We often write about organic products on the page of our Instagram Info Green Washing account. There, many subscribers asked to disassemble natural food and organic for cats and dogs. I must admit that the choice is small in this segment, but still there.
Factors affecting the choice of nutrition
Pets bring a lot of love and joy to our lives. In order for the pet to be healthy and active, a balanced diet plays an important role.
A balanced diet is a nutrition that saturates the animal with all the necessary substances and energy. When choosing a diet, it is important to consider:
- Animal age and size
- State of health, illness.
- Special conditions: pregnancy, nursing animals, castrated and sterilized.
Properly balanced nutrition of a dog or cat includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, microelements, water.
The nutritional value of the feed is different. The lack of certain nutrients is harmful. At the same time, you should know that an excess of nutrients can also be dangerous.
- Excess fat can lead to diabetes and diseases of the heart, joints or respiratory systems.
- Excess protein causes liver or kidney diseases.
- Excess calcium contributes to the formation of stones in the bladder and skeleton diseases.
When a new must-stand resident appears in the house, the owners ask about the questions: how to feed? Can I give food from the table? Is Kirkland dry dog food balanced?
Two feeding paths:
- Natural food
- Ready-made feeds that are offered by pet stores.
What is better Kirkland dry dog food or natural?
Let's look at these types of nutrition in more detail.
Shelves of pet stores are filled with bright packages. It is important to choose a pet, as for yourself, not to choose not according to a beautiful label, but in composition.
All feeds are divided into four categories: economy, premium, super-premium, holistic. Ready-made food attracts convenience and accessibility. But is the finished food really able to satisfy all needs and not harm?
A list of harmful components that should be avoided in the composition of the feed:
- Taste amplifiers,
- Smell amplifiers,
- Synthetic preservatives (E320, Ethoxyquin, E321, Propylen Glycol, Propyl Gallate).
List of unwanted ingredients:
- Vegetable protein (such as soy),
- Corn gluten,
- Wheat gluten,
- Vegetable protein extract.
Let's use the example of well-known brands of cat food to analyze what should be in the composition and what should be avoided.
Economy class feed
Economy is a low-quality feed made from second-rate ingredients, slaughterhouse waste and low-quality grain. Instead of meat, meat and bone meal, animal fat, soybeans, corn, etc. Are used. The feed contains various flavors, artificial additives and preservatives, and also contains dyes and flavor enhancers.
Friskies food for sterilized cats with rabbit and vegetables.
This food is categorically not suitable for feeding sterilized cats. Very small composition of meat and not in all croquettes. Almost the entire composition is in vague wording: cereals are not indicated which ones (for example, wheat should be avoided in the composition), from which animals or birds animal fat is unclear. A variety of antioxidants and dyes will not add benefit to the pet.
Premium Kirkland dog food
The composition of the premium class feed includes fish meat, poultry, good quality by-products, as well as rice and / or vegetables: carrots, beets, potatoes. They contain vegetable proteins, dyes and flavors. Premium class feeds are digested by 75%, and their energy value exceeds 350 kcal/100 g.
Royal Canin neutered cat food: 1-7 years
Dehydrated animal protein is a dried product from unknown parts and species of birds, especially not suitable for animals prone to allergies. Vegetable proteins in the top five of the composition means that they form the basis of the diet, this reduces the cost of the product, while the protein norm is not violated, and the type of raw material is also not indicated. Vegetable proteins are less digestible by cats (predators) than animal proteins.
Yeast and fermentation by-products – no type of yeast, maybe baker's?
Soybean oil is a good source of fatty acids, but soybeans are often grown with chemicals and genetic modification.
Ammonium chloride with prolonged intake can cause acidosis.
Super Premium Kirkland dog food
Super-premium xfot foods most often have a balanced composition. They are distinguished by a high content of meat and a lower concentration of vegetable proteins. They have a simple and easily digestible form that does not contain dyes. The assortment includes a wide range of various feeds for animals of different ages, kittens, pregnant, neutered cats, elderly animals, medicinal feeds.
Hill's Science Plan Kirkland dry dog food for adult cats to support vitality and immunity, with lamb.
The type of protein hydrolyzate is not specified.
The type of animal fat raw material is not disclosed.
Corn and cornmeal – poorly digested by cats.
Among the super-premium class feeds, the “holistic” line is distinguished – feeds that include natural meat / fish in an even higher percentage (up to 90%), and other natural herbal supplements. There are no GMOs, flavor enhancers and dyes in holistic feeds.
Orijen Cat & Kitten Food with Chicken
Good, balanced composition. A large amount of protein in the form of meat and fish. The composition does not contain cereals, corn, potatoes.
