Supplements In Your Recipe
Unless noted otherwise, the supplements included in your recipe are essential to meet your pet’s minimum daily nutrient requirements. Whenever possible, whole food sources were used to meet nutrient requirements. However, due to food restrictions, ingredient availability, or ingredient restriction due to client request, some supplements have been included in your recipe where whole foods fall short. Supplements have also been included to meet your pet’s requirement for nutrients generally not readily available for dogs from whole food sources.
Different proteins and cuts have different nutritional profiles, and some are much more nutrient dense than others. Organ meat, for example, are quite nutrient dense and a recipe without organs will need more supplements to ensure a complete and balanced recipe. More information on why some recipes need more supplements than others is discussed in my article here.
Therapeutic diets: For therapeutic diets, nutritional requirements and goals for therapeutic conditions always override diet and ingredient preferences. While I will not formulate using ingredients you cannot access, I am less able to accommodate requests for specific ingredients or diet preferences where it contradicts guidelines for your pet’s health.
Common Supplements in Homemade Diets
This is a general list for educational purposes. The recipe made for your pet may or may not include these supplements.
- Safflower Oil or Sunflower Oil for Linoleic Acid: This fatty acid is commonly found in animal fats, particularly poultry skin. Safflower oil is nutrient-dense in LA, especially the high-linoleic safflower oils. Lower fat recipes, lean ruminant based recipes (beef or game meat), or very low energy recipes, may be low in LA.
- Fish Oil (EPA/DHA): EPA and DHA are known as the fish oil omega-3’s. Fish oil is a great source of EPA and DHA. Recipes without any fish ingredients will need EPA/DHA supplemented. If a pet cannot eat fish, an algae omega alternative can be used.
- Calcium: Bones are the biggest contributors of calcium in a homemade diet. Boneless recipes, such as cooked recipes, will need calcium supplemented. Calcium may also be supplemented in small doses in recipes where the calcium requirement is met but the Ca:P is low. In these cases, increasing the bone in the recipe may not help as it raises both calcium and phosphorus. Puppy diets may also use 2 different forms of calcium supplements (with and without phosphorus) in order to carefully control the calcium and phosphorus levels, which are critical to bone growth.
- Magnesium: Starches (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice) are the top contributors of magnesium in a homemade recipe. Recipes without moderate carbohydrate content, or low energy intake, may need magnesium supplemented.
- Potassium: Potassium is abundant in most whole foods, but low calorie diets, such as those for weight loss, seniors, or low activity pets, may need a boost in potassium if whole foods, such as sweet potatoes, cannot be used.
- Zinc: Zinc is often low in homemade raw diets. Beef, goat, and oysters are particularly zinc-rich, and recipes without these ingredients will need supplementation.
- Copper: Beef, lamb liver and oysters are rich in copper. Recipes without these ingredients will need supplementation.
- Manganese: Manganese can be a difficult nutrient to include in homemade diets. Green tripe can be high in manganese but manganese content can vary widely from supplier to supplier, depending on the type of animal sourced and the processing method. Blue mussels are also a great source of manganese.
- Kelp (Iodine): There is a small amount of iodine in whole foods, but content can vary depending on the where the food was sourced. Recipes are supplemented with enough iodine to account for some iodine available in the food.
- Thiamin (B1): Certain grains and starches and pork meat are rich in thiamin. Recipes without pork will often need a small boost in thiamin.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E, or tocopherols, are difficult to find in whole foods, and always need to be supplemented. The Vitamin E supplement included in your recipe includes your pet’s requirements and the additional requirements needed based on the level of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food.
- Vitamin D: Cats and dogs cannot produce Vitamin D on their own to meet their requirements, so it must be supplied in the diet. Fish and eggs are the best source of vitamin D. Dogs may require a Vitamin D supplement if there is no fish in the diet.