Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Common Pet Food Ingredients & Large Breed Puppy Growth

Every pet parent wants to feed their puppy a food that will help it grow to be healthy and happy, filling in all that loose skin. For large breeds, veterinarians and breeders often suggest a diet lower in protein, fearing the puppy may grow too quickly and develop skeletal issues. All dogs thrive on a diet rich in animal protein, and the real culprit in such cases may actually be the man-made vitamins and minerals routinely added to pet food.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, has established nutritional profiles for pet foods. However pet food manufacturers have the ability to determine what they will put in their formulas to reach those recommended nutrient levels.  Because most pet foods are formulated from deficient feed ingredients, chemically-synthesized forms of vitamins and minerals are routinely added. This is cheaper than using high-quality, whole food ingredients to begin with, resulting in more profits for the company.¹ 

Friday, October 21, 2011

How Obesity Affects Pet Health & Role of Pet Food Ingredients

Did you know there is a National Pet Obesity Awareness Day? In its 5th year, it fell on this past October 12, and perhaps it came and went mostly unnoticed by pet parents. Yet pet obesity is a growing problem which poses serious dangers to the health of our pets. Over 50% of pets in the United States are considered overweight or obese, and it seems that this phenomenon is only on the rise.¹

Friday, October 14, 2011

Concern Over Feeding People Food to Pets but Not Chemicals?

Newspapers, television, the internet and other information channels frequently report on the danger of giving human food to your pets. From chocolate to raisins to onions, experts cite the potential health threats various human foods pose to dogs and cats. To be clear, there is sound science behind why some human foods are not a good idea for pets. But why do these food threats warrant all this attention from veterinarians and other pet health experts, while those same experts continue to endorse or sell pet foods containing potentially harmful chemicals? While a few pets every year sadly do become ill from eating grapes, macadamia nuts, or another inappropriate human food, an overwhelming number of dogs and cats routinely eat pet foods with synthetic vitamins, minerals and other man-made ingredients.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Whole Foods Like Real Fruits Benefit Dogs' Urinary and Overall Health

The often overlooked, but mighty, cranberry has long been known to be beneficial for urinary tract health and maintenance not only in humans, but in pets as well. A recent study showed that a supplement containing proanthocyanidins, or PACs, was indeed helpful in maintaining dogs' urinary tract health. PACs are the bioactive component in cranberries, the part of cranberries that have an effect on living tissue.1 Incorporating whole foods, such as cranberries, in your pets' diet can not only help prevent urinary tract infection, but also provides a safe and natural source of all the nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tips to Ensure Your Cat’s Raw Food Diet Has Enough Taurine

With increased awareness of the importance of feeding cats a healthy, biologically-appropriate diet, many are choosing raw food for their feline friends. As natural carnivores, a raw food diet of meat is very healthy for cats, as long as it is nutritionally complete. One essential nutrient to be aware of in your cat’s diet is taurine. Selecting raw foods carefully will ensure your cat gets enough taurine for optimal health.

Cats Cannot Make the Taurine They Need

Taurine is an amino acid, one of many that the body uses to build protein. Taurine contributes to a cat’s health in a number of ways, including supporting vision, digestion, and heart function.