When was the last time you fed your dog or cat vegetables – real, organic vegetables?
If you’re like most pet parents, you probably haven’t. The majority of dogs and cats don’t receive vegetables on a regular basis, unless you feed your pet a homemade, species-specific diet made with organic produce.
Some commercially processed pet foods may claim to include vegetables and other green foods, but the harsh high-heat processing used to produce the food likely zeros out their nutritional value.
While your pet doesn’t require much – vegetables should make up only a small percentage of your dog’s or cat’s diet – they’re actually very important for health.
Both dogs and cats need vegetables for essential nutrients and fiber not typically provided by their usual diet.
Species-appropriate dog and cat food is predominantly protein. While high-quality meat sources supply amino acids and other valuable nutrients, they don’t contain the important antioxidants and phytonutrients found only in plant foods.
Vegetables are the only source of antioxidants and phytonutrients in your pet’s diet. So, unless you’re regularly feeding vegetables to your cat or dog, your pet is not getting the health-supporting polyphenols and other antioxidants he needs for health.
My favorite way to provide dogs and cats with the vitamins and minerals they need is through whole foods. With whole food sources, you don’t need to worry if you’re feeding too much of one nutrient and not enough of another. In other words, whole foods provide balanced nutrition.
You can do this by adding fresh vegetables to your pet’s homemade diet. Another way is to add a topper containing vegetables to your pet’s usual food.
How Cats and Dogs Can Benefit From Plant Foods
Fiber or roughage is one primary reason why plant foods are beneficial for your pet. Cats and dogs need fiber for their digestive health.
However, there are other important reasons to include vegetables in your pet’s diet:
- Plant foods help balance the alkalinity and acidity of your pet’s food.
Most vegetables have an alkalizing effect on the body. Meat and other proteins make the body more acidic.
Your pet’s organs, including his liver, pancreas, gallbladder, heart and kidneys function optimally in a more alkaline environment. Certain plant foods can provide that alkalizing effect and help balance the acidity from proteins.
Moderate to strong alkaline-forming foods include grasses, seaweed, broccoli, kale, beets and carrots.
- Vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, including vitamins A and K2, vitamin C co-factors, iron, folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Root vegetables, like carrots and beets, grow deep in the soil and absorb minerals from the ground. Seaweed absorbs minerals and micronutrients from the ocean.
Vegetables like broccoli, carrots and beets contain vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A and K2, iron and folate, that can be lacking in processed pet foods.
It’s important to choose Certified Organic vegetables so you don’t feed your pet synthetic fertilizers, glyphosate and GMOs.
- Only plant foods provide phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Meat provides important amino acids. However, to get antioxidants and phytonutrients, your cat or dog needs vegetables.
Antioxidants are your pet’s best friend for maintaining health. They help protect against free radicals that can damage cells and organs.
Phytonutrients are powerful plant-based nutrients that support healthy cells, gut and liver health, and a healthy inflammatory response.
Green superfood grasses, like barley grass and wheatgrass, contain phytonutrients such as chlorophyll, phycocyanin and carotenoids, the plant sterol ester, beta-sitosterol, antioxidants and abundant vitamins and minerals.
Broccoli and kale are two other vegetables that contain valuable phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as naturally occurring sulforaphanes and indole-3 carbinol (I3C).
Why Canine and Feline Bodies Aren’t Designed to Eat Raw Plant Foods
While humans are omnivores, meaning you and I can survive on meat and vegetables, cats and dogs are carnivores, yet different types.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to survive. They may consume other foods, but their diet must include meat.
On the other hand, dogs are considered scavenging carnivores. This means they are primary meat-eaters, but can survive on plant materials if necessary.
Dogs and cats have eaten vegetables for thousands of years, but not exactly in the way you might imagine.
In the wild, wolves and coyotes – your dog’s ancestors – consume grasses and berries in addition to the plant foods they receive from the digestive tracts of their prey.
Wild cats, being strict carnivores, consume primarily the predigested vegetable matter contained in the gastrointestinal tract of their prey.
