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Prepare Your Own Pet's Food

By Eric Hartwell

With all the worries about tainted pet food, you may ask yourself if there's another option to give your cat or dog the nutrition it needs. A better option? Making food yourself for your pet.

For owners that want the best for their pets, cooking the pet food 'from scratch' can be a fine option. While not as easy as store bought food, it is a great way to better control what your cat or dog is eating, and improve their nutrition.

Humans, cats, dogs,, and every other animal have specific nutritional requirements. And while store bought dog and cat food is simple to use, it might not be the best in all cases.

Many dog and cat foods are not made for the pet's requirements first, but expense first. This means using cheaper and poorer quality ingredients. For example, many cat or dog foods use vegetable matter for filler (like the wheat gluten involved in the pet food crisis of early 2007). While this does lower costs, it is not the natural protein dogs and cats are made for - meat.

Although it is possible for dogs can go without real meat, cats can't. Various specific nutrients are required by cats, and are most easily found in meat. So, unless you are prepared to do a serious research into nutritional needs, and carefully monitor your pet's eating habits, you'll need to ensure there's sufficient meat in their diet.

While pet food you buy now will be safe, cooking your own will result in better, fresher, food for your cat or dog. One disadvantage is that preparation will take more time than buying. As well, since the large companies preparing the food can make it cheaper in bulk, you may be forced to spend more for the food you make yourself. But the benefit is a much healthier meal for your dog or cat.

Roughly speaking, a cat's diet should be about fifty-fifty for meat and carbohydrates (such as brown rice or vegetables). In contrast, a dog can do quite well on about 25% meat, and 75% carbohydrates.

A vital thing to be careful of is giving your dog or cat your food. For example, onions and garlic are actually posionous to cats, and cause anemia. Tomatoes have a chemical that causes extreme stomach upset in cats. Chocolate of course has been shown to be dangerous to both dogs and cats. And as well, grapes and raisins are to be avoided by dogs.

You can browse the Internet for specific recipes. Always make sure the recipe makes sense, and the ingredients are good for your pet. Ideally, if the Internet site discusses how they themselves use the recipe, you can read how well it goes over, and of course if their pets enjoy it. This will keep you from working on an untried recipe, or a recipe your pet won't enjoy.

So some work, just a smidgen of care, a small expense, and time, you can prepare a meal for your pet that exceeds the fare usually available. And although it is a bit extra, the advantages of a much healthier diet for your cat and dog cannot be ignored.

Eric Hartwell oversees "The World's Best Homepage" intended to be a user-generated resource where YOUR opinion counts. Anybody can contribute and all are welcomed. Visit us to read, comment upon or share opinions on pets, cat and dog care and animal health and visit our associated site articles for free.

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