Just like humans, pet dogs and cats also consume commercially made food. Commercial dry kibble and canned food are a common source of nutrition and calories for pets which have become so popular through the years that feeding pets anything different is often considered very unusual. Nevertheless, since the health of pets has become a major concern, more and more pet owners have begun providing their animals with a strict homemade diet recommended by professional pet nutritionists and vets. Unfortunately, not all pet owners are aware that homemade diets are better suited for their pets and end up spending more than they should on pet food. As such, homemade diets not only prove to be healthy, they are also affordable.
Why Give Your Pet A Homemade Diet?
The main reason to feed pets with a homemade diet is to ensure that they remain healthy. However, there are actually other reasons for you to consider such a diet for your pet.
- Some pet dogs and cats have special dietary requirements that cannot be derived from commercial pet food.
- Other pets have food allergies or serious medical conditions that require special diets.
- Many pet owners prefer to provide their pets with a source of nutrition that is free from chemical additives, by-products and processed materials.
- Certain breeds require homemade diets that are rich in fat and protein for better performance.
What Type Of Diets Are Given To Pets?
There are different homemade diets recommended for pet dogs and cats, but it is better to seek the advice of a vet before making a shift from commercial feed to homemade diets. This is essential because your pet may have a certain medical condition or allergy that will require a certain type of homemade diet. Thus, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Here are three common homemade diets given to pets:
Supplemented Homemade Diet – This type of diet involves a rationing of commercial dry food, but incorporated with some carbohydrates and meat pieces. Most of the time, leftovers from the table are added to the commercial dry food as supplements, but if the leftovers are around more than 10% of the overall diet, imbalances can sometimes occur.
Table Leftovers Diet – Some pet owners prefer to please their pets rather than ensure that they are being fed healthily. This type of diet consists of a particular food product such as turkey or chicken meat without the balance of fiber, minerals and vitamins. When the diet does not contain fat, proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins, an imbalance occurs.
Well Balanced Nutritious Homemade Diets – This is an ideal homemade diet you an give your pets as it will contain protein sources with a balance of fat, carbohydrates, fiber, mineral and vitamins which animals need. Pet owners who follow this type of diet prioritize the health of their pets over pleasing them.
Homemade diets for pets require extra caution, research, and preparation and sometimes they can also be expensive. It is also essential that the cooking and storing process of the diet is done with precision to avoid food borne illnesses and even intestinal upset. Lastly, it is never wise to make a sudden change from commercial food to homemade diets. Make it a point to stretch the transition from commercial food to homemade diets within a week or two.
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Valerie Lawrence is a freelance writer specializing in animal health and nutrition. She regularly contributes articles to animal health websites such as MiamiAnimalHospital.com where well experienced vets can be consulted.