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pet diets

  • We all know that health is our true wealth and, thus, making healthy choices will go a long way to us to help us live a life filled with vitality. It's just plain common sense that eating a nutrient dense, organic diet is one of the best choices we can make to insure our wellbeing.

    But what about our pets? For instance, dogs and humans share roughly 80-90 percent of their genetic makeup. And we have similar nutritional needs. While we may have realised the dangers from eating processed food, why are so many of us still feeding our pets some form of commercial food? Processed pet food is as bad for our pet's health as is processed human food for us. The skyrocketing rates of chronic disease in our pets mirror ours. Not only is it devastating to see our pets suffer but ongoing vet bills are also shockingly expensive.

    If our pets live in our homes, breathe the same air, walk on the same pesticide-ridden grass, drink the same water, and eat similar types of highly processed and denatured food, then it stands to reason they will suffer the same diseases we do.

    When it comes to our pets' health, they are in trouble. These statistics reveal an alarming increase in the declining health of our pets.

    • Cancer now affects a staggering 1 in 3 dogs. Almost 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer.
    • 10% of dogs suffer from heart disease.
    • The number of dogs diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 30 years, affecting 1 in 160 dogs.
    • An estimated 54% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese.

    What Are You Feeding Your Pets?
    Have you ever thought about the food that you are feeding your animals? Most commercial dog and cat food products contain various harmful ingredients such as intestines, udders, heads, hooves, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts. It leads to number of implications and diseases s such as allergic skin disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney stones, ear infection, and diabetes to name a few.

    Many chemicals are also added in order to improve the stability, taste or appearance of the food. Additives provide no nutritional value. The cheaper the brand, then generally the more garbage ingredients it contains.

    The pet food industry is multi-million-dollar industry and full of hype and false claims. They often deceive the customers by advocating their products as premium, quality, and natural. The consumers are made to believe they are feeding their pet's healthy food, but the truth is far from reality. They produce cheap and harmful products to extend shelf life.

    The other risk to animal health comes from the exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals sprayed on plants and lawns. For example, Round-up (glyphosate) is a common weed killer that is exceptionally dangerous to our animals, causing serious health problems such as abnormal heart rates and rhythms, seizures, and cancer. It is commonly used not only on lawns but also public spaces. Whenever animal walk on public areas or lawns or eat grasses, they could be exposed to glyphosate or other harmful pesticides.

    Getting Real Nutrition for Your Pets
    Keeping your pet healthy begins by giving them the best possible food. There is a growing industry offering truly health products to feed your dog and cat. Always choose the very best.

    There is one profound source of true nutrition that not only has a wide range of essential nutrients but also has the ability to bind and eliminate dangerous toxins, heavy metals, pesticides and even glyphosate. It is found in a unique one-cell algae called Chlorella which is not only nature's multi-vitamin but also nature's detoxifier.

    Chlorella is true a superfood, rich in all the vitamins and minerals your pets require to live a vital life and well as heal from various health challenges. It includes vitamins A (beta carotene), C, E, and vitamin K, containing all the B-complex vitamins (including B12), zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, iodine, omega-3 essential fatty acid, and the enzyme pepsin. Chlorella also contains 58 to 70 percent of bio-available protein and all the essential amino acids.

    The Health Benefits of Chlorella for Dogs and Cats

    Chlorella is a powerful food that enhances your pet's health in many important ways. By including Chlorella in your pets daily diet, it will enhance overall wellbeing as well as provide the necessary support for healing.

    Chlorella is essential for supporting a healthy immune system in the following ways.

    • It increases natural killer cells. These are white blood cells vital in the protection against diseases including tumours and viruses
    • It increases interferon production. These proteins notify your dog or cat's body when a virus is present, prompting the immune system to activate
    • It increases antibodies. Chlorella intake has been found to prompt an increase in an antibody required for immune functions. For example, one study found an increase in SigA, an antibody vital for mucosal immunity (the immune system's largest component). Another study proved that Chlorella improves humoral immune responses (another component to the immune system).

