Healthy Food = Healthy Pets
June 02, 2018
Submitted by Nilla’s Tub DIY Dog Wash and Health Food Store
What you feed your dog or cat has a direct impact on their health. It’s difficult for consumers to know what’s really in their pet’s food. Labels are misleading or hard to understand, and companies often have slick marketing campaigns that can make it seem like a food is “all natural” or “premium” when in fact it is highly processed, contains cheap fillers or meat by-products, and is deficient in many essential nutrients. Even the more expensive commercial food may not have the recommended protein levels and may include added ingredients that are unhealthy. The result is that pet owners are often unknowingly feeding their pets inferior food with synthetic ingredients and then wonder why their pet has allergies, diabetes, or intestinal problems. Here’s a quick overview of the four main types of commercial food available.
Raw food is exactly that — a diet of raw meat and bones. Many veterinarians and pet owners consider this to be the very best type of food for your dog or cat as it most closely resembles the diet they were born to eat and naturally provides the perfect level of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It’s important that a raw diet is “complete and balanced,” so there’s more to it than just putting some hamburger in their bowl. Look for commercially prepared frozen raw diets from small companies that responsibly source their food so you can be assured that it is 100 percent human grade with no additives, preservatives, or harmful by-products. The benefits of a raw dog food diet include the following:
- Better digestion
- Healthier skin and coat
- Less frequent poop
- Fewer allergy symptoms
- Less likely to be overweight
Dehydrated/freeze dried raw is essentially raw food with the moisture removed. It offers all the benefits of a raw food diet, but has a longer shelf life and can be more convenient.
Canned food is generally a better choice than dry kibble. Canned food usually contains higher amounts of meat protein and fats and lower amounts of carbohydrates. In addition, there are usually fewer added chemicals and little need to add artificial preservatives. Canned food is about 75 percent water, so it is especially good for cats as cats don’t have the same thirst mechanism as dogs and therefore often do not drink enough water.
Kibble or dry food is the most popular type because it is less expensive, convenient, and lasts for a long time. However, you need to be extremely careful about the kibble you choose as most kibble has artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, fillers, and other ingredients with little nutritional value. Kibble usually contains a greater percentage of carbohydrates — even those marketed as “grain-free” — because a starch source is essential in order to process the ingredients into dry food. Look for a brand that is minimally processed and is made with whole food ingredients with no added synthetic vitamins and minerals. Nature’s Logic brand is one of the few that keeps the nutrients intact so your pet can get the complete nutrition they need.
If your lifestyle or budget doesn’t allow for an all-raw diet, you can use high-quality dry food and add some raw or canned a couple times a week, and supplement with something like goat’s milk. Also, be sure to rotate your pet’s diet so that they get a variety of different foods. By rotating the formulas, your pet receives a more balanced diet and there is less risk of developing an allergy. Making even small improvements what you feed your pet will be beneficial to their overall health.
If you’re confused on what to feed your pet, stop in Nilla’s Tub and let them help. They are located at 211 Landmark Dr., Ste. B-1 in Normal. They carry a variety of food, treats, and supplements that meet their own strict requirements: GMO free, organic where possible, free range, grass fed, human grade, whole food with absolutely no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, animal-by-products, or fillers. They also have everything you need to bathe and groom your furry friend in a fun, relaxing environment. No appointment necessary, call 309-451-9274 or visit them online at www.NillasTub.com.
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