My family had a big, old tom cat. We got him from a farm and he lived a long life with us because we gave him healthy pet food. Not that kibble you grab from the pet store. My wife cooks fabulous, organic meals for our family and guests. Afterwards I would go grab some food from the freezer for our tom cat. Our guests would be surprised that I was grabbing food from the freezer for our cat. I was surprised they didn’t know how important it is not only for humans, but our pets too, to get good whole foods.
Getting your cat food, or dog food, from the refrigerator is no different than getting healthy foods for ourselves from the refrigerator. Healthy, whole foods that are not full of preservatives and chemicals are often found in a refrigerator or freezer.
Our pets do so much for our health. They offer tremendous amounts of stress relief when you pet them and see their happy faces. They help build our immune systems and reduce allergies. The least we can do for our companions, that do so much for our health, is to take care of their health. Your pet’s food could be contributing to their allergies and inflammation, which will be horrible for their long-term health.
Humans are making the same mistakes with pet food that they are making with their own food. It’s even worse when you consider how the pet food industry is not well regulated.
What’s wrong with most foods?
- Have numerous fillers
- Full of sugars and carbohydrates
- Made from GMO crops
- Meats with antibiotics and hormones
- Choosing convenience over quality
Our pets are even less equipped to handle the garbage food system we have created. Your dog or your cat is a carnivore. Do they grind their food? No. Their jaws go up and down! They have smaller intestines than humans that weren’t meant to ferment food. If those carbohydrates are hanging out in their stomach fermenting its going to cause their stomach to swell and can make them sick. Our dog and cat companions weren’t made to eat all the grains and carbs found in typical pet foods.
When I am talking raw foods for our pets, I’m not talking an organic salad. The best foods are good organ meats. They have the most nutrition.
I recently visited with Cheryl Larson, pet food expert and owner of Cheryl’s Healthy Pet Market, and we talked about the importance of healthy pet food.
Pet Food Ideas to Get You Started
Start with Snacks
Snacks are a great place to start and easy for people who are just starting to find healthier options for their pets. It’s a great way to get some variety in the diet and to start reading labels. Look for treats with limited ingredients and where the ingredients are meat. Not sweet potatoes, corn, carrots or other things that sound healthy for humans. Dogs and cats eat meat. They will love it and be able to digest it better. Avoid the high carbohydrate ingredients because if your pet is on kibble they are already getting enough of that. Sugars can be listed as the ingredients glycerin and molasses. Grains can be under a variety of names too. Know what is in the snacks you are giving your pet.
Here are a few great options:
Frozen Foods are Fantastic
Frozen foods are fresher and healthier foods for your pet. A lot of people worry that real whole foods will cost more, but compared to a quality bag of dog food it can be cheaper. The other thing that scares them away is that they worry it won’t be convenient. It’s not that much more difficult once you get used to it. It’s just a different way of doing things. And you won’t be leaving a bag of dog food in the corner to oxidize and get moldy.
Here are a few great options:
Moisture is in the Can
Hydration is important for our pets and a lot of them aren’t finding it in their food. That makes them drink excessive amounts of water, which isn’t good for them. Canned food is moist and will get them some of that hydration. It also means the food is cooked which can be easier on the stomach for older pets.
Here are a few great options
Choose Healthy Pets
Maintaining the health of your pet is cheaper than vet visits or treating a sick pet. As little as 2 tablespoons of raw pet food can make a difference in the health of your pet. Start with the treats or adding raw food to the top of your dog food. Your pet can help make you healthier! Keep the stress of a sick pet away by supporting their health with quality food!
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn
Learn more in Dr. Patricks Quick Tip where he visits with Cheryl Larson, pet food expert and owner of Cheryl’s Healthy Pet Market,