By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — What do you feed your dog? Do you pour packaged food into a bowl or do you cook for your pet the way you do for other members of your family? As 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan finds, for more and more pet owners, there is a middle ground.READ MORE: Bobby Henon Resigns From Philadelphia City Council 2 Months After Bribery Conviction
A growing number of products available online and on store shelves are designed to let pet owners like Allison Lynch customize her dog meals similar to mix it up meals you find in your grocery store.
“I was thrilled to find out that what I would make at home for my dogs I could find at the pet store. It can be as intricate as you would like it to be, or as simple as one would like it to be,” said Lynch.
As simple as adding water to your dog’s favorite meat or even the vegetables of your choice. These products are the result of the popularity of home cooking for dogs in the wake of pet food recalls.
“Dogs have different nutrient requirements than we as people do so just cooking for your dog the same way as you cook for yourself wasn’t necessarily the way to do it but they were still looking to mix themselves, so that created a niche for this type of product,” said Bob Vetere with American Pet Products Association.READ MORE: Girl Scouts Of Eastern Pennsylvania Selling In-Person Again, Introduces New 'Adventurefuls' Cookies
Mix-it-yourself options touting all-natural ingredients, and grain-free can be nutritious, but it’s important not to throw your dog’s diet out of balance when you add your own ingredients.
“If you read the papers and the magazines and the internet everyday there’s some new study that says something that we should eat or we shouldn’t eat and I think the same thing is happening with our dogs. You need to be very careful about jumping on the latest trend,” said veterinarian, Dr. Steven Whittle.
The best advice? Work with your vet if you plan to change your dog’s diet.
Some of the customizable meals do include raw meat. But the Food and Drug Administration cautions against raw diets for dogs, since raw meat is more likely to be contaminated and can lead to illness.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Weather: Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Delaware Valley As Rain Transitions Into Snow