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Diet and Exercise

Pet owners all over australia want to know: is a paleo diet suitable for my cat or dog? Here’s the scientific answer.

It was only a matter of time before the human fascination with the Paleo diet fad found its way into the Australian pet food industry (an industry that is estimated at $10 billion). With all the talk that has been generating around good nutrition and the best diets to prolong health and wellbeing (for both human and animal species) and in the quest to find the best diet for your pet,the question of ‘Is a paleo diet suitable for my pet?’ is definitely a relevant one.

A major argument against the Paleo or Paleopupsdiet fad has to do with the effects of domestication and evolution. In the same way that our bodies (read digestive systems) have adapted over thousands of years to accommodate food available today so does evolution and domestication differentiate the pets we love and know today from their wild ancestors. Our pets have been evolving alongside us and are no longer wild animals.

What does science say?

Research conducted on the domestication process on dog genomes found that two major types of genes were affected: those influencing behaviour, the nervous system and genetic material dealing with digestion and diet. Is it fair to feed them food their ancestors ate when their bodies are no longer programmed to nutritionally benefit from it?

A special diet that is prescribed by a trained vet holds a better beneficial value for your pet’s wellbeing. Any other type of diet enforced on your pet can result in undesired health disorders or adverse reactions. It is far safer to get the advice from your vet before making any changes to your dog or cat’s diet. This is a more responsible way to ensure your pets get the nutrition their bodies need.

If you’re unsure at all or just want some advice on what to be feeding your pet, please come talk to us at the South Eastern Animal Hospital in Clayton, Victoria. We offer specialist areas of expertise in pet food, general surgery, radiology and blood work. Come in and speak to one of our trained staff should you have any questions about the suitability of the paleo diet for your pet.