Here at Visionary, we know that dogs should be powered by fat and protein - not carbs. This knowledge, along with our industry leading research into canine diets with our non-profit partner KetoPet, has led to us putting together the highest quality low carb dog food products in the USA.
But sometimes such products aren’t an option - maybe finances are tight, maybe you’re on vacation away from your normal pet food store, or maybe you just want to know exactly what goes into your furry friend’s dinner!
Not to worry because we’ve been studying what keeps dogs healthy and what doesn’t for years, and we’re ready to break down the best keto dog food recipes for you!
But first, the obvious:
Why Feed Dogs a Keto Diet?
First things first, and it’s an important one:
Dog’s have zero nutritional need for carbohydrates.
Carbs don’t benefit dogs. Ever.
So why are the vast majority of dog foods high in carbohydrates?
There’s a simple, and frankly disturbing answer - carbs are cheap and easy to manufacture with. And if you make cheap, high carb dog food - people will buy it.
The simple fact is that most mainstream dog foods are the equivalent of giving your pet junk food, day in day out. And even worse than that, many dogs are highly sensitive to carbohydrates and eating them can cause symptoms such as:
Bloating or gas
Itchiness and skin issues
Lethargy and loss of energy
Frequent, runny poop
The ideal dog food should be adequate in protein, high in fat, very low in carbohydrates, grain free and taurine rich. The list of commercially available dog foods that check all of these boxes is sadly small for those dog owners who care about getting their pet the correct, natural nutrition.
While we at Visionary Pet Foods are doing what we can to fill this nutrition gap, there has also been an increase in pet owners preparing food at home and taking things into their own hands.
A ketogenic diet is a natural and healthy diet for a dog to follow since wild dogs naturally eat a diet that is almost entirely protein and fat, and often go long periods of time without food - which promotes ketosis and allows them to enjoy the benefits of fasting too.
While it’s relatively easy to stick to proteins and fats, it’s also crucial to know what to avoid. The following are all harmful to a dog’s digestive system:
Corn, soy, rice, maize, or any other grain
Fruit, fructose or any form of added sugar
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Antibiotics or added hormones
Artificial preservatives or flavors
Any dog food product that contains any of the above is not worth a second look. So when making your own keto dog food at home the most important rule is to avoid all of the above.
But enough of what not to do, let’s jump straight into how to cook/make a keto diet dog food:
Keto Dog Food Recipes
Raw Beef Keto Dog Food
8oz of ground beef (aim for 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef)
1 tbsp (14g) of coconut oil
A few sprinkles of shredded red cabbage
Simply put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together evenly. The recipe provides enough food for 1 day for a 50 poun dog. You can feed as one meal or split into 2 or more meals. Red cabbage can be substituted with any other low carb vegetable not listed above. Broccoli is a popular option.
You can also adjust the total calories up or down by multiplying each ingredient by the same value. For example, multiplying each ingredient (gram amount) by 1.10 would increase the calories overall by 10%.
The above is the best starting point for a highly nutritious, healthy and low carb meal for dogs. But when you decide to mix up the above and change things up for your pet, that’s when it gets really interesting.
The range of options for substitutions are surprisingly high. Below you’ll find a variety of options. Just remember, if you choose a higher protein meat, you’ll need to compensate by adding more fat. We can help if you have questions - just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help you.
High Protein Foods Recommended for Dogs on a Keto Diet
The ground beef can be substituted with:
All of which are high in protein and low in carbs, allowing you to give your dog a change every now and then without sacrificing their keto diet.
Fats Recommended for Dogs on a Keto Diet
The coconut oil suggested in the original recipe is a great option, but if it’s unavailable you can try:
Pure unsalted butter
Raw, unpasteurised goats milk
Carbs Recommended for Dogs on a Keto Diet
While most vegetables contain carbs, a lot are way too high in them to be healthy for a dog to eat. Luckily the below have relatively low carbs and are high in vitamins and minerals making them excellent options for adding foliage to your dog’s keto meal:
By sticking to the above list and nothing else, you can turn our original high protein keto dog food recipe into a wide range of different high protein, low carb meals to keep your pup from getting bored!
Or...you can make it easy and get low carb, keto dog food from Visionary Pet! Either way, you’ll be giving your dog the lifelong benefits of optimal nutrition and providing the best nutrition possible for your best friend.