We’ve all heard the old saying “You are what you eat.” Well, that adage applies to more than just people. We are all influenced by our diets, no matter whether we walk upright, crawl, slither, hop or swim. What we put into our bodies should generally be as healthy as we can provide them with. Due to this, doesn’t it make sense to provide our pets with the same kind of healthy foods whenever possible? A manufacturer of minimally processed pet foods called The Honest Kitchen feels the same way.
The Honest Kitchen
Started in 2002 by Lucy Postins in her very own kitchen, the brand views food as medicine, just as most physicians and nutritionists do. Proper food consumption can boost our energy levels by ridding us of those feelings of lethargy and sluggishness. Postins speculated the same could or should hold true for pets. Animals in the wild forage for foods that are all natural. Domesticated pets eat what we give them, and we often give them really poor choices that include low-grade pet foods and human snacks such as junk food.
Food as Medicine
The Honest Kitchen brand is made up of dehydrated meats and veggies free of fillers such as corn, wheat, soy or GMOs. The result is a wholesome, quality food product similar in grade to that of a healthy human diet with elevated nutritional values. Most pet foods are made from highly processed sources containing a lot of fillers and fewer natural whole foods. Just as we’re told to avoid processed and refined foods whose nutrients are lost, so should animals. In reality, most of the dried kibble products we give them are the equivalent of fast foods.
Health Benefits of Whole Foods
The Honest Kitchen polled 6,289 of their customers to find out how their pets responded to a wholefood diet versus their old fast food diet. They queried them on eight different health criteria that included digestive problems, skin & coat health, itchiness, appetite, weight problems, ear infections, urinary tract/kidney issues and overall well being, including energy levels. Between 74 and 75 percent of respondents claimed to see an improvement in digestive, skin & coat and overall well being/energy levels. The other criteria all saw between a 40 to 60 percent improvement in conditions. I tried it with my own dog and found it helped with his skin and coat issues.
Healthier Food Choices
A lot of us, if given the choice, would love nothing better than to be able to binge out on Bugles and Taco Bell or Mickey D’s all day, but most of us strive to at least include some healthy aspects into our diets, while others treat their bodies as temples. If you fall into one of the latter categories, then you’re probably conscientious enough about food intake to want your pet to eat properly, too. If that’s the case, you have one of two choices: you can get all the ingredients at your local market and cook up a week’s worth of healthy portions at home, or you can purchase brands that do it for you and save yourself the trouble.
Here's another brand that produces natural foods full of quality ingredients for pets. Like The Honest Kitchen, they're a small company with pet nutrition in mind. Their Ethos Pet Nutrition facility in Brownswood, Texas, uses fresh meat, poultry and fish in their grain-free formulas along with fresh fruits, veggies and legumes. Independent and family owned, the group's goal was to make a pet food that made a difference. Their motto or tagline is "pet food made by pet people." Canidae makes foods for both dogs and cats in all life stages, and their site is loaded with testimonials from happy pet owners who swear by their products.
Looking for a natural pet food with some science to back up their claims? Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance boasts that each and every production run of their natural pet food is tested before distribution so consumers can use it with confidence. The brand has their own state-of-the-art laboratory where they test for nine known contaminants for quality and safety before shipping to the public. Their website even offers a feature where you can enter the product date code for a particular item and find actual laboratory results posted in real-time. If you're wondering why the name Van Patten sounds familiar, he was the well-known actor and pet lover who passed away last year that established National Guide Dog month and supported Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Natural Pet Food Purveyors
From brands committed to better, healthier foods to Rachel Ray's own DIY recipes for dogs and cats, big or small, it's gotten a lot easier these days to find pet foods free from fillers and over-processed ingredients. Using products like these can not only help lessen conditions your pet may suffer from, but it can supply them with the kinds of nutrients that should improve the quality of their lives and possibly even extend them. Whatever you do, just make sure you carefully research the ingredients of your pet's food as if it were your own food before settling on any one product for your four-legged friend, because we truly are what we eat.