Imagine eating the same thing every single day. Doesn’t sound very appealing does it? Sadly, that’s how we feed our pets. The same dry food, and although grateful, I am sure they’re pretty bored of it.
We can feed our pets simpler versions of what we eat ourselves. Yes, cooking for your pet takes a bit of planning, but here are a few guidelines to get you started.
1. Variety is important. Rotating protein and carbohydrate sources will help cover all the nutritional bases.
2. Good protein sources include human- grade raw ground round, chuck or sirloin; ground poultry (higher-fat dark meat is best—pets require more fat than humans do); and occasionally organ meats, all from animals raised without antibiotics or hormones. If you have misgivings about feeding your pet raw meat, cook it lightly.
3. Good sources of carbohydrates include any fruits or vegetables your pet enjoys such as apples, carrots, zucchini, green beans, collard greens, kale, and roasted veggies such as winter squash or yams. Quick-cooking, economical grains such as oatmeal, cornmeal, millet and bulgur are nutritionally dense and can supply more than half of your pet’s diet.
4. Both cats and dogs have high calcium requirements, so unless bones are ground up and included in their diets, they must have added calcium. Add 1 teaspoon of powdered calcium, eggshell powder or bonemeal to each pound of raw meat and work it in before you add anything else.
5. Portion sizes vary according to size, age and activity level. Your animal’s appetite and weight is generally a good gauge for how much to feed him. For specific guidelines and a great collection of natural, holistic recipes, try Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats
6. Monitor your pet closely when introducing new food. Potential food allergens include beef, wheat, dairy, nuts, fruits, tomatoes, carrots and yeast.
Beef Dinner for Dogs
1 pound lean ground beef
1 ounce beef heart or liver
10 ounces cooked brown rice
2 ounces mixed greens
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon eggshell powder or bonemeal
¼ teaspoon iodized salt
1. In a frying pan, cook meat until lightly browned.
2. Mix cooked meat, rice, greens and other ingredients.
3. Divide into portions and immediately freeze what cannot be eaten in the next two to three days.
toy: 1 to 2 cups
small: about 4 cups
medium: 6 to 7 cups
large: about 8 cups
giant: 9+ cups
Poultry Feline Feast
2 cups raw or cooked poultry with skin
2 cups cooked cornmeal or polenta
½ tablespoon chopped vegetables
½ teaspoon eggshell powder or bonemeal
1. Cut poultry into chunks and combine ingredients.
2. Plate food you plan to serve and immediately freeze what cannot be eaten in the next two to three days.
small: about ¾ cup
medium: 1+ cups
large: 1¾ to 2 cups