There’s more than one way to cook an egg. (I’m not going to use the skinning cats euphemism here: always hated that one). Literally, though, there are many ways of arriving at the same outcome, and what works and is comfortable for one may not work for another, nor seem to be a logical way to do the job.
I just had a customer in the store who paused when leaving and suggested we start taking people’s emails, and sending them out bulletins of information like the session she had just had with me. We didn’t discuss anything I haven’t been saying for a decade but, for most people, it can be a new perspective on how to feed our pet, and how to address the issues they may develop, or prevent them from developing.
My journey through pet nutrition has led to many different paths to success and, while I wish there was one answer for all questions, that’s just not the way of the world.
With pets, as with people, when we look at diet, it can be easy to distinguish between what is healthy and what probably isn’t healthy. Conventional wisdom is that if you cannot pronounce it, why is it on a label? I agree with that in principle, but many good things, such as probiotics and nutritional boosters, can have long Latin names that are unpronounceable. But chemical compounds, for sure, should not be necessary if real food is used.
It is my experience that the first step in correcting any dietary issue is getting back to the basics — providing the simplest foods, in the least-processed forms, to let the body reset. Many times, we will be told to switch to boiled chicken or ground beef and rice for a period. This combination is gentler on the digestion than hyper-processed dry food, for sure, but it is not balanced, and should be fed only for short periods.
This advice can be extended to a pet’s everyday diet. Getting back to a balanced diet that does not contain chemicals, preservatives and is not heavily processed just makes sense. If that’s the advice given when a pet is in crisis, when a pet is in the most need, it stands to reason that it should also be great advice when the pet is healthy. It’s not like this requires a degree in nutrition. When your mother tells you to “eat your veggies” or “You don’t need a chocolate bar,” she is using her common sense.
Many people are wary of something new, and rightly so. Anything new, if done wrong, can cause more bad than good. Which is why you need solid advice, based on years of experience, when making decisions to adjust the diets of your pets. It’s becoming easier to find that advice all the time, as more shops specialize in species-appropriate diets. The number of online resources is daunting, to say the least, with just about every viewpoint having its advocates. Finding a set of resources that makes sense and confirms your ideas is the most important first step.
Many issues today, with people and pets, are diet-related. I often say that, if my dogs could control my diet the way I control theirs, I’d be in perfect shape. Unfortunately, I have free will and lack willpower, although I am working on it. But I make sure my pets get the best, because we want them to have long and healthy lives.
I’ve never liked mass email blasts, or social media advertising schemes. I don’t like getting them, so why would I foist them on others? I’m fine with doing it one person at a time, one pet at a time.