Food & Nutrition
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10 Myths and Misperceptions About Homemade Dog Food


It’s been two years since the first melamine-related pet food recall, and during that time, more dog lovers than ever have decided to turn to homemade diets—cooked or raw—as insurance against potential problems with commercial products. Is a homemade diet really insurance? Yes, it can be, assuming it’s nutritionally balanced and takes into account your dog’s breed, age, weight, activity and overall physiology.

As a consulting canine nutrition specialist, I analyze hundreds of diets annually, and see firsthand what people are actually feeding their dogs. Here are a few common misperceptions I’ve encountered and my responses to them, which I hope will help Bark readers in their own efforts to improve their dogs’ nutrition. (The following applies to adult dogs in good health; if your dog is a puppy, a senior or has health issues, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before making dietary changes.)

1. “Using fresh, wholesome foods will, over time, meet my dog’s needs if I vary the diet enough.”

There is some basis for this point of view; fresh foods are indeed more bioavailable than those made with highly processed ingredients. In addition, when an owner prepares food at home, she knows exactly what’s going into it. However, when analyzed, even diets based on wholesome, fresh ingredients can still come up low in various vitamins and minerals.

Bone up on your dog’s actual nutrient requirements by doing a bit of research; this means reading widely, speaking with nutritionists and vets (holistic, conventional and specialists), and starting to think in terms of both ingredients and nutrient needs. (See sidebar for a short “starter list” of online information sources.)

2. “A multivitamin added to the food will cover any gaps.”

The question here is this: Which multi, and with which diet? Any unsupplemented home-prepared diet will be low in some nutrients and adequate or high in others. But because there is no standard formulation for human multivitamins and they can vary greatly in what they include, just tossing one in the dish is not the answer.

Choosing an all-purpose multi made specifically for dogs doesn’t necessarily solve the problem either. These usually contain very low levels of nutrients because it’s assumed they will be added to commercial food, and so are unlikely to provide enough supplementation to round out a homemade diet. This is why “balanced” is not just a buzzword; it’s a valid and essential aspect of proper nutrition. Once you understand your dog’s nutritional needs, work out what her diet actually contains and then add what’s missing.

3. “I’m adding yogurt to my dog’s food daily so she’s getting enough calcium.”

Dogs require fairly high levels of calcium, and yogurt absolutely won’t cut it. Here’s a quick example: My own 75-pound dog has a daily requirement of 1,840 mgs of calcium, and since I use quite a bit of fiber in his diet in the form of brown rice, I want to offset any absorption issues and ensure that he gets about 2,000 mgs per day, or 14,000 mgs per week. His weekly diet alone—turkey, liver, sardines, brown rice, ground lamb and acorn squash—only provides 1,750 mgs. That means I need to add over 12,000 mgs of calcium; in other words, more than 40 cups of plain yogurt.

Calcium supplementation is always necessary unless you are feeding raw bones. I recommend using a commercial carbonate or citrate form of calcium, or an eggshell crushed into a fine powder—one teaspoon of this powder (about 5.5 grams) equals roughly 2,200 mgs of calcium carbonate. To use eggshells, rinse them well and then bake for about 10 minutes at 300 degrees; use a small grinder to make the powder. Bone meal can be used if there is also a need to add phosphorus, but many homemade diets supply plenty of this mineral.
4. “I eat carefully and read human nutrition books—I just follow similar principles with my dog.”

This is a very common assumption but unfortunately, it isn’t accurate. Current nutritional guidelines for humans—who are omnivores—emphasize foods and ratios that may not be ideal for dogs. Ensure dietary balance by aiming for about 30 to 35 percent of total calories from fats, 30 percent from protein and the balance from complex carbohydrates. (Percentages are guidelines, but are not as accurate as evaluating the gram content of a diet; this is another place where it pays to do the math.)



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Submitted by Anonymous | March 31 2011 |

Excellent article. It is along the lines of the information that can be found at the http://www.petdiets.com site run by canine nutritionists.

