Are Home-Made Diets Safe?

Photograph courtesy of Stockxchng 

In one of my previous posts, A Healthy Diet, I dove into the subject of natural pet foods. The more research I did, the more I realized how much conflicting information exists. Oprah recently toted her beloved dogs’ home-made diet and spawned some controversy. Some vets and pet nutritionists argue that it is extremely difficult and near impossible to feed your cat or dog a balanced diet through home-made foods alone. According to this line of thinking commercial pet foods are formulated by nutrionists and meet the specific needs of certain species. They claim that you can not feed pets “human food” and expect to reach the proper nutritional requirements.

I do know that there are premium commercial pet foods that are all-natural and made out of whole foods. However, the majority of pet foods on the market are not. Instead they are laden with carbohydrates, grains and artificial additives. I have to believe that a home-made diet consisting of primarily organic meat is much better for our pets than the traditional commercially packaged foods.

Following the pet food recalls companies are getting in on the action and providing nutrition advice to pet owners. This expert advice is coming at a hefty price. One such company, Pet Diets, charges $200 for a personalized Nutritional Consultation.

Just for the Cats – Feeding Your Cat a Home-Made Diet

 A cat’s natural diet is mainly raw meat, also known as a “prey” diet. Feline’s are carnivores and therefore require a large amount of protein and very little carbohydrates. If you choose to feed your cat a home-made diet stick with lightly cooked meats, very little grains and select vegetables such as carrots or spinach.   If you can, gradually add raw meat to your cat’s diet as well. Some vets advocate strictly raw diets, while others are leery of parasites and bacteria. Felines do have a very short digestive system and are therefore able to handle bacteria much better than humans. There is a lot of conflicting information about home-made pet diets among veterinarians and pet nutritionists. Whether you choose to feed your cat a strictly raw diet, or a diet of home-made lightly cooked foods, be sure to speak with your veterinarian and make an informed decision on the needs of your feline. Pets have nutritional needs that are specific to their breed, age, species and other factors.Remember that most cats are known to be finicky eaters. A switch from commercial foods to home-made foods may cause intestinal upset. After consulting your veterinarian gradually start by introducing home-made foods into your cat’s current diet.

 Recipes Beefy Oats for Cats — from *Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
3 cups raw rolled oats (or 4 ½ cups cooked oatmeal)
2 large eggs
2 pounds (4 cups) ground lean beef heart (or lean chuck, lean hamburger, liver, kidney, or other lean red meats)
4 tablespoons Healthy Powder
1 tablespoon calcium supplement (or 1 ½ teaspoon of powdered eggshell) — to equal 3,00 mg of calcium
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter (or 1 tablespoon each)
10,000 IU vitamin A
100-200 IU vitamin E
1 tablespoon fresh vegetable with each meal – finely grated if cooked (optional)
500 mg taurine supplement (optional)

Bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add the oats, cover, and turn off the heat, letting the oats cook in the hot water for about 10 minutes or until soft. Then stir in eggs, letting them set slightly for a few minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients.Yield: about 9-10 cups with around 337 kilocalories per cup. Immediately freeze whatever cannot be eaten in the next 2 to 3 days.Daily ration (in cups): about ½ cup for small cats; a scant cup for medium sized; and about 1 1/3 cup for large cats.*Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats; Richard H. Pitcairn DVM, PhD and Susan Hubble Pitcairn third edition (2005); Rodale

Beef Meat and Rice Diet – from *Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets; Donald Strombeck DVM, PhD
1/3 pound very lean beef, cooked
2 cups rice, long-grain, cooked
2 tablespoons sardines, canned, tomato sauce1 tablespoon vegetable (canola) oil
¼ teaspoon salt substitute – potassium chloride

Bone meal tablets to equal 10 grains calcium1 multiple vitamin-mineral tablet
Provides 890 kilocalories, 44.3 grams protein, 38.1 grams fat. Supports the caloric needs of a 30-pound dog.
*Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets; Donald Strombeck DVM, PhD;Iowa
State Press; 1999


8 responses to “Are Home-Made Diets Safe?

  1. Pingback: Bugged by bugs? Manage Fleas & Ticks the GREEN way « This GREEN Life

  2. can you post some recipes for dog food
    thank you, Tracy

  3. I’ve heard this a lot, especially when I tell people I always make my own dog food and treats. I just tell them to look at my dogs!

    They are happy, healthy and look great! Dog’s are incredible animals, in the wild they will eat just about anything, I feel the pressure for ‘nutritionally balanced’ pet food comes from the pet food manufacturers looking to drum up business.

  4. regarding a comment here, DO NOT FEED YOUR CAT GARLIC. Cats do NOT dig up their food, and many roots and bulbs can be toxic to cats.

    Also, many of these foods are highly unbalanced for cats. Dogs are scavengers by nature, but cats have a much more specific dietary requirement.

    None of these have enough taurine in them to sustain health for a long period of time; and with nothing but an isolated calcium supplement in just one of the recipes, the phosphorus/calcium balance is absolutely terrible and will lead to degenerative diseases in your cats.

    Good advice for dogs; bad advice for cats!
    go check out something like if you want a better idea of what to feed cats.

  5. I must admit I find it insightful to read your blogging. Keep up the good work.

  6. Taurine occurs naturally in food, especially in seafood and meat. The mean daily intake from omnivore diets was determined to be around 58 mg (range from 9 to 372 mg) and to be low or negligible from a strict vegan diet.^

    Up to date post on our homepage

  7. I have dog food recipes on my blog that I feed all my dogs, the current one is almost 16 no arthritis, no cataracts, no deafness, no kidney disease,beautiful coat and my cat recently passed at almost 22, never sick a day in his life . He was fed the Celeste Yarnell diet.

  8. Существует такая услуга – добровольное медицинское обслуживание (или ДМО).
    Она предполагает, что пациент платит небольшую сумму за абонемент и посещает врачей в течение года не платя за каждый прием.
    Однако соцопросы показали, что лишь 6% жителей города знают о ее существовании.
    Потому что частным клиникам выгоднее брать плату за каждое посещение.
    А если какой-нибудь сотрудник клиники попытается посоветовать добровольное медицинское обслуживание клиенту – это сулит ему увольнением.
    Эта информация уже вызвала множество возмущений, после того как информацию об услуге распространил один возмущенный врач.
    Его уволили “по собственному желанию”, после того, как он посоветовал ДМО своему пациенту.
    Самое страшное, что информация по ДМО есть в открытом доступе, просто натыкались на эту информацию только случайные люди.
    Как отстоять свои права?
    О правилах предоставления услуги и обязанностях клиник можно узнать, сделав запрос в Яндексе: “добровольное медицинское обслуживание”.
    Именно обслуживание, а не страхование.


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