NorCal Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital believes pets are one of the most wonderful and valued members of a family. Therefore, their health is equally as important as the humans they live with.
Just as every person, in the San Mateo and surrounding area, must pay attention to his or her health, NorCal Vets knows well that a pet’s good health should also be a top priority.
Good health begins with great nutrition, and great nutrition begins with a healthy diet. But, what is a healthy diet?
For years, inside and outside San Mateo, processed canned and bagged foods were all the craze as manufacturers advertised these corn, soy and grain-filled products to be the one and only safe way to guarantee a pet’s good health. However, veterinarians and animal hospitals started a few pet health issues that could possibly be related to a processed food diet for certain pets, including:
- Obesity (40% of all dogs are obese)
- Respiratory issues
As a result, pet owners, veterinarians and
animal hospitals began to question the nutritional value of processed foods and started to turn to a whole-food diet. This diet consisted of raw meats in all their varieties.
The result of this effort seemed to show success, as we have also seen at our animal hospital, in the following areas:
- Better digestion
- Healthier gums
- Stronger teeth
- Leaner bodies
- More energy
- Shinier coats
While these are the positive results,
attention should be given to some of the negative effects of this whole-food diet program, including:
- Raw meat containing dangerous bacteria that could make a pet ill
- Chunks of meat and bone that could become a choking hazard
- Bone pieces that could cause an obstruction or perforation
- Severe diarrhea
- Being more expensive
- Being more time-consuming
Even if the truth is found somewhere in the middle, the first fact everyone agrees on is that every pet should be examined by a reputable veterinarian to see what will best fit the needs of that specific dog or cat.
A whole-food diet should also be accompanied by some guidelines to keep your pet safe, namely to:
- Wash all eating bowls and utensils after each feeding
- Store meat in freezer until two to four days before feeding
- Always thaw food in refrigerator
- Not keep food out for more than 30-40 minutes.
- Always discard leftovers
- Look for signs of illness or reaction
When it comes to a whole-food diet, two-thirds of a pet’s meal should be meat and/or muscle. Any combination of meats can be used, including beef, chicken, pork, goat, lamb, etc. However, a specific diet by a veterinarian should be chosen to meet the needs of your individual dog or cat.
To learn which diet will bring the best health and longest life to your pet, contact consult your family veterinarian.