Even though we, at Canine India, advocate for a fresh, biologically-appropriate diet for your carnivore baby, we also understand the limitations that you as a pet parent might face that prevent you from feeding them a meat-based diet. But worry not – you can still make some small dietary changes to boost your pet’s bowl.
Today we’ll be sharing a few ways to help you understand how you can provide them better and wholesome nutrition!
Here are some things to keep in mind when buying processed foods for your furries:
If you feed kibble: Rotate The Brands
Most manufacturers use the same formula in every brand & line of food, but our pets need variety and balance in the diet, and as much real food as possible. So, the first hack is to go for different brands of commercial pet food rather than switching the formula!
Rotating brands also lowers the risk of any excess or deficient vitamin problems for your pet. For example, there have been cases of Vitamin D toxicity which can cause kidney failure and even death in cats and dogs due to excessive synthetic nutrients added in processed food. By rotating brands you minimize the risk of getting an overdose of an ingredient in one particular processed food.
The reason why processed food needs excessive quantities of synthetic nutrients is because Kibble is ‘dead’ food, as processing at high temperatures removes most of the nutrients from the food. So vitamins and minerals have to be added synthetically. These synthetic nutrients go on to clog cell receptors and thus make your pet sick over the long term by making it harder to absorb any nutrients, even from real food, because the cells and organs are overflooded with synthetic byproducts.
The second thing you can do is: Read the label of what you are feeding your pet
If you don’t know most of the words on the ingredient list, DON’T FEED IT!
If the company or person making your petfood calls it a ‘secret recipe’ or doesn’t want to disclose the ingredients fully and completely – stay away from it. If there are soy and corn and potatoes instead of meat – don’t go for it.
Try to choose a food that’s free of artificial preservatives, dyes, corn, wheat, soy and legumes.
So what you can add to your pet’s processed food to make it more nourishing?
Go for any real food you can!
You DO NOT need to be a raw feeder to add fresh foods and supplements to your pet’s bowl. Any amount of fresh food is better than none. Here are some foods to add life to their bowls:
- Steamed or shredded veggies – providing a good source of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
- Eggs! Whether Duck, Chicken or Quail, make sure to keep the shell on and never remove the little membrane between egg and shell, it is loaded with nutrients like glucosamine!
- Try to feed fresh or dehydrated fish, or get some canned fish packed in water if the others are not available. Remember to stay away from farmed fish and stick to small freshwater fish like anchovies and sardines as they have low toxin levels.
- Make some fish or bone broth and freeze it for easy portioning. Just pop one or two cubes out into your pet’s bowl before serving. (Remember: if your pet is a gobbler, you might want to let the broth thaw back to liquid/jelly consistency before letting your dog or cat enjoy their meal.)
- Add goat milk or fermented vegetables for a probiotic boost.
- You can also add other probiotics and digestive enzymes (blog on the topic coming soon) like kefir, yoghurt and green tripe. Remember, variety is key – be it probiotics or proteins or organs or eggs – so switching between different sources of probiotics will keep your pet’s gut challenged and strong.
- Your pet gets the maximum benefit from probiotics when served with prebiotics present in foods like bananas, apples, garlic and dandelion greens (Note: Cats should not be fed garlic).
- Try to get your pet chewing. You can add some Canine India chews or some raw chicken feet to their bowl – just make sure they come from healthy animals.
The key is to STAY CREATIVE and keep looking for small fresh food additions that your personal situation allows. And if you need further guidance or would like more help with switching your pet to a better diet, you can book a consultation here (all details in description) or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions about the process and Julia, a certified canine nutritionist (and our founder) will be happy to help you figure out how to feed your kid the best you can!