Making your own dog food – balanced and healthy

Friday July 05, 2019

What you’re probably missing when you ‘make your own dog food’

If you’re a ‘Do It Yourself’ dog foodie, give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve made a great decision as well as making a tremendous and positive impact on your dog’s life. After all, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a delicious home cooked meal right?


There’s always a however.

Despite their robust little digestive tracts, dogs actually have pretty diverse nutritional needs and also require the ‘right’ balance. Their constant companionship throughout human history has left an imprint on their dietary needs. Let’s take a look at a few of them that you may be missing as a DIY Dog-foodie.

The Calcium-Phosphorus balance is probably one of the hardest things to get right when making your dog food. It’s also one of the most important.

Phosphorous – Why is it important?

Phosphorus is found in meat and is essential for forming bones and teeth in dogs. It also serves several other important functions, especially when working alongside the B vitamins.

Some of these functions include:
Synthesizing protein for cellular growth
Helps with muscle contraction
Kidney function
Maintaining Heartbeat regularity and nerve conduction

So, it’s kind of a big deal for dogs…
Identifying a lack of Phosphorus is a bit tricky but can have dire consequences for your dog’s health. More common in growing dogs and puppies, the condition is known as Hyperphosphatemia and is identified by lab testing carried out by your Vet.

Calcium – It’s not just for shiny teeth

Remember being nagged to drink your milk as a child so that you could grow strong bones? Well, Calcium is responsible for a lot more than just that and it’s the same with our dogs. For dogs, Calcium is responsible for making sure that the heart functions efficiently, it helps the blood to clot, aids in digestion, supports proper nerve function and of course, this little electrolyte helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth! It’s also essential for immune and endocrine function. If you come up short on Calcium your pet may experience Hypocalcemia and exhibit symptoms like:

Muscle twitching and trembling
Uncoordinated or stiff gait
Face rubbing against objects
Lack of appetite

Achieving a balance of Phosphorous and Calcium

Ideally, dogs should get 1.2 parts Calcium for every 1 part of Phosphorus. Sources of Calcium may include bones, dairy, organ tissues, meat and legume plants. If you’ve been making your own dog food for a while you are no doubt aware of this ratio and have probably secured a few recipes that meet that ratio with minimum hassle. If you’re looking for even less hassle secure some Dig-In Fresh and a recipe card and the math has been done for you.

Other things to get right when making your own dog food

While the Calcium and Phosphorus ratio and balance is one of the BIG ones, there are several other smaller but still important dietary needs that you need to get right in order to attain a balanced meal for your pet (all of which are solved by the use of Dig-In Fresh). These include:

Correct macro-Nutrient mix for your dog

The ‘macronutrient mix’ is the mix of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and fibre (essential for healthy digestion among other things).

Essential Fatty Acids Omega 3 and 6

Is your dog’s coat lacking that soft silky sheen? That may be a symptom of a low intake of Omega 3 and 6. Dogs need Omega 3 & 6 for correct cognitive and kidney function, and to reduce the risk of lymphoma, heart disease and help prevent arthritis. A lot of DIY dog foodies add fish oils to their dog’s meals, but again it comes down to balance. Too much and your dog will let you know with loose stools among other symptoms. Too little and you’ll start to see a dull coat and be setting the stage for larger problems further down the track.

Dig-In Fresh gets the balance right and provides the best nutrition for your dog

Dig-In Fresh is simply added to your homemade dog food, and provides the perfect combination of vitamins and minerals. When you use our recipes, the hard work of ratios, weights and more is all done for you. It also contains the prebiotics from our original Dig-In product, ensuring optimal health through nutrition at every meal.

Dig-In Fresh is the right amount of the right stuff to ensure your DIY efforts are made super tasty and super healthy.

Get Started – here.


Calcium Deficiency in Dogs

Nutrition for Dogs: Fat, Protein and Carb Levels in Dog Food