6 Facts about pet nutrition
The 6 points listed below are from the Pet Nutrition Series I created on my Instagram account.
1. Kibble is made primarily with grains (except high quality kibble) because they are cheap (cheaper than meat). The problem is: cats and dogs are not grain eater by choice, they are both carnivores. Dogs have the ability to digest carbohydrates (such as grains) while cats simply can't (they don't produce enough of the enzymes to break down and assimilate carbs). So what do kibble manufacturers use to entice pets to eat grains? They spray it with palatability enhancers which encourage pets to eat more kibble than they really need. Grains are high in sugar and therefore it is not surprising to see such an epidemic of overweight pets. Diabetes is also becoming increasingly common in both cats and dogs.
2. Kibble contains very little moisture (5 to 10% at best) while raw food has a moisture content of 70 to 80%. Cats, unlike dogs, don't naturally drink water and get their water requirements from the prey they hunt. In fact, cats have a delayed thirst response so when kibble fed cats drink, they are already quite dehydrated. As such they are constantly in a state of dehydration. Water is a vital nutrient and as you can imagine, this may lead sooner or later to health problems. Currently ⅓ of cats on kibble will develop kidney failure sometime in their life.
3. In commercial pet food found in supermarkets, it is common to find the following ingredients:
Animal protein Animal fat
But what is it exactly? These macronutrients (fat and protein) come from various animals including roadkill, dead zoo animals, euthanized farm animals, rotted supermarket meat, dead on arrival animals to the slaughterhouse. All this is cooked and rendered at high temperature to kill all bacteria. The fat floating at the top once the animals/meat have been cooked is collected and is used as a palatant (see first post of the series) in kibble.
4. Comparing the macronutrients in the primordial diet vs processed dog food: Wolf stomach contents from the North West Territories were analyzed and experts found out that proteins represent 49% of the calories, fat is 44% and carbohydrates 7%. Now let's compare these numbers against the average processed dog food: Proteins 20% Fat 30% Carbs 50%
Dogs are carnivores with omnivorous tendency, and we can question the ratio of carbohydrates that make up to 50 % of the calories vs 7% only for the primordial diet (wolf diet). Food for thought... (no pun intended)
5. The top 3 raw feeding myths:
1. Raw food contains harmful bacteria such as Salmonella If you think kibble is sterile, think twice (remember the numerous recalls over the past years?)! With basic hygiene, there's nothing to worry about.
2. The raw diet is not balanced and complete Nobody, including commercial pet food companies, really knows what a dog balanced diet is (it is a bit clearer regarding cat food). With some basic knowledge, it is easy to prepare meals with all the necessary macro and micro nutrients.
3. There's no science regarding the benefits of fresh foods Many studies in human nutrition have proven fresh foods are healthier than processed food. The University of Helsinki has been doing research over the past 15 years on the relationship between dog diets and dog diseases (check it out on Youtube: https://youtu.be/YWYgYbDhuE8).
6. Benefits of raw feeding:
1. Smaller and less odorous stools 2. Shinier coat 3. Improved energy level 4. Weight management 5. Stronger immune system 6. Fresh breath and whiter teeth
If you want to take the leap and switch your dog or cat's diet, do not hesitate to contact me for a consultation (via Skype, FB or IG). I have more than 7 years of experience feeding raw and I am Raw Dog Food certified. I will guide you step by step and answer all your questions. Advice and information provided during consultations are personalized for each animal according to his age, lifestyle and health condition. I also incorporate food energetics based on Traditional Chinese Medicine principles.