As a responsible pet owner, you’re naturally going to be concerned about your puppy’s health, but too often we as owners don’t ask enough questions about what’s in the food we buy for them. Because meat is such an important ingredient in dog food, one that plays into thousands of years of canine consumption, preservatives become necessary in order to keep the kibble fresh from factory to doggie dish. Yet many of those preservatives are troubling. BHA and BHT, long considered possible carcinogens by the FDA, are oftem present, as is ethoxyquin, which is usually found in antifreeze and rubber. In fact, one of the most popular brands of dog food, one that played up its natural benefits in its advertising, was recently the subject of a lawsuit by dog owners for containing fungi and yet another antifreeze compound.
So what can you do to keep harmful chemicals out of your puppy’s digestive system? Believe it or not, making your own dog food is neither expensive nor time consuming — they eat much of what humans do, including beef, chicken, turkey, veggies, rice, pasta, and fruit. As long as you include lots of animal fat and protein, your dog will be just as healthy as if he eats dry kibble. Check with your vet first, always.
Even if you’re not ready to commit that much that soon, homemade dog treats can help vary your pup’s diet while creating another area of bonding between you two. As you already know, they love peanut butter, but tend to also react positively to yogurt, applesauce, coconut, carrots, pumpkin, bananas, cinnamon, oatmeal, honey, blueberries, and of course bacon. NEVER give a dog chocolate, raisins, grapes, avocados, onions, garlic, or Macadamia nuts, as these are toxic to most dogs. Be sure and start small and experiment until you find the foods your particular puppy handles well.