Before kibble became popular, most people fed their dogs and cats table scraps and leftover from their own meals.
So what happened? In 2007 homemade pet food got a rethink because there was a massive recall of several thousand packages of pet food laced with melamine were, closely followed by a number of other pet food recalls. Since then, many pet owners have begun to revisit homemade pet food as a way to keeping their pets healthy and naturally fed.
Today, home-cooking pet parents drive innovation by putting pressure on large companies to make pet food more natural and human-grade.
But that’s not to say making homemade pet food is a simple task. Because cats and dogs have unique species-specific dietary requirements, one of the most important aspects of homemade pet food is how it’s formulated to be complete and balanced.
Unlike us, our pets don’t eat a variety of foods. So we have to make sure pet food is balanced at every meal.
At Kafka’s Organic, we introduced a DIY Homemade Pet Food Kit for pet owners who are considering making their own fresh food at home so you can quickly and conveniently make balanced, vet-approved recipes at home. Plus we test our fresh recipes with our own pets to make sure they pass a rigorous taste test. (PS - don't worry, no animals were harmed in this testing process. In fact, it was quite the opposite!)
The benefits of homemade dog food and DIY cat food
What about the benefits of homemade pet food? Glad you asked! Provided it is balanced, there are major benefits of feeding fresh homemade pet food vs processed food.
- Free of preservatives, additives & chemicals
- Rich in natural vitamins & minerals
- Heart healthy ingredients
- Immune boosting natural antioxidants
- Great for weight management & obese pets
- Moisture (made with nutrient-dense bone broth)
- Dog loved & cat approved taste!
The problem of nutritionally incomplete homemade recipes
Using random online recipes and feeding nutritionally unbalanced pet food long term can be severe. According to Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Cailin Heize, a big problem with unbalanced food is that inadequate levels of nutrients may not be clear for weeks or even years in pets. It's only noticed after a serious health problem forms that may not be easily reversed.
Researchers from UC-Davis looked at 67 different homemade pet food recipes that pet owners were following and concluded the following:
“Many problems with nutritional adequacy were detected and use of the recipes could result in highly variable and often unsuitable diets. Many recipes would not meet nutritional and clinical needs of individual [pets] and should be used cautiously for long-term feeding.”
In light of this, the need for correct formulation of homemade pet food recipes is clear.
How to formulate vet-approved cat and dog food recipes
Nutritionally complete homemade pet food always begins with a carefully formulated recipe. Dogs and cats each have very specific dietary requirements. For example, a dog's diet requires high levels of choline while cats require more taurine than dogs.
AAFCO has established guidelines for each essential nutrient in cat and dog food.
At Kafka’s Organic, we formulate all recipes using a veterinary software followed by review from a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. All necessary supplements like omega-3 fish oil, organic kelp, and organic flaxseed oil are also provided in the DIY kit. Using the kit contents you can create multiple recipes, making it easy to rotate and feed a variety of flavours.
Homemade made simple & easy: DIY Kit
Making your own nutritious and balanced homemade meals for your pet can sometimes be a challenge. But being pet parents ourselves, we know that you will do whatever is necessary to make sure your best friend is eating healthy.
We created Kafka’s to empower pet owners to feed fresh food and make the healthiest homemade pet food possible. Not only does this give an immune boost to pets with health conditions, but will keep your healthy pet in condition. DIY kits also give you, the proud dog mama and cat papa, a chance to cook delicious meals for your pet.
Kafka’s DIY Homemade Pet Food kits are complete with:
- Ready-to-go nutritionally balanced recipes
- Organic human-grade supplements, vitamins and minerals
- Step-by-step instructions on how to cook homemade pet food
- Time-saving tips and tricks
- Freezer-safe, BPA-free storage packs
- Feeding guide to calculate exact feeding amounts for your individual pet
Just add fresh meat, vegetables, and a lot of love!
Preparing pet food with your DIY Kit
If you just got our DIY kit, next comes the fun part! You now have everything you need to start making a healthy, nutritious & balanced dog food or cat food. Simply choose ethically farmed and ethically raised ingredients from your local grocer and butcher, and start cooking.
Our recipes include vitamin-rich ingredients like sweet potatoes, ground beef, ground chicken/ground turkey, kale, raw carrots, and organic kelp. When compared to store bought food or dry food, these fresh recipes are guaranteed to be cat approved and dog loved. In addition to fresh ingredients being good for dogs and cats, they are tasty because all the natural flavor is retained.
How the DIY kit works:
You can also supplement recipes with a small amount of coconut oil or egg shells, or swap out certain ingredients (ex: kale with green beans, sweet potatoes with brown rice). Add the provided supplements after cooking because heat can destroy some of the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in these supplements.
So there you have it, a balanced and varied homemade pet food diet to keep things fresh and interesting!
How much to feed?
The optimal amount of homemade diet you should feed your dog and cat is not always clear. But the consequence of feeding too much food is clear: weight gain or obesity.
Just like for humans, maintaining a healthy weight is important for a pet’s long-term health and well being. To prevent overfeeding, we created a calorie calculator based on your pet's age, weight and body condition. You no longer have to worry about homemade dog food serving sizes, that’s our job.
Long-term feeding of fresh pet food
What about feeding homemade pet food long-term?
Sometimes well-meaning pet parents make incorrect ingredient substitutions, or don’t measure out exact amount of ingredients. The danger of doing so is that the recipe will no longer be nutritionally balanced.
We send our customers monthly reminders with tips and time-saving tutorials to make it easy to follow the exact recipe. We also send out a list of approved ingredient substitutions. So you can give your pet a variety of tasty ingredients without compromising nutrition.
So there you have it, the complete guide to homemade pet food using our DIY kit. So go ahead, feed your best friend the best pet food possible!
- Should you make your own pet food at home? Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School. 2016 [cited 2020 Mar 25]. Available from: https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2016/07/should-you-make-your-own-pet-food-at-home/
- Larsen JA, Parks EM, Heinze CR, Fascetti AJ. Evaluation of recipes for home prepared diets for dogs and cats with chronic kidney disease. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2012 Mar 1;240(5):532–8.