Listen, I am a perfect dog owner who never forgets anything, but I have this friend... and this friend of mine, she forgets to get dog food more times than she'd like to admit. There's always a solid plan as I'm, excuse me, she's using the last of the dog food in the monring. She will say outloud to herself "you have to remember to get dog food on the way home from work." And then she promptly forgets.
As any dog owner knows, dogs aren't the best at being patient when it's dinner time. My pup will lick his empty bowl, allowing his collar to clang loudly against it, to notify me "Hey lady! There's nothing in here." When I'm out of dog food, or when she, my friend is..ok, I can't do this. I can't lie to you. It's me, ok!? I'm the one who forgot my dog's dog food! Now the truth is out there and the clock it ticking to get my dog fed before my neighbors complain about the bowl clainging that is somehow reaching volume levels of a locomotive engine in our living room.
"People food" is often too rich for dogs
Luckily for my pup, I'm equally demanding about my food. On more than one occation my friends have heard me tell them "if you wanted a bite, you should have ordered your own." My refusal to share makes me a highly selfish friend, but as a side effect, a highly responsible dog owner, because "people food" is often too rich in sodium, fat and sugar for dogs.
So with my ice cream and pizza out of the question, what can you feed your dog until you go to the store to get him his regular dog food?
3 rules for what to feed your dog
When it comes to what you can feed your dog in your house, here are three basic rules to follow. So long as you abide by these, you should be able to steer clear of any real trouble.
Rule 1: Avoid excess sodium and fat, which can cause excessive thirst and tummy trouble. If you can get it at a fast food drive through or delievered in 30 minutes or less it's probably not the best option for your pup.
Rule 2: Aim for a balance of lean protein and complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in things like beans, whole grains, sweet potatoes and vegetables.
Rule 3: Consider any allergies or special dietary needs your dog may have.
One of the quickest, easiest dog meals you can prepare is plain, cooked chicken and rice. Veterinarians often recommend chicken and rice for dogs with upset stomachs but it works great for a regular meal too. If you don't have chicken or rice on hand, not to worry. You can still make do by following the rules above. Sweet potatoes and broccoli will work in a pinch, or lean ground beef and mixed veggies. You can find a ton of great homemade dog food recipes online, we even have a few for you right here at Cuteness.
Here's a homemade recipe you can use
For a 15-pound dog, mix:
• 3 ounces of a cooked protein source (dark chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, beef, or eggs)
• 1 1/3 cups of cooked carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, barley, peas, corn, or oatmeal)
• 1 tablespoon of vegetables, cooked or uncooked (carrots, bell peppers, green beans, baby spinach, squash, or broccoli)
• 1 to 2 teaspoons of a fat source such as vegetable oil.
For a 30-pound dog, use:
• 4.5 ounces of the cooked protein source (dark chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, beef, or eggs),
• 2 cups of cooked carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, barley, peas, corn, or oatmeal)
• 1.5 tablespoons of vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, green beans, baby spinach, squash, or broccoli)
• 2-to-3 teaspoons of a fat source such as vegetable oil
For a 60 pound dog, use:
• 8 ounces of the cooked protein source (dark chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, beef, or eggs)
• 3.5 cups of cooked carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, barley, peas, corn, or oatmeal)
• 3 tablespoons of vegetables
• 3-to-5 teaspoons of a fat source such as vegetable oil
The last time I forgot to get dog food, my pup got a bowl of steelcut oatmeal, peanut butter and apples. I felt wildly irresponsible but he was over the moon about it. So, every now and again I think it's ok to let yourself off the hook and give your dog an unexpected treat. You'll remember to go to the store tomorrow.... probably.