“They don’t make ‘em like they used to” is a common catchphrase most of us have heard. It can be applied to nearly any commercial good, from automobiles to appliances and even to homes. But we rarely hear it when discussing pet food, as this is a talking point that is largely ignored. As the nation embraces organic eatables, we are simultaneously serving our dogs and cats less nutritious meals than we did in the past.
Most of the dry or canned pet foods that are sold at local supermarkets are heavily processed and contain copious amounts of “filler”, an ingredient that is added to provide dietary fiber and/or bulk. Common examples include corn, soy, weeds, straw, citrus pulp, and cereal by-products. It does not contain any nutritional value, but it helps keep costs low; many animal lovers truly care for their dogs and cats, but rarely have the cash to feed them as if they were human beings. Gourmet, organic, and specialized pet foods can be more expensive than anything you might feed your child. It is no wonder then why most pet owners often have to go with the more affordable alternative. What’s more, they shouldn’t feel bad about it! Even though they are heavily processed, these foods are not necessarily unhealthy. With that said, they may lack some of nutrients your cat or dog needs to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and this is especially true for older pets that naturally slow down as they age. If they do not get the nutrients they need with each meal, they may be more susceptible to age-related injuries and ailments.
Just as their owners do, dogs and cats can benefit from daily nutritional supplements. These pills, tablets, and chewables are designed to make up for a dietary deficiency caused by commercial pet foods, or because they have higher needs for certain nutrients than the average pet. A good supplement can give them everything they need to keep their coats and skin healthy, shinny, and supple.
Omega-3s and Omega-6s are the two main classes of fatty acids that help support skin and coat health in our pets. Unfortunately, they are sorely lacking in most commercial pet food brands. The only way to ensure that your furry friend gets enough of them is to feed him dietary supplements on a regular basis, like Optima 365 and Derma-3. These polyunsaturated fats are actually produced in the canine and feline body, but neither makes enough of them to support healthy functions. They must get the remainder from their diets, which may be difficult if you feed them commercial pet food. There are also liquid forms of supplements that will do everything from improve joint health to sooth emotions to have a pet that feel superb on multiple levels.
If your pet is on a diet because he’s overweight or has an intestinal disease that keeps him from absorbing fatty acids as he should, it may cause skin and coat problems. Itching or inflamed skin and a dull coat are the most common symptoms of this physical ailment, whether it is caused by diet or a medical issue. Taking a simple supplement should help him return his skin and coat to their former glory.