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I'm transitioning the dry kibble diet of my 7-month-old Brittany puppy towards a mix of dry kibble and home-cooked wet food.

I adapted one of these recipes and I would like to have expert opinion on the nutritional value of it for a proper dog's diet. Of course I won't ask a single question for every single recipe, but probably this one allows to draw conclusions and mention general principles.

  • chicken breasts, around 700 grams
  • 3 cups of minced carrots
  • 2 cups of broccoli
  • 1.5 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 cubes of dried chicken broth
  • 1 egg

I cooked the chicken alone until it was white in the center. Then in another pot I mixed the vegetables the chicken broth and a lot of water. When the vegetables were tender I added the chicken and the egg. I waited until the consistency wasn't too liquid.

That final result filled a whole big cooking pot and the dog ate that over 7 days (evenings), in addition to half the recommended amount of dry kibble (mornings).

By the way it is super delicious and I'd be happy to eat it.

I know there are many opinions about the amount of meat dogs should eat and the usefulness of vegetables and/or grain. What about this mix?

  • If you want an experts opinion, talk to your vet about your dietary plans for your puppy. Also, have them recommend a veterinarian nutritionist. The information you get from the internet needs to be put in the context of your particular dogs health, history & profile and your vet is the only expert in that regard. – Mr. Kennedy Mar 22 '17 at 18:00
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There are several sites that discuss healthy diets in relation to home-cooked food for dogs. Several general rules apply, such as those discussed in tips for making homemade dog food:

  1. Balancing the diet is the most important factor. If the diet is not balanced, it goes from the best food to feed, to not so good at all. If there are no vitamins or minerals (especially calcium) in the diet, dogs run into deficiencies quite quickly.

  2. Meat selection: Meat, raw or cooked is the base ingredient for homemade dog food. Dogs are obligate carnivores and thrive on a meat based diet. Meat options include: beef, lamb, pork, turkey, chicken, venison, ostrich, buffalo, etc. Be sure the meat is fresh and fit for human consumption. The fat content should be no greater than 15-20%.

  3. Vegetables: Vegetables make up about 1/4 of the meal and provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dogs get more nutrients from the vegetables if they are lightly steamed.

    • Vegetables to include: squash, pumpkin, zucchini, carrots, peas, beets, yams, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and sweet potato.
    • Vegetables to avoid: onion, potato, tomato, bell peppers, spinach, raw beans, garlic, leek, chard and beet greens.
  4. Avoid feeding carbohydrates (corn, wheat, rice, brown rice & potatoes): Dogs lack the digestive enzymes to break down and metabolize carbohydrates. They contain no nutritional value for dogs and basically just go right through the digestive tract. Carbohydrates are the main cause of many canine diseases, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease and allergies.

  5. Monitor the results: Play around with different meat/vegetable combinations. See which meat and vegetables are your dogs favorite.

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A very thorough article can also be found at The Whole Dog Journal which discusses in-depth ingredient guidelines and potential vitamin supplements.

  • Meat and Other Animal Products: Should always make up at least half of the diet. Many raw diets are excessively high in fat, which can lead to obesity. Another potential hazard of diets containing too much fat: If an owner restricts the amount fed (in order to control the dog’s weight) too much, the dog may suffer deficiencies of other required nutrients.
  • Eggs: Highly nutritious addition to any diet. Dogs weighing about 20 pounds can have a whole egg every day, but give less to smaller dogs.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: While not a significant part of the evolutionary diet of the dog and wolf, fruits and vegetables provide fiber that supports digestive health, as well as antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that contribute to health and longevity. Deeply colored vegetables and fruits are the most nutritious.

Based on these principles, your recipe seems to incorporate these factors. There are other recipes available if your dog does not take to the current one, although meats and vegetables can be used in different combinations to suit your pet's needs and preferences. Just made sure you are in fact cooking your broccoli:

  • Leafy Green and Other Non-Starchy Vegetables: These are low in calories and can be fed in any quantity desired. Too much can cause gas, and raw, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower can suppress thyroid function (cook them if you feed large amounts). Raw vegetables must be pureed in a food processor, blender, or juicer in order to be digested properly by dogs, though whole raw veggies are not harmful and can be used as treats.

And, of course, if you have any concerns about your pet's diet, you can always talk to your veterinarian during your next scheduled visit.

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    Great information! What about the rolled oats I included in the recipe. Is it considered "bad" (carbohydrate) even if cooked (boiled)? – Cedric H. May 19 '14 at 11:31
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    From the whole-dog-journal.com: "Grains and starchy veggies should make up no more than half the diet. Good choices include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and pasta. White rice can be used to settle an upset stomach, particularly if overcooked with extra water, but it’s low in nutrition and should not make up a large part of the diet. All grains must be well cooked." – Cedric H. May 19 '14 at 11:37

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