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Healthy Food – Happy Pets

Since our two picky rescue and feral cats turn their nose up at my homemade meals, preferring commercial canned food, it gets fortified with a “superfoods” mix.

After adding my “special concoction” to the can of mystery meat they love, attitudes shifted. Their coats also became more luxurious and – to my surprise – no more ticks and fleas.

While it may sound complicated, I prepare everything at once, then freeze, so it’s quite simple:

  • Grind ingredients in a food processor or blender, then form into small balls and freeze.
  • Each night 2 balls go into the refrigerator to thaw.
  • In the morning, the mix is added 1:1 to canned food.

If time is limited, even adding a healthy oil and green powder with probiotics can make a big difference. You can also purchase frozen “real food” meals at specialty pet stores.

My Superfood Mix

  • Chicken livers – braised or baked. I use Springer Farms free-range, antibiotic-free and humane certified – only $1.69/lb. This is their favorite, but I alternate with grass-fed ground beef organ meats for nutritional variety. They won’t eat chicken, beef or fish unless freshly prepared and warm, so it is served separately rather than mixed in with canned food.
  • Frozen peas or leftover veggies from our meals
  • Nutritional yeast for B vitamins and to repel fleas – just a little since too much is not good for cats.

I bought cod liver oil since it is so good for cats, but they won’t go near it (Can’t say I blame them). Small amounts of flax oil is tolerated if they are really hungry. Going to try krill or another fish oil next

Healthy Snacks

My cats LOVE these snacks:

  • Coconut milk (sometimes blended with sweet potatoes)
  • Unflavored Greek yogurt – cats are often lactose intolerant, but small amounts of yogurt seems to be okay
  • My sugar-free paleo (high protein) banana cake (crumbs)
  • canned wild Sardines or mackerel
  • Cat grass  grown from seed and kept indoors (sunny spot)
  • Dry food morsels – limited amounts since too much can cause health problems.

Years ago, my friend Casey fed her cat expensive grain-based dry food that her vet recommended and sold, but he gained a massive amount of weight and developed diabetes. After internet research, Casey learned that grains are the worst food you can give to your pets.

After switching her cat from dry to wet food, he lost weight and began to heal. This was before grain-free dry food was readily available, but all dry products are difficult to digest and can affect the kidneys if cats don’t drink enough water. That’s why I treat (grain-free) dry food as a snack.

To avoid GMO grains, artificial flavors and colors, we buy Halo Spot’s Stew and Blue Buffalo. Both are grain-free and available for dogs as well. We combine indoor exercise with snacks by tossing morsels of dry food for them to chase – Blue Buffalo works best as the pieces are larger. They do the “happy dance” when I mention “the snack game.”

The best part of this diet is that it keeps them free from fleas and ticks, even with being outdoors part-time. We have a BIG flea and tick problem where I live, so I had tried adding Flea Free to their food. It worked great for a while, then became less effective over time. I guess the fleas and ticks adapted to the taste!

Flea Free contains apple cider vinegar and garlic (the part that is safe for dogs and cats), plus amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Once they were getting extra nutrition through superfoods, however, they no longer needed the pricey supplement.

Be sure to make any changes in your dog or cat’s diet gradually to introduce them to new tastes and avoid stomach upsets. If your furry friend has digestive or health issues, run this information by your vet.

If you’d like to start making your pet’s food from scratch (dogs are easier to please), Dinner Pawsible is a good book. For natural health care for pets, check out Dr. Pitcarin’s book.

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