This post is to help people figure out when they need to change their food and when they need to to look for another culprit of the problem. What kind of problems are we talking about? Most commonly:
- itchiness, maybe even hot spots,
- ear infections,
- diarrhea or vomiting,
- anal glands.
This sort of thing.
So first, what have you been feeding? Like what is the current food? Is the food legal for us humans to eat? (Would you, as a human, be willing to eat this same food for every single meal?) If not, then yes, change it. But don’t just change it from one brand of “donuts” to another brand of “donuts” – all ingredients need to be legal for humans to eat. (Because even donuts are healthier than most cat and dog foods on the market.)
Have you already done that? A while back? And things have been fine until recently? Then it might not be the food’s fault at all!
Back in 2009 when hundreds of thousands of animals got sick from melamine contaminated pet food, pet owners had a wake up call that sometimes they need to question their pet food. But what has been harder for people to grasp is that convenient conventional kibble or canned food is almost always pure garbage. Like. Not a single ingredient is legal for human consumption. It’s how our society “upcycles” waste from the human food supply. Really. I’m not making this up! I am a stakeholder in the semi-annual AAFCO meetings (although I might get kicked out for making and publishing such a bold statement); the regulators think they are “doing good” because they are keeping human food waste out of the landfill. Really.
Ok. Bad news done.
So, when do you blame the food and when do you blame something else?
Ear infections are often a hallmark of a food allergy. It’s usually a protein issue (or a crappy ingredient issue). So if you’re feeding real food, and your pet has ear infections then maybe it’s a protein issue.
But if you’re feeding real food, and have been for a while, and all of a sudden he’s itchy, for example, then it’s not the food. It’s time to stop blaming the food. Maybe all of a sudden she has diarrhea. Something else is going on.
Ping ponging around from food to food when you already feed real food isn’t helping anyone. It just delays getting to the root of things.
There’s a group of us holistically-minded veterinarians (licensed or not) who know how to help pet owners get to the real problem. (AHVMA.org is one reference to find us.)
It isn’t always the food – and if you’re feeding legal for human consumption food, it very likely ISN’T the food.