Everyone knows “you are what you eat.” Unfortunately, this old saying rings true when it comes to common health problems that many pets experience today. Allergies, arthritis, hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease and even cancer are being traced back to a diet of poor quality kibbled pet food.
Many people don’t know that the typical dry, kibbled pet food may not be an ideal diet for dogs and cats. Because these animals are carnivores, their bodies do not require the carbohydrates present in dry pet food. After years of consuming a diet that doesn’t serve the body’s natural functions, it’s not a surprise when health problems occur.
Dr. Kelso’s solution is for people to consider raw, home-cooked, and dehydrated diets. Often she will prescribe such a diet to help with health concerns. Instead of fusing carbs and fats together at high temperatures like in the process of making kibble, a raw diet consists of uncooked, ground meat mixed with vitamins and minerals. A home-cooked diet (home-cooked diets must be balance, often not the case for recipes off the internet) is one in which pet owners add fresh meat to pre-made food, while in a dehydrated diet, the ingredients (usually raw meat and vegetables) have been put through a dehydrator to remove the water content. The water is re-added at home, and the food re-hydrates in 15 minutes.
Many times these types of diets don't fit into our busy lifestyles. Kibbled diets are not necessarily bad for your pet but quality varies widely and you need to pick a good brand.
Nutritional supplements and prescription diet pet food is also available for animals with special health concerns. For example:
Felines need a diet that is formulated to protect the urinary tract and keep it healthy. This is especially important for male cats. They can easily get plugged with improper diet and excess stress.
Allergic dogs should have a diet high in essential fatty acids. This is often best accomplished with a diet high in fish oil.
Dogs with arthritis should have extra fish oil and glucosamine in their diet to help with the inflammation in their joints.
Recommended diets include:
We also use a line of nutritional supplements to help with specific diseases. We use the Standard Process Supplements. They are food products that help support the body and are formulated for specific diseases. We use these alongside conventional medications and herbal therapies.
It's all about finding the perfect balance that suits each pet’s individual needs. Nutrition is all about progression toward keeping an animal more healthy. If you find the right diet, their bodies will get leaner, they lose those fatty pockets, and their coats get really nice and glossy.
It's also important to remember that nutrition is not an all or nothing deal. An animal’s overall health can be vastly improved by feeding raw, home-cooked, or dehydrated food alongside the usual dry kibble. Feeding a pet as many healthy meals as possible, even one meal per day, is better than nothing.