Healthy Dogs Guide: Diet and Nutrition Tips

Healthy pet food for pets

Just as it is for humans, a diet that is as natural as possible is one of the most important steps for our pets on the way to a long and healthy life full of energy and productivity. Healthy pet food saves your animal a lot of suffering and you a lot of money and time for annoying veterinary visits.

The mistake of healthy ready-made feed

Industrially produced pet food is practical. Unfortunately, there are no more advantages. A diet with canned or dry food is just as harmful to health as human food, which would be limited to artificially vitaminized canned ravioli.

Nevertheless, most dogs and cats in the industrialized nations – as if there were no other options far and wide – are supplied exclusively with industrially produced canned or dry food.

It is particularly tragic that the majority of dog and cat owners would not even dare to put together the meals for their animals themselves, because they are being fed from all sides (advertising, veterinarians, food sellers, breeders, dog sports clubs, etc.) Their animals could only grow old healthy with industrially produced canned or bagged fast food. That is of course a mistake – and a fairly obvious one at that.

Civilization diseases in dogs and cats

If ready-made food were really as optimal as is always claimed, then there would only be a fraction of the health problems that are widespread in dogs and cats today.

Interestingly, these are often exactly the same diseases of civilization that people suffer from who like to eat industrial food (extract flour, sugar, finished products, etc.), namely allergies, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, tooth decay, tartar, periodontal disease, chronic ones Digestive problems, ear infections, bladder and prostate infections, gallstones, unexplained itching, and skin and coat problems.

A healthy pet has clear, shining eyes, a shiny, odorless coat, unproblematic bowel movements, sparkling clean teeth and a fragrant breath.

  • But why – one might ask yourself now, have so many dogs fed with scientifically formulated ready-made foods such unpleasant body odors? As soon as you have petted it a little, you want to wash your hands immediately. Often the dog owner’s apartment (and car) smells like a dog.
  • Why do so many dogs have disgusting bad breath?
  • Why do so many dogs who are fed convenience food have to itch every day?
  • Why is it no longer a rare occurrence in cat owner circles to let cats pull all their teeth – simply because they have such terrible tooth or gum problems that nothing else can help.
  • Why are so many cats dying of kidney disease nowadays when there is such excellent ready-made food, yes even veterinary sophisticated ready-made food-kidney diets?

Of course, as with humans, there are also dogs and cats who can grow old healthily with the most terrible cheap supermarket food. However, the trend is in the opposite direction.

Naturally fed dogs and cats are healthy

At the same time, it is noticeable that the apartment of dog owners who feed their dogs naturally smells as if no dog lives there because their dogs have no body odor.

These dogs also smell less from their mouths than some people. One might also ask why cats who are fed naturally, without any tooth or gum problems, live happily ever after until they die of old age. Furthermore, why do the kidneys of cats, which are largely self-sufficient in mice, seem so much more resilient than the kidneys of cats that live under house arrest and are only fed convenience food? These kinds of questions could go on indefinitely.

Holistic veterinarians advise against the usual industrial feed

Holistic veterinarians (and other experts) are now of the opinion that the inferior and sometimes chemical ingredients in most types of ready-made pet food have a significant impact on the health of animals and can lead to a wide variety of diseases, especially chronic ailments.

They therefore recommend that pet owners either feed their cats and dogs with high-quality ready-to-eat food that is made from organic ingredients and is free of synthetic additives, or – what would be even better – to put together fresh meals themselves from raw ingredients.

The ingredients in canned and dry food

1. Vegetable waste products

Conventional ready-made food, as it is available in every supermarket and in every pet food store, hardly consists of a single ingredient that would be really recommendable. Dry feed in particular consists to a large extent of grain and vegetable waste products.

In the best case it is flour, but mostly things like lignocellulose (a nicer word for wood), dried sugar beet pulp (garbage from the sugar industry), wheat gluten (isolated wheat protein), corn protein and so-called “vegetable protein extracts” of indeterminate origin .

