Are you considering making your own pet food? It’s become quite trendy these days, with reasons such as allergies and a preference for organic pet food topping the list of reasons why people are doing it.
But should you consider making your own pet food?
First, it can be significantly more expensive to make your own pet food, according to Mint.com. “A balanced, home-cooked diet for a 30-pound dog would cost $3.52 per day; $5.58 if you go organic. That’s two to four times the price of commercial dry dog foods of similar qualities.” The article also notes that making your own food IS less expensive than canned dog food.
It’s also likely that you’d need to find supplements for your pet food if you’re making your own.
The benefits of making your own pet food are impressive; no risk of contamination from a dog food factory. There have been a large number of pet food recalls in recent years. You also will have complete control of what you are feeding your pets, which many consider to be important.
Pets do need a balanced diet that is particular to their needs; before you begin the process of making your own pet food, you might want to consult a pet nutritionist. You cannot simply throw together some chicken and rice and expect your pets to be healthy!
Another popular trend is giving pets a raw food diet. Of course in the wild animals don’t cook their food, but they also become very sick and often die as a result of parasites in their food. At one animal clinic I worked in we had a client who insisted on feeding his dog only raw horse meat (mixed with gunpowder, which is a whole other story). The dog was consistently ill from the parasites in the meat, and eventually began to display signs of malnutrition. While raw foods can be safe if you are careful, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of parasites.
Also, beware anyone suggesting a vegetarian diet for your pets. While dogs can subsist successfully on a vegetarian diet (although it’s not ideal) it is VERY bad for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores and need meat to survive.
If you decide to try making your own pet food, do plenty of research first, and you can do it. Good luck!