Many dog parents turn to do-it-yourself (DIY) meals to give their pets the best possible nutrition. Also, let’s be real: who wants to eat dog food every day? There’s nothing wrong with feeding a dog some of the same food humans eat (they evolved alongside mankind, after all). But which ones?
The main thing to remember is that caloric intake is just one part of the story. Like humans, dogs need a well-balanced diet. Otherwise, one could find themselves with an overweight pooch.
Shredded Chicken Breast with Baked Sweet Potatoes
This is a great dish that delights both young and old dogs alike. It’s also sure to satisfy dogs’ tummies, as this offers a great source of protein and carbohydrates. The American Kennel Club (AKC) notes that sweet potatoes promote digestive function, reducing the likelihood of stomach cancer and other ailments.
To make dinnertime truly memorable, one should:
- Shave the sweet potatoes’ skin off. A potato’s skin can be hard to digest, plus it can cause an intestinal blockage.
- Put the potatoes in the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 425 degrees.
- Cut the chicken breast into cutlets. One doesn’t even have to cut out the fat! Cooked chicken fat strengthens the immune system and makes a dog’s coat smoother.
- Grill and shred the chicken. The chicken’s done when the cook can cut into it and not see any pink. Then, they should shred the chicken.
- Combine the ingredients. Once those 60 minutes are up, a dog parent can combine the chicken and potatoes, making for a sweet and savory meal.
One may ask: “How much of these items should I use?” The answer depends on the dog’s size. For reference, one can check out this food chart from Purina. It breaks down portions based on dogs’ size and age.
Turkey, Brown Rice, and Broccoli Medley
This recipe has it all—protein, carbs, fiber…there’s no going wrong. To make this dinner dream a reality, one needs:
- ½ pack of frozen broccoli (or another vegetable, like cauliflower)
- One pound of ground turkey
- Two cups of brown rice
It’s worth noting that this isn’t intended to serve as one giant meal. Instead, one can spread this out into several, evenly portioned dinners.
Now, here’s the recipe:
- Put two cups of rice in the rice cooker.
- Add two cups of water.
- Boil the frozen vegetables.
- Pan-cook the ground turkey.
- Wait until the rice cooker pops.
- Combine the ingredients.
To spice things up, one may add a dash of rosemary. However, they shouldn’t add any other spices. For instance, while garlic spruces up human meals, the spice proves toxic to dogs.
Fun fact: dogs love pasta—and not just Italian Greyhounds. At the end of the day, pasta’s just made out of wheat, a staple in many leading dog food brands. Here’s a recipe that’s sure to have a dog licking the bowl. First, one needs:
- Pasta. Plain egg noodles, lentil-based macaroni, and whole-wheat spaghetti are good choices.
- Chicken breast. Some may ask: “What’s wrong with using thighs and drumsticks?” First, these items have bones––a choking and obstruction hazard. Also, as the AKC notes, the fatty tissue in dark meat could upset a dog’s stomach.
- Broth. Dog parents can add chicken broth to make the meal more savory. They shouldn’t use gravy. The gravy in canned dog food is very different than the gravy intended for human consumption.
Now, here’s how to make paw-ghetti:
- Prepare a pot of boiling water.
- Measure an amount of pasta that suits the dog’s size.
- Cook the pasta, then strain it.
- Cut thin slices of chicken breast and grill it.
- Shred the chicken.
- Pour chicken broth over the meal.
- Serve after it’s cooled down.
As tempting as it may be, avoid using pasta sauce. While raw tomatoes have a lot of fiber, the spices in the pasta sauce could have negative outcomes. Remember: at all costs, dogs should avoid garlic, onions, and chives.
Make Treat Time Special with This Cornbread Recipe
High-value treats can mean the difference between an obedient dog and living with a bored, four-legged beast. Rather than head back to the pet store, owners can make their treats by using Jiffy cornbread mix. The directions on the box only request a few ingredients, even letting pet owners add their own twist, like bacon bits.
Like everything else on this list, moderation is important. Just like with a human child, feeding one’s fur baby too much of anything could cause health complications.
Create a New DIY Recipe Using These Items
Once a dog owner knows what food is safe for dogs, the possibilities are endless when creating their own combinations and recipes. Per Medical News Today, dogs can safely ingest:
- White or brown rice
- Fish, like salmon, shrimp, and tuna
- Peanut butter
- Plain popcorn (meaning no butter or salt)
- Green beans
- Watermelon (without the seeds)
Dogs can even enjoy dairy products, like shredded cheese, in moderation. It’s important to monitor a dog while they enjoy a new food. Some dogs (such as boxers) have more sensitive tummies than others––and nobody wants to their pet to feel as sick as a…well…dog.