October is National Pet Wellness Month, an educational campaign sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association and Fort Dodge Animal Health. This is the perfect opportunity to spend a little time asking the questions you have and getting answers you seek about your pet’s nutrition and diet.
Veterinarians across the United States agree that we are a nation of pet lovers thus they feel that it is important to participate in this month long event. They believe that education is the key.
National Pet Wellness Month began in the year 2004. Currently there are over 50,000,000 canines and 40,000,000 felines in homes across America. In 2012, it was reported that over 60% of households owned pets of some kind, and though growth in this area has leveled off, our increasing interest in the health and well-being of our pets has grown significantly. As we are all becoming more focused and knowledgeable in the importance of our own health, we also are just as concerned with the health and well-being of our beloved pets. Annual checkups, exercise and training, and perhaps, as we are discovering, most important of all, pet food are critical for your pets health.
"There is a direct correlation between the health and wellness of a pet and what that pet is eating,” says Will Post, president of Hound and Gatos Pet Food Corporation. "Like people, the natural approach to diet is the best way to insure wellness, so when looking for the right foods for your pet, make sure you read the labels. Ask your veterinarian what foods are best for the breed of dog, a large hunting dog probably will not have the same requirements as a lap dog,” says Post.
As Will Post points out, there are five facts you might not know about your pet food:
· Allergies and sensitivities. Pet food that contain ingredients such as corn, soy, dyes, generic liver and preservatives can led to irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
· China is the leading pet-food exporter. China supplies half of all pet foods that are imported and is not governed and held accountable like companies in the US. It is estimated that the USDA only inspects 1-2% of the pet foods that are imported, which may contain heavy metals, pesticides and toxins.
· Urinary Tract Problems. Many dogs experience urinary tract problems can occur when eating dog food that doesn’t contain enough water content. Canned dog food is better, especially with higher meat content.
· Fluoride in Water. Fluoride is added to our water and is reportedly ineffective. Recent reports, however, have found that fluoride can lead to the weakening of bones, osteosarcoma and even cognitive damage. To avoid this, use distilled water or installing a reverse osmosis system.
· Obesity. Obesity is one of the most common health problems in dogs and cats. To avoid obesity, try feeding your pet a diet without carbohydrates such as corn and wheat, which are fattening.
"Determining that what your pet is eating is probably the most significant area of wellness, it is imperative that an owner finds the best food with the best ingredients, and avoids the by-products and fillers that have a negative impact. Soy, wheat, corn and artificial additives impact the health of your pet, as well as the digestion. Let's use National Pet Wellness month as a reminder to focus on the year round care of our pets, and help them to live longer and happier lives,” says Post. "As members of the family, they deserve no less.”
So, during this, National Pet Wellness Month, please consider at least speaking to your veterinarian about their points of view on ways to improve your pet’s quality of life. If it is a change in dog food, do your research. Once you determine which brands are best for your furry best friend, make certain that you make the commitment to then feed your dog better so that he or she lives a longer, more productive life.