Home made diets, when done correctly, are some of the best ways to feed your pet. But when they are not done according to accepted nutritional principles, they can be disastrous! Home prepared meals take more time, and much more attention to detail, and may be more expensive than most commercially available pet foods. But, in my 25 years as a veterinarian, teaching clients to prepare balanced homemade diets for their pets, healthy or ill, I have observed that nearly all dogs or cats put on home-prepared diets do so much “better” than on manufactured diets, especially the diets that are dry or canned or soft and moist.
And that is why, in spite of the expense, and the time that diet preparation takes, it is so worth it to provide your four legged friend with wholesome home-prepared meals!
For the pet with cancer whose appetite may be diminishing, or for whom the cancer therapies are affecting their appetite, home prepared food can offer a much more palatable choice for the pet. Most of the time, pets who will not eat kibble or canned will eat home-prepared meals. But feeding home prepared meals to your pet, especially a pet with cancer, takes special attention and consistency to the details of food preparation.
We need to be sure to give the right amount of protein, and use protein sources to which the pet is not allergic. We can use some, but not a lot, of complex carbohydrates that are hypoallergenic and are also non-GMO and preferably, organic. We also need to use vegetables that your pet can digest fully for the soluble and insoluble fiber found in the veggies as well as the healthy plant-based phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. Its important to give enough calcium to ensure a proper calcium/phosphorus balance. Cancer diets are higher in healthy fats such as the omega 3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil and flax oil. Fat is a source of energy that cancer cells cannot use. In this way, we are feeding our pets, but not feeding their cancer. The addition of supplements such as calcium and flax seed meal help to make the diet more “complete and balanced”.
Generic recipes are available for diets that meet the nutritional profile considered appropriate for a pet with cancer, but each pet is an individual, and should have a diet designed specifically for that pet’s individual needs. The best way to get an individualized recipe is from a veterinarian who has training in diet formulation. I have posted a recipe at the end of this blog by a veterinarian that can be a good starting place for your home prepared diets,
but is not the best long-term diet for every pet because each pet has their own individual needs for calories, protein and specific food ingredients. I am suspicious of people who are not veterinarians who claim to be able to formulate diets for pets, especially for pets with illnesses. I know there are a few who are reputable, but I would caution you to be wary of them in general, and to ask them about their credentials and for references.
I have been trained to formulate diets for pets, and have 25 years of experience doing that for my own patients, whether they have cancer, or are healthy little puppies. I am not a veterinary nutritionist, but have taken additional training in order to be able to formulate meals for my patients. This is something that I will discuss with you during our One-on-One consultation. (JUMP TO VET CONSULT). The Apawthecary Shop of the Holistic-Cancer-Vet.com (JUMP to PET DIET PAGE IN STORE) contains a number of supplements that I have designed for RxVitamins for Pets to assist you with creating a balanced home-prepared diet, whether raw or cooked.
There also are veterinarians who are specialty trained in veterinary nutrition who perform these consultations. This link: www.ACVN.org will give you a list of contact information for veterinary nutritionists who will formulate your pet’s diet.
Another approach for determining a recipe for your pet would be to go one of two websites:
- BalanceIT.com (www.BalanceIT.com) and
- PetDiets.com (www.PetDiets.com);
both have been designed by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. For a fee, these websites allow you to request a diet for your pet. They will have you enter your pet’s information so they can formulate it specifically for your pet’s needs. They don’t formulate raw diets, but there is nothing wrong with kitchen cooking temperatures in terms of not destroying the good nutrients in the home prepared meals you are fixing.
Cancer Diet Recipe for Dogs
#1: Chicken and Rice and Everything Nice :)
This makes one meal for a 50 pound dog.
|Chicken breast without skin, baked or stewed||10 ounces by weight|
|Cooked or raw veggies (chopped or grated for better digestibility) a colorful variety which can include: broccoli, cabbage, carrots (not
baby carrots they are too sweet), kale, bok choy, red or yellow bell peppers, edible mushrooms like shiitake and maitake, green beans, string beans, zucchini, cauliflower, spinach, chard, etc.
|Flax seed meal||2 Tablespoons|
|UltraEFA: Fish oil (EPA/DHA) & Lecithin||2 Tablespoons|
|Canine Minerals by RxVitamins||1.25 scoops|
This diet provides about 1078 kcal; This would feed an adult active 50 pound dog for a day.
This diet can be a good starting point for your dog, and you should be OK feeding this for a month or two, but ultimately I suggest getting a diet that is specific for your pet’s needs created by a veterinarian.
Cancer Diet Recipe for Cats #1: Tuna, Eggs and Squash
This makes 2 meals for two days for a 13 pound senior cat 7-11 years of age.
|Tuna, canned, in water||8 ounces|
|Egg, large, hardboiled||1|
|Pumpkin or Squash, canned, baked or boiled||1/3 cups|
|Flax seed meal||1 Tablespoon|
|Olive oil||1.5 Tablespoons|
|RxEssentials Multivitamin/Multimineral with Taurine by RxVitamins||2 scoops|
|Feline Minerals with Taurine by RxVitamins||2 scoops|
|UltraEFA: Fish oil (EPA/DHA) & Lecithin||1 Tablespoon|
This diet provides about 700 kcals which is enough to feed a 12 pound senior cat for 3 days. Heavier cats will daily calories to maintain their ideal weight, sedentary and older cats will need fewer daily calories.