If you personally know me, you know that I am an animal lover. And for those who don’t know me, well now ya know! I grew up with dogs and now I have 2 cats and a dog.
Oh did you know me back in my cat hating days? Let me quickly explain…when I was little, I used to LOVE cats except they didn’t love me back & I was terribly allergic to them. Combined with the resentment of them not loving me & being allergic, I hated cats for a while…
In one of my apartments in Columbus, I decided I needed a companion and decided to give cats a try since a dog wasn’t allowed. I fell in love with one at the shelter that was so cuddly & acted like a dog. It was perfect! And my allergy? Yea it’s nonexistent now (I’m pretty sure it’s partly due to MY dietary changes as well as the quality food I feed my cats)
Meet Mr. Ash (I kept his shelter name & added the “Mr.”…he likes to keep it classy)
I quickly felt like a guilty cat mom as I was leaving my new family addition for 13 hrs or more when I worked at the hospital…so 12 days later Ziggy joined the tribe:
A year later, I decided the cats slept too much & I needed another new addition. In came Miss Maya Muffin Bird (names she goes by: Maya, Muffin, or Maya bird…and don’t act like you don’t have 2384761 pet names for your pets!!) I was living in a new apartment & convinced my landlord I needed a dog…for my safety and all ;) (actually Maya makes me feel SO safe…don’t mess with her!)
The cats said, “HEY MA, THE MEATLOAF……WAIT….. WHO THE EEFFFFF IS THIS?!?!”
But they eventually learned to live in (mostly) peace.
Ok what was I going to write about again? oh yea, feeding Maya a RAW DIET. The pets can easily distract me….
My obsession for human nutrition and also blossomed into a passion for pet nutrition as well (Disclaimer: I have no training in pet nutrition or vet medicine; everything stated comes from doing my OWN research. If you are interested in a raw diet for your pet, please consult your vet first)
You walk into the pet aisle in your grocery store & it’s filled with Kibbles n’ Bits, Puppy Chow, and a bunch of other popular brands you see on TV as being advertised as “healthy” & essential for your dog to eat . But have you taken a look at the ingredients? A lot of conventional dog & cat foods are full of useless grains, corn, soy, scary-named chemicals, things I cannot pronounce…yea would you eat that? No? Then why are your pet children eating it?
Dogs descended from wolves (obvi). What do wolves eat? No, not kibble…fresh, raw meat….they hunt that shit down! That is what nature intends for wolves….now I know there are some haters out there that will say domestic dogs are so different and aren’t designed to eat raw food…yes dogs are different than wolves but I don’t think their diet needs to be so different…
Feeding your pet raw food has loads of benefits including giving your pet healthy skin & a healthy coat, less shedding, decrease in allergies if present for the pet itself, decrease in producing allergens that irritate humans, less dental problems including less tooth decay & bad breath, decrease risk for developing diseases, and overall provides more happiness & energy for your pet. Their digestive system is designed to digest raw meat! David Wolfe has said that he used to be so allergic to cats until he started feeding them raw food…then they stopped producing allergens that bother humans…interesting isn’t it? (btw people are most often allergic to the saliva of cats & not the dander…since cats lick themselves everywhere, their saliva will basically dry & flake off causing allergies) There are essential, living enzymes in raw meat that are very beneficial to the health of cats & dogs.
The draw back? Raw pet food is pretty expensive..but so are frequent trips to the vet for allergy or skin problems or whatever. I’m actually feeding Maya half kibble/half raw right now. She was getting SO bored with her kibble so I thought it would be a perfect time to test out some raw food with her and she is LOVING it! It is what she is designed to eat! I may keep the half/half going because let’s be honest… Having her cold, raw food on hand isn’t always feasible, especially if we’re traveling. Feeding half & half also saves some $$.
Is all kibble bad? NO! This post is not to say you are a bad person for feeding kibble to your pets…quite the contrary! I simply want to bring awareness that our pets are what they eat as well, just like us humans :) Nutrition for them is as equally important to their well-being as it is ours. There are actually some outstanding kibbles out there (highly recommend Orijen, Merrick, or Horizon Legacy) that have good, quality ingredients & some are loosely based on the raw-diet philosophy.
Maya & the cats don’t have any grains in their food either (and if you’re wondering, the cats aren’t eating the raw food…they didn’t show interest in it so I’m sticking to their high quality kibble for now. cats are so picky!) If they were in the wild, what would they eat? Raw meat & some veggies if they could find them (Maya loves carrots!). Grains are usually just fillers in the food & don’t really provide any real benefit for the animal. A lot of times grains cause allergies in our cats or dogs & gives them skin problems. I feed the cats a grain free kibble that is comprised of meat, fruits & veg. Maya’s kibble is the same basic makeup & her new raw food is too. And don’t worry, they don’t need as much fiber as humans do! Raw food IS supposed to produce harder stools for the dog, which is actually beneficial. It makes them “push” more to eliminate & thus release their anal glands more so they don’t get clogged up…which if the glands get clogged they ultimately produce that awful smell, warranting yet another trip to your vet.
Just some food for thought for you pet lovers out there! If you take anything from this, let it be these 3 things:
- The first ingredient in your pets’ food should be pure MEAT (not meal) Look for “fresh-debonded chicken, salmon, turkey” etc.
- Limit/eliminate grains. I have read so many testimonials of allergies or other ailments clearing up for pets after the elimination of grains..so it may be something to look into!
- READ YOUR INGREDIENTS & LABELS. Don’t feed your pet anything artificial, chemical-loaded, soy/corn-loaded, or any ingredients that are suspect. Use this website to help you keep a look out for ingredients to avoid.
- Ok I lied, I have a 4th…I AM NOT A VET. Be a responsible pet owner, do your research, talk to your vet. I am in no way responsible for any outcomes your pet may have by switching diets but I’m just here to clearly provide some eye opening information! So please check with the vet first!
Love your pets & give them the best!