If you love your pets and would do anything to give them the most excellent health possible, feeding them a diet that is species appropriate will make them healthier and happier. Diet and nutrition are the foundation of health. Foods have the ability to heal and harm.
The following information was gathered from research and articles by Dr. Karen Becker, a wonderfully talented and holistic veterinarian based in Illinois.
When deciding what to feed your pet, Remember: Your Dog or Cat Is a Carnivore. A species appropriate diet for dogs and cats, whose genetic makeup and internal workings are essentially the same as their carnivorous ancestors is one that is high protein, 70% moisture and low starch. Feeding them an entirely dry food diet which is about 12% moisture can lead to a whole host of biological problems, particularly with cats. They are constantly living in a state of mild chronic dehydration, which over time, can lead to organ distress. Kidney disease can be a byproduct of the lack of water consumption in your dog or cat. They just don't drink enough water to make up for the lack of water in their diets.
Processed Pet Foods Have Created Generations of Nutritionally Deficient Dogs and Cats.
Commercial pet food is a relatively recent development, having been around only about 100 years. During that time, major pet food companies have produced most of their products using a base of corn, wheat, or rice. However, they are now recognizing that feeding carnivores an abundance of grains causes cancer and creates fat, diabetic animals. To combat this, the industry is turning to grain-free dry foods. The problem with this is that biologically inappropriate levels of high-glycemic starches like potatoes and pea flour have taken the place of grains in dry pet food.
Another recent development is the use of trendy sources of carbs in pet food as in lentils and garbanzo beans. Unfortunately, in addition to increasing the carb content beyond what is species-appropriate, legumes contain lectins, which are molecules that can create GI inflammation and irritation.
Processed Diets Can Also Contain Carcinogens.
Not only are processed pet foods biologically inappropriate, they also contain added synthetic vitamins and minerals to meet basic nutritional requirements. The food is heated to very high temperatures, which at best denatures proteins and decreases nutrient value. At worst, it introduces carcinogens into your pet's body on a daily basis.
Survive or Thrive?
Fortunately for pet owners, dogs and cats are among the most resilient animals on the planet. They're able to survive when fed foods they were never designed to eat. They survive but do they thrive? Degeneration does occur in these animals as a result of inappropriate nutrition. These changes are gradual and often hidden until a disease is full-blown so we are deceived into believing that convenience pet foods are actually an acceptable form of nutrition for dogs and cats. A biologically correct diet for a carnivore is high in moisture, high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates. The vast majority of pet foods on the market today are the opposite – low in moisture content, with low to moderate amounts of poor quality protein and fat, and high in starches or carbs which can be directly linked to many inflammatory processes and degenerative diseases that plague today's dogs and cats.