Home-cooked Food – Facts and Myths

PSA – I am self-taught and this guide is not meant to be an exhaustive list or replace what your vet/nutritionist advised you! I just want to share some nuggets of information I picked up along the way 🙂

Myth #1: Dogs can eat exactly what humans eat!

Dear hoomums and hoodads out there, do you have the misconception that dogs eat exactly what we eat? For instance, rice, meat and vegetables are sufficient to constitute a nutritious and balanced diet?

Like many of you, when I first adopted Max, that was what I thought. However, after a horrible itchy episode that Max suffered, I realised that what I was feeding was highly inflammatory and not even balanced!

What is a balanced diet then?

A quick rule of thumb is the 80 – 5 – 15 rule that I follow. There are slight variations out there and it all depends on your dog (and any pre-existing health conditions that he/she may have)

Generally, 80% of the bowl should be filled with meat.

Meat includes pork, chicken, beef, crocodile, lamb etc. It can be minced or in cubed form, whichever your dog prefers. Additionally, try spicing up the meat options by adding in different seafoods such as canned tuna in water (do check for salt content), salmon and green lipped mussels.

*Bones of canned fish are edible

5% refers to offals and kidneys – these are essential for balancing the diet!
15% refers to vegetables and grains.

For vegetables, it is advisable to choose vegetables that are low in sugar such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini and cucumbers. Try to reduce the number of potatoes (too much carbs!) and carrots (high in sugar). Additionally, vegetables should be cooked and cut into smaller pieces to aid digestion!

For grains, white rice, white bread and pasta should be avoided (it increases the chances of yeast infections and many dogs are allergic to it). Instead, opt for wholesome grains such as quinoa, oats and lentils.

Myth #2: Dogs don’t need supplements

While it is true that not all supplements are necessary for a balanced meal, it is important to add in calcium to your dog’s home cooked food. The amount of calcium to add depends on your dog’s body weight, and there are lots of online resources to help calculate this. Examples of calcium include finely grounded egg-shell powder and bonemeal powder.

Optional but highly recommended supplements include:

  • For joints: rosehip powder and golden paste
  • For gut health: probiotics, greek yoghurt, kefir and cottage cheese
  • Herbs – rosemary, turmeric, oregano and cinnamon

Do check the dosages of these based on your own dog’s weight!

Myth #3: Dogs do not need oils

While oils are optional, they are a great source of omega-3 and helps with fur growth! These are the 3 common oils that are fed:

  • Fish oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Flaxseed oil – alternatively, flaxseeds can be bought and grounded prior to meals

Summary

Conclusion

While home-cooked food is better than commercial brands because you know what is going into their meals, it is important for their diet to be balanced and nutritious as well.

If you are deciding to switch their diet to home-cooked food, do start slow, especially if your dog has a sensitive gut and monitor their stools as well.

I hope that my advice has been helpful! Max says a big thank you to everyone who has read till here.

If you want to follow Max’s journey, his instagram is @thelazygoldiemax <3

19 Comments

  • Jane
    Posted September 9, 2020 6:01 pm 0Likes

    Super useful, thanks for this!! I’m thinking to start introducing some HCF to milky so the rule is really informative 😍

  • Tara
    Posted September 9, 2020 6:07 pm 0Likes

    This was extremely helpful!!! I have dogs at home, and this gave me great insight as to how to improve their diet 👍🏻

  • Joy
    Posted September 9, 2020 6:07 pm 0Likes

    Wow, this is so insightful! Thank you for debunking these myths. Love that picture of Max!

  • Chloe
    Posted September 9, 2020 6:09 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for sharing! I’m preparing to adopt a dog and this will really help ♥️ Learnt so much 🙂

  • Isabel
    Posted September 9, 2020 7:26 pm 0Likes

    Wow! This is so informative thank you for sharing it really helps me out!

  • Daniel Teo
    Posted September 9, 2020 7:30 pm 0Likes

    This is very informative. Thanks for this piece!

  • Gracie
    Posted September 9, 2020 7:32 pm 0Likes

    So interesting, really helped me debunk my misconceptions!

  • Samantha
    Posted September 9, 2020 7:33 pm 0Likes

    Awesome piece! Thanks for this

  • chelsea
    Posted September 9, 2020 7:49 pm 0Likes

    this is so informative!! thank u for sharing ur knowledge can’t wait to try this for misha 🤤🤤

  • EILEEN YAK
    Posted September 9, 2020 7:56 pm 0Likes

    Ashley, you are really a good and caring ❤ owner .. Max is lucky to be adopted by you!

  • Amy
    Posted September 9, 2020 8:00 pm 0Likes

    wow this is so useful and easy to read!! The infographics are also 😍😍

  • Gracia
    Posted September 9, 2020 8:05 pm 0Likes

    super interesting, thanks for sharing!

  • Weihong
    Posted September 9, 2020 8:45 pm 0Likes

    Dear Ashley,

    shared this with my niece who has a Golden Retriever puppy. She was wondering how to prepare food for her pup in the future. Much thanks once again. Hope that you and Max are coping well through Covid.

    xx

  • Clar
    Posted September 9, 2020 9:02 pm 0Likes

    Hey Ashley, kudos to the effort you put into preparing Max’s food! Most owners I know use food packs & I didn’t realise dogs also need supplements… I hope those owners are taking care of their dogs….

    • Ashley
      Posted September 10, 2020 8:50 am 0Likes

      exactly! Not many people know that home cooked food requires supplements too

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