It’s important to follow homemade dog food recipes exactly as they are instructed. Please do not attempt to substitute ingredients as you might for yourself or your family. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans do. It’s important to cook all animal products thoroughly to kill all harmful bacteria. Thoroughly cooking all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables will make the food easier for your dog to digest. Make sure to watch out for these foods that can harm your dog.
All of us at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique want the very best for your pup.
Why make homemade dog food?
One of the most beneficial parts about making your own dog food is the comfort in knowing exactly what your dog is eating. Dogs are apart of the family, they should be treated like family. You wouldn’t want anyone in your family eating harmful food, why would you let your dog?
The truth is, dog food isn’t well regulated. Feeding your pooch commercial dog food consistently results in massive recalls, sick pets (or worse), and even potentially increasing food allergies from the dog’s commercial brand food. Also, there is no one size fits all type of food for a dog, they come in many shapes and sizes and need to be fed accordingly.
Commercial dog foods make use of non-human grade food ingredients. If you look at a common dog food product’s label, you’ll notice ingredients such as meat protein which actually include parts of an animal which you would never eat yourself.
The problem with feed-grade dog food is that they often contain organ meats such as feathers, hooves, entrails, and other animal by-products. The worst thing about these feed-grade ingredients is that the FDA actually allows animals that have died by causes, such as ailments and diseases, to be included in dog foods. Dogs can’t just eat anything that is put on their plate, they need a healthy diet just like humans do.
Making homemade dog food and homemade dog treats may sound like a daunting task at first, however after going through this guide you’ll realize how easy of a task it can be after educating yourself further. Just like we have the food pyramid showing us the specific food groups and guidelines we should follow, there is an entirely different food pyramid required for dogs to get the correct nutrients they need to be healthy pups.
Depending on how much time you’re willing to commit, homemade dog food can completely substitute any other type of supplements, while still feeding them all the nutrients they need to be healthy dogs.
The basic nutrients needed for a healthy dog are:
- Protein (Basic building blocks for cells, organs, and are essential for growth)
- Fats (The most concentrated form of food energy)
- Water (Essential to life, water accounts for 65-70% of an adult dogs body weight)
- Carbohydrates (No minimum requirement for carbs, however glucose is needed to supply energy to critical organs such as the brain.)
- Vitamins (Tiny amounts of vitamins are necessary in dogs for normal metabolic functioning)
- Minerals (Nutrients that cannot be synthesized by animals and must be provided in the diet)
Artificial preservatives in commercial pet foods
Commercial pet food products contain ingredients that you can’t pronounce just so that they can artificially preserve their dog food for as long as possible to ensure minimal loss of profits. There are many dangers with processed dog food, one of the main ingredients found is propylene glycol, which is used to maintain moisture (also a chemical used in car anti-freeze).
This type of practice may be good for their bottom dollar, but it can be very harmful for your dog. The truth is that the slow accumulation of these toxins will eventually lead to serious damage on your dog’s kidneys, liver, and heart.
All of us at Splash and Dash believe dogs should be fed the very best, they are family after all. Which is why we only use 7 Human-Grade Ingredients or less in our Keepin’ It Simple dog treats.
All of our treats are sourced in the USA and USDA approved.
Dog Recipes that We Love
Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
Looking for a doggie digestive aid? Pumpkin is easy on sour stomachs and can help alleviate your dog’s digestive issues. These homemade dog biscuits are a great way to introduce an all-natural tummy aid into your pup’s diet.
1/3 cup extremely cold water
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned or home-made)
2 cups whole grain brown rice flour
1 large egg (you can omit this if your dog is allergic to eggs)
2 1/2 tablespoonful flax-seed oil or olive oil
Total: Makes approx. 24 1 oz balls (or 24 fluid ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 320 – 350 degrees.
- Use two baking sheets and baking paper to avoid sticking.
- Mix lightly beaten egg and pumpkin in a separate container until smooth. If you don’t want to use egg then just smooth the pumpkin puree separately and proceed to the next step.
- In a larger bowl, combine flax-seed oil and brown rice flour.
- With constant stirring, add the pumpkin mixture to the rice mixture and slowly add water. Be sure to leave some of the rice to be used as some sort of toppings for the cookies.
