There is no doubt that nutrition impacts on your health, well-being and longevity. The composition or type of diet you administer is of utmost importance. World–wide there is a trend towards natural and wholesome food, preferably organic. Vegetables have been identified as a major source of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Natural supplements are essential in restoring nutritional values from a life style and diet that has been compromised.
Our modern era has become materialistic, insensitive and careless. We have steered away from good business and moral ethics and we have distant ourselves from natural living. In this hectic life style convenience has become a priority with processed, preserved and chemical based products enjoying major support. Corporate business embarks on major advertising campaigns that cloud our clear thinking. Labeling of products is so obscure and illegible.
So, if ever there was a need to investigate and challenge the commercial institution, it is now.
So how does a dry kibble diet compare to a wet diet, in the form of natural, raw or canned food.
Dry food is a high calorie carb diet and will certainly have an adverse effect on the energy levels of our companions and will impact negatively on behavior. Interestingly, we are also likely to gain more respect and discipline from our companions by doing the hard work and preparing home-cooked meals that are made with love and attention.
There is no doubt that the feeding of dried food is more convenient and depending on what brand you are using, may be even more cost effective, although this is not always the case. But like everything in life, there are no short cuts, and this may come at a cost. Certainly, we are finding that suddenly the longevity of our pets has decreased and that many of our companion animals are suffering from common ailments like skin allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, renal complications, arthritic conditions, dental disease and cancer.
So in essence, what is a kibble or pellet and why may it be offensive to many veterinarians and nutritionists?
Well, for one, dried food is so foreign to the feeding behavior of our domesticated pets and their ancestry from the wild, whom were accustomed to eating real, whole and wet foods. Moreover, gastronomically dried food has its limitations and may, in fact, be even “boring”. Variety is the spice of life and no more so than with our cats and dogs who have a fantastic sense of smell and taste.
But it is the nutritional component of dried food that is of concern and has certain specific preparation characteristics. All dried pellets must go through a cooking process called an extruder. This process reaches extreme temperatures and in many cases reaches up to 200 degrees.
Wet food, even canned food, is subjected to much lower cooking temperatures and in many cases may not be cooked at all, thus retaining all its natural nutritional values. Whole nourishment comes from whole natural and enzyme-active foods that are not refined, processed or laden with preservatives or chemicals. The highest quality nourishment can be obtained from organic foods grown on fertile soil and raised without harmful chemicals.
Dried food is also preserved to such a degree that it can maintain itself on a shelf for more than 12 months. Canned food, though still containing additives and colorants, is far less preserved because the canning process itself is a method of preserving food. Raw food or home-cooked food need not contain any preservatives. The natural process of freezing can also preserve food up till 6 months or more.
This is a fascinating subject to discuss and goes back to previous content we looked at as to whether our dogs are classified as carnivores or omnivores and whether they are derivatives of wolves, dingoes or jackals. This should surely determine what an appropriate diet is for our companions.
I say, “Animal rights organizations, world-wide, are fighting to change the rhetoric describing our animals as “pets” to “companions animals” or “members of the family”. Perhaps then, all our animals will be treated fairly, morally and with dignity and the way we feed and groom our pets will be no different to the way we care for our children.”