    Chlorella reduces the risk for Chronic illnesses. Many diseases and illnesses, including cancer, heart disease and autoimmune diseases as well as premature ageing have been linked to oxidative stress caused by unstable free radicals.

    Free radicals are damaged cells in your dog or cat's body. While some are normal, excessive amounts can be caused by exposure to substances such as medications including flea, tick and heart worm prevention, vaccinations, low quality pet food and environmental toxins such as pesticides. Without adequate antioxidants, these damaged cells react by attacking healthy cells to replenish their molecules. Chlorella is rich in antioxidants and studies have found it can effectively stabilise free radicals and decrease oxidative stress.

    Chlorella promotes effective detoxification. Exposure to chemicals can lead to an increase in heavy metals in your pet's body. Some heavy metals are normal and are important for your pet's body function. However, high levels can be dangerous. Chlorella is one of nature's best detoxifiers.

    This ability is due to its high chlorophyll component and its ability to bind to heavy metals, inhibiting their absorption and enhancing their elimination. One study found Chlorella could prevent the heavy metal, strontium, from absorbing into the blood, and simultaneously promote its elimination from the body. It has also been proven to speed up the elimination of mercury and reduce blood lead levels by 66.03%.

    Chlorella enhances digestive health and a fresher breath. Chlorella improves gut health for dogs and cats as it is high in prebiotics and in turn helps stimulate the rapid growth of probiotics. It is high in prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotic fibres work to eliminate the bacteria in your dog or cat's colon. As well as this, they provide fuel for probiotic good bacteria to grow. Together, pre-and probiotics create an ideal balance for your dog or cat's optimal digestive health. In fact, one study found chlorella quickly tripled the probiotic bacteria in the gut.

    A healthy digestive system leads to fresher breath. Chlorella contains a higher concentration of chlorophyll than any other plant. As mentioned previously, this is a powerful cleansing agent. For this reason, it has been found to freshen the breath of dogs and cats by combating a common root cause of bad breath, an unhealthy digestive system.

    Chlorella Improves the skin and coat condition. Dogs' and cats' skin and coat is directly dependent on nutrients including essential fatty acids, amino acids, protein, zinc and vitamin C, all of which can be found in Chlorella. Protein is the main component to hair, so sufficient intake is essential in maintaining a healthy coat for your dog or cat.

    Other critical nutrients found in Chlorella are the essential fatty acids, Omega-3 and 6 which are vital for the healthy skin and coat condition of dogs and cats. Omega-3 and 6 deficiencies include dry, flaky, or reddened skin, a dull, discoloured coat and hair/fur loss.

    Chlorella is also rich in two other important nutrients, Zinc and Vitamin C. Zinc is directly responsible for the health of your dog or cat's skin. This is their largest organ and consists of tissue that reproduces quickly. A diet containing adequate zinc is important for maintaining ongoing and consistent skin health. Chlorella is also rich in vitamin C, which is assists in wound healing. It helps to repair and grow tissue and produce collagen. All of which is important in maintaining your dog or cat's healthy skin and coat.

    Chlorella has key nutrients for eye health. Chlorella contains beta, lutein, zeaxanthin carotenoids which are important for eye health. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A which is used by the cells in your dog or cat's retina to communicate with the brain via the optic nerve. The cells which are most important in low light (called rods) react particularly adversely to vitamin A deficiencies. Therefore, a diet rich in beta-carotene can help improve your dog or cat's eyesight, especially their night vision.

    Lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids provide the retina with a layer of protection. In doing so, they can prevent eye conditions in dogs and cats including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

    Chlorella helps build healthy bones and joints. Chlorella is rich in omega-3 which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. This is ideal for supporting healthy joints in dog and cats. Additionally, it is important when managing joint discomfort associated with conditions such as arthritis and general aging.

    Chlorella can also improve joint health through its high protein content. This extra protein in your dog or cat's diet can help to strengthen, repair, and rebuild their muscles, putting less strain on their joints.

