Homemade Pet Food Puts Pets at Risk

By: Kristen Ross
By: Kristen Ross

The list of recalled pet foods and products keeps growing, as another recall was announced late Monday for a popular pet treat called "Dingo."

Some pet owners are not taking the risk of buying the tainted food, and are taking measures into their own hands by making their own pet food at home.

However, experts say this do-it-yourself approach could actually be putting your pet at risk.

"I'm afraid that pet owners may be trading one set of risks for another set of risks," said Dr. John Bauer, a professor of clinical nutrition at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. "The reason for that is that some pet owners -- many of them -- may not have the particular expertise, interest or access to the ingredients that might allow them to make the foods at home."

Veterinarians say creating meals for your cat or dog isn't as easy as one might think. Bauer said previous studies on home cooked diets for animals turned up some deficiencies.

"We found that anti-oxidants tended to be low, as well as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D," said Bauer.

Despite the long list of pet foods that have been recently recalled, experts say there are still plenty of safe manufactured foods for pets.

"There's been a lot of different products on the recall list, most recently here with this problem," Bauer said. "The fact of the matter is that it really only represents a small proportion of the total United States and Canadian production of commercial pet food."

However, for those still wanting to cook a meal for their beloved pet, experts advise speaking with a veterinarian before switching their diet. Officials say any sudden food changes could make man's best friend sick.

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