- Hand mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Using two pieces of baking or waxed paper, roll dough out to desired thickness.
- Remove the top baking paper.
- Evenly pour rice flour onto the top of the dough and lightly press it to the waxed baking paper.
- Remove the paper and cut to desired sizes.
- Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is completely dry.
- Cool and store in a dry plastic or glass container until ready to be served.
Don’t have the time to make these treats? Try the Pumpkin Patch flavor of our Keepin’ It Simple All Natural Dog Treats!
Frozen Banana Treats
After a long walk in the hot sun, what pooch wouldn’t want a refreshing treat? We absolutely love this simple recipe – yogurt, banana and peanut butter. It’s a frozen smoothie for your dog. Need we say more?
4 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed
Total: Makes approx. 8 1 oz treats
- Blend all ingredients together into a puree.
- Pour into 4-ounce plastic cups (ice trays or toddler popsicle trays work well).
- Freeze until firm.
- Can be kept in freezer for up to two week
Don’t have the time to make these treats? Try the PB N’ Jelly Crunch Flavor of our Keepin’ It Simple All Natural Dog Treats!
Don’t Forget the Fruits & Veggies
While your dog doesn’t need to choke down a big salad everyday, it’s still vital to their health to eat a few well-chosen veggies. We recommend using a wide variety of frozen vegetables because it’s the easiest and most economical way for me to make sure your pups are eating their vegetables. (Veggies for dogs = fiber for healthy poops and fat-soluble vitamins.)
We recommend buying frozen California Medley veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli). Three 12-ounce bags is the perfect amount for this homemade dog food recipe.
If you can’t find the California Medley or you want to mix it up a bit, combine any or all of these vegetables, either fresh or frozen, to equal 5 cups:
- green beans
Fruits contain vitamins, antioxidants, and valuable fiber for our pups. So we recommend 12 ounces (or 1-1/2 cups) to each batch of food. You can choose one of the following, fresh or frozen, and stir it in after cooking:
- diced apple (but not the seeds)
Although less common, these fruits are also acceptable add-ins for your homemade dog food:
- fresh pineapple (with all spines and skin removed)
- mango (without the pit)
- watermelon (rind and seeds removed)
- peaches (pit removed)
*Do NOT Add These Foods To Your Homemade Dog Food*
- anything with chocolate or cacao
- onions or leeks
- anything with xylitol
- macadamia nuts
- garlic (unless directed by your vet)
- brewer’s yeast
- raw bread dough
For the most natural dog products visit Splash and Dash, every dog treat is sourced in the USA with 7 human-grade ingredients or less.
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What is the Best All Natural Dog Food?
We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique want to preface this article by explaining that all dogs are unique. Some dogs have obesity issues, some need extra protection for their teeth, or even food allergies. Researching the best all natural dog food is a collaborative effort. Take the time to discuss with specialists what specific nutrients your dog’s needs. If you have a dog with any diet peculiarities, please consult your vet before switching diets, or deciding what to feed your new puppy.
With this said, finding the best diet option can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your dog. The best all natural dog food should be packed with protein for building and repairing muscles, glucosamine & chondroitin for joint health, and fatty acids to keep their coats nice and shiny. Providing great food gives your dog a much higher quality of life. In the past few years, we’ve also become more aware of the things you don’t want in your dog’s food.
Look out for:
- Artificial Chemicals & Colors
- Chemical Preservatives
- Synthetic Byproducts
- Exposure to Pesticides/Herbicides
- Filler Foods like Sugar or Corn Syrup
It’s important for pet parents to be able to read a dog food label to know exactly what’s in the treats and food you’re feeding your dog. The good news is, as more people become aware and the demand to provide the best all natural dog food becomes more prevalent, pet food makers are developing healthier formulas every day. This article will walk you through how to make the best selection for your dog.
The Rotational Diet
We’re big fans of the rotational diet and we use this method on our own dogs at home. The rotational diet is based on the science that dogs need variance in their diet. Feeding a combination of dry, wet, fresh, and raw foods is one of the best ways to ensure that your dog gets adequate nutrients.
Most veterinarians agree that feeding a dog a completely raw food diet is the best way to provide nutrients. But we, as dog owners, know this is not always practical for pet parents’ budget, effort, and time. The diversity of a rational diet allows your dog to get most out of their food without breaking your budget and spending hours of prep time each week. Pups who are picky eaters also love the rotational diet because it’s not the same flavor day in and day out.
