The Basics of Good Quality Pet Nutrition
8 June, 2015
Guest Blog by Michael Goldman, Co-Founder with his wife Terry of the HEALTHY PET NETWORK
Pet nutrition, especially in regards to healthy pet food, is a very important factor in the overall equation for the health and longevity of our beloved pets.
With this being said, just what is the definition of nutrition?
According to the BING dictionary, nutrition is defined as: “processing of food: the process of absorbing nutrients from food and processing them in the body in order to keep healthy or to grow “
In my working days, as a teacher and certified fitness instructor I spent a lot of time studying diet and the components of good nutrition. Quality nutrition transcends the difference between people and animals but for quite a few years now, my focus has been pet nutrition. Through research, experience and applying my knowledge with our rescue animals, I have developed an excellent fundamental knowledge of nutrition and pet health and how good nutrition plays such a major role in the health, wellbeing and longevity of our pets.
Many mass-marketed pet foods are loaded with poor quality ingredients derived from sources far from wholesome. This is definitely not fare fit for human consumption, and not fit for your pet.
According to a report by the Animal Protection Institute of America, more than 95% of our companion animals obtain their nutritional needs from a single source—highly processed commercial pet food. The report clearly shows “that what you purchase and what the manufacturers advertise are two entirely different products” states Alan Berger, President of the Institute. “The difference is threatening your pet’s health, cutting short any chance of him enjoying old age, and maybe even killing him now”. The ingredients they are using are not wholesome, and the harsh manufacturing practices that make those nifty little shapes, the ones our companion animals surely love to eat, destroy what little nutritional value the food ever had.
Ingredients are cooked up together and “manufactured” into food. Pesticides, hormone residues, and euthanizing drugs survive the manufacturing process and are present in the bags and cans of pet food sold to consumers.
It is no wonder that 40-50 years ago, our pets and animals lived to see the age of 15-25 years. Today, 5-15 is more the norm. Why might this be? Today, it is standard practice to add preservatives and chemicals to our food. Due to our farming techniques, our soils are depleted and lack many of the nutrients we need for good health. The environment has become very toxic.
It’s a very sad state of affairs and no coincidence that this comes at a time in our history with the dominance of large multinational corporations running the show. The pet food industry is run by some of the largest corporations who, regardless of their friendly and warm statements and advertising techniques, are in reality flat out lying to us, sadly only care about profits and care NOTHING about our pets.
The good news is that if we are aware of and alert to these negative advertising techniques and knowledgeable in what to look for in providing quality nutrition, there are some very good products available. Add products to the mix such as Nutramin, which contains all the natural ingredients missing from our soils and we then “synergistically” provide the excellent support, for the highest quality nutrition, we need for our beloved pet’s.
So, how do we determine just what is good and what is bad, in terms of pet nutrition?
When reading a food label, it is important to understand that the first three ingredients on the food label usually represent 90% of that diet.
Also realize that the longer the ingredient list, the worse the diet, as good nutrition is not only simple but also healthy.
Which chemical additives should not be in the food? Avoid – Like the Plague, foods that contain BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin. These chemicals may be added to protect the color of the food and antioxidants, but why?
If only “byproducts” are listed on the label and not a detailed description of them, do not consider this food. It is best to stay away from byproducts, as we do not know what they are.
It is critical that you learn to read the labels on the food you buy for your beloved pets. As we have learned, the first three ingredients are approximately 90% of the diet contained in the bag or can. These first ingredients should be headed by “high quality” protein sources. Stay away from preservatives and dyes and learn to recognize what they are. You will find that when buying these cheaper foods, the first ingredients are usually grains such as corn, wheat, & by products etc. that are used because they are cheap but they can be very detrimental to your pets health.
No simple carbohydrates or sugars. If you use grains at all keep them to a minimum. Be sure to use whole grains such as whole grain oats, whole grain rice, or pearl barley.
There are many touted types of diets including raw, grain free and more. We will not be discussing these various “diets” here. You will need to do your own due diligence to determine which one to use with your pet.
Again the key is an abundance of quality ingredients along with a good understanding of which items are good and which items to avoid like the plague.
Hopefully this will give you some insight to selecting a healthy diet for your pet.
About the Author:
Michael Goldman is an entrepreneur, teacher, writer/author, & animal care provider, who along with his wife Terry are best known as the founders of the Healthy Pet Network. As respected authorities and consultants regarding Animal Health & Longevity, they help people with their pet’s health & wellbeing. Their “passion” is the continued development of the Healthy Pet Network Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. The Rescue and Sanctuary provides a home, food, medical attention and love for homeless or injured animals.
For more information, or to reach Michael, please visit their informational blog: www.healthypetnetwork.net