The Dangers of Feeding Table Scraps
There are basically two kinds of pet owners:
- Those who adore their pets and even treat them as family members, and
- Those who own a dog purely to guard their property, or a cat for the purposes of catching unwanted vermin.
Both groups could be in danger of feeding their pets incorrectly.
The first kind of pet-owner, often mistakenly believes that their pets like the same food as humans - they are after all part of the family. An "all meat" diet may sound luxurious, but is deficient in the balance of nutrients dogs and cats should have to stay healthy. Uncooked meat can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and if contaminated can seriously upset an animalís digestive system.
It is important for cats and dogs to eat balanced diets with sufficient fat, fibre, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, but few people have the time to adequately research and prepare balanced meals for their pets. You effectively starve a pet to death when you don't feed the correct quantities of a balanced diet.
People who keep pets for only utilitarian reasons tend to spend little time, effort and money on their pets, and often think that a bowl of porridge with gravy and a few table scraps and bones, provides adequate nutrition. However, animals, like people, require a balanced diet in order to function properly and to lead normal, long and healthy lives.
A young pet that is fed fatty meat scraps containing little protein, will not receive the essential amino acids and vitamins its body needs for growth and tissue repair, which could lead to growth deformities.
An unhealthy, hungry animal may become listless, and lose condition and it could become irritable and aggressive - even to its owner.
Pet nutritionists have spent years developing food for dogs and cats to suit their specific requirements. These efforts have been incorporated by the majority of responsible pet food manufacturers into their brands of pet food to provide optimum nutrition at reasonable costs while maintaining wholesomeness, palatability and quality. Many pets are living longer and healthier lives when they are fed specific diets that address the nutritional requirements of various life stages. It is, however, important to ensure that you are providing your pets with good quality and nutritional food. A good indicator is the manufacturer's reputation. Remember, though price is a good indicator of pet food quality, many (but not all) lower priced food give balanced nutrition, otherwise the Registrar Act 36 would not have registered the food for sale.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding pet food, contact PFI Executive Director, Barry Hundley at +27 (0)33-343-2874 or firstname.lastname@example.org