February 23, 2014

Cats Need Wet Food!

The natural diet of cats is meat. Cats are carnivores, designed to thrive on a wide variety of small prey animals, eaten fresh and whole. Their natural diet is high in water and protein, with a moderate amount of fat, and a very low percentage of carbohydrate. Cats have no dietary need for carbohydrate

Dry foods do not promote health in cats. Dry cat food is has a lot of carbohydrate, between 35 and 50% – a very big difference from the diet their bodies are designed for. “Diet” and “Lite” foods have even higher amounts. Dry food is convenient to feed, and relatively inexpensive, but it’s the opposite of the natural diet of cats.

Cats need to get water from their food. They are descended from feline desert dwellers. They are adapted to obtain most of their water from their prey, which contains more than 75% water. Even their tongues are not well adapted to drink water. Dry food contains almost no water. Cats who eat dry food consume only half the water they need, compared to those that eat wet food, and live in a state of chronic dehydration.

The common health problems of cats are related to diet. There is increasing evidence that many of the health problems seen in cats are the result of diets inappropriate for a feline. Dry, grain based foods fed to a meat eater, over time, result in both chronic and life threatening diseases, including these:

Bladder problems: Cystitis, bladder irritation and bladder/kidney stone formation are strongly connected to dehydration. If the body is well hydrated, these problems are minimized.

Dental disease: Dry food has a high sugar (carbohydrate content, which has been shown to cause dental decay. Cat food is designed to shatter when eaten, and there is no abrasive tooth-cleaning benefit. Cats who eat dry food often have severe dental disease.

Diabetes: The high level of carbohydrate in dry cat food contributes directly to the development of diabetes in cats. Blood sugar levels rise when cats eat dry food. When this is an ongoing event, insulin-producing cells “down-regulate”, which leads to diabetes.

Obesity: Because cats are designed for a high-protein, moderate fat, low-carbohydrate diet, it is not surprising that obesity is often seen in cats. Diet cat foods have even more carbohydrate than regular ones, and less fat, so they depart even further from the natural diet of cats, making it harder for them to lose weight.

Kidney disease: Kidney disease is the most common cause of death for cats. The kidneys require an abundant supply of water to do their job. Without water to process the byproducts of the digestion process, the kidneys are overloaded, become damaged over time and unable to do their job.

The solution is simple: Cats need to eat a diet that is high in protein and water, with a moderate amount of fat, and almost no carbohydrate, Most of the health problems discussed here are either radically improved or eliminated by eating a diet that meets the needs of a carnivore – one that closely resembles the nutritional balance provided by a mouse.

To prevent disease, feed your cat a meat-based diet complete with water!

The benefits of “prehab” swimming

The best time to get your dog comfortable in the water is BEFORE surgery!

Many dogs come to us for fitness and rehab after a surgical procedure and are learning about swimming for the first time. They are not at their best. They’ve been restricted and frustrated for weeks even if their humans have done their absolute best to take care of them. Things aren’t working quite right, and they may be in pain. They’re a little worried about their bodies!

Learning something new can be stressful, even if it’s a good stress. Optimal results in the pool depend on giving the nervous system only what it can handle and no more. If we can eliminate the “new thing” piece from the experience of rehabilitating an injured or repaired part, we can be many steps ahead in the healing process by not activating the hormones of fear.

If your dog gets comfortable in the pool before surgery, they come to an activity they are familiar with, a place they feel safe, and the outcome is much improved.

An added and not infrequent benefit is that those who do “prehab” are in better shape for their surgery and recover faster. Non-weight bearing exercise allows a dog to use their muscles in more appropriate ways than has been possible for those with chronic or acute problems

Help your dog have a better post-surgical experience! We have rehab packages that can be used pre or post surgery. Come in and visit!

Beth Taylor, LMT, CVMRT
The Puddle