WHOLE FOOD FOR PETS A Whole Food Species Specific Diet Guide
SELECTING BETTER FOOD FOR YOUR PETS
As pet parent our sole purpose of helping keep our pets health, happy and provide their with the best shot at a long life. We can all do this by feeding them food that will reverse and retard illness via a speciesspecific diet. A diet rich in bio-available nutrients which are easily absorbed in the body in the correct form, balance and potency. If you are buying a natural or organic kibble and/or canned products you are not feeding your pet a natural or organic diet - you are not giving them the substance that Mother Nature intended that they eat to nourish and heal their body. In 1998 I set out to create products and services which would give my community the best options for feeding their cats and dogs a species specific diet. A whole food diet will save our dogâ€™s lives and increase their life span up to 45%. For years our dogs have suffered from many illnesses; allergies, joint problems, cancer, organ failure, skin disorders, colitis, general physical weakness and more. All of which seem to have come on mysteriously after eating processed canned and kibble food for a couple of years. The joint soreness, muscle pain, constant stool irregularity, loss of attention, hair loss, etc. came on after eating yearâ€™s worth of non species specific diet. The worldâ€™s leading veterinary nutritionists assure us that these problems were diet related and would self correct if we provide them with a whole food diet. All cats are true carnivores, obligate carnivores and dogs are omnivores. This means they must eat meat to survive. Neither can do well on a processed omnivores or vegetarians diet. Because they evolved to fill one of the top predator positions, their bodies are specifically geared for processing a prey-based diet. This is as true for a panther as it is for your home roaming tabby. Specie specific whole food feeding is a way to feed your pet a more natural diet. This type of diet fits their present day nutritional requirements. The benefits to all pets whom eat this type of diet are enormous. it is easy to create, or purchase at Whole food Markets. Whole food diets can be readily purchased in the frozen pet section of your Whole Foods store.
Is Variety The Spice of Life in Pet Feed We all like having choices, but when presented with too many, and an
inability to make accurate comparisons, we are not guaranteed to choose the right food/diet. While variety is often referred to as the spice of life, it is not always a good thing. The benefits of variety and choice are clearly demonstrated across the isles of your favorite pet store or grocery market, and the various entries claim to cater to each and every individual petâ€™s needs. But there are times when variety in standards can lead to confusion, and a lack of clarity can lead to the wrong choices. There are times when choices need to be limited and standards measured. When it comes to health and proper nutrition clearly marked high standards, not minimum standards should be the present. The need for new measures and standardization were amongst the areas discussed at the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) Symposium, held last October in Covington, KY. Demand and definition This need for greater measurement and standards continues to increase. Hardly a day goes by without reports of the rising prices of key feed ingredients, recalls of major pet food manufacturers and the demands of better pet food from a more informed consumer base that all adds to the pressure on feed manufacturers to maximize the efficiency of nutrient utilization. Much of this pressure has been from two categories in particular: Form (which food processing method is best) and formulation (meeting the optimum nutritional requirements of each animal). One solution to this problem is to agree with the science that tells us each individual animal and sub-grouping (breed) has its own unique nutritional needs, as this would increase the need to further restructure the current AAFCO minimum standards base on a one food fits all system. It is very hard for consumers to make the right decision One of the strongest messages to come out of the symposium was that the extensive use of processed kibble in canine and feline diets has raised the need for more accurate determination of both dog and catâ€™s true nutritional need requirements. With the new Raw and Whole Food movements now competing with organic processed food it has become even more confusing for pet parents to know what is best for their pet. Alongside this, another key issue is the ongoing differences in terminology and methodology and how this could hold back progress. For example, Dr Peter Wilcox, noted that reading ingredient labels versus
comparing individual nutrient requirements or the bio-availability of the product and redefining “Balanced and Complete” were dominant issues in determining pet nutrition safety. Taking into account the huge number of factors affecting digestibility, assimilation of nutrients, identifying quality ingredients, truth in advertising and industry standards making comparisons between different commercial pet food becomes difficult. Hard to choose Further difficulties with measurement of nutrients. The industry only requires that the manufacturer list the nutritional value of the food/ingredients prior to processing, not after. There are many products on the market that look good if one reads the ingredient list only. But can be far inferior to a pet food product with the same ingredient list but processed or prepared differently. Dr Lowell Ackerman, autheor of “The Genetic Connection: A Guide to Health Problems in Purebreed Dogs, noted that without a reasonable standard to measure the finished product and the individual need, it is very hard for either a nutritionists or consumer to make the right decision. He continued that the methodology of extrusion, making kibble, even if you find a commercial kibble pet food manufacturer who uses organic ingredients, the high heat used to make the food destroys much of the nutritional value. For this reason it is usually a good idea to consider feeding raw or whole food dog food. According to Dr Dennis Cloud of the Cloud Veterinary Centers, the development of reliable standards is further complicated by the fact that neither the private sector nor the current regulatory agencies have enough incentive to provide a better system to our pet population
A Species Specific Pet Diet Why should you pay attention to what a cat would eat in the wild or a dog’s ancestral regional roots? The reason is that your pets really have not changed much over the last 250 years at all. We haven't altered their basic physical structure that much, digestive system or nutritional requirements. It is only since the mid to late 1960’s that we have forced our pets a eat a processed, carbohydrate filled diet. There is no coincidence that in this same period there has been a dramatic increase in, digestive issues, organ failure, cancer and obesity in the pet population.
