Should I Give My Pet Homemade Food?

You know that good nutrition is key to your own health, and the same is true for your pet. Pets that are fed a nutritionally complete diet are healthier, live longer, and require less visits to the veterinarian.

In researching how to feed your specific pet, you may have come across the idea of homemade food. While knowing exactly what is in your pet’s food is appealing, it must be done right to actually benefit them. 

Here are some pros and cons to both homemade and commercial pet food to help you make the best decision for you and your furry companion:

Homemade Pet Food

If you are a meal planner by nature, or your pet has specific dietary needs, homemade pet food may be the right route for you. Just be sure to consult your veterinarian in order to provide your pet with a balanced diet.

Pros:

  • You know exactly what is in the food.
  • No additives or preservatives.
  • Can be customized to accommodate picky eaters, allergies or food sensitivities.
  • You can address your pet’s specific nutritional needs.

Cons:

  • Must be well-balanced or your pet’s health could be compromised.
  • Ingredients are not as easily accessible. You may have to shop multiple stores.
  • May require specialty equipment, such as a meat grinder, to prepare.
  • Food prep is time-consuming.

Commercial Pet Food

If you are short on time, or your pet can handle a typical diet, there are many commercial wet/dry food options to choose from. You can even spend a little extra on one that has healthier ingredients, or is breed-specific.

Pros:

  • Regulated with strict rules and guidelines for nutrition.
  • Very convenient – just purchase and serve.
  • Comes in breed, size, and age specific varieties to address changing nutritional needs.

Cons:

  • May contain ingredients that do not agree with your specific pet’s digestive system, whether due to allergies, food sensitivities or flavor.
  • May not meet unique health needs.
  • Many commercial pet foods contain fillers, emulsifiers, and artificial coloring. Even higher end foods add unnecessary extra fats to make food more palatable.
  • You have to keep an eye out for recalls.

Making Your Decision

However you decide to feed your pet is entirely up to you. You just want to make sure that they are getting all the necessary nutrients in order to grow well and remain healthy.

Be sure to keep your veterinarian in the loop so that together you can make sure that your furry friend is as healthy as can be!

Pet Nutrition Counseling at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital

As part of our pet wellness examinations, Falls Road Veterinary Hospital offers nutritional counseling to ensure that your pet remains happy, healthy, and active well into their golden years. Call 301-983-8400 to schedule your appointment today!

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