The harmful impacts of processed dog food are frequently underplayed. Meat is often sourced from the abattoir leftovers, and according to one horrific exposé, even euthanized pets can sometimes go into the manufacture of dog food.

On the flipside, preparing your dog’s meals at home can save you cash, and some say that it can help your dog live longer.

I can barely throw my own meals together, so if you’re skeptical — I get it. Luckily, there has always been one invention in my kitchen that has been a godsend when I can’t get it together: the slow cooker.

Slow cooking your dog’s meals takes all of the hard work out of cooking. Have you got a refrigerator drawer of crumpled-looking carrots that you abandoned in favor of takeout? Throw ‘em in the slow cooker for your lil buddy! Didn’t get round to finishing that chicken? TO THE SLOW COOKER!

But, there are some caveats to DIY dog food. For some reason, feeding dogs cheese is pretty popular right now. I fed my dog cheese once, and perhaps he has a touch of Gwyneth Paltrow about him, but it made him sick as — well, a dog.

Dogs love eating cheese. So do I, for that matter. However, dogs don’t have the lactase in their stomachs to break it down efficiently, which can lead to diarrhea (check), odious gas (double check), and even long-term digestion issues.

To navigate the murky land of knowing what to feed your pet, we designed this nifty infographic to make it as easy as pie.

FitBark_Dog_Food_For_The_Slow_Cooker | Set Tails Wagging With This Healthy Homemade Dog Food Infographic!


Amica Graber is a writer for Breeder Retriever, an online resource for researching dog breeds. This post originally appeared on Breeder Retriever.