In the wild, felines eat whole, raw prey. Their diet includes mice, rats, any other small rodents, birds, rabbits, insects and amphibians. They usually eat the whole animal, meat, organs, bones and fur. Their systems are uniquely set up to metabolize this diet which is high in moisture, high in protein and very low in carbohydrates. This is the diet they have relied upon for thousands of years and they do not have the ability to process carbohydrates very well. Cats get most of their energy requirements from glucose their livers process from protein. Not only are carbohydrates hard for your cat's system to handle, they are also detrimental to your cat's health. Canines eat the local food that their farming, hunting, herding, craftsmen families where eating. They eat this way for hundreds of years with little change up the 1960â€™s. The past 50 years of convenient processed food has cut up to 45% life expectancy off most of our breeds. Many of the nutrients our pets need come from raw animal sources combined with the right amount of nutrients from properly prepared fruits and vegetables. Arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid for your dog that is only found in whole meat. Taurine is essential for cats and is only found in meat sources, not plants. Are There Dangers Associated with Raw Meat? By their very nature dogs and cats are very resistant to bacteria such as salmonella. They are an animal that has evolved to exclusively eat raw meat and their stomachs are much more acidic than ours. They have very short digestive tracts, shorter than any other comparably sized mammal. Food normally passes through their systems in about 10 to 12 hours. This doesn't give bacteria enough time to proliferate and make your pet sick. Humans takes 36-48 hours digest and pass our food, and this is why we are much more susceptible to bacterial pathogens. (Parasites can be killed by freezing food). Almost all recalls due to salmonella or other contamination in pet food involved canned or dry foods. A recall in 2007 that sickened about 78 people with salmonella was traced to dry pet food. Interestingly, none of the animals that ate it got sick. From Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life by Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM: "If there can be no fundamental objection to the mere idea of raw meat as a diet for the cat, what legitimate objections might there be about the practical aspect of feeding raw meat to felines? The first objection would be the possibility of food poisoning from bacterial contamination of the meat. While this is certainly a possibility, just as food poisoning of humans who eat raw meat (my girl friend is
teaching me to love sushi and sashimi!) is always at least a possibility, the reality is highly controllable and overstated, in my opinion and the opinion of many others. Human-grade ground and whole raw meats for pets are available today because of the growing popularity of the practice of among pet owners, such as Pet Nutrition Systems. These meats are handled carefully by the chef and food preparers, and then frozen immediately after processing. The Healthiest Alternative to Processed Food There is over whelming evidence that feeding dry food causes many of the diseases that both dogs and cats suffer from in larger numbers. Illnesses like liver disease, kidney failure, kidney stones, renal failure and digestive tract problems all can be caused and corrected by proper nutrition. If you are shopping at Whole Foods Market you know that diet plays a huge role in the health of all living things. Choosing a diet that reflects what a cat would eat in the wild or the ancestral meals of your dog makes a lot of sense. A whole food diet, whether homemade, commercially hand crafted, or processed frozen food, usually consist of ground meat, bone, organs, along with eggs, fruit, vegetables and rice or potato. A Species Specific Whole Food Meal is Both Raw & Cooked? So why not just cook all of it? Cooking degrades nutrients in meat, causing losses of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Cooking also transforms nutrients, changing their chemical composition and making them less bioavailable to your cat. Cooking bone locks the minerals in place. This makes the minerals unavailable and may cause bones to splinter easily, which is very dangerous. Canned cat food manufacturers add these vitamins and minerals back in tail end of their process after the product is cooked to make up for this loss. This supplementation is not exact, and there are nutrient losses that aren't recognizable or replaceable. Feeding the food raw is the best way to be sure your cat is getting the most from his food and your money. Know Whatâ€™s in Your Petâ€™s Food Feeding a whole food diet allows you to know what you are feeding your
cat. You will feel more confident knowing that your cat is getting everything Mother Nature intended for him/her. No more worrying about some vague or misleading description on a label or misleading ad saying that the kibble is veterinary approved. You don't want your cat to eat food that is not fit for human consumption, or some mystery meat meal from a rendering plant. Look at the ingredient list on a package of the food you are feeding. You should see meat first on the list, then the other whole ingredients. No supplements. No preservatives, by-products or fillers. No list of chemicals that you cannot pronounce.
