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6 Ways to Go Natural With Your Pet

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6 Ways to Go Natural With Your Pet

Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats

 

By Cheryl Lock

 

If you're interested in helping your pet lead a healthier life, going the natural route is a big step in the right direction. We spoke with Jean Hofve, DVM, staff veterinarian for Only Natural Pet, for some expert tips on how to get started down the all natural path.

 

1. Natural Pet Food

Food is the biggest investment you make in your pet’s health – so make it count! Unfortunately, some pet food companies have caught on to consumers’ desires for wholesome, natural food for their pets, so they have created friendly-looking packaging, brand advertising, and new claims on their products—but in some cases, without improving the ingredients inside, says Dr. Hofve.

 

Here are a few of the vet's general guidelines to help you choose the best natural pet food:

  • Unless a corn ingredient is labeled organic, it’s going to be genetically modified. 
  • At least two named meats or meat meals should be among the top ingredients in a dry food, and a named meat should be the first ingredient in any other form (canned, raw, dehydrated, frozen).
  • Avoid synthetic chemical preservatives like ethyoxyquin, BHT, BHA, propyl gallate and propylene glycol.
  • Choose a food that is complete and balanced for all life stages rather than tweaked for a certain lifestage. Foods with more of an emphasis on natural, are ususally all life stage. 
  • For cats in particular, a high-protein, high-moisture diet is crucial to maintain a lifetime of optimal kidney and bladder health, as well as to prevent obesity and the diseases that go with it, like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Try canned, homemade or raw for cats. (But always make a slow and gradual transition to minimize tummy problems.)
  • Often, it’s the specialty manufacturers who are doing the best job of finding good quality ingredients and making a healthy natural food for a reasonable price. Choose brands that have put their efforts into making the best food possible.
  • Dry and canned pet food are heavily processed. Consider raw, frozen or dehydrated diets to get the most natural nutrition.
READ
Exercising with Your Dog 101

 

2. Pet Grooming

 

There is little or no regulation of pet grooming products, says Dr. Hofve, so companies can use perfumes, detergents and other potentially harmful chemicals. This is especially true of shampoos intended to kill fleas or solve skin problems like flaking or itching. The skin can absorb many of these chemicals, so they get into the blood and put a strain on the liver, which has to break them down, store them or eliminate them. Natural pet grooming products that use mild ingredients — including safe herbs — are gentler on the skin and less likely to be absorbed and accumulated in the body.

 

3. Supplements and Vitamins

 

Dr. Hofve warns that there is a big difference between natural and synthetic vitamins. Natural vitamins derived from whole foods are much better absorbed and utilized by the body. Vitamins made in a laboratory are less efficient and may even be harmful. Many human studies have found unexpected adverse effects from large doses of synthetic vitamins.

 

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yeast

A type of fungus that produces buds

synthetic

Something that is artificially created

asthma

An allergic disorder that results in difficulty breathing.

arthritis

A medical condition in which the joints become inflamed and causes a great deal of pain.

READ
Alternative Veterinary Treatments: Pet Acupuncture, Massage Therapy and More

digestive tract

The whole system involved in digestion from mouth to anus

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6 Ways to Go Natural With Your Pet Breed Characteristics

Adaptability stars Dog Friendly stars Shedding Level stars
Affection Level stars Exercise Needs stars Social Needs stars
Apartment Friendly stars Grooming stars Stranger Friendly stars
Barking Tendencies stars Health Issues stars Territorial stars
Cat Friendly stars Intelligence stars Trainability stars
Child Friendly star Playfulness stars Watchdog Ability stars
  1. Adaptability stars
  2. Affection Level stars
  3. Apartment Friendly stars
  4. Barking Tendencies stars
  5. Cat Friendly stars
  6. Child Friendly star
  7. Dog Friendly stars
  8. Exercise Needs stars
  9. Grooming stars
  10. Health Issues stars
  11. Intelligence stars
  12. Playfulness stars
  13. Shedding Level stars
  14. Social Needs stars
  15. Stranger Friendly stars
  16. Territorial stars
  17. Trainability stars
  18. Watchdog Ability stars

6 Ways to Go Natural With Your Pet Breed Characteristics

Adaptability stars Energy Level stars Shedding Level stars
Affection Level stars Grooming star Social Needs stars
Child Friendly stars Health Issues stars Stranger Friendly stars
Dog Friendly stars Intelligence stars
  1. Adaptability stars
  2. Affection Level stars
  3. Child Friendly stars
  4. Dog Friendly stars
  5. Energy Level stars
  6. Grooming star
  7. Health Issues stars
  8. Intelligence stars
  9. Shedding Level stars
  10. Social Needs stars
  11. Stranger Friendly stars
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