Home-prepared diets may include cooked or raw foods. Multiple veterinary studies of recipes found in books and on websites have shown that the majority of these recipes, even those written by veterinarians, do not provide complete and balanced nutrition.95–97 For pet owners who prefer to feed home-prepared diets, a consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist is recommended. More information about requesting nutrition consults can be found online at the ACVN website.
Once a recipe has been formulated and provided to the pet owner, it is imperative that the owner follow the recipe exactly as written to ensure that it provides complete and balanced nutrition. This is especially important regarding specific vitamin, mineral, and amino acid supplements to ensure that all micronutrient requirements are met. It is common for owners to gradually amend recipes over time,98 so practitioners should be confirming at appointments that owners are still following specific instructions. Supplements can also change over time, so home-prepared diet recipes should be updated annually with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.
These guidelines are supported by generous educational grants from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets, and Royal Canin®.