CATS: I have had cats for many years, and have learned much about how to keep them healthy. As part of my services, I am happy to consult with you on foods that I have used successfully with my cats; and also on high quality nutritional supplements that I have used, especially with elderly or ill cats. I do behavioral consultations on common cat behavioral problems, such as breaking litter box training, and successfully introducing cats to each other.
Like people, high quality nutrition is key. Did you know that basic veterinarian training in nutrition is limited to 3 hours, unless your vet specifically seeks additional training?
As with people, the quality, amount, and frequency of what you feed your animal can affect their health and longevity. Generally, the more processed a pet food is, the less nutritional value it will have for your animal. Dry food has been processed in more than one way from the original meat that it came from; and although many brands are tasty to your animals, beware of feeding only dry food, and leaving it out for long periods of time. In cats, leaving dry food out can have negative health effects, as they continuously breathe in its odor. This can affect the Ph of the animal, causing it to become more alkaline, and so there is more susceptibility to urinary tract infection.
"It just makes sense and is supported by my clinical impression, that cats do better with meal times of moist food. They are built to hunt at dusk and dawn, and eat prey that is 75% water. This translates to wet food at meal times. Dry food is very tasty and also addictive. Bored cats return again and again to entertain themselves. It is also degrading, leading to chronic low grade dehydration and kidney impact. If it's a must, better to feed it for an hour twice daily with no access the rest of the day, and add water. Ph. is affected by the carb-meat ratio. Carbs, like dry food, cause alkaline urine, and consequently crystals. Meat acidifies.” Dr. Perrin Heartway holistic vet and herbalist, www.perrinheartway.com
High quality, rather than inexpensive supermarket cat foods, is also important. Pets who eat at least some raw food, will tend to have less dental problems and need less dental cleanings, as this food is the closest to what our dogs and cats would eat in the wild, if they were not domesticated.
Canned food is an alternative. Select a brand that does not have additives, preservatives, or by-products added. Although these brands are more expensive, your animal's health will be benefit in the long run.
Animals should have some living food, such as fresh vegetables, like steamed green beans or grated raw zucchini, added on a regular basis.
Good sources on pet diet and holistic care include Dr. Richard Pitcairn's Guide to Holistic Health for Dogs and Cats, The New Natural Cat, by Anitra Frasier, and Diane Stein's The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats.
DOGS can also can benefit from the addition of vegetables and raw meats to their diets; these foods are healthy for them and they enjoy the variety.