May 19, 2010
Eliminate Grain-Filled Commercial Foods for Your Pet's Best Health
When humans eat like this, they become obese and eventually diseased, with symptoms ranging from diabetes and arthritis to cancer and heart disease. It is the same with our animals. Obesity and joint conditions are common. Many animals have poor teeth and gums, and emit a foul odor. They suffer with internal and external parasites and inflammation resulting in skin rashes, itching, and joint pain.
People are convinced that processed kibble from the grocery store is healthy for their pets because commercials and labels tell them so. Words such as “all natural” help persuade buyers toward brands filled with grains and other unnecessary additives. As a result, most dogs and cats are eating substandard food.
In the last 70 years or so convenience foods came into vogue. In this time, we have lost what it means to eat close to nature. The whole family, companion animals included, dines on processed food. We know it’s time to turn that corner and come back to basics, not just for ourselves. No dog or cat should be eating foods with added grains. They wouldn’t eat them in the wild, and they don’t have a need for the extra carbohydrates.
Grains in dog and cat food are filler. They can lead to arthritis, skin conditions, lethargy, flatulence, and other preventable symptoms. Further, animals should not smell, have bad breath, poor teeth and gums, or be itching and scratching. If they do, this is a sign the body is not functioning well. Just like with your own health, the first step is to clean up the diet.
Ideally, dogs and cats should be given a diet that closely matches the nutritional balance they would have if they ate what nature intended. This means getting quality protein appropriate for their optimum health. They have no need for additives such as by products, soy, and colorings.
The top level food for your animals includes raw food, the majority of which is human-grade animal protein. The next rung down would be a high-quality canned food. The lowest and least desirable would be commercial kibble.
If you must feed only kibble, choose a no-grain variety with no unnecessary additives. These are usually found at feed stores or high-end animal supply stores. Supplement this diet with some fresh food. Dogs love carrots, for example, and you can experiment with other vegetables. Avoid giving them grapes, raisins, chocolate, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. Cats are interested in various vegetables, too. My cats love to eat cooled chicken soup with vegetables. It isn’t raw, but it’s nutrient-dense.
If any of you have animals in pain, with joint inflammation or another type of pain, you can experiment with removing grain and low-quality food and treats from their diet. Many people continue with the same substandard diet while giving anti-inflammatory drugs. These are not necessary nor is the suffering your animal endures.
Speak with a holistic, integrative veterinarian who is knowledgeable about proper diet and holistic approaches. If there isn’t one in your area yet, you can work with one by telephone, which I have done with success for the past 8 years. In fact, I have four animals who rarely if ever go into a veterinary office. Our house-call veterinarian is a specialist in homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture, and chiropractic.
If you can find a gem like this, you’ll not have to pay for regular veterinary visits with their accompanying tests, x-rays, and drug prescriptions. Instead, you’ll be promoting healthy, happy animals in the way we humans must treat ourselves: by enhancing our vitality, encouraging the body to heal itself, and stopping the madness of placing a bandage over every symptom without looking further into the deeper cause.
Meanwhile, you and your animals will thrive when you are deeply nourished, with both food and companionship. Let’s not ignore our trusted companions when it comes to what nourishes them: our presence and care along with top-quality food the way nature intended. Organic raw is best, combined in such a way that it is biologically balanced. To learn more about this, Dr. Richard Pitcairn, who I am not affiliated with in any way, has books and much information on his website: www.drpitcairn.com. There you’ll find detailed explanations of the points I touched on in this article.