The big business of pet foods in todays world of convenience with hundreds of ready-made foods to choose from can make anybody’s head spin and leave you wondering what is the best choice and do I really need a high protein pet food.
What Does A High Protein Pet Food Look Like
The basic formula of a high protein pet food just needs to be more protein, more fat and low carbs
So let’s take a closer look at this seemingly simple guideline
- There needs to be a high quality protein source such as chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, bison, rabbit or fish. Eggs are also a good source of protein and have the added benefit of calcium when given the crushed shell as well. In my opinion eggs should be given every other day with the shell (organic only so as not to feed added hormones or antibiotics) and If feeding a dry kibble the meat source should be the first ingredient.
- It must contain a natural fat and oil source. Most products that have meat as the first ingredient should meet the criteria from the animal fat but you can also supplement with coconut oil.
- The percentage of carbs must be fairly low. And they should be a natural source such as peas, carrots, sweet potatoes or green beans. White potato, corn, wheat or soy are not the best choices and should be avoided if possible.
- Be sure there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
- There should be no synthetic vitamins or additives
Commercial Pet Food Ingredients – Where Do They Come From
Most commercial foods use products that are not fit for human consumption. They use the waste and scraps and rejected products that were not allowed to be used in human food.
It is well-known that meat producers raise animals (cows, chickens, pigs etc.) in unsanitary overcrowded facilities causing them to have to administer antibiotics just so they can keep them alive long enough to send to slaughter.
These animals are fed genetically modified, pesticide contaminated corn, wheat and soy and given growth hormones to expedite their growth and weight gain so they can send them to slaughter sooner.
When they get to the slaughterhouses many of the animals are already sick, hurt or dying. The ones that are still alive are processed for human consumption and the rest are sent to rendering plants where they will be processed for other uses such as pet food.
The corn, wheat and soy that is used for most commercial brand pet foods are the spoiled, moldy, pesticide coated GMO products that didn’t make the human grade requirements.
They Don’t Have To Tell You
We know what is in our pets food by reading the labels right? WRONG! The regulations for pet food manufacturers only make the manufacturer list the ingredients they actually add. So when they say “corn”, they are covered. But what they don’t have to tell you is the “corn” (or wheat or soy or other ingredients as well) that they used in your pets food was covered in preservatives that are listed as hazardous chemicals. Chemicals that are not allowed for human consumption and they don’t have to disclose it because they didn’t actually “add” it.
They’re Pets Not Human So Why Do I Need To Worry About It
Preservatives are added to extend the shelf life. The ready to eat foods sit at the packaging plant waiting to be shipped then sit at the retailer waiting to be sold and then sit in you home waiting to be fed to your pet. By the time your pet gets a chance to eat the food it is likely already rancid and could be months old.
Have you ever come home from work to find your dog or cat still has not eaten their breakfast… I wonder why.
These ingredients can wreak havoc on your pets immune system, gastrointestinal tract, cognitive development and overhaul health. Many pets are sensitive to the products and these sensitivities will manifest as allergies such as itchy dry skin, hot spots, ear infections, excessive shedding, sores between their toes, gas, bloating, weight gain and lethargy eventually leading to illness, disease and shortened life span.
So What Can You Do
Find a pet food that uses real meat sources, preferably a food labeled as human grade, organic, grass-fed, pasture raised or the minimum of antibiotic and hormone free.
There are several products on the market today that are as close to a natural diet as you can get while still be convenient. Brands such as Vital Essentials, Northwest Natural, Primal Pet Foods, Stella & Chewy’s are just a few that offer freeze-dried options and some offer frozen as well.
And there is always the option of making your own. If you choose this route please consult with your veterinarian to make sure it is the right choice for your pet.
Remember that your cats and dogs are unique carnivores with special dietary needs and just as humans can become sick and diseased by eating the standard American diet your pets can become ill by eating a sub par inappropriate diet as well.
Your pets will THRIVE on a high protein meat based diet not just survive.
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