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Chemical additives in pet foods effect health

The pet food market in Australia, in 2003, was worth over $1.2 billion. Of the 7.5 million households in Australia, 63% own pets so that equates to big business for manufacturers. In recent years, pet foods have been marketed to us in increasingly ‘human’ ways. They promote vitamins and minerals, fibre and other health promoting properties that we would regard as valuable for our beloved pets. But at the same time we are also seeing the increasing use of chemical preservatives in pet food and other hidden chemical nasties such as artificial colours and flavours. We are also seeing increases in cancer and other debilitating diseases in pets and this should give us pause to wonder if there is a link. Could the processed food diet, full of potentially bad food additives, we feed our dogs and cats be less than healthy for them?

Just like humans, animals do best on foods that are ‘close to nature’. A varied diet and some label reading in the pet aisle of the supermarket is the best approach to optimal pet health.

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Lindy Schneider is a writer and researcher with a keen interest in health, wellbeing and natural childcare. She is an advocator of a chemical-free lifestyle in the best interests of her family, the community and a sustainable world. She lives in the Yarra Valley with her partner and two young children.

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