Do’s & Don’ts

What are the major do’s & don’ts to feeding your dog a healthy food.

Feeding your dog a healthy nutritious homemade dog food is really not that difficult. You may have to initially learn some new things about healthy dog nutrition. However, there is great value in seeing your dog blossom on a healthy homemade dog food. Let’s get started with some general  do’s and don’ts to feeding your dog a healthy dog food.

 

The Do’s of feeding your dog a healthy dog food

  1. Feed him like a carnivore. This means plenty of raw meat, raw bones animal fat and cartilage.
  2. Feed you dog whole unprocessed foods. (hot dogs are a good example of a highly processed food to avoid)
  3. Feed your dog whole food meaty dog treats. Read the label. Many dog treats are full of dies, chemicals and preservatives.

 

The Don’ts of feeding your dog a healthy dog food

  1. Don’t feed your dog a high carbohydrate diet.
  2. Don’t feed your dog highly processed food.
  3. Don’t feed your dog a vegetarian diet. If you are a vegetarian that is fine but don’t force your lifestyle choice on him, it’s really not fair. If you truly love him you will feed him the food he was designed to eat. If you just can’t bring yourself to feed a carnivore “animal products” consider a rabbit as a pet. Rabbits are quite nice and vegetarians.
  4. Don’t feed highly processed dog treats. These dog treats are filled with harmful chemicals and fillers. These dog treats are just plain awful and can cause many health problems.
  5. Finally, don’t give up. It takes a little to get started but feeding a homemade dog food is so good for your dog.

Comments

  1. I have a dog that has had pancreatits. I need to watch her fat and protein. She is a 15 yr. old mini schnauzer. I have heard of boiled chicken and rice. What receipe can you offer and can she also eat a baked potatoe instead of the rice????

    • Sharon,

      Dogs with pancreatitis have usually been eating dog food void of digestive enzymes for a long time. This process overworks the pancreas and causes it to have problems. Dogs need animal fat and protein to thrive but adding these can irritate your dogs pancreas. So your kind of stuck. I would suggest some lean raw meat like chicken breast and extra virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil does not require enzymes from your dog’s pancreas to digest. I also would recommend fish oil. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil tend to help, click here to view a good fish oil supplement with natural source vitamin E.

  2. I posted the question earlier about my 15 yr old mini schnauzer who had pancreatits. I have tried Purina EN, Hills Schience diet w/d and Hills dry. She doesn’t want to eat any of it. I spoke of the diet of boiled chicken and asked if I could supplement a baked potatoe instead of rice. I would also like to add she only has 5 teeth so chewing is a factor. Any help ? Do you have a receipe for me?

  3. Valerie Carney says:

    I have a 13 year old dog with liver disease. He isn’t eating the prescribed dry food by the vet.
    I give him milk thistle twice a day. Do you have any homemade liver disease recipes I could try.

    Thanks for your cooperation

    • Valerie,

      The milk thistle is good. Try the easy cooked dog food and see how he responds, click here to view this recipe. The Dinovite Liquid dog supplement has alfalfa nutrient concentrate in it and alfalfa has cleansing properties.

  4. james robinson says:

    I have a four year old shitshu / poodle dog that was operated on a month ago for bladder stones – we have her on a science diet dog food now but would like to know if we can feed her any table food & if so what – also can we give her bones or dog treats
    thanks jim r

  5. Rebecca says:

    Ed,
    I have a 2 y/o rottie (133lbs) that I’m just beginning to make food for because of diarrhea from any other dry foods we’ve tried. So far, he’s doing really well on brown or white rice with cooked chicken; his stomach seems to be settling nicely after 2 days. I just found your site & am learning a lot, but could you help guide me on how much to feed him daily (he eats 2x/day)?
    Also, are there any breed or age-specific nutritional needs? My Golden Retiever (73lbs.) is 12 y/o and very healthy; she keeps up with the rottie. I’m planning on switching her to the new diet as soon as the dry food we have right now is gone so not to waste it.
    Thanks for all your help!
    Rebecca

    • Rebecca,
      Start off by feeding the same amount of homemade dog food as you would feed in kibble. If your dog gains weight cut back. If your dog starts to lose weight and this is not desired feed a little more. I feed puppies and adults the same highly nutritious homemade dog food.

