Hi there, my name is Melissa. I’ve been working the front desk for the past three years, happily greeting our wonderful clients and their pets. I’d like to share my experience with you on the importance of feeding an optimal diet for your pet.

I have two well fed cats (brother and sister) who are both 13½ years old. However, I believe the good health that they have enjoyed up until I started working at Founders has been due mostly to luck. I’ve always loved animals, but I was ignorant of the level of health care that pets need until I started working at Founders three years ago. As I’ve learned from Dr. Terifaj, a truly healthy diet is essential to pet health and there are many popular commercial junk pet foods you should absolutely avoid!

I shudder to think of what I used to feed my cats the first 10 years of their lives — thank heavens cats have nine lives! ;-)  I bought cheap Purina kibble from the grocery store — fooled by clever advertisements into believing that Purina was a better quality kibble than other commercial diets. Because cats are purely carnivores, feeding kibble (especially poor-grade kibbles that are primarily grain, such as Purina) is like feeding them a bowl of Wheaties every day. As you can imagine, it’s a recipe for illness and has been linked to the following problems: inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, urinary tract obstructions, and early onset of degenerative diseases such as cancer.

I now feed my felines Stella & Chewy’s raw/frozen chicken. Not all cats take a liking to this food, so I am lucky, because they love it! I mix a small amount of Fancy Feast in with their meals to add a little extra flavor. As I’ve learned — cats in general are fussy about switching to new diets — it’s recommended that you change the diet gradually over time. Do this by mixing a small amount of the new food in with the previous diet the first week and increasing it each week until they accept the new diet in full or some combination. Some cats will no doubt demand compromise!

Now that I feed Stella & Chewy’s, I’ve noticed that their hair coat is soft and vibrant, not coarse and grainy as before. The stools are easier to scoop because they are dry and compact (less fecal mass and not as smelly!) due to the high nutritional value of the food. And at their advanced ages, they are in perfect health!

I worry less knowing that I can feed them such a good diet. Once in a while, I think about the increased cost of feeding a truly premium diet, but I know that diet is the cornerstone of practicing good preventative medicine. So I’m spending a little more and making a good investment in their health and well being.

And did you know that feeding an optimum diet for health can mean the difference of enjoying up to 5 more quality years with your pet? And for me, that’s priceless!