Home-made Pet Food: Good Move?

Over the past decade, the importance of sustaining healthy, organic lifestyles packed with homemade hormone and chemical free foods has been the focus of headlines, parenting classes, and dinner-party debates alike. Although nutrition as a whole has been a social concern for decades, the movement to initiate change in the home first separates this generation of parents, who are tackling this dilemma head-on by making the time to dice, chop and puree good health and well-being for their kids and pups.

home-made-pet-food

Here are some great sites that can provide further information on portions and weight:

Every family takes on a different shape and size, but the need to give our loved ones the best quality of life possible is a definite common factor. Whether your loved ones are dogs, cats, humans, or both – healthier diets that prolong life, decrease vet visits, and prevent the diseases created by harmful, mass produced products is the best route for parents and caretakers.

However, deciding whether or not to go fully-fresh can be daunting decision. A simple stroll through supermarket aisles inundates consumers with countless labels and claims, each prompting additional questions over which products are healthiest, safest and, naturally, most affordable.

It seems most every news source has reported on the need to go natural. In a January article, the New York Times covered a score of information on the subject, noting several authors who have published cookbooks and nutritional guides on homecooking for pets.

Other websites are promoting recipe books and meals-on-wheels services aimed at making the trantrition to natural as smooth as possbile. Though more sources of information should make the process simpler, the inability to differentiate reputable sources from those with an agenda can confuse and discourage any parent.

Home-cooking for Fido is a lot more involved than just throwing leftovers into a monogram bowl. There are several things a parent should consider before making the fresh/organic plunge:

Home-Cooking is Time Consuming.

Plan, plan, plan. Poutry and meats should be fully cooked, the consistency of the puree should be easily digestable, and only a minute amount of salt/sodium should be used. However, cooking doesn’t need to be done on a daily basis. Chris, a local NY dog-parent, revealed that he cooks for his dog Jake every couple of days and travels with servings. Though Chris has to be consistent with his routine, the benefits of his care are more than apparent. His nine-year-old Jake dominates the dog-run, and gives those a quarter his age a run for their buried-bones.

Better Ingredients Can be Costly.

Organic ingredients can cost more at certain grocers. Try visiting a local Trader Joes or farmers market, both provide outstanding quality goods at competitive prices. Regardless of where you chose to purchase your food, it’s important to remember that while it may seem more costly to buy organic/additive free foods, the extra cost of a week supply may be less than any bagged or canned food by far.

Shopping organic should be done for the whole house at once, showing the same love for every member of the family. Additionally, the money saved on vet bills will more than pay for the switch in the long run.

Older Dogs Require Weaning:

Introducing any new foods will require patience and time. Try mixing some of their regular dry or wet food with the organic blend, slowly assimilating them to the new flavor. Modifying the flavor to your pets’ particular taste can also help in the transition. Use a wide assortment to avoid boring your pet, and note which flavors peek his or her interest most.

Balance is Key:

Variety is the spice of life, and making sure to provide a diet rich in grains, proteins, fiber, and carbs alike will simultaneously keep your pooch from getting bored and provide him or her with all of the nutrients needed. Supplements are another way to ensure your baby is getting the right fix of vitamins and minerals, and leaves little to guess work.

Portion Control:

Bigger dogs require more food, just like older dogs require a different variety of vitamins and nutrients to suit their particular needs. When looking at recipes posted online it is important to note that they are normally designed to include 2days (or 4 servings) worth of food. Though they will normally include animal-size modifications, it’s best to look over a size chart and gain a better idea of how much you pet really needs.

Certain Fruits are Toxic:

Stay AWAY from grapes! They are not suitable for the digestive systems of certain animals, including dogs. However, fresh berries are a great way to add a flavorful kick to their meals!

Check Your Vet!

Always consult your vet when making any dietary changes. Your vet is an excellent source of information, and can be an outstanding guide on your quest to bring the fountain of youth to your dog or cat bowl.

All confusion aside, you don’t need to be dietitian to understand that filling your body with processed, preservative-filled foods will have the same clogging effects as dirty motor-oil circulating an engine. A diet filled with organic produce, poultry and meats can keep an aging body running with the same swiftness and longevity as a youthful pup, and even prolong a lifespan considerably.

In an age where chemo and surgery for cats and dogs has become as common as a teeth-cleaning, taking a proactive step to ensure your pets’ long-term health can be nothing short of loving and spectacular!

Here are some great sites that provide weight/portion charts and recipes:

http://recipes4gourmetdogs.com/chart