Is It Safe To Feed A Homemade Diet To Your Dog?

Is It Safe To Feed A Homemade Diet To Your Dog?

Here at THE PACK, we work with expert nutritionists to create nutritionally complete dog food. That means the recommended daily amount of our food gives your pup all the protein-building amino acids they need to develop muscle, produce hormones, and foster a healthy immune system. So when you feed your dog a complete vegan dog food like THE PACK, you can be certain that they’re getting their doggy-5-a-day and more!  

But some pawrents, with the best intentions, want to make their own dog food at home. We totally get it: after all, a home-cooked meal is how we show our loved ones we care! What’s more, pawrents have rightly become wary of the ‘bark side’ of conventional, commercial meaty pet food. Who can blame them for thinking that feeding ‘people food’ will make sure their dog’s diet is safe? There’s something reassuring about handpicking high-quality ingredients. We can also select fresh fruits and veggies, and nutritious grains like quinoa or buckwheat. What could go wrong?

A lot.

Firstly, it’s super tricky to balance all the micro-minerals and essential vitamins our dogs need when we’re making their food from scratch. One study looked at 200 homemade dog food recipes and found that 95% lacked at least one essential nutrient. What’s scary is that most nutritional imbalances may take months, even years, to cause symptoms, falsely reassuring us that a diet is working - until it’s too late.

Secondly, research in a respected veterinary journal reveals that most homemade recipes contain too much protein, which can create an invisible imbalance of calcium and phosphorus. This leads to eventual bone and kidney disease and, by the time your dog shows any symptoms, it’s usually too late to reverse.

Finally, another study had vets prescribe dogs nutritionally complete homemade diets. Forty-six pawrents received a written recipe detailing the precise daily amount of each ingredient to feed, and a veterinary nutritionist stressed to them the importance of following the recipe exactly. Yet, after only six months, a third of pawrents had tweaked the recipe, 40% used the wrong amounts of ingredients, and 35% didn’t use the prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements.

By contrast, THE PACK’s complete dog food adheres to nutritional guidelines laid out by the European Pet Food Industry (FEDIAF) and National Research Council (NRC), meaning it follows a strict recipe based on years of research into the dietary needs of your pup. Each batch is carefully laboratory-tested (without any animals!) to ensure the nutrients are balanced correctly and, when you open a can, you’ll see a rainbow of identifiable veg and pulses.

So why not let the experts do the hard work for you? And while you don’t need to supplement a complete dog food with anything, there’s no reason why you can’t cook up some butternut squash or lentils as an additional treat for your lucky pup. Baking homemade dog biscuits is also a wonderful way to ensure your dog treats have no hidden nasties (and using people-food ingredients means you get to sneak a nibble too!)

The key takeaway message? It’s fine to get creative in the kitchen as well as feeding your dog’s complete food, but homecooked food should never be your dog’s main source of nutrients.

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