Taking good care of your pet

Zebra blood sampling at Zoo

Having spent my whole life learning from animals and nature, having dedicated thousands of hours observing, discovering what was wrong and helping animals when they become ill, I have a hard time facing reality.

Up to 80% of the pets we have in our homes are on course to get sick, even when we genuinely try to take good care of them. This is especially sad considering how well we follow the advice of so-called experts.

I am a licensed veterinarian and have dedicated more than 35 years of my life to animals; the last decade specialising in nutrition. I have worked in zoos and treated all species imaginable, from dogs and cats, to elephants and tigers.

Having treated all these animals I have concluded that the single most important thing in keeping an animal healthy is prevention.

Prevention comes in many forms:

  • keeping pets clean (hygiene)
  • providing them with a good quality of life (exercise)
  • providing a socially satisfying environment (love and mental health)
  • and, of course, by feeding them correctly (nutrition)

Why do I feel defeated by the system?

Would you believe that around the world, as far as I know, no Veterinary University allows students to be properly trained in nutrition? Nutrition is one of the keys towards maintaining health and preventing sickness.

I have yet to meet a veterinarian who can decipher the label on a can of dog or cat food and explain to me what is it made of. How can it be that my peers are unable to explain what comprises the food that they sell in their veterinary practices?

All too often I’ve seen owners of diabetic cats purchasing cat food specifically labelled as being “For Diabetic cats” in a veterinary facility, without knowing that the most abundant ingredient in it is cereal.

Is cereal good for cat? No.

Is cereal good for a diabetic cat? Hell no.

Examination of an owl

How can cereal be present in food specifically for diabetic cats? Because there is no regulation to prevent it.

Why would a veterinarian recommend it to customers? Because he or she will have been told that large companies spend a lot of money researching and investigating, and as a consequence will assume they are manufacturing a good product.

So here is my proposal: it is easy to read a pet food label. Everybody can, and should, understand what it contains or is made of.

In the coming blog posts I am going to provide you with the necessary steps to find out what to feed your cat, dog, rabbit, parrot, etc. I’ll explain what products not to use when cleaning, when supplementing, when giving them a treat, when buying them a toy, because you care for your pet and you deserve a more transparent system.

Health check on a tiger

Feeding a pet properly and taking good care of it does not have to be expensive, nor does it mean that you have to buy certain brands. Having said that, there are a few reliable brands that can be used safely, or in any case used as a reference.

Are you up for discovering how to prevent your dog from ageing fast, your cat from developing kidney failure, your parrot from picking its feathers? Follow the Mascotasana blog and stay up to date!

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