Good Foods for Your Pets
Photo: Pebbles, a 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier, died of kidney failure after eating contaminated dog food that was later recalled during March 2007. Hundreds of pets perished before the deadly food problem was rectified. (Reed Saxon / AP)
March 31, 2007, updated Jan. 29, 2014
If you're concerned about what your 4-legged family member is eating, the following companies have been identified to make safe, healthful foods. Many of the foods contain only organic or human-grade ingredients. You'll find these websites openly list their products' ingredients as well as having helpful store locaters. Be sure to compare prices as retail prices, both in physical store and online, can vary.
Be prepared to pay more for top quality products, but remember that your pet's life expectancy can be significantly lengthened through better foods. You may also see greatly reduced vet bills because your 4-leggeds are getting nutrition for optimal health. People report their dogs and cats are more visibly fit, have higher energy levels and show sleeker, shinier coats. Debilitating, chronic conditions have been alleviated or eliminated entirely with a regular diet of these type foods.
If you haven't had time to listen to this video detailing what's in some commercial pet foods, a few highlights include:
Learn to read the label. Just like for human consumption, pet food labels must list ingredients in order of amount of content with the highest concentrations listed first. You don't want to see a label like this :
|Ingredients: (Note: 4 of the first 6 ingredients are derived from GRAINS!) Brewers Rice, Soybean meal, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, animal fat preserved with BHA, ground yellow corn...
Preserved by: butylated hydroxy anisole (BHA)
Coloring agents added: Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2 and other color.
Heathy pet foods include:
For a more complete list, look for ingredients like these.
Aren't your pets worth it?
SWITCHING YOUR PET'S FOOD
Changing your 4-legged's diet is something you want to do gradually. In addition to not liking a different-sized kibble, new smell or food texture, it may be hard on them internally. It's not that the change is harmful, but your pet may go through a period of detox. We noticed Taco certainly produced larger amounts of poop and of a different consistency until her system adjusted.
Though Seismo and Taco are brother and sister from the same litter, they are very different in temperament, abilities, food tolerance and dining habits. Taco, the female, is a very discriminating diner. She takes time to enjoy her meals and doesn't eat beyond "enough". Seismo, her brother, wolfs his food and is apt to eat anything not nailed down. If given the opportunity, Seismo may "help" Taco finish her meal.
When we committed to changing to more healthful pet foods, the transition was made gradually to avoid diarrhea or other stomach traumas.
They normally eat about 3 parts kibble to 2 parts canned or table food. To make the change, we took a large plastic container and mixed together 2 parts old kibble to 1 part new. After two weeks, the mixture went to 2 parts new kibble to 1 part old. After a month, they'll be eating only the new kibble with the canned or table food. Change any wet pet food in the same gradual manner.
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