Frequently asked questions
Are VetChef recipes nutritionally complete?
Yes - each VetChef recipe is designed to provide a complete meal when fed with the appropriate VetChef nutritional supplement. These supplements provide essential minerals and vitamins such as calcium, zinc and vitamins B and D which can be hard to source in fresh ingredients and ensure that every dog gets a perfeclty balanced and nutritionallycomplete diet.
Do I have to use your supplements?
If you're only feeding fresh meals occasionally alongside a complete dry or wet food, then the supplements are not essential. However, if fresh food is making up 25% or more of your dog's diet, then we strongly recommend including one of our supplements to ensure they get a properly balanced diet.
I have more than one dog - can I cook them the same recipes?
Yes - although we tailor each recipe to suit individual dogs, many will also be suitable for other dogs so it is usually possible to find recipes that are well suited to all of your dogs. Just look for recipes with a 'perfect' or 'very good' suitability rating for each of your dogs (switch between dogs when you are on a recipe page to see the suitability for each dog). We will be introducing a multi-dog function to My VetChef which will make it much easier to manage recipes for several dogs at once.
Can I cook these recipes without the Buddy pet food maker?
Yes - all of the recipes are designed to be easy to cook using simple kitchen equipment. You'll generally only need a saucepan, chopping board and knife to prepare the meals. However, once Buddy launches, the process of cooking for your dog will become even easier - it will be just like using a bread machine to cook a fresh loaf.
When will Buddy be launching?
We are planning to launch Buddy during 2021 so it won't be long before you can welcome this super-smart piece of kitchen tech into your home! Sign up for updates on the 'Meet Buddy' page of the website and you'll be the first to know when we're ready to launch.
Can I feed VetChef recipes alongside my dog's usual food?
Absolutely! Many pet parents feed one or two fresh meals a week with the rest of their dog's diet coming from dry or wet food and this can work really well. However, we believe that every fresh meal you can add to your dog's diet will improve their health and wellbeing, so whether it's one a week or every day, the more fresh you can feed the better.
Do your recipes meet any approved nutritional standards?
Yes! We use the European FEDIAF feeding regulations to make sure that every recipe delivers a nutritionally complete and appropriate diet when fed alongside our supplements.
Why should I home cook for my dog?
There are lots of great reasons why you should consider home-cooking for your dog - health, taste, personalised nutrition, the environment - but the biggest reason why so many people are choosing homemade over processed foods is that our dogs are one of the family and they deserve the same kind of food that the rest of the family enjoy. As humans, we are increasingly understanding that while processed convenience foods might be quick, easy and tasty, they are not ideal for our long term health and wellbeing - and the same is true of our four legged friends.
Can I cook in batches and freeze VetChef food?
Definitley! Cooking in batches is a great way to save time, and all of the VetChef recipes are suitable to be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for three months. Simply set the number of meals you want to prepare on the recipe page of My VetChef and you will get the right amount of ingredients for the number of meals displayed.
I don't have the exact ingredients for a recipe - can I substitue others?
In general, this is fine provided you are substituting an ingredient with something similar so there won't be a significant impact on the nutritional value of the recipe - for example, switching lambs liver for pig or ox liver is absolutely fine, or courgette for broccoli. However, changing between quite different ingredients such as substituting fish for beef or lentils for oats will have a significant impact on the nutrition of the recipe so is best avoided.
The amount of food in VetChef recipes seems higher than I'm used to feeding - is this right?
Most processed foods such as dry or tinned foods are very concentrated and have more calories packed per gram of weight than fresh meals, which tend to have more water in them. This means you generally have to feed slightly bigger portions of fresh food compared to rinned or dried foods - which is good news for your dog who not only gets to eat tastier food, but get more of it as wel!
Is home-cooking cheaper than feeding normal dog foods?
The cost of homemade meals can vary quite a lot depending on the type and qualityof ingredients used, However, in general terms it usually works out similar in cost to a high quality dried food, and between 30% and 50% cheaper than frozen meals such as those from BUtternut Box or Different Dog.