How many times have you heard the saying, “We are what we eat?” I want to take that adage one step further by saying, “We are what we can assimilate.”
Your animal friends depend solely on you for ensuring they have the best nutrition possible. Unfortunately, the readily available commercial pet foods do not provide good nutrition. Even the specially formulated diets available only through veterinarians provide only a portion of a complete nutritional plan. Let me explain.
There are three main components to a complete and balanced nutrition plan. These include diet formulation, quality of ingredients and your animal’s individual needs.
1. Diet formulation involves combining ingredients to address a specific situation, either maintenance of health or providing for an animal with an already existing health condition. Examples of the latter would be low protein diets for animals with kidney or liver disorders or diets formulated for diabetes, FUS (Feline Urologic Syndrome, also known as cystitis), colitis, etc.
2. The quality of ingredients used in pet foods is a vital link to an animal’s health or illness. Unfortunately, most of the ingredients used are NOT human consumption quality. If you pick up your current brand of pet food and see the words “meat by-products,”beef by-products” or any other type of “by-products,” this is not good.
According to Dr. P.F. McCargle, a veterinarian who has also been a federal meat inspector, “by-product can include moldy, rancid or spoiled processed meats as well as tissue too riddled with cancer to be eaten by people.”
Dr. Alfred Plechner gives the complete list, “Diseased tissue, pus, hair, assorted slaughterhouse rejects and carcasses in varying stages of decomposition are sterilized with chemicals, heat and pressure procedures.”
Dr. P.F. McCargle has also been quoted saying that feeding such slaughterhouse wastes to pets “increases their chances of getting cancer and the other degenerative diseases.”
Many “by-products” also come from “4-D” animals – dead, dying, diseased and disabled. The federal government actually allows these in pet foods. The theory is that all the harmful bacteria and viruses are destroyed by the various sterilization processes. Would you eat food every day that you knew was made from sterilized diseased animal parts? Would you consider this quality of food good for you? Probably not.
Ethoxyquin is sometimes used in pet foods containing beef “by-products” or chicken “by-products” as a fat preservative. It was originally used as a very effective pesticide. In addition to this, there are preservatives such as BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, nitrates, and benzoate of soda. These are chemicals that in larger amounts are deadly poisons. In smaller amounts they produce illness because many of these substances cannot be excreted by the body. They are stored in the fat and continue to build up over time. The substances that can be excreted put additional stress on the liver and kidneys to process them out of the system.
Other ingredients such as tuna, tuna by-products, salt, sugar, artificial flavors and scents can cause some commercial pet foods to actually become addictive to your cat. In addition to trying to assimilate all these chemical ingredients, your animal’s body also has to try and process all the diseased animal parts and other questionable ingredients.
Most cat foods are formulated using a minimum daily nutritional requirement guide very similar to minimum daily requirements (MDR) for humans as far as vitamins and minerals are concerned. If your animal friend is experiencing any type of stress, is fighting off illness or disease, currently has an illness or disease, or if there are smokers in the house, these minimum nutritional amounts will not be sufficient to maintain or regain good health.
3. Many studies have been done demonstrating that vitamin and mineral nutritional needs vary from individual to individual. It doesn’t matter if the individual is your son or daughter, or your angora cat. Each of us has our own varying nutritional needs depending upon hereditary factors, weight and size, level of health, level of stress and the amount of exercise. The only way to insure they are receiving adequate levels of vitamins and minerals is to supplement their diet accordingly.
Your angora cat’s body is designed to eat live, raw foods. Over processed, chemically treated foods devoid of cellular life force energy just don’t measure up to the type of foods their body physiology needs and craves.
Another important point that needs to be mentioned in the area of your animal’s specific needs has to do with food allergies. Any type of allergic reaction is the body’s inability to handle a certain protein. Many commonly used pet food ingredients such as: beef, beef by-products, milk, yeast, wheat, corn, corn oil, pork, and turkey have been shown to cause allergic reactions. Symptoms range from mild to severe, such as chronic intestinal upset, gas, vomiting, loose stools, skin rashes, itchy dry scratchy skin, hair loss, as well as contributing to pancreas, liver, kidney problems and urinary tract blockage.
A question that some of my clients ask has to do with the cost of feeding their critter kids a healthy balanced diet. I have seen time and time again that in the long run it is well worth the effort and expense. In addition to your animals having improved health and more energy, they will be better companions to you. By preventing illness and disease through good nutrition, you can avoid the pain, anxiety and veterinary expenses involved with treating ongoing, incurable, life-threatening diseases. A healthy animal fed a nutritionally balanced and wholesome diet will resist illness and disease.
Copyright© Leslie Moran, Animal Therapist