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  • Writer's pictureKnollwood Hospital for Pets

Fresh food = Healthier pets!

Most of you have heard Dr M's "fresh food" talks for years...and years!

And, you’ve probably heard her say that even small changes away from a 100% processed dry or canned diet can have a big impact, for any pet. But if life has gotten in the way and you just haven’t done anything much to improve your pet’s diet, you can still start, now. Look at the easy-to-do options below - we’ll start with some simple dog food changes you can make. (Next time, we’ ll talk cat and bunny diets).

WAIT!!! What about vitamins and minerals and all that stuff you hear about that you thought was in your processed diet that made it “complete and balanced”? Read your current pet food label! Chances are, it says the food is AAFCO approved and contains the minimal daily requirements. Now, say those last 3 words back to yourself: “minimal daily requirements”. What does minimal mean? Does it mean optimal, or does it mean the least possible amount in the food that could be approved? You figure it out.

What if we suggested to you that YOU eat a 100% balanced dry food, such as Total breakfast cereal, every meal of every day for the rest of your life. NO fresh food, ever. No fruits, no veggies, no real meat. Ever. No milk with that cereal, either - if you’re thirsty, you can just drink water.

Does that sound right to you? Does it sound healthy? Think about how healthy it is for your dog or cat, both carnivores, with digestive tracts that were designed to eat juicy little animals. Should they really be eating only dry kibble? Again, you figure it out. Then, think about one of these healthier options:

  • Do you feed only dry food? Consider one fresh meal a week. You can either buy an easy just-add-water product, like SoJo’s beef, chicken, or lamb grain-free dehydrated mix or one of the Honest Kitchen dehydrated diets, or a complete, balanced raw diet like Stella & Chewy’s, Aunt Jeni’s, Nature’s Variety, or Northwest Naturals. (We’re also going to give you a link to an easy-to-fix balanced recipe that you can feed either cooked OR raw)

  • Doing one of the above already? Make it 2 fresh meals a week or even up to 1 fresh meal a day - but make any changes slowly, over 7-10 days.

  • Already got some fresh food in place regularly? Great. Now throw away every single dry pet treat, and replace with fresh sugar snap peas, occasional bits of fresh fruit, or small chunks of cooked meat that you keep in the fridge..

  • How about some of that fresh food raw, if you’re not doing that now? Would you consider that? (The recipe won’t be yucky, and now you won’t have to worry that some of those great ingredients will lose some of their nutrition by having the goodness cooked out of them).

  • Ready??? We’ve posted a 3 minute video that shows you how to make a fast, easy, balanced raw or cooked dog food. You can pause the video at the end to freeze-frame the recipe. And, once you realize how easy it is to add fresh food to your pet’s diet, we know you’ll be looking for even more recipes!

Until next time,

Dr. Deb Mitchell, AKA Dog Mom to Walter & Bettina

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