Friday, September 27, 2013

Natural Pet Food: The Only Food Good Enough For Your Pets

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Like human food, pet food must be chosen with care because contrary to what many think, a lot of the premade pet food sold today contains chemicals and ingredients not deemed fit for consumption. Rendered animal parts (a common ingredient) may be derived from sources which are diseased or otherwise unfit for human consumption. It's undoubtedly a great way to put waste food to use but if you truly care about your furry friends, you'd want only food that even you can eat.

It may seem strange to some that people would care so much about pets since they're animals. But pets are so much more, akin to family members with the ability to bring joy and companionship. Why, then, would we compromise on their health all for the sake of saving a few dollars?

Natural pet food is different from standard pet food as efforts are made to ensure that only ingredients fit for human consumption are included. This includes healthy veggies, meat (not waste), minerals and vitamins necessary for a balanced diet.

For dogs, such care is even more important because like humans, they're more prone to suffering from health conditions. Diarrhea, dehydration, heart problems and hip dysplasia are fairly common and much of the cause can be prevented with a good diet. Add exercise and plenty of love and care and pet pooches can live long and blissfully happy lives.

This is not to say that all commercial pet food is unhealthy; rather, as a pet owner, it's important to know what goes into making that well-known pack of treats even vets may recommend. Like junk food for humans which contain so many ingredients that promote bad health over time, some processed pet foods also do the same. With more people relying on premade food that can be consumed without refrigeration or even heating, the pet food industry is seeing a boom. This has led to the production of cheap and usually poor quality food that most of us are not aware of.

The inclusion of additives whether for color, taste or preservation is necessary to award longer shelf lives to products. However, more than half of those sold contain additives deemed dangerous and which are no longer permitted to be used in processed human foods. For instance, coloring agents like butylated hydroxytoluene (BTA) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are known carcinogens but are widely added to pet food.

Fillers such as grains are common ingredients which aren't all bad but which may be contained in abnormal proportions and other ingredients like meat and fish may not be sufficiently included. What happens is that pets are not given adequate nutrients even if supplements are added. Since dogs are still very closely related to wolves and cats to wild lions, for example, their digestive systems may not be able to process all that grain despite being domesticated for centuries.

With natural pet food, a lot of these wrong equations are dealt with. The foods may be dried or wet but most of the problems associated with commercial pet food are eliminated or at the very least, minimized. If you can combine it with fresh meat and veggies during meal times, your pet will thank you for his shiny coat, strong bones and healthy teeth. And if you're worried about how long it'll take to switch from a commercial to a natural pet food diet, it shouldn't take more than a week. Don't worry if your pet seems to be particularly fussy and won't make the transition quickly. He'll eat when he knows he has to.

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