*for occasional use only. For optimum nutrition, visit with your vet for the most appropriate food to feed your pet!*
Dog-lovers around the world will admit that there is just something special about the relationship between dog and dog-owner. When you love your pet, you want to do everything in your power to give him a good life. You buy fun toys, tasty dog biscuits, a nice warm bed (which promptly gets left unused because he sleeps in bed with his humans), and research the best foods to properly nourish your furry friend.
And if you’re like me, maybe that leads to doing a lot of Internet research. You will find no shortage of websites that explain why commercial dogs foods are bad, why grain in dog foods is terrible, and even claims that vets won’t tell you the truth because they are getting paid by the commercial dog food companies. These sites, while well-intentioned (because it doesn’t look like they are benefiting from their claims), provide homemade dog food recipes, but are actually doing more damage than good.
Spoiler alert – this post DOES include a dog food recipe you can make in your Instant Pot. This blog, however, emphatically will repeat – THIS IS FOR OCCASIONAL USE ONLY! If you really want to spoil your dog, make this dog food and use it once a month at most, or just make your own dog treats!
Here is the truth. First, dogs are not strictly carnivores. While they certainly have a dietary preference and many physiological adaptations for a purely meat-based diet, dogs are in fact omnivores, meaning they can derive nutrition from animal and plant matter. Conduct a web search and you will find tons of articles on both side of the fence…but according to web-dvm.net and Dr. Tom Tayor of Den Herder Veterinary Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, they are most certainly omnivores (and that even wolves, from which dogs evolved from, are omnivores!).
Second, there is NO scientific evidence that shows that homemade food is healthier, and in fact, there is MOUNDS of evidence that shows that not only can it be much less nutritious, but that homemade dog food can also CAUSE heart conditions because of the lack of micronutrients. According to this FDA warning , grain-free diets are being linked to canine heart disease. The article points out
They also noticed that both the typical and atypical breeds were more likely to be eating boutique or grain-free diets, and diets with exotic ingredients—kangaroo, lentils, duck, pea, fava bean, buffalo, tapioca, salmon, lamb, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas. Even some vegan diets have been associated. It has even been seen in dogs eating raw or home-prepared diets.
But wait, you may ask, why are you giving us a homemade dog food recipe then?
Dr. Taylor shared his thoughts about homemade dog food, and that he understands the desire to feed home-cooked food comes from our need to provide only the best for our animals. “People love their pets. But as a vet, I love their pets too, and I’ve seen cases where dogs become dangerously malnourished from what the owners refer to as a ‘whole food, grain-free diet’,” explains Dr. Taylor. “I want to remind pet owners that commercial dog food companies, while yes, they are looking to make a profit on their products, do actually work hard to produce a food that is well-balanced and full of all the micro-nutrients that a homemade dog food will never contain.”
We wanted to provide a well-balanced meal that our pets will love, that includes as much of the important micro-nutrients we could, but knowing this is NOT a complete meal. Dr. Taylor approves of this recipe for OCCASIONAL USE ONLY.
With all that being said, occasionally using this recipe as a treat can be a fun way to reward your pet with a meal you’ve lovingly prepared in your Instant Pot. Even better, make our Instant Pot dog treats and you can feed those even more frequently to your dog in between his meals – using veterinarian-recommended dog food!
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