A healthy weight is both important to your pet’s health and an indicator of their overall health. Each cat or dog has their own optimal weight, depending on their age, build and specific breed. There are a couple of ways to test if your pet’s weight is on the right track.
You should be able to tell when looking from above that your pet has a visible waistline, but if there are clearly defined ribs, spinal bones or hip bones then your dog or cat may be underweight. If you can’t make out a waistline, then your pet may need to shed some extra pounds.
Feel your animal’s ribs and spine. You should be able to feel the outline of these bones, but you should also be able to feel a layer of tissue in between the skin and bones. This is healthy, but if you can’t feel the bones, your pet is likely over weight.
A processed diet high in ingredients that quickly convert to sugars and may contain too many or too little of the calories a healthy pet needs. On the contrary, raw and natural foods are easier to digest and can work wonders for your pet’s weight and metabolism in as little as a few weeks.
Your pet’s coat is also a good measure of health – healthy coat, healthy animal! It’s not without reason, as a dog or cat’s coat serves many vital functions – regulating body temperature and protecting against outside germs and infections, to name few. It is easy to tell when a pet’s coat is unhealthy, Look for the coloring in their coat to be duller than usual, while also being oily and smellier than usual, carrying an unpleasant ‘pet smell’. It is important to check your pet’s skin as well, as it may contain lumps and sores or be flaky and irritated. A healthy pet’s coat won’t have odors, and it should look shiny and be soft to the touch. The skin and coat is the largest organ of an animal and as such, skin and coat health is very important. Feeding raw, biologically-appropriate diet has shown to help many skin issues caused by eating an inappropriate diet in dogs and cats.
Processed commercial diets can upset the balance of acidity in your pet’s mouth, paving the way for infections and bacteria. A healthy mouth should have white and smooth teeth with firm pink gums – or, as some dogs have on their skin, black or spotted areas. Bones are a good way for dogs and cats to clean their teeth all while strengthening their jaws and having fun in the process.
Healthy eyes are easy to spot – they should be shiny and bright, and there shouldn’t be a dark discharge coming from their eyes like tears. If your dog has a dark brown discharge around the eyes or has tear stains, one off these causes may be from food sensitivity. In this case we often recommend going on an elimination diet. This means narrowing down the diet to one animal source, such as a whole animal pork diet, for example. For several weeks, your pet would only eat raw food and treats made from pork and nothing else. We find that many of our customers have had success using an elimination diet to help their pet’s health. If your dog is suffering from eye discharge or tear stains, please feel free to contact us or better yet, bring your dog in! .
A small amount of wax in your animal’s ears is normal, but there shouldn’t be any dark wax, swelling or redness: this signals a problem. The skin should also be clean and ideally light pink in color inside the ears. If your dog’s ears have a yeasty smell, we recommend using apple cider vinegar both topically and orally paired with a new raw diet. Some dogs cannot digest vegetables as well as other dogs, and root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and potatoes are high in sugar which fuels yeast infections. Feeding a diet with no vegetables to help control the yeast growth is a great way to treat the infection. We also recommend adding tripe so that your dog is still getting the vitamins and minerals he or she may be missing from the veggies. If your dog or cat scratches their ears excessively, this could be an allergy symptom related to foods. In this case we recommend starting an elimination diet – to feed only one animal protein for several weeks. Novel proteins such as pork, rabbit, or even kangaroo works well as an elimination diet.
A healthy dog or cat will have stools that produce very little odor and are fairly firm, but not so hard that they are straining. On a raw diet your pets stool will be smaller than if they were on a processed diet. This is a sign that your pet is utilizing more of their foods nutrient’s as they are digesting therefore resulting in less excrement wasted.