Struvite Friendly Homemade Dog and Cat Diet
Because of previous pet food scares, many homemade pet food diets have resurfaced. My biggest problem with homemade diets is that the client starts out with the best intentions so adds all the ingredients, but by the time they’ve done this time-consuming cooking for 3-4 weeks, they run out of an ingredient. The animal seems to do “just fine” without the missing ingredient and they intend to pick it up at the store the next time they are in that area, but often forget.
(What is “Just fine” anyway?—Does that mean they don’t drop dead if you delete the calcium or the Vitamin E or what?)
So, over time, the diet is actually imbalanced which just throws everything into an eventual tail spin. I guess that won’t stop me from posting homemade diets such as this, but I want you to know the downfalls of the process.
Homemade Diet for the Prevention of Struvite Crystals:
- 1 ½ pounds of cooked Ground Chuck Roast (Beef), with the fat retained
- 1/4 lb of cooked Calf’s Liver
- 1 cup cooked Rice or Mashed Potatoes
- 1 teaspoon Canola Oil
- 1 teaspoon of Phosphorus-Free Calcium Carbonate (crushed calcium lactate or calcium gluconate) or 8 regular Tums tablets
- ¼ Centrum tablet (I prefer 20 drops of liquid Pediatric Vitamins)
- 100 iu of Vitamin E
- 2-3 ounces of Distilled Water can be added during cooking if the cat or dog prefers a moister food
Feed approximately 1/4-1/2 lb per ten pounds each day or the amount that maintains optimal body weight. This formula is designed to keep magnesium and phosphorus levels in the food to a minimum.
Taurine deficiency is a big issue in cats as it can cause an enlarged heart and blindness if the diet is not adequate.
Use high-quality Vitamin E capsules (something with mixed tocophorols) as cheaper forms of Vitamin E are not complete and are basically motor oil in a gel cap.
It’s actually best to have the stones turned into a qualified pathology lab that deals in determining the components of the stone to make sure you feed the correct diet so that other stones will not form. Herring Labs out of Orlando, Florida is a world leader in stone analysis http://www.herringlab.com/
Commercial diets that have been recommended to prevent stones include: Hills x/d, s/d, k/d, u/d, CNM’s NF, and Waltham’s SO or their Low Protein Diet. Also sodium-potassium citrate supplementation of food shows potential in preventing oxalate reoccurrence.
Providing lots of clean, fresh distilled or Reverse Osmosis water is essential for the prevention of further stone formation. Many wells have too many hard minerals in the water and the kidneys can’t keep up with filtering them out of the system.
Dehydration is a big reason why stones start forming, so when it’s cold out and the water dish is frozen over we see lots of these types of cases.
Cheap, high-ash foods such as Special Kitty, Ol’ Roy, Western Family, Atta Boy and Atta Cat among others have higher amounts of salt in them (to make them enticing to eat) so it takes more water to process the ash. The salt stimulates thirst and the increased water consumption causes more urine flow which helps to flush the small crystals out of the system.
It’s important to feed high-quality food if you want to prevent stones and nurture optimal health. I used to love that commercial that said, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later” when I offered high quality foods that were low in ash and much safer in the long run. My clients didn’t like that (and really, I didn’t care where they bought their food as long as it was high quality). Seeing a pet or family member in agony with stones is a real eye opener when it comes to diet education.
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