Natural healthy pet products are a major trend in the pet industry. The growing movement is based on a belief that animals have evolved with their diets in mind and should be fed accordingly.
This includes whole ingredients, avoiding those perceived as being heavily processed and feeding according to ancestral or instinctual nutritional philosophies. Using natural ingredients in these types of foods has been shown to have positive effects on pets’ health.
1. Better Nutrition
Pet parents are increasingly focusing on better nutrition for their pets. They select formulas that contain specific nutrients, fulfill dietary functions and meet their pet’s needs throughout all stages of life.
They often seek out products that are perceived to be natural, organic or holistic. They also avoid ingredients regarded as fillers or byproducts.
Using nutrient profiles developed by organizations such as the Association of American Feed Control Officials, formulas are intended to provide adequate nutrition for healthy animals. However, these nutrient profiles do not account for breed differences, impaired absorption of certain foodstuffs or changes in animal physiology during disease states.
The most natural approach to better nutrition for a naturally healthy pet is to select a food that closely mimics her ancestral diet and provides the nutrient building blocks she requires to stay healthy. That diet should be homecooked and free of processed, artificial or chemically-derived ingredients that your pet is sensitive to.
2. Better Digestibility
Better digestion can be key to avoiding gastrointestinal disorders like vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. It also reduces the likelihood of food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and other digestive issues.
Adding fibres to your pet’s diet can improve the quality of their digestion. However, not all fibres are created equal.
For example, chicory root fibres can be highly beneficial to gut health in both dogs and cats. They are a prebiotic that stimulates bifidobacteria growth and proliferation, as well as promoting the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).
3. Less Allergies
Allergies are a huge concern for dog owners, but they don’t have to be. For many, simple diet changes can significantly ease symptoms.
Pet allergies are caused by proteins that are present in the pet’s saliva, urine and dander. They’re also released into the air when animals are groomed or when a person touches them, and can cause itching, sneezing and runny noses.
Cats and dogs are the most common household pets, but smaller mammals like guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters can cause allergy problems as well. Interestingly, some research suggests that babies who grow up with a pet are less likely to develop allergies later in life.
4. Better Skin & Coat
The condition of your pet’s skin and coat are two signs of their overall health. If your dog’s coat is dull or brittle, it may indicate that they’re not getting enough protein, fats and vitamins in their diet.
Adding supplements with omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain skin elasticity and support strong, healthy hair. They can also relieve itchiness from allergies and sensitive skin.
Many of these supplements are easy to mix into your dog’s food, making them a quick and easy way to give them the nutrients they need for a healthy skin and coat. Some contain a combination of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, MSM, biotin, antioxidants and more.
5. Better Health
Whether it’s a dog, cat, gerbil or fish that you love, animals have been shown to help people feel better. They lower cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and increase serotonin, a chemical that makes you feel calmer.
Having pets can also help you make friends and socialize. You’ll likely meet new people when you walk your dog, attend training classes, go hiking or swim in a pet pool.
In addition, natural healthy foods have been shown to provide higher nutrient content than premium pet food. This can help your pet stay healthy and fit. These foods often contain human-grade meats and proteins, easily digestible whole grains and a variety of vitamins and minerals to support their dietary needs. They may include non-GMO ingredients, too.