With the recent news stories of tainted and toxic dog foods and recalls of some ingredients, you may now be interested in preparing homemade dog food for your Chihuahua and giving up on commercial foods. Complete nutrition can improve your dog's health. His existing diet may not be adequate if he has skin irritations, ear infections, gas or a smelly stool. Before drastically changing your Chihuahua's food, consult your veterinarian for tips.
Why Switch to Homemade?
Dog food manufacturers claim to use healthy ingredients, but most ingredients are unfit for human consumption. After manufacturing food for humans, they use the waste in dog food. This may even include diseased parts. Pet food does not usually contain muscle meats but instead includes blood, intestines and other waste parts. Normal processing kills bacteria, but also changes the enzymes. These products may still contain hormones and antibiotics. They spray dry pet food with flavor enhancers made from old, used restaurant fat. They often use corn and soy, much cheaper than meat. However, dogs are carnivores and should get their protein from meat.
Homemade dog food contains no harmful contaminants, preservatives or additives. If you choose a balanced recipe with supplements, and your Chihuahua likes it, he will have a shinier coat, fewer skin problems, fewer allergies and more energy.
Learn what constitutes complete nutrition for your dog. According to Born Free USA, in "Sample Diets for Dogs and Cats," you have to include the right ingredients in the right proportions to be sure of complete nutrition (see Reference 1). Most homemade dog foods must be supplemented with extra vitamins and minerals. It takes some time to prepare the homemade food for your Chihuahua.
Raw foods have not lost nutrients due to processing. Raw food diets may help dogs with allergies and are usually easier for the dog to digest. However, the foods must be fresh and clean. There are some risks. According to the Canadian Veterinarian Journal, 80 percent of diet samples and 30 percent of stool samples from dogs eating raw food diets contained salmonella (see Reference 1).
You can make homemade raw dog food easily. Use 1 oz. liver, 2 1/2 oz. skinless chicken, 1/2 oz. bone meal, 1/2 cup green beans or other green vegetable and 1/2 cup carrots. Chop the vegetables very small for your Chihuahua, or put through the blender. Chop the meats small, mix with vegetables and add 1/2 tsp. corn or canola oil. You can make this in larger quantities and freeze.
Change the ingredients according to what you have on hand or what is on sale this week. Boil 3 lbs. lean chopped hamburger, chicken or other meat in 6 cups water, remove the meat and cook 4 cups brown rice in the same water. Puree 1 cup green beans, peas or other green vegetable and 1 cup yellow vegetable like carrots or pumpkin. Mix all ingredients together. This is not complete nutrition. Talk to your vet about adding a multivitamin or other supplement. Make this in larger quantities and freeze for future use.