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How to make your own dog food

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Lots of people feed homemade food to their dogs because they believe it's more nutritious than store-bought brands. But our pet pro, Luciano Aguilar, says homemade food could be missing vital ingredients every dog needs for good health.

"Yogi" and "Bear" made their America Now debut when they were just puppies. Their owner, Eva Morris, feeds them dog food she makes in her very own kitchen.

"When they were about seven months old, I decided to start making my own food for them. So I [use a] crock pot [with] chicken, peas, potatoes, carrots and water," Eva explains. "I thought, why don't I feed them organic food which I feed myself and my husband?"

Dogs have different dietary needs than humans do. For example, Luciano notes that they need a lot more calcium.

"I went to the vet and I actually asked for her recommendations on how to do this and she recommended going and buying a store-bought, high-quality dry kibble to mix with my crock-potting," says Eva.
 
Dogs need a well-balanced diet to be healthy and that means the right amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins.

"I noticed the lead ingredient in many dog foods is chicken, so I did some research and cleared it with my vet and she said the recipe that I came up with was good," Eva added.
 
As for cost, Eva says her homemade mix usually costs about $2.00 a day, whereas a can of food is usually between $1.50 to $1.80. It's not that big of a difference, she says, for a higher-quality food.

On top of that, Eva says it only takes her about 15 minutes to prepare the meal, and she makes a large batch once per week to feed to her boys.

"I think [it's made a difference]," she says. "I mean you see how great they look; their coats are shiny, their eyes are clear, they have no ailments.  Every six months I go to the vet, have them checked out, and they give them a clean bill of health."

If you want to try making your own pet food at home, just be sure to clear it with your vet first. Any sudden diet changes could be hazardous to your pet's health.

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