Dogs and cats are carnivores. Their jaws are designed to go up and down. They do not have the ability to “grind” their food with their molars. They grab their prey, tear the flesh off, and then gulp it down. Their digestive systems are short, designed to facilitate a quick in and out of a seasonal variety of live caught foods. They choose for themselves fresh, living, and clean foods providing high levels of protein and moisture, a moderate amount of fat, and a low amount of carbohydrates. That is what God called “the best” for them. Sadly, most of today’s pets are given foods which are a far cry from God’s best. (Genesis 1:30, Psalm 147:9)
Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, has listed these 13 food choices from best to worst for your pet. Check to see where your food sits on this list.
- Nutritionally balanced raw, homemade diet – This food must include all the trace minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, etc., that your pet needs for a body that functions in optimum health. Leaving out the important parts can cause a variety of health problems particularly in young animals.
- Nutritionally balanced cooked, homemade diet – This food gives the same quality of food as above minus the enzymes and phyto-nutrients in living foods.
- Commercially available balanced raw food diet – Find these in the freezer section of the store. The make-up of these foods vary widely, so check for quality ingredients and an appropriate ratio of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates to each of the other ingredients.
- Dehydrated/Freeze-dried raw diet – These will be convenient for people on the go. Note that balanced fatty acid profiles on these food may be negatively impacted.
- Commercially available cooked or refrigerated food (a new category) – This category is expanding wildly. Although the proteins are slightly affected by the heating process, the moisture amount is superb. Highly processed foods aren’t as fresh and don’t provide as great nutrient value as this category.
- Human-grade canned food – Be sure the website states the food is human grade (doesn’t contain poor quality or rendered unidentified proteins) or conclude it isn’t. The down side of this category is the expensive price tag.
- Super premium canned food – This food can easily be found in large chain pet stores and many veterinary clinics. Be advised the ingredients are “feed-grade”, but the moisture content is good. Many of the food ingredient ratios are excellent.
- Human-grade dry food – The biggest drawback of this category is the inappropriate moisture content compared to God’s best for dogs and cats. Even those listed as “grain-free” have added starches/carbohydrates that can cause inflammation. Also, “extruded” (versus baked) proteins have been found to be carcinogenic. Make sure the label states the food has used the “baked” preparation process.
- Super premium dry food – Easy to find, these foods are extruded but usually naturally preserved. They contain added grains and starches which are not God’s best choices for your animals.
- Grocery store brand canned food – Even though the moisture content of this food is good, there are high levels of unnecessary and toxic preservatives and other chemically based add-ins.
- Grocery store brand dry food – These choices have all the problems of the canned foods plus the lack of appropriate moisture.
- Semi-moist pouched food – These choices are really bad. To make this food semi-moist, the undesirable preservative propylene glycol is added. This preservative negatively affects an animal’s health (and yours, too, in your food.)
- Unbalanced homemade diet – raw or cooked (chicken and rice doesn’t cut it!) Dr. Becker reports that many veterinarians have treated animals who have been negatively impacted by a well-meaning owner’s unbalanced diet. Providing for your pets nutritional needs must be taken seriously or left to the professionals.
Are you feeding your pet(s) as well as God intended? Where can you make adjustments that will improve your pet’s diet and ultimately his health?