Oh my goodness this is an exceptional question and one food does not fit all. However there are lots of things to consider and hopefully I will be able to point you in the right direction. First a little about some basics I have found through research and practice. Hopefully I don’t bore you….stick with me!
In short I find the fresher the food the better. I'm not a fan of the highly processed foods that you mostly find on the supermarket and veterinary shelves!
Can I be brutally honest? Rule of thumb is, if you don’t recognise the ingredient on the pack, don’t buy it! If you are feeding dry food, no matter how good the ingredients are, I strongly suggest you ditch the bag and look for an alternative. Even if it is grain free it contains a lot of starch to help the composition and structure of the dry food. Starch equals sugar and as we know sugar is bad for us and our pets’ do not have a necessary requirement for carbohydrates in their diet. Deceptively some of the dry food can contain almost 40-50% sugar and the worst thing is, it doesn’t have to be stated on the pack. So there you are, feeding your grain free superfood blend thinking you are ‘rocking it’ only to find you are non-the wiser to it’s awful health implications. Yes your cat or dog might seem ok now but what about in the future.. nutrition is investment in your health right?
So it’s incredibly important what you feed to your pet as to what they may suffer later down the line. Part of the reason of wanting to consult in a different way and try and prevent issues is because I see many, many sick pets coming through my doors and I don’t think it’s necessary.
There’s plenty that comes into play with our health and our pets. Genetics has a huge part to play but these genetics are majorly influenced with how we and our pets interface with the world. This includes nutrition, the environment, vaccinations, flea and worm treatments, physiological stress and so on. But if you get the baseline of nutrition right, then you are giving your pet a better chance at good health. With consistent toxins and technology exposure we need to consider supporting detoxification too. I’ll write another blog post on that later.
My specialty is how nutrition can interplay with genetics,switching genes on and off. Using diet and supplements to help ward off issues but also to help manage them when they have arisen.
So far so good? Here are some of the foods and brands I recommend. This is very broad and dependent on each pet but as a rule of thumb I like these types of foods and the brands mentioned as a starting point. I can elaborate on each type of food in another blog.
I started off as an avid die hard raw foodie! As time has gone on, I realised that this doesn’t suit all and to promote this being done at home, even well, is a risk as food alone does not give your pet everything he or she requires. That doesn’t excuse me from the raw food gathering and revolution. I often suggest raw as a commercial food, from a reputable company who do it well. There are no nutritional shortfalls and an overall balance is offered. I might upset some raw foodies here but on average even those cats and dogs who come to me home raw food and ‘well considered’, a good 50% of them have nutritional deficiencies. One of the companies I recommend is Luna and Me in the U.K for a commercial raw food. The provenance and recipes with balance are wonderful. They come in easy to feed patties.
Home cooked food
This is a wonderful alternative to raw feeding. It’s fresh and lightly cooked. I love home cooked meals delivered to the door. You can get this for your pet too.
There are only a few pre prepared cooked meals on the market that you can have delivered to your door. I only recommend Different Dog. Again the provenance of meat and recipes with balance are just wonderful.
I only suggest preparing at home if you balance this properly with a supplement and have a clear recipe to follow. Check out Dr Karen Becker's Meal Mix for dogs.This is a site for free recipes and a supplement to balance the meal.
Raw and dehydrated food
This is a great solution if you don’t have a freezer or much freezer space, going on holiday or even keep something in the cupboard as a back up. This is often raw or lightly cooked, fresh food that has been air dried, dehydrated or freeze dried. All processes are slightly different and freeze dried is the least processed but the most expensive. I recommend Rocketo, Stella and Chewy, and K9 due to quality and formulas.
Canned and Dry food
I avoid dry food and canned food if possible. Often canned food is irradiated whilst in the aluminium tin. This is rather dangerous longterm and offers dead nutrition! If you are going to buy tinned food I urge you to ask the company how they process at the final stages. I would recommend Rockster for a tinned food if this is really someone’s preference. Rockster is bio- organic and contains some wonderful ingredients. Another company born out of passion and love.
I hope this has helped somewhat!