On July 1st, 1847 the very first zoological park was established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Three thousand visitors traveled by foot, horse and carriage, and steamboat to visit the exhibits. Admission to the zoo was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. The park was able to exhibit over 1,000 animals on opening day. What is the importance of this historical event and how has it changed the way we feed our pets today? It is very important because zoos have laid the groundwork for how our own companion animals should be fed.
Let’s face it: One hundred and sixty four years ago, we were merely guessing on the nutrient and ingredient requirements for all these exhibit animals. Yet over the years, zoos have provided the groundwork for dietary and breeding research. They have without a doubt the longest history of breeding success of any institution in this country.
Zoos have become an important stepping-stone in the development of raw diets for our pets.They have completed important feeding trials and established proper nutrition guidelines for all the carnivorous animals in the zoos collections.
It would be wise to review what the zoos do to successfully feed their valuable animals.
Back in the early 70’s when I was exporting raw meat diets to all the zoos around the world, the Philadelphia Zoo was one of the last to convert to a commercially prepared feline and canine diet. Up to that point, they were still preparing their own diets, having established one of the first in-house slaughter facilities.
Why did it take them so long to come on board with commercially prepared raw diets for their animals?
They resisted making the change until they were confident that the commercial diets would offer the proper balance of nutrients. They would not be satisfied with unbalanced diets or abnormal ingredients that were unfamiliar to each animal’s dietary needs.
The important lesson to be learned from this is that zoo carnivores are simply NOT fed an unnatural grain-based diet.
So can we learn from the breeding success of these zoological organizations, from their professional exotic animal veterinary staff, and study how to feed our own pets a biologically appropriate diet?
My answer is a resounding “YES!”
If we are to offer the best possible care and diet choices for our beloved companion animals, we should heed the lesson learned from the zoo community. Why not call the zoos that are closest to your location and ask them what they feed their canine and feline collection? You will learn that their feed doesn’t come in the form of a heat-processed kibble but in fact whole raw foods!
There is no better gift that could we can give our pets than a lesson learned from the zoos. Feed your pets a complete and balanced raw diet and begin to experience the positive benefits the BARF Diet can provide.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.