What is Holistic Dog Food?
If you’re like me and have a dog with digestive issues, you’re probably already tuned into how impactful the right diet can have on for your pet’s health. And while opting for a top-quality, specially formulated mix may be a bit pricier than what you would pick up from your local grocer, the rewards are plenty for those with pets that suffer from IBS, pancreatitis or other tummy troubles. In particular, the ability of your pet to control bowel movements.
Although finding a vet-recommended brand of low-fat kibble worked instantly for my pooch, for other pets that suffer from allergies, lethargy, fur loss, skin irritations, or lack of appetite, introducing a holistic diet may be the best route to go when seeking quick, noticeable results.
Now, while you’ve probably heard the term “holistic”, you may not be familiar with what it means when referencing your pet’s food. In a nutshell, it’s a wet, dry, or raw food made from top-quality ingredients (no by-products) that have not been processed or refined, nor had fillers, or dyes added. And because so many allergies and maladies in dogs result from adverse reactions to ingredients such as egg, corn, soy, wheat, dairy, dyes, and synthetic additives that are rampant in many lesser quality foods, its quite possible that a holistic diet could be the silver bullet you’ve been looking for.
So, what can you expect to find in your dog’s holistic diet of kibble or wet food? For starters, only quality proteins such as chicken, fish, or pork. There will be both pre- and pro-biotics to help support absorption of nutrition, as well as anti-oxidants to help maintain a healthy immune system. Natural fiber will keep things moving along nicely, and you’ll still get all those vitamins and minerals you count on to keep your dog heart healthy and feeling well. All of this, in a format that has not been over-processed, dyed, or bulked up with cheaper grains that leave your pet feeling hungry shortly after eating. Let’s face it, even for humans, carbs are a quick fix that just doesn’t stay with you the way a good protein will.
But just like that designer bag at a flea market kiosk, imposters abound and you’ll want to read labels carefully before committing. Look for the American Association of Feed Control Officials distinctive logo on the bag. While they haven’t established a standard to define “holistic”, they do have one for the term “organic” and “natural” which means any brand using this terminology has been vetted by the association and given the OK, to label their products as such. And for natural, that means the product is free from additives, preservatives, and synthetic ingredients.
Now, if you don’t want to play fast and loose with your pet’s new diet, ask your Vet for recommendations. Get a few brand names, then check them out through on-line reviews, to see whether they’ve had recalls, and also whether they deliver the level of natural ingredients and standard of preparation, that you’ve just learned you should be looking for in a holistic blend.
More by Mary Simpson