Feeding Dogs & Cats the Way Nature Intended

 

The American way of feeding pets often reflects the American way of eating, with processed foods and overfeeding that can lead to obesity, disease and shorter life spans. When planning meals for dogs and cats, it’s best to look at how their ancestors ate in the wild. Domestic cats are descended from the African Wildcat, a small, desert-dwelling animal that wandered into Egyptian settlements thousands of years ago to hunt rodents, reptiles, birds, eggs and insects. The African Wildcat dwelled (and still lives) in the Nile River basin, a desert with a short rainy season, which means that this feline gets most of its water from food. Thus, our domestic cats are not designed to drink as much water as dogs and humans do. Their kidneys can’t process large quantities of water, and so their required moisture must come from the meat and fats that they consume. Both domestic and wild cats are designated as Obligate Carnivores, meaning they must eat meat. Born predators, cats will stalk and catch their prey and eat all that they can immediately. Afterwards, they rest to digest the food, and they may go a long time between meals. This gives their digestive and elimination organs time to clear out and rest. Cats have long, sharp, pointy teeth that are designed to puncture, tear and swallow, not chew. They have only a few tiny, sharp molars for crushing the bones of their prey. Chewing food—especially dry, hard food—hurts them. A cat’s ideal diet includes: 1) A variety of fresh meat (preferably raw or lightly cooked) or canned food made from human-grade/organic ingredients 2) Bone (calcium) in balanced relation to muscle and organ meat if eating a homemade diet 3) Fatty acids (fish oil) and vitamins designed for a carnivore’s system 4) Enzymes and probiotics 5) No dry, hard food 6) No free feeding (that’s for herbivores) Dogs are classified as carnivores and carrion feeders like the wolves from which they are primarily descended. In addition to eating meat, they are designed to scavenge for dead and rotting animals, fruits and root vegetables. As predators, dogs work in packs or alone to catch and kill their prey. They will eat as much as they can right away and hide or bury the rest for later before resting to digest their food. Like wild cats, wild dogs may go a long time between meals, which allows their digestive systems to empty and rejuvenate. Both cats and dogs will fast when they don’t feel well in order to cleanse their systems. Wild dogs will eat rodents and small mammals like rabbits, squirrels and gophers. They can also take down deer, elk and even buffalo. Birds, ducks, eggs and scavenged food like fruit, seeds, nuts and berries are also part of a wild dog’s diet. Because dogs developed all over the world, they adapted to eat whatever was available. Descendants of Chihuahuas bred by Aztecs in Mexico are built to eat differently than those of Saint Bernards bred in the Swiss Alps. Most dogs are designed to drink lots of water, but dogs living in extreme climates developed a lesser or greater need for water. Dogs living in very cold climates require fats and oils from fish and red meat. Like cats, dogs have long, sharp, pointy teeth that are designed to puncture, tear and swallow rather than chew. They have a few molars for crushing small bones, and they use the sides of their strong teeth for scraping and eating large bones. A dog’s ideal diet includes: 1) A variety of fresh meat (prefer ably raw or lightly cooked) or canned food made from human- grade/organic ingredients 2) Bone (calcium) in balanced rela- tion to muscle and organ meat if eating a homemade diet 3) Fatty acids and vitamins designed for a carnivore’s system 4) Enzymes and probiotics 5) Vegetables and some fruits, seeds and nuts 6) Raw bones for healthy teeth and gums 7) No free feeding or dog treats Just as with humans, feeding pets what they are built to eat can lead to optimum health, vitality and longer lives. Kate Solisti is an internationally known teacher and animal communicator. Her books, The Holistic Animal Handbook, A Guidebook to Nutrition, Health and Communication, Conversations with Dog, Conversations with Cat, Conversations with Horse and Kinship with Animals are published by Council Oak Books, www.CouncilOakBooks.com. For more information about homemade and individualized meal plans for pets, visit www.AKinshipWithAnimals.com. Source: by Kate Solisti Additional Information: Date: 2007/10/29 01:10:00 GMT-7 Article was published in:

Comments are closed.