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Fruit or Fruitloops? What’s your idea of good nutrition – for yourself, and for your dog?

When people contact me about problems their pets suffer from – whether it’s a physical symptom like itchy skin, an illness like renal failure, or an emotional problem like separation anxiety, the first thing I ask them about is food. People are often surprised, especially when the condition is not a digestive disorder.   But the truth is that one of the simplest things we can do for our health is eating right.

This means not only avoiding things like processed and refined foods but also eating foods that have real health benefits. Each person and each pet is different so we can’t say that one way of eating fits all. One thing I think we can safely say, however, is that fresh, natural food is best.

For dogs and cats, this usually means a raw diet, high in protein, without grains, which are not native to their diets and which they cannot easily digest. Sometimes, a medical condition may require that food be slightly cooked.

Lately, I’ve spoken to several people whose vets do not support the raw diet as a healthy way of feeding pets. This is surprising and disturbing since a wealth of scientific information exists to support the benefits of a raw diet, which include:

better digestion

healthier teeth

shinier coats

improved overall health

If you look at the physiology of animals, you’ll notice how their teeth differ from ours. Theirs are made for ripping. Ours are made for chewing.  Kibble requires chewing, and if swallowed too quickly can cause stomach upset. Raw food does not.

Eating fresh, healthy food supports every system of the body, including the immune system. When all of the systems are working optimally, both physical and emotional issues can improve. Humans recognize how a change in diet can affect hyperactivity and other conditions that affect both physical health and behavior in children. Why is this not recognized when it comes to a pet’s health?

Eating processed food, like kibble, manufactured through a high heat process called extrusion and which destroys nutrients, is bad for the teeth, the digestive system, and does nothing to support health.

If you wanted to get the most from your breakfast, which would you choose: fruit, or fruitloops?

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Posted in Action!, At home with dogs, canine, common sense, Holistic Living, Nature, nutrition, Science, wellness.

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  1. Fruit or Fruitloops? What's your idea of good nutrition – for … | Nutrition For Pets linked to this post on May 25, 2011

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