Got Meat? It's time for our 6th Annual 'What's in Their Bowl?' Pet Nutrition Spotlight
All Pet Food is Not Created Equal.
Feeding your pets is a lot like feeding your family – what they intake has a direct effect on their health, behavior, skin and coat, energy level, and so much more. As the saying goes, 'what you don't know won't hurt you'... well not totally so when it comes to choices in pet food. Do you really know what goes into pet food and how it's actually made? You might be shocked to learn the truth. Choosing the ‘best’ pet foods is not as easy as it seems. The quality and source of ingredients, the food manufacturing practices, and your animal’s individual lifestyle needs should all be considered when determining the right diet. If you are like most dog and cat guardians you may think feeding your pets should be as easy as scooping dry kibble from a bag and pouring it into a bowl, however you may want to think again—and, think outside the bag for a healthier alternative.
Let Them Eat Meat – Go Raw!
There is no question that when it comes to feeding our pets (and ourselves!) fresh is best. Contrary to popular belief, what is truly ‘natural’ for our little carnivores to be eating is not a highly processed dry kibble loaded with fillers, inferior protein sources, and ‘scientifically’ rendered, regardless of what the slick brand marketing copy and commercials would have you believe otherwise. Although formulated to be ‘balanced and complete’, if the diet is not actually fresh, how healthy could it possibly be?
Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diets or Prey-Model diets are not a fad, but a revolutionary back to basics movement focused toward pet health and wellness. Raw food diets, consisting of raw (uncooked) meats, organs, and bones have been advocated as nutritional therapy by Holistic Vets and Nutritionists for decades. A raw diet most closely replicates a cat and dog’s ancestral diet. Although they have been domesticated over thousands of years, biologically and anatomically dogs are still carnivores—cats are obligate carnivores -- and thrive on diets high in animal-based protein and fats. Most commercial diets are high in plant-based protein and carbohydrates, which are unbeneficial to their biological needs and oftentimes a catalyst to a myriad of common health conditions in our pet friends. Did you know that 53% of all dogs and 58% of all cats in the US are overweight/obese according to a recent survey by Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)? It’s no coincidence that the chronic illness and disease we face as humans like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and the like resulting in part from our diets of highly processed diets are now affecting our pets in the very same way.
Once You Go Raw, You Almost Never Go Back.
The benefits to feeding raw include but are not limited to: healthy skin and coat, healthy teeth and gums, smaller, less odorous stool, increased energy and vitality, healthy weight, and an absence of the common digestive and allergy issues often associated with a dry commercial diet. A raw diet is not without some risk and humans need to have a common-sense approach to handling raw meat just as you would for yourself, however for many, the benefits far outnumber the risks. We advocate for diet variety and rotational feeding with the idea that supplementing a diet with some raw food is better than none at all. So if the idea of switching to a complete raw diet seems overwhelming, incorporate some raw into your feedings 2-3 times/week. Once you get started and see the improvement in your animals, you’ll be more confident to ‘go all the way’. It’s natural to have lots of questions, so be sure to do some research (one good place to start is www.rawfed.com) and seek out the balanced raw diets available in a number of proteins and convenient portions from independent pet retailers and some natural grocers.
As pet caregivers, we have to choose wisely for those we love because our domesticated friends don't have that choice – the health, happiness, and longevity of your companion animals depends on it!
At Pussy & Pooch, we are passionate about healthy pet nutrition year-round, and work with customers about the types of food (including raw and alternative-raw diets) best for their pets, the difference in the quality of pet food ingredients, learning the variety of ways you can ‘go natural’, and more. Our 6th annual ‘What’s in Their Bowl’ spotlight is taking place now through Aug 11th-- get the natural pet nutrition facts with LOADS of great in-store informational and experience-oriented events, free samples, special promo deals, yummy tastings, and a FUN Photo Contest to Win Free Pet Food for Year!
Want to learn more? Sign-up for a free 90-min Pet Nutrition class to really learn the truth about pet food and consequently how to become a better pet consumer and advocate for healthy pet lifestyle. See the Class Schedule and RSVP at www.pussyandpooch.com/WinFood