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Home > Animal Acupuncture > The Benefits of Raw Foods

The Benefits Of Raw Foods

By Brian Puterman

Cooking food diminishes some of the naturally occurring vitamins and
enzymes found in meats, grains and produce. Uncooked food, especially
meat and vegetables, are packed with enzymes; so much so that these
enzymes actually help break down the food they're in, aiding a healthy
digestive process.

Between 1932 and 1942 Dr. Francis M. Pottenger did a study on the
difference between animals consuming raw and cooked foods. The results
of this study were that the animals that ate a balanced diet of cooked
food had a weakened immune system that was passed on to their young.
It was further discovered that after three generations the immune
system of the animal's offspring was virtually non-existent. The
studies also showed that if these animals were given a raw food diet,
their immune system would improve and after three generations of raw
foods returned to normal.

The idea of our pets consuming raw fruits and vegetables isn't hard to
imagine but if we think of meats, fish and poultry it would appear
that there might be some risk of bacteria or parasites. A healthy dog
or cat should have enough acid in the stomach to safely kill
pathogenic bacteria. Raw pork is not recommended because of parasites.
Most animals prefer beef, chicken, turkey or rabbit as a protein
source.

Dogs and cats were once feral animals. They hunted and ate their prey
without the benefits of cooking. Of course over the centuries with the
domestication of these animals their digestive systems have adapted to
their more controlled environment, but the fact remains they are still
carnivores. Still, the evidence suggests that a raw food diet would be
the healthiest way to care for your pets.

Many holistic veterinarians recommend both raw meat and fish to serve
as a preventive measure against degenerative diseases like cancer.

Some of the raw vegetables your pet would benefit from are alfalfa
sprouts, zucchini, asparagus, carrots and lettuce. Some fruits to try
are peaches, plums and bananas.

Dairy products are best when used sparsely. Eggs, organic cheese
(avoid soft cheeses that have too much cream in them), cottage cheese
and yogurt can all be used in moderation. Since cow's milk is meant to
turn a calf into a full-grown cow, it contains natural growth hormones
and proteins that can adversely affect your pet. Tap water is as bad
for pets as it is for you.

To almost any dish you can add garlic. Besides being a natural flea
repellent, pets usually love it. Pasta with pesto is a healthy dish to
serve your dog or cat. Your pet may enjoy potatoes, lamb and broccoli
in olive oil...with a little cheese sprinkled on top. Brown rice,
chicken and vegetables may also make a decent meal.

On Portions

A cat's stomach is about the size of a quarter or fifty-cent piece.
Appetites will vary with temperature. Since dogs can weigh anywhere
from a few pounds to over a hundred, the amount of food is dependant
on the size of the animals body and how active the they are.

Pets have little chance of living out a full active life if they
aren't getting proper nutrition. And since cats and dogs are
carnivores they must eat meat to fulfill physiological needs.

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