Homemade Diets for Pets

by Shawn Messonnier, DVM
A resource from Pet-Togethers

For owners who desire to feed a more natural, chemical-free diet, preparing diets at home is the way to go. Select the freshest ingredients; ideally the vegetables and meats should be from plants and animals raised without chemicals, hormones, or pesticides.

While many veterinarians suggest that feeding raw meat is best, there is always the concern about bacterial contamination and infestation with microscopic parasites. For these reasons every precaution should be taken in preparing the meat part of the diet. Ideally the meat should be thoroughly cooked. For those owners who prefer to feed raw meat, the following tips can be helpful (but are not foolproof):

1. Only chicken, turkey, lamb or beef should be fed raw; it is best to cook rabbit, venison, wild game, and pork.

2. Ground meats should ideally be cooked unless the owner grinds the meat at home to prevent cross-contamination at the store.

3. Freeze all meats for at least 1 week prior to feeding.

4. Thoroughly wash all meat in clean water prior to feeding; only prepare the amount that will be fed at that meal, keeping the remaining meat frozen.

Use only high quality brand-name cat or dog supplements recommended by your veterinarian.

Before feeding a pet with a medical condition one of the following diets, check with your doctor first to make sure the diet does not compromise your pet's care.

The following diets have been excerpted from my book, The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats .

Finally, remember that these recipes are guidelines only. The final actual diet, including the amounts to feed, should be determined by consultation with your veterinarian.

Here are some tips on preparing the diets:

1. Most diets call for canola oil. I also like to add additional omega-3 fatty acids to the diet, following the recommendations made on the label of the specific products unless noted otherwise in the diet recipe. The fatty acids should be coldwater fish oil or flax seed oil.

2. The diets call for a calcium/phosphorus source, usually bonemeal. Bonemeal powder can be used, or bonemeal tablets can be used.

3. A multivitamin-mineral supplement is usually recommended. I recommend PetCentRx “Vim & Vigor” Formula used according to label directions.

4. Enzymes can help improve the digestive efficiency of all diets, especially processed foods that do not contain natural digestive enzymes. Enzymes are contained in PetCentRx “Vim & Vigor” Formula. Additional enzymes can be added, and may be helpful for pets with digestive problems.

5. Additional phytonutrients and antioxidants can be obtained using green food products containing barley grass, wheat grass, alfalfa, or spirulina.

6. Many pets appreciate a top dressing of raw or steamed shredded vegetables.

Homemade Diets For Puppies

Puppies require greater amounts of proteins, calories, and vitamins and minerals than adult dogs. The following diets are suitable for puppies up to 12 months of age for pets whose adult weight is 40 pounds or less, and up to 18 months of age for pets whose adult weight is estimated to be greater than 40 pounds.

5 large hard-boiled eggs 
1 1/2 cups of cooked long grain rice (brown rice ideal) 
2 TBSP canned sardines in tomato sauce 
1 TBSP canola oil 
1/3 tsp salt substitute-potassium chloride 
4 10-grain or equivalent bone meal tablets

This diet provides approximately 765 kcal of energy; the actual amount varies with the protein and carbohydrate source. As a feeding guideline, feed:

1/2 cup per day (divided into 2-3 small meals) for 6 month old puppies whose adult weight is estimated at 10 pounds; 1 cup per day (divided into 2-3 small meals) for 6 month old puppies whose adult weight is estimated at 20 pounds; 1 1/2 cups per day (divided into 2-3 small meals) for 6 month old puppies whose adult weight is estimated at 30 pounds; and so on. Confer with your veterinarian to help determine the ideal amount based upon your puppy's growth.

Notes:

1. Cottage cheese (1 1/2 cup of 2% fat cottage cheese,) 1/2-pound chicken, turkey, or other meat (pre-cooking weight) can be substituted for the eggs. Use lean meat. One-half- 2/3 cup of tofu or 1 cup of soybeans can also be substituted occasionally for variety for the eggs. Since dogs are not designed to be vegetarians, I personally prefer to use meat most of the time.

2. Two and one-half cups of potato, cooked with the skin, or 2 1/2 cups of cooked macaroni can be substituted for the rice.

3. Fresh, raw or slightly steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc.) can be used as a top dressing for the diet for extra nutrition and variety (approximately 1/2 -1 cup per recipe.)

4. The nutrient composition of the diet will vary depending upon which ingredients are used. In general, the above recipe supplies the daily nutritional and calorie needs for a 25-35 pound dog. The actual amount to feed will vary based upon the pet's weight (feed less if weight gain, more if weight loss.)

