Tuesday, 27 February 2007
You are what you eat
What about our pets? The subject of animal nutrition is as fascinating as human nutrition. A lot has been written about it recently and pictures of obese dogs appear in the media on a regular basis. You hear of dogs going into rehab, to fat farms even.We know that if we eat well, we feel well. ( We should anyway ). We have a choice but our pets do not as they depend on us totally so we owe it to them to do the best we can to feed them correctly. We also have to accept responsibility for their health. What is a normal diet for a dog? Pet food manufacturers will tell you, your vet will tell you, the breeders will tell you but let us ask ourselves what we consider normal? A normal diet for pets gives them the correct weight, a good coat, good health and bounding energy to take us on long walks. They should be able to go about their normal doggy business in a way that suits their age, their environment and their temperament. Hence we must work towards maintaining a balanced diet which is the key to good health.What’s a balanced diet? Generally speaking, a diet is balanced if the food contains proteins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and water. All of these are necessary to ensure exercise, growth, maintenance of good health and also reproduction. They have to be suitable for the dog’s breed, age, lifestyle and activities and have to be adapted as the seasons change. Being knowledgeable about nutrition is not the privilege of the few. You do not need a science degree but you need to gather information and seek advice and a good dose of old fashioned common sense. Obesity in humans causes heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer,… What does it do to our pets?