Feeding pets a portion of food cooked for the humans is a regular practice. Cooked rice with a non-vegetarian curry or fry, and at times even table scraps are considered good for pets. Cats almost always are understood to be satisfied with anything with fish in it. The trend, however, is changing. Packaged food items exclusively for pets is now included in their regular diet. So, how safe is it to feed your pets such food available in the market and what are the options when it comes to feeding them vegetables?
Dr Sunilkumar of Kochi’s Felican Pet Hospital says, “Three kinds of pet food are available in the market. The first is the ‘Normal’ category, which is divided into ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Premium’. The ‘Ordinary’ food is the dangerous one, since this consists of poultry waste. ‘Premium’ food is made from human edible food items. The third category is ‘Therapeutic’ food which is used for treatments such as liver, kidney or skin complaints, for example.”
The doctor goes on to add: “Unlike in foreign countries, there is no regulatory body to check the quality of these pet food products available here, which is very unfortunate.” Vets advise pet parents to provide plenty of water for their pets especially if the diet is completely made of packaged pet food. Since homemade food cannot provide a balanced diet, it is best to look up healthy and easy to make recipes for pets, online. As for a vegetarian diet, Dr Sunilkumar has this to say: “A dog is basically a carnivore and each dog has individual dietary preferences like humans. But today, since they have become highly adaptable it is possible to train them with a healthy vegetarian diet. But a veg diet is not practical with cats as they might not last more than six months.”