  6. I have a 3 year old mini Australian Sheperd who has had pancreatitis, and the vet told me to fed him a bland diet of rice and chicken for the rest of his life. He eats it up and has regained his vigor, but I worry if this is enough nutrients.

    • Donna,

      You are right this is not enough to keep him healthy. You can try adding the powdered Dinovite to this diet for vitamins and minerals, click here to view. Also add virgin coconut oil to his diet. Virgin coconut oil does not need the enzyme lipase to be digest so it does not inflame the pancreas. Also fish oil is a good addition, click here to view a fish oil for dogs with vitamin E.

  7. Cindy Tong says:

    Hi,

    I have a 12 lbs Maltese, I cooked for him for years, usually I put grown beef, spinach and brown rice. But he cannot digest brown rice, the Veg suggested me to give them dry food which could purchase in petstore. She told me human food is not suitable for dog’s stomach. What kind of food I can prepared for him? Thanks!

    Cindy

  8. I appreciate your assistance with my dogs and their diet. Last night I fed a sweet potato and one raw chicken wing; they did fine. I mixed the Dinovite and lickochops in the sweet potato and blended it all up. This moning I fed the usual raw chicken wing. It is 3pm and both have not vomited or had diareah. I will do as you suggested fasting until tommorrow morning then giving the easy raw recipe I have already made. I will cook it. Just a small amount. So I have to ask is my goal for them to be able to eat raw beef and raw chicken? I thought the chewing of bones was suppose to be very good for them. I also wonder if the ground beef I bought 85/15 is too fatty. Thanks for your guidance. I will do what you’ve suggested and see if this helps.

    • Yvette,

      The ground beef is fine. I’ve found sometimes dogs new to raw can have problems with the bones. I think this is because their digestive system is not yet set to digest them well because of their previous kibble diet. After they eat raw for a while their levels of digestive juices change and then they can handle them. Also, keep in mind dogs are easy vomiters. This behavior is natural for them.

  9. I am planning on buying a Schipperke and I was wondering how to introduce the raw food diet to him because I am hopping to not have to feed him canned food or kibble.

  10. my 9 yr old pitbull was just diagnosed with renal difficulties….it was suggested that i give her a low protein diet, and i purchased a case of the foot the vet recommended…at $22/case….do you have any suggestions for a home-made diet that i could feed her?? thank you for your time with this!!!

    • Tina,

      I think natural moisture content is more important. Raw meat based homemade dog food recipes are 70% moisture a posed to the 10% moisture content of kibble.

  11. I have 2 miniature schnauzers, a 15 year old and a 1 year old, both are spayed females. I have experienced a dogs death within the last year from canine cancer and see that no one has addressed that issue with respect to commercial dog kibble.
    I have a compromised immune system and therefore would like to used the cooked meal recipe. A few questions: Do you wash the eggs first – How do you feel about chicken instead of beef or should I switch now and again – with the added nutrients are they give at each serving, I feed twice a day – and finally frankly I like a stool I can pick up as we like to camp and hike. Thanks for your help.

    • Laura,

      I like to feed chicken and grind it with a big meat grinder. Grinding the bones and all makes storage and serving easier and helps my smaller dogs eat the recipe. The grinder was expensive $700 but worth it. I do this and feed raw. I see that you have a compromised immune system so it is probably best to cook your dogs food for your safety.

      The easiest recipe is the easy cooked dog food recipe. You could substitute some chicken for the beef. Try to include the joint cartilage this will benefit your dogs. You don’t have to wash the eggs because you will cook them and kill any germs and this should keep you safe.

      If you want to be a little enterprising take all the bones and put them in a crock pot with some water and a 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and cook slow for 24-48 hours. This creates a chicken stock that you can add to your dog’s food. The bone when thoroughly cooked turn to mush. The stock then is a calcium rich additive.

