By Dr. Ken Tudor
More and more pet owners are choosing to feed their dogs the same quality food they eat, and with good reason. The massive pet food recall due to melamine contamination in 2007 caused many pet owners to question the quality of commercial pet food. Smaller, yet constant, recalls still fill pages on the FDA recall website and create doubt that the quality of commercial food has improved since then. Realization that pet food is made from agricultural scraps from the meat, grain and food processing industries has led others to consider the homemade alternative for their pets. And other pet owners are drawn to homemade for pets after experiencing dramatic results for themselves with healthier dietary choices. And still more enjoy the flexibility to choose organic, free-range, preservative free and environmentally friendly choices not available with commercial pet food.
Dr. Ken Tudor joined the homemade revolution 33 years ago in veterinary school, when his gastroenterology professor, Dr. Donald Stombeck, introduced him to the magical powers of cottage cheese and rice for managing the symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions. Dr. Tudor has used various homemade recipes to diagnose and/or manage other chronic problems in his veterinary patients ever since. He encourages all of his clients to consider feeding homemade. Not only are there immediately noticeable changes in their pets, but the long term health benefits will reduce veterinary bills long term.
Dr. Tudor’s long career with homemade has also shown that most pet owners join the revolution without the realization that creating a nutritionally complete diet for their pet is not that easy. Merely, assembling a variety of wholesome meats, oils and carbohydrates is not balanced or complete. Adding a pet or human vitamin/mineral tablet and some calcium, egg shells or bones will not solve the problem either. Dogs need a specified amount of 42 nutrients daily while cats need 44. These include not only total amounts of protein, fats, minerals and vitamins, but specific amino acid and fatty acid profiles. This means that a homemade recipe has to be accurately crafted and carefully supplemented.
A recent study of 200 homemade recipes from veterinary textbooks, homemade pet recipe books and various internet websites found that only 15 were adequately balanced and of those, 10 met only the daily minimal standards for some nutrients. Of 15 acceptable recipes, only 1 was formulated by a non-veterinarian. It can take months to years for symptoms of nutritional deficiencies to appear. That may be too late to reverse the damage for some deficiencies. Since the homemade revolution, veterinarians are seeing nutritional diseases that have not been seen in decades because, although lacking quality ingredients, commercial pet food provides adequate quantity of nutrients.
Join the homemade revolution, but do it right. Make sure that the author of your recipe(s) specifies the exact brand of supplements and can document the exact amount of all 42 or 44 necessary nutrients in the recipe. Complete homemade provides the quality and the quantity of nutrients for the optimum health of your pet and your optimum peace of mind.[igallery id=7941 cid=55 pid=1 type=category children=0 addlinks=0 tags= limit=0]