Submitted by Rod | January 30 2013 |

Most all of the ten of these so-called myths are "straw man" arguments. You make up a non-existent claim and then shoot it down. Why don't you deal head-on with the fact that a well-balanced homemade diet with fresh meat beats the commercial junk food, especially the dry food (kibble) every time?

Submitted by Anonymous | February 7 2013 |


Submitted by Cat Lane | March 18 2014 |

Hi Rod,
I'm not sure I understand - I wasn't making up claims here, these myths keep coming up over and over all the time, on my yahoogroup, on Facebook on dog forums...I thought I might address them, one by one. I completely agree hat a well formulated home made diet beats kibble, but it really should be well formulated! That was my main point. :)

Submitted by Anonymous | April 19 2014 |

Since dog needs vary a great deal, how are we even ensured that commercial dog food adequately meets the specific needs of your dog? The arguments and worry about a balanced homemade diet can be made for mass produced kibble diet. Can all the varying dog breed nutritional needs be meet by the simple categories of "large breed" "small breed" and "senior" as the packaged kibbles would suggest?

Submitted by Monica McLaughlin | June 14 2013 |

To prepare food to feed a dog the author suggests "reading widely, speaking with nutritionists and vets (holistic, conventional and specialists)".
Wow. Feeding a dog without the help of the dog food industry sounds like rocket science -- way too difficult for a mere mortal. Better buy commercial dog food, because no matter how bad they make it, mere mortals could only do worse. (Makes one wonder how we manage to feed ourselves, doesn't it?!)

I particularly love the suggestion that those attempting to make food for their dog speak with vets. You mean we should consult with those people who generally suggest that we feed our pets that Science Diet garbage? Get real Ms. Lane. If you don't already work for the commercial pet food industry, you really must sign up.

Submitted by ken jones | August 7 2013 |

Right you are !! Jesus, I am so sick of hearing about how we can't supply our dogs with the proper nutrition from homemade, nourishing food. I switched to this method last week, in short time my Boxer has normal stools, more energy, better looking coat you name it! Synthetic nutrition (whats inside most commercial kibble) is NOT as good as naturally occurring in nature...works for me AND my dog. Amen !!

Submitted by Cat Lane | March 18 2014 |

Precision nutrition is really powerful, Ken. Many dogs do extremely well initially in a home made diet that is not correctly supplemented, but down the road, problems related to nutritional deficiency do arise. I completely agree that nourishing food is the basis, ad I derive as much nutrient as possible from food, in my recipes. But the areas that come up low I supplement. I have a unique perspective; I do this for a living, so I see a lot more than the general public. Low levels of Vitamins and minerals do really impact on health, over time. And we know that "variety" won't equate to adequacy - hence, my attempt to help with a problem I see vastly more of than the average dog owner ever will. :)

Submitted by Kathy Yuhl | September 7 2014 |

I certainly can understand everyone's frustration and concerns here. I too, am in the business of fresh whole foods for dogs. My focus is on wellness, bringing science to the table to create each unique nutritional profile, monitor and adjust throughout each dog's life changes. You all have valid concerns. Processed foods are empty calories supplemented with the nutrition generally needed. There is no way kibble can ever compare to fresh food. Variety must be appropriate, however. I've looked at other providers of fresh foods and their approach definitely would cause toxicities and depletion a of nutrients. This will result in the very illnesses the meals are meant to avoid. Education is critical and providers such as myself very beneficial to the new niche in the industry because it is a serious undertaking when you are sharing in someone's health care. It takes research, time and planning to do it correctly. This is why our services are a valuable resource.

Submitted by Shell | February 27 2014 |

In some ways I agree with your comment, about Vets seemingly working for the pet food industry. But in reality, it was my Vet that recommended the home cooked diet for my dogs, even gave me printed guidelines for making their meals! She also noted that if given raw chicken (bones and all) a calcium supplement wouldn't be necessary. But I liked the part of how to get a calcium supplement from egg shells. I can use that when feeding meats other than chicken. The Vet also recommended only chicken be given raw, and only after 3 days of freezing, then thawed in refrigerator, no other, other meats should be cooked to well done, (due to parasites) and only raw chicken bones no other, not even cooked!

