I met up with an old friend and it turns out, she owns a dog as well. So naturally we started sharing stories about our dogs, talking about their quirks, mannerisms, and what-not. Of course we ended up also sharing tips and talking about what we feed our dogs.
I feed my furry fellow homecooked meals. I’ve been doing so for 4 years now. Ever since I made the switch, she’s a lot healthier. It was actually my vet who recommended that I make the switch to homemade diet for dogs.
So my friend got curious and asked me tons of questions about homemade diet for dogs since she’s also considering making the switch.
- What meat should I use for protein?
- How much protein should be in each meal?
- Can you feed too much protein?
These are just 3 of the many questions she asked me. I’m sharing what I know and hopefully it will help other dog owners with the same questions.
Without protein, dogs can’t survive. So it’s important for dog owners to make sure that protein is a staple in their dog’s diet. However, it’s equally important to remember that not all protein source is equal.
Which Protein Sources Are the Best for Dogs?
Protein from animal sources is the best and easiest to digest for dogs. They contain a wider array of amino acids whether essential or non-essential ones. Here’s a list of the best protein sources for your dog based on its biological value or simply how readily dogs can break down its amino acids. The higher the biological value, the better.
- Egg whites – Biological value 100
- Muscle meat such as beef, chicken, lamb – Biological value 92
- Fish – Biological value 92
- Organ meats – Biological value 90
- Milk and Cheese – Biological value 89
But what about wheat and corn? They’re way down the list with biological values of 60 and 54. The reason why wheat and corn are found on may commercial dog foods is that they’re cheap protein substitutes. That only benefits the manufacturers and not your furry family member.
Which Meat Is Best for Your Dog?
Is it chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, etc? Having many choices in meat makes it a lot confusing in deciding which is best for your dog. There are plenty of strong opinions out there.
William Cusick Research
According to a research of William Cusick, dogs do better on a diet and protein source that most closely resembles that of their ancestors or the food that’s available in the region where the breed was developed.
For example, Collies since they originated in Scotland would thrive best with lamb, fish, and poultry as these were staples in the region’s diet.
Greyhounds originated in Egypt so they would thrive best with rabbit, pork, poultry, and goat while German Shepherds would do best with beef as they were originally bred in Germany’s Alsation region.
These breed specific guidelines may be helpful for some dogs but the heritage of many dogs is not known yet.
Some dogs also can have allergic reactions to some or specific meats. In such a case, food allergies will determine what meat is best for them.
Having Variety is the Best Way to Go
Taking in consideration your dog’s food sensitivities or allergies, the best route to go is have variety – at least three different meats. Doing this helps ensure that your dog gets a broader nutritional base over time plus doing so helps bring down the chances of food sensitivities and allergies.
Many dogs that were fed the same food for many years develop food intolerance suffering from itchy skin and paws, chronic digestive problems like gas, loose stools, or frequent vomiting.
So the best thing for you to do is rotate between 3 or 4 different recipes having different protein sources. If you’re thinking of switching your dog to a homemade diet, you might want to read on the 3 Basic Rules of Homemade Diet for Dogs. Variety is key in ensuring that your dog gets optimum nutrition with every meal she eats.
When you cook for your dog, you want to make sure that you’re feeding her right. It’s a good thing that I came across the Dog Food Secrets ebooks as I got a lot of helpful tips and information from them.
How Much Protein Should You Feed Your Dog?
The answer depends on a number of factors. But here’s a generic recipe guide that you can follow.
- For puppies – a meal should consist 50% protein
- For adults – a meal should be 40% protein.
Can You Feed Too Much Protein?
Many dogs are concerned about feeding their dogs a protein-rich diet. This is because of the myth going around that a protein-rich diet can cause kidney damage and joint problems. This is nothing but a myth as a number of modern research has proven. Excessive protein can never cause kidney damage. The main job of the kidney is to get rid of excessive protein so if your dog’s kidneys are healthy, too much protein will not cause damage. For dogs diagnosed with kidney problems, vets recommend a low protein diet to avoid putting more stress on the dog’s kidneys.
Of course, we’d love to hear what you think and if you have any advice or tips, please do share it to us.