Holistic Pet Foods

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Holistic pet foods are part and parcel of holistic living and are also part of our responsibility to ensure that our pets enjoy good health. It is now meal time.

What Are Holistic Pet Foods?

Whether canned or dry, cooked or raw, holistic pet foods should provide a cat or dog with what they would eat if left on their own. Cats and dogs are carnivores. While they have been domesticated for thousands of years, their digestive systems don't know that. The first ingredient in their diets should therefore be meat, not cereal: turkey (not rice), chicken (not wheat), or beef (not corn). These are the best ingredients for our pets. There should be nothing else.

Dogs and cats need the enzymes that raw meat provides. It's that simple. Ideally, holistic pet foods will be fresh, but that's not always possible. Fortunately, there are natural and holistic pet foods on the market that take this into account.

It is almost easier to describe holistic pet foods based on what they are not: chemical additives and carcinogenic preservatives (ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT) speak for themselves. No holistic pet food will have these ingredients. Less transparent is ash (made up of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals), not because it is harmful, but because it is largely filler. What isn't digested (needed) goes out as waste. Diets high in ash can increase some health risks. A quality pet food will list the precise ash content. These quality foods will not include any unidentified animal by-products (such as feet, feathers, intestines), artificial colors, or artificial flavors.

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