The health and wellbeing of felines and canines is just as important yours and all members of your family’s.
Making sure that your pets get a healthy balanced diet, while ensuring they get as close to a natural prey-based diet of cats and dogs, is becoming more common thanks to a growing awareness among pet owners about their pet’s wellbeing.
Commercial pet foods are much like packaged and processed meals made for human consumption. In spite of its convenience, they contain additives, bulking agents and lose much of the nutritional benefits of meat or fish.
The pet food industry is a huge business, owned by corporates including Nestlé which has often been criticised for the destruction of the environment in its rabid need to produce its products, including continuing to bottle water in desert regions of California that are already struggling with water shortages. Nestlé, which markets its pet foods under the Purina brand, has many other controversies to its name. While such commercial pet foods are convenient, they do not take into consideration the health of pets.
Feeding a raw food diet to felines and canines is most beneficial in taking responsibility of their nutrition. When it comes to preparing a raw food diet it is recommended that a nutritional supplement, usually a premix, is added to the meal in order to ensure they get a balanced diet.
For example, cats require taurine, an essential amino acid, which is found in animal-based proteins. It is critical for normal vision, normal digestion, normal heart muscle function, to maintain normal pregnancy and fetal development, and to maintain a healthy immune system. Chicken hearts are a major source of taurine, but they may not be the easiest to source, if you desire to feed your kitty a raw food diet.
According to Feline Nutrition Foundation, what supplements do is they make up for the fact that pet owners aren’t feeding cats the whole prey diet they would get in the wild.
If feeding your pets a raw food diet resonates with you, do research into pet nutrition. Be aware that some vets are not supportive of a raw food diet, claiming there is a risk of contamination in handling raw meat. This is no different to handling meat for human consumption. So use your intuition to see the truth of the situation.
If preparing a raw food diet for your pets may not be convenient for you, there are now a growing number of pet food companies that sell raw foods and nutritionally balanced foods for cats and dogs.
Check out our guide to pet companies, all of which are local and independent, who are championing natural pet foods that are wholesome and nourishing. Try different brands until you find the right one that your pet likes.
Lily’s Kitchen is probably the most well known pet food business in the UK, offering natural and holistic meals. Free from artificial additives, preservatives, colours or flavours, Lily’s Kitchen’s range of pet food for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats is gently cooked in small batches without losing their nutritional integrity.
The brand have worked with vets and nutritionists to cultivate recipes, using organic raw ingredients, that reflect the natural diet of dogs and cats and provide a balanced meal. As well as wet food, Lily’s Kitchen also have a range of dry foods for pets, including a grain-free formula for kittens.
Natural Instinct are advocators of a raw food diet for pets. The business works with vet nutritionists, and a veterinary surgeon and homeopath in creating their vast range of raw foods for cats and dogs, as well as kittens and puppies.
Natural Instinct offers a wide choice to suit all tastes and requirements using human grade, DEFRA approved raw meat and bone, vegetables and fruit. The business also supports British produce and only use 100% British meat, poultry and fish.
Vitalin have formulated hypoallergenic recipes that cater to the overall health and wellbeing of cats, dogs and ferrets. Their selection of dry foods for kittens, puppies, dogs, cats and ferrets include carefully selected ingredients which are sourced from the UK.
Some of the ingredients used in Vitalin’s dry food recipes is sourced from local farms, near Vitalin’s own factory on the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire border, as part of the company’s efforts to be environmentally conscious as well.
Natures:Menu’s raw meals, cans and pouches, raw bones and snacks are created to naturally satisfy the nutritional needs of cats and dogs, without the use of meat meals, meat derivatives and processed carbohydrates.
Natures:Menu, which was founded in 1981, began producing Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) for pets as a small family run business in Norfolk. The company started selling plain minces for dogs, and now produce a huge range of complete and balanced meals for cats and dogs which are veterinary approved and made to FEDIAF guidelines.
All meats are sourced from local specialists. Natures:Menu insist on honesty and integrity as a business. They say: “Our [Natures:Menu’s] ethos is honesty, honest products, prices and service. That’s why we select, buy, process, pack and transport all our own products, with our own vehicles and staff, directly to you”.
Raw Paws is a US-based pet food business making it “an easier, more affordable way to feed raw or partial raw” to pets. The company source from responsible and ethical farms, providing a wide range of pet food for cats and dogs to suit all ages that includes frozen food, freeze dried complete foods, and grain-free dental chews.
All products are USDA inspected and sourced from family owned farms. Raw Paws also deliver anywhere in the US.
Vital Essentials is a family-owned company, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, producing high quality RAW frozen and freeze-dried pet food, snacks, and treats. All ingredients are locally sourced and Vital Essentials® uses only USDA-certified and inspected animal protein.
The extensive range of Vital Essentials foods for cats and dogs is available at pet specialty stores across the USA. Vital Essentials also give back to local and regional pet shelters, rescues, and other animal advocacy organisations.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, and entertainments. Rosa also works as a psychic, counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com