Submitted by Cat Lane | March 18 2014 |

Hi Monica,
I think we might have to agree to disagree - I really do believe, given the many analyses I have done over the years, that what people end up feeding without any kind of guidance can be very problematic!Yes, feeding a dog home made food without proper research and education can end up in a disaster.I want to be clear that yes, I recognize many or even most vets, don't have a lot of training in education...but, they do have knowledge about canine health conditions,and I would never discount their input. In my years of consulting I've learned much from vets; it's still a valid suggestion in my book.
I think you have misunderstood my intention, which was to empower people with a wide range of knowledge, so they don't end up creating health issues they seek to avoid. I've seen it so many times, and it really is heartbreaking.
Not rocket science, but not something we should just take a casual attitude towards either.

Submitted by Sharon | June 23 2014 |

Well said!!! I also noted the insertion "speak with your vet". Homemade versus store bought, no brainer!

Submitted by pam | June 16 2013 |

i am 51 years old and grew up with dogs, who 'strangely' lived to the age of 14 and 15 or more, eating only 'human food'! they very seldom went to the vet, then many years later, married with children and a golden retriever who suffered from excema and died at the age of 8 having been on cortisone from the age of 5 months! so much for royal canin science hill and all the others sold by the vet who make tons of money of petfood. i recently got another golden retriever and will be cooking her food at home costing a 10% of vets food and this not with the vets approval (i wonder why, -$$$$$?) they say dogs have evolved since the 60's,(do they actually think i must believe such a crock?) thank goodness common sense prevails and my vet bills will be confined to boosters once a year as the last 7 years my chow/lab has thrived on home made food!

Submitted by liz | July 5 2013 |

Can you share which foods you give your dog? I'm making our dog's food and after reading this article I'm questioning whether I am giving her enough variety and nutrition. I am not supplementing with calcium and wonder if I should be adding egg shells as the author suggests. I started thinking I HAD to start adding commercial food to supplement what I'm giving her, but after researching commercial foods again, I realize that no way am I ever going back to commercial foods. So I have to get the home made diet right.

Submitted by Christine | July 24 2013 |

Did you receive a response of which foods to give your dog? I too and in your exact situation, have not supplemented with calcium and thinking I need to start. Please let me know. Thank you,

Submitted by ken jones | August 7 2013 |

hi, I just started with home feeding, working out great; I give her a teaspoon of granulated egg shells morning and one at night. That's about 5,000mg a day plus whats in her other food.

Submitted by Cat Lane | March 18 2014 |

Liz, if this was directed to me, I offer a goodly bit of information on my blog here: http://www.thepossiblecanine.com/
I hope some of it helps; if you are feeding a home made cooked diet without ground bones, you should indeed be supplementing calcium and other nutrients).

Submitted by Kellie | May 28 2014 |

I feed my dog sardines in oil and chicken carcass. She won't eat much else. If we are cooking a red meat, them we give her some too. My vet suggested a raw diet and we have never looked back. I had another dog who ended up allergic to her anal glands, had severe skin irritations and constant infections. We put her on a raw diet and the improvement was amazing. Sadly though, you can't always undo the damage caused from commercial dog food and even though she had more energy and was generally happier, she continued to itch. We lost her at 10 :(.

Submitted by ken jones | August 7 2013 |

excellent comment I'm right there with you. Keep cooking for your doggies they'll stay healthy and love you even more. I can't believe the amount of people who feed their beloved dog the same crap kibble every day, just the same garbage.

