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Mythbuster Blog – Are Fur and Feathers edible?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the nutritional value of fur and feathers.

Some of you have heard horror stories of hair-balls that clog up the intestines. That is not entirely true – as always, dosage is key. Every new item of food should be introduced slowly and at the dogs or cats individual pace. No matter what you feed, if it’s excessive it can cause digestive upset, that’s the full truth. 

Fur and Feathers are actually an amazing benefit to your pet’s diet for three reasons: they make for an excellent source of manganese, they’re extremely fibrous and they’re natures dental floss!

What does that mean? 

Manganese is a trace mineral, it is considered an essential nutrient because it can’t be manufactured by the body so it has to be fed. Dogs need manganese to produce energy, absorb nutrients like vitamins, metabolize protein and carbohydrates, and to make fatty acids. Manganese is an important part of many enzymes and plays a role in the health and maintenance of bone, cartilage & joints as well as  healthy skin and coat.

Careful: Many grains are rich in manganese too BUT that manganese is not bioavailable for dogs or cats because the other components of the grain inhibit the pet from making use of the manganese in grains. 

Added Bonus: the skin, that the fur is connected to is rich in Collagen and Elastin. Collagen is a part of the connective tissue in the skin that helps in firmness, suppleness and renewal of skin cells. It’s paramount for healthy and elastic skin as well as it’s essential for healthy ligaments. 

Elastin is the protein that gives the skin the ability to stretch and bounce back. It prevents sudden bleeding after scratching for example. 

The other major benefit of fur and feathers are that they are essential sources of fiber to benefit digestive health and prevent issues like leaky gut and other issues that stem from an unhealthy digestive system as most of the dogs immune system depends on the digestive health.

Fur and feathers literally sweep digestive system. They remove debris and toxins in the digestive lining that can gather over time and is known to harbor fungi and bacteria and be an attractive environment for gut yeast. 

But they don’t stop there –  any worms, parasites or eggs will be swept out of the body as well and once the digestive tract is cleansed nutrient absorption is much easier too.

When the dog passes the fur and feathers you might notice some difference in color or consistency of the poop, there might even be mucus on it. This is for the simple reason that the body is detoxing and on top the fiber makes the poop a bit more voluminous and thus helps expressing anal glands without a vets help.

The poop will go back to normal after a day.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some feet or ears from the store and start detoxing! 😉

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