With all the recalls and dangers about where your dog’s food is being made, it’s no wonder that many people are turning to home-cooked meals. Even if you feed kibble, you may be adding fresh foods to your dog’s meals to make sure they are getting the right nutrients or to help digestion.
However, this can be daunting if you have never fed your dog anything but store-bought food – how do you what is safe and what is not? How much should you give your dog?
Marc Ching is a fourth generation Japanese herbalist and holistic nutritionist….for pets. He brings Eastern medical methodologies and homeopathic healing of animal ailments through healthful, individualized, real-food diets.
He owns the PetStaurant in Los Angeles, where staffers help patrons select food prepared in-house or from about two dozen brands of healthy food and snacks, which are gluten-free, organic, and hypoallergenic.
“As an animal nutritionist, and having a practice where I am able to use food to manage and correct issues, I get to experience first-hand how important and essential a healthy diet can be to keeping your dog healthy,” Ching told iHeartDogs.
He has a different approach to dog cuisine than most – he stays away from common ingredients potatoes (sweet and regular) and rice. Instead, he opts for low-starch and low-glycemic diets.
“We believe that a diet low in starch and sugar is a key component in reducing allergies, as well as cancer rates in dogs,” he explained.
Ching provided iHeartDogs with the following PetStaurant’s Top 10 Fresh Meal Tips And Ideas For Dogs.
(Note: Please check with your vet before changing your dog’s diet, as every dog has different needs, allergies, and health issues that affect what they should be eating.)
#1 – Cooking Made Easy
The ultimate easy, all-life stage recipe! (And cooking for your dog should be easy.) We find the best way is to use a pot, and to cook your veggies and meat all together. We recommend a 50 / 50 meat to veggie ratio. Cut up your veggies. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for about a minute, stirring so the vegetables do not burn. Add your meat, cook until done. We recommend using at least three different veggies so different vitamin and mineral needs can be met. Refrigerate, or cook in bulk and freeze.
#2 – Keep it Green!
That means use green veggies when cooking for your dog. Produce including carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruit are high starch and sugar choices that can create allergies and bring about food intolerance. Using green vegetables is a great way to cook and prepare meals that are essentially hypoallergenic in nature.
#3 – Use Lentils Instead of Rice
Instead of adding rice or grains as a filler to your dog’s homemade diets, try adding boiled lentils. They are an excellent source of fiber, and make a great filler that can help to manage GI issues as well as ailments like Pancreatitis. Make sure you boil the lentils until soft, so they can be easily digested by your dog.
#4 – Feed Coconut Oil Twice Daily
Most dogs love it and it is a cost effective supplement to add before feeding. We recommend adding it raw, and not using it to cook with. Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which is anti-fungal in nature. This is excellent for dogs that are itching and having reoccurring ear infections.
#5 – Green Beans Make Great Treats
Need a natural, low-calorie treat? Try frozen green beans. Buy them raw. Twist off the ends, and freeze. You can also dip them in coconut oil and then freeze to make them tastier. Frozen green beans make a low-calorie, cost-effective treat that is great for dogs that have GI issues and renal/kidney problems.
#6 – Allergy-Free Pill Pockets
Need to hide meds? Make your own allergy-free meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 3 Tablespoon psyllium husk
Mix all ingredients together. Make golf ball-size meatballs. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20 mins. Refrigerate or freeze meatballs. You can use these to hide supplements and medication. This low-starch and grain-free meatball recipe is perfect for dogs with cancer or allergies, and can be used as a treat.
Related: 9 Best Pill Pockets for Dogs
#7 – Apple Cider Vinegar For…Everything?
We find that adding 1/2 tsp to 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to each meal (depending on the size of your dog) right before feeding does a lot in regards to regulating your dog’s health and well-being. While some dogs do not like apple cider vinegar, most dogs will eat it up happily. Unlike human beings, the ideal ph of a dog is 5.5 to 6.5, so apple cider vinegar can help to control ph levels, but also increases digestibility of foods while boosting immune system health.
#8 – Help For Loose Stools and Diarrhea
Boiling lentils till mushy soft and mixing it with nonfat, small curd cottage cheese is the fastest and best way to fix mushy and soft stools. Adding this mixture daily to meals can help regulate GI activity, as well as helping to keep your dog regular and consistent.
#9 – Upset Tummies
Is your dog eating grass or throwing up bile/acid? This is an easy fix. We recommend adding cooked zucchini and a little bit of cooked meat to your dog’s current meal. Instead of feeding twice a day, increase the amount you feed slightly, and giving your pup three meals instead: in the morning, when you get home from work, and a half-size meal thirty minutes before bed.
This is a surefire way to control and reduce your dog’s acid levels, and can help to rectify and remedy vomiting and acid/bile issues.
#10 – Probiotics!
If there is one thing that you should add daily to your dog’s diet, it is a live, full-spectrum probiotic. Beware of dog probiotics full with fillers and additives. Instead, opt for a live, refrigerated, microbial-balancing probiotic.
Why is this important? Because adding a probiotic each meal, or even once daily, can increase the longevity of your dog and do wonders to boost his immune system and natural response to fighting immune invaders. Our favorite brand is Whole Leaf Organics Immunity.
Related: 10 Best Fresh Dog Food Brands
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.