come on... Really? Does it really help my pet to add fresh food to their diet regularly!
Absolutely! Positively! YES!
There are truly so many benefits to adding fresh food to your pets bowl. First and foremost, fresh food is much easier for the body to digest than rock hard, highly processed, kibble. That's just true SCIENCE for any animal. No one's digestive system was designed to eat an all processed diet. Our natural enzymes and gut bacteria were designed and put there - in the gut - to break down foods that ALSO have enzymes and good bacteria. All of these good enzymes and bacteria work together in a symbiotic manner to allow the vitamins and minerals and amino acids to work systemically throughout the entire body. Naturally. Fresh food supports a healthy gut "microbiome" which in-turn supports a healthy immune system and reduces inflammation.
Sure it's easier to feed an all kibble diet of just scoop and serve, but is it actually healthy for them? Is it healthy for them to ONLY eat a kibble diet? I truly do not believe so. We all need fresh foods with those live enzymes and good bacteria to support our bodies.
An all kibble diet can also, far too easily, dehydrate the body. Being that a kibble diet only is about 80% dry matter or more, getting enough moisture in the diet to break down that dry matter is ESSENTIAL! Most dogs and especially cats, do not drink enough water to make up for the lack of moisture in a dry kibble. This can lead to CHRONIC (long term) dehydration and that alone, has a whole host of issues including blood production instability, extra stress on the kidneys, liver and other organs. Not to forget to mention that the lack of proper hydration leads to an electrolyte imbalance that can cause seizures, heart palpitations, and reduced lung function. Dehydration even makes it harder for them to pass their stool and eliminate other toxins through urination!
On that subject - the subject of stool and elimination, all kibble diets are very high in carbohydrate matter. Not only does carbohydrate cause inflammation in our carnivore friends, but all that excessive carbohydrate ends up in the litter box or back yard. Dogs and cats lack the proper enzymes to break down any and all carbohydrates. Feeding more moisture based/fresh foods to your pets allow for better digestibility and less waste to clean up! That's a huge bonus!
It's also a common misconception that feeding dry food cleans your pets teeth. Actually, dry food is the major cause of dental health issues! All that kibble gets jammed between their teeth and gums and unless you're brushing it out regularly (daily, weekly) it sits there and ferments and rots in their teeth and gum line. Fresh food doesn't get stuck in their teeth! In fact, raw meaty bones and gnawing on those help clean the teeth naturally! Kibble DOES NOT clean your pets teeth. It doesn't.
So consider adding about 20% fresh food to your base diet of a high quality, meat based kibble. With that, reduce the amount of processed kibble you feed by the same percentage. 20% is a great rule of thumb across the industry as a 20% exchange, does not upset the balance of vitamins and minerals for your pets. If going over 20% fresh food (which I actually DO RECOMMEND), added to a kibble diet, please be sure to use a complete and balanced fresh food (a gently cooked or a raw food from Wags to Whiskers). I personally feed an all fresh food, complete and balanced diet to my dogs and many of our clients and customers do a 50/50 dry to fresh ratio with complete fresh food and kibble diets. My cats do not eat kibble and they get a mix of fresh food, and canned food.
To learn more about how to add fresh food to your pets dry diet, stop in the store at any time to speak with one of our team members. Or schedule a nutritional consult with the owner, Janelle, by clicking this link. Our in-store consults are always FREE! But if you are not local to our store, Janelle does offer phone or video consults.
Read this blog post for some great ideas of what kinds of fresh foods to add to your pets' bowl and YES! You can start today!