What health problems may arise after feeding a dog or a cat on a lifetime of grains as the major part of the diet?.....as found in most commercial pet foods
Too much grain given to a dog or cat over their lifetime can result in:
· Premature ageing
· Pancreatic problems
· Gingivitis (Eliasen ‘Wolfweb’)
· Metabolic problems (Brown 2006)
· feline lower urinary tract disease (Brown 2006)
· Ear infections (Schultze 1998)
· Skin problems
· Excessive mucous formation (Schultze 1998)
Dry cat and dog food consists mainly of a variety of cheaply sourced grain.
This makes the food legally acceptable in regards to protein content whilst keeping production costs very low. Unfortunately, this overuse of grain gives it poor recognition as a nutritious food.
Are grains considered a bad food source for cats and dogs?
Dr Goldstein, author of, The Goldstein’s Wellness and Longevity Program, suggests organic grain and legumes used in times of liver disease and cancer can be incredibly helpful. Animal protein requires a lot a work to be broken down by the liver and kidneys, whereas plant protein is far easier on these organs to remove. During such illnesses, he advises that pets should eat more organic grains and legumes with their animal produce. (Goldstein et al 2005)
Grains that are considered superior to other grains are: Organic Quinoa and Amaranth (Martin 2008).
Author of ‘The Whole Pet Diet,’ suggests that if grains are to be included in the diet they should be good quality quinoa, oatmeal, barley, millet (least allergenic) and organic brown rice. (Brown 2006)
Completely against using grains in pet food is Dr Shultze, author of ‘Natural Nutrition for Cats and Dogs.’ Even wild prey does not usually contain grain unless the animal has been grazing in a field of domestic grain. Giving our pets grains encourages yeast overgrowth due to the excessive amount of sugars they produce when broken down in the gut. “dogs and cats have no nutritional need for grains.” (Schultze 1998)
In support of grains being added to an animal produce diet is Dr Pitcairn author of, ‘Dr Pitcairn’s guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. He states that good quality grain is cost effective and environmentally sensitive. When putting together our pets diet, grains supply vitamins, minerals and protein. Providing a combination of grains and legumes, a balance of all required amino acids is achieved. (Pitcairn 2005)