Making a homemade diet for your pup is a great alternative to commercial kibble if you do it right. However, it is NOT that easy to determine the proper serving size of homemade dog food for your canine. For this reason, it is highly advisable to check with your vet to plan a nutritionally-balanced homemade diet.
Many factors must be kept in mind while calculating the nutritional requirements of your dog. Some of the most important elements among them are listed below.
- Activity Level
- Current Health Condition
- Medical History
- Composition of Homemade Dog Food Recipe
After analyzing all these aspects, you will have a better understanding of the nutritional needs of your companion. Therefore, it will help you to figure out a suitable serving size (of homemade dog food) for your pup.
Homemade Dog Food Serving Size
“How much homemade food should I feed to my dog?” That is the very first question that comes to our mind when we think about switching to a homemade diet. Although there are some general guidelines for the starting quantity, you must acknowledge that each dog is different. Consequently, the amount of food needed by each canine can vary considerably.
As a rule of thumb, a dog should eat about 2-3% of his/her bodyweight in fresh food. Having said that, toy breeds can eat up to 5% of their bodyweight whereas large breeds may consume as little as 1.5%. The key is to keep track of your dog’s weight and adjust the quantity of food accordingly. The following table mentions the safe amount of homemade dog food for canines of different sizes.
|Dog’s Bodyweight (lbs.)||Amount of Homemade Dog Food (lbs. per day)|
|10||About 3/5 (5-6 ½ ounces)|
NOTE: For cooked foods, you will weigh the quantity after cooking.
If you feed your dog multiple times, you should divide the total quantity for each meal. For instance, if you feed your 100-pound dog 2 times a day, you will serve him 1 pound of homemade dog food in each meal.
Why is it Important to Know the Exact Serving Size?
Some parents believe that the dog’s weight is the only criterion to estimate a suitable amount of homemade dog food. They think that everything’s fine if the canine is not losing or gaining weight. Unfortunately, that’s NOT the right thing to do because an unbalanced diet can have serious health hazards.
For example, if a pup is consuming too many calories, he/she can develop diabetes and several other health issues. Similarly, overfeeding can cause Vitamin Toxicity. In this condition, useful vitamins, like Vitamin A and Vitamin D, start to harm the body (instead of providing benefits).
On the other hand, if the canine is not getting a sufficient amount of essential nutrients, he/she can face malnutrition. The most common symptoms of such dogs would be weakness and lethargy. If this issue is not resolved quickly, nutrient deficiency can lead to organ failure and even death.
Supplements to Add to Homemade Dog Food
Most of the homemade dog foods don’t fulfill the nutritional requirements of your canine. This problem has nothing to do with the selection or quality of ingredients that you use in these recipes. Instead, it’s down to the nutritional needs of dogs that cannot be reached without adding too many calories. Therefore, you have to add supplements to these homemade diets to make them balanced.
Unfortunately, it can be much harder than it seems to find a suitable dog supplement for homemade dog food. An ideal supplement that could ensure a balanced diet must have the following three characteristics.
- Should have useful Vitamins and Minerals
- Should have Digestive Enzymes
- Must provide Skin, Coat, and Joint Support
Some of the supplements that you can safely add in your homemade dog foods are discussed below.
Want to know how to tell if a dog is healthy? Check out our post How to Tell If Your Dog is Healthy.
Canine Complete by Wholistic Pet Organics
This all-in-one vitamin mix is made with natural food ingredients. It covers all the necessary bases for a dog’s nutritional requirements, ranging from vitamins and minerals to digestive microflora. Similarly, it supports the health and longevity of your pup with an abundant supply of antioxidants. This supplement is completely safe for your dog as it is regulated by NASC.
All-In-One Support by NaturVet
This is an ideal supplement to support your dog’s nutritional needs. In addition to homemade dog foods, you can also use this product with commercial alternatives. It is packed with useful vitamins and minerals that support the overall health of your canine. Likewise, it is quite beneficial for digestive issues and to maintain healthy skin and coat.
Salmon Oil Dog Food Supplement by Grizzly Pet Products
This high-quality salmon oil offers nourishment to the entire body of your pup. It boosts immunity and strengthens the heart to improve the overall wellbeing of the canine. Similarly, it offers a balanced blend of inherent antioxidants and vitamins.
Other than that, this supplement provides maximum Omega-3 fatty acids because of the natural and nutrient-rich diet of salmons. The combination of all these useful components adds significant nutritional value to any homemade dog food. Simply serve this supplement over your dog’s meal to ensure a balanced diet.
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