There appears to be an alarming thing happening in the Pet Populations of North America.
A large spectrum of “human type” diseases are invading the lives of dogs and cats.
This is the conclusion made by a growing number of Veterinarian Health Practitioners in North America with the added evidence from practitioners in Europe.
The question is… why is this happening and what can be done about it?
This is a complex subject so with our limited space we’ll take a cursory overview of some findings and observations made by a couple of health practitioners.
Richard Pitcairn, DVM, Ph.D., of Oregon has observed in his Homeopathic Veterinary practice and in his research into improved pet health that many animals are experiencing diseases rarely seen two decades ago.
Gillian leverkus, MSc, Ph D., MH and Veterinary Nutritionist and Veterinary Health Practitioner recently told me this phenomenon in pet diseases is the body of her doctoral thesis in Naturopathic Medicine. Gillian lives and practices in the Mill Bay area of Vancouver Island and is a regular lecturer on pet health and nutrition through Malaspina University/College.
Why is this disease phenomena happening?
Here are four reasons though to be the underlying cause.
- (1) Improper pet nutrition
- (2) Preservatives and other additives in pet food
- (3) Environmental pollution and
- (4) Stressful home environments.
Over the past 40 years the Pet Food Industry has become so sophisticated in its recycling of proteins and carbohydrates from human food processing waste streams that much of the pet food on the market today is “over”processed, denatured and too refined. In simple terms, our companion animal digestive systems are designed to metabolize ingested whole, natural foods, not refined, fractured, proteins and other by-products from sources that not too long ago were destined for the fertilizer industry.
For the purpose of this article we’ll deal with the first two issues… nutrition and preservatives in your pet’s life.
Most of the Pet Food Industry uses some form of preservation to enhance the shelf life of their products whether in dry, semi moist or dry (kibble) form. There is now evidence that some of these preservatives and other additives (stabilizers) can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Many of the same preservatives used in pet food are the same found in human foods and with every chemical addition to food our bodies have to find some way to deal with this invasion. The same invasion is assaulting our pets and in some cases the assault is colossal. With the immune system compromised in this manner a channel is created for all manner of disease to flourish.
What can be done about this modern day problem?
The simplest thing for all of us to do is get back to basics. Start feeding our animals whole grains, fresh vegetables and good protein. Start by accessing a source of all natural, preservative-free dog or cat food. Fresh/frozen pet food is the most “natural” form of food there is next to something you would prepare yourself.
Many people who have had food sensitive animals may mix a fresh product with a dry (kibble) food that is preservative free in order to get the nutritional bonuses (enzymes) from fresh as well as the economy of dry food. It must be emphasized, however, that all of us as pet owners must take a more responsible role in searching out the best foods for our animals. They are solely dependent on us for their food sources… dogs especially.
If we earnestly take this approach to the nutritional needs of our animals Dr. Pitcairn has assured us we should indeed help fight this disease invasion onto the lives of our dogs and cats.