Let’s Talk Nutrition for Our Dogs and Cats…
Dry food is not a healthy option for dogs and it absolutely is not for cats.
Dogs are carnivores who do best on raw muscle meat, organ meats like heart and liver, raw bones, and (optionally) a little bit of well cooked vegetables, fresh fruits such as berries, watermelon, or banana, and occasionally a bit of soaked and slow-cooked grains (but not too much). We sell Marty’s Meals for dogs and cats who board with us, and we also sell raw meaty bones by the pound.Dog food manufacturers (and many vets who sell kibble) want you to believe that their product is better for your dog, but it is simply not true. It may be more convenient, but it is NOT healthier for their teeth and gums or their vitality. But wait? Doesn’t feeding kibble to my dog keep their teeth clean? Kibble to a dog is like eating a cookie to a human. If you eat a box of cookies, do your teeth feel clean? Mine don’t. That’s the first myth. The second is that kibble, (whether it is a $4 bag or a $80 bag) by design, is a highly processed non-food whereby the process to extrude the small shapes takes all the nutrition and vitality out of the food. Then, flavoring and nutrients (that have been processed out) must be added back in. Yuck.
Take a moment and look at your dog or cat’s teeth, especially those molars in the back. If you are feeding kibble, there is a very good chance that you will find tarter and possibly even bleeding gums. That is not a healthy animal. Sure, you can pay a vet to put your dog (or cat) under anesthesia to clean those teeth (and pay $$$) OR, you can feed a species appropriate diet that will be nutritious whole food without the need for sprayed on flavoring and synthetic supplements. Feeding kibble to your dog is like eating fast food, every day, without the benefit of a toothbrush.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their biology, tooth structure, and digestion are only able to process meat and fat. No vegetables, no fruit, and especially no grains. A mouse is the perfect ratio of meat and fat to bone to fiber that a cat can eat. Cats lack the salivary amalyse enzyme to digest carbohydrates. Plant-based proteins do not contain the full spectrum of amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and cats need them to thrive. In addition, cats do not have a high thirst-response; which means that they obtain the majority of their water intake in the form of their prey. So cats fed a dry kibble diet typically will not make up for the lack of moisture by drinking enough water, which in turn leads to serious consequences down the road, including kidney and urinary tract issues. Even feeding a high-quality canned food is preferred, as the canned food has a higher moisture content.
For more information on how to feed your cat a proper species-appropriate diet, check out:
Cat Info Common Sense, Healthy Cats by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
Feline-Nutrition A wealth of information on the care and feeding of your feline
Kibble is a convenience food. Convenient for the humans, but at what cost?
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