More pet owners taking on challenge of homemade petfood
Veterinarians caution importance of proper nutrient balance for cats, dogs
More pet owners are looking to the idea of making their pets' food alongside their human family meals, in spite of the challenges it presents.
According to many veterinarians and petfood producers, it can be difficult to formulate an animal's diet at home. “When you open a bag or can or box of petfood, you know that every kibble or food in the can is going to be formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the animals according to the feeding directions on the bag,” said Nancy K. Cook, vice president at the Pet Food Institute. Still, those who choose to make their pets' food themselves have cited lack of health problems and longevity as two reasons why they go homemade. Others simply want their pets' eating habits to reflect their own.
Experts say that pet owners must be very careful. If pets are not fed the correct balance of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, according to clinical nutritionist Joseph J. Wakshlag with the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University, they can experience several health disorders, including anemia, broken bones and loss of teeth from lack of calcium.