In order for a pet to be healthy and full of energy, it is necessary to choose a food that fully meets its nutritional needs. We recently got a chance to meet some specialists and learned a number of facts related to pet food. So, what the difference between home-made food and biologically appropriate food? What to look for when reading the composition on the food package?
About Homemade Food
Cats and dogs are the closest relatives of carnivores- lions and wolves. Even the cutest and most furry pet remain a predator. Therefore, pets must be given food items that are natural.
Homemade animal food often seems useful to us. Offering milk to a cat or dog, sour cream, bread, sausages, pastes, etc., We simply upset the balance of the trace elements for the animals. So, with “home” nutrition we tend to overfeed pets with carbohydrates.
Giving carbohydrate-rich foods to animals is the same as fueling a low-quality gasoline engine. The car will work, but will ultimately fail. Also, food that does not correspond to the physiology of the animal leads to diseases of the genitourinary system, diabetes mellitus, and excess weight gradually. Owners rarely think that the problem is caused by an excess of fast carbohydrates and a lack of meat.
Let’s Turn To Evolution
Pets need meat. And this can be historically determined: let’s check it at the level of biological evolution.
In the process of evolution, they formed flat molars intended for chewing plants. The breakdown of carbohydrates begins in the oral cavity with the help of an enzyme in saliva – amylase. Herbivores have a long digestive tract – also designed to digest plants.
The biologically appropriate diet for these animals is plants with a high carbohydrate and low protein content.
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They have a large mouth with a blocky joint (movement along one axis). It is not intended to be chewed, like herbivores, but to swallow whole food. Pointed teeth with fangs help tear and grind meat. The digestive tract is short so that food is digested quickly.
Biologically appropriate food for carnivores (including domestic cats and dogs) should include various types of fresh meat, and also have a high protein content, moderate fat content and low carbohydrate content.
The best way to satisfy the nutritional needs of animals is through ready-to-eat meals. However, what products to trust if manufacturers offer meat feeds of different prices and categories?
What is Biologically Appropriate Food?
This is a food that mimics the natural food that animals fed on during evolution. Such feed consists of 50–85% meat, and 90% of the protein contained is of animal origin. As a rule, in the production of such feed use fresh meat and cook it at low temperatures (90 ° C). This allows you to save maximum nutrients and natural taste.
Interesting fact. In the manufacture of biologically appropriate feeds, raw materials are used that are extracted on agricultural farms. This means that livestock and poultry are reared on a free range, fish are caught in clean reservoirs, and vegetables are hatched by farmers. Also, the entire process of manufacturing feed – from the supply of ingredients to packaging – takes place at one production site.
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In the wild, predators consume a minimum of carbohydrates . Biologically appropriate food contains a limited amount of them. Moreover, carbohydrates are obtained from fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index – they do not provoke jumps in blood sugar.
For a change, manufacturers use several types of meat or fish. And also, along with muscle meat, offal and cartilage are added. This technology mimics the diet of a predator in nature – both in terms of diversity and composition.
Biologically appropriate food not only supports the animal’s health, but also saves the owner’s personal cooking time. You don’t have to plan a pet’s diet, buy products specially and process them daily. It is much more convenient to use ready-made dry food, in which everything is taken into account.
How to Choose a Dry Pet Food?
To confidently choose a biologically appropriate food and not get lost in the assortment of a pet store,
Remember the 5 Food Purchasing Tips:
Rule 1. The product contains proteins of animal origin (from meat) – more than 70% of the total composition
The ingredients in the feed are arranged in decreasing order of their mass fraction in the feed. Among the first five components, the first must be meat (fresh meat). It is better to opt for dry food, the manufacturer of which clearly indicates the percentage of all components. For example: fresh rabbit meat (12%), chicken liver (10%) and so on.
Rule 2. Low carbohydrate content (lack of high glycemic cereals) – up to 30% of the total composition
If there are several grains at the end of the list, then in aggregate there may be more than meat components. Instead of high glycemic cereals (such as rice, wheat and corn), biologically appropriate feeds use fruits and vegetables.
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Rule 3. Fats – Only Animals
Biologically appropriate food should contain animal fats. They are easily absorbed by predators. Look for information on lamb, chicken or other animal fat on the packaging.
Rule 4. Detailed composition
One manufacturer indicates the ingredients in groups (“meat, fat, cereals”), another – specifies the composition (“fresh turkey meat”, “chicken fat”). Choose a product with a detailed description of the sources of raw materials.
Rule 5. Quality Processing Technology
If it is indicated that raw meat was used in the manufacture, this may mean that it was previously frozen or dried. Avoid deep processed products derived from waste. So, meat and bone meal will not be harmful to the animal, but it can upset the balance of important amino acids.
A biologically appropriate diet is nutrition that is fully consistent with the physiology of the animal. Dogs and cats are energetic predators who need natural meat feed rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals.
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