The Paleo Diet isn’t just for humans; what we feed our animal companions is just as important to their health.
Back in 2007, tons of Chinese dry pet food had to be recalled when it was discovered to contain melamine. The substance had been added to boost the alleged protein content, which is only determined by the amount of nitrogen in the food, rather than the actual protein. That meant the food would look better than it actually was.
It didn’t matter, either, whether premium or cheap dog or cat food had been purchased – pets at both ends of the food scale got sick and quite a few died. Melamine causes kidney failure in both cats and dogs.
As recently as 2014, it was reported that high levels of the carcinogen aflatoxin B1, as well as the contaminants melamine and cyanuric acid, had been discovered in U.S. produced pet foods.
What’s more, jerky treats made in China were determined to have led to over 5,000 cats and dogs becoming sick and more than 1,000 of them dying. As a result, the U.S. FDA is now testing imported jerky treats and informing the public and veterinarians to be on watch for any signs of potential food-induced illness.
While there may be a few who believe that there’s no reason to take such measures to protect the health of dogs and cats, those who do have pets understand the need for this. Indeed, many are turning away from commercial pet food and seeking natural alternatives, more in line with the Paleo past.
Some advocates are even putting man’s best friend on the canine equivalent of the Primal Blueprint, providing dogs with raw feed such as stew meat, ground chuck, organs, marrow bones, turkey backs and necks, oily whole fish and chicken parts. Like their wolf ancestors, dogs thrive on fresh meat.
Cats, too, are hunters by nature, obligate carnivores whose bodies need the nutrients and amino acids found only in animal products, such as taurine and certain B vitamins. A diet of raw coarse ground meat/poultry and organ meat approximates the “live kill” that feral cats and wild felines thrive on.
And although not much research has been done yet, even rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats and mice may do better weaned off of modern processed pet foods. Like Fido and Fluffy, they evolved without canned, boxed and jarred food products full of preservatives. Don’t they deserve to eat as sensibly as their owners?
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