Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets: Can non-vet nutritionist fare ever measure up?
This is yet another pet peeve of mine. It happens whenever veterinarians — specialists, especially — suggest that feeding dogs and cats a nutritionally balanced diet requires DVM (or VMD) and PhD (in nutrition) oversight before the almighty decree of acceptability can be granted to it.
And I get it. If you’re going to write a book titled Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets (by Patricia Schenck), then you really should have had at least a few top veterinary nutritionists look over it before publishing it.
Apparently, that didn’t happen. Otherwise the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine (JAVMA) wouldn’t have enlisted a respected, board-certified veterinary nutritionist to (effectively) pan it in their mid-December issue.
As Dr. Lisa Weeth (DVN, DACVN) reports in her review of the book:
... I would caution against the use of the recipes included for dogs and cats and instead would have veterinarians and pet owners refer to the partial list of nutrition services that is provided in the first chapter to obtain complete and balanced home-prepared recipes.
Which is what I do. I refrain from offering anything BUT individualized recipes obtained from board-certified nutritionists. But then, I’m mostly covering my butt as I do so.
Truth is, feeding a dog or cat for life is typically not too tough. Give ‘em a variety and they’ll usually tell you what they need. Do you need a DVM/VMD and PhD or board certification to figure it out? Not really, right?
The problem remains, however: Are you optimizing your pets’ health by doing it this way? Probably not. Which is where the expert designation comes in.
Disagree with them though many of you may, their credentials speak volumes. What say you?
Dr. Patty Khuly