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what are you feeding your fur baby?

I will admit it, I’m a cat lover. Although I only have one, my friends sometimes call me the crazy cat lady, because I have such a love for them. The truth is, if I lived alone, I’d probably have 10 cats. Thankfully I have a husband who reminds me that this may not be the best idea in the world, so we are sticking with our one sweet peanut. But this one, my little fur baby, lights up my world each and every day from sunrise to sunset and everywhere in between. For those of you who have pets, I am sure you feel the same sense of love for them as I do for mine. They are little furry bundles of joy, and they represent that unconditional love that we all long for in life. So it is obvious then, why we would want to nurture and take good care of our pets to keep them happy and healthy.

I was inspired to write this blog because of my own experiences with my cat’s health. She has been suffering from severe allergies for the past year, and it is still a work in progress but she is finally turning a corner! If you ask around, you may find that we are seeing a lot of health issues arising in our pets. I have been observing a rise in allergies, arthritic conditions, skin disorders, digestive malfunction, food intolerances, and cancer, to name a few. This makes me ask the question, “What is in the food we are giving our animals, and how is this affecting their health?” For quite a while now, I have been on my rant about how important real, fresh food is for our bodies as humans. If WE are not meant to eat food from a box all our life, how can it possibly be healthy for our pets? Let’s take a look inside a bag of commercial pet food, and see what we can find.

I discovered some disturbing facts about commercial pet foods that I’d like to share with you. To begin, pretty much anything is fair game to use in pet food. This makes it easy and cheap to make, and packaging labels do not reveal anything about the hidden hazards present in the food. From my research I have found that there are no laws regulating what type of meat is used for many of these bagged foods. Shockingly, even euthanized cats and dogs can be added to them! “Dogs and cats from shelters, pounds, and even veterinary clinics are ending up in pet food.” (Ann Martin, author of Food Pets Die For—Shocking Facts about Pet Food) Most of these animals have been treated with high levels of drugs before being put to sleep, and therefore are ending up in our own pets’ bodies upon consumption. These drugs include, but are not limited to, antibiotics, hormones, and drugs used for euthanizing. When reading pet food labels, the term “meat or bone meal” means exactly that—cooked and converted meat of any kind, including dogs and cats.

In addition, dry commercial pet food is likely the most highly processed food in the world. “The magic of food technology sanitizes and camouflages the impurity of the product.” (Martin Zucker, author of Veterinarian’s Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats and Dogs) Now that we know this, is there any surprise that chronic disease in our pets is so widespread? Many animals are simply intolerant to the ingredients, and this is expressed through vomiting and diarrhea or other chronic health issues. Many veterinarians are seeing young or middle aged cats with liver, kidney, and other vital organs that are functioning as if they were elderly animals.

This all may sound scary to you, and it is. But the good news is, there are alternatives out there which can help your animal. Of course, the best alternative would be organic, home cooked food. However, if you don’t have time for that (and most people don’t), a couple good dry and canned brands I recommend are Cornucopia and Wysong. It is also helpful to add a vitamin and mineral supplement to their food to prevent early development of health issues. Some I recommend are Daily Health Nuggets and Dr. Goodpet’s Maximum Protection Formula (links listed below). Of course, if you are going to make changes in your cat or dog’s diet or food source, I always recommend getting guidance from your veterinarian in doing so. Our pets’ digestive systems are different than ours, and the transition may need to be done slowly and carefully.

Above all, you know your pet best! Notice changes in your pet’s behavior, stools, eating habits, and overall health condition…there could be signs of food intolerances or lack of sufficient vitamins and minerals. Our furry friends are members of our family, and when they are not feeling well, we are not feeling well. Let’s give them everything they need to thrive!

Upcoming Events:

Natural Health Fair for Pets and People

What: A free community even showcasing a puppy pool, superfoods for pets, natural pet treats, pet bodywork therapies, general pet nutrition information, raw foods, cakes, smoothies, free samples, and items for sale

When: Sunday July 28, 2pm-4:30pm

Where: 7920 Jackson Rd. Ann Arbor, MI


Suggested Readings:

The Veterinarian’s Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats

The Veterinarian’s Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs

Safe and Effective Alternative Treatments and Healing Techniques from the Nation’s Top Holistic Veterinarians
Author: Martin Zucker

Contributor: Andrea MacLaughlin – Hair Designer / Health Advocate