Every day we get dozens of questions from dog and cat guardians searching for answers to their companion’s health problems. Many of these folks have been to multiple veterinarians and spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars looking for a solution to whatever ails their furry friend. The question is almost always “What can I buy to help my dog/cat with ______?” (Fill in the blank with any of dozens of ailments or symptoms). They generally expect us to recommend an herb, supplement or remedy of some sort.
The answer, however, ALWAYS starts with one thing: FOOD. Many of these animals have been eating dry and canned food from the grocery store – almost all of which is of questionable quality. Not because their guardians did not have their pets’ best interests at heart, but because no one ever told these folks what a healthy diet IS for a dog or cat. Pet owners often shop for “the best” food available – but they don’t realize they are shopping in the wrong place.
Grocery stores do not carry the high-quality, natural foods that support the optimal health of dogs and cats. They carry mass produced, heavily marketed foods from the international giants of the grocery world such as Del Monte (9 Lives, Kibbles & Bits, Meow Mix); Mars (Pedigree, Whiskas, Sheba, Ceasar, Kal Kan); Nestle Foods (Purina, Friskies, Fancy Feast, Alpo, Mighty Dog, etc.); Procter and Gamble (Iams, Eukanuba); and Colgate-Palmolive (Hills Science Diet). These companies own pet food manufacturers because they are the perfect way to turn waste products from human food manufacturing into highly profitable junk food for pets.
Of course, they don’t market it as junk food. The bags are beautifully packaged with pictures of steaks and whole vegetables. The commercials show happy, healthy pets chowing down and enjoying every bite while their loving owners look on. The message is “If you care about your pet, feed them this!” You might see colorful banners on the bag exclaiming “With real beef!” But when you read the label, you find beef is not even in the first half dozen ingredients.
But then, you aren’t supposed to read that part of the label – the fine print. The ingredients list is there by law. If you read that (which you should after reading this) and find that corn is the main ingredient in the food you might just say “Wait, isn’t corn what cows and pigs and chickens eat? Vegetarians eat corn. Dogs and cats are carnivores. They eat meat.” Now you’re catching on! And it typically isn’t even whole kernel corn, it is the corn by-products left over from manufacturing human food products. And that “real beef” is going to be the parts of beef unfit for human consumption like intestines, udders, esophagi, and other scraps that couldn’t even be made into hamburger. It will be called meat by-products or, at best, beef by-products. Meat by-products includes 4-D animals: dead, dieing, diseased or disabled – including euthanized animals and pets.
So why pay more for natural pet food? Because they are manufactured by companies that make DOG and CAT food, not human food. They are made with human-grade ingredients: food that you or I could eat for dinner, not the stuff that belongs in the trash bin. Natural pet foods cost a little more because the ingredients are more expensive, and they are worth it. They are not sold in the grocery stores because the money is spent on ingredients, not marketing.
So for a little over $100 per year you can feed your dog or cat a diet that truly supports their health and well-being. A food that is meat based, not grain based. A food with ingredients a human could eat, not the stuff unfit for human consumption. You could prevent many of the diseases and illnesses that lead to multiple vet visits, and ultimately save lots of money on vet bills. Now that’s an easy decision to make!