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Homemade recipes for your dog: what foods to include? Recipe ideas

You don't have to buy ready-made food for your dog. You can prepare your dog's meals at home, as long as you know exactly what foods to include in the various preparations. The challenge is to perfectly meet the needs of the animal's body. Cooking for your dog is also an excellent idea because it's a change from the eternal kibbles. Motivated owners can find here some ideas for tasty and balanced recipes for their little companion.

Preparing your dog's meals yourself: what's the point?

Not so long ago, most dog owners used to make their own meals for their little companions. At most, they bought a few treats specially prepared for their pets.

There are some real benefits to preparing food for your four-legged friend. For example, we can see that homemade dog food is tastier than commercial food, and that it can be perfectly balanced if we take care to adapt the menus and the rations to the needs of the animal according to its breed, its sex, its age and its lifestyle. Moreover, the specific recipes for dogs are not very complicated to make and it doesn't take much time as long as you are used to this type of preparation.

This is the best way to know exactly what your pet eats, to control each ration and to limit the risk of overweight. Let's not forget that some breeds of dogs are particularly prone to this.

Finally, the notion of pleasure is not to be neglected. Your dog will enjoy the recipes prepared by his owner much more than a bowl of kibble or a can of dog food. Ideally, you should get your pet used to homemade recipes as soon as possible so that he is not totally dependent on industrial food.

Foods to include in homemade recipes for dogs

Homemade recipes for your dog are limited to a few well-chosen ingredients so that each ration respects the recommended daily intake, namely
  • Fresh vegetables (no canned vegetables) and why not Organic: rich in water and fiber, they help fight against constipation. Moreover, they are well supplied with vitamins. Green beans, zucchini, carrots and leeks are preferred. They can be offered raw or cooked but they must be mixed. Be careful not to give your dog vegetables that ferment, as is the case with all those from the cruciferous family (all kinds of cabbage).
  • Cereals: they provide essential carbohydrates. They must always be perfectly cooked. The best solution is to give your dog rice because it is easy to digest. It is important to avoid all gluten-rich cereals because, as in humans, some dogs are intolerant and can be affected by many symptoms.
  • Protein-rich foods: A dog needs an adequate source of protein. You can therefore vary the pleasures by giving him lean meat, fish or even egg whites, as long as they are raw.
  • A little vegetable oil: the right dose is 2 tablespoons per day for a dog weighing 50 kg, 1 tablespoon if it weighs 25 kg or ½ tablespoon if its weight does not exceed 11 kg. We choose an oil extracted by first cold pressure, of the sunflower, rapeseed, grape seed or corn type.
A few straws of brewer's yeast: brewer's yeast is one of the perfect food supplements for dogs because it supplements their daily diet with vitamin B and maintains their intestinal microbiota.

To give your dog a well-balanced diet, it should be composed of one third fresh vegetables, one third rice and one third protein-rich food, all subtly sprinkled with a little vegetable oil. To avoid mineral, trace element and vitamin deficiencies, an adapted supplementation can be given to him on the advice of the veterinarian.

Respecting your dog's rations

The quantity of food per ration should be sufficient but never excessive. We recommend more or less 30 g of food per kilo, i.e:
  • 180 g for a dog of 6 kg,
  • 450 g for a dog of 15 kg,
  • 900 g for a dog of 30 kg,
  • Between 2000 and 2200 g for a dog weighing 80 kg.
Whatever the weight of the ration, it must always contain each type of food in the proportions indicated above. At the same time, the dog must have some physical activity every day. If he spends his life on the couch, it is necessary to reduce his ration. Similarly, the diet of a pregnant or nursing dog must be completely readapted to this period of life. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian for nutritional advice to avoid mistakes.

Recipe ideas to treat your dog

As we have seen, homemade food for dogs is limited to a few ingredients. So there's no need to be a Master Chef! Forget about salt, pepper, chili, onion, wine sauce or crepes Suzette with Grand Marnier...

Beef with carrots and zucchini: 1/3 coarsely chopped beef, 1/3 grated raw carrots, 1/6 sticky rice, 1/6 cooked zucchini mashed, 1 drizzle of sunflower oil, 1 pinch of beer yeast flakes.

Chicken and chicken mishmash with rice and green beans: 1/6 of potted chicken meat, 1/6 of sautéed chicken fillet, 1/3 of well-cooked rice, 1/3 of green beans, 1 dash of corn oil.

