Choosing what to feed our dogs and cats has become quite the challenge.
There are many books and hundreds of ideas out there about what we should be feeding our pets. So how do you know what is right and what isn't right for your pet?
Everyone has their own beliefs about their pet’s diet but one key point that seems to be missing from a lot of the literature is INDIVIDUALITY.
Your pet is an individual. What one pet likes another one will not like. Willow hates carrots, my other dogs loved them. One loved cauliflower but hated broccoli. Our pets are as individual as we are, what diet works for one may not work for another.
To find the right “diet” for your pet, look at their response at meal time. Are they doing a “happy dance” when they see their bowl, or could they not care less? Willow prances about like a ballerina at meal times. I know she loves her food because her response indicates this. I also know which is her favourite as her “prancing” has different intensities.
If you have a pet that is wrinkling their nose up at their dinner; change it. Your pet is telling you that it hates the food! I don’t think I would be doing a happy dance either if I got dished up dry kibble or the same meal day after day. Our pet’s dietary requirements change as do ours. Their body knows what it needs to run at its best, we just need to listen and provide good quality foods.
There is no right or wrong answer about what you feed your pet; it is a very individual decision. However, in saying that I do urge you to read as much literature as you can about raw vs. kibble. An informed decision is always the best decision. Your pet is going to be the best judge of whether you have gotten it right or not!
If we go back to the wild roots of our animals when they hunt and kill for food no part of their kill is spared. In fact they eat the majority of their kill including the fur which is a very important source of fibre. Wild animals also feed off vegetation. When fresh meat is scarce; grasses, seeds and fruits are eaten to supplement their diet. As you can see their diet is very varied as it is dependent on availability of fresh meat.
Let's face it, commercial dog food is easy. You pick it up from the vet, pet shop or supermarket and that's the animals feed for the next few weeks or so. It's convenient and potentially cheaper than raw food. But is your pet doing the "happy dance"?
Going raw is more time consuming, but it is going back to the pets "grass roots". You know exactly what your pet is putting in its mouth. It is also a good bonding experience, mixing your pets dinner with your bare hands put's your energy and your essence into your pet’s food. This also helps enforce the pack hierarchy. When you feed raw, is your pet doing a happy dance?
I encourage you all to have a look at what you are currently feeding your pets.
Are they ecstatic when their dinner bowl comes out, are they literally licking the bowl to get every morsel?
If not, something needs to change.
Do the research. Go back to the grass roots but most of all, look to your pet for inspiration. You will know if you have got it right or not. Just look out for that happy dance!
Next week I will talk about how you can transition your pet easily over to raw food.