The origin of National Cook for Your Pets Day remains somewhat of a mystery, but there’s absolutely no question that it’s been picked up nationwide by many pet parents who believe that there should be a special day, at least once a year, dedicated to treating our beloved companions to an extraordinary – yet safe and nutritious – home cooked meal. If you’re thinking about participating, remember that maintaining a steady, consistent diet of quality food as discussed with your veterinarian is very important to your pet’s overall health.
Things to Consider with Home Cooking for Pets
Pet nutrition can be a challenge, especially for those looking to practice the art of cooking for their pets beyond this national holiday. According to the folks at the American Kennel Club (AKC), when done right, home cooking for your pets can offer a number of benefits like diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance issues, concern over food recalls, and so much more. Thankfully, AKC developed a list of some common mistakes to avoid when trying out home cooking for dogs and cats:
- Not Using Trusted Sources
- Not Preparing Balanced Meals
- Relying on Multiple Diets to Create “Balance”
- Using Unsafe/Unhealthy Ingredients
- Straying From the Recipe
- Understating the Impact of Dietary Changes
One important point the AKC makes is that while there are a great deal of benefits for whole-ingredient based diets, this serves only as a suggested alternative to commercial pet foods, not a required one. Owners should be aware of ingredient quality of commercial foods, and although they are not the most exciting of meals, they are still made to be complete and balanced. Regardless of which method you choose, just be sure that you are catering to your pet’s individual health, nutrition needs, and consult your veterinarian before switching to a homemade diet as you may unintentionally deprive them of necessary nutrients.
Try a Homemade Treat when Cooking for Your Pets
As an alternative, try making a homemade treat to celebrate National Cook for Your Pets Day! During the workweek, after a long day at the office it might be tough to find the time or energy to whip up baked goods for your pet… but luckily for your furry friend, this holiday falls on the weekend and we’ve found a couple recipes in the hopes of saving you that extra step.
If it’s tips on how to cook for your cat that you’re searching, look no further than these homemade treats from Jennifer Coates, DVM at PETMD. The best part about home cooking for your pets is that you are 100% in control of what goes in them, and these limited ingredient kitty treats are a purr-fect example of that!
If it’s your canine companion you are interested in treating, pun not intended, these treats from AKC are sure to make them drool. Whether it’s National Cook for Your Pets Day or any day of the year for that matter, it can be fun to try out a vet-approved treat recipe to spoil your pet and it will surely be a satisfying nod to your cooking when you find them reaching (or pawing) for more!
Just keep in mind that providing nutritious, nutrient-rich meals is important for the health of your pets and switching your dog’s diet suddenly can cause an upset stomach – so while many home-cooked pet meals have ingredients that are nourishing, it might be best served as a holiday treat rather than a daily menu item.
If you’re interested in celebrating this holiday be sure to consult your veterinarian to discuss options for preparing healthy treats or meals to meet your pet’s particular health needs, age, and lifestyle.
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.