1. Fresh is best – it’s worth using as many fresh ingredients as you can in your recipes as they pack in much higher levels of vitamins and other nutrients than processed foods. Fresh veg, fruit and meats should make up the majority of your dog’s dishes if possible – and this approach doesn’t have to cost any more either as cheap wonky veg is just as nutritious and your dog won’t care about the look.
2. Keep it simple – you don’t need to produce haute cuisine for your dog - simple, fresh and nutritious meals are all that’s required – so there’s no point over-complicating the recipes or ingredient lists. Try to stick to no more than 6 ingredients and cook everything together in one pot so it’s as quick and easy as possible.
3. Calcium is king – one of the main dangers of feeding home-cooked meals is calcium deficiency as meals made from meat and veg will almost always be too low in this essential mineral. To overcome this, you’ll need to add a calcium supplement in the form of calcium carbonate powder, meat & bone meal or crushed eggshells.
4. Variety is the spice of life – dogs love variety in their diets – it’s one of the main reasons why I think home-cooking is better than commercial diets – and it’s also key to providing long-term nutritional balance. Try to use at least 5 different recipes, feeding something different every day if possible.
5. Stay safe – there are a few ingredients that we enjoy in our diets that can be seriously dangerous to dogs, so make sure you avoid chocolate, grapes, raisins, mushrooms, onion and garlic, avocado, macadamia nuts, artificial sweeteners and sweet corn cobs (they can get stuck in the digestive system)