Submitted by dana wheatley | January 27 2014 |

Hi there. i have four dogs..3 little yorkies 11yrs..8yrs..and 7 yrs and a cocker who is 6. I love them and they r my children. I have spent so much on pet foods and HIGH vet bills.All the foods have been expensive and the last was blue which they have been on for over 3 yrs. well two days ago 2 out of four had bloody loose stools so off to the vet i went. 3 antibiotics later today they r better but this morning the cocker had the runs!! back to vet i went to get more meds for the other two. And ofcourse he wanted to stop the blue and start them on science diet that he sells!!!!!!! im in tears and need a recipe for homemade dog food PLEASE HELP.I DONT WANT TO FEED THEM BLUE OR HILLS

Submitted by Anonymous | February 1 2014 |

Type "Dr. Strombeck" into the search bar of this site. You will see that homemade dog food recipes from his book are available for free. My 5-year old Havanese had a urinary tract infection and struvite bladder stone and I was told to feed her Royal Canin SO. The ingredients were horrifying and my dog could not tolerate it. I found this site and Dr. Strombeck's recipe for struvite dissolution. I fed my dog his recipe for a month (along with a course of antibiotics) and her stone is gone. His book includes recipes for various health conditions as well as recipes for healthy dogs. Good luck.

Submitted by Julie | June 12 2014 |

My toy poodle recently wound up in hospital with bloody diarrhea, which I believe to be due to his expensive commercial food. I am now cooking for him. He is doing much better and no longer licks his paws, which I think was due to allergies. I feed him a mix of meats, poultry, eggs, and organ meats. Ground eggshells. Sardines or mackerel. About 65% protein and the remainder either brown rice or cooked potato, sweet potato, or pumpkin plus parsley, spinach, or green beans. He never liked any brand of commercial food. He has a good instinct so if he does not like a food (he does not like carrots) I stop trying to feed it to him.

Submitted by Jane | June 25 2014 |

Pam said in her comments, "my vet bills will be confined to boosters once a year." I'm amazed that people who are aware of the need to get away from commercial dog food are still being fooled by the annual vaccine booster scam pushed by Big Pharm through their lackey vets. If I had to choose one of the two evils -- commercial dog food or annual vaccines -- I'd choose kibble, although avoiding both is the key to the best possible health for our pets. When was the last time your doctor asked if you'd received your yearly smallpox vaccine? So why are vets sending out postcards for annual dog vaccines when they all know that reliable immunological studies have proven that immunity from puppy shots lasts for the lifetime of the dog?

Submitted by Frasier | August 9 2013 |

There is no reason dogs need carbohydrates or fiber. Their digestion works just fine fed what it's designed for: raw meat and bones.

Submitted by Cat Lane | March 18 2014 |

It's a little more complex than that, honestly; I have a four-part series on carbohydrate in the canine diet, starting here: http://www.thepossiblecanine.com/think-like-a-nutritionist-carbohydrates...
Have a read and see what you think!

Submitted by Bel | September 6 2013 |

Homecooked diet > any commercial kibble

Submitted by Denise | November 30 2013 |

I have 2 big dogs and a puppy and have been cooking their food for about 6 months. The improvement is dramatic... my oldest dog no longer has joint and arthritis issues, the middle dog no longer chews herself silly and the puppy is just fine and all their coats are beautiful! I don't give them commercial flea and tick meds either I add apple cider vinegar to their drinking water and spray them everyday with apple cider vinegar mixed with water. The vet argued with me about this but couldn't find a flea or tick on any of them. I make them a "meatloaf" once a week portion it and freeze so it's easy during the work week. I use 10lbs ground beef 7% fat or ground turkey or chicken, a bag each of black and red beans, lentils either pearled barley or white rice, carrots and peas or green beans, 18 eggs including the shells and whatever fruits i pick up usually blueberries or apples. Twice a week i add in sardines and sweet potato or pumpkin. I also add Nupro as their vitamin supplement and I add every meal a sprinkle of Nutritional Yeast and Alfalfa. It doesn't sound like it but I actually save over $100 a week making it this way!

Submitted by Michelle | February 25 2014 |

Just wondering how this is going since a few more months have passed? I have two big Labs and i am seriously considering switching to homemade...love the 'meatloaf' idea. Any other tips, ideas? Whats your monthly cost?
Thanks! Michelle

Submitted by Anna | January 15 2014 |

I am a holistic nutritionist for humans, when I started to research what my dogs should eat, I found that dog kibble is the equivalent to the processed foods found on the grocery store isles. It's junk food really. I don't eat that stuff and I won't feed my dogs the same kind of so called food. I've been making food for my dogs for several months now and it's not hard at all. They do require special supplements, but already I have seen improvements in their health, and my dogs were healthy.

