Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Living Naturally

Living Naturally: "Cater to Your Pet with more than just Kibble

Posted: 7/19/2006 1:27:00 PM

Variety is the spice of life. All things in moderation. Most people hear these familiar sayings and incorporate these ideas into their dietary habits by choosing from a wide variety of different foods every day. Yet when it comes to our pets, many of us simply open a bag of dry kibble or a can of wet food. We feed our pet the same diet, day after day, because it is convenient and inexpensive. But for optimum health, our companion animals should also be enjoying a varied diet rich in fresh meats, vegetables, grains and even fruit. Varying your pet�s diet doesn�t mean you have to devote hours to becoming a gourmet pet chef and cooking all your pet�s meals at home, but there are some simple and tasty ways to improve your pet�s health and longevity.

First, to get an idea about what is really in your pet�s current food, look at the ingredient list on the bag of pet food in the pantry or on the supermarket shelf. The first ingredient is typically some kind of �meal� such as lamb meal, chicken meal or meat-and-by-product meal. This �meal� is actually a ground mixture of parts of the animal which is not considered fit for human consumption, including byproducts of slaughterhouse production of meats and waste products such as intestines, beaks and bone. Considering that cats and dogs in the wild would catch and eat their prey whole, this is not a fundamental problem, except that sanitary conditions in slaughterhouses are not regulated concerning these waste parts. So they may contain disease and contaminants including antibiotics, hormones and drugs used to anesthetize the animals before slaughter. In the process of making the �meal,� the components ar"
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