I have been a cat owner for several decades and to say I love and cherish them would still be an understatement. At first, learning how to take care of them properly involved a lot of trial and error. I did a lot of reading and bought what I thought was the best for them. But, as the years went by and I experienced a lot of pet illness and heartache, I had to revisit what I was exposing my cats to. With several of my cats dying from cancer, I had to do some important reflection. My most significant focus was the food I was feeding them.
I used to feed my cats a lot of dry food with a little bit of canned food and had a bowl of water out if they got thirsty. But, after learning how dehydrating dry food is and how that will affect the kidneys and urinary tracts of our pets. I had to make some critical changes in my cat’s diet.
The bottom line is that most pet foods on the market are unhealthy for your pets. In the beginning, I was feeding my cats whatever was on sale. Then I started reading the labels and was shocked to see all the toxic and unhealthy ingredients. These bad ingredients were in both wet and dry pet foods.
Most pet food companies use a base of corn, wheat, or rice. Feeding carnivores an abundance of grains has led to a deluge of pet cancers and diabetic animals. Discovering this, many companies turned to ‘grain-free’, using potatoes and pea flour, or high glycemic starches like lentils and garbanzo beans. But the balance is completely off because they contain carbs far beyond what is appropriate for cats and dogs. Plus legumes contain lectin which is not best for your pet’s GI tract.
These convenient processed foods have been linked to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition. So in addition to being biologically ill-suited for pets, they are laced with synthetic vitamins and minerals just to meet the basic dietary requirements. Then they heat the food to extremely high temperatures which denatures protein and decreases nutritional value, but the biggest outrage is that it introduces carcinogens to our pet’s bodies every day.
Convenient pet foods have been acknowledged as the culprit for most of the inflammatory issues and degenerative diseases that afflict our beloved companion animals. A nutritionally and biologically correct diet for our pets would include high protein, high moisture, moderate fat, and low carbs. But, the vast majority of pet foods on the market today are very low in moisture, low to moderate inferior quality protein and fat and high in starch or carbs. Do you see where this is going?
So if the majority of pet food on the market is bad for your pets, what are our options? Here is where I got a lot of helpful advice from Dr. Karen Becker. You can glean a lot of valuable information from her book Real Food for Healthy Cats and Dogs or visit her website. You can also watch her videos on YouTube where she is very blunt about the dangers of most pet foods on the market. There are other conscious vets out there that care about what happens to our pets, I just find these sources invaluable.
Basically, the best diet for our pets is a nutritionally balanced raw homemade diet. It’s imperative that you get their diet right with the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep them healthy. If you cannot afford a raw diet, she offers many suggestions. Following her advice has helped my cats tremendously. I just wanted to make readers aware that what we feed our precious pets will affect their health and ultimately their longevity. If you have a pet that is having some health issues, look at their diet and environment and make the necessary changes. I changed my pets to a fully-raw balanced diet and they are thriving. They are worth it.