There are several diet options for cats and dogs with gastrointestinal disease. When pets have acute or chronic gastrointestinal disease, diet options include therapeutic diets or home-cooked diets.
Therapeutic gastrointestinal diets are recommended and dispensed by your veterinarian. These options are complete and balanced, meaning that they provide all essential nutrients in the proper amounts, without excesses or deficiencies. In addition, therapeutic gastrointestinal diets will have added functional nutrients such as prebiotics and will have a nutrient profile tailored to the needs of a pet with gastrointestinal disease. There are different types of GI diets available depending on what the cat or dog needs from a protein, fat, fiber, and calorie standpoint.
On the other hand, home-cooked diets can have variable nutrient content and are rarely complete and balanced for a cat or dog. For example, home-prepared diets are frequently deficient in calcium, B vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients and can be excessive in other nutrients, depending on the recipe. Depending on the type and cut of meat used, as well as the presence or absence of skin, the nutrient profile of a home-cooked diet can vary significantly. In certain gastrointestinal cases, such as a dog with pancreatitis, inadvertently feeding a meat source with increased fat content could be detrimental to the patient’s recovery.
If your cat or dog has acute or chronic gastrointestinal issues, visit your veterinarian and have a conversation about how a therapeutic gastrointestinal diet can help your pet.