Monday, September 29, 2008

Should You Prepare Home-Cooked Meals For Pets?

(SPM Wire) With so many pet food recalls over the past couple of years, the idea of home-cooked pet food has grown in appeal to some pet owners.

The experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) warn that pets have very unique nutritional needs. Most importantly, the AVMA advises against feeding them table scraps or human food in lieu of commercial pet food. Many foods that humans love to eat can be deadly to pets.

Gravies, meat fats and poultry skin can cause stomach upsets, and even lead to a life-threatening condition in dogs. Bones will splinter when chewed and cannot be digested. Chocolate can be poisonous to them, but tastes good so pets will eat it.

The AVMA does not recommend that people prepare home-cooked meals for pets. If you are certain you wish to cook for your pet, the AVMA recommends you consult with your veterinarian and do research on appropriate diets for your pet. Only consider recipes that are developed for dogs or cats by veterinarians or trained professionals in animal nutrition.

Dr. Tony Buffington, an Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor, recommends as one the best Web sites on home-cooked pet diets.

But Buffington cautions it is hard to match the balanced diets provided by commercial pet foods in home-cooked meals, because commercial foods are formulated by veterinary nutrition professionals.

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