How to Make Grain-Free Dog Food

By Susan Leisure

Dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat both meat and plants. However, grains are not a natural part of dog's diet. In fact, grains, such as wheat and corn, commonly cause allergic reactions in dogs, including upset stomachs and itchy skin. While high-quality, grain-free commercial foods are available, a homemade grain-free food may be the healthiest choice for your dog.

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Food

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Chop 3 cups of fresh, organic meat into small chunks. Use a variety of meat, including beef, lamb, and chicken. Organ meat, such as kidneys and livers, can make up 10 to 15 percent of the meat. Use a nonporous cutting board to chop the meat, and be sure to clean the preparation area thoroughly to eliminate bacteria.

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Chop one cup of fresh, organic vegetables and 1/2 cup fresh, organic fruits. Be sure to use ingredients that are safe for dogs, avoiding onions, grapes and raisins, in particular. Boil the ingredients 3 to 5 minutes to break down the cell walls, making the nutrients more digestible for dogs. If you prefer feeding uncooked vegetables and fruits, puree the ingredients in a food processor or blender for greater digestibility.

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Add appropriate supplements. Homemade dog food often lacks the right balance of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium. Homemade diets may also lack the right amount of B-vitamins and essential fatty acids. Adding a supplement formulated for raw diets can ensure that your dog's diet is balanced. According to "Whole Dog Journal" the following supplements can be added to homemade food to balance the meal: See Spot Live Longer Homemade Dinner Mixes, Vitamins & Minerals for Home-Cooked Dog Food by Furoshnikov's Formulas, and Wysong's Call of the Wild Biotic Canine/Feline Food Supplement.

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Calculate your dog's daily intake. In general, an adult dog needs to eat 2 percent of his or her body weight daily. Active or working dogs may need up to 5 percent. Puppies, especially large-breed puppies, need to eat up to 10 percent of their body weight per day. Use the calculator below to determine your dog's daily food needs.

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Cook the meat if your dog refuses the raw. Some dogs will not eat raw meat, especially raw organ meat. Boil or bake it only; frying or microwaving diminishes the nutritional value of the ingredients.

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Store prepared food in the refrigerator for up to three days. If your dog will not eat all the food you've prepared within three days, freeze the rest for up to two months. Discard after two months when the nutritional value declines.