Egg vegetable pie: 1/3 leek fondue, 1/3 carrots, 1/3 rice, 1 or 2 raw egg whites. Mix the egg whites with the various vegetables and grains to make a small terrine and sprinkle it with beer yeast flakes.

Pork and vegetable stir-fry: 1/3 lean pork (roast or rack), 1/6 green beans, 1/6 semi-cooked carrots, 1/6 rice cooked in meat stock.

Tuna and zucchini with rice: 1/3 natural tuna or fresh tuna cooked in court-bouillon, 1/3 steamed zucchini slices, 1/3 rice cooked with rapeseed oil.

Duck and chicken terrine with rice and green beans: 1/6 duck, 1/6 chicken, 1/3 rice, 1/3 green bean purée.

Be careful not to give the skin of poultry to your dog because it contains a large amount of fat. Chicken and turkey are very common meats served to dogs, but it is possible to include beef, pork, duck, lamb, rabbit and even kangaroo in their meals.

Whatever meat you choose, it is imperative to remove the fat from the pieces you wish to cook for your dog, because if your dog needs protein, it should not be full of fat! When buying meat, you should ask about its fat content, knowing that it varies according to the piece of meat. To avoid making a mistake, simply ask the butcher for advice. After a few weeks of practice, the dog's owner should know everything about this subject.

Why does my dog have bad breath?

Bad breath (or halitosis) in dogs is a recurring problem that can be caused by a number of different things. The most common is poor oral hygiene. But it can also be related to digestive problems or even to an extremely serious pathology. When a foul odor or an ammonia smell comes from the mouth of his dog, the owner must take him to the veterinarian without delay.

Main cause of bad breath in dogs: dental plaque

As with humans, a lack of dental hygiene in dogs leads to the proliferation of bacteria that first form an orange-colored film on the teeth. After some time without hygiene, this layer thickens until tartar forms more and more. However, under this dental plaque, bacteria continue to multiply and end up colonizing the oral cavity of the animal, which can lead to :
  • A bacterial infection,
  • A loosening of the teeth,
  • A wound on the mucous membrane,
  • An inflammation of the gums,
  • Tooth loss.
The lack of dental hygiene can really lead to serious problems like periodontal disease. This is why we can only insist to dog owners: if the teeth of their pets are very scaly, no negligence is allowed. Scaling is necessary. To do this, they can contact a specialist in animal dentistry.

Other causes of bad breath in dogs

If the owner takes care to regularly look after the good oral health of his little companion, halitosis can have another origin than dental plaque. It can for example be :
  • Rhinitis,
  • Sinusitis,
  • Temporary digestive problems such as
    • A problem of intestinal transit which can lead to moderate constipation, flatulence, abdominal swelling,
    • A difficult digestion.
  • Severe constipation,
  • An inflammation of the intestine,
  • Kidney failure,
  • Diabetes,
  • A cancer.
If the dog is suffering from a disease, as a general rule, the dog presents various symptoms that can alert its owner. It can be for example a loss of appetite, vomiting, general fatigue, intense thirst. At the slightest doubt, do not waste time and consult a veterinarian. After an auscultation, additional tests (blood tests, urine analysis, X-rays, scans, etc.) may be necessary to allow the veterinarian to make a precise diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Maintaining your dog's teeth to avoid bad breath

In order to avoid a dog's breath being repulsive, it is imperative to brush the teeth of your little companion with :
  • A toothpaste for canines,
  • A soft brush or a fingernail that can be bought in pharmacies or at the veterinarian's office.
The correct frequency for brushing a dog's teeth is two or three times a week. In order for the animal to accept being brushed by its owner, it is necessary to get it used to it from a young age.

Cookies, chewing strips and leather bones: are they effective against halitosis in dogs?

In addition to brushing, or every day if the dog does not want to be brushed, you can give your dog special cookies, chew strips or even a leather bone. Their role is to limit the formation of dental plaque, which is the main cause of bad breath in dogs, because when chewed for a while, they rub all the surfaces of the teeth and remove tartar.

However, be careful not to overuse the strips, because some dogs do not chew them at all but swallow them as they are. In this case, they are of no use for their teeth and even have an annoying tendency to promote obesity in dogs because they are quite caloric.