Compared to herbivores like horses and rabbits, carnivores have shorter and simpler digestive systems. A longer and more complex digestive system isn’t needed because carnivores’ diets don’t typically contain the massive amounts of tough cellulose found in plants.
The plant material found in their prey’s digestive system is at least partially digested, which releases the beneficial compounds for easy assimilation.
So, the vegetables you feed to your pet should be as close to what they get in the wild, and easy for them to digest.
The Best Ways to Feed Vegetables to Your Pet
Because your pet’s digestive system isn’t built to digest cellulose fiber in plants, vegetables should be finely chopped and lightly cooked, or if served raw, minced or pulverized in a blender or juicer.
Just chopping or coarse grating raw vegetables isn’t sufficient to make them digestible for cats and most dogs.
So, what kinds of vegetables are best for dogs and cats?
Carrots are an excellent source of potassium, fiber and the antioxidants alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.
While many dogs love carrots, both raw and cooked, they are fairly high in sugar and should be offered in moderation. Their small size can be a choking hazard, so they should be chopped finely.
Vegetables in the cruciferous, or cabbage, family, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower, provide valuable antioxidants and phytonutrients. I recommend feeding them gently cooked and chopped finely or pureed. Never feed onions and chives.
Why Fermented Vegetables Are Ideal for Pets
One of the best ways to provide vegetables to your pet is to ferment them. Fermented vegetables are optimally digestible for dogs and cats and provide many nutritional benefits.
Fermentation actually imitates the digestion of plant foods in the gastrointestinal tracts of the small prey animals dogs and cats eat in the wild.
The fermentation process used to make fermented vegetables:
- Pre-digests hard-to-digest plant foods.
- Reduces the sugar content in foods like carrots and beets to nearly zero.
- Improves vitamin and mineral bio-accessibility.
- Increases bioavailability of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
- Creates unique metabolites not normally in the food, like lactic acid, or increasing nutrients, like vitamin K2.
- Produces an end product that supports an alkalizing effect on the pH of your pet’s body.
Especially important with high-carb vegetables like carrots and beets, the process of fermentation “pre-digests” the foods. This effectively removes the simple carbs as their glucose content converts to alcohol, which then quickly evaporates.
As beneficial as fermented vegetables may be, you may be wondering, “How can I possibly get my finicky cat or dog to eat ‘twangy’ fermented vegetables?”
That’s exactly why we developed Fermented Food for Cats and Dogs – fermented vegetables formulated just for pets without any twangy taste.
Without the ‘Twangy Taste,’ How Organic Fermented Food Can Help Raise the Nutrient Quotient of Your Pet’s Meal
As much as I promote the feeding of fermented vegetables to dogs and cats, I realize many pets won’t eat them, especially obligate carnivore kitties.
Designed to be a topper that you sprinkle over or mix into your pet’s usual diet, our Organic Fermented Food supplement was formulated with your pet’s taste in mind.
When I took on the challenge of formulating a pet-friendly fermented food supplement, I thought taste might be an issue. However, we discovered that adding the fermented foods to a base of human-grade, organic cheddar cheese makes them irresistible to most dogs and cats, including my own.
There’s no ‘twangy taste’ like with regular fermented vegetables, so our Organic Fermented Food makes it easy to give your pet nutrient-rich, organic vegetables and super green foods.
Our delicious blend is made from fermented organic whole foods, including broccoli, beets, carrots, kale, seaweed, ginger, and barley and wheat grasses.
Made with our unique processing methods, fermentation helps unlock the nutrients and makes them more digestible so your pet can absorb and utilize more from the vegetables in the product.
Easy-to-serve, this powdered superfood mix helps your pet get vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols from vegetables in a shelf-stable form. No refrigeration required!
Under the Microscope, Organic Fermented Food’s Nutrient Profile Revealed
We knew we put nutrient-rich, organically-grown superfoods into our Organic Fermented Food for Cats and Dogs, but because the nutrient content of vegetables can vary so widely, what is the nutrient content of the final product?
To answer that question, we put our finished product to the test through a third-party lab. We couldn’t be more delighted with what they found...
