Grain Free Worries? Read This
There's been information coming out recently about grain-free pet foods leading to taurine deficiencies and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
There are ways to address this without succumbing to or returning to diets filled with grains! Remember that low quality, refined grains that show up in pet food - wheat, corn, ANY glutens, contribute to major health problems, such as diabetes and obesity. This is the reason responsible pet food companies started searching for alternatives. However, in searching for healthy alternatives, many companies simply substituted potatoes, peas, lentils, chick peas, etc. for the grains they removed. This was bound to lead to different problems, as now some tests are showing.
Taurine is the Key
Taurine is an essential amino acid that keeps hearts healthy in dogs and cats. Cat foods always have added taurine because cats do not produce it in their bodies. Most dogs produce enough taurine, but studies suggest that dietary factors and individual characteristics such as breed, age and activity levels can impact how efficiently a dog makes his or her own taurine. Many forms of DCM can be reversed with added taurine OR, better yet, a diet naturally rich in taurine.
I am a bit of a broken record about this, but feeding a balanced homemade diet, frozen raw or lightly cooked prepared meals are MUCH better than ANY kibble. Pay attention. Does the food "build a prey animal?" If it does, you avoid the problem of too many grains or too many legumes all together! Please do not get scared into thinking you have to go back to an inferior grain loaded pet food produced by a large corporation!
Build a Prey Animal
Dogs and cats are carnivores and are designed to eat specific things. Grains and legumes are not part of their natural diet. A mouse, rabbit, bird, etc. is made of...
1) Meat -- muscle. Wild game is not a dense in muscle as domestically bred chicken, turkey, beef, etc. There's a lower muscle to organ ratio in wild animals, so be sure your animal's meals have...
2) Organs -- heart, liver, kidney are the most important
3) Bone -- the calcium in bone is CRITICAL to buffering the phosphorus in the meat
4) Blood, connective tissue, cartilage. Raw frozen foods will contain much of these
5) Stomach contents - predigested vegetarian grasses, seeds, fruit and vegetables the prey animal ate. Obviously these are in small amounts compared to the rest of the animal.
To feed your beloved's correctly and for long term health..
1) Do your own research. See Dr Jean Hofve and Celeste Yarnall's book, Paleo Dog, for all the info on what needs to be in your companion's food and more. Dr. Karen Becker is an excellent resource of info as is Dr. Lisa Pierson on cats.
2) If you want to explore wholesome, healthy options for your dog or cat, and create a menu that fits your budget, please contact me for a session. Kate's Nutritional Consult.
It is my joy and privilege to help you keep your beloved animals healthy and happy for a long, wonderful life with you. Let's start 2019 off right and do this together!