This study evaluated recipes of 67 home-prepared diets recommended for animals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to compare the diets’ nutritional profiles to requirements for adult dogs and cats and assess their appropriateness for managing CKD. We analyzed 39 dog food and 28 cat food recipes with computer software to determine calories, macronutrient calorie distribution and micronutrient concentrations.

Assumptions were required for the analysis of every recipe, and no recipe met all National Research Council nutrient recommended allowances (RA) for adult animals. Compared with RAs, concentrations of crude protein or at least one amino acid were low in 30 of 39 (76.9%) canine recipes and 12 of 28 (42.9%) feline recipes. Choline was most commonly below the RA in both canine (37/39, 94.9%) and feline (23/28, 82.1%) recipes; selenium, zinc and calcium concentrations were also frequently below recommendations. The median phosphorus concentration in canine and feline recipes was 0.58 and 0.69 g/1,000 kcal, respectively.

Many problems with nutritional adequacy were detected, and use of the recipes could result in highly variable and often inappropriate diets. Many recipes would not meet nutritional and clinical needs of individual patients and should be used cautiously for long-term feeding.

Source : J.A. Larsen et al., 2012. Evaluation of recipes for home-prepared diets for dogs and cats with chronic kidney disease. JAVMA 240: 532-538. doi: 10.2460/javma.240.5.532