Grain-free. Organic. Raw. Home-cooked. Canned and kibble. With so many options to choose from, how do you decide what food is healthiest for your pet? Even then, the list of ingredients, formulas and recipes can be daunting and overwhelming. Take a deep breath, sit back, and relax. Because if you’re worried already, you’re doing a good job.

Keep it Simple

Simplicity is the key when it comes to nutrition and better health for your favorite furball. Feeding your pet a diet composed of real, whole food ingredients is the first step to taking great care of them. Their furry little bodies don’t need scientific formulas or “prescription” diets (more on those later). Lean protein, healthy fat and plenty of nutrient-packed veggies are all your pet needs in their bowl to keep their body strong.

The health benefits of a whole food diet are nearly impossible to count. Nature truly found a way to deliver all we need through food, in both health and sickness. Choosing the right ingredients for your pet can make them healthier and stronger, and it can also help to fight disease and inflammation.

Stay Balanced

Whole foods, no matter how you serve them, are a big step up from the over-processed and inflammatory food that comes in a bag. Even high-end foods are manufactured in the same plants as bargain bags, and can easily be contaminated. Prescription diets are often just the same recipe, with a single ingredient added to perform the required function.

Making your pet’s food at home guarantees that only the ingredients you choose go into your pet’s food. With that said, remember that keeping your pet’s meals balanced is important. Consult with a nutritionist, or follow a balanced recipe like The Original CrockPet Diet to make sure your pet gets all of the nutrients they need. It’s also a good idea to add a multivitamin to your pet’s routine, to fill any gaps left behind. A multivitamin is an especially good idea if your pet is ill or recovering from an injury.

Take it Easy

So, the ingredients in your pet’s food certainly matter. But does this mean you should lose sleep over it? Should you have used collard greens instead of cauliflower? Pork instead of beef?

The truth is, so long as you are providing your pet with wholesome ingredients, you can’t really go wrong. You certainly want to steer clear of any foods your pet is allergic to, and use inflammation-fighting ingredients when possible.

There will be days when you’ve forgotten to take food out of the freezer, or maybe your fridge unexpectedly took a dive. In a pinch, you can cook up any lean meat and veggies you have on hand for your pet (with their multivitamin added, of course!). So long as you pick up on their usual routine when you can, staying the course of whole ingredients will keep them on track.

Keep Feeding for Health

Overall, putting a lot of thought into your pet’s diet is definitely important. After all, the food they eat directly controls their health and wellbeing, and ultimately their happiness. I always recommend a home cooked diet for my patients, to pack more nutrients and hydration into their daily routine.

A healthy home-cooked diet can help your pet overcome disease, and add healthy years to their lives. But most importantly, cooking for your pet ensures they are eating the safest and healthiest food on the planet. No worries about recalls, contamination or mystery ingredients. Just the whole foods and love you put in there.

Dr. Ruth Roberts DVM, CVA

Dr. Ruth Roberts Holistiv Vet

Dr. Ruth Roberts is The Original Pet Health Coach, and has supported thousands of dogs and cats to overcome health hurdles like kidney disease, GI Illness, allergies and cancer. Her natural approach to healing creates a gentle yet effective path for your pet to take on their journey to wellbeing. Dr. Ruth created The Original CrockPet Diet, a balanced home cooked diet for pets, as the foundation of health. Dr. Ruth is now training passionate pet parents, and pet professionals to be Certified Holistic Pet Health Coaches so that more pets can be helped holistically.