Food Special Feature Why Fresh Is Best

Today’s article is a special food feature, giving advice on the best diet for your pets and explaining why fresh is always best.  With inflation breaking the sound barrier and the cost of food hitching along for the ride, most of us are taking a deep breath and pulling in our belts another notch in order to keep the proverbial ol’ wolf from the door. But what about our own little wolves in sheep’s clothing, our dogs? Must they also have their collars  tightened or is there another way for them to escape the lean times ahead?

Homemade cuisine

Well the news is excellent for Rover and the gang, because their future, in the food department, has never looked healthier. Â Not only will dogs love their new homemade cuisine but the ingredients will be fresh, healthy and chemical free. Furthermore there is also a choice of menu to suit every discerning palate, every busy time strapped pet owner and every budget, no matter how limited.

The truth about dogs and cats

But first we must take into account the fact that our dogs are primarily carnivores by choice, and omnivores by necessity. Â And our cats are true carnivores by nature, which means they are pure meat eaters, like it or not. In fact, both species are no different in their dietary requirements to their country cousins, the wolves and mega kitties, the leopards.

Veterinarians agree animal proteins are best

“4 out of 5 veterinarians agreed that the best and most natural way to feed healthy,  adult dogs is with diets rich in animal based proteins. Dog owners should be very concerned about any food that emphasizes vegetable based proteins like corn and  gluten meal. In dogs these proteins can actually reduce muscle mass and increase body fat, contributing to a decline in total body condition.” Furthermore “Brands which use the word ‘with’  before the ingredient chicken, beef or lamb may have as little as 3% of that ingredient. These foods will often compensate for lower animal protein content with less expensive ingredients and fillers. Those ingredients may not be bad – but they are  inferior  substitutes for high quality animal proteins.”

These findings were made by an independent research company questioning vets. In a telephone survey across the USA in 2002 and publishes by Iams. Company

Fast food

Of course in this busy world in which we  find ourselves, convenience foods are the answer … or maybe not if the price is costing us our health. Research on this issue overwhelmingly indicates that fast foods and processed foods are causing major health problems, ranging from obesity to fatal  liver and heart disease and the breakdown of natural auto immune systems.

Health consciousness should apply to your pets

Most of us are extremely health conscious nowadays and would never consider feeding our families a diet of fast or  processed food, because we know the results can be catastrophic.  And yet, it’s often the ‘health freaks’ who adopt a double  standard when it comes to feeding their pets. No matter how one spells it out, the fact remains, packet or tinned pet food is highly processed food! And fresh food… is fresh food!

And if you choose to feed fresh, you should not be made to feel guilty by a retailer who is benefiting from sales of the product. Â It is your right to make a free choice.

Commercial/Processed pet food

It is important to read labels which list contents. However, most labels nowadays are specifically designed to cover a multitude of ingredients, none of which can be pinpointed! Experts agree: the most important ingredient in any carnivores diet is animal protein and healthy animal fats, which are the main stay of our dogs and cats nutritional needs.

No matter what you have decided so far, lets take a look at the cost of pet foods available on the market, and compare them to the cost of feeding fresh, natural food and then we must ask ourselves how we will spend our hard earned rand.

Cost of  processed foods

Here is a quick breakdown of costs but please feel free to do your own research and arithmetic.

Commercial/Processed dry food costs between R10.00. a kilo to a whopping  R48.00. per kilo!

Tinned food, Â often advertised as “Meat flavored” costs between R10.00 a kilo and R45.00. per kilo.

Cost of fresh/frozen/pet minces

Pure  minced beef, chicken, tripe or a mixture, costs l between R5.00.and R10.00. per kilo.

So whats the verdict?

Well it’s leading up to feeding Fido on fresh, preferably raw food which has become the preferred way of feeding pets both overseas and in South Africa, especially in the wake of the recent pet food scare which killed hundreds of our beloved animals throughout the world. And no, you don’t need to spend hours slaving over a hot stove either.

Will my dog like fresh food?

Now this will depend entirely on your individual dog. However, if your dog loves raw bones or your food and gravy, he will most definitely enjoy and thrive on fresh food.

Some older dogs, however, are set in their ways and may refuse to eat raw meat which is Mother Nature’s first choice.

In this case, you would start by partially cooking the meat, and then gradually reducing the heat process until the meat is being eaten raw.

Puppies love raw meat

It’s best to start your little one on raw from the start which he will quickly relish. Remember, once you start cooking food it becomes a chore and much of the nutrition is destroyed by the heat process as in dry or tinned dog food.

Leftovers

Your left over meat, gravies, drippings, veggies and limited carbos. are a great fresh food source for your dogs especially if you are battling the Rand. Remember man and wolf have existed symbolically for millions of years so it’s really nothing new really, and certainly not unhealthy as the dog food companies would have us believe.

What is the best natural way of feeding my dog?

This is an individual choice because there are many ways of feeding fresh food.