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Natural Pet Foods Are Going to the Dogs

Jan 8, 2008
Not surprisingly, many pet owners are now passing along some human lifestyle habits to their furry housemates. For a number of reasons, pet owners are opting to provide their animal companions with dietary choices once reserved for humans. Maintaining a proper diet regimen for our pets has always been an important responsibility of overall pet ownership. The trend toward more healthy pet foods has been growing for several years.

Dogs and cats are susceptible to many of the same diseases as their human counterparts. Diabetes, heart disease and other medical conditions strike pets with some regularity. Prevention or treatment of these illnesses often requires changes to the animals diet. My own beloved Golden Retriever was stricken with canine diabetes that required daily doses of insulin and very careful monitoring of his blood glucose.

Just like a human with this debilitating disease, Einstein needed a very special diet in order to control his weight and keep his blood glucose levels in line. A local vet recommended a very expensive brand of food that was not much different in nutritional content then the cheaper stuff.

After consulting several veterinary specialists, we settled on a combination of off the shelf foods that worked fairly well. We would occasionally prepare home cooked meals for this sweet dog, following the same dietary prescriptions that would be used for humans. We found recipes that contained high protein levels, and were low in fat and carbohydrates. Vegetables like green pepper and zucchini made great snacks.

Aside from the obvious need to treat a medical condition with proper diet, many pet owners are looking for ways to prolong the life and good health of their animal companions. Home cooked pet food recipes are widely available giving pets access to some foods that they would only dream about while napping on the couch. Begging at the dinner table has become a thing of the past for many pets. Providing the proper balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates can be tricky at first, but some types of people food can be prepared to your pets benefit.

In 2005, there was a nationwide scare over pet foods that had been contaminated with a naturally occurring grain fungus. The fungus produces the poison aflatoxin that resulted in the recall over a dozen brands of dog and cat food. Sadly, there were reports of pets that died or became seriously ill because of the contamination.

Pets were again put at risk in 2007 when two cases of pet food contamination reportedly caused the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats world wide. Two industrial chemicals, aminopterin and melamine, was found in dozens of pet food products. Two massive product recalls were ordered but not before thousands of family companions died or became seriously ill. Pet owners were forced to spend enormous amounts of money to treat their sick pets.

These tragic events have driven more and more pet owners to reconsider what their pets eat. As a result, the market for natural and organic pet foods has grown significantly. Many pet owners are not only cooking for themselves but for their pets as well. When preparing food for your pet, always consult a veterinary professional. Cats, dogs and other domestic pets have very different dietary needs and owners need to educate themselves before firing up the stove.

When choosing a store bought pet food product, take the time to read the content labeling carefully. Just like humans, our pet companions need us to provide them with a balanced diet. If you have questions about what is best for your pet, always consult a veterinary professional.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info. Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.
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