Pet Nutrition Tips
Below are several sections with some tips and suggestions to keep your pet healthy and happy!
Cat Food: Wet vs. Dry
Have you ever had to leave the sink running for your cat? How about buy a water fountain? Cats are notorious for not drinking enough water, and that’s because naturally cats get most of their necessary water from their diet. Unfortunately, when a cat is eating dry food, they aren’t getting the necessary moisture content they need. This can lead to diseases such as kidney disease. Cats may also over eat their dry food to satisfy thirst over just drinking water. This can lead to obesity and diabetes.
Many believe that feeding canned food can cause obesity in cats, but in fact it’s quite the opposite. Canned food is often recommended to help cats lose weight. Due to its high moisture content, it can help the cat feel satisfied in both hunger and thirst, as well as being much easier on the kidneys.
It is said that dry dog food can help with keeping a dog’s teeth healthy, that the friction helps to remove plaque. While the friction (if your dog even chews their food) may remove some plaque near the ends of the teeth, it doesn’t reach the plaque that forms along and under the gum line. This plaque if left along the gum line turns into tartar, a rock-hard substance that even a toothbrush cannot remove, beginning the process of tooth decay and gum disease.
Veterinarians are now recommending that a dog’s teeth be brushed twice per day.
….Okay, Let’s be real.
Yes, brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to prevent gum disease. However, I commend anyone who brushes their dog’s teeth just once per day!
First and foremost, if your dog has heavy tartar build up, no toothbrush, bone, or product is going to be able to remove it safely. Your pup will need a dental cleaning from your veterinarian. After their teeth are nice and pearly again, prevention becomes the best medicine.
Chewing on bones is typically the first route owners take. While this may be somewhat more beneficial than not brushing their teeth at all, there are serious risks involved. Please view our Bone Safety section to read more!
You may have noticed water additive products or breath sprays that claim to remove plaque and disinfect the mouth. While I have never experienced success with these products, and know no veterinarian that would recommend them, some people still want to try them. But beware, some products contain Xylitol, a sugar substitute proven to be toxic short term with unknown long term effects!
Many pet food companies now offer raw food. A raw food diet can help keep your pet’s teeth clean because it is free of synthetic additives and is abundant in natural enzymes that help break down plaque. Not all raw food is created equal however! To learn more about a Raw diet please scroll down to our Truth About Raw section on this page.
For toothbrush alternatives, we have two favorites!
If your pet won't tolerate a bulky toothbrush or finger brush, try using a gauze square wrapped around your finger with or without a pet toothpaste.
Incorporate Answer's Raw Goats Milk into your pets daily routine! Raw goat's milk contains over 60 digestive enzymes which will coat the teeth and break down plaque on a daily basis.
The Truth About Raw Pet Food
By now, most of us have heard about feeding raw food to our pets. A popular first thought is that it may be very expensive. A very popular second thought is…Gross!!
The truth is, the right raw diet can be extremely beneficial for our pets and the wrong raw diet can be extremely dangerous for our pets.
There are many different brands of raw pet foods available today along with many controversial beliefs on the subject. First and foremost, I would like to address the myth that “dogs are not susceptible to bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter.” They 100% most definitely ARE susceptible to these illnesses. The very first time I tried one of my dogs on a raw food, she contracted campylobacter. After three weeks of diarrhea that turned bloody, and a few rounds in ineffective antibiotics, I finally broke down and paid over $200 for a panel that tested her stool for bacteria, which tested positive for campylobacter and she recovered after the proper antibiotic. The brand that made her sick did not process their raw food.
But wait, doesn’t processing defeat the purpose of raw?
There are a few ways some companies process their raw foods. The most popular is High Pressure Processing. HPP is a non-thermal pasteurization process that destroys disease causing bacteria with the use of extremely high pressure. The controversy surrounding High Pressure Processing is that it slightly denatures proteins (the process that happens during cooking with heat), leading some to argue that it is no longer considered a raw food. Recontamination is also a concern, but we believe that a product that is high pressure processed is a safer product.
By far the best way to keep your pet’s raw food safe is fermentation. Answer’s Pet Food is the only company to ferment their raw foods with beneficial bacteria. This process reduces the pH preventing harmful bacteria from being able to grow. Being fermented with beneficial bacteria means it is also a powerhouse of probiotics. View our Answer’s Pet Food page to learn why feeding Answers can be beneficial for oral health, pets with diabetes and other endocrine diseases, pets with cancer, kidney disease, arthritis, and even pets with itchy skin and allergies.