Healthy Food for Dogs and Cats

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Healthy food for dogs and cats is gaining popularity as pet owners realize that conventional processed pet food-like processed food for humans-isn’t the best choice. As well as losing nutrients and enzymes during high-heat processing, conventional pet food can contain toxins.


“If a dog or cat is ill from toxins accumulating in its system, a vet may not recognize this,” says Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD, founder of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy and author of Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. The problem is that conventional vets typically aren’t trained in optimum nutrition or cumulative toxic effects of animal by-products and chemical food additives. Luckily, health food and specialty stores offer healthy versions of pet foods. When shopping, Pitcairn recommends:

  • Buy organic whenever you can.
  • Avoid foods that contain animal by-products, antibiotics, hormones, artificial colors or dyes, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives.
  • Look for a combination of animal and plant foods.
  • For grain ingredients, stick with whole grains.
  • Look for products labeled “contains no preservatives.” Anything that says “no preservatives added” may still contain harmful preservatives within the listed ingredients.
  • Read manufacturers’ literature or visit their websites to learn about their ingredients and processing methods, or contact the companies directly for information.
  • Supplements for pets are also available. Making some or all of your pet’s food from scratch is another option.

Fresh Food for Dogs

“”There are a lot of items you can put in a dog dish that add nutrition and antioxidants,” says Rick Woodford, author of Feed Your Best Friend Better. But, he cautions, chocolate, onions, grapes, and raisins are toxic for dogs; salt and pepper are irritants; and foods cooked with oils or other fats can upset their tummies.

Try slowly introducing fruits and veggies as treats, says Woodford, starting with teaspoons or tablespoons. These are good choices: carrots, apples, green beans, pears, bananas, melons, plums, apricots, broccoli, snap peas, tomatoes, and plain cooked potatoes.

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