Natural Pet Foods

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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What are natural pet foods? A fair question. Skipping over debates about semantics, let us settle on the term meaning, "foods derived solely from a plant, animal or mineral source, without additives and not subjected to any chemical process." The first two responsibilities we have towards our pets are providing them with both food and water. So far so good.

Why Natural Pet Foods?

The goal is good health and a full life, correct? A proper diet of natural pet foods, which will manifest itself in a healthy coat, skin, and bones and a robust immune system, is the first step to reach that goal. Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are the second step. Cats and dogs are natural carnivores. In the wild, their diet would be based on raw meat, raw bones, and a bit of vegetation. Their diet of natural pet foods should reflect that.

Domesticated, they eat largely what large corporations and advertising firms have decided on. Despite possibly good intentions, these companies all have their profit margins in mind. Take a good look at the list of ingredients in any brand of cat or dog food typical of the mid or late 20th century. At the top of the list are cooked grains and animal by-products. Grains? Dogs and cats are carnivores. Grains are inexpensive fillers. By-products? These are animal parts that are not muscle. Yes, they can be liver or bone marrow, feathers, fur, or--as the George Carlin line about hot dogs goes--rodent hairs and roach droppings. After these (and a healthy ingredient or two) come the chemical preservatives and traces of mercury or BHA and BHT.

The alternative is a combination of fresh raw foods and naturally prepared raw foods. Look for these types of ingredients in natural pet foods that truly help your pet avoid cancer, diabetes, allergies, fungal infections, and digestive disorders, to name a few.

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