Homemade Diets & Dogs: Why you must measure food and how

As people become more aware of how food can cause or prevent health pet owners want the same for their pets. In 2020 The University of Georgia Clinical Nutrition Service received an increase in homemade diet formulations. Almost half of the consultations were for homemade diet requests.

There are some best practices when feeding your dog a homemade diet and measuring their food is one of them. Keep reading to learn how to do it accurately

One study showed that measuring by volume may be more inaccurate than measuring by weight. They found that weight measurements were more accurate and precise for macronutrients when compared to weighing by volume

Why you need to measure your dog’s homemade food

Accuracy is very important when feeding your dog a homemade meal to be sure the diet fed matches the intended nutrient profile created for your dog.

This ensures the energy density is accurate for your dog so their body can function properly. Here are three good reasons to measure your dog’s food

  • Helps your vet make recommendations
  • Keeps your dog’s weight in check
  • Ensures your dog is getting the right amount of nutrients

How to measure your dog’s homemade food

The goal is to measure by weight and not volume (even when feeding kibble this is best).

Research has shown that measuring food by volume can lead to inaccuracies when feeding and end up with over or underfeeding of dogs.

It is difficult to use a measuring cup for the same amounts each time, it can be hard to ensure out 1/6th each time!

Here are some tips on how to accurately measure the ingredients for your dog’s home-cooked meals

1. Use a digital scale

Instead of a measuring cup use a digital gram scale

An article from the Tufts Veterinary Nutrition page summed this up perfectly, think of a cup of rocks and a cup of feathers. Do they weigh the same? No not at all but they will fill up the same or similar volumes. This is why it is important to use a scale instead of a measuring cup when making your dog’s food at home.

2. Use a syringe

To measure liquids like oils use a syringe or something similar to ensure better accuracy instead of a spoon