Any home made food especially if organic, is way better than the boiled out, not for human consumption pieces of meat, tons of artificial additives and preservatives, colors and flavors kibble. I also switched vets and now go to a holistic vet, my dogs don't get all the crazy vaccines either, just a few of the necessary ones, and all the de-worming I do naturally myself with herbs, foods like raw carrots and pumpkin seeds and Diatomaceous earth.

Submitted by Toby | January 16 2014 |

I came to the site trying to find out whether or not powdered eggshell has calcium bioavailable to dogs. There seem to be differences of opinion. I would certainly give my elderly Bichon home-made food, but I don't want her deprived of minerals. Can anyone help?

Submitted by Joyce S. Gonzalez | March 5 2014 |

I just popped a batch of what I call mutt balls into the oven and my dogs LOVE them. I started cooking a week ago after having to syringe feed one of my dogs her prescription dog food for the last two weeks. My baby has cancer so I'm limiting grains and have focused on getting more protein and vitamins into her. I can't tell you what a difference cooking has made for her. Most of her days were spent laying in bed with nausea, vomiting, loose stools and absolutely no appetite. It broke my heart to see her suffering. I really felt that it was time to put her down...I started doing research on dog food recipes and in my search I came across powdered vitamins and minerals that are specifically for people who cook for their dogs so I ordered it. The company that makes the supplement I'm using is called Furoshnikov's Formulas. There is a simple dog food recipe on the back label although, I used information from the dog cancer blog to create my recipe. My baby is up every morning now to eat her mutt balls. This morning she tried to steal two of her brothers meatballs. Instead of sleeping in her bed all day she sleeps on a pad in the kitchen now...I think she's afraid she'll miss out on her meals. No more nausea, vomiting or loose stools. I'll cook for her til the day she dies. You can download the dog cancer diet pdf for free at the following link. My other two dogs don't have cancer but I'm feeding them all the same diet and they all love it.

Submitted by Cat Lane | March 18 2014 |

Absolutely I can help! Powdered eggshell provides calcium carbonate at about 1800 mgs per level teaspoon of finely powdered shell. Calcium is only a start but it IS an important one, for sure!
how much does your dog weigh?

Submitted by Mary | April 2 2014 |

Hi Kat, my dog weighs 65 pounds. How much eggshell calcium would I need to give her? I make her meatloaf right now. Consisting of ground beef, ground chicken, and assorted vegetables as well as a few eggs (not their shells). Thank you

Submitted by Cat Lane | April 5 2014 |

Hi Mary,
At 65 pounds - assuming she's an adult - her daily RA for calcium is 1640 mgs daily. You can go a little higher, accounting for absorption variability - one level tsp of finely powdered eggshell provides about 1800 mgs calcium carbonate, so I'd use that. Be aware that this diet will need some organ meats for VitaminA, it lacks VitaminD and zinc, and is likely to be low in other nutrients as well. A good start, but remember - variety will NOT assure adequacy, and over time, marginal intake of essentials will show up. Check my blog for more information, if you like. :) Learning to balance nutrients in a recipe is easy to do, and takes your home made recipes to a whole new level of excellence. Good luck!


Submitted by Cat Lane | March 18 2014 |

I have just NOW seen all these comments! I will be delighted to sift through and answer anything that is directed t me, or where I might offer some support. I wonder how I missed all this? My apologies for not replying...

Submitted by Diana | March 24 2014 |

I don't believe enough emphasis is put on one paragraph in this article and that is; "The following applies to adult dogs in good health; if your dog is a puppy, a senior or has health issues, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before making dietary changes." (and hope your veterinarian is not an idiot like mine was)

I wish when I was researching a raw diet for my 9 1/2 year old pit bull that I had seen more warnings regarding a senior dog. It seemed everything I found online was positive stuff and I even have friends who have fed raw and never had a problem. I was told it was never too late to start feeding your dog healthy. Not true.

