Feed Your Pet Right
Murphy, an orange tabby, was 12 when he first developed diabetes. Owner Laura Del Rosso began giving him daily insulin shots, but his condition steadily worsened--and his vet warned that he might need more frequent injections. Concerned that her work schedule wouldn't allow it, Del Rosso turned to the Internet.
There, she discovered felinediabetes.com, a website that suggested she change Murphy's diet from a high-carb dry food to a high-protein wet food. Almost immediately, Murphy regained weight and ceased suffering from excessive thirst and urination. Now, two years later, his blood sugar levels show he no longer needs insulin. "Technically, he still has diabetes, but he acts like a kitten," Del Rosso observes.
Cases like Murphy's are surprisingly common, says holistic vet Barbara Royal, D.V.M., of Chicago's Royal Treatment Veterinary Spa. "I've seen dogs and cats recover from digestive problems, allergies, seizures, and behavioral issues with nothing more than a diet change," she says.
Every animal has different needs, but if you follow these general guidelines you can ensure the food you feed your pet improves her energy and wellbeing.
MIMIC YOUR PET'S WILD DIET
Because cats are carnivores, they have trouble digesting plant-based proteins. Dogs are carnivores too, but they're also scavengers, so they can adapt better to some plant ingredients. Still, the fewer grains the better--and it's best to avoid wheat and corn altogether, says Royal. In nature, animals eat uncooked food, which is why a growing number of pet nutrition experts recommend a raw foods diet; ask your vet if it's something you should consider.