Some veterinarians recommend dry food, which is the case with kibbles that are slightly abrasive. By chewing them, the animal limits tartar formation. But this is not enough to keep teeth healthy. In fact, there is no reason why you shouldn't consult a specialist at least once or twice a year to check your dog's oral health. The veterinarian can take advantage of this routine visit to perform a scaling if necessary. This surgical act is far from trivial because it implies that the dog is anesthetized.

The Scottish Terrier, a so british dog

The Scottish Terrier can be recognized by its particular features, with its "so british" aspect, its stylized physique, its great intelligence and its expressiveness. This breed is full of energy and has a strong character, which can be discouraging for those new to dog training.

Characteristics of the Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier has a medium size measuring between 25 and 28 cm for a weight of 8.5 kg to 10.5 kg. It is attributed a massive physique without excess. Its body was cut to be able to easily interfere in the burrows. Moreover, to make it possible, the dog develops flexibility and power. The legs are short and covered with long hair. One thing is sure: the silhouette of this dog is out of the ordinary. It is also impossible not to recognize it by its head with the unusual shape. Indeed, it is long and is adorned with a beard and full eyebrows. The eyes are sunken and small while revealing an almond shape. Pointed and erect, the ears are narrow, of small size and close together. The coat is long and waterproof. It is matched by a dense undercoat that provides effective protection against low temperatures. The coat can be sandy, brindle or black.

History of the Scottish Terrier breed

Apparently, this dog would have very old origins, going back to the Roman time more precisely. However, its history is still a source of uncertainty. Some say that it would rather have appeared in the Highlands and would be the result of a cross between the aberdeen terrier (which does not exist any more nowadays) and the cairn terrier. The Scottish Terrier was highly prized for its ability to hunt small pests. It was used to track badgers and otters among others. This dog also had the power to track foxes. If in Great Britain, the Foundation of the Scottish terrier club was born in 1883, it will be necessary to wait until 1950 for the first breedings to start in France.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Scottish Terrier

Under its airs of old English colonel, the Scottish Terrier is neither communicative nor expansive. He has a distant behavior that can discourage many people. It is a dog with the reputation of being independent which can very well remain alone. He has a strong character which complicates his education, especially since he does not appreciate that we impose things to him. In parallel to these few defects, it is also an animal which has qualities. It is bold, robust, courageous and attached to its masters. We attribute to him a lot of dynamics and especially, a sharp intelligence. One of its advantages is that it can live in the city in an apartment, provided that it can spend time.

Diet and main health problems of the Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is one of the few dogs, if not the only one, to suffer from "Scottish cramp". This is a central nervous system disorder that causes difficulty in walking. It is also important to watch out for demodecique scabies which causes skin lesions. Another thing: as it is a dog predisposed to overweight, it is advised to establish its diet with the help of a veterinarian to avoid caloric excess.

The Small Münsterländer

Hunting dog par excellence, the Small Münsterländer is also a great companion dog. He is a little ball of energy and playfulness that will make a perfect companion for children.

Characteristics of the Small Munsterlander

Even though it is called a Small Munsterlander, it is not actually that small. Females measure between 48 and 54 cm while males are between 50 and 56 cm. The dog can weigh from 18 to 23 kg. It develops a body of harmonious proportions, revealing elegance, power and nobility. The Small Munsterlander is remarkable for its medium-sized head with a flat, dry skull with a slightly marked stop, powerful jaws and muscular cheeks. The eyes are dark in color and medium in size. The Small Munsterlander can be recognized by its ears, which do not stand out from the head, are large with a high set. It has a relatively thick, waterproof, medium-long coat that can be wavy or smooth. The dense hair allows the animal to be better protected against injuries, the environment and the weather. The coat can be either white and brown, or white and brown.

History of the Small Munsterländer breed

The origins of the Small Munsterlander go back a long way. In the 1870s, on German farms, oysel dogs were used as house guards, hunting dogs and cattle drivers. Still at the same time, crossbreeding with the Langhaar was carried out. This selection was the same as the one used for the creation of the Great Münsterländer. In Münster, breeding began to increase and eventually the Small Pointing Dog Association was born. In 1921, a first breed standard was established and this gave the impetus for the development of the Small Münsterländer.