  12. I recently adopted a yorkshire terrier come who is constantly licking his paws and has scabs on his back. Any solution?

  13. I posted several questions on July 6th. How do I get Ed to reply or answer my questions?

  14. Hi Ed:
    We have a 12 yr. old Siberian Husky diagnosed with a uterus infection. She stopped eating and is loosing a lot of weight (she is a picky eater to start with). We are trying a variety of foods but she just won’t eat. Help !

  15. Laurie Collier says:

    Hi, today I decided to start making my own dog food for my two dogs one small one large. I had heard of other people doing this and it seems like a good idea for their health but mostly because the I am poor and quality dog food is SUPER expensive! But I just bought a large 25 lb bag of no grain dog food. I wanted to start adding my homemade food to the kibble but you said not to do that. Why not? My dogs have always eaten table scraps and they usually do fine whatever I feed them but not always.

    • Laurie,
      Mixing kibble and a homemade dog food usually results in digestive upset.

      • Since I didn’t know any better, I used to feed my dogs and home cooked turkey/rice/vegetable stew on Sundays and their “normal” kibble on weekdays. Never had a problem, but maybe I was just lucky. If we’re trying to avoid processed foods, why white rice? Seems brown rice or barley would be more natural. Looking forward to your chicken recipe!

  16. Do you have any recipes for dog treats?

  17. Claudine Gilarski says:

    Hi~
    I have a 13+ Pomeranian and his name is Lucky. Three weeks ago he was diagnosed with kennel cough. Last week he was diagnosed with a collapsed trachea AND to my complete surprise, his blood work showed that he has low liver functions. He is on a 30-day regime of Denamarin. His blood will be retested in two weeks. So far, he appears as his normal, happy self. He weighs 15 lbs – at least 5lbs more than he should. I live alone, I am unemployed and
    I receive $200.00/month in food stamps. I can only buy what is available in a grocery store. I receive Pet Assistance Care through my County’s Animal Control: the food is donated. The Officer is doing a great job giving me such food as: Hill W/D; Blue Chicken/Brown Rice; and Hills Lamb/Rice. I am hoping to get Hill’s L/D soon. In addition to the canned foods, I give Lucky bits of baked potatoes, cooked carrots and green beans, fat free cream cheese with his meds, a little bit of fat free cottage cheese, some raw broc, cut-up finely. I’ve held off on the grocery meat$. How do I keep my Lucky as healthy as possible with what may be a liver disease, on such a limited income?
    Sorry for the long story but I wanted you to know that because I have limited income, I am not able to purchase vitamins/supplements. I would like to know what else I can do within my means , for my Licky. Thank you. Claudine

    • Claudine,

      I’ve been in your position in the past and things can look grim. There was a time when my household survived on frozen pizza given to us by a neighbor. My wife and I pushed through got working again and things slowly improved. I think I would worry about changing your overall condition before you stress about your dog.

      If you can, try feeding the easy cooked dog food recipe and use the powdered Dinovite. The supplement will run you about $31 and should make about 90 days worth.

  18. Carol Valentino says:

    Sooo thrilled to find your blog. I adopted a Multoshon 4 mo ago, and just learned he has kidney diaease. Joey is just 6. I decided to start the raw diet but want to make sure I don’t give him anything wrong. I will order the supplements in the AM. Any food differences with renal disease?
    Carol Valentino

  19. I have a nine-year-old bull terrier with allergies (mostly environmental, but maybe chicken) with a high protein count in her kidneys (she needs a low sodium diet), a level 2 (asymptomatic) heart murmur, and a sensitive stomach (she experiences something similar to acid reflux). She has been doing well on Wellness Salmon & Rice dry dog food, but they have now changed the formula and I am having trouble finding a replacement. I saw your video for a recipe of hamburg, rice, eggs, and supplements. Would this be an acceptable diet for my bully? What other recipies might I try? Thanks.

