STRAIGHT TO THE POINT: There are a variety of resources available to help you formulate a homecooked diet for your pets. Such resources include local veterinary nutritionists, online nutrition consultation services, and recipe generators.
In a previous post, I explained the risks of cooking homemade pet food at home. While a quick google search can bring up hundreds of different recipes to follow, a recent study by the University of California, Davis showed that an overwhelming number of recipes are either nutritionally incomplete, contain toxic ingredients, or both.
As a small animal veterinarian, I am often approached by clients wanting to make homemade food for their pets. In addition, I sometimes encounter medical cases that would benefit from specialized diets made at home. Fortunately, there are veterinary nutrition consulting resources available to owners that want to ensure their pets are eating a nutritionally complete homemade diet.
Seek a Local Referral
Depending where you are located, you may have a local veterinary nutritionist offering nutrition consultations. Ask your local veterinarian if this resource is available in your area. Alternatively, you can search the member directory provided by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. Many veterinary nutritionists will provide consultations directly to clients, while others will work with your primary care veterinarian.
Online Consultation with a Nutritionist
If you live in an area where a veterinary nutritionist is not available, you may consider an online consultation with a veterinary nutritionist. One services that I can recommend is Veterinary Nutritional Consultations INC, founded by Dr. Rebecca L. Remillard. VNC was the first teleconsulting service in veterinary nutrition and offers both healthy pet diets and sick pet consultations. It is important to note that there is a charge for the consultation and that sick pet diets will require participation from your primary care veterinarian.
Some veterinary schools also have nutrition departments offering remote consultations. Examples may include Ohio State University, University of California Davis, Tufts, University of Tennessee, and University of Missouri. It is important to note that there is a charge for the consultation and that consultation services may require participation from your primary care veterinarian.
Online Recipe Generator with Purchase of a Supplement:
A final option option to consider is an online pet food recipe generator. This website automatically generates a petfood recipe based on ingredients chosen by the user. Per the website, a nutritional supplement must be purchased and administered as directed in order to provide a nutritionally complete diet. While I have received great feedback from these diets, I will leave you with the disclaimer that I cannot guarantee the integrity of the diets created.