Health-Conscious Pet Food Recipes for Dogs & Cats

Health-Conscious Pet Food Recipes for Dogs & Cats

Two dogs cooking a homemade meal.Two dogs cooking a homemade meal.
Two dogs cooking a homemade meal.Two dogs cooking a homemade meal.

Table of Contents:

  1. Pet Food Recipes for Overweight Dogs & Cats
  2. Recipes for Pets with Heart Disease
  3. Recipes for Pets with Kidney Disease
  4. Common Problems with Homemade Pet Food
  5. Talk to Your Veterinarian

The benefits of choosing store-bought pet foods are both numerous and obvious. For most pet parents, trekking out to the store a few times a week is more convenient and affordable than trying to cook balanced meals at home. Recently, however, more and more pet lovers are beginning to weigh the benefits of homemade pet food. Some are looking to avoid harmful additives, others are eager to serve up additional nutrients, and still more are hoping to address specific health concerns.

A leading resource in the field of animal nutrition, the Mark Morris Institute (MMI) shares several recipes for pets with health issues in their Pocket Companion to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition.

They also offer the following disclaimer for all of their recipes:

These are computer-formulated homemade foods that meet current recommended nutrient minimums without exceeding the known maximums for dogs and cats. These foods have never been analyzed for actual nutrient content, nor have they been tested in animals (e.g., AAFCO feeding trial) as are some approved, commercially prepared, pet foods. Likewise, the urinary pH produced by these recipes is unknown, but should be adjusted using appropriate oral medications when indicated in certain medical conditions.”

Pet Food Recipes for Overweight Dogs & Cats

Overweight Dogs

Ingredients for 40-lb Dogs

  • Cooked white meat chicken, 65 grams
  • Boiled egg, 81 grams
  • Cooked white rice, 325 grams
  • All-Bran cereal, 26 grams
  • Calcium carbonate, 2 grams
  • Iodized salt, 1 gram
  • Potassium chloride (salt substitute), 1 gram

MMI recommends mixing ingredients together and serving alongside a 1-gram multivitamin to ensure dogs are getting all the nutrients (even trace amounts) that they need.

Overweight Cats

Ingredient for 10-lb Cats

  • Cooked chicken liver, 65 grams
  • Cooked white rice, 46 grams
  • All-Bran cereal, 8 grams
  • Calcium carbonate, 1.2 grams
  • Iodized salt, 0.3 gram
  • Potassium chloride (salt substitute), 0.3 gram

MMI recommends mixing ingredients together and serving alongside a 0.5-gram multivitamin to ensure cats are getting all the nutrients (even trace amounts) that they need. They also recommend that cats eat one 0.5-gram taurine tablet every day.

Recipes for Pets with Heart Disease

Dogs with Heart Disease

Ingredients for 40-lb Dogs

  • Cooked beef, 94 grams
  • Cooked white rice, 330 grams
  • All-Bran cereal, 9 grams
  • Vegetable oil, 2 grams
  • Calcium carbonate, 2 grams
  • Potassium chloride (salt substitute), 1 gram

MMI recommends mixing ingredients together and serving alongside a 1-gram multivitamin to ensure dogs are getting all the nutrients (even trace amounts) that they need.

Cats with Heart Disease

Ingredients for 10-lb Cats

  • Cooked lean beef, 67 grams
  • Cooked white rice, 67 grams
  • Calcium carbonate, 0.7 gram
  • Iodized salt, 0.1 gram
  • Potassium chloride (salt substitute), 0.1 gram

MMI recommends mixing ingredients together and serving alongside a 0.5-gram multivitamin to ensure cats are getting all the nutrients (even trace amounts) that they need. They also recommend that cats eat one 0.5-gram taurine tablet every day.

Recipes for Pets with Kidney Disease

Dogs with Kidney Disease

Ingredients for 40-lb Dogs

  • Cooked white rice, 237 grams
  • Cooked beef, 78 grams
  • Boiled egg, 20 grams
  • White bread, 50 grams
  • Vegetable oil, 3 grams
  • Calcium carbonate, 1.5 grams
  • Iodized salt, 0.5 gram

MMI recommends mixing ingredients together and serving alongside a 1-gram multivitamin to ensure dogs are getting all the nutrients (even trace amounts) that they need.

Cats with Kidney Disease

Ingredients for 10-lb Cats

  • Cooked chicken liver, 21 grams
  • Cooked white rice, 98 grams
  • Vegetable oil, 7 grams
  • Calcium carbonate, 0.7 gram
  • Iodized salt, 0.5 gram
  • Potassium chloride (salt substitute), 0.5 gram

MMI recommends mixing ingredients together and serving alongside a 0.5-gram multivitamin to ensure cats are getting all the nutrients (even trace amounts) that they need. They also recommend that cats eat one 0.5-gram taurine tablet every day.

Common Problems with Homemade Pet Food

While it’s possible for homemade foods to provide the same blend and balance of nutrients as commercial foods, MMI reminds readers that this is rarely the case. The quality of homemade food depends on “the accuracy and competence of the veterinarian or animal nutritionist formulating the food, and on the compliance and discipline of the owner.”

Common issues with homemade pet foods include:

Talk to Your Veterinarian

Never make a major change to your dog or cat’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian. They’ll help you safely transition to new foods and develop a plan that’s perfectly suited to both your pet’s palate and nutritional needs. Remember that your vet’s guidance is especially crucial if you’re hoping to address a health concern with dietary updates.

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