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Food for Thought: Do you really know what your pet should be fed? I mean, really know?

Today I am turning over the blog to experts from Natural Pet Pantry who have some helpful tips about pet nutrition!

We all want to do best by our companion animals and one of the most important decisions you can make for your pet – every single day – is what food to provide.  There is a myriad of choices available and it is a challenge to figure out what is best.  Much like the choices we have for our human selves in the local grocery store, choosing wisely for your pet comes down to knowing some basic nutrition and learning who to trust for guidance.

First, and this may come as a surprise, we should acknowledge that your cuddly fur-baby child is actually an animal and does not have the same digestive system as humans.  Your companion animal is domesticated and has been bred for certain pleasurable characteristics, but don’t confuse the outside with the inside.  Your pet’s digestive system is the same as it was tens of thousands of years ago.  It is a FACT that what your pet needs to eat, and how the food is digested, has not changed because of domestication or breeding.

While there are a lot of things that humans can design and make to be better, easier, cheaper, etc., we take exception to the design of food. We believe “mother nature” is best for the job of creating food. We have learned that highly processed food for humans doesn’t come close to replacing fresh, natural, organic foods.  What is true for human food is also true for pet food. Yes, your pet will eat whatever you give them, and they will love you for it, and it might look like they are doing great on that food… but are they?

Canned foods and dry kibble-type foods have been processed at extremely high temperatures resulting in nutrients and important enzymes being destroyed.  This is the reason producers of dry and canned pet food must synthetically fortify their products.  And we are talking about having to add a lot of synthetics. The end result is your pet’s digestive system struggling to get all the needed nutrients from the artificial sources without the help of naturally occurring enzymes.

Consumption of exclusively dry foods means your pet is in a constant state of dehydration at some level.  Yes, they have water in a bowl next to their food, but at a maximum of 10 percent moisture in dry food, dogs and cats have to have the thirst drive to compensate – and it isn’t always the case.  This is especially an issue for cats due to their desert heritance. Being desert animals, cats never developed the thirst drive to compensate for lack of moisture in the food. This lack of moisture can contribute to urinary issues and kidney disease in both dogs and cats. The intercellular moisture alone in fresh foods is exponentially beneficial.

Your pet, just like you and I and all other living creatures, will not thrive on a completely processed diet.  They may “survive,” but ultimately processed foods are very taxing on the body’s resources and can lead to chronic conditions like skin problems, ear infections, urinary issues, dental disease and many other all too common ailments. These conditions can often be tied back to processed food.

So, what to do?

Adding whole, fresh foods to the diet provides the body with accessible nutrients in their natural form with their co-occurring enzyme content.  Raw food replicates the prey your dog and cat evolved to eat and is the only food your pet is truly designed and meant to eat.  Whole, unadulterated foods contain moisture, enzymes and a full spectrum of natural vitamins and nutrients. This is what every animal needs in order to truly thrive. People report incredible transformations when dogs and cats are fed a fresh food diet. With a little time on fresh, whole foods skin issues disappear, ear infections clear up, weight management becomes easy and the animal reaches true vitality and resilience.

Come in to our Kirkland or Burien stores or call to talk to a qualified Pet Nutrition Expert to learn more about what a new fresh food diet could do for your pet. They can answer your questions and guide you to a path of health and vitality for your pet.  Visit our website for additional information and to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.  www.naturalpetpantry.com.  206-762-5575.

By Ashley Clark, May Wu, and Jeff Howlett

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