Necessary living conditions and behaviour of the Small Munsterlander

The Small Munsterlander is very affectionate towards its owners. He needs a constant presence of humans. Their long absence can cause anxiety in the animal. This breed does not like to be alone. It is recommended for people who rarely leave the house, such as those who work from home. The Small Munsterlander is also friendly and especially dynamic, making it perfect for children. He is demonstrative and is known to have quite a temperament. Fortunately, he is an obedient and intelligent dog, which will facilitate his education. This should start as soon as possible so that the dog learns to live with his family as soon as possible.

Diet and main health problems of the Small Munsterlander

The Small Munsterlander does not develop any specific health problems. It is a strong animal, but it can suffer from ear infections and otitis. As far as his food is concerned, he will not be reluctant to eat a good home-made meal and can also eat kibble or pate. It is not a difficult dog. However, the quantities are to be watched, because it has the reputation to be a real glutton in the same time predisposed to the overweight.

Truffle dog : which breed to choose ? Which education method ?

The search for truffles, which is called cavage, requires that the dog used be perfectly trained for this particular activity, which is now considered to be a sport. It was initially carried out by truffle farmers who mainly used pigs. But it must be admitted that these animals are less docile than dogs. Let's discover what a truffle dog is, the qualities he must have, and how to train him to learn the truffle hunting.

The qualities required of a truffle dog

For truffle hunting, truffle farmers use the abilities of their dogs, which have generally been trained for this purpose. But the truffle dog must naturally be endowed with special qualities that are indispensable. It is necessary that he is :
  • Endowed with an excellent sense of smell,
  • Disciplined,
  • Enthusiastic,
  • Able to stay focused on his research only,
  • Able to never eat the truffles that he has found himself.

Breeds of truffle dogs

We tend to use the hunting dog as a truffle dog because it is known for the quality of its nose and its courage. Indeed, hunting dogs are tenacious, willing animals that do not count their efforts to satisfy their master. But is there a breed of dog that is better suited to hunting than others?

According to the Italians, the best truffle dog is the Lagotto romagnolo, better known as the Romagna Water Dog. It is a hunting dog that specializes in waterfowl because it has the ability to roam the marshes with an iron will. This small dog from the Romagna region (Italy) has an extraordinary ability to adapt. It is necessary to say that it is extremely nice, docile and obedient. His character is known for its gentleness. Dynamic, it is also very intelligent which facilitates its training with the cavage. It is in any case a dog that does not mind scratching itself when it sneaks under the brambles if it has sniffed truffles.

But many truffle growers have been cavorting for years with other dog breeds, including for example:
  • The Brittany Spaniel,
  • The German Shepherd,
  • The Dachshund,
  • The Labrador Retriever,
  • The Australian Shepherd,
  • The West Highland White terrier or Westie,
  • The Rottweiler.
All of them are docile, intelligent, dynamic and hard-working and can react to the first recall of their master or their trainer.

It should also be noted that many professionals use the real dispositions of dogs not listed among the pure breeds to cavort. In fact, some horned dogs give excellent results in this field and prove to be fine trufflers. In the end, it is not so much the breed that makes a good truffler as the education.

Getting your dog used to recognizing the aroma of the truffle

To initiate your dog to truffle hunting, you must start by getting your dog used to the smell of truffles as soon as possible. The younger he is, the easier it will be for him to identify this particular aroma. Professionals add a few truffle fragments to their dog's food so that the food is impregnated with truffles. Others start even earlier by rubbing the teats of their nursing bitch with truffles to condition the young puppies.

The difficulty with this method, which is very effective, is to teach your dog not to eat truffles that he finds in the wild. It is therefore necessary to be patient. And even if many dog owners associate this method with educational nonsense, it is still the best and most effective method. It is also the most common method used by truffle professionals.

Treats to help you learn to look for truffles

Not all dogs are equal when it comes to using their sense of smell. Even though their sense of smell is particularly well developed, many dogs are not able to focus on a specific object for a long time. It is therefore essential to work on this point, and to make it less tedious, a playful method is preferred. At the same time, the dog must be encouraged to continue and congratulated when it reaches its goal.

Of course, you don't start with truffles because they are extremely expensive. But you can replace them with treats that the dog prefers and that you hide in the house and in the garden. The search area is gradually extended to the surrounding fields where the treats are hidden in places that are more difficult to access.

Finally, to spice things up and test the animal, we bury them under a good ten centimeters of earth. The aroma of the object of the search being in this case more or less masked by the surrounding odors, if the dog finds the treat, it tends to prove that he knows how to use his nose wisely, but that he is also capable of concentrating on a precise exercise without being distracted.