Of course, holistic food is better than inexpensive food in terms of a balanced diet, but what raw materials are used for them is not known. Was the turkey or chicken fed with hormones or antibiotics? Have pesticides and other growth enhancing additives been used for fruits and vegetables? Feed manufacturers do not provide this information, and the likelihood of using just such ingredients is high. Is the food made from organic products?
Yes, organic cat and dog food exists.
Greenheart Premiums produces Power of Nature 100% Bio dog food with a completely organic composition, which is confirmed by the Euroleaf certificate.
It does not contain meat, the source of protein is an organic egg and organic spelt (of all grains, it has the highest amount of protein). This food is suitable for dogs that do not digest animal protein, have sensitive digestion, skin and coat problems, and allergies.
Almo Nature produces wet food (pate) for cats and dogs in the Daily Menu BIO line.
Daily Menu BIO is a pâté for cats and dogs that is produced in Europe from organic ingredients on specialized organic farms that do not use pesticides, growth hormones and other harmful chemicals.
The Daily menu BIO pate is ideally combined with daily Kirkland dry dog food, it provides the necessary moisture and nutrients for the animal at any age.
The wide variety of flavors includes different types of poultry, red meat (of which a source of iron) and fish (of which a source of fatty acids), which ensures that all the necessary nutrients are consumed and provides a balanced diet for your pet. Products are made without the addition of chemical preservatives and food colorings. The quality is confirmed by two European certificates Eurolist and AB.
Riley's Organics Dog Treats
The organic origin is confirmed by the American USDA Organic certificate, which ensures the high quality of ingredients and food production technologies. The delicacy has such a natural composition that it is 100% suitable for human consumption. But don't forget that this is a treat for your dog, not for you. The Non GMO Project Verified Ecolabel guarantees non-GMO. Does not contain wheat, corn, soy. The treat is not a complete substitute for regular dog food, but it is a great addition to it.
Superfoods for cats and dogs from Kin+Kind
Organic supplements are USDA certified and contain no artificial ingredients, synthetic nutrients, preservatives or chemical processing.
Superfoods provide digestive support for dogs and cats. Only raw foods can be truly nutritiousperfoods are the most nutritious foods found in nature and are preserved at low temperatures. They are ideal for the raw diet and regular food in need of a slight nutritional boost. This product is intended for use as a supplement only. Not a substitute for your pet's food intake.
Organic food has two big disadvantages: high cost and difficulty in purchasing. At the moment, not many companies produce organic feed, and only abroad, so economic, political factors, the pandemic may affect the import of Kirkland dog food into our country.
As can be seen from the analysis, it is not so easy to find a good composition. In addition, such feed will be expensive. Long-term nutrition of cats and dogs with cheap food causes many side effects for the pet:
- Teeth and hair problems
- Poisoning with dyes and flavors
- Development of urolithiasis due to excess salts
- Kidney disease
- Allergic reactions
After weighing the pros and cons, some owners decide to transfer their pet to natural food.
Differences between dog and cat food
First of all, it should be noted that the difference between cat and dog food lies in the balance of its ingredients. They include different amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Typically, cat food contains at least 40 percent protein. For the most part, this feed should have enough protein, as well as a large amount of phosphorus. Due to the fact that most cats have a fast metabolism, they require high-calorie food.
When it comes to dog food, it is mostly fiber, with about 25 percent protein. Dog food contains more magnesium, potassium and calcium than cat food.
It has been noticed that with a large amount of cereals that are contained in dog food, the cat's body does not cope very well. If a cat constantly eats dog food, she begins to lack vitamin A. This is fraught with hair loss in large quantities, as well as complications in the field of vision. Cats require the amino acid taurine, which is not found in dog food. In addition, dog food contains less protein than every cat needs. It also lacks iodine and biotin.
If a dog and a cat live in the same house, they often look into each other's bowls. There are times when the owners themselves decide to transfer the dog to cat food, thinking, thus, at the same time to save money. However, such savings can subsequently turn into undesirable results for the pet. For example, too much taurine, which cats need, can cause heart failure in dogs. In addition, dogs that consume cat food develop stomach ulcers, gastritis, various gastrointestinal disorders, dermatitis, otitis media, and seborrhea. Small dogs can develop kidney stones.
