Today is designated as National Cook For Your Pets Day! It’s probably safe to say that home-cooked food is something your pet will enjoy. Be that as it may, there are both benefits and drawbacks to cooking for your furry chum. A vet discusses cooking for your pet below.
One great benefit to cooking for your pet is that you can monitor and ensure the quality of the food your furry buddy eats. This can work especially well for animals that have allergies and/or specific nutritional requirements. You can also customize your pet’s food to meet their tastes.
One downside to cooking for your pet is it can be tricky to figure out the percentages of fat, protein, and specific nutrients yourself. This may not sound like a big problem: after all, if you have a dog, Fido will probably happily gobble up anything you make him. However, pets have very specific nutritional requirements. Your dog needs about 40 essential nutrients and each nutrient fills a unique need. Cats also have specific nutrient needs, as do smaller pets. Nutritional deficiencies can develop out of any imbalances, which in turn, can cause or contribute to medical problems.
Another concern is that people like to use recipes found on the internet, which may not be the right option for their pets. Our advice? Speak with your vet about your pet’s dietary needs, and any concerns you may have about homemade food.
One big thing to be aware of here is the fact that many things aren’t safe for our four-legged friends. While different animals have their own list of unsafe foods, some things are just plain bad for most of them. This list includes raw dough or yeast; chocolate; garlic; alcohol; caffeine; and anything that contains xylitol and/or a lot of sugar, salt or fat. For dogs and cats, add these items, too: avocados, currants, grapes, and raisins, as well as meat on the bone, and pitted fruits. Ask your vet for more information.
There’s a lot of grey areas to be mindful of when cooking your pet’s regular meals. Treats are a bit safer. Lots of recipes for treats can be found online. You can even try your hand at making your own. Just make sure that you are sticking to ingredients you know are safe for your four-legged buddy. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.
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