Asheville veterinarian Dr. Laurel Davis offers “Stories from a holistic vet,” the blog of a holistic vet and “animal interpreter” with a clinic in Asheville, NC. Dr. Laurel also offers intuitive animal health, vaccination and lifestyle advice for animal companions and their human friends across the USA.
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Dr. Laurel’s Cat and Dog Nutrition Philosophy – Part 1
Oh, yum! Your pooch has been creatively dining on an ancient deer carcass or two-day old opossum roadkill, then your lovely, sweet, feline decides to ‘bring home the bacon’ in the form of a frog leg. They just can’t help themselves! Oh bother, they’re such animals! Hmm… maybe they are really just trying to drop a not-so-subtle hint.
At my Asheville NC practice, Sunvet Animal Wellness Clinic, I can spend easily at least a third of my first consultation with new patients and their people discussing dietary choices, since, for a cat or dog, nutrition is a big part of the whole health picture. There are certain core subjects that surface repeatedly, so I wanted to address the fundamental points of my cat and dog nutrition philosophy. This is part one, addressing the theory behind the optimal diet for your canine or feline companion, and you can stay tuned for part two, about how to put it all into practice, coming soon.
In actuality, animal nutrition specialists can’t agree among themselves what types of foods are best for our furry friends, or even the exact ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates that is ideal. Every dog and cat food producer is making their best calculated effort at balancing the recipe they use for their specific formulations. This gives us, as the ones who feed our animals, the opportunity to be scientific and keep our minds open to previously unimagined possibilities!
Cat and Dog Nutrition: Cooked vs. Raw
One huge aspect to take into consideration is cooked versus raw. In the majority of cases, raw is the better and more natural choice, but there can be individuals who do better with cooked foods. As I talked about in this recent post, due to the genetic and nutritional history of some of our furry buddies, it isn’t always possible for every animal to eat a completely raw diet, but trying to make sure that cat and/or dog nutrition is as close as possible to what they would get in the wild is a great place to start.
Variety for Your Dog’s or Cat’s Health
Something that isn’t always considered but is absolutely vital is variety! I believe many of the recent food allergy issues have developed from feeding our four-legged friends the same thing every day. I recommend you rotate your protein sources to include all proteins that work for your dog or cat energetically. I use Clinical Kinesiology (link Clinical Kinesiology page) at Sunvet Animal Wellness Clinic to assess the proteins and vegetables that work best for your pal.
It is incredible how much of a difference a change in diet can make, and I am always joyful when I see the look of excitement or hear the enthusiasm in a client’s voice as the dietary shifts they have made begin to promote shiny softness in their sweet animal friend’s coat or a renewed perkiness in their activity level. In the next post in this series, we’ll address how to put theory into practice and start changing your dog or cat’s diet for the better! Read on…
Dr. Laurel Davis is a holistic Asheville vet offering phone and Skype consultations for animal lovers everywhere.Call 828-254-2221 or order an Ask Dr. Laurel™ phone or Skype session or bring your dog or cat to her downtown Asheville, NC clinic. Read more patient stories.
Get to know Dr. Laurel by reading her blog.
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