At the beginning of a year, many people look at their diets to see if they can eat healthier. But how many people look at their pet’s diet?
There are dozens of different feeds available to buy for your pet, with dozens of different manufacturers offering a wide variety of flavours, ingredients, food type – it can all be quite confusing and sometimes seem easier to keep to the same food.
So why think about changing your pets feed, if s/he eats it – why bother changing? The big question is whether your pet as healthy as he or she could be? Consider if your pet has:
- Bad breath
- Recurrent diarrhea
- Recurrent constipation
- Low or excessive energy levels
- Flaky coat
The above may not be a sign that the feed should be definitely changed, but they probably do suggest that it’s worth looking into. Up until relatively recently, the idea that a dog or cats diet could impact on their health was not taken seriously. But why not? After all, there are some diseases and illnesses affecting many species that are directly linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the diet.
You maybe feeding one of the heavily marketed pet feeds available that say they’re “balanced”. Unfortunately some of these actually have lower-quality ingredients, and aren’t all that they lead you to believe.
The ratio of nutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) in feed can vary enormously, with the amounts of vitamins and minerals often varying a lot too. The calorific content of pet feed varies a lot – if your pet is older, younger, ill or especially active (e.g. agility dog), and is another thing to think about.
What can make choosing between the different feeds difficult is the wide variation in ingredients, both the quality of ingredient and the amount. If your dog or cat likes chicken, unless you’re feeding chicken that you’ve cooked especially – actually how much chicken is really in the bag or tin of feed you’ve bought from the store for him/her? Also what sort of chicken is used to make it “chicken flavoured”? To some this may seem an odd question……but if you look into it, it can be quite shocking the variation of ingredients!
There are feeds which are organic, some which use fresh ingredients, but there are a lot that aren’t – so if this is important to you, then check! Likewise if using ethically-sourced goods is important to you, is the company who produces your pet feed as ethical as you really want it to be?
Also there is the raw diet – more and more people are turning to this for feeding their dogs with excellent results. Again it’s essential to use the best possible ingredients, there are some pet feed companies offering great advice and products for those who want support in feeding a raw feed diet.
If you speak to your Veterinary Surgeon or canine nutritionist about what feed they’d recommend, ask specifically is the ingredient in their recommended food that will help your pet.
If your pet is unwell in anyway then of course liaise with your Veterinary Surgeon before you change the diet or take any other measures, a correct diagnosis is essential! Also there are many Vets who specialise in a holistic approach? A consultation with a holistic vet maybe worth looking into to help your pet be as naturally healthy as possible.
For help locating a holistic vet or any other animal health contacts then please get in contact – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you feed your pet – is it giving your pet all the health that it needs to – naturally?
Until next time,
Director, Taranet Complementary Therapies for Animals (Business Consultancy, Social Media Training and Forever Business Owner)