What is Your Pet Eating? Part V

These last few weeks I have talked a lot about the negative effects of feeding your animals processed pet food, but I don’t believe in addressing a problem without offering a solution. In today’s post, the last of this five part series, I will provide suitable alternatives to feed your pets that will hopefully help you avoid processed pet food (and frequent trips to the vet).
Raw Food Diet
In a perfect world, your pet would be able to eat a completely raw diet, which would be most similar to what he or she would eat in nature. This raw diet would include raw meat and bones, as well as some vegetables and fruit.
Unfortunately, preparing raw meals can be very time consuming for an owner. Repetition of the same foods over and over again can also neglect your animal of all the nutrients he or she needs. That being said, feeding your pet a raw diet is possible, it just requires a lot of diligence and proper research.
Home Cooked Meals
Preparing your pet home cooked meals consists of planning balanced meals with adequate protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. There are many recipe books out there and websites available for inspiration. For the most part, meals consist of cooked meat alongside rice or potatoes and a serving of vegetables.
As with a raw diet, cooked meals can be time consuming. They also require an owner to keep track of what their pet is eating to make sure they are receiving proper nutrition. If you are considering a raw or home cooked diet for your pet, be ready to make a lifelong commitment. It is not recommended to switch your dog on and off, from raw or home cooked back to processed kibble.
Packaged Goodness
For most owners, we do not have the time to keep up with a raw food diet or to prepare home cooked meals. Luckily there are some healthy alternatives on shelves that are far better choices than the processed pet food advertised by large manufactures. My personal favorite is Taste of the Wild, but my advice is to visit a food comparison website, like www.dogfoodadvisor.com, and find the best match for your pet and budget. Another good site to visit is www.truthaboutpetfood.com. Here you can find pet food reviews and learn about specific ingredients.
Once you pick a pet food that feels right for you and your pet, don’t forget that companies can change their ingredients. Check your packaging from time to time and visit websites, like the ones I listed above, to ensure that the food you are feeding your pet is still up to par.

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