National Cook For Your Pets Day is today! It’s highly likely that your pet will enjoy having some home-cooked food. Keep in mind though, there are both benefits and drawbacks to cooking for your furry friend. A vet talks about cooking for your pet below.
Monitoring and ensuring 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.
One drawback 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 seem like a big problem: after all, if you have a dog, Fido will likely, and happily, chomp down on whatever you make him. However, pets have very specific nutritional requirements. Dogs need about 40 essential nutrients, and each nutrient fills a unique need. Cats also have specific needs, as do smaller pets. Imbalances of any kind can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to medical problems.
Another drawback is that people often try recipes found on the internet, which may not be the right option for their pets. Our advice? Ask your vet about your pet’s dietary needs and any concerns about homemade food.
Many things just aren’t safe for our four-legged friends, which is one of the biggest things to be aware of here. Even though every animal has their own list of unsafe foods, some things are just bad for almost all of them. This list of unsafe foods includes garlic; alcohol; chocolate; caffeine; raw dough or yeast; and anything that contains xylitol and/or a lot of sugar, fat, or salt. For dogs and cats, the list also includes raisins, grapes, and currants, as well as pitted fruits, meat on the bone, and avocados. Ask your vet for more information.
There are a lot of grey areas to consider when it comes to cooking your pet’s regular meals. Cooking homemade treats is a bit safer. You’ll find lots of great recipes online. You may even want to 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. Be sure to do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.
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