Does your healthy lifestyle spill over to your animals?

JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

Got to wondering about how most people feel or think about nutrition of their animal family. On my journey to be better educated on all things healthy it occured to me that I needed to have an overall approach. I no longer farm livestock, so this is on a pets only basis. Pets are huge business and people love their pets. Vets I believe are are lot like Drs and are not really educated on nutrition. (Doc Jones your the exception)

A few years ago we took our rescue cat to the vet with breathing difficulties. Many tests and over $1000 later, "your cat has asthma, here give her these steroids for the rest of her life!" Not only would my cat hate me for trying to jam a pill down her neck every day, I was not comfortable with the result. So with more research we've found that a grain free diet has helped her tremendously. The vet in question did not even touch on the subject. So now we buy grain free kibble and wet cat food, fresh meat and bones. Our cat is fussy, tried her on fresh meat, liver etc she will only eat gf cat food from a tin, much to my disappointment. I believe over processed pet food is a real problem. We need to look after our extended families as much as we do ourselves. We changed vets. Here she is being really cute!


  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @shllnzl yep there are some dodgy operators out there. In Australia it is a practice to use sawdust or sand as fillers in cheap dog kibble and sugar in wet cat food to make it more palatable. Beggars belief!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,371 admin

    We stay away from grains in pet food. Our dogs got fleas if this ever happened.

    Our thoughts are if it isn't something the animal would eat if left to its own devices, it shouldn't be consuming it. They are not people & have different needs. Grains, veggies & soy were not meant for dogs & cats, although we had a dog that would carefully shell peas & scoop them out one by one. Meat has to be the first ingredient in a bought food, and no artificial additives. We occasionally have meat for the dog & bones. Our dog & cats are also allowed to hunt.

    As for our livestock, it is grass & great hay first, then small occasional treats of oats for the horse and barley for the current milk cow at milking time.

    Our birds get real grains, not pellets. They don't get leftover veggies as they don't touch them & we just dont want to attract skunks, raccoons & rats. The extra roosters will get extra milk. We would prefer to have the birds free, but then we'd only be feeding the foxes. We still make sure they get some grasses and their pens are open to lots of insects...and a possible mouse or two.

    When we have pigs, it is barley feed & grass and veggie scraps. Soaked barley is even better than dry.

    We feel the more natural the feed and the most suited keeping that in mind is best.

    My red wriggler worms get certain scraps of course.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning when I farmed cows and goats, I used to supplement them with an ad lib mineral mix. Sometimes I couldn't keep up, other times they didn't touch it but gee they looked healthy. I never drenched, vaccinated or backlined and only fed good quality hay when there was a feed shortage. The mix was made up of 20kg Dolomite, 4kg sulphur powder, 4kg copper sulphate, 4kg seaweed meal and 4kg coarse salt. All mixed in a bin and every few days would check and top up. I used old tyre feeders. Worked a treat and cheap.

    The dolomite provided calcium and magnesium for foetal development and looked after mum. The sulphur powder was good for external parasites and good for breaking down roughage. The copper sulphate good for worms. Seaweed meal provided iodine and I never had a retained placenta after introducing that and the coarse salt made it a bit more palatable. This info may help.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow your girl is adorable! Is she a Maine Coon?

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @blevinandwomba she was a stray, so hard to say. She's a bobtail but not sure if that was how she was born. After much debate and research we believe her to be a Norwegian Forest Cat cross! She landed at a local farmers shed and he doesn't like cats, he said he was going to shoot her. We asked if we could catch her, could we have her and 3 and a bit years on she is happy and a very interesting little character.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,371 admin

    We would love to try a Norwegian forest cat, but they are expensive & seem to come with all sorts of strange conditions from breeders.

    We would want to try them outside. We read that they will fight off foxes. That sounds like a good idea. Our dog (a Norwegian elkhound) takes care of everything, but somehow those foxes are still sneaky.

    We looked into a Norwegian Fjord horse (so beautiful!), but even if we can afford them, we hear that they can have bad attitudes.

    It makes me wonder what other fantastic/unique animals the Norwegians have. I think there actually is a type of chicken...

  • DitaMallon
    DitaMallon Posts: 7 ✭✭✭

    When we had our dog he was fed what we thought was a good dry dog food. But as he got older and started having health issues I knew I needed to make a change. What do coyotes eat? Not grain. Through research I started our dog on Dr. Karen Becker's food recipes. She has a great book out there. His health improved dramatically and I quit vaccinating him and his seizures stopped. We did titer testing instead.

    My chickens are fed organic as well. So yes, our healthy lifestyle is also our animals healthy lifestyle. It's when you start thinking for yourself and doing your own research that a whole new world has opens up. So glad I found TGN.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,371 admin
    edited June 2020

    @DitaMallon We are glad that you are here! Welcome. You have tapped into a great resource.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 338 ✭✭✭

    I do only organic feed, grain and fruit as a treat for our poultry. They range each day in our orchard pasture, which is, of course, organic and being developed as a permaculture. We've had our eggs "taste tested" against "organic" store bought eggs a couple of times by groups of friends, and ours win hands down. It's definitely more expensive to feed poultry organic, sadly, and the "all in " costs make homegrown eggs the most expensive eggs you'll ever buy, but the level of health and quality of the eggs clearly show that the broad spectrum organic diet is fantastic for them.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,358 admin

    Hmm... well, my border collie does yoga every day... the "Downward Dog" posture....

  • lyn.arguello
    lyn.arguello Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    @jodienancarrow your cat is beautiful. I have a Maine Coon mix (and another from the same rescue that we aren’t sure of) They are great hunters and I have yet to see either “hunt” any sort of grain 😜. We give our an egg yolk every day and they love it. I know it’s high in cholesterol but it’s loaded with so many other good vitamins and they are pretty active. Of course we eat the whites and the shells get crushed up for compost!

  • Grounded
    Grounded Posts: 153 ✭✭✭

    There is very little regulation of the pet food industry. We lost a dog to the poison accidentally added to dog food from China at age 9. We did some research and found that there is a lot added to animal food that would turn your stomach. We got another dog and decided to make her food (some combination of chicken, beef, vegetables, potatoes, rice, fruit). Unfortunately, I had the misconception that fatty meat and crap food was O.K. for dogs and that their constitution somehow managed all that food differently then we do. This dog was healthier for much longer than the other, but did develop cancer in her stomach and we had to put her down at 13. Out next dog will be fed as well as us (we are vegetarians and try to eat organic when we can. We also try to grow what what we can. The only difference is that the dog will get meat, but grass fed, pasture finished meat and not fatty and/or processed meat.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @lyn.arguello your 2 are gorgeous. Originally we thought our girl was Maine Coon but they're usually big cats and she's not, plus bob tailed. I don't think there's anything wrong with giving yours egg yolk, healthy cats. Welcome to the forum.

    @attydennis1 yep I stick to kangaroo mince, nice and lean. Also beef and roo bones, lamb too fatty. I like you thought dogs could handle all sorts of crappy food, not sure why. Given myself an attitude adjustment! Healthy me, healthy pets.

  • sallyhoward
    sallyhoward Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    When my cat was showing signs of dementia I switched her to a grain free diet and now she is cured!

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