Carbohydrates make up a large percentage of most dry dog foods and can create inflammation. Less grain and more protein are easier for pets to digest and keep the immune system healthy.
A Variety of foods is important. One sure way to create food allergies is to feed one recipe over and over without variation. Also, no one recipe can be complete in all nutrients.
If you pet has been eating processed food, I recommend finding a great a grain free, holistic diet and offering a little of that mixed in the original food and slowly switch over.
Homemade foods can also be slowly integrated into the diet in a similar manner. Balancing the nutrition can be difficult. Calcium, Phosphorous, and Magnesium balance is important and hardest to balance.
One simple way to achieve that is to use a base meal to add your meat (raw or cooked) to. Sojos and The Honest Kitchen make good base meal mixes. For recipes, Richard Pitcarin’s Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, or Wendy Volhard’s Volhard.com are great sources.
For pre made raw food there are many sources including DarwinsPet.com and Barfworld.com. Earthwise in Simpsonville, Natural Natty’s in University Square and Saluda River in Easley and Greenville have quality natural pet foods.
For more detail Whole dog Journal’s Home Prepared Diets for dogs has much more detail about homemade and raw diets.
Dogs and cats evolved eating raw food. Young puppies and kittens are usually quite good at adapting to raw foods. However, if your pet is older, you may find he/she does not have the digestive juices to handle raw food. If hi/her immune systems is compromised (e.g. cancer, immune deficiency) raw food may not be good for him. Any bacteria that a healthy pet could easily handle would be likely to create a serious infection.
Before feeding raw food, please read thoroughly the Books and website rules for handling raw foot. For example at least a 5 day hard freeze will kill most bacteria. Thaw food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Don’t leave raw food out in the bowl more than 30 min. Don’t allow children or immune compromised people around the raw food.