What do I feed my pet?
I get this question very often. Wholesome ingredients, sometimes organic, the best I can feed. I am an advocate of trying to feed as much “real” food as possible to my family and to my pets. This means that I do read labels and shop at stores that don’t require me to analyze everything I pick up.
The first few ingredients are the most important. They should be whole sources of protein such as chicken, salmon, beef. Chicken meal is a good ingredient, just want to stay away from by-products. In one magazine I was just reading, they recommended that we as humans should try not to eat food with more than 5 ingredients! That’s a pretty tough order but a good idea. They said if that was not possible, just make sure that it is ingredients that you can pronounce.
Despite a few companies touting the health benefits of corn, please don’t buy into that! Corn is nice for a side to a meal occasionally but corn is very high in Omega 6s which are very inflammatory. Please stay away from foods with a corn and corn meal as one of their first ingredients. Examples are Pedigree, Science Diet, Iams.
Marketing to the consumer that wants the best for their pet is a big target and not one necessarily driven to the health of the animal. If you don’t believe it, just look at human nutrition in the United States in 2013. Look at the number of humans with diabetes, heart disease and other health problems due to unhealthy eating and lifestyles. We have replaced many foods with cheaper, long- lasting substances that make the foods easier to ship and store on a shelf. We want food to fuel the only body we have for a lifetime.
There is a good website that is a good reference for dog foods: www.dogfoodadvisor.com
To learn more about what to feed your cat, check out: www.catinfo.org/
How about homemade?
For those of you that would like to feed your pet homemade foods, we recommend Catered Canine and Feline located right here in Beverly. All the diets are nutritionally sound and balanced and the pets love them. They are available to be shipped right to your dog or at several local retailers.
Check out : www.cateredcaninecuisine.com
How do I feed my pet?
Our eyes are definitely bigger than our stomachs and our pets do not know how to say NO! So, like many of us, they are likely eating more than they need. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over 45% of dogs and 58% of cats in the US are estimated to be overweight or obese. It is now the biggest health threat to pets!
So what can you do to make a difference?
- Take a look at your pet. Is there is waistline? Can you see a tummy tuck?
- Take a look at the portions you are feeding your pet. Measure it out!
- If you can’t feel the ribs on your pet without a lot of pressure, time to adjust the feeding!
Start off by measuring out what you normally feed. Take out 25% of the volume and substitute with fruits and veggies. Stuart likes to eat peas. Madeline, my old dog used to eat lettuce! Do not feed grapes, raisins or onions. Some veggies that are popular include green beans, broccoli, summer squash, sweet potatoes, apple slices. Carrots are popular but they are very high in sugar so do try another veggie first.
I am so lucky to be able to exercise as much as I do. I remember thinking, “I don’t have time for a walk!” What was I thinking? By making a commitment to exercise, I have time and energy to work a twelve hour day. I know I am fitter that I was before. When our pets exercise, they help us get out there and get active, be healthy.
Make a commitment, 5 minutes a day. Maybe next week, you can make it ten.
Local retailers we recommend:
232 Main Street in Gloucester
Beverly Wild Bird Seed and Pet Supply
14 Rantoul Street in Beverly
Pet Life Store
at the Home Goods shopping Plaza Route 1 North Danvers
The Barking Cat
266 Essex Street in Salem
Wordly Pets of Marblehead
112 Pleasant Street in Marblehead
242 Andover Street (Rt 114) in Danvers
Beaver Valley Farm in Pelham, NH for our clients north of the border!