Can homemade food be an alternative solution to packaged pet food? Some pet owners like the idea of feeding their dogs with home-cooked meals. It seems that buying hand-picked ingredients and preparing meals is a good way to show their love towards their pets but actually it could be not a good solution for their health.
If dog nutrition has not been agreed with veterinary nutritionists, there is the high risk that all necessary nutrients are not ensured to dogs. For example, for a healthy bodily function dogs need about 37 nutrients par day and cats more than 40.
The FEDIAF nutritional guidelines for dogs and cats
Fediaf, the association that brings together the pet food industries in Europe, has described in detail dogs and cats nutritional needs starting from their growth to the old age. These guidelines are subject to be reviewed by indipendent veterinary nutritionists throughout Europe.Providing a pet with a "complete" nutrition is equivalent to feeding a person with meals that are recommended by nutritionists for humans. For this reason most of the home diet recipes have nutritional deficiencies.
Can i occasionally prepare a meal at home for my pets?
Sometimes cats or dogs may enjoy a home-cooked meal. If it happens occasionally do not cause problems to the nutritional balance of the diet, but it is necessary to avoid toxic foods for pets, such as: onion, garlic, raisins, grapes, chocolate, avocado, and allother nuts and foods that are sweetened with xylitol.
A study carried out by the university of california, davis school of veterinary medicine1 has studied 200 different recipes of
home pet diets selected from websites articles, veterinary textbooks and pet care literature
animali da compagnia. Dai risultati è emerso come il 95% delle ricette presentassero carenze di almeno un nutriente
Pets. The results showed that 95% of the recipes were deficient in at least one essential nutrient; 84% were deprived of different necessary nutrients.
Administering a homemade diet as an alternative to packaged pet food is not impossible from a nutritional point of view even if these results have demonstrated how complicated is to do it without doing any small mistakes. Calorie control can also be difficult. The majority of pet food on the market is manufactured to provide a complete nutrition to pets.
In fact, the word "complete" is present on the packaging of these products. It is a legal definition so that the product must inclulde all nutrients necessary for animal needs.Providing a correct and balanced amount of protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids is difficult, but this is the main task for pet food manufacturers.