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Natural Food Options for Your Pet

Perhaps you’ve been doing your best to eat a more natural diet full of healthy, organic fruits and vegetables this year. That’s great, but what about your pet? Doesn’t your dog or cat deserve to feel the benefits of an all-natural diet as well?

How much you feed your pet should depend upon his age, activity level, and ideal weight. Unfortunately, many dog and cat food labels don’t even tell you how many calories the food provides per serving. Many pet owners are intimidated by the time commitment and cost of supplying their furry friends with natural foods made with high-quality raw ingredients. But even though dogs and cats are domestic animals, their digestive systems can process natural, raw food better than the pre-packaged and processed varieties.

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Photo credit: Quadell via WikiMedia Commons

Benefits of a Natural Diet for Your Pet

  • Higher protein content instead of grain-based fillers
  • Greater percentage of food used in the body, resulting in less waste
  • High-quality, digestible food is needed in smaller portions
  • Improves alertness, immune system functioning, and quality of the skin and coat of fur
  • Avoid expensive veterinarian bills with proper nutrition

If you don’t have the time to cook natural pet food in your kitchen, there are several reputable companies that conveniently produce organic pet food:

  • The Honest Kitchen
  • Pinnacle
  • PetGuard
  • Precise
  • Acana
  • Castor & Pollux
  • Natura Karma

Lots of brands have started putting “natural” and “organic labeling on their pet foods to attract shoppers, so it’s important to investigate these foods for yourself.   As Dr. Becker points out, you should pay close attention to the first ten ingredients listed on the the packaging. Look for ingredients like turkey, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, potatoes, celery, spinach, carrots, cranberries, and kelp at the top of the list. Make sure that your pet will actually eat these foods before investing in a large supply. 

Since pets suffer from many of the same afflictions that humans do, like joint problems in old age, it can be helpful to supplement your pet’s organic diet with natural supplements as well. Out Pet Joint Care 650 mg capsules, for example, are formulated with  freeze-dried shark cartilage reduce joint discomfort and put the spring back into your pet’s step.

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When searching for food options that will maximize your pet’s health, keep an eye out for food that is free of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and artificial preservatives. If you’re interested in making your own healthy cat food at home, check out Dr. Lisa A. Pierson’s feline health and nutrition blog. To get some ideas about making your dog’s food and treats at home, browse through the creative recipes in Angela Colley’s article on Money Crashers.

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