In line with the human medical profession, those of us caring for pets are working towards the prevention of disease, largely through a more natural diet.
How can diet help?
In the human field, there is an enormous amount of evidence to show that the more raw food is included in the diet, the less disease is suffered, particularly cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, skin disease, gum disease, dental and digestive problems.
All animals (including people!) evolved to function on raw food. There were no cookers or fires at that time, and certainly no tin-openers!
The basic energy currency for the body is enzymes, which are only present in raw food. They are destroyed by heat and most other forms of food processing.
In the wild, dogs and cats would eat herbivores, like rabbits, birds and fish, so they would be consuming raw meat, bones, offal and the guts. This combination is important because:
1) Raw meat and bone together provide the right balance of minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus, in a form available to the body as it has not been damaged by processing.
2) The guts contain well-chewed partially digested grass and vegetation, full of probiotics and their supporting prebiotics, antioxidants, enzymes, minerals and vitamins – a highly nutritious raw grass soup!
They also eat eggs, bark, herbs, roots, soil, ripe fruit, droppings and insects. Fresh, chemical-free water, preferably running in a stream, is what they choose to drink, not chemical-rich tap water! So filter your tap water or use glass bottled water!
How can I do this for my pet?
You can order good quality frozen minced meat and bone mix from numerous companies. I use the simple meat and bone minces, tripe and offal from: www.wolftucker.co.uk, www.honeysrealdogfood.com, www.nutriment.co I do not recommend the mixes with root vegetables or peas mixed in.
Most large pet shops sell packets of frozen minced raw meat and bone mixtures, e.g. Natures Menu.
Frozen food should be allowed to defrost at room temperature in a bowl, to preserve its enzyme activity. Do not microwave!
Dogs & some cats also need raw green leafy vegetables (liquidized or pulverised) mixed with the meat in equal volumes for dogs and a teaspoonful on a separate plate for cats to choose from.
Raw fruit snacks can be given between meals but not with the meat and bone (and not grapes). Cats love raw fresh sprats fed whole once or twice a week. Dogs & cats also benefit from offal (e.g. heart, liver, tripe) fed raw twice a week. Raw eggs are great too, with cats preferring the yolk alone.
Pet Plus for Cats or Pet Plus for Dogs is a powdered civilized version of the ‘grass soup’. When mixed in with their food every day, it provides plenty of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes. This beautifully complements the natural raw food diet that dogs and cats are designed to eat. If you are feeding a processed food diet, this powdered raw food concentrate is essential to help the body to digest, absorb and utilize it as well as providing thousands of valuable nutrients, which work synergistically.
Chewing raw meaty bones (like chicken wings and drumsticks, RAW) and whole raw fibrous vegetables (e.g. broccoli stalks and carrots) as well helps to clean the teeth and provides entertainment and satisfaction. Cooked bones are not given because they can splinter and are indigestible, often causing constipation and obstruction.
The important points of a natural diet are raw meaty bones, raw pulverized green leafy vegetables, probiotics, enzymes, lots of variety and fresh, chemical-free water (bottled or filtered tap water or rain water).