Today is National Cook For Your Pets Day! It’s probably safe to say that your pet will enjoy having some home-cooked food. However, there are both benefits and drawbacks to cooking for your furry friend. A vet discusses cooking for your pet below.
One benefit to cooking for your pet is that you can monitor and ensure the quality of your furry buddy’s food. This can also be a good option for animals that have allergies and/or specific nutritional requirements. You can also customize your pet’s food to meet their tastes.
On the downside, it can be tricky to figure out the percentages of protein, fat, and specific nutrients yourself. This may not sound like a big problem: after all, if you have a dog, Fido will probably happily chomp down whatever you make him. However, pets have very specific nutritional requirements. Your dog needs about 40 essential nutrients, each of which fills a unique need. Cats also have specific needs, as do smaller pets. Any imbalances can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can cause or contribute to medical problems.
Another issue is that people often turn to recipes found on the internet, which may not be the right option for their pets. Our advice? Talk to your vet about your pet’s dietary needs, and any concerns about homemade food.
One of the biggest things to be aware of here is the fact that many things just aren’t safe for our four-legged friends. While every animal has their own list of unsafe foods, there are some things that are bad for just about all of them. That list includes chocolate; caffeine; garlic; alcohol; raw dough or yeast; and anything that contains xylitol and/or a lot of salt, sugar, or fat. For dogs and cats, we would also need to add grapes, currants, and raisins, as well as meat on the bone, avocados, and pitted fruits. Ask your vet for more information.
There are a lot of grey areas involved when it comes to cooking your pet’s regular meals. Treats are a bit safer. You’ll find lots of great recipes online. You can even try your hand at making your own. The big thing is to make sure that you are sticking to ingredients you know are safe for your four-legged pal. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.
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