I credit much of my success in weight loss and in my wellness to the loving atmosphere in my home. Yes, the meditation is key. Yes, excellent nutrition is a requirement. But the mental and emotional world surrounding us can have a profound affect on us all. And our home is a spa for us all. The love we have for our pets and that they have for us nourishes our spirit daily.
I’m an advocate for all animals, big and small. I feel that they deserve the best we can give. This of course, translates to working with animal rights groups, rescue organizations and wildlife organizations. But it really must start at home.
Having never had children, my fur and feather babies ARE my children. They get the best of everything. We are very particular about healthy nutrition and this of course, goes for our pets.
I’d never even consider buying kibble for our cats nor would I consider feeding our Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot a fattening, unbalanced seed diet. We try to keep their diets as close as possible to what nature intended. Here’s a rundown of the diet for our gang
Our Amazon has been eating an organic food since she was a hand-fed chick. This food was developed by a vet, Dr. Gregory Harrison. I feed this about 10 months out of the year. When she comes into her ‘season’ and gets, um, shall we say ‘frisky’, it is clear that her body is demanding more of her so we feed the higher protein version for those two months. She’s now 11 and very healthy and active. We supplement with fresh food as well. She loves nuts but they can make her fat, so now we do freeze dried organic peas as her treat and she’s crazy about them. Another treat? I give her the seeds from organic oranges, lemons and limes that I use when cooking. I order this directly from Harrison’s in Tennessee. Harrison’s Bird Food I highly recommend them, though.
Our cats are young – 2 years, 2 months and 5 1/2 months old. They have eaten raw since they were babies. It is difficult to do here in this town because we have very few quality choices for high quality raw pet foods, and the local stores, while nice, don’t keep things in stock for ready access. So, most everything they eat is ordered in. There are three ways to go raw: (1) make it yourself (2) frozen and (3) freeze-dried. To make it yourself, you really need the highest quality organic ingredients and the problem with that is that we have no real quality source for organic meats here. I did buy an organic chicken a few weeks back that was NOT out of date, that was rotted when I opened it. Nasty! Thus, I go with option 2 or 3. Most of the time, it’s the freeze dried. They do love it, though. There are added vitamins and taurine but not much else – just raw meat that is sourced from outside the US. I try to buy NOTHING that is sourced in the US if it is not organic, thus much of this comes from New Zealand. I actually had a problem trying to snap this picture because the girls thought it was lunch time – AGAIN. I order this from an on-line Florida company called http://www.Chewy.com. They generally arrive in 2 or 3 days and shipping is free with an order over $50.00. You toss these with a small amount of warmed, purified water to reconstitute. Be sure to do this, though. Dehydration will do a great deal of harm to a cat’s kidneys.
The last option is far more expensive. The frozen raw is harder to come by and even harder to find in organic. As you can see, I was unable to get a good picture without, um, supervision. Not only do you have to ship it in, but it needs to come in an expedited manner and frozen. Raw Advantage Organic Chicken Neck Crumbles . Since freezer space is at a premium, these are used more often as treats.
Raw chicken ‘meaty bones’ are good for cats. Just never, ever, ever give them cooked bones! This gives them the same sensation they have when chomping down on a meaty mouse, though my babies have never had such a thing.
And finally, let’s not forget the highlight of the evening: TREATS. Again, it is hard to find something that is not ‘manufactured’ with artificial and harmful ingredients. Our girls go crazy for these! They’re nothing but freeze dried single-ingredient chunks. The salmon is Alaskan wild salmon so I feel fairly comfortable with that. NEVER, EVER give your pets or your family farmed fish! The chicken, well…they love it but the fact that it is stamped “Made in the USA” makes me really nervous. We all know what goes with US meat production. I’m always looking for an alternative. I’m able to buy these from Amazon most of the time.
Now, a word of warning about the pet foods you generally see in the supermarket or on TV. RUN! If you simply Google “Pet Food Recalls”, you’ll be astounded by how many there are. And very few companies are immune from this. Some of the worst are sold in vets offices: Hills Science Diet and the Prescription diets as well as the highly-touted. Royal Canin sold by breeders and vets? Not good. Kibble is also known as kitty crack. They spray this with something that makes cats crave this, much like they get children hooked on bad breakfast cereals. This can destroy your babies’ kidneys and shorten their lives. Pet food dealers will often tout ‘human grade ingredients’ but with GMO’s and other poisons, that isn’t saying a lot.
Finally, here are a few shots of my girls. Sophie. And then there are Mhysa and Mei Li…Nice? Or not so nice? The seemingly nice ‘hug’ is generally the prelude to a bit of a fight. 😉