How to feed your pet a healthy diet
Raise your hand if your New Year’s resolution was related to changing your eating habits. Well, maybe your pet should follow suit.
Look no further than the origins of the commercially prepared foods many feed their pets today, according to Clinical Pet Nutritionist Bronwyn Farley.
“In 1950, General Mills acquired Spratt’s unique recipe,” she says. “This was the start of Purina and other major food companies such as Pedigree, Royal Canin and Greenies, all produced by Mars Inc. The unique mentality associated with over-processed foods and over-vaccination has left us with more than 6 million cancer diagnoses.
The National Cancer Institute reports that one in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer. —odo on two dogs after the age of 10 years.
“‘My dogs do well on an all-kibble diet’ is a statement I hear frequently, and yes, dogs can survive on kibble,” she says. “All the dogs are fine…until they aren’t. Knowing that there are better, healthier alternatives is half the battle.
Many experts agree that the best course of action is a balanced diet that includes proper nutrients, proteins, and fats, and knowing the right amount of food to provide without overeating. Christine M. Filardi, behavioral nutritionist, owner of Chacha Brut, and author of Home cooking for your dog has seen the benefits of a homemade diet for many of his clients.
“I was rescuing very sick animals that were coming home with a ton of medication and once we started them on a human-grade diet, their health improved dramatically,” says Filardi.
It turns out that the secret to good nutrition probably dates back thousands of years, long before pet stores and commercial-grade pet food became the norm. Filardi recommends giving your pet a variety of different foods over the course of three to four days.
“When animals are in the wild, they never eat the same meal every day, so alternate between protein, fruits and vegetables and, depending on your pet, a human-grade probiotic may be beneficial,” explains Filardi.
If you’re worried about the cost of a homemade diet, consider this: Not only do the prices of kibble and processed foods continue to rise, but these options typically contain salt, fats, and sugars that can lead to dental disease, obesity and other health issues, all of which are extremely expensive to treat. Another good tip: ditch supplements like fish oil and give your pet sardines or anchovies, foods that contain a direct source of nutrients. They will certainly thank you for it!
Remember to slowly incorporate changes into your pet’s diet and talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific dietary needs.
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