Since cats and dogs are different, their feed is different in composition. As a rule, if the cat will eat from a dog bowl once, nothing terrible happens. However, with prolonged use of Kirkland dog food, some problems may occur in a furry pet. Founding with dog food, the cat will suffer from a lack of Taurin. In addition, in a diet specially designed for dogs, the content of zinc and vitamin E is much higher than in cat food. This is fraught with the occurrence of nausea and general malaise. Due to the headache, the cat becomes irritable. Overpatement with vitamins causes her indigestion, weakness and indifference to everything that happens. Link intensifies, claws begin to spread. Finally, the efforts to swallow the too large granules of Kirkland dog food for her can end sadly for the cat: she will have suffocation.
For these and other reasons, it is worth wearing animals to eat other people's food.
It is very useful for dogs to eat food, which contains vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs, algae, yeast, glucosamine, chondroitin, probiotics, minerals, vitamins.
For cats, it is best to consume meat (or products of its processing), amino acids, vegetable products (it can be potatoes, corn, etc.), vitamins K, A, D, E, Taurin, Iron, Copper, manganese, zinc, omega-3 and omega-6 acids.
Natural nutrition is not food from the host table, it is a certain diet that is ideal for the needs of the animal without Kirkland dry dog food.
To make such a diet on your own, it is necessary to take into account the features of the animal breed, a tendency to diseases, age, weight, lifestyle, activity.
All these factors show that the composition of the diet for each animal will differ, but the main groups of products will be as follows:
- Meat and offal. The diet of the cat should consist of 90%of meat. Dogs in the diet need at least 60%.
Cats and dogs are predators, they have a protein-fat metabolism and they extract all the necessary substances as much as possible from meat. The meat should be low-fat – turkey, rabbit, beef, lamb. The chicken is acceptable, but it can cause an allergic reaction. Pork is prohibited, so it has too much fat.
The offal is an integral part of the diet and the source of vitamins and trace elements that are not in meat. With caution, you need to introduce a light and liver, often they cause a liquid stool.
- A fish. Cats need to be fed exclusively high-quality fish (salmon and trout), but cheaper fish (mowing, salak, Putassa) is rather undesirable. This fish may contain too many iodine and other minerals that cannot be absorbed in such a volume, which is why stones in the genitourinary system can form. As for ordinary raw fish, it is not suitable for everyone – a lot of phosphorus, little calcium.
- Vegetables and cereals (cereals). For cats, cereals are not a mandatory component, since they are digested for a long time. In total with vegetables, there should be about 10% in the diet. For dogs, 20% cereal (oatmeal, buckwheat, rice) and 10% vegetables. The most useful cereals are brown rice and barley.
- Sour-milk products and eggs. In the diet of cats, these products act as an additive and it is recommended to give them 1-2 times a week. For dogs, dairy products (cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir) are included in the obligatory diet, low-fat and without additives. Eggs 1-2 times a week.
- The rest: bran, oils, fish oil.
The meat in the diet of animals should be raw, since processed meat does not contain the necessary elements. For example, Taurin and protein are destroyed during cooking. And meat for dogs and cats is the main source of protein. But how safe is it? Raw meat is the main source of infection with parasites. To reduce the likelihood of infection, you need to buy meat in trusted stores and markets, where there are sanitary documents and quality certificates. Be sure to inspect the meat for strange interspersed, color and smell. To destroy parasites, frostbite the meat for at least three days in the freezer. Before feeding, defrost it in the refrigerator or in cold water.
The acidity of the stomach of cats and dogs is increased, which allows them to destroy pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella, E. Coli and others. Observing all the recommendations, the risk of infected with parasites when feeding raw meat is minimal.
Water is the basis of all living things. Animals, like people, are 70-80% of the water. The younger the animal, the greater the ratio of water in its body and the more water it needs to be consumed. This is due to rapid metabolism. Without water, physiological processes in the body are impossible. It participates in digestion, breathing, heat regulation, provides the distribution of all substances, removes toxins from the body.
To maintain these processes, the cat needs to drink at least 20 ml per 1 kg of weight, an adult dog about 30 ml per 1 kg of weight.
The pet receives water not only from the drinker, it also enters the body with Kirkland dog food.
Of great importance to the volume of water consumed is the type of Kirkland dog food.
Cats and dogs that eat only with Kirkland dry dog food get only 10% of the liquid from it. Therefore, the watering drinker with water in such animals should be in constant access. The water rate in this case is calculated as follows: the volume of water should be 1. 5-2 times larger than the volume of food eaten.
Animals that eat natural food, wet food or mixed (dry plus wet) need less liquids.
So that your pet with pleasure drank water, adhere to the following rules:
- The water in the bowl should always be clean and fresh.
- It is better to pour water from the filter or bottled.
- Change water every day.
- Choose glasses of glass, ceramics or stainless steel. Plastic can push off the smell.