Since the natural food of a cat (mouse, bird) consists of 95 to 99 percent meat and bones and the vegetable residue (stomach contents of the prey animal) is spurned by many cats, a grain-heavy diet is particularly serious and beneficial for the 100 percent carnivore cat enormous the mentioned dental and kidney problems, as well as diabetes, inflammation of the pancreas, liver disorders and urinary tract diseases.

In principle, these plant-based feed components can be described as difficult to digest for a predatory organism, triggering allergies, promoting tartar and bad breath, gasping and irritating to the immune system.

2. Genetically modified soy

Because of the inexpensive soybeans that are available in large quantities, the legume, which is almost only available in genetically modified versions, does not stop at dog and cat food. It should be able to promote skeletal diseases (e.g. hip dysplasia) and obesity in dogs.

Italian scientists also found that gene feed changes the genetic make-up – although the gene lobby had always denied this connection. The researchers found fragments of genetically modified forage plants in various organs and also in the blood of pigs. Apart from that, soy, along with wheat and corn, is one of the top 3 allergy triggers in dogs and cats.

3. Low meat and bone content

Much is known about the quality of the meat used in industrial feed. The fact that slaughterhouse waste such as feet, heads, blood, tendons and intestines are processed often causes great disgust. But if you consider what the natural food of a dog or a cat looks like, then for once there is nothing wrong with this practice in the animal feed industry – provided that sufficient bones are processed (bones supply dogs and cats with high-quality calcium).

A cat eats the mouse with its feet, fur, bones, head, blood and intestines. A dog eats a rabbit with its feet, fur, bones, head, blood and – depending on the dog – it eats the intestines and their contents with a particularly large appetite. In contrast to this – at least if the dog is used to natural food – pure chicken breast fillet or the expensive beef sirloin are rejected or not eaten with the same enthusiasm as is the case with a chicken’s head, for example.

At this point, please do not start from your own meticulous point of view, but put yourself in the role of a predator, which also finds carrion particularly delicious.

Industrial processing destroys vital substances, enzymes and proteins

The lamentable thing about industrially processed ready-made food for dogs and cats is not the slaughterhouse waste itself – although you can of course top its quality at any time by purchasing it from an organic farm – but rather the amount of it in the far too small for a carnivore Food, as – as mentioned – questionable herbal ingredients predominate.

Industrial processing has at least as negative an impact on the health of dogs and cats. Canned and dry food is heated several times at high temperatures and treated with pressure, which destroys both the structure of the proteins and a large part of the vital substances.

4. Synthetic vitamins

Therefore, vitamins and minerals are added again afterwards – in synthetic form. Although the supposedly optimal feed composition is said to have been meticulously researched and calculated by scientific luminaries in the field of pet nutrition, all the different vitamin and mineral doses in the various brands of ready-made feed are astonishing in this context. Now which dose is the right one? Which feed manufacturer is right?

With natural dog and cat nutrition made from fresh, raw and, above all, species-appropriate ingredients, the animal’s need for vital substances and minerals is perfectly met – without the owner ever having to use a calculator, let alone an expert, for advice. Of course, the animal feed industry cannot replace ALL vital substances and vital enzymes that have been spilled during industrial processing. A natural pet food, however, contains ALL enzymes and vital substances in a natural combination, i.e. in the correct ratio and in their natural form.

5. Synthetic additives

Understandably, industrial feed needs many other artificial additives, because otherwise it looks ugly (colorings), tastes strange (aromas, flavor enhancers, sugar, acidity regulators, sweeteners ), soon spoils ( preservatives , artificial antioxidants) or loses the desired consistency (emulsifiers, gelling agents) , Stabilizers, release agents).

Greater caution is required when it comes to preservatives. If “Without preservatives” is written on the packaging, then in most cases this either indicates that the manufacturer has used pre-preserved ingredients (that is, he did not use preservatives, but his supplier) or that no preservatives were actually used instead but preserving and at the same time highly toxic chemical antioxidants such as BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin.