Improved Digestion Cats digestive systems are adapted specifically for a meat based diet. A cat's digestive tract is short and acidic, and processes a speciesappropriate raw diet highly efficiently in about 10 to 12 hours. This gives very little time for bacteria to proliferate, so cats are naturally resistant to food poisoning. Cats have no requirement for carbohydrates and limited ability to digest them. For cats, a raw meat diet is more digestible than a diet of plant based foods. They evolved eating a diet with almost no carbohydrates, they have only one enzyme system capable of handling them. This is quite different from humans and dogs who have multiple enzyme systems that digest carbohydrates. Greatly Reduced Stool Odor and Volume Cats that are fed a proper diet, have bodies that use most of their food, so there is much less stool volume. Stool production can be cut in half. They also eliminate less often, sometimes once a day or even less. Their stools are often dry, a little crumbly and hardly smell at all. In the wild, this makes sense for a predator that is small enough to also have to worry about being preyed upon itself. When cats are fed a diet with a large amount of carbohydrates, their systems will struggle to digest the excess carbs. Since much of what they eat isn't being efficiently processed by their systems, the amount of waste is much greater than it should be. Those big, gloppy, smelly puddles in the litter box are not normal. Healthy Coat, Less Shedding, Fewer Hairballs After 4 â€“ 6 weeks on a whole food diet, you will notice that you cat's coat has gotten softer and silkier. Cats require unsaturated fatty acids, omega6 and omega-3, in their diets. These need to be from animal sources, (raw meat, fish and fish oil) as cats have a limited ability to make these acids from plant derived precursors. These essential fatty acids contribute to healthy skin and coats, reducing shedding and thus the incidence of hairballs.
Increased Energy After using a whole food diet, you will notice how much more alive and full of energy your cats is. Feeding a species-specific whole food diet, cats are getting more readily available energy from their food. Cats are uniquely adapted to utilize protein for their energy needs. Cats burn protein, turning it into energy in their liver in a process called gluconeogenesis. Animals such as dogs also burn protein in this way, but turn it on and off depending on how much protein is available. Cats can't do this; their "burn rate" is always on high, this is why cats require an high quality and amount of protein. Weight Loss/Maintaining Optimal Weight If your cats are overweight, they will start to lose weight on a whole food diet. Cats normally overeat trying to make up for the nutritional deficiencies in the food. It will be easier to stop them from overeating when feeding them a species-specific whole food as they will not feel hungry all the time. The increase in energy they have will also help them burn off more calories. Better Dental Health Dental health in cats partly depends on genetics. Cats in the wild usually don't have gum disease or tooth loss due to periodontal disease. The reason why is chewing on raw bones, meat, connective tissue, skin and fur helps keep the teeth clean. Carbohydrates create a starchy film that promotes plaque buildup and encourages gum disease. The myth said that feeding kibble clean your petâ€™s teeth is an out right lie. Carbohydrate and kibble based food will not help control tartar. Reducing or eliminating carbohydrates in your cats diet will help keep dental disease at bay, and providing whole food meat & meaty bones to chew on is nature's way of cleaning your cats teeth. This is important as the bacteria from dental infections can spread to other parts of the body. Better Urinary Health PNS whole food diets have a high moisture content of about 65 to 70% that mimics that of natural prey; a mouse is 65-75% moisture. Carbohydrate laden, low moisture foods, specifically dry food, cause alkaline urine which may lead to kidney stones, kidney failure and/or
urinary infections. Cats in the wild don't often have urinary tract problems due to the high moisture content of the natural food source. Science Not Advertised Fiction Much of the scientific literature and research about raw diets, prey molding diets and whole food diet planning relates to the more than 32 species of cats and focuses on the large cats such as tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards. We commonly accept that raw meat is what a big cat should be eating, but disconnect from that understanding when thinking about our smaller companion cats, felis silvestris catus. PNS is trying to get people to connect the dots between the science of large and small cats. If veterinary science establishes that a raw whole food diet is best and most natural for a cougar, it should follow that it is also best for a tabby or calico. Cats are cats, with fundamentally the same bio-design, scaling up or down based upon their particular ecological, environmental The market didn't start feeding dry food and bad canned food because they made a choice based upon science. They chose it because the farm industry needed a market for their waste corn, wheat and meat that could not be sold to humans or used for farm animal feed. They said it was okay. Then your vet sold it to you saying it was better than table scraps. Now, in order to change that behavior, we must have the hard, direct, scientific evidence that there is good reason to change â€“ evidence that the status quo never had to present to get people to make their initial choice to embrace grain-based food. We in the Society have to work a lot harder in order to change made-up minds. Knowing You Are Doing What is Best The best benefit of feeding a whole food diet is the peace of mind it can give you knowing that you are giving your pet what they need. Realizing that cats evolved to eat a diet that is about as unprocessed as it can get, many people have become concerned about the highly processed pet food they feed their pets. Whole food diets are different. They are not about glossy ads, half truths or out right deception. The ingredients are simple and identifiable, processing is minimal and it's either fresh or fresh frozen. You know what you are feeding your pet.
