Like their human companions, pets have carbon footprints — errr, pawprints — of their own, tied largely to their diets. Reduce your dog’s carbon pawprint with this DIY dog food recipe using healthy, whole ingredients.

With the advent of healthier foods becoming more available; we have begun to mind our diets a bit better. Additionally, it is important to keep our fur-babies’ own nutritional needs in mind, and that is why I’d like to share this super easy DIY dog food recipe you can make at home in a crockpot. But before we get to the meat of things (pun intended), we should first establish why your pup’s diet should be at the front of your mind.

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How Age Affects Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs 

Whether you have a rambunctious pup, a full-grown adult dog, or one that’s getting long in the tooth; each stage of your dog’s life requires a diet with specific needs. To be sure those needs are being met, it is important you schedule regular checkups and weigh-ins with your veterinarian.

Choosing the Right Dog Food 

Things to consider when feeding your pup are their activity level and whether or not they have any health issues. Typically a puppy is going to require a diet with more protein than an adult or mature dog, and The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) suggests food with no less than 22% protein. This is due to their higher level of activity, but also because they’re growing the bulk of their muscle mass at this stage. A mature dog (past the ¾ mark of their life expectancy) will require a diet rich in antioxidants, calcium, as well as certain vitamins and minerals. So with your dog’s age, health, and activity level directly affecting their diet (much like ourselves), it’s imperative you consult a professional regarding any questions or concerns. 

PRO TIP: You can do weigh-ins at home if you have a regular bathroom scale. First, weigh yourself, then grab your pup and get back on the scale, finally subtract your weight from the combined weight and you’ll have your pup’s weight. Do a quick internet search for the healthy weight for your dog’s age and breed… and there you go!

Healthy DIY Dog Food Recipe

*Be sure to consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.

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How to Avoid Harmful Dog Foods

I am sure you have seen the dog food recalls in the news lately, and this can be alarming for a caring pet owner. But how do you avoid harmful dog foods in the first place? The FDA has a helpful link where you can find the latest dog food recalls, and AAFCO has a helpful link that breaks down what the dog food ingredients actually mean. There are many other helpful sites and organizations out there that are dedicated to the health and safety of animals, so be sure to utilize their published information and resources to make the best choice for your pup. 

DIY Dog Food As Part of Healthy Lifestyle

We all know that we should be eating better and getting plenty of exercise, but it’s important to remember your dog’s health too. Be sure you’re taking your dog out for regular walks and exercise, and do your homework when it comes to their food. We love our dogs, and most of us consider them one of the family, so let’s do our part in caring for their needs. 

Photos and graphics by Beau Downard.

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