We are what we eat, and that's the same for our pets. Dogs and cats and all animals have specific and different dietary needs. Learning what to feed our pets is an important lesson on how to take care of ourselves, too.
So, how can you ensure your pet's health with better and more appropriate food? And what can you do on either a limited budget or with limited time?
With classes on pet nutrition, people can find ways to supplement their pets' foods, make healthy food, or find the brands that will provide the best nutrition—and it doesn't mean that people have to cook for their pets or spend top dollar to provide nutritious food.
Healthy pets are happier pets.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Food
1. Can dogs and cats eat the same kinds of foods?
Dogs and cats have very different nutritional needs. Cats need meat as their primary source of food, about 75%. Dogs can tolerate vegetables and need some good carbohydrate sources. However, dogs (and cats) are generally feed too many fillers and grains that eventually lead to serious health issues.
2. Is dry cat food better or the same as wet food?
Investigative reporter, animal advocate and talk show host Tracie Hotchner writes that dry food will eventually kill a cat. Many will get diabetes, others suffer kidney failure, and still others urinary disorders and intestinal blockages. The cost of treating those ailments — leaving aside the extreme pain they cause — is much higher. Simply switching to wet food will improve your cat's health. But that may not be easy because cats can actually become addicted to kibble, which some vets now refer to as kitty crack. See www.whole-dog-journal.com
3. Do I have to cook for my pets to make sure they are getting a proper diet?
No. There are alternatives to cooking for your pet. Some people use raw-food diets already prepared and available at pet stores. Others used dehydrated raw-food diets and supplement with cooked meats. There are excellent brands of dry and wet dog food as well. Whole Dog Journal publishes an annual review of foods that is an exhaustive resource for pet owners. www.whole-dog-journal.com
Even by supplementing a dog's food with a few changes will improve nutrition. Cooked sweet potatoes are a better carbohydrate source than rice or corn; raw chopped parsley aids in mediating arthritis; and adding pumpkin to meals instead of more calorie-laden treats will help with weight reduction.