Doing it right Jean Dodds
The biggest concern with homemade diets is that, unless properly formulated and followed, the diet may not be nutritionally balanced. For this reason, I strongly advise that you obtain your recipe from a reputable source, such as a book published by a holistic or holistically minded veterinarian, board-certified veterinary nutritionist, or canine/feline nutritionist where the recipes have been tested and verified as nutritionally balanced. If you are able, you can also consult with a reputable animal nutritionist to design the diet.
When preparing a homemade diet for your dog or cat, itís essential to stick to the ingredients listed. Substituting ingredients can result in a diet that is no longer nutritionally balanced. Also, be sure to add all vitamin/mineral and any other supplements as directed; these supplements are essential to ensuring that the diet is properly balanced
First, many homemade and prey-model diets and a few commercially available raw food diets are unbalanced. This means pets have been brought to veterinarians, including me, with nutritional imbalances that could and should have been avoided. These animals are deficient in antioxidants, or the correct amounts of trace minerals and vitamins, or the right fatty acid balance for appropriate and balanced skeletal growth, and organ and immune health.
Usually, these well-intentioned owners donít correlate their petís medical issues with nutritional deficiencies, but their vets do. And many veterinarians develop very strong opinions against all homemade and raw diets because of these cases. There are many well-meaning people who feed unbalanced diets out of ignorance and, in some cases, stubbornness.
Iíve had several clients tell me they donít care that the analysis of their petís current diet Ė letís say, chicken wings and burgers Ė demonstrates deficiencies in certain critical nutrients. They believe that ďThis is the diet Iíve fed for X number of years and my dog is doing fine, so thereís no need to change it.Ē
Dr. Becker ..." #13 Dead last on the list and the worst thing you can feed your pet is an unbalanced, homemade diet Ė raw or cooked. I'm seeing an increasing number of misguided pet owners in my practice who think they're doing the right thing by serving their pet, say, a chicken breast and some veggies and calling it a day.
Yes, the food is homemade, but it's nutritionally unbalanced. Pets being fed this way are showing up at my clinic with endocrine abnormalities, skeletal issues and organ degeneration as a result of deficiencies in calcium, trace minerals and omega fatty acids.
Catherine Lane Last article for The Bark- Myths and Misperceptions about Home Feeding - The Possible Canine
study on home prepared