Veterinary surgeons and pet food manufacturers
often warn against feeding home-made diets. This is because
of the assumed difficulty of ensuring adequate levels of all
nutrients especially minerals and vitamins. My experience
is that it is perfectly feasible to feed a natural homemade
diet even without adding vitamin and mineral supplements.
But the key to achieving this is VARIETY!
It may be necessary to distinguish between using diet to maintain
healthy condition and using diet as a means of treating an
existing health problem (Clinical Nutrition).
For example, a severe or chronic skin condition may be caused
by an underlying dietary intolerance but the offending ingredients
have not been identified. In that case it may be necessary
to keep to a restricted, fixed diet with only a few ingredients
to avoid the risk of introducing an ingredient which could
trigger a reaction.
The following suggestions are based on my own recommendations
to aviod health problems and ensure an excellent level of
general health. Treatment of specific health conditions may
require specialist advice and careful attention to detail.
For the dog
1/3 rd by volume boiled brown rice
1/3 rd by volume meat (this should be varied regularly using
chicken, fish, lamb, beef)
1/3 rd by volume vegetable, again varied using roots and greens
and to include some seaweed (dried or fresh)
I have less experience in the use of home made food for cats
but in general cats need a higher level of protein and less
This could be achieved by increasing the meat portion to 50%
with the rice and vegetable portions of 25% each. Again, some
seaweed should be included to provide trace minerals.
Donald Strombeck, has written a book on homemade diets for
the treatment of disease of the dog and cat. (Strombeck, Donald
R. 1999. Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets – The Healthful
Alternative. Iowa: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-8138-2149-5)
Subscribe to our email newsletter
(monthly UK draw for free food)