What to Cook For Your Pet This “National Cook For Your Pets Day”
Posted: 11/01/2022 | BY: Anthea Greco | Categories:
There are some kind folks out there who treat every day like “National Cook For Your Pets Day”. Their pets are part of the family, and membership doesn’t stop at the kitchen. However, there’s no denying that the extra meal prep time can be simply unachievable for many busy households. While we have plenty of suggestions for the healthiest and most sustainable dog and cat foods to suit your four-pawed pal, why not set aside just one day, this November 1st, for a trial run and see what homemade concoctions you can create for your beloved fur baby!
Our canine companions’ diet needs to include the right balance of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. If your dog is deficient in vitamins and minerals -something only your vet can advise you on- you may also want to add a vet-prescribed supplement. You can acquire the protein portion of the meal from beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, pork, tuna, or shrimp (shells removed). Keep in mind to avoid using anything seasoned with spices, and watch for any splintered bones. Carbohydrates can be sourced from white or brown rice, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal, barley, corn, and peas. Fibrous vegetables include carrots, cucumbers, green beans, celery, spinach, sweet potato, and pumpkin. Portion size will depend on your dog’s weight. MSPCA Angell provides some sample recipes based on weight, like this one for a 15lb dog (please note that these are cooked measurements):
- Chicken, dark meat, 3 wt-oz
- White Rice, cooked, 1 1/3 cups
- Mixed vegetables, 1 Tbsp
- Vegetable Oil, 1-2 Tbsp
- Balance IT Canine 1.5 scoops
MSPCA Angell recommends cooking the ingredients in your pup’s meal -to increase digestibility and food safety- and blending them to avoid your dog picking out certain ingredients and missing out on nutrients. It’s also far more appetizing for your furry friend if served warm. If you and your pup decide that you’d like to continue making all of their meals from now on, make sure to keep track of their weight and behavior in those first few days and weeks. Be sure to report any changes to your vet if they arise.
Now for our feline friends! Unlike dogs, cats have no biological requirement for carbohydrates in their diet. Some pointers tell us this: They have short digestive tracts, their teeth and claws are ideal for tearing flesh, and they lack enzymes to process carotene from plants to Vitamin A, but they do have the enzymes to break down protein and utilize animal fat. While they can use glucose from plants for energy, and fiber from complex carbohydrates can aid digestion, this AAFCO-approved recipe is meat only. It’s best to replicate what your cat would catch in the wild. (Pet parents of outdoor cats may be all too familiar with these “gifts” left on their welcome mat). Referring to the ingredients below, use a meat grinder or food processor to blend the organs and water, followed by the remaining ingredients, before portioning out the next four meals (100 grams each) and freezing the remainder.
- Raw chicken liver, 50 grams
- Raw beef liver, 50 grams
- Raw chicken heart, 100 grams
- Water, 2 cups
- Chicken egg (including shell)
- Raw Chicken Wings, bone-in, skin-on, 700 grams
- Raw salmon with bones, 100 grams
- Powdered Taurine, 1 tsp
If National Cook For Your Pets Day inspires you to cook your own meals for your furry friend, whether canine or feline, your best bet is to introduce the new diet gradually. It’s also imperative to keep track of their behavior and weight. Consult with your vet about their new diet and correct portion sizes to ensure your pack mate is living its healthiest and happiest life.
- Best Dog Food Recipes, Mariel Rhetta. Lulu Press, Inc, Oct 13, 2014
- A Beginner’s Guide to Home Cooking for Dogs by Union Lake Veterinary Hospital
- Sample Recipes for Healthy Pets. Retrieved from mspca.org
- 6 Delicious Homemade Cat Food Recipes (Vet Approved), Kate Barrington. Retrieved from www.allaboutcats.com
- Raw Homemade Kitten and Cat Food Recipe (all meat), Cara. Retrieved from www.healthhomeandhappiness.com