  20. I’ve now been feeding my adopted 4 year old greyhound a raw diet for 1 month. My boyfriend and I absolutely love this diet for her and have seen drastic improvements with her skin, coat, and teeth (I can only imagine how beneficial it is to her insides!)

    Here’s my question:
    Since this will be the VERY first snow filled winter our lanky, short-haired, ex-floridian, ex-racer will undergo, we are holding off on adopting another greyhound (to see how walking and behavior in snow/cold is affected.) We really want another greyhound!

    Seeing as though we are two mid-twenties young professionals with a semi-limited budget, we’re wondering if are you able to make any suggestions on feeding TWO muscle machine dogs the raw diet, on a dime?

  21. I have a 9 year old beagle that has a few health problems but nothing that affects his eating (aside from the fact he doesn’t know when to stop!) And a 10 year old Pomeranian that doesn’t really get enough food because of my beagle. So I’m not sure if she’s getting proper nutrition. What is something i could feed the both of them so that they both get proper nutrition, and my beagle doesn’t get ridiculously fat? I am not comfortable with raw meat recipes.

  22. I am interested in trying this recipe for the new puppy I’ll be getting in a few weeks. However, I was thinking of substituting plain ground beef for ground chicken using a product by mypetcarnivore called Ground Chicken Supermix. The ingredients are 2/3 whole ground chicken with bones & organs. Plus 1/3 additional hearts, liver, and gizzards. Would this be okay and would I need to alter the recipe in any way? Also, is it okay to feed the same protein source only, or is it advisable to mix it up with beef or turkey for example? Thanks

  23. We have a 2 year old blue heeler, dumped on our rural property a year ago. Our first vet exclusively recommended Science Diet (grains) which caused itching and stomach upset (diarhea, vomiting, terrible flatulence). Our second vet (makes housecalls and wonderful!) recommended (among others) Diamond w/Lamb. She still has some itching and intermittant stomach upsets. We are planning to switch to the diet you and Dinovite recommend. Our question is should we include other types of meat for her very muscular body? Thanks.

  24. My 4 year old 85lb Lab has had a chronic ear infection in one ear for the past couple of years, no matter how much I cleaned and treated it would never fully recover. So I started doing some research on my own realizing he had other issues (licking his paws and smell) which I thought that was normal for a dog, coming to the conclusion yeast might be my dogs problem… I came across homemade dog food to starve out the yeast. Thought I would give it a try for 90 days and see what happens. I started the homemade recipe (cooked) 3 weeks ago. adding Dinovite and Lick O Chops. He looks great, shiny coat, smells better, less licking, ear is looking the better than I have ever seen it. My only concern is he is drinking only about a 1 cup of water a day (a lot less than before). I do realize their is more moisture in the homemade food, but is he taking in enough water? Thank You!!!

  25. Cathy Masse says:

    Hi Ed , i just foud your site and from what I have read I love it !!!! I have 3 dogs … a corgixsheperd mix,a cocker and a english mastiff. I english weighs about 160 lbs . I have had a issue with him vommitting up every day .The vet really cant figure what is happening ,right now I get him a pill 20 minutes before each meal . I have changed his food many times . I wanted to change him again to just canned food but when I read the feeding guide lines they almost all say 1 can to 10 or 15 lbs of body weight . If I followed that I would be giving him at least 15 cans per day . I feed twice a day so 7 1/2 cans per meal . ow I am thinking I want to start making his food which brought me here . My only problem is how many cups would I be feeding per day of the home made food . I now feed 2 1/2 cups per meal so total of 5 cups per day . Thank you in advance for your time and help.

    • Cathy,

      Giant dogs eat more than tiny dogs but not a straight multiple of weight. Feed a compatible amount of the homemade dog food to what you are currently feeding.

  26. My 12 year old pit mix has severe arthritis in knees, one torn ACL and terrible, rupturing cysts in between every toe. She is also 27 lbs heavier than she was in her prime. On Fri, our vet said she thinks it is “time,” my husband and I don’t agree. I have been doing some reading about raw food diet and I want to try it as a last resort to alleviate some of her pain. My question is about the rice….do you still think a high carb ingredient such as rice make sense for a dog who is so overweight? Any other thoughts on our dog would be appreciated!

