You will find nowadays that it is becoming the trend for pet owners to start feeding their cats and dogs a raw diet. The deterioration in health of these animals over the last 20 years has prompted a lot of research to find out why. The over all results cited poor quality ingredients in commercial animal food as being the common denominator in declining pet health.
Are our pets really getting what the label on the tin says?
In his article “Food Not Fit For a Pet,” Dr Wendell O. Belfield, D.V.M, who has been practicing small animal medicine for over 25 years, states that when he is asked which commercial pet food he recommends, he replies “none”. Researchers have found that the “meat” in sampled commercial pet food was purchased from rendering plants which also receives material from slaughterhouses such as hair, feathers, hooves and any part of the mammal which is condemned for human consumption. If food is condemned for human consumption, there is no reason why an animal’s constitution would be able to digest it. Rotten meat is rotten meat; mixed with hair, feathers and hooves it is a stomach churning meal.
A raw diet, which has been prepared with fresh, organic ingredients, will enable you to have peace of mind about what your pet is really eating.
Why a raw diet?
Before dogs and cats were transformed into pampered household pets, they were used to living in the wild, hunting for food. Their diets would have consisted of raw materials which in that state provided them with the fullness of the vitamins and minerals that their systems needed to remain healthy. There weren’t any cooked meats and other little treats and delicacies for them to eat! And they have survived for centuries! If we want Fido to live in optimum health, then his diet must mirror what he used to eat before he became a pet. But do your research first of all, to determine if this diet works best for your animal.
You will find however, that opinions are sharply divided on this issue: a lot of veterinarians do not agree with a raw diet, citing high levels of bacteria in uncooked meats as being dangerous to your pets. I suggest an experiment – put your pet on a raw diet for a fortnight and monitor the changes. If the changes are positive then keep going. If not, then stop.
If you know you want to change your pets’ diets but find the thought of serving up raw meat a little nauseating, consider an organic diet instead. Eating a diet with less pesticides and questionable ingredients can only be a good thing for them. Again, conduct thorough research first of all before you decide which diet is best for your pets.
The benefits of a raw or organic diet
Reduction of skin ailments and allergies – If your dog suffers from allergies or an irritating skin condition, you’ve probably tried everything hoping to provide your pet some relief. Organic dog food may provide your pet with the best chance of combating skin infections and allergies in the long term. It is free of artificial colors and flavor enhancers, chemical additives and toxic pesticides that could be the source of your dog’s allergies.
More energy and a healthy weight – Since organic/raw food is naturally more nutritious, many owners report their dogs eat less organic dog food than other commercial varieties. Organic food doesn’t contain bulk-fillers, so your dog consumes only what it needs to maintain healthy energy levels and life functions.
Fewer digestive disorders – A lack of chemicals and artificial substances makes organic dog food more digestible. If your dog vomits occasionally after meals or commonly experiences gas, bloating or diarrhoea, check with your veterinarian for underlying illness. In the absence of another cause, feed your dog an organic diet and you’ll notice a definite change! Easily digestible oats, barley or other natural whole grains and human-grade turkey, lamb or chicken make a tremendous difference to your dog’s digestive system. Rather than consuming corn or other bulk fillers and chemical additives, your dog will ingest only what it needs for healthy metabolic functioning.
Better overall health and stronger immunity – Organic dog food provides better quality sources of nutritional substances than even the non-organic, premium brands. It is more digestible for dogs, and therefore dogs are more likely to absorb than eliminate more of the nutrients they require to maintain a healthy immune system. Boosting your dog’s immunity may help prevent costly infections and illnesses that require veterinarian care.
Where can I get this type of food for my pet?
Some pet owners have taken to preparing food for their cat or dog by hand from scratch. This is great if you have the time to do this, but I suspect that not many people will. Try these companies who provide ready prepared, natural foods for both cats and dogs and let us know how their products worked with your pet.
Stella and Chewy’s
American Eskimo Food
Primal Pet Foods
Only Natural Pet Store
Also check out Sled Dog Central which has listed companies providing organic animal food throughout the US. It also lists a few companies in Canada and one in Germany, Europe!