November 1st is National Cook For Your Pets Day! It’s more than likely that your pet will enjoy having some home-cooked food. However, cooking for your furry friend has both benefits and drawbacks. A vet discusses cooking for your pet below.
Being able to monitor and ensure the quality of your furry buddy’s food is one benefit to cooking for your pet. This can also be a good option for animals that have specific nutritional requirements and/or allergies. You can also customize your pet’s food to meet their tastes.
Having to figure the percentages of protein, fat, and specific nutrients yourself is one downside to cooking for your pets. This may not sound like a big problem: after all, if you have a dog, Fido will probably chomp down whatever you make him. Still, pets have specific nutritional requirements. Dogs need about 40 essential nutrients, and each nutrient fills a unique need. Cats and smaller pets also have specific needs. When these needs aren’t met, nutritional deficiencies can develop, and deficiencies can cause or contribute to medical problems.
Using recipes found on the internet can be another problematic issue since they may not be the right option for your pet. Our advice? Discuss your pet’s dietary needs and any concerns about homemade food with your vet.
One of the biggest things to be aware of is that many things just aren’t safe for our four-legged friends. Every animal has their own list of unsafe foods and some things are bad for just about all of them. That list includes raw dough or yeast; chocolate; caffeine; garlic; alcohol; and anything that contains xylitol and/or a lot of salt, sugar, or fat. For dogs and cats, we would also need to add raisins, grapes, and currants, as well as pitted fruits, meat on the bone, and avocados. Ask your vet for more information.
There are many grey areas involved when cooking your pet’s main meals. Treats are a bit safer. Lots of good recipes can be found online.You can even try your hand at making your own. The big thing is make sure you’re sticking to ingredients you know are safe for your four-legged pal. Do lots of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.
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