Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Medical Reports: Cooking for Canines
Since contaminated pet food has killed or sickened hundreds of dogs and cats, many pet owners are now scrambling for safe ways to feed their animals. 7's Diana Diaz shows us why some pet owners are actually cooking for their canines.
WSVN -- It's heartbreaking for any pet owner -- dogs and cats, sick and dying because of poisoned pet food.
Dan Krieger: "I'm very sad to see and hear about the people who've lost their pets because pets are our children."
These are Dan Kreiger's children, Jake and Jenny, and, like any good parent, he wants the best for them.
Even before the latest pet food scare he was skeptical of commercial dog food, so Dan actually makes his own dog food every day.
Dan Krieger: "The breeder that I got my dogs from -- his dogs lived to be 20 to 22 years old. He attributes it to the fact they're on the raw food diet."
Everything Dan feeds his dogs is uncooked.
Dan Krieger: "If you cook the chicken, you cook the nutrients right out of it."
He grinds up raw chicken and mixes it with fresh veggies like green beans, broccoli, and carrots.
Dan Krieger: "You need to know what kind of vegetables. The whole point is having the right balance."
But most vets are against the raw food diet. Their biggest worry, ironically, is food poisoning from raw meat.
Dr. John Barr: "I can't advocate the raw food diets. I think the same things with us cooking our meats to avoid the bacteria and exposure to parasites. We do worry about the same things with the pets."
Dr. Barr suggests that if you're going to make your own food, cook it and make sure it's balanced; and you may need to add supplements to their diet.
Dr. Barr: "If they decide to do a home cooked meal, they have to make sure they have a protein source, a carbohydrate source, calcium, phosphate, all the vitamins in there, just like we need."
Dan says he's sticking to the raw food diet, and, hopefully, it'll keep them around for a long time.
Dan Krieger: "They are very active, they run, they jump. I want them to live long; they're like my kids."
Another warning: If you do decide to make your pet's dinner, watch the bones. Many are brittle and could cause your dog to choke, especially if they have been cooked.