Meet Miso. She’s a four-year old fancy feline with some serious sass. But she’s also incredibly lovable and endlessly entertaining. Oh yeah, and she’s on a diet.
Last winter, I came home from work and Miso greeted me with her typical meow and a squinty right eye. As I picked her up and looked closer, I noticed her eye was totally bloodshot and full of green mucus. She was also acting particularly lethargic and disoriented. Panicking, I immediately called the vet and scheduled an appointment for the next morning. Miso had not been to the vet since her spay appointment as a kitten and my guilty conscience for this was beginning to rise. I took full blame for her apparent pain.
Luckily, the vet said it wasn’t anything serious; that it was just a little winter cold. However, he did tell me that she was a few pounds overweight and was well on her way to developing kitty diabetes. This news came as a shock to me. First, I had no idea animals could even become diabetic. Second, I had fed Miso Purina One since she was a kitten, a brand I thought was one of the best. How was this happening?
The vet gave me a lesson that day on how many brands of pet foods contain unnecessary fillers, preservatives, hormones, and excess carbs that are contributing toward disease and other illnesses in our furry friends. Sound familiar? How many Americans are experiencing health-related difficulties associated with consuming too many fast-food burgers and other “fake” food products? It appears that food manufacturers are more concerned with finding ingredients to put into their products that are cheap than ingredients that are actually healthy. And now it’s not only affecting Americans, it’s affecting our pets as well. The vet recommended switching Miso to a wholesome, all natural cat food, cutting down her daily portion size, and increasing exercise. I took his advice and am happy to report that Miso has been 100% healthy since her last visit to the vet and is slowly but surely approaching a more normal weight for her age and size.
To support this post, I recently walked into a local CVS and took some photos of the ingredient labels listed on the back of several cat and dog foods. Take a look at these:
Will Falconer, a Homeopathic Veterinarian wrote an article discussing the differences in healthy pet food versus unhealthy pet food. He mentions animal byproducts as one of the worst ingredients because it consists of all the leftover parts of the animal meat that are unfit for humans to eat. Many of these animals were treated with hormones and raised in unfit and unsanitary living spaces. It also includes animals that were diseased, disabled or dying during the time they were slaughtered. Preservatives such as BHT and BHA (you can see it listed on the back of the Beggin Strips bag) are actually toxic.
Will goes on to say that the best way to feed your pet is to make your own wholesome pet food, but if that sounds too difficult for you, look for food that only contains high quality ingredients, then mix in some organic, raw meats, vegetables, or eggs to enhance the nutrients and to mimic what your pets ancestors would have eaten in the wild.
My vet recommends using Science Diet or this Trader Joe’s brand (shown below) cat food (which is much cheaper). If you take a look at the picture you can get a sense for what a healthier type of cat food ingredients label looks like.
I’ll admit it took some time for Miso to warm up to her new, healthier meal plan. But now, with most of the excess weight off, she is able to prance around and finally jump up on those high ledges she could never reach before. She also hasn’t caught a cold or any type of sickness since I switched her food. And of course, she just loves showing off her new, slimmer figure!
So next time you’re shopping for pet food, take a second to turn the bag around and look closely at the ingredients before you buy it. If you take the time to keep your own body healthy, you can surely take the time to help keep your pets body healthy!