Thursday 7 March 2013

Making the switch to natural food

Making the switch to natural food
Making the switch to natural food

Over the past few years, many people have discovered that choosing natural and raw food can help prevent health problems and balance a diet. Many foods contain preservatives and harmful chemicals, and this extends to pet food as well. For most families, pets are not just a four-legged creature living in our homes, but a part of the family and we want to make sure they are as healthy as possible. There are many raw and natural foods on the market that may be better for your cat or dog, especially if they have health problems.

Check labels
When purchasing pet food, it is important to look at the ingredients. Natural and raw pet foods will have things like organic chicken, de-boned turkey or salmon as the first listed ingredient – meaning it is the most concentrated ingredient in the product. These types of products don’t contain any type of scrap meats or meat meals, which are considered unfit for a human. Although it isn’t suggested that animals be fed human food, it may be surprising that some pet food doesn’t have the same standards.

Natural and raw food often contains U.S.-grown fruits and vegetables, natural preservatives, vitamins and minerals that are a vital part of a pet’s diet. These types of ingredients are much closer to an animal’s natural diet than many other pet foods.

Know your pet’s diet
Unfortunately, many people have pets that suffer from health illnesses or should be fed special diets because of their old age. These are circumstances to take into consideration when choosing a natural or raw food. Several breeds, such as Dalmatians, Labrador Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos and Miniature Schnauzers, may also suffer from allergies or intolerances, that owner’s should be aware of.

Pet owners should also pay attention to the calorie count of pet foods. Animals that have a lot of exercise need a higher amount of calories – just like humans. Food products with high percentages of whole grains are best for energetic dogs because it supplies them with a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Animals that have cancer should be fed a high-fat, low-carb diet because cancer cells use carbs for energy. By giving pets this type of diet, you may be able to essentially starve cancer cells. Dogs with other illnesses may need a diet with a high-calorie count because they need more energy to be active and boost their immune system.

If you are considering a switch to natural or raw food, it may be helpful to consider the rule of thumb that if you wouldn’t eat it, your dog shouldn’t either.

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