Archive for October, 2011

Pet Nutrition - not to be forgotten!

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Almost every day I read in the newspapers about ‘eat this’ and ‘eat that for health’.

Food companies have long-ago recognised this trend and have been marketing low-fat, low-calorie, or low-carb versions of this or that. Organic sugar is now common place on supermarket shelves as are many other organic versions of everyday food products.

But with all of this attention to our own health, we may be forgetting the nutrition of our loyal companion pets.

Sure, pet food companies have created special formulas for overweight, older, or active dogs; but even these blends do not meet the necessary requirements for your pet’s health.

Never in my wildest dreams can I imagine a mother pushing her shopping trolley through the aisles of a supermarket looking for a lower protein food for her 8 year old son who is on the big side. Similarly, saying to her friend, that the child’s grandmother switched to a lower protein food 4 weeks ago and is doing much better. Simply ask yourself, “What level of protein do you feed your children?”

Concerning special foods for older pets, again, we ask whether you buy “older people’s foods”. Of course not!!

The athlete may make special allowances for increased stamina but it doesn’t amount to high levels of protein – the marathon runner stocks up on complex carbohydrates.

I have the good fortune to live on both sides of the big pond and hear a lot of discussion about what is right and wrong for our pets in terms of diet. The wolf is often quoted as the ancestral relation of the domestic dog.

I am going to let you in on a secret – we have wild coyotes live around us in the USA and they love hay and fresh cut grass. They don’t have shinny gloss like coats, they don’t go shopping for their food either – they scavenge and hunt small animals – but they appear healthy!

The domestic dog and cat needs good food like the rest of us but the fancy labels, the cute shapes and bright colours and flavoured this and that are not for the benefit of your dog or cat. They are there because they appeal to you! Yes – you the pet owner!

You’re the one with money and the pet food companies need you to part with it so they can make a profit.

Think of the potato crisps or chips as they are called in the US. There are more flavours of these products than I care to mention and every one of them tainted with a chemical cocktail of colours and flavours  - E this and E that!  This is the business philosophy we need to put behind us and start think health for pets first! Start reading the labels. When you don’t know – don’t buy!

Not all pet foods contain poor quality ingredients, but you have to read and understand the labels in order to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, pet food companies use obscure terms to describe the ingredients that go into their products.

What we are about here is getting you the pet owner to make informed choices that will benefit the health of your pet, and take simple cost effective steps to minimize health problems and give your captive friend the best you can.

Article by George Burns of Burns Pet Health and Land of Holistic Pets.