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7 Reasons to Home Cook for Your Pet

Updated on January 17, 2018
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Alison has been practicing Animal Communication for over twelve years. She has a certificate from The Gurney Institute.

7 Reason To Home-Cook For Your Pet


With all the pet foods that line the shelf at your local pet store you may wonder why a home-cooked diet is so important. After all most pet food companies now offer all natural and organic diets. Here are seven great reasons home-cooking is still the best source of nutrition for your pet’s health.

1. IRecalls... In 2007 there was a massive recall of dog foods. There were over fifty dog foods on the list. It seems weekly there are pet products that are being recalled. Pet foods are still making many pets sick. Your food company can label made in the USA if they actually produce the food on US soil. They can still source ingredients from other countries.

2. Pet food manufacturers add preservatives for shelf life, coloring for added appeal and artificial flavorings to please your pet’s palate. Do you want your pet eating all that extra garbage? Wouldn't you rather know where the ingredients in your pet food are coming from?

3. A home-cooked diet is the best way to control what is going in your pet’s mouth. You can choose if you want your pet to eat organic fruits and vegetables, free- range chicken or grass fed beef. You know it is safe because they are the same foods you are eating. It is a more natural way for them to eat and more like what they eat in the wild.

4. Your pet has a better chance of dumping extra pounds on a home- cooked diet. With out the added fat, calories and preservatives in their food you dog will lose weight naturally just by feeding them a natural diet. And you won't have to starve them.

5. Dogs, like people need variety in their diet to meet nutritional guidelines. Commercial pet food does not offer the variety they need. In the wild most canines stalk their prey until it has finished eating that way they get not only the prey, but the contents of it’s stomach, usually grasses. Wild cats and dogs also forage on fruits that have fallen from trees or vegetables they dig up from the ground. These are the same ingredients you can offer them in a home-cooked diet. Dogs in the wild also don’t eat the same thing everyday. They eat what is available. Switching up their diet actually simulates how they eat in the wild.

6. The high temperatures at which kibble is cooked kills most of the nutrients. Even if they add fruits and vegetable to their kibble the processing pretty much decimates the vitamins. They add the vitamins back in via spraying after the processing has been done. A good comparison to your pet eating dry kibble is like you eating nothing but cereal everyday for the rest of your life. You’d get your vitamins, but without the variety you most certainly will not meet nutritional standards. You choose how much you want to cook your pet’s food so it retains more of the nutrients.

7. Home-cooking is easy. Back when your grandparents had pets, they got scraps from the dinner table. That is how they ate. You won’t ever have to throw leftovers away because no one has eaten them. Just add them to your dog's food. Try freezing leftovers and make a big stew out of them at the end of the week.

6. It’s cheaper in the long run. Your pet will be healthier therefore avoiding costly vet visits. Home-cooking for your pet will give them the extra boost their immune system needs to fight off diseases. If your pet is already ill, feeding them an all-natural diet will give them the nutrients they need to help them fight their illness.

7. It’s healthier for everyone. If you are making healthy meals for your pet you are more likely to eat those same natural foods yourself. An example of this is I never ate oatmeal until I started making it for my dog. Now we split it. Cooking for your pet causes you to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats into your house. Why not cook for two and both get healthy. If you are already cooking healthy meals for your family, good for you. Add a little extra for your pets it’s fast, easy and cost effective. And no more wrenching your back lugging heavy dog food bags into the house.

Its easy to get your dog started on a home-cooked diet even if you don't cook. Crock pots will be your best friend. In a crock pot make the recipe below. If you have a bigger dog you can quadruple the recipe, but only feed them the amount you would normally feed them of their dog food. For example Bailey was my Golden Retriever. I fed her two cups of stew in the morning and two cups of stew in the evening.

To start your dog on a home-cooked diet feed your dog the same Starter Stew recipe for twenty-one days. After you can look on my other articles for more recipes. You can switch your dog in three days by feeding them mostly dog food and a little stew the first day, half and half the second day, mostly stew with a little dog food the third day and then all stew from then on out.


Starter Stew

This is a good recipe for switching your dog over from commercial pet food to home-cooked. It's easy on the tummy so it's also good for dog with digestive problems, dogs on a weight control plan and geriatric dogs.

10oz Ground Turkey Cooked

12oz Yams (cooked & cut up)

2 oz Turnips (diced & cooked)

2 oz Celery (diced & cooked)

1 tblsp Olive Oil

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Dice all ingredients and put them in a crock pot let stew for 6-8 hrs. Mash with a potato masher and serve warm. Or you can cook turkey in water with tsp olive oil & 1/2 tsp garlic powder, set aside, wash & poke holes in yam pop in microwave for 3-5 min or until soft, Boil vegetables in water until tender. In large bowl mix all ingredients mash up and serve. This amount feeds an 85lb dog. Feed your dog according to what you normally feed them at mealtime. The rest will last in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also make a large batch and freeze. Food will last in the freezer for three months.

I tend to save all my leftovers and make stews and soups for my dog. I then freeze them.

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    • dingyskipper profile image

      Carolyn 8 years ago from Northamptonshire

      I read some where that Lassie and the stand-ins were fed on rice and ground chicken. The two dogs we had some years ago always had tinned foods and beef,turky or chicken stew cooked just for them

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