If you are about to become a new puppy/kitten owner, I’m sure you are anxiously awaiting the day your new bundle of joy comes home. You probably already have everything you need, dishes, toys, etc… but what kind of food are you going to get?
One thing is certain. You want the best for your dogs and cats. If you are one of the increasing numbers of pet parents who are starting to question the idea that a dry kibble diet is optimal for their pet’s health: I applaud your bravery! If you do your internet research, there are literally HUNDREDS of articles on raw feeding with different ways to make the diets and all claiming to be the best and right way to feed pets. There are commercial complete meals and non-complete meals, as well as various methods of home preparing. You may find it difficult to decipher what the best route for you and your pet family. If you are confused, you are not alone. There is a whole lot of grey and the fuzzy area between random fresh food feeding plans and optimum nutrition for young animals.
As a Full Circle vet technician, I had the pleasure of attending a holistic veterinary medicine conference lecture series given by a veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, who is well versed in whole food feeding pet nutrition. She started her six-hour lecture series telling the 60 some holistic veterinary professionals in attendance, that it is our responsibility as practitioners to KNOW that our patients are getting a species appropriate balanced diet, especially when it comes to our young and growing patients.
Why might you ask is this so important? Growing animals have more specific nutritional requirements than adults. This includes things like specific amounts of calcium and phosphorous for normal bone development and requirements for other vitamins and minerals mandatory for healthy muscle and cardiac development. What some feeders may not realize is that raw feeding is more than simply following a particular meat, organ and bone ratio because some minerals and vitamins are very difficult or impossible to obtain without extra supplementation. For instance; vitamin D and E which are very important for skin health, as well as the minerals iodine and zinc for healthy hormonal and immune functions, are often incorrect in raw diets. The interactions between vitamins, minerals and fats are also important as too much or little of one may alter the body’s uptake of another.
Adult animals can function for quite some time with nutritional deficiencies, though have no doubt, eventually, if they are fed a diet that is indeed deficient, it will catch up with them. Puppies and kittens are not so resilient and can show life-threatening symptoms of deficiency.
Rather than deterring you from starting your pet’s life off right with a fresh, whole food diet, use this information to empower you to find a veterinary team experienced in raw and cooked home food feeding. With their support and guidance, continue your search for the best, optimally balanced diet for great puppy and kitten health. At Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives, we have a wealth of experience, knowledge and resources for successfully feeding raw or cooked home prepared food for pups and kittens including balanced recipes, books and great commercial complete diets to help get you started on your journey.
I look forward to guiding you through your pet’s young life.
Written by Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives