Pet Food, Supplements and Natural Cures for Cats and Dogs
If you're a caring pet owner like myself and you consider your pet to be more like a family member than a pet (the way it really should be), then your pet/ family member's health should be of the utmost importance to you. But vet visits can get very expensive and if you are someone like myself who is not so much into conventional medicine and the potential side effects, then you may be seeking out natural alternatives for your pets. I have three cats myself, and through trial and sometimes terrible errors, I have amassed a nice list of natural supplements and cures for my cats. Although I know more about cat's health then dog's health, I think this article can be helpful for both cat and dog owners as most of the information I will provide pertains to both animals.
First and foremost, I believe that feeding your pet a healthy diet is the single most important thing you can do for your pet's health. This should minimize the need for vet visits, medicine and supplements which will save you a whole bunch of money and possible heartache in the long run. The same goes for humans ofcourse! A healthy diet is crucial for maintaining optimal health! We can even prevent many illnesses and diseases just by eating healthy.
After trying many different brands of cats foods, I finally decided that Ziwi Peak is my top choice. It's one of the best brands available. Being that the ingredients are all sourced from New Zealand, a country that has much stricter guidelines/ agricultural and farming standards than the U.S., I feel very confident in the Ziwi Peak brand. It's basically organic without the organic label, non-gmo, with no fillers, no added sugars, no added glycerin, no wheat, no soy, no corn, no grains, no potatoes, no rice, no rendered meats, no tspp, no gums, no carageenan, no tapioca starch and a bpa free can. It also contains 92% meat, organs and New Zealand Green Mussels! I feed my cats the Grass Fed Beef which is a wet food. Ziwi Peak also makes a great dry food as well. I prefer wet food to dry food because it's closer to what their natural diet would be in the wild. Some claim that dry food is better for a pet's teeth, but that doesn't mean that it's better for a pet's overall health!
Some believe that a pet should receive both wet and dry food. I tried that with my cat Roscoe when I first got him. I gave him wet and dry food, however when I took him to the vet I was told that he had to lose some weight. The vet recommended that I feed him either wet or dry food but not both. So I chose wet! FYI I noticed that Roscoe didn't need to drink as much water when I removed the dry food from his diet. I believe the dry food may have been dehydrating him. Wet food contains a good amount of water...and water is very very important!
In reality, the best pet food would be a freshly prepared unprocessed organic non gmo protein and nutrient dense meal. But this is not an easy find! I was feeding my cats an unprocessed gourmet cat food at one point, but it was not organic or grass fed and contained too much salt (there shouldn't be any salt added in my opinion), so I decided to go with Ziwi Peak instead. It's tricky. I do the best I can! If I could figure out how to make the perfect cat food than I might just opt for that! Or perhaps I just hire a private cat chef oneday! Ha ha! A girl can dream!
I was told a while back that the absolute best food to feed one's pet is a raw food diet. This is the closest diet to what a cat (perhaps a dog too?) would eat in the wild. However, when I mentioned this diet to my veterinarian she told me that a raw food diet could be harmful for my cat Felix who has been diagnosed with cryptococcus and has a compromised immune system. So to play it safe, instead of switching to raw food, I just decided to go with canned food... but a premium brand with organic grass fed meat- Ziwi Peak!
I also want to add that choosing a healthy treat is very important as well! I give my cat's Grandma Lucy's Ocean White Fish. This treat is made for both cats and dogs. It's freeze dried and wild caught with no additives or extra ingredients. My cats go crazy over this stuff. I have to give them treats after every meal and before I go to sleep or they'll think they've done something wrong. Yes, they're very spoiled!
Since my cat Felix (a big cuddly orange tabby by the way) has been on fluconozole for his cryptococcus for many years (I have yet to find a natural alternative for this conventional medication), I decided to invest in a kidney/ liver supplement. Fluconzole is known to be hard on the liver. I would suggest a kidney/ liver supplement for any pet who is on medication. I would recommend the same for any person on medication for that matter. I found a really great supplement called Dr. Mercola's Kidney and Liver Support. It's for both cats and dogs and has nothing but wonderful reviews! Quite a few of the ingredients are actually some really good supplements that I take myself! In fact, the ingredients are so good I decided I would give the supplement to all three of my cats. Why not? It can't hurt! Pets tend to develop kidney and liver problems as they get older whether they're on medication or not, so why not take preventative measures?
My cat Roscoe, a handsome grey and white tuxedo, has a very sensitive stomach. He has not been diagnosed with any particular gastrointestinal condition, but if I give him a food or supplement that he's not used to, he may have diarrhea or even vomit. I even had to take him to the vet a few times and spend quite a bit of money just to get him a prescription for Famotidine. But you know what else works? Pet Probiotics! Unless your pet can't hold down a meal for days, which would suggest the definite need for a vet visit, I would
simply recommend trying a pet probiotic. My go to choice is Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Cats. The reviews on amazon are awesome. Besides diarrhea and vomiting. these probiotics appear to be helpful for some pretty serious health conditions too!
If you have a dog I would suggest looking for a probiotic with good amazon reviews. Interestingly, I recently discovered that one of my own probiotics has the same strains in it as Pet Ultimates, except for one strain that still appears to be safe for cats. My probiotic is called Ojio Probiotics with 50 Billion live cultures per capsule. Pet Ultimates is 5 billion per scoop. So I decided to approximate what 5 billion of the capsule would be which is about 1/8th of the capsule. I've been sprinkling this amount on Roscoe's food for the past few days and there's been no adverse reactions that I am aware of. Excellent!
My third cat Dottie, a calico, is a real little cutie pie, but after almost 7 years I still don't dare try to pick her up. She was quite feral and skiddish when I first adopted her. So just imagine how insane it got when I had to take her to the vet twice and then give her medication. But that's a whole other story! Dottie has come a long way and has learned to trust me. More recently I noticed that she was scratching the hell out of her right ear. It took me a moment but I was finally able to get a close look at her ear. I noticed that she had some very dry flaky skin in a small portion of the corner of her ear.
I had just put food grade diatomaceous earth (an excellent natural alternative to kill fleas and other critters) all around the apartment and in her cat bed. I think she was having a bad reaction. I was having difficulties with my internet connection that night so I couldn't google to find a natural cure. I almost put Aquaphor in her ear but when she smelled it she ran away from me. I thought to myself, that can't be it! Then coconut oil popped into my head.
So somehow I managed to trap Dottie in her cage (this is a very cozy cage that she enjoys sleeping in) and I massaged some coconut oil into her dry flaky ear. She wasn't too enthusiastic about it, but she actually let me trap her in her cage a few more times to repeat the process. Turns out that coconut oil is a natural cure for ear mites and ear infections for both cats and dogs. It's even good for people! I also started putting 1 dropper full of sovereign silver (a natural antibiotic) in her food twice a day. It took a few days or so but Dottie stopped furiously scratching her ear and it healed up nicely. In fact, the last time I went to put coconut oil in her ear I didn't even have to trap her in the cage. She let me do it with the cage door wide open! How's that for a fantastic natural cure! Even Dottie seemed impressed!
In the past I wrote an article about all three of my cats breaking out with a virus at the same time. It was either herpes or calicivirus. I never did figure out what they all have, but I did figure out how to keep it at bay. At any signs of cold sores all I have to do is add 1/8th to 1/4th of a teaspoon of lysine to my cat's food twice a day and the cold sore(s) will vanish. And yes, this works for humans too- at a higher dose ofcourse! There's a pet lysine called Doggone Best Lysine for cats, but human grade lysine works just as well. I use Nutricost lysine and I share it with my cats. My cats and I also share the sovereign silver! Anytime they seem to be getting sick or if I hear a sneeze I will put 1 dropperful of silver in their food or on a treat twice or even three times a day. The silver and the lysine seem to eliminate all immune system issues! It's definitely worth the investment!
Another great immune system supplement for pets is Bixbi Immunity for cats and dogs. It's an all mushroom superfood! I've given it to may cats before and they've had no problem with it. They're currently not taking it, but perhaps in the future I will get it for them again. Bixbi also sells a mushroom blend for digestion and for joints. I haven't tried either of these two yet but perhaps in the future!
I also recently discovered an excellent vitamin supplement for both cats and dogs called Nutra Thrive. Unfortunately one container was finished by all three of my cats within days. It hardly seemed worth it... However I still feel it should be mentioned because it really is a quality supplement with phenomenal reviews. And if your pet is in bad condition this could actually be a very important emergency supplement to help get their health back on track. It's loaded with natural (non-synthetic) vitamins, antioxidants, digestive enzymes and superfoods. Oh yeah, if you purchase from them do expect to be bombarded with a thousand emails. Yeah... They go a little overboard with the email marketing.
They say that our pets need to do parasite cleanses just like we do. Well, I'm not too sure that giving my cats pure gum spirits of turpentine is the greatest idea, even if it is the best parasite cleanse I've ever experienced. However, they do make parasite cleanses for pets! Pet Alive Parasite Dr. is a parasite cleansing supplement for both cats and dogs. It has good reviews on amazon so I decided to give it a chance. I honestly can't say if it worked or not, but if my cats don't get sick from taking a supplement then in my opinion it worked! Parasites can cause all types of health problems if not kept under control. So it's worth doing a parasite cleanse every so often just to be safe!
And finally, I have a tendency to add superfoods into my pet's food since I myself ingest many superfoods daily. Spirulina, chlorella and blue green algae are really great for pets! Kelp is excellent although my cat's food already contains kelp so I'm not going to add more. Another superfood that I recently discovered is Raw Phytoplankton! It may be one of my best superfood discoveries yet! The reviews on amazon are outstanding. I started taking it a few days ago at only 6 drops a day instead of 17 drops, and I've already noticed that much of my joint pain has disappeared, I'm waking up earlier and have much more energy throughout the day.
I read that raw phytoplankton is excellent for arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, etc. It contains a lot of SOD “Superoxide Dismutase”- another incredible antioxidant supplement I'm about to start experimenting with on myself to see if it eliminates my migraines! FYI Dr. Mercola's Kidney and Liver supplement that I mentioned earlier contains SOD! Anyway, I've been feeling so good on this supplement that I couldn't help but wonder if raw phytoplankton was safe for my cats. Well... I was excited to find out that it is not only safe but highly recommended for both dogs and cats.
Some articles I've read claim that raw phytoplankton is far superior to fish oil which could easily go rancid and that pet's should be given raw phytoplankton instead of fish oil. I found some phytoplankton supplements for pets on amazon, but then I noticed that the brand I am taking, which is called Ocean's Alive Raw Phytoplankton, is actually being promoted for pets and being sold at some pet stores. So I started giving each of my three cats 1 drop of Ocean's Alive per day. I haven't really noticed anything significant except for the fact that Felix seems to have to use the litter box after consuming that one drop with his meal. Perhaps that's a good thing? Who knows? Besides that... all three of my cats seem as healthy and as happy as can be! Which makes me very happy!
So there you have it! There's many natural ways to boost your pet's health just like there's many natural ways to boost your own health! Have questions? I recommend looking them up on google. It's amazing how much information you can find online these days. This whole article is just a culmination of online research and experimentation. I also suggest speaking with your veterinarian just to make sure you're on the right path with your pet's health. Disclaimer: I am not a licensed doctor nor am I a licensed veterinarian. The advice I provide in this article is simply my personal opinion based on research and experimentation. Please utilize the information stated in this article at your own risk. I do not assume responsibility for your choices. Once again...when in doubt, please speak to your vet! Til next time... I wish you and your pet(s) the very best health ever!
Jennie H is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!