With so many different types of products on the market, deciding what to feed your dog can be one of the toughest decisions to make as a pet parent. Cooking fresh, homemade food for your dog at home offers a vast array of benefits, but how does it compare to commercial kibble that you purchase at the store?
Is homemade dog food better than kibble?
The best choice of food for your dog depends not just on the ingredients in the food, but your dog's lifestyle as well. For example, a dog that goes on multiple walks or runs daily may thrive on a different formula than a little couch potato pup. If a kibble's packaging states that it "meets all AAFCO standards for adult dog nutrition," the food should contain all of the nutrients your dog needs daily.
Homemade dog food should be supplemented to ensure each meal your dog is served is complete and balanced. When choosing what to cook for your dog, it's important to choose recipes that are formulated by professionals, like board certified veterinary nutritionists.
Overall, homemade dog food should be more fresh and colorful than a commercial kibble dog food. Studies show that human-grade, fresh dog food has a very high digestibility of amino acids, which means the dogs made excellent use of these nutrients in the fresh food.
Is homemade dog food more affordable than kibble?
This depends on the price of the kibble and the choice of recipes. Kibble can be pretty inexpensive, but this usually means the quality can be lacking. It's important to avoid commercial dog foods that contain ingredients like byproducts, fillers and dyes. When cooking at home for your dog, methods like batch cooking and buying in bulk can help save you money. Cooking for your dog using nutrient-dense, plant-based proteins will naturally save on costs since these proteins are less expensive than their meat-based counterparts.
Do vets recommend homemade dog food over kibble?
As long as the recipes you choose for your dog are complete and balanced and include a supplement, most veterinarians will approve of this diet for your dog. If you choose to cook at home for your dog, be sure to run the recipes and supplement you plan to use by your vet so they can approve them and give you the green light!
Does commercial kibble lack vitamins?
Since commercial kibble is extruded and cooked at high temperatures, some of the nutrition can be cooked out of the food. When making fresh food for your dog, the nutritional supplement is added after the food is cooked, which ensures the vitamins and minerals remain intact.
No matter what change you are considering for your dog's diet, always be sure to visit your veterinarian with any questions before making the switch.