IS A RAW AND NATURAL DIET REALLY THE BEST CHOICE?
As leaders in the animal health industry who know the importance of nutrition for healing, we get asked this question daily. Interestingly enough, most pet owners already are aware of the answer. It’s actually in our DNA! It is inherently programmed that the closer to nature’s pattern in an animals’ diet, the healthier they will be.
While that sounds very simplistic, we are under constant siege from endless claims being made by processed food companies promoting products such as all-natural, organic, healthier and so much more. We’ve said it so many times before… How do we know who to believe and why? What do you need to look at in order to achieve optimal health and live life to the fullest?
First, let’s take a look at it scientifically. Nature has always provided everything for all creatures on this planet in order to live, thrive, procreate and survive. In the thousands of years of recorded history, there hasn’t been any new species created. This means that every animal species existing today has survived thousands of years without being introduced to processed foods. Canines and felines, both carnivores, still have that ability to hunt and thrive in the wild. When our domesticated companions escape or are dumped into the wild, most of them quickly adapt back to their natural origins. Yes, they are more likely to have more daily challenges when we are not aiding them; however the natural system provides survival.
A carnivore has a digestive system designed specifically to digest and convert animal-based foods into metabolic energy. Herbivores like cows and sheep are designed to do the same with grasses and vegetation. Food companies do not take this same view as their approach is from a profit motive. To them, a protein is the same regardless of the source and they are not worried about the nutritional content or bioavailability of those nutrients.
Observe the practical and economical side being that dogs and cats simply require meat and fish. Is it possible for pet food manufacturers to use the same ‘human quality’ meats that we purchase in the supermarket at $5.00 a pound, cook it, process it, add vitamins and preservatives, package, ship, distribute and retail it for a mere 45 cents a pound? After all, isn’t that what the advertising and packaging imply?
The simple truth is feeding a species appropriate raw food diet will cost you the same or less than a premium kibble pet food. Because of the raw food’s metabolic density, your pet will eat much less. The focused metabolic energy builds the immune system, keeps your pet healthier saving you money on flea and tick control as well as other veterinary expenses. Healthy animals naturally repel parasites and heal themselves when minor challenges arise.
Here is a great example: No species of creatures on the face of the Earth destroys their food by cooking it except Man. Recently a Public TV program about Asian Elephants showed them frolicking in the lakes of Sri Lanka, drinking the muddy water while urinating & defecating in the same water along with all the other animals in the area. Do they get Salmonella, E.Coli or other major pathogens? Do they die? Well, yes and no. The ones that succumb to these challenges are usually the immune suppressed. It’s survival of the fittest… the natural way! A part of the program also mentioned that these animals need specific plants in their diets that are becoming more rare because of mans’ encroachment.
If elephants have specific dietary requirements from certain plants, why wouldn’t your dog or cat have the same? In nature, if primal or feral or reverted natural, they seek out prey… warm, raw meat, fish, poultry & eggs. Shouldn’t we be following the same to provide the most biologically appropriate foods for our pets? When did highly processed, high temperature cooked, chemically laden foods become the standard? What is natural about this kind of food?
The closest we can come to this in most civilized areas is just plain raw meats and natural herbs… a lot of variety & raised or grown as naturally as possible.
The truth be told, if you want to see the results, ask pet owners that have already chosen the raw and natural! Observe their pets with the healthy, shiny coats at the dog park or the local dog deli. Better yet, find the naturally rearing breeders that have generations of pets living and thriving naturally.