Using the four elements, you can get your dog on a schedule providing different parts of the rotational diet for each meal. One meal can be the best all natural dry kibble food and a grain-free canned meal for dinner. Fresh meals consist of prepared vegetables and meats without fillers or byproducts which are minimally processed and make excellent snacks. These are known as the ‘scraps.’ Finally, every once in awhile, give your dog a completely raw protein-rich meal. Because dogs have a different anatomy than humans, veterinarians advise that a dog needs one gram per pound of their ideal body weight per day.
Canned Vs. Wet Food
If you choose to opt out of a rotational diet, there is still the decision of getting canned or wet food. Before World War II, all dog food was actually canned. In an effort to ration metal for the war, the U.S. government mandated that pet food was a non-essential. The shortage of metal pushed pet food companies to figure out another way to store and distribute. These companies quickly learned to process the food into kibble by ‘baking it’ and storing the food in bags. After the war, many pet parents loved the convenience of dry bagged dog food and the temporary fix became an industry standard.
The issue with dry food is that many brands contain unhealthy fillers that provide zero nutrients for your dog with unnecessary calories. The calorie-dense kibble food is one of the leading reasons for doggie obesity. Most kibbles have been processed. Moisture is extruded by a machine using thermal pressure during the manufacturing process. This means that it cannot be reconstituted by adding water. Kibble food will never return to its natural form. Many also argue that dogs do not receive enough hydration from dry food and need moisturized canned food to sustain themselves.
Canned food is not only typically much more expensive but it can worsen a dog’s oral hygiene. Wet foods stick between a dog’s gums and teeth and there is less chewing involved. The mechanical action of chewing naturally scrapes plaque away from a dog’s teeth. Larger kibble foods promote this chewing. Canned food will also spoil quickly. It needs to be covered and refrigerated after opening or it will need to thrown away. If you have a dog with long fur around their snout, eating wet can food can get messy.
Deciding which to use—canned or kibble—is more of a question of economics. If you choose the best all natural dog food then using kibble will be more than fine. If you have a toy breed that eats small portions, canned food might meet their needs equivalently.
It’s more about the quality of the food than anything else!
Top Five Dog Foods
- Nature’s Variety Instinct
Instinct is made using all natural ingredients with no preservatives and artificial chemicals. Using cold pressure technology, Instinct locks in raw foods into kibble form. Instead of using thermal pressure, the manufacturers are able to seal in all the nutrients by freeze-drying raw food.
- Blue Wilderness Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is grain free and does not contain chicken by-product meals, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat, or soy. We like the entire company’s food line which includes options that resemble the ancestral wild diet like Wilderness and Natural Veterinary Diet which is packed with vitamins and minerals. Many of us at Splash and Dash feed our own dogs with Blue Buffalo.
- Earthborn Holistic
Chicken meal and whitefish meal are the proteins used alongside easily digested grains like oatmeal, barley, and brown rice. Fruits and vegetables are baked in to provide immune system support. Earthborn is great tasting for dogs and is more affordable than some of the other brands.
- The Honest Kitchen
This brand uses ingredients that are approved for every member of the family to eat—human grade. Human grade food is held up to the FDA standards instead of the AFFCO. The company also makes base mix food. Healthy dehydrated ingredients are mixed with warm water to make every meal a balanced one that you can add meat to.
- Fromm Family Foods
Based out of Wisconsin, this company has three dry food lines and canned food that will please your gourmand doggie and your budget. The grain-free and protein-rich formulas are made with ingredients you can actually pronounce. A bowl filled with Fromm is a meal of all-natural dog food that keeps tails wagging!
Decisions for Your Dog
As you shop around, comparing different dog food formulas against your dog’s nutritional needs, remember that price does not always mean the best all natural dog foods. There are dozens of affordable brands on the market that provide everything your dog needs to be happy and healthy.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wants the best for your dog, and wishes you luck finding the best!
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2015 inc 500 America's fastest growing private companies, Splash and Dash for Dogs
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- SD Franchise LLC
- Phone: 888-815-2284
- 2820 Scherer Dr. North
- St. Petersburg, Fl 33716