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  By: Jane R. Bicks, D.V.M.



What to Feed your Dog
By: Jane R. Bicks, D.V.M.

Your Dog Can Have A Long and Healthy Life

Studies have show that many chronic and degenerative diseases
seen in humans many be caused or complicated by a poor,
inadequate diet, minimal exercise, lack of fresh drinking water,
and even emotional stress.

It is not coincidental then, that these very same issues may
negatively impact the health of your pets as well. The health
care and maintenance program you provide the pets in your care,
together with help from your veterinarian, will go a long way
in determining the quality and longevity of their lifespan!

Making sure your dog stays healthy does involve some work.
The most important person involved in keeping things that
way is, of course, you. Only you know how they feel. You
are the one on the front lines who senses if something
unusual is going on. Certainly, the opposite is true; some dog
owners wait for illness to arrive before paying serious enough
attention to their pet's health to take action.

On the plus side, however, taking care of your dog's health is
really not as hard as it might seem. If you are not already
actively involved, you can, with very little effort, get started
quickly and easily. Is it worth the effort? Of Course, if
you love your pet, the answer is yes!

Not only is the good health of your pet well worth the
time and energy it takes to insure they live a long and
healthy life, it will save you money in the long run too!

Unhealthy, Inadequate Pet Food

Exercise is important. So is the availability of lots of fresh,
clean drinking water. But for now, we are going to talk about
pet food. Did you know that three out of the five major pet food
companies in the United States are actually subsidiaries of
major multi-national companies?

From a business standpoint, for them, this is ideal. First, it
increases bulk purchasing power. Second, it represents a
captive market in which to capitalize upon their own industries
waste products, which form a convenient source of "ingredients"
for your pet's food. Third, it reduces the retail price on their
pet food products.

The High Cost of Cheap Kibble

At first glance, $9.95 for a 40 pound bag of dog food may
appear to be quite a bargain. However, keep in mind that the
purchasing price of such pet foods does not automatically
determine their quality.

It is unrealistic to expect so called "bargain" kibble to contain
plump whole chicken meat, choice cuts of beef, wholesome
grains, and all the nourishing nutrition your pet will ever need.

The added cost to include quality products like those would
force the manufacturers to raise their prices.

In the long run, so called "bargain" foods actually turn
out costing you more.

Here's why.

Studies show that almost without exception, your pet
will eat more "bargain" food than a nutritious, natural

He has to eat more in order to make up for the missing
nutrition. Your pet will actually eat less of a quality,
nutritious food such as California Natural, Innova or EVO because it contains all the nutrients necessary for good health. The natural tendency for
your pet's body is to retain more from these nutrient
rich brands, because the ingredients are used to
build new cells, and healthy blood.

Because "bargain" foods do not contain the nourishing
nutrition your pet needs on a daily basis, it passes
quickly through the body. This quick exit, translates
into the dog or cat becoming hungrier sooner.

Suddenly that 40 pound bag of $9.95 kibble isn't such
a great deal after all. On top of everything else,
consider the amount of money you likely will save
simply by not having to spend it on veterinarian bills
trying to save your pet from any number of illness that
may be caused by un-healthy foods.

What does it cost you for a trip to your vets just
for a routine checkup? $75 to $100.00 or more is
the typical price for just walking in the door,
then if there are any medications or procedures,
the bill can quickly skyrocket to well over $500.00!

While the cost of a natural dog food with quality ingredients
is a bit higher up front, where would you rather
spend your money? Paying a little bit more for
their nutrition....or paying a vet in an emergency
situation to try and get your pet well again?

It's your choice.

Photographs by Cami Johnson,