Pet Parents FAQs

Why was Whole Pet Provisions created?

Whole Pet Provisions was created to serve pet owners looking for nutrition advice and help choosing the best way to feed their pet. Our service helps you navigate the plethora of choices you have in selecting diets for your most special family members whether they are healthy pets or those that have medical concerns. We can help you create complete and balanced, less processed, whole food recipes for your dog or cat, select appropriate commercial diets or design a feeding plan the utilizes some combination of these options.

Can I really make my pet’s food?

YES! – but it is very important to have a properly formulated recipe for your pet. The best option is to work with a Veterinary Nutritionist who can review your pet’s current health, medical status, and help you balance a recipe. Making your pet’s food is a commitment and it requires time and effort.  It is truly not for everyone. I invite you to review my article on “Pros and Cons of Homemade vs Commercial Pet Foods.”  It is also possible to feed a balanced diet that is some combination of a homemade recipe and commercial pet food.  Please review my article on “How do I choose the best pet food?”.

Can I make a whole foods diet for my pet without use of supplements?

It is generally not practical or possible to balance a recipe to meet minimum recommendations provided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) without the use of some added vitamins and minerals. Commercial pet foods that achieve an ingredient that looks like no vitamins/minerals are added are often using concentrated and processed foods rather than typical whole foods that are available to individual pet owners. Recipes designed to avoid supplements are very complex and labor intensive with numerous ingredients that unfortunately increases risk of error. These recipes may use foods with questionable or unknown bioavailability of nutrients.  Foods themselves will vary in nutritional content depending of where or how they are grown or even the time of year the foods are harvested making actual nutritional content variable. Responsible pet food companies will test raw ingredients as well as final batches of product to ensure nutrients are present as expected, but pet owners at home making food will not have the ability to practically test their foods. The goal is to balance a homemade diet recipe daily with a consistent and limited number of ingredients using a reliable and bioavailable source of vitamins/minerals. This can be achieved most practically and easily with high quality and carefully selected vitamin and mineral supplementation. The goal is always to use whole foods whenever possible, but balance this with the need to reliably meet nutrient requirements daily and consistently.

What vitamin/mineral supplements are recommended for homemade diets?

Preferred vitamin/mineral supplements have been formulated by a Veterinary Nutritionist specifically to balance homemade diets, have a total nutritional analysis made available for formulation, and also have had 3rd party analysis to confirm their content. The best supplement will be one that can be used in a reasonable and small quantity, is well accepted and tolerated by the pet, and is consistent in its formulation. We work with several different supplement options and receive no return on our recommendation. We may use a combination of human multivitamin or mineral products as an alternative, however, these may not be ideal as often multiple products must be combined to balance a recipe. Generally, using human or a combination of products can increase the complexity of supplementation needed to balance a recipe.

Will you formulate a raw diet recipe for my dog/cat?

Raw feeding is a personal choice many pet owners select as they believe this diet form is healthier. Feeding raw ingredients, however, may pose the risk of exposure to pathogenic organisms to both the pet and the humans in the household.  Commercial pet food companies with raw diet offerings should have quality steps in place to ensure this risk is greatly minimized, but individual pet owners buying ingredients from their local grocery store may not have access to any precautionary steps to reduce pathogenic contamination. Many of our nutrition patients have chronic disease conditions that include some level of immune compromise, or these pets may live with humans with immune conditions or small children in the home. For this reason, Whole Pet Provisions recommends cooked, homemade foods for both dogs and cats as the safest option, and we provide recipes with cooked food ingredients.

Can you provide recipes with pet food quality ingredients (not human grade) or blends of meat/organ/bone?

You may find pet food quality ingredients are available online sold as grinds or blends, and they are often combinations of meat, fat, organ and/or bone tissues.  Unfortunately, these products do not usually provide a complete nutrient analysis which would provide the precise content of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in the product which is required for an exact recipe formulation. Rather, they may only provide a minimal “Guaranteed Analysis” (only minimums of protein, fat, possibly maximums of fiber, moisture, calcium, phosphorus, etc.). These products may also vary nutritionally batch to batch as more or less organ/bone/fat etc is mixed in, thus, we cannot use them in a strictly formulated recipe and have assurance of consistent nutrition in the recipe. These types of products are not appropriate for pet’s with medical conditions that require control of the nutrient content in their diet. Our preference is to use human quality ingredients for which a total nutritional analysis derived from the USDA Food Database is available.