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Holistic Dog Food: What Does That Really Mean?

Posted by Yushira Budhram on

Holistic” has been quite a popular word in the last couple of years, along with natural and human-grade. With the increasing ‘trends’ of eating healthier for us humans, it has also been extended to our pets. We are becoming more aware of what we are feeding our animals. While we appreciate the shift, what does this really mean in the pet food world? 

The pet food industry has been notoriously unregulated. We have had to deal with unreadable ingredients, misleading marketing and it can cause a lot of upset stomachs. It is no surprise that the leading causes of premature pet deaths are:

  1. kidney disease
  2. diabetes
  3. obesity

The majority of these issues  can be prevented by creating a healthy, holistic diet for your fur babies. 

Let’s talk about labels. They can be misleading in many ways. We love Dr. Karen Becker She is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. Her goal is to partner with pet parents seeking to improve their pet’s overall health and vitality through wise lifestyle choices. She is very informative on which ingredients to look for. As a fellow pet parent, our goal is to bring awareness. And the biggest thing we have learned that ingredients are important but the processing is more important

Finding the truth when comparing and evaluating  pet foods  can be   difficult. The massive amount of misleading blog articles  and misinformation about pet foods online, , and elsewhere has led to much concern and confusion by pet owners. 

Here are some things to look for:

  1. “Whole” meat. Whole chicken is over 70 percent water. The water is removed during food processing, which reduces whole chicken to chicken meal. It takes about three pounds of whole chicken to make only a pound of chicken meal. The ingredients as listed on the label are in order of preprocessed weight. Thus, seeing the word ‘whole’ or ‘chicken’ does not have any indication of the nutritional value of the food.
  2. Any artificial coloring, preservative or flavoring is bad for your pets health. If you see the words BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, propyl gallate, meat flavoring, propylene glycol, natural flavoring, MSG, and/or gluten meal.
  3. Synthetic vitamins - this article shows that the added synthetics are harmful to them

We understand finding healthy food for your animals can be frustrating ,  as your guides, we are here to help ! To start off, we recommend:

  1. Adding any real food to your pets bowl. For dogs, we recommend any vegetable scraps or even leftovers that are not high in seasonings or salt. This is a cost effective way to put the food you may be throwing away to good use. Or you can add this to their bowl.
  2. Stick with family owned and operated pet food manufacturers. Since there is no regulation in pet food, we typically find family owned companies are more likely to put the quality of their food before their bottom line.
  3. Ask for help at your local holistic pet store. Local holistic pet stores, such as us, will help guide you in your health journey with your pet. Local pet stores, typically, will have some knowledge on the actual sourcing and processing of the pet foods that they sell. Be sure to ask them about how the food you buy is sourced and made. It is the first step in regards to understanding your pets true needs.

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