Our Organic Fermented Food is a good source of vitamin A and K2, folate and iron, as well as antioxidants and polyphenols.
Vitamin A is essential for supporting vision, growth of bone and muscle, and reproduction. It’s especially important for cats and dogs who don’t regularly receive fresh organ meat or wild game meats.
Cats have a special requirement for vitamin A, which is available naturally only in animal tissue. While dogs can convert beta-carotene into the active form of vitamin A, cats lack the intestinal enzymes to make the conversion.
There’s little vitamin A in most conventional muscle meats like chicken and beef (unless the beef is 100% grass fed) – the meats pets eat most. If there is any, it’s typically destroyed in the high heat processing used with commercial pet food.
All of the vitamin A in our Fermented Food is converted from beta-carotene to retinol during fermentation. That’s particularly valuable for kitties since they lack the ability to convert beta-carotene into a usable form.
Folate is another important nutrient for cats and dogs. It’s found mostly in green plant foods, but pets don’t usually eat leafy greens and broccoli.
Vitamin K2, a nutrient created by the fermentation process, is largely non-existent in most pet diets because they don’t include fermented foods. This special, hard-to-find form of vitamin K is essential for cardiovascular health.
Clearly, adding fermented foods to your pet’s meal can provide her with additional vitamins and minerals that she may not be receiving in her normal diet if it doesn’t include fresh vegetables.
Our fermentation process is a precise one. It uses a highly controlled process that interrupts the fermentation at its optimal point. This controlled fermentation process ensures optimal quality in our Organic Fermented Food for pets.
We Don’t Cut Corners... Our Organic Fermented Food for Cats and Dogs Is Created by an Exceptional Quarter-of-a-Century-Old Company
The organically grown vegetables in our product can be traced to actual farms and fields.
We didn't contract with just any manufacturer to create our Organic Fermented Food for Cats and Dogs – we wanted an outstanding company that specializes in fermented, sustainable and organic products. And that's what we found...
In business since 1989, our manufacturer considers quality the backbone of their company.
So what does quality look like when it comes to our Organic Fermented Food for pets?
- Verification: Their supply source is well-controlled and documented.
- Traceability: Their organically grown vegetables are not mixed together so they can be traced to actual farms and fields.
- Sustainability: From raw material cultivation and harvesting to processing and extraction, all steps of the process are under their careful control and dedicated to maintaining ecological balance.
I can assure you, we’ve done our due diligence to make sure you get the high-quality vegetables you expect for your pet.
Give Your Pet a Well-Deserved Nutrient Boost with Our Organic Fermented Foods for Cats and Dogs
Unless you’re feeding your pet a carefully balanced, homemade diet with fresh, organic vegetables, he or she may not be receiving all the vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and phytonutrients he needs.
Today’s commercially-prepared pet foods, with feed-grade, synthetic vitamin premixes added to bring nutrient levels up to the minimum level, are formulated to help pets survive, not necessarily thrive. I think you can agree there’s a big difference between merely surviving and thriving.
For pets to truly thrive, they need proper nutrition, and our Organic Fermented Foods provides the additional vitamins and minerals that may be missing from their diet if it doesn’t include fresh vegetables.
Our unique fermentation process takes the nutrient value of even organic vegetables to a whole new level. Because fermentation imitates the digestion of plant foods in the gastrointestinal tracts of the small prey animals dogs and cats eat in the wild, the end result is nature’s perfect food for your pet.
Fermentation makes plant nutrients easier to digest, and increases their bioavailability so your pet can benefit more from the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Plus, it creates unique metabolites not normally found in the plant foods, like beneficial lactic acid, and increases important nutrients, like vitamin K2.
Convenient and easy to use, our organic white cheddar cheese-flavored superfood topper is sure to please even the fussiest feline, while providing a much-needed nutrient boost.
Not sure it’s right for your pet? Try it and see. Your purchase is guaranteed with Dr. Mercola’s Money Back Guarantee. If you are not fully satisfied, you can return the unused portion for your money back (please see full return policy details below).
Order our Organic Fermented Food supplement today, and provide your pet with the important nutrients he needs from the vegetables and super green foods missing from his diet.