Home-Cooked Diets


Why Should I Bring my Pet to Willows for a Home-Cooked Diet?

Willows is one of a handful of Specialist centres in Europe to have a board-certified Specialist in Clinical Nutrition, providing the very best expertise in formulating home-cooked diets that are balanced and tailor-made to the nutritional needs of each pet.

Supported by a truly multidisciplinary team, Willows’ Clinical Nutrition Service offers Specialist expertise in diagnosing and treating patients with nutritional disorders.

All patients receive a fully comprehensive examination, including diagnostic tests and a physical examination, enabling the best possible nutritional plan to be developed for each and every patient with complex medical disorders.


What is a Home-Cooked Diet?

A home-cooked diet is one prepared at home using ingredients purchased by you as a pet owner. When formulated by a Specialist in Clinical Nutrition, a home-cooked diet will be balanced and tailor-made to provide all the required nutrients in the correct amounts for your pet’s nutritional needs.


What are the Most Common Reasons to Feed a Home-Cooked Diet?

Home-cooked diets are typically used when a patient is not eating a special commercial diet designed to manage disease.

Often, if a patient has two or more concurrent medical conditions, there may not be any suitable commercial diets available. Home-cooked diets are occasionally used for other reasons, including the refusal to eat a commercial diet.

What are the Benefits of a Home-Cooked Diet?

Home-cooked diets can be designed to meet the specific nutrient requirements of each dog or cat. This type of diet gives a lot more flexibility than found in commercial diets where the amounts of nutrients are fixed. In addition to this, with home-cooked diets, the type and source of ingredients used are up to you.


How is a Home-Cooked Diet Designed?

A home-cooked diet is designed based on several factors.

First of all, our Nutritional Specialist will determine your pet’s specific nutrient needs, especially if he or she has an illness. Secondly, the personal likes and dislikes of your dog or cat will be discussed with you. Willows’ Nutritional Specialist will then formulate a balanced diet incorporating this unique information. You will then be given a recipe for the diet to cook for your pet at home with shop-bought ingredients.


What Types of Home-Cooked Diet are Available?

Home-cooked diets can be used to manage a number of medical conditions, including chronic kidney disease, liver disease, food allergies, bladder stones, cancer, etc.


What can I Expect if my Pet is Fed a Home-Cooked Diet?

Following consultation with Willows’ Nutritional Specialist and any required diagnostic investigations, you will be provided with a recipe for a home-cooked diet. You will then be asked to update your Specialist on how your pet is doing on this diet. Based on this update and any follow-up investigations (e.g. lab tests), changes to the diet may be made.

Long-Term Management

Dogs and cats can live healthy and happy lives when fed a balanced home-cooked diet that fulfils their nutritional needs.

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Clinical Nutrition

Find out more

To talk you through some of the main areas associated with clinical nutrition at Willows, we have put together a range of information sheets.