If you've been wondering if you should make your own dog food in light of the numerous pet food recalls and many stories of toxic ingredients, you're certainly not alone. Many dog owners are now taking on the role of chef to ensure their furry friends are always getting the safest, and most nutritious of foods.

When you decide to make your own dog food you're in control of every ingredient your dog eats, and in a much better position to monitor their overall health. Using a variety of home cooked dog food recipes filled with the many vitamins and minerals they need as opposed to commercially made foods and treats, you know that you're not giving your dog dangerous additives, food colorings, and preservatives filled with chemicals.

Most homemade dog food recipes are comprised of meat, which is due to the fact that dogs are carnivores. Meat and proteins keep your dog's immune system functioning properly and keep their coat looking shiny and healthy.

A lack of protein may cause digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, or even certain skin conditions or problems with their ears and hearing. The best recipes for homemade dog treats use quality meats such as beef, lamb, and chicken, instead of meat byproducts, along with some vegetables and brown rice.

When using homemade dog food recipes, you'll want to be sure that each one has the right balance of all the much-needed vitamins your dog needs on a daily basis including niacin, folic acid, and vitamins A, D, E, K, and B1 and 12.

Minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium are equally important for our canine family members, and deficiencies may lead to serious disorders and conditions such as paralysis, muscle weakness, even convulsions.

Deficiencies of some vitamins, such as vitamin A, may cause vision problems, weight loss, and a weakened immune system, leaving your dog prone to a host of illnesses. A lack of vitamin B12 may cause your dog to lose their appetite, become anemic, or adversely affect their bone marrow production.

A recent study uncovered the toxic chemical sodium pentobarbital, which is actually used when euthanizing pets, in commercially made dog food.

Exposure to chemicals such as these over a long period of time may cause substantial damage to your dog's system, if not death. But with homemade dog food recipes, you can be sure no such chemicals will ever find their way into your dog's food dish.

Of course if you make dog treats for your pet instead of buying them, there's still no guarantee your dog won't develop some type of health problem over the course of his or her life anyway, but at least you'll know that you're not unknowingly giving them any toxic or tainted ingredients.

If you've decided to make your own dog food for your own peace of mind, know that it may take a bit more work and time, however, that's a small price to pay for the good health of your beloved pet.

More dog food ideas:

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How to Make Your Own Dog Treats the Easy Way

Homemade Dog Treats Business: Make Dog Treats for Profit