Antioxidants are therefore called antioxidants and not preservatives, although they are used for preservation, because the legislature has specified this to the delight of feed manufacturers and general confusion of consumers. By the way, ethoxyquin is strictly forbidden in food for humans due to its carcinogenic potential.

BHA and BHT accumulate in the organism and should be able to damage the thyroid and liver and irritate the immune system in the long term. Both substances must not be contained in baby and child food.

Big business

The business with industrial canned and dry food is nothing more than big business and represents one of the most successful industries of our time. After all, there are currently over five million dogs and almost eight million cats in Germany alone.

In the United States, according to a 2005 survey (called the National Pet Owner Survey), 63 percent of American households owned pets. These included around 73 million dogs and 90 million cats. The industry is currently generating billions in sales every year with a rapidly increasing trend. The advertising budget is correspondingly high. It is in the three-digit million range for the most famous German pet food manufacturer.

Among other things, events for veterinarians, veterinary trade fairs, seminars for veterinary assistants and congresses for professors among veterinarians are sponsored. The editor of the largest reference work on the subject of small animal nutrition, which is on the shelf of every veterinarian, is none other than a well-known dog and cat food manufacturer himself. It should be clear that nowhere in this work is there any mention of natural fresh food that every animal owner could produce himself.If you are eating healthily and consciously, why shouldn’t your pet be eating healthily and consciously as well? Your pet’s health depends on your choices.

Are there really high-quality ready-made foods?

If you still want to feed ready-made food, opt for the highest quality that you can find. The price is not necessarily the decisive criterion here. Make sure that not only lean meat is processed, as is often pointed out with particular pride.

Dogs and cats don’t just need lean meat. They need the innards, joints, tendons and bones, which are much richer in minerals, at least as urgently. A pure diet with muscle meat would be extremely one-sided and would lead to an excess of phosphorus in the animal’s organism, as the balancing calcium from bones and joints would be missing.

It is also important to pay attention to the proportion of grain, which is often also very high with alternative feed manufacturers – simply because health-conscious people are usually enthusiastic muesli and whole grain eaters themselves and therefore wrongly classify this food group as important for their animal.

Vegetable additives such as carrots and peas sound very healthy, but are not really necessary for dogs and cats. Much better would be very finely chopped wild herbs and grasses (as a substitute for green leafy vegetables), because these would also be in the stomachs of wild rabbits and mice.

But even if the ready-made food took all these aspects into account, it would still have to be heated at high temperatures, pressed into croquettes or pellets or canned in order to be kept appropriately and is therefore nothing more and nothing less than a highly inanimate long-term preservation that always can still pose a risk to the health of our animals.

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BARF – the species-appropriate dog and cat nutrition

BARF originally meant ” Bones And Raw Food” (bones and raw food). In German, the more elegant interpretation has meanwhile found this abbreviation, namely ” B iologisch A rtgerechtes R OHES F utter”.

With this type of diet, nature is imitated as best as possible. Dog and cat receive muscle meat, bones, offal, fat, skin, blood, fur – all raw – and finely chopped wild plants or green leafy vegetables in roughly the same composition as these ingredients would also be found in natural prey.

The effort is not much higher than opening a can. Of course, you have to reckon with a higher expenditure of time at the beginning, until you have thought about the new nutritional method, until you have found all the answers to your questions in this regard, until you have exchanged ideas with other BARFers (e.g. via the extremely helpful forum healthy Dogs , where there is also a cat department) and until you have found good sources of supply for meat, bones, etc. (there are even BARF menus that can be ordered ready-made as frozen food via special BARF shops on the Internet).

This preoccupation with the healthy nutrition of one’s beloved pet is automatically part of the dog and cat hobby and is therefore great fun – especially because you can soon see how happy and healthy the animals are with fresh and species-appropriate food. become.

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