WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY DOG AND CAT??
What it would eat in the wild!
Over the last two or three million years our dogs and cats have evolved to eat the diet that is still eaten by wild cats and wolves. Remember that pet food only came into widespread usage after World War Two and is completely unnatural. To remain in top health your pet should eat a wild diet. This means simply that you need to mimic a freshly killed rabbit!
What is in a Wild Diet?
A wild diet is raw and contains bones and organs as well as meat. It has fresh vegetable matter. If a dog or cat kills and eats a rabbit it will consume the entire carcass, including the bones, guts and gut contents. The contents of the guts are semi-digested chewed up grass, roots and herbs.
If you don’t fancy catching lots of rabbits, gazelles and birds then there are foods easily obtainable from pet shops and rare vets that make wild feeding cheap and easy. These are outlined at the end of this pamphlet.
It Is Always Best To Try To Mimic Nature.
This is not a naive statement, although big business promotes their all-in-one brands as “modern, scientific and veterinary approved”. When you hear this, think patented, unnatural and expensive.
Our pets have evolved for millions of years. The superficial external changes we have created by selective breeding have altered their external appearance, but inside they are much the same as their remote ancestors.
Hence the best diet our companions could possibly receive would be what their wild cousins eat.
This fact is also now recognized as being true for people, with rawness, variety, and the heavily promoted daily 5 fruit and vegetables. This is in fact mimicking the diet of a primitive man.
Despite this knowledge about human nutrition, we are still advised that our pets need “scientifically balanced” diets. These are never varied, and may contain preservatives, other chemicals such as flavor enhancers, and too much salt. They may also contain foods such as soya, which a dog or cat would never have eaten naturally. There is nothing raw or fresh, and such foods bear no relation to what an animal would eat in nature.
Would we ever consider feeding our children or ourselves on such a diet – posh pot noodle for life?
Is there a connection with the fact that about 30 % of veterinary income derives from dental treatment? Could there be a link between pet food and the huge number of immune diseases present in our pets? Immune disease is where the body attacks itself and no “bug” is involved, or where the immune system just doesn’t function as it should. Immune disease of this sort is the vast bulk of chronic illness seen by vets every day. Examples of immune failure diseases are cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid conditions, eczema, asthma, liver and kidney disease, diabetes – in fact the number is too long to list.
In my practice between 1999 and 2004 a natural diet was suggested to most chronically ill animals, and many of them improved or were “cured” with no treatment being given.
So we must consider what a wild cat or dog eats to know what to feed our pets. It is raw, fresh and varied.
Raw food contains more vitamins and anti-oxidants than cooked food. The fats, proteins and sugars are in the form that their digestive systems have evolved to deal with.
Bones keep teeth clean and provide pets with something to chew, stimulating the digestive system. Cooked bones are not natural and can cause problems – raw bones are what dogs and cats have eaten forever. They produce a harder stool preventing anal gland problems. Such stools are also easy to pick up if they are deposited in inappropriate places. Bones should be fed with some meat on them – again as in the wild. Chicken wings or carcasses are ideal and cheap. Bones are available from your butcher. The butchers in Wiveliscombe and Williton are both aware of natural feeding and will sell large packs of chicken wings. These are ideal for feeding raw to dogs and cats, but other bones are OK too. Do not feed just bones as this can cause the stools to be too hard and constipation may result – meaty bones are best. Large beef bones can cause teeth to break occasionally.
The vegetable portion of the diet could be steamed or liquidized – remember the fresher they are and the less they are cooked, the more goodness will remain.
How Do I Manage To Feed A Natural Diet?
Some people make their own. For details on how to do this read ‘Give Your Dog A Bone’ by Ian Billinghurst. Alternatively you can put BARF (which stands for bones and raw food) into the Internet and receive pages of ideas, discussion and instruction.
A number of pet food companies understand what a healthy diet should be and make them for you. Two examples are Anglia Meat Products
with Natures menu
or Nature's Menu. A mixer biscuit to feed with them could be Holistic Wholebake made by Natural Choce
Ask your pet shop if they stock these.
A recent food which I think is excellent is Honeys Real Dog (or cat) Food email@example.com
Feeding your pet naturally is easy. We do not need specific all-in-one diets for our children or ourselves. Just remember raw, fresh (frozen), variety, bones, organs, flesh and vegetables liquidized or lightly cooked (steamed probably best).
MA Vet MB MRCVS VetMFHom RSHom PCH
Wiveliscombe Homeopathic Surgery
12 North Street Wiveliscombe