Vegetables and fruits are included in many pet foods these days – both processed and raw.
But are they the healthy addition to a dog or cat’s diet many manufacturers would have us believe?
Here are 7 reasons why, if you want your pet to be as healthy as they can be, it’s worth avoiding fruit and veg.
1. 123 Toxic Chemicals
This is the disturbing number of pesticide residues found in a wide range of vegetables and fruits – as highlighted by a recent investigation by the Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK)
In the samples analysed:
- 84% tested positive for one residue
- 66% tested positive for multiple residues
And amongst these the chemicals found were:
- 24 known carcinogens (cancer causing agents)
- 43 suspected hormone disruptors
- 25 neurotoxins (nerve poisons)
- 15 developmental or reproductive toxins (affecting sexual function), and
- a wide range of compounds which can damage the liver, kidneys, immune system and other organs
Given the risks to health posed by chemically laden, non-organic vegetables and fruits, it’s wise not to feed pet foods containing these. (Examples highlighted in red on the ingredient label below)
For other ingredients to avoid see – Cutting Chemicals 3 – Food Additives in Pet Food, Supplements and Treats
2. Poorly Digested
Dogs and cats lack the digestive enzyme called cellulase, which is needed to break down plant cell walls.
And so, unless they are pulped first, vegetables and fruits go in one end and pass out the other largely unchanged. (Try feeding your pet chopped carrots and watch them appear in the stools).
Added to the diet therefore, they act as a ‘filler’ providing bulk in the form of fibre, but little in the way of nourishment.
3. Low Nutritional Value
The mineral content of soil has plummeted 72% in the last 100 years, which means that crops today contain a fraction of the nutrients they once used to.
In addition to this, the selection of rapidly growing and maturing varieties dilutes nutrient content even further (less nutrients in bigger produce).
As a result, modern day vegetables and fruits are not only indigestible, they are poor sources of nutrients too.
More and more dogs and cats are becoming sensitive to vegetables and fruits.
If these are fed to such pets, health problems often result.
Typical signs include:
- skin eruptions
- inflammation of the ears, paws and perineum
- irritable bowel
- sloppy stools, often with mucus and / or blood
- excessive wind
- loud abdominal noises
- vomiting small amounts of food and / or bile
This being the case, the greater the number of vegetables and fruits there are in a food / the diet, the higher the number of potential allergens there are, and the greater risk that a pet will react badly to one or more of them and develop health problems as a result.
5. Lowers The Nutritional Value of the Diet
Because they are poorly digested and low in nutrients, adding vegetables and fruits to the diet reduces the nutritional quality as a whole, because in effect, more nutritious ingredients are being replaced by an indigestible filler.
This leaves pets significantly worse off, than had they been left out altogether.
6. Fuel For Yeast
The sugar content in fruits and sweet vegetables (carrots, for example) can feed yeast causing overgrowths and infections in the gut and on the skin.
For many pets, this manifests as recurrent ear infections and a characteristic smell to the body. Acetate impressions of discharges or sore areas in affected pets often reveal abnormally high numbers of the yeast Malassezia pachydermatis.
Successful treatment means addressing the underlying cause, which in this case involves eliminating vegetables and fruits from the diet so that the microorganisms are no longer being fed by unhealthy sugars.
7. Far healthier alternatives
Why feed vegetables and fruits when there are far cheaper and more effective ways of promoting optimum health in pets?
VITALITY is a specially formulated and clinically proven example of this which:
- contains around 20 times the antioxidant beta-carotene as in carrots
- has approximately 5 times the antioxidant ability as blueberries
- supplies as much calcium as milk
- is twice as rich in protein as meat
- provides an exceptionally rich supply of numerous amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, co-enzymes, RNA, DNA and many other nutrients important for optimum cellular health
And whereas 90% of most vegetables and fruits in the diet pass straight through the body and out in the stools, over 90% of the nutrients in VITALITY enter the bloodstream within several hours of eating.
In may ways, it is the equivalent of exceptional intravenous nourishment, but given orally.
With such a option available, which has none of the drawbacks or ill-effects of vegetables and fruits outlined, why risk feeding the latter?