If you’ve ever ventured into a pet store or a pet food distributor’s shop, then you’ve surely seen the signs that say,” PET FOOD IS GOOD!” The shelves are lined with it; the packages are printed with it; it’s on the menu of countless discount pet food companies nationwide. So, why is it that so many people – and some dogs – think that pet food is bad for their health? Why aren’t they buying better, higher-quality foods? Here are some of the reasons why pet food can actually be more harmful to your pet than good.
One: Dry pet food contains more moisture than does wet pet food. To put it simply, animal-grade (human grade) dry pet food contains less moisture than a dog or cat food. Some manufacturers use a low moisture source, but most dry pet food contains about ten percent moisture. So even if you’re using the highest quality dry food possible, you may be still getting less moisture than you’d like. And that means more water, which leads to more bacteria, which in turn leads to even more pet illness.
Two: Dry pet food often requires more energy to digest, leading to excessive weight gain. While every dog or cat has different energy needs, studies show that overweight dogs and cats tend to have lower energy levels, which can lead to an increase in fat – not the kind of fat you want in your pets’ diet. As with human diets, a high protein diet is important to support overall health, but the key to healthy dogs and cats is providing them with the right amount of calories – not too much, not too little. And this means that you should think about what your pet food contains before adding any to their diet.
Three: Many commercial pet foods contain preservatives and artificial coloring, ingredients that are actually toxic in high doses. There is a concern that the chemicals in these additives may cause cancer. Also, the FDA has recently banned the use of listeria, a deadly virus found in canned meats, as a food ingredient. The agency cited the possible risks of exposure to the toxins found in recalled canned foods. While listeria is a toxin in itself, it may be passed on to pets through the droppings of sick animals and in the urine of such animals.
Four: A diet lacking in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are no better at supporting overall health than one that is deficient in nutrients. A dog or cat that eating nutritionally balanced pet food will get all of the vitamins and minerals that they need. But they won’t get enough fats and proteins to help fuel their energy needs. This is why healthy choices in pet food include fish, eggs, and meat, which are rich in essential fats and proteins.
Five: Many animal healthcare professionals including veterinarians, holistic practitioners, and homeopaths are now offering pet food services. These vets are familiar with the nutritional needs of pets and the healing effects that natural ingredients can have on many common illnesses and diseases. Also, they can provide nutritional advice for pet owners who are considering changing their diets or adding new pets. With the help of these professionals, pet owners can feel confident that they are making the healthiest choices possible for their pets.