    Guidelines for Using Chlorella
    Chlorella is a superfood that provides a perfect balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Animals always know what's good or them and they especially love Chlorella when it is added to their food. Pure chlorella powder as can be given directly or mixed into your pet's food. As a general rule of thumb, for cats start around 1/8 of a tsp. and for dogs use about 1/4 tsp. and work your way towards the recommended dose.

    If you're giving this daily to your pet, most owners begin to see a difference in 4 to 6 weeks. It will vary depending on the individual cat or dog but you'll notice better skin condition, fur, brighter eyes, and better vitality.

    If you're doing a detox, Chlorella will be more effective in eliminating the toxins if given away from food. Start will half the recommended dosage and increase to the recommended amount needed according to how your pet is responding and your cat or dog's level of toxicity and overall health. Chlorella should be mixed with clean water, (properly filtered or distilled, not tap water) and can be fed as a green drink, or gently squirted directly into your pet's mouth.

    If you're detoxing your pet from heavy metals or radiation, remember to go slow but you should begin to see an improvement in your pet at around the 6 weeks depending on their level of toxicity.

    Chlorella can also be used topically to help treat burns, and wounds, ease inflammation, etc. Make a small paste using Chlorella and water and apply it topically to the affected area. You could also make a waterier solution and use it to bathe the affected area a few times a day.

    BioGenesis - The Purest and Most Nutrient Dense Chlorella

    When choosing a Chlorella product, it is always important to know where the Chlorella was grown and processed. The nutrition and therapeutic power of Chlorella is only fully available when it is grown in pristine conditions, processed, and packaged correctly.

    BioGenesis is a 100 percent Australian owned company that grows, processes and packages the highest quality Chlorella. Located in the pristine environment of Bowen, Queensland, it is committed to growing and harvesting their ingredients with as little impact on the environment as possible. All their products are free from herbicides, pesticides, and environmental contaminants. Biogenesis also uses sustainable farming practices and never tests on animals.

    There is another factor that makes BioGenesis an exceptional company. BioGenesis has developed a unique and innovative growth system that replicates the natural water flow of a river, using water pressure as the motion force. This enables algae to grow to the highest quality-standard exactly as nature intended.

    BioGenesis Chlorella truly is miracle algae with an amazing profile of essential nutrients necessary for your pet's health. All of which will ultimately lead to improved energy, vitality, mood, and overall quality of life due to your dog or cat's improved quality of health. When you choose the highest quality food for your beloved pets, you will always be rewarded with a healthy, happy, and long-lived companion. Giving your pets their daily treat of Chlorella will make them love you forever!

  • Just what constitutes the best or most appropriate diet for a pet is quite a controversial topic and there are as many opinions as there are doctors. Often the opinions are based more on emotion than on objective medical facts. When it comes to having facts to back one view or the other, sometimes they are hard to find.

    No matter which type of diet—homemade or processed—is chosen, it must meet at least five requirements:

    1. The diet must contain the proper amount and balance of essential nutrients required by the pet.
    2. The ingredients must be of high nutritional quality so that the animal can effectively digest, absorb and utilize the dietary nutrients.
    3. The diet should be palatable so that the pet will eat it.
    4. The diet should contain minimal to no fillers such as animal or plant by-products (or if by-products are present, as in the case of some prescription-type diets for sick pets, the diet should contain the least amount of by-products).
    5. The diet should contain no artificial colors, flavors, chemical preservatives or additives, when possible.

    No matter which type of diet you choose to feed your pet, it should meet the above requirements.

    While many holistic pet owners prefer to cook for their pets, many others must choose a processed diet for a variety of reasons. If you are one of those who must feed processed food, it is important to learn as much as possible about processed pet foods so you can make the most intelligent choice. The following information will be helpful when you make your choice. Processed foods have been around for about 40 to 50 years. Prior to the introduction of processed foods, our pets ate what people ate (or leftovers of what people ate). Many holistic pet owners feel that pets fared much better as a result of these fresher homemade diets and that many diseases (such as immune disorders and arthritis) are diseases of processed food.

