More and more people are cooking for their dogs these days. They cook every meal their pup eats to attain some desired effect that they cannot get from commercial grade regular dog food.
Most clients I run into cook because of health issues. Allergies is a big reason. Many dogs suffer protein and grain allergies. A huge part of almost all commercial dog foods. I think most people try multiple types of pet foods first in hopes they will land on the miraculous brand that satisfies all the dog needs. But he also has to like the taste of the specific food and not grow tired of it as days pass by.
Other reasons for cooking dog meals are cancer, skin conditions, and irritable bowel syndrome. I am sure there are many other medical conditions that force owners into thinking about being a private dog chef. Some people do it just to see the dog reach optimum health – shiny coat, sparkly eyes, weight control. These are all things you can control as you tweak and design the perfect food for your little guy.
I think many of us do small variations of this throughout a dog’s life for small problems that may arise. Any frozen vegetable works well to replace a portion of your dog food if you are looking to shed some pounds. They get to eat the same amount of food but half the calories. If you have ever had a dog that won’t eat most vets will recommend rice and hamburger to keep the weight up and get them back on track. And everybody is probably guilty of throwing some cooked people food to their dog as they make their own meals. I personally cook a scrambled egg for my little girl weekly. I feel like it makes her coat shinier than without.
So what makes a perfect dog food? That is a tougher problem to solve but usually home made dog meals consist of some form of protein (think outside the box here as chicken, beef, fish, etc are all acceptable forms of protein for a dog), vegetable (almost any fresh vegetable is good for dogs), and some form of carbohydrate (rice typical here, but again various options). Do your research online with reputable sites. Ask your veterinarian for information. Own the responsibility of realizing you are now the sole provider for your dog’s health and take it seriously as she/he is counting on you.
With a little perserverance you can come up with a recipe that works for your dog and probably several other options/add ins that will give them some variety day to day. If it saves them from taking daily medications to achieve the same health goal I think its very worth it and would naturally extend their life span.