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The Importance of Variety
Good Health Really is a Balancing Act
Have you ever tried building a "house of cards?" You may know it takes a lot of time, patience, and concentration. If something interrupts you (like a mischievous sibling blowing a card or two away, or perhaps your pet poking its nose in for attention), the delicate house may collapse in a matter of seconds, right before you eyes!

Nutrition works the same way in animals as it does in humans. No single nutrient works effectively by itself to contribute to one's overall health. Nutrient combinations work together as a team to support the entire body system. They depend on each other for proper utilization.

For example, vitamin C and E are absorbed with the help of magnesium. This means if you do not take magnesium, then swallowing the vitamins could be a waste - no matter how much you ingest, especially in the form of a concentrated supplement pill. Other examples: Vitamin B6 is needed for metabolizing protein. Zinc is also important for protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Every nutrient helps each other to make the complicated and sophisticated entire body system work. Eating limited foods every day may eventually lead to nutrient deficiency. Eating wholesome foods is vital for maintaining a balanced diet.

Just like building a house of cards, it takes time and patience to reach healthy goals with your pets - a shiny coat, reduced arthritis, longer lifespan, and other forms of optimal health. Interruptions, such as substances not necessary for normal healthy body growth (like chemical preservatives or environmental pollution blocking nutrient absorption), the entire body system can collapse...leading to disease and unhappiness in the future. Without action, those harmful chemicals and pollutants will stay in the body, and those missing nutrients may destroy your pets' health over time.

With the recent increasing popularity of health foods among people, more and more concerns about pet health have risen - especially among holistic-minded pet owners. Many veterinarians - holistic and otherwise - are aware that good nutrition can reduce the risk of illness. These healthcare professionals work with sick animals using a dietary approach alongside other therapies because they know that merely switching the diet to natural and nutritionally balanced foods can get good results (such as less frequent itching in allergic dogs). It certainly can't hurt, even when there are more serious underlying causes of illness involved.

Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M., the author of the "Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats" says that "certain diseases, including liver disease, heart disease, obesity, and cancers can be traced to improper diets, such as those too high in saturated fats or too low in fiber." He also says that balanced diet contributes to the longevity of pets. "While it's not common for veterinarians to see many obvious nutritional diseases in dogs and cats, there is no doubt that diet plays an important role in a pet's health. As owners become more holistic in their approach to pet care, including their choice of diet, their pets will enjoy longer and healthier lives. Simply stated, an educated owner is the best pet owner."

We all know that every animal is unique and will have different nutritional needs. Probably, it will not be easy to identify exactly what nutrients are lacking in your pets' bodies. If you suspect that something is wrong with your dog or cat, the wise thing to do is talk with your veterinarian and rely on a professional assessment. For the rest of us who own healthy pets who want to avoid future diseases and potentially expensive vet bills associated with chronic sickness, starting a good quality nutritional diet today, properly supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals, is essential. The earlier you start, the better the results! Remember, getting results through good nutrition takes time and patience, and it may take a few months to see the results, but just like a house of cards, when you've taken the time to build up your pets' health, you will be pleased with what you've accomplished.

Don't forget to look through other nutritional articles under the "Articles" section!

Special Note: Although every effort has been made to present healthy products and useful information to support your pets' health, the products and information contained within this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The contents of this site are not meant as a substitute for consultation with a trained veterinarian. If you are concerned about the health of your pets, you should ask your veterinarian for proper guidance suited to the specific condition of your pets. The owners of this website accept no liability for any consequences resulting from the use of products and/or information provided through this site. Please use your discretion when attending to your pets' health.
Special thanks to Fintan Darragh, Rich Bensen, Maggie, Jiji, and Mary Crissman for providing our pet pictures!
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