Healthier Living in Today’s World

Those of us who are old enough to remember the 40’s and 50’s can remember a time when preservatives were not the norm. The meats and vegetables were purchased on a weekly basis and sometimes daily. We knew what was in our food because we saw it being prepared. Personally, I never used a ‘mix’ to bake a cake or a pie until I was well into my teens. In most cases, it only takes a few extra minutes to bake using the ‘old fashioned’ method. In addition, I can’t remember any of my classmates with allergies or asthma… today everyone is worried about health problems… could there be a connection?
Today, most of our food comes pre-packaged and filled with preservatives to keep it ‘fresh’. For some of us this is not acceptable and we have started preparing and serving healthier meals and restricting our intake of ‘junk food’. However, this is not always the case for pet food… in most cases, our pets are receiving prepared foods… ‘treats’, ‘kibble’ and ‘special diets’ which may (or may not) contain all the nutrients our pets need for a long and healthy life.
With all the advances in veterinary medicine, we should expect our pets to live comfortably into old age. I can recall pets owned by my friends and myself that lived long and happy lives. But this is not always true today. With our modern stressful lives, our pets are also subject to the stress of being house-bound most of the time.
Diet is a very important part of a healthy life. When we have a proper diet we can maintain a healthy weight and sharpen our intellect… this also holds true for our pets. A dog who is healthy and trim can be an active companion well into his old age. For the owner who wants to breed their pet, they also have to be aware of the consequences of dietary deficiencies which may affect the health of the puppies. The lack of a nutrient (or the excess of one) can cause serious birth defects. We must be sure that the diet we eat and the diet we feed our pets is adequate for optimal health and fitness.
When I owned horses, it was very important to me that they also had a healthy diet… I made sure that they ate only natural diets and very little in the way of supplements. They were always ‘in the ribbons’ at the shows and their coats glowed with health, not cosmetics. The first thing the present-day trainer of dogs and horses addresses is the diet of their charges… they need a relaxed, fit animal when they start the training process.
With this in mind, I have searched out some alternatives that may help to alleviate some of the problems encountered by the present-day pet owner. In the process I have made some discoveries and received a few surprises.
I had always believed that chicken bones were not to be given to pets because they would splinter. It’s true, of course, for cooked bones. Cooking dries out the bones and they will splinter when broken. But raw bones are different. One of my friends keeps a bag of chicken wings in her freezer for her Corgi. She told me that her Veterinarian suggested this for ‘bad breath’ and it works. Which only reinforces a raw diet for your dog. With, of course, input from your Vet.
Many professional Dog Trainers and veterinarians are finding that this works and are completely behind this natural approach to nutrition. A healthy, happy dog is a pleasure to own. He’s one of the family… let’s keep him that way.