While our pets often have many of the same needs that we do, it sometimes happens that their health needs are neglected even more than ours by modern society. Additionally, there is often a lack of information available when we are looking to create healthy alternatives for our pets.
Diet is often a contentious topic among pet owners, and there is good reason for this. Not only are we unable to ask our pets clearly what their needs are, but they ( like many humans) often wouldn’t know them anyway. However, we must remember that their dietary needs are different than ours in some key ways.
It can be tempting to try to feed your pets diets which you use to stay healthy yourself. For example, incorporating a lot of fresh and unprepared vegetables into your diet can be a great way to increase your overall health, stay away from preservatives and pesticides, and mimic the diet of our ancestors. However, this is usually not a great diet for animals such as dogs and cats. While dogs are technically able to live on plant-based food, cats are obligate carnivores, and will certainly be malnourished, if not starved, by a diet based on plant matter. There are essential nutrients needed by these animals which can only be obtained from meat, and their digestive systems are designed to digest meat. If you want your pets to eat well and stay healthy, I would attempt to find fresh and ethically sourced ingredients which mimic their natural diet.
Consulting with animal health experts can also help you to feel more comfortable that your pet’s needs are being met. This way, you can potentially develop a diet which fits both your ethical standards, your pet’s dietary needs, and also will promote clean and healthy development for your animal.
The key thing to remember is that animals are different from us. Just because something is great for us, it does not mean that it will be great for your pet, and the same in reverse. Everything has its place in the world, and if you fail to recognize these differences, you could put your pet in danger. If you absolutely must attempt to feed your pet something very different from its natural diet, always involve an expert in the development of the diet, and in monitoring the health of the animal.