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Pet Health: Natural Nutrition

Orange Icon  Pet Health: Natural Nutrition

Orange Icon  Pet Health: Natural Nutrition

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In today's world, so many people have such wonderful relationships with their pets.

Dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, ferrets - you name it!

Unfortunately, as with humans, the rates of disease among our domesticated animals have steadily increased. Not only are they getting sicker, but there are so many pets (dogs especially) that are living shorter lives because they are overweight or obese.

Also as with humans, I believe the main perpetrator of this problem is poor diet, which can cause not only obesity but also a range of other health issues. Plus, all that extra weight can lead to joint problems. To remedy this, we need to shift our thinking about what we feed our pets and stop feeding them the unhealthy canned and dry pet food that stores sell.

If you want your pet to be the healthiest that he or she can be, you need to feed them whole, natural foods, just like we eat. (No, I am not crazy - trust me on this!)

Dogs and cats were genetically engineered to hunt and eat their own food in the wild. Their bodies are made to process whole, raw food - not processed dog or cat food that is filled with unhealthy grains, sub-standard sources of protein, additives, and fillers.

So, what should you feed your pet? Well, there's some debate on that subject. Some holistic veterinarians say the best food to feed your dog or cat is raw, organic meat; raw eggs; some pureed veggies; and some fruits. Others think raw meat and eggs are unhealthy for your pet and that cooked protein with a small amount of veggies is best. Talk with your vet and see what he or she recommends for your specific pet. There are also lots of books and online resources that can teach you how to prepare whole, nutritious meals for your pet.

As I said before, make sure to talk with your vet before you start your pet on a new diet. Also, keep in mind that the following food items are toxic and potentially deadly for dogs and cats: avocados, onions, garlic, chocolate, coffee, grapes, raisins, dairy, seeds from fruits and veggies, baking powder, baking soda, sugarless gum, alcohol, salt, and the sweetener xylitol.

Finally, don't forget to exercise your pets - especially if you have a dog that stays inside all day while you work. Walking your dog is a great way to bond, provides mental stimulation, helps keep your pet fit and healthy, and is good for you too!