Second Chance: Another Perspective on Healthy Eating

Second Chance: Another Perspective on Healthy Eating

Hey y’all. My name is Caesar and I am a cool shelter cat here at Second Chance. A few weeks ago we had a guest columnist, Dr. Michelle Dally, who gave some advice about how to choose the best diet for your pet. This week Dr. Alison Hanson of Thrive Pet Health up in Mountain Village shares her opinion on the subject to give readers additional information to help guide their choices.



I would like to share a natural and holistic perspective. Generally speaking, cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores, both derive the majority of their nutrition from protein sources. The better the quality and less processed the meat, the more available the nutrition.

All food must meet five basic requirements. It must contain the proper amount and balance of essential nutrients; it must be of high nutritional quality so the animal can effectively assimilate the nutrients; it should contains no fillers or byproducts; and finally the diet should contains no chemical colors, flavors, preservatives or additives.

Regarding the first requirement, an example is the AAFCO industry standards which advise 26% protein and 8-12% fat as minimums for a cat’s diet. In the wild, it is estimated that cats ingest 47% protein and 33% fat. The gap is significant and a topic of much controversy. One theory is that the guidelines used for the production of commercial pet food should provide enough nutrients for “maintenance,” nothing more. If the goal is for your pet to derive health and vitality from its food, then is the “maintenance” amount of nutrients really going to give your active, or stressed, or hypothyroid, or growing, or allergenic, or geriatric pet, food to thrive on? Probably not.

Utilizing organic, natural, whole foods from great quality sources (proteins from animals raised ethically and with love) is one way to promote a long, healthy life for your pet. Whether your pet’s individual needs demand a raw diet or cooked diet, using the best quality ingredients, in the least processed forms, composed and balanced for ideal health will give your pet the foundation for a long, happy life.

And although I have yet to receive such a yummy sounding diet, I have thrived under the care of Second Chance after my rough start to young life (I am only 7 months now).

I arrived with a broken tail, which also weakened my immune system so I got sick. But I am a tough little guy and fought through it all, coming out healthy and happy, just missing some tail.   So I was quickly adopted into a loving home with my friend Jerry. Sadly, the young child in the home was allergic to cats and Jerry and I were just returned to the shelter. Through all of this, I have never lost my loving playful spirit. Oh, and I am great with other cats and dogs and so ready to thrive in your home…



As is my friend Desi, a handsome setter or spaniel mix, approximately four years old, and very well-mannered.  Desi was found on the side of the road having been hit by a car and abandoned there.  The great news was that he did not have any permanent injuries and is healed and hoping to find a home to call his own soon.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae


By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

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