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Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Pet Food

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I have an older pet, is it okay to feed homemade food?

Yes, it's never too late to begin and never early enough to start. I personally began feeding my own cat when he was 15½ and he only got remarkably healthier and stronger. He loved the food as well and immediately took to it. This was a cat who ate commercial pet food all his life until I began making his food.

When can you begin feeding homemade food?

You can begin as soon as the puppies and kittens begin eating solid food. Basically, it is at the same time that you would introduce any solid foods. One of my dogs has been eating homemade food since we brought her home. She was about 6 weeks old at this time. For exact information though, talk to your vet or breeder.

What happens if I go away and leave the dogs and cats at home and have a friend look after them?

Simply chop a lot of vegetables and then freeze them. Tell your friend to pull the veggies out of the freezer the night before they are needed to allow them thaw.

The meat is usually already bought wrapped in convenient packages (eg. one pound packages). So all you need to do is have your friend pull the meat out of the freezer as well and allow it to also thaw in the fridge overnight. From here, all your friend needs to do is mix the food together, add the hot water, add the supplements and feed.

If your friends are not willing to do this, then you may wish to get a house sitter. A house sitter will not only look after your companion animals, but they will look after your house as well. A house sitter will do house hold chores including mowing the lawn and walking the dog.

What happens if my pet doesn't like homemade food?

If your dog or cat does not like the food, then you should consider re–reading the part on encouragement (Part 3).

Don't become discouraged though and just remember to work at your pet's pace. This could be fast or slow, but always try to keep moving forward.

Can health problems still occur if feeding homemade food?

Homemade food is part prevention and part risk reducer, but homemade food is not 100% guaranteed to cure and prevent all health problems.

I myself can speak quite frankly on this subject because Katy, my miniature schnauzer, died of lymphoma even though she was on a raw food diet. Unfortunately, so many problems begin in previous generations and so we must work a little bit harder to help our pets. Sad to say, even working harder doesn't always do enough, but that's not an excuse or a reason not to try.

One does not expect commercial pet foods, even though they are advertised as complete and balanced to prevent all problems. However, I find that many people expect homemade food to create miracles and so they create unrealistic goals.

By creating unrealistic goals or expectations, some people create a reason to fail or to stop feeding a wholesome raw meat diet when their expectations are not obtained. As I always say, expectations can only create disappointment. These people are either lazy or scared of the unknown, and since fear immobilizes, they ultimately do nothing and go back to feeding commercial pet food.

If fear immobilizes, then love mobilizes. M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Travelled says that self discipline is love translated into action. If you have the self discipline, then the love for your dog or cat will guide you and any reason for making or not making homemade food will not be a selfish one.

There is no guarantee with homemade food, especially since so many dogs and cats have underlying problems already as did Katy. Homemade food is simply more wholesome. Wholesome food can and has made a difference for many pets, but there are never any guarantees.

Most people realize when they get a pet that there may be medical expenses. Most dog and cat guardians who do feed homemade food do hope that a more wholesome diet will help prevent problems, and for many of them, it has, but we must always remember nothing in life is guaranteed.

I'm concerned about my pet getting food poisoning, what do you have to say about this?

Well, if you read the book Pottenger's Cats you will find that the only cats that got sick were the cats eating the cooked meat. A possible reason for this, according to animal nutritionists, is because raw meat helps to stimulate your pet's highly acidic digestive system.

A carnivore's digestive system is said to kill the bacteria that causes food poisoning. Only humans cook meat. A human should not eat raw meat because our digestive system is longer and not as acidic as our pet's and as a result we can get food poisoning.

Also, Diane Stein, author of Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats says on page 52 of her book that canned pet foods are heat sterilized, but up to 1% of dry dog food (cat foods were not tested) has been shown to carry salmonella bacteria. This may explain why many dogs and cats, even though eating commercial pet food, go to the vets with the classic symptoms of food poisoning. One percent may not sound like a lot, but just remember how many bags of pet food are produced and sold.

Also, sad to say, many dogs and cats have died from eating tainted commercially prepared pet foods and many more got severely ill making them more susceptible to health problems in the future. Commercial pet food is not all that it has been made up to be.

Another point to take note of is that dogs are known to bury bones and then eat the putrefied meat weeks later with no ill effects. Cats have been known to eat rotting meat also! Even the Inuit are known to bury meat, let it rot and then they ate the rotten meat with no ill effects and these are humans!

Can I feed fruit?

In limited quantities, some fruits are okay. However, our pets are highly susceptible to diabetes if you give them too many fruits. Feed fruits cautiously and in small amounts only.

How do I know if my dog or cat has allergies to a certain food?

You can always visit your vet to have tests done, but for self evaluation, you can ask yourself does my pet scratch too much, have hot spots, severe reaction to insect bites, hyperactivity, lethargy, diarrhea, and does it vomit? These are just some of the possible signs of allergies.

If your pet has allergies, then you should consider feeding good, natural foods and consult your vet for professional help. You may want to read the part on assisting allergies again.


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