National Cook for Your Pet Day

Dr. Laura Gaylord, Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist© DACVIM (Nutrition)

Have you ever felt like your furry family member would enjoy a fresh home cooked meal or treat? Or are you already adding some tasty additions to your dog or cat’s regular fare? National Cook for Your Pet Day celebrates our love for our pets by honoring them with a special meal or treat of homemade fresh food. This might be a carefully prepared meal or some toppers added to their regular diet as a treat.

Here are some key things to keep in mind when offering home cooked foods to your pet:

  • Don’t change your pet’s diet abruptly. If they are not used to homemade foods, consider feeding only a small topper with their regular meal to make it special.
  • Check with your family veterinarian prior to feeding any new foods, to see if you need to avoid specific foods in your pet’s diet. Food allergies can be a problem with some pets and your vet can give you the best recommendation for your individual pet’s needs.
  • Avoid high fat foods. Choose lean cuts of meat, trim fats, and drain away grease, or use highly digestible carbohydrates such as cooked potatoes, rice or pasta as a special meal or treat.
  • Do not use seasoning, spices or salt. While a small amount is generally safe, our pets are not used to seasonings in their foods and they are not needed. Some spices may cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • Avoid onion and garlic, raisins, grapes, avocado, chocolate in any recipes. If you are unsure about which foods might cause your pet harm, you can search here:

A special homemade meal can be a wonderful treat for your pet, but remember that it is important to feed a complete and balanced diet. This will be a properly formulated commercial pet food or a homemade recipe formulated by a veterinary nutritionist specifically for your pet.

If you are inspired to continue home cooking for your pet, seek a nutrition consultation with a board certified veterinary nutritionist ( so you can be sure you are providing the best nutrition and feeding a complete and balanced diet. At, we would love to discuss your pet’s medical and nutritional needs and customize a plan for your special family member.

Additional Resources:

My Pet Grocers Recipe ideas and meal ingredients featuring novel proteins, vitamins and minerals to balance your home-cooked meals and uniquely designed for your pet.

Ask the Nutritionist The team at Petdiets.Com are an independent group of veterinary nutritionists with a combined 100+ yrs. of clinical practice, research, teaching on the dietary needs of pets.

Elimination Diets Solutions For food allergic or pets, EDS removes the guesswork and provides nutritionally complete, novel protein based, whole food diets delivered directly to your home.