Teaching the dog not to eat the truffles he finds

The only thing left to do is to integrate the aroma of the truffle with the treats used during the training sessions so that the dog can associate the two scents and go in search of the precious mushrooms with as much pleasure as when he was looking for his treats.

Of course, the dog should not devour the truffles buried in the ground and dig them up by frantically scratching after sniffing them. He must simply indicate to his master the place where he has sniffed the truffles by putting his paw on the concerned area. It is the master who has to dig in order to collect this "diamond of the kitchen". To succeed in this feat, it is essential to congratulate the dog as soon as he has located the truffles and pointed to the spot, and then to give him some treats immediately.

It is important to multiply the educational sessions so that the dog is ready for the cavage on the big day. It is also important to respect the animal by avoiding weariness and excessive fatigue. It is therefore highly preferable to impose short and repetitive sessions rather than a few sessions that drag on. You can entrust the education of your truffle dog to an experienced educator because this professional knows and respects these animals perfectly as well as the best method of education so that the dog becomes a pro in cavage.

Positive dog training: principles and best practices

Positive dog training is a philosophy of life. It is focused on the psychological well-being of the dog. The masters using this method aim at bringing a real blooming to their animal.

In this article, we will see the basic principles and some good practices to help you understand what it is all about.

The basic principles and practices of positive education

This method is based on the latest research on canine behavior. They have shown that the results in terms of education are much more convincing when a dog is positively brought to listen to his master. The primary goal is for the dog to enjoy the training. The mutual bond is the key to success in getting the dog to listen to his master.

The vocabulary used in positive education is: mutual respect, social groups, appeasement signals, ...

The tools used are: anti-pull harness, clicker training, flat collar, treats, ...

We know that there is an old method called traditional or coercive. Unlike the positive method, the principle of this method is to force the dog to obey. The most important thing is to obtain the dog's obedience, and if necessary, it can resort to intimidation. We know today that these constraints are stressful for the animal. Stress prevents the neurons from functioning properly, so this method is counterproductive.

The vocabulary used for the traditional method is: domination, hierarchy, submission, pack leader, ...

The tools used are chain collars, chokers, spikes, torquatus, or electric.

Here are the good practices and behaviors in positive education that the master must have towards his dog:
  • The good actions of the dog will be valued. They should be praised. In this way, your dog will learn to reproduce them.
  • Bad actions of the dog should be ignored or redirected. This may involve learning an alternative behavior. For example, a dog that jumps will learn to sit instead.
  • Good obedience must be built through the use of motivation (treats, toys, praise, ...). This motivation must be equivalent to the difficulty of the requested command. For example, during the exercise of walking on foot which requires a lot of concentration, your dog must be largely rewarded for liking to remain close to you. We will then use what he prefers, it can be a tasty treat, or his favorite toy.
  • A master/dog relationship needs to be based on trust. A dog needs to be able to rely on his owner, and to do this, he should not be reprimanded. As mentioned above, bad behavior is systematically either ignored or redirected, i.e. replaced.
  • A framework and limits must be taught to the dog, as it needs to feel reassured. Positive training is not synonymous with excessive permissiveness.
As for ignoring bad behavior, it is a matter of not looking at the dog, not touching it (neither petting it nor pushing it away), and not talking to it, for example, not saying "no". It is important to know that ignorance is the best punishment. To use the example of the jumping dog, simply ignoring him when he does it will stop this unwanted behavior. The dog jumps to get attention, and when it doesn't get any, it naturally stops the bad behavior. This principle is called the law of extinction.

In summary...

Positive education allows to learn in good conditions and with respect, the educational bases so that a puppy, or a dog can blossom in our society. This method also allows to re-educate all the behavioral problems that one can meet with his dog, like the aggressiveness congeneric / human, a bad listening, an anxiety of separation, untimely barking, ...

Moreover, the positive method is often used in sports disciplines, such as obedience, dog-dancing or agility. The pairs, master and dog, obtain fabulous success in competition.

Many more results are possible by encouraging and cooperating with your dog. On the other hand, we should avoid always pointing the finger at bad behaviors, in order not to reinforce them against our will.

In conclusion, this philosophy of life requires the owners to question themselves, and to adapt to their dog. There is not one single method that is valid for everyone, but there are solutions for everyone.