How to transfer the animal to natural food
For the most comfortable transition to natural food, adhere to the following rules:
- Show the animal to a veterinarian. If there are health problems, he will say what to pay attention to and how to make the transition easier
- If the pet is more than 10 years old, then the transition is better to cancel
- Change of nutrition is a strong stress for the animal, get ready that the process will be long and may cause your favorite a lot of negative emotions. The time of the animal’s body also needs time to adapt to another food.
You can make the transition sharply, starting to give new food in one day. But this method is very stressful for the animal, especially if it ate Kirkland dry dog food for a long time and has not tried natural food. It is better to do it gradually. On average, a smooth transition takes from two to four weeks.
If the cat or dog ate only with Kirkland dry dog food with the first step, you just need to soak it so that the animal is used to “wet” food. You can also start giving raw meat in the form of a treat.
The second stage is to add natural products, but not more than 10% of the total portion.
When the animal gets used to the new food, you can proceed to the third stage and add up to 20-25%. Offer new products every 3-4 days and follow the reaction of the pet.
At the fourth stage, go to pieces, increasing the share of natural products. At the same time, pieces can be sprinkled with crushed Kirkland dry dog food.
At the final stage, gradually reduce the amount of Kirkland dry dog food
During each stage, it is important to monitor the activity, well-being and stool of the animal.
When choosing this transition method, a reasonable question arises: is it possible to mix Kirkland dry dog food and natural? These two diets have different digestion speeds and the necessary enzymes for this. Therefore, if the pet has no problems, then such a method is possible for the transition. On an ongoing basis, mix Kirkland dry dog food and natural is not recommended.
It happens that during the transition, the pet has digestive problems and the owner concludes that natural nutrition is not suitable. This is not true. If the animal has been fed for a long time only with Kirkland dry dog food, got used to taste additives and thermally processed food, its intestines and the entire digestive system need time to adapt to new food.
General rules of natural nutrition:
- Food should be fresh and room temperature
- Feed at the same time
- The plate picks up and washed immediately after eating.
- Constant access to water
- Products do not salt and do not glow
Pluses of natural nutrition:
- You yourself control the quality and composition of the feed
- There are no preservatives, taste amplifiers, flavors and other additives in home food
- It is easier to vary the nutrition menu of a dog or cat for illness (allergies, gastritis, etc.)
Cons of natural nutrition:
- You need more time to buy products and cooking
- Difficulty in achieving a balanced
- A higher probability of infection with parasites and poisoning (low-quality products, storage disruption).
It is worth remembering that you can not feed animals with Kirkland dog food from your table. There are products that can be dangerous to the health of the pet.
Products that can not be given to animals categorically
- Fruits and vegetables. Onions and garlic are irritating on the gastrointestinal tract. Raisins and grapes – can cause dermatitis and acute renal failure.
- Sweets: chocolate, cookies, ice cream – can cause obesity, diabetes and problems with teeth and wool. There should be no sugar and caramel in the feed. They cause caries and diabetes mellitus, can cause the problems of the pancreas and anal glands.
- Cow's milk and dairy products. In adults, lactose intolerance is often found, which causes diarrhea, bloating and discomfort.
- Alcohol – contains ethanol, which is quickly absorbed in the intestines, causing intoxication. Strong poisoning can lead to the death of the animal.
- Some cereals. Oats can cause stomach upset in some dogs. Beer rice is a waste of beer production. Corn is poorly digested and can cause allergies. Corn gluten is a waste product containing fewer nutrients than corn.
Also, you can not give fatty, fried, smoked, salted, peppered, pickled food.
If you could not resist the pitiful look of your pet and gave something forbidden, do not panic. Of course, it all depends on the amount eaten, the size and age of the dog or cat. For example, if you occasionally pamper a Caucasian Shepherd Dog with a small piece of unleavened bread, then nothing bad will happen. But for a small dog, a piece of bun will turn into a trip to the vet, as well as bloating, pain and diarrhea in most cases.
Each species has its own needs, therefore, for proper and healthy development, everyone should eat what is laid down by nature. Over the years of evolution, everyone has developed their own diet for a healthy life. Despite their cute appearance, cats and dogs are carnivores and their bodies are designed to digest meat. In the vast majority, the industrial production of Kirkland dog food is a business and they bring health to animals.
When choosing a feeding method, remember that a long and healthy life of your pet depends on your decision.
- Factors affecting the choice of nutrition
- Feeding options
- What is better Kirkland dry dog food or natural?
- Ready-made feed
- Differences between dog and cat food
- Natural nutrition
- Products that can not be given to animals categorically