  27. Kristin Tipton says:

    I have a pregnant schnoodle and I want to cook her food what is the best of the best that I can feed her,

  28. My Shizt Su has an external liver shunt…he is a foster dog. He was one and a half when found in a car, he is keeping between 7 and 7.7 lbs. I have offered 20 mths ago to pay for the surgery as my Vet does not have the knowledge concerning this. I was willing to bring him to Abbothsford animal Hospital in Aurora, Canada where they have all the eqipment and a team that would be able to do it. My Vet insists on giving him canned Med Cal low protein food, my dog keeps on vomiting the lg barley then eventually has bloody stools. I have mentioned this several times. I began making his food, mixed with the canned food adding 1 boiled egg, apples, spinich, papaya, avocado, probiotics,broccoli, 1 calcium tab, maple syrup,drops of lemon,1 tbsp olive oil, 1 calcium tab,pureed with Evian water mixture in a blender. Should I substitute the apples with carrots. Someone told me apples are not good for the kidneys. Am I doing wrong. My dog is gaining weight and playing for the first time. I’m sure they did not expect this baby to live this long, they, the petsave are paying the meds and food, also visits. Any advice, please help as we love him so much, I think it would be too late for surgery but with good food he might thrive. Thank you, Sunny, Lilly, and Dexter, all rescues. Angele

  29. Constance Santo says:

    I have a 5 year old boxer with lymphoma. He was in remission for 3 months and we started chemo again. When he was first diagnosed I changed his diet to the raw frozen patties. I added steamed chicken and broccoli along with fish oil, mushroom complex and colostrum. It is get very expensive and I want to make all of his food. What is the best diet you would recommend?

  30. my dog is almost 4 years old, Bichon frise mixed lapsoalso….she wont eat all day long and waits for tables scrapes. she eats tiny amounts of dry food. can you help she is pregnant and i want to change her diet.

  31. Rese Bourdeau says:

    Fantastic site….you’ve convinced me (and my Yorkie loves you for it) BUT now I feel guilty about feeding my CATS kibble! We need a Cat recipe please?

  32. Question: If I do add veggies or fruit to the recipe, you say to cook and pulverize it? Does this basically destroy all the nutrients in it?

  33. Hey Ed, It’s me again. I guess I need to give you a little background on my baby. Her name is Sienna and I swear she’s a dead ringer for your Stinky!!!! Just a bit bigger. She’s only 5 1/2 yrs old and has Cushing’s. She’s picked up weight. She’s never drunk much water. She doesn’t want to walk any more. I try taking treats to bribe her just to go to the mailbox. She needs to exercize to get rid of the extra weight, I woud think. Any suggestions?

    Also, if I make the raw food, can you use other meets besides beef? Does chicken need to be cooked? What meats can be raw and which need to be cooked? I heard that you can substitute pumpkin for rice? Is one better than the other to fight her weight gain?

    I’m so glad I found this site! Vets don’t know very much about it except to medicate and tax their organs, so it’s nice to have people and you to confer with. Thank you!!

  34. Hello,
    I have been cooking for my Golden Retriever for nearly 10 years. She is in great shape and besides slightly graying face, shows no signs of aging.
    I was given a bag of organic Italian Farro and I wonder if I could share it with my dog. Is there any indication that she should not have it?
    Thanks,
    Ewa

  35. Hi,
    I’m having a hard time finding the dinovite and lickochops. Where do you get yours?

  36. I recenly started juicing and have all this pulp left over. I’ve thought of adding it to the dog food. rather then throw it out. Would this be alright?

  37. I have an 8 year old sharpei mix that has had sores on his belly since last august.
    Antibiotics don’t cure it. A few weeks ago he had his thyroid tested and levels were low.
    Vet thought thyroid meds would make a big difference but it hasn’t.
    We are now thinking food allergy as we changed food last May.
    Any thoughts?

