shutterstock_156414890As skin allergies reach weirdly epidemic proportions in the pet population, many owners have been forced to start making their own dog and cat food. Some have turned to making their own pet food because they like sourcing local ingredients, having a way to use leftovers, and having the peace of mind that they know exactly what their animals are eating. Others are working with their vet to identify the source of the allergies, which means rotating limited ingredient food and unique proteins every three months. Some of these unique proteins like ostrich, kangaroo or elk aren’t readily available, so you have to make it yourself. Therefore, dog and cat food preparation is now a weekly activity in kitchens all over the country.

Fortunately, making your own pet food is so easy. Once you’ve done it a few times, you can whip up a batch in about 15 minutes and have it ready for your freeze dryer. Plus, you’ll know what your pet is eating, you can avoid  chemicals and additives, you’ll reduce food waste and you will very likely save money – especially if you include the vet trips you’ll avoid because your pet is healthier.

There are plenty of recipes out there, talk to your vet or your local holistic vet to see what they recommend. A popular recipe from Dr. Ruth Roberts of Sun DogCat Moon in South Carolina includes 3 pounds of protein plus coconut oil, red beans, garlic, cruciferous vegetables and seasonal vegetables along with mustard, turmeric, salt and bone meal. It’s basically a pet-specific version of turkey chili. This recipe is so popular in the region that there’s hardly a restaurant that isn’t saving scraps for their loyal patrons. By freeze drying a recipe such as this, you’ll eliminate the need to cook for your pet every week, and you can create a supply of healthy pet food in case of emergency.

Dogs go crazy for homemade food and you’ll very likely see an improvement your pet’s coat and skin, energy level and weight. Holistic vets also say you may see chronic problems such as yeast overgrowth and arthritis disappear. Cats can be more picky, but if you gradually increase the amount of homemade food mixed with their regular food, you’ll transform their diets as well.

Making your own pet food just makes sense. In the long run you’ll reduce what you spend on vet bills and expensive pre-packaged food, reduce food waste and you’ll know that your pet will always have enough to eat.