I fed her Honest Kitchen dehydrated food which is very good, mixed with some raw chicken or raw hamburger. That was my mistake. She died within 6 weeks of starting her on raw from complications of e-coli poison. Her immune system was not strong enough to fight off the bacteria.She was a very healthy dog before I started this diet, so I did not feel the need to check with my vet, who was stupid anyway. My vet did not diagnose her correctly or even look for e-coli, even though I told him she had been on a raw diet and we were there twice within a 3 day period.I did not know at the time what was wrong, but all her symptoms pointed to e-coli. I found this out too late.

So, suffice it to say, I live daily with tremendous guilt for killing my baby with raw food. I absolutely DO NOT recommend it for senior dogs or puppies. BE VERY CAREFUL if you decide to choose raw for your dog. Better yet, don't do it. Cook it first. And make sure you have an awesome, smart vet.

Submitted by Kate | April 29 2014 |

I too have made the leap from commercial to home made, but only after some pretty extensive research, and by research, I don't mean searching the web! Anyone can post anything just as easily as anyone who can get the attention of a publisher can publish anything in print. As far as books, if the books didn't cite research, it wasn't a book I was interested in. Why all this research? Because I want what's best for my dogs.

While most people seem to stop and call it good at coat improvement, I want to make sure things I can't see are still working. That means regular blood evaluations.

I am now finishing year 1 of home made food. While most of my dogs improved and remain sitting with gold stars on their CBC's and Organ Function labs, 2 actually had detrimental effects from the diets. Those effects, had they not been caught early (3 months after the transition), before physical signs showed, might have been very difficult to fix. Ergo, the importance of veterinary involvement and regular lab work. We were able to tweak the diets on the 2 and they are at normal per lab work, and still on home made.

I will continue annual blood evaluations on all my dogs forever and always, just to be sure I'm doing the best for them. I will also continue to research and take classes to learn more.

I don't understand some of the snarkyness of comments directed at the author for telling readers things that need to be told! Never ass-u-me because you make it it is therefore better. If you don't do it right, if you don't monitor the results to make sure your methods are working, you're putting your pride in front of your dog's health.

Submitted by Kaede McL | April 29 2014 |

I’ve been hearing many worrisome things about commercial dog food and treats and the byproducts and fillers in them. I have always put my dogs before myself, they are my world. I don’t want to neglect their diet as I apparently have been… I’ve taken a look at the ingredients in the two separate dog foods I’ve been feeding them over the course of their lifetime and I can’t understand even a quarter of the ingredients in these.

Once a month I bake my dogs homemade Peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats and they love them! I’m interested in branching out to not just those cookies but also to all types of dog treats you can make a home with all natural ingredients. But I also want to make them their own dog food.
I have a Labrador/Collie/Pit mix – Moxie, she was a rescue and at a year and 4 months weighs 57 lbs.
I also have a Chihuahua/Husky Mix (We actually think she’s Shiba Inu but no one seems to know what kind of dog that is, so Husky’s easier to say) who is 3 ½ years old, and is over weight, she weighs 35 lbs.

I really want to start making their food but I’m worried about not giving them a nutritionally balanced diet. Can you give me some advice on where to start?
I’ve gone through about 30 different sites and am unsure of the starting point. I also read on one of them that often times the homemade dog food recipes you find online aren’t nutritionally balanced and I don’t know how to tell if they are or aren’t or what supplements to give if they aren’t.

I appreciate any help/guidance you can provide.
My dogs are my whole world and I’d like to give them the best I can.


Submitted by Learning | May 26 2014 |

I can't say this as fact; but from reading a few dozen sources now (further complicated by the fact that many parrot and plagiarize off each other, often lifting entire paragraphs)that avoid adjectives but list amounts, carrots have more oxalic acid than many dark green leafy vegetables (not all though.) I have seen about 50+ article touting carrots, yet none mention oxalic acid. Either this is a gargantuan and almost comical mistake copied by everyone including experts, there is something else in carrots that changes the nature of the oxalic acid , or some people have actual oxalic content information that is not being widely shared, that contradicts the general consensus range jumbled mess that is being shared, and seems to serve as our "knowledge base." I vote for the first of the three, since it seems pretty common when it comes to science issues. But I also saw that there are widely varying opioionss about how much oxalic acid is in carrots.

