According to AKC, nearly one quarter (24%) of us warm our pet’s food for them. So who are these twenty four percenters and why are they going to the extra trouble to heat things up?
Many pet food companies suggest that food be served at room temperature so your pet can taste and smell it properly. However, food that has been refrigerated may take an hour or two to get up to temp if you set it out on the counter. Purina suggests that you may microwave refrigerated food in a microwave safe ceramic pet bowl (no metal, duh!) for a few seconds prior to serving. It only makes sense not to serve food that is too warm or too cold.
That being said, ailing or elderly pets may have diminished sense of smell. Warming food up just below their body temperature, between 101 and 103, can help stimulate your pets desire to eat energy dense foods. It also enhances taste and aroma. Think about it. Cold pizza isn’t bad, but it sure tastes great warmed up!
Even perfectly healthy pets that may be finicky will be induced by the taste and smells of a nice warm meal.
Even though everyone agrees that warming up a meal is beneficial in these cases, there is some disagreement as to whether a microwave is a good tool to use. Most authorities have no problem using a microwave, however Dr. Deva Khalsa warns against it. Dr. Khalsa claims that the enzymes in the grains and vegetable components of pet food are eliminated with just a few seconds of microwaving. Placing the food in a zip lock bag and bringing it up to temp in warm water is a better option for those that oppose use of the microwave.
Whichever side of the “microwave debate” you are on, there are legitimate health and wellness reasons to warm your pet’s food.