We all want our dogs and cats to live forever… and, we also want them to live happy, healthy, pain-free, disease-free lifestyles by our sides.
Around 400 B.C. Hippocrates stated ‘let food be medicine and medicine be thy food’. He advised people to prevent disease and treat disease first and foremost by eating nutrient-dense food. This is so true today in many regards and this is the backbone of our Wellness philosophy.
What happens if you put bad, watered down gas in your car or lawnmower? It putters, it stalls, it does not work.
In 2004, Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me came out in which he ate McDonald’s meals three times a day for a month. We were able to go along the journey and see the effects that poor quality foods have on our bodies- physically, mentally, emotionally and on a biochemical level.
High quality, human grade food sources with less processing and fewer ingredients are by far superior for one’s health, as well as, our pets health. Out of convenience, typically kibble in a bag is reached for first due to cost, our life style of work, school, kids and their extracurricular activities, etc. However, that highly processed, poor quality food and their ingredients may be causing more chronic disease and limited life expectancy more than any other factor.
Remember, let food be thy medicine.
Environmental contaminants have been shown to significantly impact our lives. For example, BPA free water bottles are marketed and are important in our lives. Did you know that the BPA lining of baby formula bottles was first identified as an estrogen-mimicking industrial chemical that in 2010, the FDA said it had “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.” That is when BPA free became so important as a health concern.
Did you also know BPA is still used in many pet food cans to help the pretty pate come out more easily? Did you also know BPA is a significant endocrine disruptor? An example, feline hyperthyroidism is seen in 2-10% of the cats across the board. Meaning 2 to 10 cats out of a 100 will likely develop hyperthyroidism naturally in their golden years. Anecdotally we have seen many families that have two or three cats in the same household come down with hyperthyroidism. Is there a common link? The water they drink or the food they eat? Turns out the brand of food these families were feeding is known to use BPA routinely in their canning process.
Another question we frequently encounter is dry versus canned food. The extrusion process developed and used to create kibble uses large numbers of carbohydrates and heat to create the kibble we so like to feed due to its convenience and palatability. However, are those high carbohydrate levels good for our pets? Naturally, the dogs and cats tend to be on a higher protein lower carbohydrate diet. As well, canned foods have a higher water content which more closely resembles that of a prey animal if our pets were, ‘back in the wild eating whatever they could catch’.
In regards to the high carbohydrate load in kibble, we also note that more pets eating dry over canned tend to be obese. Obesity is a problem in many regards but did you know fat is an inflammatory organ. Meaning, fat secretes many chemical mediators that negatively stimulate inflammatory conditions like asthma, arthritis, IBD, to name a few. Bottom line, weight control is imperative for many reasons.
The gut also has a key role in our immune system. Specifically, what we feed our gut contributes to our overall health. Again, researchers have found a direct correlation between gut health and immune health. Thus, their recommendation for probiotics to help support a healthy gut. And again, to support the intestinal flora we need good quality fuel (food) like in our car’s engine. Bottom line: healthy gut = healthy immune system, which reduces disease in our body and as we know a weak immune system puts us at increased risk of cancers.
The supplement market is huge both in number you will find on the store shelves and also in the billions of dollars spent on them. Supplements are good for you and your pet. However, you must be sure you are receiving a quality supplement that has been tested by a reputable organization and said supplement has been recommended with sound medical reasoning behind it.
Overall, as you can see, food is essential for life and the quality of food or what you are putting into you or your pet’s bodies are paramount. Ideally, we would all have the energy, resources, and time to cook for our furry four-legged friends. Be aware there are many quality pet food manufacturers out there wanting only the best for your pets. There are many, many professional opinions out there on which food and which brand is best. Our recommendation is to become educated, ask questions, and tailor your pet’s nutritional needs to his/ her individual needs.
As always, the staff of SBVW are committed to educating you and answering any questions you may have about pet food and nutrition.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to review your pet’s nutrition management!