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Vet Answers: Homemade Diets

Q: What is your opinion on feeding pets homemade diets instead of commercial diets?

A: Feeding a homemade diet can be very rewarding and a healthy alternative but it can also be potentially harmful or at least questionable if not done properly.

For example, when cooking for your pet, it is very important to ensure that the food contains the proper quantity and balance of all essential nutrients and that the ingredients are available in a formulation that your pet is able to digest, absorb, and utilize. You must also make sure that the nutrients are not altered or destroyed during the cooking process or during storage. 

Finally, vitamins and minerals must be supplied in the proper ratio to ensure good health.  Over-supplementing with some minerals may cause deficiencies in others. Commercial pet foods are routinely tested for nutritional composition after processing, something most pet owners are unable to do on their own.

In short, while there is nothing wrong with providing your pets with a homemade diet, you should consult your veterinarian for recipes and advice so that you can be assured of a healthy and well- balanced homemade diet.

Dr. Berney Pukay photo
Dr. Berney Pukay is the chair of Petsecure's Veterinary Advisory Board and a well-known and highly-respected Canadian veterinarian. To ask a question for a future edition of Vet Answers, post on our Facebook page or tweet to @Petsecure.

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