It it also kind of interesting, since this is not an expensive measurement and, well, not that oxalic acid is bad -- but the issue is how much and for whom or what and under what conditions -- hundreds of millions of people (and lots of dogs) eat a lot of carrots. Growing condition factors (moisture, soil other nutrient availability, other weather patterns) and even age of plant seem to affect. But it would seem establishing some sort of general idea wouldn't be that hard for a world that put men on the moon several informational revolutions ago. or it may be that the content varies wildly depending on conditions, from almost none, to very bitter or different tasting carrots that have a lot (for instance, but am just guessing as an example), but then we should at least somewhat know that, as it's pretty simple information to figure out. But then again, this is food, and we are just emerging from the dark ages. And it's science, and science ability, where, at least in popular culture and politics, we are -- at least relatively speaking --- entering them.

Submitted by Gene | July 17 2014 |

From my research I believe there are several issues with carrots. They are high in vitamin A which may be a problem if you are feeding raw liver as too much A can cause an excessive build up in the liver to toxic levels. Also carrots are fairly high in carbs compared to other vegetables. I started my two GSD's on a raw diet after my vet failed to identify a bad allergy and recurring infections in the male. The first few weeks were worrisome but they came through and now are very healthy and active. I did a lot of research, as you appear to have done, and I am confident in my nutritional expertise for them. Most recently I have begun using baby food as a supplement for vegetables. They appear to be doing well on it so far... Just know what not to feed if anyone decides to try this. It is more convenient that grinding/purée. Also, the bioavailability of vegetables is almost always greater when cooked/processed. At present I am only feeding half a small jar each, twice a week. We'll see what the labs say in a few months.

Submitted by SRS | June 13 2014 |

There are some potential oversights here. For one thing, large amounts of calcium carbonate may affect a dog's stomach acid because calcium carbonate is a base. Citrate, which is a neutral salt, is better, unless a dog's digestive system needs to have its pH raised with carbonate.

Brown rice tends to be high in arsenic and should always be avoided. One rice bran hot cereal was found to have 30 micrograms of inorganic arsenic in just one serving! Brown rice is a very unhealthy trendy filler.

Quinoa has saponin on the seed coat which does not completely rinse away. Even the pre-washed Quinoa benefits from a lot of soaking and changing. I have even had to dump the water while cooking and add fresh -- all to try to remove the saponin. It pulls cells from the stomach lining and can cause pain and worse. It's very trendy but I'll bet that indigenous food preparation involved fermentation or something to eliminate the saponin.

Submitted by Rachel | June 16 2014 |

The funny thing about this article is that most humans fail to meet their nutritional needs, by a long shot, and I highly doubt that corporate America has figured it our for dogs...so anyone trying to do otherwise is probably succeeding better than the rest just feeding Alpo.. If all this energy spent t in this article could be used to help homeless pets, I think the world would be a better , more grounded place.

Submitted by Suzanne | August 13 2014 |

This is a great article. I have 2 spoodles (3 years and 10 months). I home feed them different varieties of meat and vegies with a calcium supplement and an omega blend. They get a vitamin tablet each morning and they do eat some high quality kibble from time to time although not very often even though I leave it out every day. My vet looks at me with disdain when I mention that I home cook for them and I do worry about them getting the correct amount of vitamins and minerals. I live in a regional town in Western Australia and I cannot find a canine nutritionist either here or in greater Western Australia. I would love a nutritionist to give me a recipe that I could interchange with different meat and vegies - my dogs will not eat the same food 2 days in a row! If anyone could point me in the direction of a web site that contains nutritionally balanced recipies that would be great. :-) PS my 2 spoodles appear to be very healthy and happy and my 3year old female spoodle competes in agility. My female weighs 10.6 kilos and my 10 month old male weighs 9.2 kilos :-)

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