Cats and Dogs: Vegetarian pet food
Why feed our pets with a diet ?

Why feed your pets with a vegetarian diet? Potential Problems
Vegetarian diets for dogs and cats "Checklist" Will the diet meet the nutritional needs of the pet?
Canned food for pets, a good option All About Raw Food
Raw food diets

Canned food for pets - Kitten Many people reading this page would be thinking "What? Vegetarian diets to pets such as cats and dogs?! You gotta be kidding! It’s unnatural/depriving/cruel/etc!" Regardless of how "un-natural" it may seem, some people feel it is the right thing to do. But why?

For many people who are vegetarian for ethical reasons or because they are concerned about animal suffering, every time they feed meat to their cat and dogs they face a dilemma. On one hand they care about their pet and want to do the right thing by it, but on the other hand they do not like having other animals slaughtered for its food, and they also don’t like supporting the meat industry. To complicate things further, when they consider a vegetarian diet to cats and dogs they often also have moral concerns about feeding their pet a diet that is opposed to what seems "natural". So it can be quite a dilemma.

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Other people who are vegetarian more for health reasons may consider a vegetarian diet for their cat and dogs out of concern about recent outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease and Mad Cow Disease in the UK, and about what dangers lurk in the cheap offal and "meat" used in commercial dog and cat foods. Or they simply may feel that a cat and dogs vegetarian food diet, or a diet much lower in animal products, is more healthy for their pets.

Regardless of the reasons why someone would choose a vegetarian food or vegan diet for their pet, studies indicate that dogs and cats can live a healthy and active life on these pet vegetarian food diets if they are properly balanced. Go top

Pet Vegetarian food: Potential Problems

The nutritional requirements for dogs and cats are very different from those for humans. Thus, a vegetarian diet perfectly suitable in meeting a human’s nutrient needs may be grossly deficient where dogs or cats are concerned.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), in cooperation with the US Centre for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), has developed the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles, which details the known nutritional requirements for these species. Formulating a pet vegetarian food to meet all these requirements is not a simple task but can be done.
Canned food for pets - Organic toys

But even the most carefully formulated diet with respect to providing adequate amounts of all essential nutrients is worthless if the dog or cat does not eat it. While dogs certainly enjoy the occasional snack such as a cookie or piece of fruit and cats will chew on grass and other plants, foods without some animal-source ingredients may not be very palatable, so asking dogs and cats to eat only plant-based foods may not be possible in some cases. Even if the cat or dog does eat the vegetarian diet, it still may not be eating enough to meet its nutritional needs.

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Pet Vegetarian food: Canned food for pets, a good option?

Canned food for pets - cat playing Canned food is a good option for those needing the convenience of processed foods but are trying to eliminate grains. It is especially important for cats to be on a meat protein based diet with minimal grains as discussed previously. In addition, too much carbohydrate content in the diet can contribute greatly to the problems of obesity, cardiovascular disease, acidosis, arthritis and immune problems.

Canned food is also a great way to supplement kibble for added variety and nutrition. It can also be used to increase the appeal of healthier diets and raw foods for those animals that are "addicted" to their dry kibble and are having a hard time accepting real food. Many kibbles and regular canned foods have flavor enhancers, sweeteners and sodium in them that dogs and cats become accustomed to, causing them to reject real food or healthier canned varieties. Give them plenty of time and repeat exposures to healthier foods and they will usually make the transition.

Canned food for pets - Nice dog Use as much variety in your companion's canned food diet as they will accept. Cats especially, can be finicky. Sometimes crushing or sprinkling their favorite treat over the food can help lure them in for a taste, and they will then eat the food. To learn more about your pets food and health, just visit the Vets who really know about Pets
1-800-PetMeds with the most wide and convenient food, supplies and remedies for your pets. They always have special offers with very interesting discounts.
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All About Raw Food

by Dr. Larry Siegler

Our animal companions are natural hunters and carnivores; just look at their ancestry. The dog at your feet (or on your sofa) has evolved from the wolf, and it’s digestive system is virtually the same despite thousands of years of domestication. They have very short intestinal tracts geared to the consumption and digestion of raw foods. Dogs are considered "omnivores" as they eat a variety of grasses, berries and vegetables in addition to prey. The cat on your lap is a true or “obligate” carnivore (meat only diet) and is specially designed by nature to hunt small rodents and birds. Her digestive tract, as well, is intended to assimilate raw meat best.

The Benefits of Raw Food

Raw food diets have been shown to help the body deal with many common ailments such as flea infestations, hot spots, continual shedding, poor dental & gum health, allergies, gastro-intestinal problems, immune disorders and degenerative diseases. Diet is the foundation of health. The fresher the diet, the more nutrients are available for the animals system to utilize in building immunity, healing from illness and warding off disease.

Raw diets have been common practice in European countries for decades, especially Germany, where it is commonly recommended by veterinarians. The fear of feeding raw meat in this country seems to stem from a fear of salmonella, e. coli and parasites. In over 10 years of feeding raw food and seeing countless animals on raw food diets, salmonella and e. coli have not been seen to be a problem. (Remember, their digestive systems are designed to accommodate raw meat.) Parasites could be contracted through eating wild, whole prey or game meats, but is much less likely from properly handled human grade meats. Infection is more likely to occur through ingestion of feces or soil, or poorly handled meat.

Canned food for pets - Nice cat The actual research sited in the US in support of a raw diet is rather convincing. A long term study conducted by Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D. between 1932 to 1942 was initiated a bit by accident. Dr. Pottenger kept cats as laboratory animals for experiments in human health. As his research and cat population grew, he resorted to feeding them raw meat scraps from a local packing plant instead of cooked kitchen leftovers. Within a few months, he noticed distinct improvements in the cats eating raw meat. This prompted Dr. Pottenger to undertake a whole new experiment: he segregated cats into different groups - some of which were fed a cooked meat diet and others who received a raw meat diet. All observations were noted in great detail over many generations of cats. At the end of the study Dr. Pottenger concluded that cats fed a heat processed diet were deficient and suffered from innumerable ailments ranging from low immunity, irritability, and allergies; to skeletal deformation, organ malfunction, poor development during kittenhood, low birth rate, birth defects, infertility, and shortened life-span. (If you wish to learn more about the Pottenger study, you can purchase a summary of the study as book or video from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.)

Some exceptions to “raw is better” are the older, weaker animal who may not tolerate raw food, or animals with certain gastro-intestinal problems where the gut has to be restored to a healthier state using herbs and/or supplements. In these cases, a home prepared, cooked diet the best substitute for a raw food diet .

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