  38. What fat content do you recommend on the ground beef? 80/20; 85/15, etc? Thanks.

  39. Mary Kay Wilson says:

    I’m about to start this for my 7 year old Boxer and will follow the suggested directions for fasting and slowly easing into the full amount he should eat over 6 days. My question has to do with the chicken thighs, legs (or breasts). After roasting, I understand to bone it and save juices but WHAT ABOUT THE SKIN? Should that be discarded or should it be added to the mixture? Thank you! Also, is it wise to make both the beef recipe as well as the chicken so as to be able to mix it up every few days? Would this have a negative impact on his digestive system? Again, thank you! Mary Kay

  40. Amber K. says:

    Hi I have been stalking your site for awhile now and would like your opinion on this dog food.http://naturalpetfooddeliverybloomington.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_39&products_id=455 . I currently have a french bulldog who had allergies when we adopted her and that means she licks her paws and will army crawl across the carpet to itch her belly making it red. We also have a boxer who is 13months old and we have had her since she was 8 weeks old. She has licked her paws and scratched her ears like mad for as long as I can remember. I honestly could not afford to do the raw diet but have considered trying the cooked version but I have not calculated cost yet. Kibble may not be the best but it works for my family as we travel with our dogs,camping etc and sometimes have no access to a fridge that I would need to keep the cooked food from spoiling. I just want my dogs to stop itching/licking and scratching their poor ears but I am overwhelmed with all the information out there on what to feed and what NOT to feed. I honestly understand how a raw diet would be best but what if you just can not do it? Thank you for your time and any suggestions/advice you can give me. Have a blessed day.

  41. Autumn P says:

    I have a nine year old Great Dane. I have been told he had allergies in the past and with allergy meds he had done well. Until this year. He is constantly breaking it in skin infections and after everything i have read it seems to be its a yeast infection. This old boy is my baby, he’s never left my side even when my husband went to iraq. We have taken him to the vet 5 times and still he starts to improve but then its back again. I will do anythjng for him. I thought maybe you could suggest something for him. Thank you. Sincerly lossing hope

  42. clmgroomer says:

    i am seriously thinking about switching my crew over to a homemade food and getting off the kibble. I have 5 dogs, 3 boxers 2 are 9rs old, 1 is 5yrs. 1 boxer has cardiomyopothy and bad and achey joints, 1 has just weak and achey hips those are the 9yr olds. ive had them for about 6 mos. my 5 yr old is just very over weight. My 2 schnauzers both have a tendency for skin issues depending on diet and season. they are 12 and 9 yrs old.
    ok my point finally, ive been reading about homemade bone broth, and how good it is for both dogs and cats. would this be a good thing to add to your cooked food recipe? would the food still be defiecient if i didnt add the dinovite and the other one?
    thanks.

    • I think your dogs will be happy when you make the switch. Adding bone broth is great but it won’t make up for all the nutrients the supplements add.

  43. Sandysdogs2015 says:

    July 10, 2012 at 11:01 am
    HI Ed,
    I am going to change my fusey, 6 small dogs to your receipts, but hve a couple questions,
    1. Do I still give them their multi vit? Also they are between 6 and 17 lb dogs, and,a couple hve joint issues, can I still give them their glucosamine and condrotin tablets, or should I stopm those to.
    2, Can I switch between the ck and beef so they get a little variety? Or do I hve to do the intro each time I change them. I am spending about 230.00 per month on bluecwilderness, and canned food, topped with a little ground chicken, really cant affordnitcany more, and want something really good for them, but need to know about the glucosamine and vitamins, I hope you post the treat receipts soon. Thank you Sandra Fletchet

    • I’ve used the Dinovite for close to 20 years with great results. You can continue with the glucosamine supplements if you want. You can swap between chicken and beef without a transition period in most cases.

  44. Sandysdogs2015 says:

    Oh onemore question, how do I incorperate the bones in the ck and rice and meat raw food? Do I cook the bones first?

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