High quality, biologically available, healthful diets for dogs and cats are the best path to optimal health and longevity.
Historically, pet foods were commercially prepared with rendered and rejected meat by-products from the human food industry, sometimes known as the 4 D’s – dead, dying, diseased, or disabled. They also included vitamins, minerals, and low-grade milled grain bits containing a myriad of chemicals, all cooked at excessively high temperatures for sterilization purposes. High carbohydrate ingredients (corn, soy, and grains such as wheat, barley, oats, rice) met AAFCO’s minimum protein requirements but lacked vital nutrients to promote animal health.
Over-processing and high temperatures damage nutrients
High temperatures diminish the active levels of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, degrade the nutritional quality of the protein and fats, and leads to unnaturally low moisture content. Over-processing breaks down and denatures proteins into amino acid fragments that are difficult to absorb and can lead to food allergies and protein deficiency. This process also destroys active nutritional ingredients such as enzymes, which are required for proper digestion and assimilation of food; and inactivates or destroys delicate vitamins such as vitamins A, E, C, and some of the B vitamins.
The health consequences of poor diets
Direct links have been clinically validated between poor diet and skin allergies, arthritis, kidney, liver, lung disease and even cancer. Following this traditional diet, both veterinarians and animals parents saw common and persistent issues of obesity, itching, flaky, inflamed skin, coats that were brittle and coarse, hyperactivity or low energy, digestive issues, and immune-related problems and conditions. When they began feeding a low-carb, high-protein, meat-based diet, they saw their animals’ nagging health issues improving significantly, sometimes even fully resolving.
Preserving nutritional value
Gently-made, air-dried, and low temperature-cooked whole foods made with exceptional raw ingredients protect nutritional value and vitality. This results in a nutritionally superior, more biologically available, highly digestible food that promotes and supports a healthy immune system – the primary building block of good health and longevity. Nutrient bioavailability refers to the proportion of nutrients that are not only available in the gut (intestines) but are actually absorbed into the body for use by the organs, cells and tissues. Because a highly digestible food provides a higher proportion of absorbed nutrients than a less digestible food, digestibility provides one measure of a food’s nutritional value and quality.
Antioxidants and phytonutrients also essential
- Antioxidants, often absent in traditional pet foods, are compounds that slow or prevent oxidation and help prevent initiation of the inflammatory process. This inflammatory response is believed responsible for premature aging, organ degeneration and cell death.
- Phytonutrients, also devoid in most commercially available foods, are chemical compounds that are produced by and help in the performance of plants’ metabolic functions. When eaten, they have beneficial effects on an animal’s physiology and metabolism. Phytonutrients are being clinically proven to positively affect health and well-being, reduce inflammation, slow degenerative disease, and play a critical role in the prevention of cancer.
A low carbohydrate, high protein, meat-based diet using sustainably sourced raw ingredients and Global Animal Partnership (GAP-rated) humanely raised proteins, is ultimately a return to the diet that nature designed for dogs and cats, and thus represents their best path to optimal health and longevity.