Deciding to take your dog off of processed food and replace it with healthy cooked food is not an easy decision to make. After all, it is much easier (and cheaper) to pick up a bag of processed dog food at the grocery store.
I have to be honest, I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of cooking for our dogs. At the time, we had Hannah (a 130 pound Great Dane/Mastiff Mix) and Maggie (a 85 pound Red Nose Pit Bull). We fed them expensive top of the line processed dog food. Then Hannah got sick with stomach cancer. Click here to read about why I cook for our dogs.
When we adopted Marms, our now 11-year old Great Dane, she had the doggie version of Celiac disease. At eight months old, she could not (and to this day cannot) tolerate processed dog food or treats. It does not matter if it is organic or grain free or mostly soy. Just as with me when I get a hold of gluten, processed dog food goes right through her. It takes all the bad AND healthy nutrients with it. At 8 months, she weighed 35 pounds. As soon as I switched her food, she almost immediately started gaining weight. She is small-boned and weighs in at just over 100 pounds.
I have had several conversations with our vet regarding pet nutrition. While she would rather I buy my food through her office, she supports me feeding our dogs a natural diet. (Just because your vet sells dog food, does not mean it is good for your dog.) When you look at the positive side effects, it is hard not to support a cooked diet. afterall, In addition, they take a good dog multivitamin. Buck and Marmalade see the vet about once a year. (Marms is on a anti-imflammatory for her arthritis so she has blood work done every year.) Buck sees the vet as needed, which is not even once a year.
When I started researching processed dog food, I was floored to discover it can contain meat from dead, dying and diseased animals. Not to mention corn and soy, fillers, by-products, and pesticides. Below are some side effects from processed dog food:
- Excessive scratching
- Dull coat
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Heart Disease
My only regret about making my dog food is I did not start cooking for them sooner. Puppies can seem healthy and it may not be until a dog matures that these negative effects come to the surface, resulting in high vet bills. Within two weeks of changing their diet, they lost weight due to bloat. They get the same processed food bloat that we do. Click here for my homemade dog food recipe. It is made with natural gluten-free ingredients.
8 Reasons to Throw Out Your Dog Food
Once you throw out your dog’s food and put him a healthy, natural diet it will not be long before you see these changes:
- Healthy coat: their coats are silky soft and shiny, with less shedding and no dry skin.
- Digestion: natural foods aid in a healthy digestive system (no stinky gas).
- Dental hygiene: they have cleaner teeth and fresher breath, which eliminates the need for deep cleanings at the vets office.
- Smaller and less frequent stools: removing processed food results in healthier, less smelly stools.
- Less allergies: a healthy diet helps to eliminate allergies and skin problems.
- Healthy weight: eating food similar to what dogs would get in the wild helps to maintain weight.
- Save money: healthy pets mean less visits to the vet.
- Happy pets: a healthy pet is happy and full of energy.
Not all foods are healthy for your dogs. Click on the image below to get your list of 20 safe foods for your fur baby!
Not all foods are healthy for dogs. Get your printable PDF list of 8 toxic foods for dogs by clicking the image below.