By making a soft food diet for dogs at home, you can ensure that your pet is eating a healthy diet that is filled with fresh and nourishing ingredients. To save time, make your dog's food in large batches and freeze individual portions for later use.
Familiarize yourself with foods that are toxic to dogs and do not include them in your dog's diet. Check this comprehensive list of everything your dog can and cannot eat to avoid feeding your dog anything toxic and be sure to check with your vet before adding new foods to the mix.
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Vary your dog's diet by choosing different ingredients in each batch of food, providing a wide range of nutrients for optimum health. Check with a veterinarian or pet nutritionist before starting your dog on a homemade diet. A veterinarian or pet nutritionist can assist you in designing a diet that is geared specifically for your pet's needs. You can also get recipes and instructions from BalanceIT, a site managed by veterinary nutritionists.
Step 1: Prepare the meat
Cut meat up into bite-size pieces or use ground meat. Remove all of the bone from the meat. The skin can be left on. Meat should make up about 60 percent of your dog's diet. It is a valuable source of protein, fat, and amino acids.
Choose one or two types of meat to feed at one time. Beef, chicken, duck, lamb, and turkey are high-quality, easy-to-digest meat choices. You can bake, fry, or boil the meat. If you choose to boil the meat, use only enough water to just cover the meat in the cooking pot. Once the meat is fully cooked, set it aside to cool.
Step 2: Cook organ meat
Cut organ meat into bite-size pieces. Organ meat can make up to about 10 percent of your dog's diet. It provides essential nutrients. Use brain, liver, heart, or gizzards. You can cook the organ meat along with the other meat or by itself. Organ meat can be cooked using the same methods used to cook regular meat. Once fully cooked, set aside to cool.
Step 3: Blend fruits and vegetables
Puree fruits and vegetables in a blender or food processor. Dogs cannot fully digest fruits and vegetables unless they are fully cooked or blended to a puree. Fruits and vegetables should make up about 10 percent of your dog's diet. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and are a good fiber source.
Include one to four produce items in your dog's food at one time. Apples, blueberries, carrots, and green beans are common produce items used in dog foods. Do not include apple seeds or cores in the soft food diet for dogs. Apple seeds can be toxic to dogs. Set the pureed fruits and vegetables aside.
Step 4: Cook the grains
Boil brown rice, oats, or pasta until tender. Rice, oats, and pasta provide fiber and carbohydrates. Choose only one of these ingredients to feed your dog at a time. They should make up about 10 percent of your dog's total diet. Once the rice, pasta, or oats are fully cooked, set aside to cool.
Step 5: Soft food diet for dogs
Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Add a spoonful of plain yogurt if desired. More than a spoonful of yogurt may cause digestive upset. Plain yogurt adds calcium and beneficial bacteria (for digestion) to your dog's diet. Feed the food as is or blend it in a food processor for a smoother, softer consistency. Refrigerate any unused food. Freeze food that you plan to store for longer than three days.