Our natural raw menu is comprised of healthy whole foods that are species appropriate. What this actually means is we try to mimic what our pets are designed to eat. In our natural raw menu a small part of the recipe is fruit & vegetables. You often ask; Does my pet need fruit & vegetables? Here’s what I think!
Wild Vs. Modern
In the Wild: Wild canines and felines have very different lifestyles from our domestic pets. They live in remote areas with minimal exposure to toxins and modern-day pollutants and chemicals. They consume foods that are regional and seasonal, including fresh, whole prey with all the organs, and vegetation such as grasses, fresh wild-fed tripe, fermenting fallen fruits, and occasional roots. They would also be eating the fur and feathers of their prey which act as roughage inside the digestive tract. This diet supports a healthy microbiome and digestive function. Additionally, wild felines and canines travel great distances and hunt for their prey, which gives them excellent physical endurance in comparison to most modern dogs and cats. This changes their cellular functions by significantly increasing metabolic rate and aerobic respiration, resulting in increased immune function and overall health. Our pet’s wild counterparts need this advantage to survive in the wild.
Modern Day: Our modern pets have a significantly different lifestyle to their wild counter parts. They rely on us for their health and well-being. They are exposed to more toxins from their man-made environment, often live more sedentary lifestyles and may go through periods of mental or emotional stress if their guardians are experiencing times of upset. They can also have genetic predispositions to disease depending on their breeding. These factors give them a slight disadvantage in the health department… That is, unless we know how to support them. This is where vegetables come in! They provide two very important functions for our domestic pets.
Phytonutrients are nutrients that come specifically from plants. They play a vital role in cellular health. Phytonutrients have health-promoting properties. They are potent antioxidants and have other important health-promoting qualities. Adding these nutrients can help your pets cope with some of the environmental stresses they face today and consequently have a major impact on the prevention of health issues such as inflammatory disease, cancer and more.
We have only broken the surface in understanding the health value of these important compounds. Some examples of phytonutrients are: carotenoids (yellow and orange veggies), lycopene and anthocyanins (found in red veggies), phenolic flavonoids (purple veggies), lutein and zeaxanthin (green veggies). These nutrients give vegetables their bright colors and have been found to have cell-protecting properties both for the plants and to those that consume them.
Fibre is the indigestible substance found in a number of foods including vegetables and fruits. Fibre is extremely important for our pets’ health for several reasons!
It’s essential for a supporting a healthy microbiome within the gastrointestinal system. The digestive system of both humans and animals contains a population of health-determining bacteria, often referred to as microbiome or probiotics. Fibre, while indigestible by mammals, is the perfect food source for the beneficial bacterium in the gut. In contrast, sugar feeds the pathogenic bacteria. Feeding the right bacteria with a healthy fibre source, such as vegetables, will ensure a proper balance is maintained and can prevent diseases.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Feeding Fruit & Vegetables
There are a lot of fruit and vegetables that are excellent for your pet and a few that you should avoid. All foods, should be fed in balance and moderation. See our list below:
Green Leafy Vegetables: spinach, lettuce, collards, and chard.
Cruciferous: Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choi, etc.
Root Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, parsnips, beetroot, carrots, turnips and more.
Herbs: Parsley, ginger root, garlic, others may apply too! (Check with your holistic vet).
Fruits: Apple, pear, and berries are the most species-specific and are lower in sugar than other more tropical fruits such as bananas, mango, melon which are best fed as treats due to their higher sugar content.
Tomatoes, onions, peppers, grapes and raisins, white potatoes.