The senior years of your pet’s life are some of the best, give your senior the treatment that they deserve! Whether you’re switching your pet from commercial foods, or your pet is getting older and has always been on raw, there are things you should know when caring for your aging family member. As you pet grow older, his/her diet may need to be adjusted. Age, in part, is the product of oxidization on a cellular level. A raw diet contains high levels of antioxidants which help to slow the oxidation process and the process of aging. Below, the dietary possibilities for senior pets are discussed.
Switching a Senior to Raw
Dogs and cats that are beginning to show their age (eg. decreased energy, arthritis or stiffness in the joints, hearing/vision loss, etc.) can greatly benefit from a natural diet. The process of oxidation can cause a plethora of issues in old age and while it can’t be avoided, it can be slowed so that your pet can age with gracefully and comfortably. Many pet owners report a noticeable increase in energy after switching their older pet to raw and a reduction in symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions associated with old age.
Enzymes are biological molecules responsible for thousands of chemical processes in nature that sustain and support life. Most enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts for thousands of metabolic reactions in the mammalian body. They play a major role in the digestion and absorption of food. Complex starches and proteins are broken down into smaller molecules that can be digested in the intestines. Several enzymes can form metabolic pathways, each enzyme working in a specific order to complete vital cellular processes. Enzymes help maintain the homeostasis of the body and if there is a mutation, change or termination in production, disease can occur. It is important to provide your pet with live enzymes every day for a body that functions at its best.
All raw foods contain a unique set of enzymes. Heating food denatures live enzymes, destroying vital “keys” that “unlock” nutrients and make them available within cells. It is important to understand how enzymes are utilized within the body to see how important they are in maintaining health. Every organ, every tissue, and all the trillions of cells in the body depend upon the reactions of enzymes and their energy factors. Nutrition cannot be explained without describing the part that enzymes play. Unfortunately, live enzymes are not considered essential when it comes to the manufacturing of processed foods. As more research becomes available, it becomes clear that enzymes cannot be excluded from a healthy diet. A species-specific approach to feeding will naturally provide animals with the correct enzymes for the healthy function of all cells in the body.
What are the differences between commercial dry diets, holistic high protein dry diets, low protein diets and raw?
I am often asked if feeding a high protein dry diet is comparable to a raw one. The human and pet wellness industries are growing at an alarming rate. In the past 10 years, there has been an explosion of “natural” and “holistic” products for pets and it’s important to understand the differences between each type of food. But what does “natural” and “holistic” really mean?
Some pet owners are faced with the task of creating a balanced diet for a less than enthusiastic eater. There are several tricks to help you switch your pet to a raw diet no matter now fussy the animal. Switching from a commercial diet to raw can be frustrating when your pet chooses the old food over the new. There are some commercial foods that add taste enhancers and other additives that cats and dogs become virtually addicted to. It is difficult to convince some animals that they can enjoy new foods.
I am often asked by pet owners about carbohydrate requirements for canines and felines. Most pet owners have heard a variety of answers from multiple sources and it can be a source of utter confusion with the array of pet foods available on the market today.
Carbohydrates are a source of energy that can be utilized by animals which have the metabolic abilities to do so. In addition, the quality and particular source of the carbohydrate must be considered. Dogs and cats each have their own unique metabolic abilities to obtain nutrients from food. There are three sources of energy that can be utilized by most mammals: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It has been scientifically proven that carbohydrates are not required for dogs and cats to survive. Their evolutionary path has allowed them to live long and healthy lives without this form of food, presumably because they have evolved for millions of years without it.