The following are guidelines and tips to help you start adding fresh whole foods to your pet’s diet:
Step 1: You will need a Crock-Pot (slow cooker). These can be purchased anywhere small appliances are sold.
Step 2: Picking ingredients. You can fill the pot with grains, vegetables, fruits and meats.
- Grains – These should be avoided in foods prepared for cats and should be limited in dog diets. Some dogs do not tolerate grains in their diet and should be fed a grain-free diet. High quality grains such as brown rice, quinoa and oats can be beneficial in limited quantities.
AVOID – corn
- Fruits & Vegetables – These foods are packed with anti-oxidants and minerals. Broccoli, asparagus, squash, yams, carrots, apples & berries are all great foods.
AVOID – grapes, raisins, and onions
- Meats – Beef, chicken, turkey and fish are excellent sources of fat and protein.
AVOID – macadamia nuts, limit lamb & fish
- Organic – Where possible use organic foods.
Step 3: Filling the Crock-Pot
- Line the bottom and sides with vegetables as these take the longest to cook.
- Add 2 cups water for every cup of grains.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
Step 4: Feeding
- Commercial food should compose 50% or more of the diet in order to avoid mineral supplementation. Feeding an exclusively home cooked diet or raw diet is great choice, and it requires more information than supplied on this hand out.
- When adding fresh foods to a commercial diet, it is difficult to know exactly how much to feed without counting calories. Start with small amounts and increase as needed. If your pet gains or loses weight, adjust your feeding accordingly.
Step 5: Experiment – HAVE FUN!!! Variety is key! Don’t be afraid to try new foods.