5. Added supplements that can be beneficial include omega-3 fatty acids, plant enzymes, and a green food formula (mentioned above.)

Homemade Diets For Adult Dogs

3 large hard-boiled eggs 
2 cups of long grain cooked rice (brown rice ideal) 
2 TBSP sardines (to provide vitamin B12 and flavor), in tomato sauce 
2 TBSP olive oil 
1/4 tsp potassium chloride (salt substitute) 
PetCentRx “Vim & Vigor” Formula for Dogs as a dietary supplement

Notes:

1. Cottage cheese (1 cup of 2% fat cottage cheese,) 1/3-pound chicken, turkey, or other meat (pre-cooking weight) can be substituted for the eggs. Use lean meat. One-half- 2/3 cup of tofu or 1 cup of soybeans can also be substituted occasionally for variety for the eggs. Since dogs are not designed to be vegetarians, I personally prefer to use meat most of the time.

2. Two-three cups of potato, cooked with the skin, or 2 cups of cooked macaroni can be substituted for the rice.

3. Fresh, raw or slightly steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc.) can be used as a top dressing for the diet for extra nutrition and variety (approximately 1/2 -1 cup per recipe.)

4. The nutrient composition of the diet will vary depending upon which ingredients are used. In general, the above recipe supplies the daily nutritional and calorie needs for a 25-35 pound dog. The actual amount to feed will vary based upon the pet's weight (feed less if weight gain, more if weight loss.) Confer with your veterinarian to help determine the ideal amount based upon your pet’s needs.

5. Added supplements that can be beneficial include omega-3 fatty acids, plant enzymes, and a green food formula (mentioned above.)

Homemade Diets For Kittens and Adult Cats

The same diets can be used for kittens and cats, the difference being the amount fed to meet the greater calorie requirements of the kittens. Since cats are not born finicky but are made that way, it is strongly recommended to offer kittens a variety of ingredients and flavors in their diets. Taste preferences in kittens are generally set by 6 months of age. Since cats are true strict carnivores, a totally vegetarian diet will result in nutritional problems.

1/3-1/2 pound of ground meat (turkey, chicken, lamb, beef) 
1/2-1 large hard-boiled egg 
1/2 ounce of clams chopped in juice 
4 tsp olive oil 
1/8 tsp potassium chloride salt substitute 
PetCentRx “Vim & Vigor” Formula for Cats as a dietary supplement

This diet provides approximately 400 kcal of energy depending upon the final ingredients used. An adult indoor 10 pound cat requires approximately 300 kcal of energy per day, an adult outdoor 10 pound cat requires approximately 360 kcal of energy per day, and a 5 pound kitten requires approximately 300 kcal of energy per day.

Notes:

1. Tuna (4 ounces in water without salt,) sardines (4 1/2 ounces in tomato sauce,) or other fish (such as 5 ounces of salmon) can be substituted for the meat protein. One-half- 2/3 cup of tofu can also be substituted occasionally for variety. Since cats are true carnivores, I prefer to recommend tofu on only an occasional basis.

2. Fresh, raw or slightly steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc.) can be used as a top dressing for the diet for extra nutrition and variety (approximately 1/2 -1 cup per recipe.)

3. The nutrient composition of the diet will vary depending upon which ingredients are used. In general, the above recipe supplies the daily nutritional and calorie needs for a 10-12 pound cat. The actual amount to feed will vary based upon the pet's weight (feed less if weight gain, more if weight loss.) Confer with your veterinarian to help determine the ideal amount based upon your pet’s needs.

4. Added supplements that can be beneficial include omega-3 fatty acids, plant enzymes, and a green food formula (mentioned above.)


About Pet-Togethers

Pet-Togethers is a companion care company devoted to improving the lives of pets and those who care for them. Their veterinarian-recommended PetCentRx Vim & Vigor wellness formula is a highly nutritious supplement that’s giving new life to dogs and cats around the globe. Visit www.petcentrx.com today for more information.

This feature may not be reproduced or distributed electronically, in print or otherwise without the written permission of SPCA International and Pet-Togethers.

This SPCA International article is intended to help further your understanding of your animal's needs. We understand yourunique bond with your pet and it is our pleasure to help you look after its welfare. Thanks to your continued support, SPCA International is able to provide you and countless others with important news regarding the safety of your pets. Thank you again for your donations – every little bit helps!

Join our Cause

Stop the suffering.
Save lives with SPCA International.

Sign up for SPCA International alerts to receive regular updates on animals in crisis and how you can help.

Privacy Policy