Happy Spring. Who else has been soaking up that sunshine? I always feel like a solar sponge this time of year, especially after a winter like this past one. With the warmer weather, I don’t think ANYONE can resist spending time outside. The healthier we and our pets are, the more we can enjoy that intoxicating sunshine.
Although there are many different approaches to improving health, with our dogs and cats, one of the best and easiest ways is to incorporate more FRESH, WHOLE foods into their meals. The following suggestions are foods that most humans keep in their own kitchens for themselves to consume. The only extra step is sharing, and who doesn’t love sharing with their best friend?
Study’s show that animals fed fresh vegetables are less susceptible to certain forms of cancer. Fruits and vegetables provide an amazing array of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and are also an excellent source of fiber. Although beneficial, vegetables are difficult for our carnivorous pets to digest. To help them utilize all the benefits, vegetables should be lightly steamed and mashed, or blended. Two of our favorite ways to feed veggies and fruit is to blend up a mixture and keep in the fridge, adding a spoon or two to meals. Alternately, you can freeze your mixtures in anything from your favorite silicone shape, to a basic ice cube tray for a frozen treat. For an extra special snack, mix some bone broth into your veggie mixture before freezing. Fruit is high in sugar, so a little bit goes a long way. A small handful of blueberries gives the average sized human the daily antioxidants they need.
Here are some easy suggestions that many of us already have on hand.
Kale Spinach Carrot Tops
Celery Zucchini Carrots (high in sugar)
Beets Beet Greens Green Beans
Squash Sweet Potato Peas (high in Sugar)
Broccoli Blueberries Raspberries
Blackberries Apples Pears
It’s so easy to help your pet ‘eat their veggies’ but nobody likes to eat kale all the time. Remember, variety is key!
Although cats are obligate carnivores and don’t need vegetables, cats eating a processed diet will still benefit, and fresh vegetables might help counter some of the health concerns associated with kibble (dry food). Experiment with small amounts and see what your cat likes. I have had a lot of success feeding vegetable and fruit mixtures to my cats, especially when masked with fresh meat.
Being that our cats and dogs are carnivores who evolved catching their food, they are designed to thrive on fresh, raw meat. Everything about them, from their eyesight to their gut tells us this. Cats are such specialized hunters that they rely on their prey for the majority of their hydration. Unlike our carnivorous pets, humans are unique in the sense that we discovered and learned to harness fire, to cook our food.
Raw meat is perhaps one of the nicest gifts you can share with your pet. Meat provides our animals with an excellent source of protein and fat. An array of different amino acids and vitamins. MEAT is the reason our pets are the way they are. Their amazing sense of smell. Their claws and teeth. Their ability to chase, stalk, and pounce. Our pets evolved hunting and catching their dinner. Meat in any form is a welcome addition to your pets diet and a great way to spruce up a primary diet of kibble. Please remember that cooked bones should never be given to pets.
Did you also know that the humble egg is the perfect source of protein? The egg, in it’s little package, provides all the ingredients necessary for the formation of life! And our pets benefit tremendously from eating the whole thing, including the shell: raw, poached, scrambled... chicken eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs (perfectly sized for felines). Although raw eggs contain the most amount of nutrition, the addition of any egg to your pets diet will be a welcome treat. And remember that shell. It is an excellent source of calcium!
When approaching the important daily task of feeding your best friend, keep in mind that NO animal thrives eating a processed diet. Kibble (dry food) is the most processed type of dog food. We ALL benefit from eating a variety of FRESH, WHOLE foods.
written by Sarah of Whidbey Natural Pet - helping you #lovethroughhealth
Love Through Health
A campaign to bring awareness to pet owners about a healthy diet for their furry family members.