As the movement opposing processed, genetically-modified foods grows, more people are opting to cook their pets’ meals at home. The unfortunate truth is that most commercial dog foods contain fillers, which are largely made of grains and by-products that wouldn’t otherwise occur naturally in an animal’s diet. Cooking meals for your pet at home ensures that you know exactly what they’re eating and in what proportions.
Preparing pets’ meals entirely from scratch is time consuming, and may be unrealistic for your already-tight schedule. But you don’t have to go completely home-cooked to incorporate some more natural choices into your pet’s diet.
Think about your dog or cat in the wild. Instead of eating processed kibble, your pet would be living mostly off meat with a pinch of raw vegetables. Canned salmon is a simple staple to have on hand to mix into your dog or cat’s food each day for a nutritional boost. Tuna works too, but stick to once or twice a week to avoid too much mercury.
For dogs, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs make an excellent snack that’s rich in protein. Grass-fed beef mixed with rice is a nice way to supplement high-quality commercial dog food. When it comes to vegetables, if you can eat it, chances are so can your canine. Carrots, cucumbers, and green beans are great to give to dogs, along with broccoli or cauliflower that’s been lightly steamed to make it easier to digest. Always avoid garlic, as it can be toxic to both dogs and cats.
Cats can be trickier to cook for at home, since they tend to prefer meat and not much else. Try offering your cat cooked, shredded chicken mixed with steamed greens for a hidden serving of veggies. Vets agree that eggs are also a safe and healthy meal option for cats. You can mix in a small amount of cheese or milk for a meal kitty will love—just limit dairy to small portions, as too much can upset cats’ stomachs.
As with any new diet, begin introducing new foods slowly to make sure they sit well with your pet’s stomach. Consult your vet before making any dramatic changes to your pet’s diet.
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