Considering homemade food for your dog? Here are the pros and cons

Most pet owners these days see their beloved dogs as part of their family, not just mere furry companions, making their health and well-being a top priority. If you’re the proud dog parent yourself and you like to spoil your four-legged busy, you know exactly what we mean. Obviously, one of the best ways to pamper your pooch and show them you love them is by feeding them delicious meals packed with nutrients and healthy ingredients.  


And that brings us to a common dog owner dilemma: what should one feed a dog to keep them healthy and happy? These days, technological advancements in food processing equipment and research on dogs’ nutritional needs have made it possible for dog food brands to offer a wide range of high-quality products that suit the needs and tummies of the pickiest eaters. 

But despite the large variety of food options available on the market right now, an increasing number of dog parents have made the switch from store-bought dog food to homemade meals in recent years for various reasons, so you might be tempted to do the same. 

However, changing your furry friend’s diet is not something you should do on a whim as it can be quite tricky. You need to have good reasons for making this transition and also do plenty of research so you can decide if it’s the right choice for your pup. So, if you’re thinking of becoming your pet’s personal chef and feeding them homemade food instead of kibble, here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages you should expect. 

The pros

The main incentive for preparing dog food yourself is caring for their health. Although there is no concrete scientific evidence to show that homemade meals are healthier than commercial dog food, there’s no denying that homecooked food can provide a balanced and complete diet for dogs which can be very beneficial in the long term. 

While there are plenty of nutritional pet foods available on the market, there are also many that are not so great, and it can be quite a challenge to distinguish between the two. Home cooking gives you full control over what goes into your dog’s food, so you don’t have to worry about quality anymore. You get to choose the freshest ingredients from trustworthy sources and prepare healthy and delicious meals that your pooch will absolutely love.  

Homemade foods might also benefit dogs that suffer from common health issues such as allergies, food intolerances, arthritis, diabetes and so on. You can address and even eliminate many of these health concerns by creating a diet plan that suits your pup’s specific needs and only giving them foods that you know are going to help them stay healthy and happy. 

Even if your dog is strong as an ox and doesn’t suffer from any condition, they can still benefit from individually tailored recipes since dietary requirements vary based on age, weight, breed and even personal preferences. Dog food is definitely not one-size-fits-all, so choosing to cook instead of buying pet products from the store allows you to cover your four-legged friend’s nutritional needs. 

Given that dogs have fewer taste buds than humans, they don’t necessarily need a wide variety of foods to delight their palate. However, it is still possible for pups to get bored with the smell and flavor of their food if they keep eating the same type of products for a long period of time. Even if they don’t get tired, it’s still a good idea to switch things up a bit and introduce new tastes into their diet every now and then. With home-cooked meals, it’s much easier to incorporate new ingredients and feed your dog a more varied diet. 

The cons 

Before you rush to the kitchen and bring out all your ingredients and utensils to prepare your fur baby a delicious homecooked meal, you should also take a look at the cons. 

First of all, we need to point out that homemade food is healthier for your dog only if you know how to prepare it properly. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans, so you can’t share your food with your dog. Improvising can result in serious nutritional deficiencies for your pup that can lead to all sorts of health issues and high vet bills. 

Another aspect to consider is the cost of meal preparation. You might think that home cooking is going to help you save a lot of money in the long run, and while that might be true at times, it’s not always the case. With companies like providing advanced solutions for the animal nutrition industry, it’s easier than ever for pet food manufacturers to deliver superior products at reasonable prices. 

At the same time, prices for fresh whole food products and ingredients continue to increase due to inflation and gas prices going up. Therefore, preparing meals at home can end up costing more than buying ready-made food for your dog, so you might want to do the math if you don’t want to get an expensive surprise.  

Last but not least, you should think about whether you have the time and resources to make the switch. Homemade meals require time, patience and most importantly serious research. It’s going to take a while for you to learn the dos and don’ts of food preparation so you can put together a healthy and nutritious meal plan for your dog. The process can be quite overwhelming and time-consuming, and obviously less convenient than buying ready-made food from a pet shop. 

Bottom line 

Giving dogs homemade food is a trend that has been growing in popularity in recent years, but that doesn’t mean everyone should simply follow along. You need to give this serious consideration and take into account both the pros and cons so you can make the best decision for your dog. 

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