This article was written by my friend Ann Staub, owner of The Holistic Pet Nutrition Center in Zelienople/Harmony PA. We are what we eat and the same goes for our pets.
Pet nutrition has become very important to me as I watch my own animals as well as our clients suffer with allergies, sickness, and cancer. This is a great introduction into the hows and whys of pet nutrition and literally gives some great food for thought! Remember we offer food delivery from The Holistic Pet Nutrition Center. After reading this article if you have any questions do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call us.
Functional Pet Nutrition
Over the past few years, a growing number of documentaries about food have been released. Food, Inc., Fast Food Nation, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives, and Super Size Me each provide sobering accounts of the once-trusted human food industry. Each documentary leaves the viewer with an overwhelming message: the foods we eat are making us sick.
Now let us ponder where our pets’ food comes from. Commercial pet food often consists of the leftovers of the human food industry. This includes meat, grains, and vegetables that were considered unacceptable for human consumption. Now, if the “acceptable” food is making us sick, then how is the “unacceptable” food going to affect our beloved pets?
According to several veterinarians, it has been well-documented that the incidence of disease in family pets has grown rapidly in the past 30 or so years. Given the variance that occurs within each pet’s lifestyle, from farm life to city life, the common denominator is the pet food. Therefore, much like with our own food choices, we must be vigilant in the choices of food we make for our furry family members.
It turns out that, much like ourselves, our dogs and cats should NOT be eating the same food for every meal. In fact, it is imperative to change your proteins, feeding styles, and dog food brands regularly. Our dogs are omnivores, requiring both intact proteins (ones that have not been denatured by heating or applying pressure) and whole food vegetable-based vitamin complexes (this means that they are real nutrients, not vitamins made in a lab). Our cats are obligate carnivores, that means they absolutely require nutrients that come directly from muscle meat, organ meat, and bones. They have little use for grains or vegetables. Both species also depend on a large volume of fresh water to properly digest the food they eat, especially if they are only eating a dry “kibble”.
The ideal pet food would be made at home with fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables and farm-raised, grass-fed and finished meat in proportions that mimic the ancestral diet of a wolf. However, with our busy lifestyles, we rarely do this for our pets…even for ourselves.
Thankfully, the pet food industry has risen to our call for safer and healthier pet foods. There are now several options on the market that will provide the essential nutrients your pets require to live long and healthy lives that are easy to prepare at home at a reasonable cost.
The Holistic Pet Nutrition Center (formerly The Holistic Houndry) has made it our primary mission to research, select, and offer the best and healthiest foods for your pets.
Some of the benefits of feeding nutritionally appropriate foods include:
• Fewer allergy symptoms
• Fewer health concerns (cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, diabetes)
• Improved digestion
• Internal organ health
• More bioavailable ingredients for proper cellular regeneration
• Stronger immune systems
• Feed less food, therefore less gas and less feces
• Fewer visits to the veterinarian
• Better weight management
• Stronger muscles, more energy, and stamina
• Healthier skin and a shinier coat
• Less shedding and dander
• Cleaner teeth, healthier gums, and fresher breath
• Reduction in behavioral problems and hyperactivity