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What About That Food?

When it comes to feeding our dogs and cats, there are many different ideas and view points on the topic. Some say that our dogs are omnivores, others say that they can eat a vegan diet and thrive. While these beliefs are wide spread, neither is correct. Dogs and cats are both obligate carnivores, meaning that they are obligated and designed to eat meat and bones, not fruit, veggies and grain. This is a matter of physiology, not opinion.

Their physiology tells the story, starting in the mouth. An obligate carnivore has no flat molars for grinding plant material. All teeth are sharp and pointed, designed to rip, tear, crush and shred meat and bones. Their jaws open only up and down and are unable to move from side to side, which would be necessary for grinding plant material, nor do they produce the necessary enzymes in their saliva to break down plant fiber. Most plant material passes through undigested, or it stays in the intestinal tract far longer than the carnivore's body is designed to retain it allowing fermentation, which in turn can cause gas and digestive imbalances, as well as yeast overgrowth.

There is also a misconception that our dogs and cats need veggies and fruits in order to receive a balanced diet. While this is true for omnivores, such as humans, it is not the case for carnivores such as our dogs and cats. The organs and digestive tract of dogs and cats are designed to extract and digest all the nutrients they need from the meat and animal products that they eat. They do not need to eat fruit and vegetables to thrive, although many do enjoy eating them. We all have our food preferences, and our dogs and cats are no exception! Sadly, just because we enjoy something doesn't always mean it's good for us.

When a carnivore is fed a diet containing foods that they are not designed to eat, their internal organs are also forced to work much harder than necessary. The following are just a few examples of serious conditions that can be aggravated or brought on by improper diet:

⦁    Renal Disease
⦁    Pancreatitis
⦁    Diabetes
⦁    Obesity
⦁    Cancer
⦁    Autoimmune Disorders

These are some of the more serious issues, but there are also a host of less life threatening disorders that keep our companions in misery that can be brought on when consuming an improper diet.

These can include:

⦁    Hot Spots and Other Skin Disorders
⦁    Chronic Itching
⦁    Flatulence
⦁    Digestive Disorders
⦁    Allergies
⦁    Eye and Ear Discharge

In many cases, and for many of our carnivore pets, just correcting the diet is all it takes to get them well on their way to their most vibrant health. It really can be that easy!

When you are ready to take the next step toward vibrant health for your animal companion,  contact me and we will work together to design a lifestyle and menu plan exclusively for your pet. Allow me to walk you through the process, one step at a time, and take the mystery out of nutrition for your carnivore companion. They will thank you for it!

After all, every pet deserves a Happy and Healthy Life!

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Gloria with Sophia, Mandy & Hadassah, three of my five dogs,
 out for a walk on a beautiful January afternoon.
I just love New Mexico Winters!

Gloria Gray  CSAN, CCNC