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Ask the Pet Vet: Can I make homemade dog food, and how?

Dear Dr. Karel,
Do you have any recommendations for ingredients for homemade dog food? I started feeding our 13-year-old Welsh Terrier what I’m told is “human grade” freeze-dried food. It’s very expensive and I thought I could make his food for (hopefully) less cost. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. —Michael and Joey

Dear Michael and Joey,
Making homemade dog food is valiant work. However, you cannot just wing it because the balance of amino acids and nutrients is critical to your dog’s health. An imbalance of calcium and potassium can damage bones and lead to life-threatening diseases.

There are several good resources for designing your own dog’s diet. The University of California Davis’ veterinary nutritionists provide free recipes and sell the pre-mix additives to make many different foods. The key here is following the recipe exactly and using the pre-mix. This will ensure a balanced and healthy diet.

If your dog has medical problems related to diet, please consult with your vet before embarking on a diet change. Davis also provides customized recipes for medical conditions that your vet can access.

Here is a website for BalanceIt®, which has information about homemade pet food.

Please feel free to ask any additional questions over in my forum.

Ask the Pet Vet

Fido feeling under the weather? Fifi been having some tummy troubles? Worried about ticks? What’s better, wet food or dry food? Wondering how to clip your pet’s nails? Ask veterinarian Dr. Karel Carnohan your questions. Please include a description of your pet’s issue or a question you’re curious about over in her forum. Dr. Karel will do her best to answer your questions.

##RVT1036

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