Adding Home-Cooked Meals to Your Pet's Diet
When considering home cooking for your pets, it is very important that you consult your pet's veterinarian—just as you would consult your doctor before changing your own diet. Even though I have written this book with Dr. Kevin, we can't stress enough that every dog and cat is different. Always err on the side of caution and safety.
Even after the pet food recall, I haven't completely taken my pets off their regular kibble. Some commercially made foods are very good for pets, containing the correct amounts of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. I mix commercial kibble with homemade kibble and supplement with loaves, soups, stews, and casseroles.
Each pet also gets a multivitamin every day. If you are thinking of putting your pet on an entirely homemade diet, you must learn about a dog's or cat's specific nutritional and caloric needs and resting energy requirements (also known as RER). Please seek the help of a veterinary medical professional.
When making changes to your pet's diet, you must do so gradually, allowing his digestive system time to adjust. I suggest that you take about 2 weeks for the process so that your pet is less likely to have stomach upset or diarrhea.
• Days 1-4: Feed 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food.
• Days 5-8: Feed 50% each of old and new food.
• Days 9-12: Feed 25% of the old food and 75% of the new food.
• Day 13 and on: Feed all new food.
If your pet has allergies, it is especially important to check with your
veterinarian before cooking for your furry friend. Note that all the recipes in
this book allow for substitutions. For example, if your dog is allergic to
wheat, you can try rice flour instead.