The latest spate of deaths owing to contaminated pet food has highlighted the importance of understanding your pet nutrition and correct feeding. Do you really know what goes into your pet food?
Do you fully understand the medical dangers of incorrect feeding?
Unbeknown to most people, there have been 11 pet food recalls in the past 12 years in The US, where most of the big pet food brands are manufactured. It is therefore, very apparent that these “freak occurrences” are the rule and not the exception. In many of the cases it led to the fatal death of our most precious beloved companions. Not always is the end result death but mostly a variety of horrible diseases.
The American Protection Institute for Animals recently published on their website a list of common medical ailments resulting from feeding our companion animals processed dry food, year in and year-out: Urinary tract disease. Plugs, crystals, and stones are more common in cats eating dry diets, due to the chronic dehydration and highly concentrated urine they cause. Dogs can also form stones as a result of their diet.
Kidney disease. Chronic dehydration associated with dry diets may also be a contributing factor in the development of kidney disease and chronic renal failure in older cats. Cats have a low thirst drive; in the wild they would get most of their water from their prey. Cats eating dry food do not drink enough water to make up for the lack of moisture in the food. Cats on dry food diets drink more water, but the total water intake of a cat eating canned food is twice as great.
Dental disease. Contrary to the myth propagated by pet food companies, dry food is not good for teeth. Given that the vast majority of pets eat dry food, yet the most common health problem in pets is dental disease, this should be obvious. Humans do not floss with crackers, and dry food does not clean the teeth.
Obesity. One of the most common health problems in pets, obesity, may also be related to high-carb, high-calorie dry foods. Both dogs and cats respond to low-carb wet food diets. Overweight pets are more prone to arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Dry cat food is now considered the cause of feline diabetes; prevention and treatment include switching to a high protein, high moisture, and low-carb diet.
Chronic digestive problems. Heart disease, diarrhea, constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease are among the most frequent illnesses treated. These are often the result of an allergy or intolerance to pet food ingredients.
Heart disease. An often-fatal heart disease in cats and some dogs is now known to be caused by a deficiency of the amino acid taurine. Blindness is another symptom of taurine deficiency. This deficiency was due to inadequate amounts of taurine in cat food formulas, which in turn had occurred due to decreased amounts of animal proteins and increased reliance on carbohydrates. Cat foods are now supplemented with taurine. New research suggests that some dog breeds are susceptible to the same condition. Supplementing taurine may also be helpful for dogs, but as yet few manufacturers are adding extra taurine to dog food.
Vondi’s Holistic Pet Nutrition has been making natural, preservative free pet food for 10 years and pet owners are turning to us, frequently, to also resolve other common ailments, relating to diet, such as:
Skin Allergies and Irritation. This is the most obvious sign that you are feeding your pet the wrong nutrition. You would be absolutely amazed to know how many pets actually suffer from this unpleasant ailment. A pure and natural diet, free of preservatives and including fresh mint, herbs and veggies, always sorts out this problem, sometimes within a week.
Behavioural Problems. We often hear of pet owners who say that they are unable to control their pets. This is very common among all terriers, Collies and high-energy dogs. I wonder how Bruce Fordyce would behave if you fed him a high-carb, high-calorie diet before The Comrades and then told him, at the last minute, that the race has been cancelled. How would he get rid of his excess energy? He probably, too, would eat the furniture, bite the neighbour and refuse to sit in one spot.
It is very clear to us, having been in the industry for many years, and having noted the world trend towards natural organic food, that clean healthy living and eating resolves so many of our common health aliments. Fortunately for us we can make the decision to change to a healthy diet but our poor pets have no voice. If they had, surely they would scream out for wholesome, real food rather than dried nuggets.
We all acknowledge that healthy eating and living improves your quality of life and longevity. We now easily consult with Dieticians, Homeopaths, Naturopaths, Herbalists, and Iridologists. We work out in gyms, perform Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga.
Yet when it comes to feeding our loving animals, we are happy to throw dried pellets at them, without even investigating the “truths” about the nutritional values that these foods contain. A great research base is the website from The American Protection Institute for Animals, api4animals, the article “what’s really in pet food”.
It’s time to change to a healthy natural diet for your pets and go back to the basics. Just like your grand parents and great grand parents used to do.
In fact, next time you cook a wholesome meal for the family, why not lay an extra setting for Fido and Felix.