fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines
Dairy including cottage cheese and yogurt

(Plant based proteins such as corn,oats and beans are much less digestible - in fact only about half as digestible as animal proteins)

The protein can be fed raw or cooked - there is much debate that raw is better but I think even cooked it's still going to be much better than commercial dog food.

15 - 25% vegetables and fruit including:
Sweet Potato
And just about any other regular vegetable or fruit you can think of - no onions or grapes though as they can be toxic.

The fruit and veg needs to be made digestible by either cooking or crushing it raw in a juicer.

5 - 10% organ meat including:
Lambs liver and kidneys
Beef liver and kidneys
Chicken liver and kidneys

Again they can be raw or cooked.

If you are itching to add carbohydrates like rice and pasta keep it to an absolute minimum - no more than about 10% of the overall meal. Dogs really don't need these carbohydrates and no canine ancestor has ever been known to eat them.

Add Calcium

The easiest way of doing that is to feed raw bones. Otherwise use ground up egg shells sprinkled onto the food.

Ultimately variety is the key to a homemade diet - keep mixing it up with different proteins and vegetables but stay with the same basic proportions.

By the way, commercial dry dog food is normally around 45 - 75% carbohydrate. On the next blog I'll explain why.

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