Health & Medical

Ask a Vet: Should I Add Supplements to My Dog’s Home-cooked Meals?

Should I Add Supplements to my Dog's Home-cooked Meals | Vanillapup

Did you know that a study revealed that out of 200 home-cooked meal recipes, only 5 were balanced? Which is why Dr. Brian Loon recommends dog owners to do one thing before cooking for their dogs.

Q. I have been feeding my dog home-cooked meals made of 80% meat and 20% fruits and vegetables. Should I add supplements to ensure that she gets everything she needs?

Dr. Brian Loon: It is great that you care about giving your dog a complete and balanced diet.

But, the diet that you have described is likely unbalanced.

It may surprise you that a study revealed that out of 200 recipes for dogs taken from the web and books, only 5 (2.5%) were balanced. The not so surprising fact is that veterinarians with advanced training in nutrition prepared those 5 recipes.

Nutrition is a complicated science. Just adding supplements to a home-cooked diet does not make it complete and balanced.

An unbalanced diet can cause gradual but significant undesirable health effects over time. Thus, it is essential that you get your dog’s home-cooked diet balanced from the start.

To do that, I strongly recommend for you to consult a certified veterinary nutritionist.

A good nutritionist will customise a recipe for your dog based on various factors, which include age, lifestyle, pre-existing medical conditions, as well as the ingredients that you want to use.

Examples of certified veterinary nutritionist specialists who provide online services are and

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Dr. Brian Loon
Principal Veterinary Surgeon at Amber Vet
BSc. BVMS (Hons) (Murdoch), Certificate Veterinary Acupuncture (IVAS)

Dr. Brian Loon graduated from Murdoch University, Western Australia in 2007 and has since been practising as a small animal veterinarian in Singapore. His areas of special interest include diagnostic ultrasonography, endoscopy, and minimally invasive (keyhole) surgery (laparoscopy).

He is also certified in Veterinary Acupuncture with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and a certified and registered member of PennHIP, an internationally known modality for diagnosing hip dysplasia in cats and dogs.


  1. Tiffany Hue

    April 2, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Hi, I would like to check if you know if any dog nutritionist in Singapore

    • Vanillapup

      April 12, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Tiffany, I do not know of any dog nutritionists in Singapore. You may want to use the sites mentioned in the post 🙂

  2. Victoria Yap

    August 19, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    This article is well written but not completed. In life, it is almost impossible to have a complete and balanced diet. This will mean each meal needs to be measured and weight before cooking and after cooking. And the total amount of nutrients found in each meal must also factor the heat used that causes changes of the food.

    1. Most commercial brands of kibbles are using premix supplements, nutrients and vitamins powder. This is undeniable.

    2. Relying on websites as you have listed is a baseline. Crops, vegetables, meat differs in term of quality based on location of the agriculture land itself.

    Ideally, it is finding a near to complete diet and not a balance diet for your pet based on their need. Many people believe dogs are carnivores. In fact, dogs are omnivores, and even wolves in the wild derive nutrition from both plant and animal sources. This is a known fact but it has been debated over the years by many big players in the food market.

    • Vanillapup

      August 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Thanks for your comment! Agree that no diet can be complete and balanced. I use humans as an example. We don’t measure and scrutinize what we eat too. Quite impossible and a little obsessive.

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