There are a number of fine brands of dog and cat food out there these days, including ones billing themselves as natural.
The “natural” designation really means that the food does not contain much in the way of additives or preservatives. And while that’s fine for the health of your pets, it can present a problem if you’re stockpiling it because it won’t last as long as “regular” pet food.
This particular blog, however, is geared for you do-it-yourselfers who would rather take the time to prepare food for your cats and dogs than pay the often high prices at supermarkets or pet stores.
There is much disagreement about which vegetables are OK for pets and which aren’t, and whether grains can be properly digested by our furry friends. But I think the best rule of thumb is, everything in moderation. And everybody agrees that dogs and cats benefit from meat.
Regardless of how much your dogs and cats eat, the keys for making their food yourself are the ratios.
For a cat, which needs more protein than a dog, you might want to try three parts meat, one part organs, one part grain and one-half part vegetables.
Because they acquire calcium from bones, much of what you toss out after preparing a whole chicken would be to their liking. They also love fish. The veggies and grains should be cooked, but the meat can be lightly cooked or even raw. Sprinkle in some bone meal as well and use a little olive oil when cooking.
For a dog, try one part meat, one part grain and one part vegetables. While they like veggies, especially carrots and peas, a few such as cauliflower and broccoli are more difficult for them to digest. Rice and oats are the best grains for them.
Again, use olive oil while you’re cooking everything together on the stove top, which provides them with a healthy fat. The broth can be extracted from leftover chicken carcasses.
We love our pets and so we want them to be as healthy as possible. And if a disaster forces us out of our homes and puts us out in the wild for a while, they will be very useful to us… another reason to keep them healthy.
Cats will keep rodents away from our camps – including our food supplies – and dogs will provide excellent first alert warnings, as their sense of hearing and smell is better than ours. Their protective instincts are also strong, and some dogs will be a big help with hunting.
Making your own pet food will not only save you money. It will also give you that sense of independence and self-sufficiency we all should be striving for.