Sunday, September 26, 2010

Diet and Health

A pet’s diet determines its health and life expectancy more than any other care.

Think about these statements for a moment.
  • The diet determines your dog’s health and life expectancy more than any other care.
  • Your dog is made up of the food it eats. The food becomes your dog – food literally turns into dog!
These statements are very powerful and for those pet owners who are concerned about the health and well being of their dogs, it is important to understand the relationship between fresh, wholesome food and optimal health.

Our modern dog’s ancestors got all their nutrition from their prey as well as grazing on wild berries. Protein and fat came from meat and organs (amino acids), calcium from crunching on bones, and vegetables and grains (vitamins/minerals, enzymes)) from the digestive organs and ripened berries. Dental care came from chewing through skin and bones – teeth were naturally scrubbed clean.

As time passed, dogs formed a relationship with people and the diet began to change. Hunting was no longer necessary as humans fed the new domesticated dog scraps of wholesome food, bones and vegetables.

In more modern times, dogs moved indoors and commercial foods came into the market. Dogs began having symptoms they never had before; like bad breath, itchy skin, dull, dry coats, arthritis, diabetes, thyroid conditions, intestinal disorders, ear infections, heart, liver and kidney disease and various cancers.

Some of these symptoms and diseases actually began to be considered normal!

What happened? What went wrong?

From a nutritional viewpoint this is easy to explain. Compare these two types of diets:

Commercial/processed Food diets

  • Highly processed and extruded into kibble. Contain meats and fats that need no refrigeration (how is this possible?).
  • Food is ‘dead and inert’ and sprayed with chemical vitamins and protein digest for palatability.
  • Food may contain several strains of bacteria, drug residues, colorings, flavorings, diseased tissues, chemical additives, and preservatives.

Fresh food diets

  • Minimally processed (sometimes raw), containing naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and micronutrients.
  • Meats are added fresh and contain no hormones, anti-biotic, or drug residues. Food contains ‘living’ nutrients that feed and nourish cells and tissues.
  • No need for flavorings, colorings or preservatives.
Now, lets look back to the statement: “Your dog is made up of the food it eats. The food becomes your dog – food literally turns into dog!”

It is clear to see from this list that if your dog is made up of the unsavory substances found in most commercial foods, their health will be greatly compromised. Over time (and it can take many years) your dog’s health will begin to reflect those substances from which he is made.

Back to the basics.

A balanced diet will do wonders for your dog’s health and well being. A healthy, fresh, natural diet will help support your dog with any disease or condition! Many conditions may be helped or improved by diet alone – these include skin conditions, digestive disorders, bad breath, incontinence, arthritis, urinary (kidney bladder) and dull coat to name a few.