Natural Diets are Important for your Pet's Health
What you feed your pet is extremely important to its health. Processed pet foods have been in use for about the last 30 years. In that time we have seen a deterioration in the health of our pets. They are aging at a faster rate than ever. We now see cancer in 3 year old dogs, liver and kidney dysfunction in 8 year old cats and many immune related disorders. Dry pet food, or kibble, is processed through various stages. This processing called rendering has various stages that the product goes through to kill potential contaminants. However, there are two problems with this. The first is that the various stages of the rendering process destroy and remove essential nutrients in the food, including the good fats. The second and most important point is the source of the material that goes for rendering, and is eventually turned into pet food, is dead animal stock. These animals have either been injured, diseased, ill, found dead or dying, and are turned into pet food. They may have died from various illnesses, infections, poor nutrition etc. Thus the nutritional content of the food is questionable since the animals used for it were not healthy.
In my experience, animals do significantly better on a real food diet. Real food means unprocessed food. This can be in form of cooked meat and veggies, and a calcium supplement like bone meal ash. Or it may be in the form of a raw food diet such as raw meat, blenderized vegetables and raw bones.
***Be very careful with bones, not all bones are safe to feed to your pet.
When feeding your pet a real food diet, balance is very important. For dogs,75% of this should be meat (with bone meal or calcium added) and 25% should be vegetable matter. For cats,90% should be meat (with bone meal or calcium added) and 10% should be vegetable matter. Your pet should be fed at least 100g of food per 10lb of body weight. Increase this amount by 50% if the animal is young (less than 2 years) or has high energy requirements (hyperthyroid, lots of exercise, cancer etc.). Calcium in the form of bone ash or bones fed must be included.
If a cooked diet is being fed, the amount fed should be the total weight after cooking. If fish is the meat option chosen, increase the meat portion by 25%. In this case, the bone ash/calcium would be added after cooking.
***Never give cooked bones.
Your pet's needs are unique, you should consult your Veterinarian before implementing a change in diet. Raw food pet stores are often a great source of information about meeting your pet's needs on a raw food diet.