How does our view of the world influence how we care for our pets?
Since tomorrow is Earth Day, it seemed an appropriate topic.
I come from a culture and faith that takes stewardship of the earth very seriously. We have a saying: tikkun olam, "repair the world." And though its full meaning goes far beyond just the physical world in which we live (it has deep spiritual connotations), there is an inherent respect for the planet we inhabit, and the animals who are in our care.
|Faraday likes to explore the yard in his harness. I am mindful of|
pesticides and fertilizers, and keep his explorations confined to our yard.
The items associated with the proper care of a pet not only have an impact on the animal itself; they can also have an impact on the environment.
Natural litters that are biodegradable are kinder to the earth. They don’t add to landfills, and they're flushable, too. (yay!)
Pet foods free of chemicals, hormones, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives aren’t just better for your pet. These types of foods frequently use ingredients that are raised and harvested in sustainable ways – and this, too, is better for the environment.
|It took us months to nurse Maxwell back to health when we adopted him. |
And that gave us a completely new appreciation for products that promote wellness!
Some may question whether or not the type and quality of ingredients really matter all that much.
Perhaps the following story will help clarify:
About five years ago, a friend of ours suddenly became my husband's patient. Trust me when I say you do not want to become a patient of my husband – he treats people stricken with cancer.
I researched. I traveled with him that year to ASTRO (the American Society for Radiation Oncology).
I listened to lectures and read white papers.
While we were there I heard an M.D. from Johns Hopkins present a paper on a study that changed the way I view food.
At the time, not that many people were talking about the effects that additives and chemicals can have on the food we eat, nor how ingredient choices could impact our health. But this doctor did.
This might sound unremarkable to you now, but at the time it was radical talk: Cancer feeds on sugar. Sugar depresses the immune system. Phytochemicals and carotenoids have cancer-fighting properties.
Today, a simple search will get you to mainstream sites like WebMD that say these same things.
Can foods positively or negatively impact our health? Modern medicine now unequivocally says YES.
If that’s true for humans, it’s true for our pets as well.
|Feeding our glam girl an all-natural cat food may make |
a difference in her health over time.
Personally, I believe in the long run that feeding a healthier diet - free of added chemicals and with ingredients that promote a stronger immune system - will result in fewer illnesses, thus fewer vet bills.
I equate it to the difference between paying incrementally more over time vs. being hit with a several hundred dollar vet bill all at once. In a way, it's a form of insurance.
But wait – is it really that much more expensive?
Only Natural Pet approached and asked if I’d review their products, I did a cost comparison. I looked at their dehydrated cat food and compared it to a very well-known non-premium canned cat food and one of the oldest brands of dry kibble on the market.
The canned food was slightly more expensive (≈30₵/lb) and the kibble was slightly less (≈50₵/lb). Please note that’s per pound and not per ounce.
Would you consider changing to a healthier food for your pet, if it meant a nominal increase to your monthly grocery bill?
(The Tonk's Tail Test Laboratory is about to launch, and in a few weeks I'll be back one last time to give you firsthand - err, paw - opinions on food, litter and supplements from Only Natural Pet.)
This post is sponsored by Only Natural Pet on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Only Natural Pet, but A Tonk's Tail only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Only Natural Pet is not responsible for the content of this article.