Cook homemade meals for dogs that consist of at least 50 percent lean meat and other low-fat animal products, including poultry, fish, raw meaty bones, eggs and organ meat, along with 50 percent starchy vegetables, leafy greens, fruits and grains. A calcium supplement is required, as are fish and plant oils to add necessary vitamins and nutrients. Feed a varied, healthy diet that closely follows the National Research Council’s guidelines for canine nutrition.
Unless a dog is a working dog or does intense exercise every day, serve only lean meats, such as poultry, pork and low-fat cuts of beef. Trim the fat from the meat whenever possible. Dark-meat poultry is preferable to white unless the dog requires a very low fat diet as prescribed by a veterinarian. Vary the meat selection. Never use one food item as more than 50 percent of the meal.
Meat may be cooked or served raw. If raw, meaty bones, such as chicken thighs and turkey necks or backs, are used, they should make up no more than one-third of the diet. Cooked bones are dangerous to dogs and may cause intestinal blockages and other health emergencies. Do not feed dogs cooked bones.
Acceptable dairy products include yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and kefir. Other cheeses are too high in fat to be a regular part of the diet.
Grains and starchy vegetables must be served cooked to be properly digested. Either cook or puree leafy greens in a food processor. Serve small amounts of fruit raw or cooked to dogs who enjoy it, but avoid grapes, as they are toxic to dogs.