    Processed foods were introduced (like vitamin-mineral supplements) for two main reasons:

    • Convenience
    • Prevention/treatment of nutritional diseases.

    There is no question that it takes time to prepare properly homemade pet diets and that using processed foods saves pet owners a large amount of time. It is convenient to simply open a can or scoop a cup of food from a bag and feed the pet. Processed foods not only save people time when it comes to food preparation but they make feeding the pet quick and easy.

    Processed foods were also introduced to prevent (and treat) nutritional diseases. It takes a lot more than simply tossing him some scraps to give your pet a complete, balanced and nutritional diet. Prior to our understanding of nutrition, people and pets alike suffered from diseases resulting from dietary imbalances.

    For example, people who didn't receive citrus fruits were diagnosed with scurvy as a result of vitamin C deficiency. Pets fed mainly meat developed nutritional osteodystrophy (nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism) as a result of calcium deficiency. Cats fed only fish developed thiamin deficiency and steatitis. By learning about the nutritional needs of pets and formulating balanced diets, you can avoid these nutritional problems. While many of the nutritional diseases seen prior to the introduction of processed diets have been all but eliminated, many holistic veterinarians believe without question that processed foods, specifically those of little nutritional quality and loaded with by-products and chemicals, may actually contribute to a whole new set of problems such as immune diseases, cancers, allergies and arthritis.

    Many years ago we had but few choices of processed pet foods. As manufacturers have seen the profit in the pet food industry, we now see more players and many more choices. As well-known manufacturers of pet foods have reaped huge profits, large corporations have purchased the ownership of the foods. As a result, even many conventional veterinarians who promoted certain brands of food in the past have seen a decline in food quality and pet health as the dietary formulations have changed.

    For example, let's take a look at Hill's Science Diet, formally manufactured by the Morris Company. Science Diets were originally designed as a line of medical, therapeutic diets for pets with medical conditions (the first diets for pets with kidney failure). The company, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Morris, was the first pet food company to look at the potential beneficial role of diet in helping pets with medical disorders—many of which can be managed only by dietary therapy as no drug therapy is available to correct the problem.

    Science Diet is now owned by Colgate-Palmolive. In 1986 Hill's prescription diet formulation and production was still under the direct supervision of Mark Morris Associates. Since that time there have been some major changes. Mark Morris Associates was reformed as an independent group and Colgate-Palmolive made some major marketing changes. About this time, meals started showing up on the ingredient list. Formulations underwent major changes, supposedly for "nutritional" reasons, though most changes seemed to use cheaper ingredients. They violated the basic principle that premium diets are more expensive because they adhere to consistent formulation, regardless of commodity cost. Thus they were "better" than popular diets because the animal wouldn't be subjected to unexpected variations in the diet, reducing the risk of diarrhea in sensitive animals. Formulations were changed significantly without warning. Many doctors who still promote the Science Diet line believe that current formulations are not of the higher quality they were 15 years ago.

    Note: This discussion is not meant to pick on Science Diet, as many of the better—known processed foods are also questioned as to their use for long-term feeding by many holistic veterinarians. These include: Proctor & Gamble (Iams), Colgate-Palmolive (Hills), Nestle (Friskies, Alpo) and Heinz (9 Lives, Nature's Recipe, Kibbles n Bits). However, since Science Diet is among the better-known foods, it is used here as our example.

    While Hill's (and Iams and a few other well-known brands) used to be the "gold standard" in commercial pet foods, most holistic veterinarians do not recommend their long-term use for most pets.

    These companies, as a rule, maintain beautiful, spotless, accredited production facilities. Those facilities aren't where the problem lies; instead, the raw materials coming in the back door are suspect (not to mention the facilities from whence these raw materials come: slaughterhouses and rendering plants).

    Individual pets have specific needs and some do better on one diet than on another. For example, Science Diet is a line of a number of scientifically formulated diets tested on several breeds of dogs during formulation. Some pets can handle their diets, whereas others develop diarrhea, vomiting or itching.

