An abundance of pet food recalls and concerns of pet parents about food sourcing, production, and quality have led more and more dog owners to begin preparing homemade meals for their pets. However, a new study by researchers at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine revealed that homemade dog foods may not be providing pets with adequate nutrition.
Researchers prepared over 200 recipes found on the internet, in pet food cookbooks, and from veterinary textbooks, then analyzed the ingredients and the nutrients they provided. Only 9 (nine!) of those recipes met minimum standards established for adult dogs by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Keep in mind that the low quality, China-sourced, unhealthy dog foods that have compelled dog owners to begin cooking homemade in the first place DO meet these minimum requirements.
“Some owners prefer to prepare their dogs’ food at home because they want to feel they have better control over the animals’ diet, want to provide a more natural food or simply don’t trust pet food companies,” said Jennifer Larsen, assistant professor of clinical nutrition and lead author of the study. “The results of this study, however, indicate that most available recipes for healthy dogs, even those published in books by veterinarians, do not provide essential nutrients in the quantities required by the dog.”
The vast majority of homemade pet food recipes were nutritionally deficient to the point that it could be dangerous, even life-threatening, to your dog.
So, how will you know if your dog is getting the nutrients he needs?
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