“You are what you eat.” You’ve heard this many times… Skinny or overweight, active or lethargic, healthy or sick, all controlled to a great degree by our diet. The types of food, how they are prepared and processed along with chemical additives all contribute to the body’s behavior.
This is most evident in our pets. Years of marketing from the pet food companies has led us to very difficult and sometimes frustrating situations with our pets. Our pets are what they eat and commercial pet foods have created some little and big monsters. Pet problems like obesity, allergies, skin issues, dental problems, pet ADD, cancer, diabetes, and training problems are all directly linked to that dry food in a bag.
When anything other than a species appropriate diet is eaten, problems develop. Dog, cats and ferrets are carnivores and therefore need a diet of meat. As omnivores, we require a more varied diet of meat, fruits, berries, and other plant based foods. The further we stray, the harder for our bodies to break down these basic foods into the nutritional components for proper bodily function.
When we feed our pets carbohydrate-based kibble, their bodies have great difficulty digesting it as they are not equipped with the proper digestive enzymes. Their body extracts the glucose (sugar) from these foods. Consider your puppy, they eat that sugary cereal, they get that blast of energy and act all crazy and then they crash and sleep for hours. When they have that sugar rush, like our kids, their ability to think and remember normally is diminished. All the training goes out the window. Do they listen? They seem to go deaf!
The biochemistry involved is complex but the results are so basic. They can become hyperactive, nervous, anxiety ridden. Potty training becomes very challenging. During these sugar episodes they are more prone to injuries because of their lack of controlled behavior. Other additives are “excitotoxins” like MSG, artificial sugars and colors that actually block normal brain and body function.
Not only do these ingredients affect the behavior of your pet directly, they also challenge normal growth and function of the body. Glucose and carbohydrates convert and are then stored as fat which leads to obesity, lethargy and inactivity. Dry kibble is also dehydrating, leading to a number of other physical challenges including body pain. Research has also shown that these carbohydrate based foods contribute to bone and joint issues including hip dysplasia.
As we continue to feed these inappropriate diets, these sugars contribute to a whole host of other issues. The constant scratching and itching from the skin and coat issues and allergies are as annoying to us as they are to your pet. Dental problems are directly caused by dry, crunchy carbohydrate-based kibble. When your teeth hurt, your mood is usually agitated! These dental infections can add to heart, liver, and kidney challenges.
There are no warning labels on pet foods. Trust your own knowledge and understanding. Keep your pet healthy, happy and well behaved by starting with an appropriate diet.