Get involved! How can petfood manufacturers make meal time
for family pets more of a hands-on and bonding experience?
According to the blogsphere and online pet community, making
your dog and cat's petfood at home with your own ingredients is
the latest trend. But many animal nutritionists, veterinarians
and petfood producers argue that the average pet parent doesn't
know just what their pet needs in their bowls.
In a recent pet advice column by veterinarian Suzy
Hochgesang, a pet owner asked whether she should feed her cats
and dogs homemade petfood. Hochgesang was clear in her
response, saying, "Most veterinary nutritionists agree that it
is best to feed our pets a commercial food." She listed lower
costs, more convenience and a better nutritional balance as the
top reasons to choose commercial petfood over homemade petfood.
Hochgesang also recommended pet owners buy brands that are
A recent article from
, (an often radical, commercial petfood condemning website)
outlined several reasons why pets should not be fed food
intended for humans. Among the reasons included:
Benefits for pets and people
As the status of pets continues to rise, many pet owners
seem willing to put more time into preparing meals for their
pets. Their motivations might include, according to Tim
Mixers, dehydrated and fresh petfoods provide the
opportunity for pet parents to prepare their pet's food at
home, but still buy the balanced ingredients and
nutritionally-approved recipes from the local petfood
Several companies are catering to these pet owners who want
to get more involved with feeding their pets.
The rotation diet encourages pet owners to feed various
protein types (beef, chicken and salmon) and forms (raw, dry and
offers several products for implementing its "rotation
diet" concept. Pet owners can feed various protein types (beef,
chicken and salmon) and forms (raw, dry and wet).
In May 2008
, the German feed and petfood company, introduced "Mix It" dog
and cat foods throughout Europe. The idea is to provide variety
without having to change the main food.
Wild Kitty sells a "Homemade Cat Food Kit." With the kit, cat
owners can make raw or cooked cat food using boneless
offers three "natural petfood mixes." Pet owners add meat
and water to one of the mixes for "fresh, homemade petfood in
Developed by a group of veterinary nutritionists,
is a web-based veterinary nutrition software that is used
by veterinarians along with a line of Balance IT supplements.
It enables veterinarians to try new concepts in nutritional
therapies with homemade petfood recipes.
The Honest Kitchen
is a family owned petfood company, based in San Diego,
California, USA. It sells freeze-dried petfoods containing a
combination of raw and cooked ingredients. Pet owners add water
and their pet's choice of vegetables, fruits and raw or cooked
Synergy Dehydrated Vegetable Mix from
contains no dyes, preservatives or chemicals. The mix can
be blended with frozen protein or canned foods. Ingredients
include peas, carrots, pumpkin and red pepper.
The Missing Link
Wellness Blend from Designing Health contains omegas 3, 6
and 9, phyto nutrients and probiotics. The product can be added
to the dog's or cat's food daily, by simply sprinkling the
powder over their regular diet.
What's next? If the market continues to develop, which seems
likely, we can expect to see more major marketers of
traditional commercial diets adding high-involvement petfoods
to their product lines.
more mixers and other high-involvement petfoods.
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For more about sustainability in petfood, watch
Jan Hoijtink's Petfood Forum 2010 PowerPoint, "Corporate
social responsibility: from whim to a matter of
Florida officials warn pat owners from purchasing from illicit sources
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