    However, the man-made diets are made with human-grade fresh ingredients without the addition of chemical additives, whereas many commercial foods are not made using the best ingredients and have hormones, pesticides and a number of additives. Ultimately, since your pet is an individual, you will need to work with your veterinarian to see just which diet is best for your pet.

    Processed foods purport to be complete and balanced. Consumers feed them because they are convenient. Yet processing removes many nutrients (such as enzymes and probiotic bacteria, as well as many of the yet undiscovered phytonutrients) that are not added back to the diet after processing. While most pets can live seemingly normal lives on many processed foods, we have to admit that we really don't know every nutrient (and every level of nutrient) that every dog or cat needs. Many foods contain ingredients dogs and cats were not designed to eat—for example cereals such as wheat, barley and oatmeal; meat and bone meal; soybean meal; ground corn; soy flour and soy grits. Additionally, many processed foods designed for feeding cats contain large amounts of grain, especially corn. This occurs since grains are less expensive sources of protein than meat. However, cats are true carnivores, not omnivores; even dogs, being more omnivorous than cats, benefit from diets composed of meat. A strict dietary carbohydrate requirement for cats has not even been identified. Many holistic diets point to processed, high-grain cat foods as a cause of diseases such as diabetes, which are much less common in cats that are fed meat-based (true carnivore) diets.

    Feeding the better wholesome processed foods (or better yet, homemade diets) supplemented with natural vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, enzymes, probiotics, green foods and health blend formulas allow us to match as closely as possible diets consumed by wild relatives of our domestic pets.

    There are at least three classifications of processed diets: the least expensive generic diets, the more expensive premium diets and the most expensive natural diets.

    Generic diets are the least expensive but also the least healthful for your pet. Manufacturers use the cheapest ingredients possible. These are the foods that contain ingredients such as animal and plant by-products. Generic diets also are more likely to contain numerous preservatives and additives. Once again, read the label. Most generic foods are not fed to pets in feeding trials but rather meet arbitrary nutritional standards. Owners should not consider this type of food because health problems, due to nutritional deficiencies, may result.

    Premium foods are available at many pet stores and veterinary hospitals. They usually have higher quality ingredients than do generic diets. However, you must read the label on these foods. While these diets are far better than generic diets, many contain animal and plant products raised with chemicals and hormones. While some of these premium foods can be acceptable choices when properly augmented with natural supplements, they are not usually the first choice of holistic veterinarians and pet owners if the more natural diets are available. For many of these diets, however, the only thing premium about them is the price. Reading the label will help give you some guidelines about which foods to avoid and which ones are appropriate to feed your pet.

    The natural diets are the most premium of foods. These diets usually contain nothing artificial—no artificial colors or flavors. They use more expensive ingredients; depending upon the brand, these ingredients are raised organically without chemicals or hormones. However, some of these diets may also rely too much on grains, especially in their diets for cats, making homemade diets the best choice when this option is possible. Because of this insistence on quality and health, natural diets are the best processed foods (and many would argue the only prepared foods) you should feed your pet if you choose not to prepare a homemade diet. (Once again, read the label. Many new companies see the potential profit in making "natural diets," often leaving it up to the owner or doctor to read the label and pick which foods are truly better for the pets.) Since these natural diets are the most popular with owners seeking a holistic approach to raising pets and the most healthful for the pets, let's take a closer look at what makes these diets so good for your pet.

    The natural diets differ from most other prepared diets in four ways:

    • They use only human grade, high-quality ingredients. (Other prepared diets may use by-products of foods processed for but declared "unfit" for use by humans.)
    • They use foods, especially grains, in their whole state rather than parts of the foods.
    • They use no artificial colors, additives, chemicals or preservatives.
    • They formulate diets for optimum nutrition.

    In order to appreciate the difference between these three classes of prepared diets, it's important to learn to read the label and understand the differences behind the ingredients listed in the diets.