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Fine Dining For Fifi and Fido: What To Serve Your Pet

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

In an era where fast and prepared foods dominate the market, more and more of us are starting to see the benefits of eating healthy. From organic products to home-cooked meals and baked good, the emphasis is now, not so much on “convenience”, but on quality of food and nutrition. And, with the recent outbreak of pet deaths due to contaminated pet food, it’s an approach we may want to extend to our pets.

But, pets, unlike people have special dietary needs, some perhaps you may not be able to meet in your kitchen, and that has some veterinarians seriously concerned.

1. People food isn’t always acceptable pet food: While you natural home-cooking may do YOUR body good, your feline or canine friend is not YOU. According to experts, even the finest quality foods may not offer your pet what he/she need. In fact, professionals pint out that our nutrient needs differ AND nutritional needs also differ and vary among pets. That includes type of pet, breed, how much your pet weights and other prevailing health and medical issues specific to your pet.

2. Toxic “treats”: According to experts, some of our favorite foods may actually be dangerous for our pets. They cite chocolate as the classic example, adding that its toxicity level increases with the amount of darkness. In fact, almost ironically, while milk chocolate is not the greatest choice for us, it’s a better one for our pets, with a relatively low toxicity level. On the other hand, antioxidant packed dark chocolate, while it holds many benefits for us, is extremely toxic for our pet(s).

Other tasty treats that are toxic for our animals include raisins, grapes, Xylitol (a sugar substitute used in baking and baked goods), coffee, onion, onion powder, walnuts, alcoholic beverages, and salt, to name a few.

3. Treats that get the green light: These are foods that you “can” share with your pet without any dire or dangerous repercussions. These include, veggies such as celery, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower. A word of caution however; some pets may experience diarrhea or constipation from these foods, so you may want to limit their intake.

4. Learning how to “cook” for you pet:

a. Experts suggest first talking to and getting approval from your vet.
b. Be prepared for what may be an intensive time-consuming project.
c. Look into recipes that are good for your animal that that are specific for his or her size and fitness requirements. Get you information via the net, or better yet, your vet.

5. The raw facts: Experts suggest that the most “fashionable” foods are those calling for raw foods such as chicken or fish for your pup or cat. However, they suggest that more research is essential. They add that while proponents of this plan suggest raw foods dominate the diets of animals in the wild, “skeptics” suggest that domestic pets vary significantly from their counterparts out in the wilderness. Plus, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that raw foods have greater benefits for our pet. And, some can be extremely “dangerous”, if they become exposed to bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Furthermore, since many of our pets often become and extension of our family, sleeping at our feet and playing with our kids, the bacteria can potentially be passed along, and that say experts is a public health hazard waiting to happen.

6. Commercial Options: Professionals point out that for many of us with busy lifestyles, commercial alternatives may be the alternative answer. But, which pet products get the thumbs up. Experts add that the companies that make and offer these products have large research and development departments that employ a vast variety of nutritionists that are constantly looking into pet nutrition and make all the essential and important alterations in the products’ formulation based on their studies and findings.

And, again, they suggest discussing options with your pet’s personal vet.

Long Island Pets Articles > Fine Dining For Fifi and Fido: What To Serve Your Pet

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