3. Make your own
Sure, you can purchase local and raw pet food from co-ops and CSAs. But if DIY is more your style, you can also whip up a batch of pet-friendly food right in your own kitchen using local ingredients.
DIY pet foods will differ greatly depending on the size and breed of your furry friend. Generally, raw dog food contains a combination of raw meat, vegetables and whole grains. Since cats are strictly carnivores and their stomachs aren’t well-suited for digesting grains and veggies, raw meat and organ meat are usually the main ingredients in raw cat food.
Talk to a veterinarian before putting your pet on a raw food diet. He or she will determine the ingredients that are best for your pet’s medical and nutritional needs. If possible, try to find a vet that advocates raw food diets to ensure he or she is well-versed in the subject and can provide you with detailed advice.
In many cases, your vet will work with you to develop a specific recipe that’s right for your pet. For further guidance, check out these tips, sample recipes and do’s and don’ts on raw cat food and raw dog food from EthicalFoods.com.
Note that DIY pet diets are not for the squeamish. For meat ingredients, you’ll not only have to handle common cuts like shanks and shoulders but also slightly more, shall we say, exotic components like heart, liver and other organs. Remember to always use safe food handling procedures, and store finished pet food in the fridge or freezer to keep it from spoiling.
If you notice any changes to your pet’s health or behavior after switching to a raw diet, consult a veterinarian immediately just to be on the safe side.
Feature image: Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash