FAQ’s

Do you make recommendations for selecting a commercial pet food?

Yes. We offer a ‘commercial diet’ consultation for those who want to choose the healthiest commercial food for their dog, add fresh foods without unbalancing the diet and are unsure if supplements should be fed.

Are grains bad?

The truth is that despite the recent anti grain craze, most healthy dogs can digest grains well and they do provide some good nutrient. The problems arise when food contains too much grain.

How do I prepare a home-cooked diet?

It’s actually very simple. The recipe given provide clear instructions and the amount of foods and supplements that is to be fed per week. Simply mix well and divide the batch into 7 equal portions. Multiply the amount of each batch to cook for more weeks in advance, freeze down and defrost through the week as needed. Please email us for a sample diet.

What is a balanced diet and why is it so important?

Your dog can only be healthy if his or her diet supplies all essential nutrients in sufficient quantities. Nutrient science allows us to identify these requirements not only for healthy dogs, but also for those with diseases. If even just one of these nutrients is not present in minimum required amounts, or fed in excess, your dog will not be able to fight off disease and he or she will eventually become clinically ill.

AAFCO, FEDIAF & NRC – What are these?

There are three organizations that set the nutritional guidelines for cats and dogs.

  • AAFCO – Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • FEDIAF – The European Pet Food Industry Federation
  • NRC – National Research Council
  • Both AAFCO and FEDIAF rely in part on recommendations from the NRC. NRC levels define what the individual animal needs for optimal health. FEDIAF and AAFCO levels are for “practical diets”, i.e. what must be in the pet food so that the animal receives the required nutrients for a healthy life. When balancing a home-prepared diet, NRC numbers should always be used.

What happens when I request a consulatation?

Within 24 hours of your request you will receive a consultation form. Please carefully complete and return this to us. The time frame of our waiting list changes weekly. Current waiting list is 7 business days from receipt of the consultation form.

Can diet help in disease management?

Absolutely. Many medical conditions respond well to diet therapy because good nutrition addresses the underlying cause of the illness rather than simply cover up the symptoms. A properly formulated home-prepared diet can do a far better job of accomplishing these goals than the commercial diets on the market.

What is the best food to feed my dog?

There is no ‘best’ food for all dogs. It’s an individual matter. What is great for my dog might make your dog horribly fat or aggravate disease. My personal preference is towards a home-prepared diet but be sure that the diet you are feeding was developed for your dog by a qualified nutritionist. Do not use recipes off the Internet as they are rarely balanced.

Do you need to contact my vet?

I embrace the team approach for optimum care but this is optional. When disease is involved, in order to make the best recommendations for your dog a complete blood count, biochemistry profile and urinalysis might be required.

Raw or cooked foods, which is better?

The key to a healthy dog is not raw or processed food, but an overall diet that meets the individual requirements of the dog in question. I’ve seen dogs thrive on both methods of feeding, and have not seen anything that persuades me that one method is better than the other.

Can a healthy diet prevent Cancer?

No diet can guarantee to prevent any disease. However, dogs that have a higher nutritional status are not only more likely to fight off infections and tolerate therapy and its side effects, they also have better odds of actually winning the battle.

Are commercial dog foods bad?

There is a lot of commercial-diet bashing currently but all commercial foods are not bad. There are some low quality and average foods but there are also companies who take great care in choosing high quality ingredients for their food.

How do I book a consultation?

You will need to complete a consultation form, which can be requested under each consultation. If you have any questions about the form please contact us on info@elmoskitchen.com or 0207 118 3566.

Is it bad to feed table scraps?

Often dog owners will dump all the leftover food from their plate and feed it to the dog but this is not the best way to feed table scraps. For that reason, many veterinarians and nutritionists often discourage giving table scraps to dogs, myself included. However, as long as your dog is a healthy adult and you stick to a few rules there is no harm in sharing.

  • Only feed healthy low fat foods such as a plain potato, vegetables or rice, meat that has had the fat trimmed off and without sauce etc. Bread does not contain any harmful ingredients but is very high in calories. Too much can cause weight gain and bread has little nutritional value.
  • Moderation is the key. Dogs today eat a properly balanced diet and adding large amounts of table scraps will upset that balance which can lead to health problems and your dog ends up piling on the kilos. Adding no more than 10% of the daily calorie requirement is a good guideline.
  • Keep it simple. Unless your dog has an iron gut a variety of foods might set off GI trouble or allergies. Start with foods that are similar to what is in his dog food (i.e., chicken or potato) and branch out from there.
I don't live near Elmo's Kitchen. Do you offer online support?

Yes. All our consultations are online and/or done over the phone.

How can Elmo's Kitchen help my dog?

Finding the right diet for your dog can be very confusing and you’re always wondering, “Am I doing right by my dog?” Hiring a professional is reassuring and helps alleviate some of these feelings.