PET NUTRITION SYSTEMS VETERINARY PRESCRIPTIVE NUTRITION CARE DOG FOOD SCORE (How to grade your dog's food: Start with a grade of 100. For each ingredient(s) below, add or subtract the points indicated The higher the score, the better.) INGREDIENTS POINTS For each by-product listed -10 For each nonspecific animal source("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) -10 Contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin -10 "mill run" or non-specific grain source -5 Same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients -5 (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewers rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), Protein sources are not meat meal and less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, -5 If there are any chemicals list on the ingredient list -5 If the food comes in a bag or a can -5 Any artificial colorants -3 Contains ground corn or whole grain corn, -3 Also if corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, -2 Any animal fat other than fish oils -2 If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless hypoallergenic) -2 If it contains soy or soybeans -2 If it contains wheat -2 If it contains non organic animal protein (meat) -1 If it contains salt (NaCl) -1 If the formulation is designed for your breed +5 If the food is prescribed by a vet. nutritionist +5 If any of the meat sources are organic +5 If the food is hand made +5 If the food is frozen not bagged, canned or refrigerated +5 If the food contains broken down vegetables (steamed &crushed) +5 If the food contains fruit +3 If the moisture content is over 42% and under 68% +3 If the food is baked not extruded +2 If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free +2 If the food contains barley +2 Flax seed oil (not the seeds) +2 If the food contains oats or oatmeal +1 If the food contains sunflower oil or flax seed oil +1 For every different specific animal protein source +1 If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin +1 If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free +1 If the processed food contains probiotics, +1
Good Nutrition is a Team Effort All the components we discussed don't work alone in nature; foods don't contain single nutrients. For example, we've probably all heard that oranges are a good source of vitamin C, but that piece of fruit contains many other cofactor nutrients that actually aid in the absorption and utilization of the vitamin. Even if farmers created a "Super-orange" that contained only mega amounts of vitamin C, it wouldn't be as effective without the other components, such as bioflavoniod and minerals that aid in vitamin C's function. Vitamin E isn't just the d-alphatocopherol that you will find in a pill at the GNC store. It's actually a family of at least eight different molecules that work better when taken together the way they're found in fresh food. (rather than alone in supplemental form) Many studies have shown that natural nutrients from food are more beneficial than isolated synthetic supplements. Oranges aren't a species-appropriate source of vitamin C for cats, but raw liver is. I was using the orange to show how different components of nutrients work together to perform a function only.
How to Transition Your pet to a Whole Food Diet The key to transitioning a pet is patience. The transition can be fast or very slow. The transitioning tips below use the slow, gradual method. It usually works. Some pets find change to be more than they can bare. Give these methods a chance and give the transition the time needed. (do not give up to quickly) Using hunger to help transition your pet is a strong motivating factor that you can employ. Other than the normal mealtime hunger of 12 to 24 hours or so, you can pick up the food in 15 -20 min. and wait till the next feeding. Or if you normally feed twice a day feed once a day till you have made the transition. If your pet is a healthy adult you can wait longer if he/she refuses to eat the new whole food. I wouldn't go longer than 48 hours. Whatever your pet eats at present, it's always worth a try to mix up the new food with their current food 75/25 for 4 days, 50/50 for 4 days and then 25/75 for 4 days.
20 RULES FOR SELECTING PREPREPARED PET FOOD Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, created the nutrient to perfectly meet the nutritional needs of the carnivore. Prey and predator are similar in terms of elemental constituents, so they are nutritionally exchangeable. The body composition of the dog gives an indication of the type of diet needed for physical maintenance: water 42-67%, protein 16% -60%, fat 10-41%, minerals 3.5%, carbohydrates 1.7% and an array of bio-available vitamins and anti-oxidants to maintain a healthy immune system.
So for those of you who do not have the time for a veterinary nutrition lecture here is what you need to know in a nutshell; 20 rules to follow when selecting a premade food for your pet companion. 1.
Know what foods their ancestors ate in their native land during the breeds development.
Only feed food that your pet’s great, great, great grand parents would recognize as food.
Feed whole food or a mixture of whole foods.
If you can’t identify what is in the food don’t feed it to your pet.
Do not feed food that is colored.
Do not feed food products that have 10 or more Ingredients listed on the label.
Do not feed any food that is labeled: For Puppies, Senior or Diet on packaging.
Avoid food products that have added or tell you to add supplements.
Stay away from foods that pretend to be something they are not. (colored pieces made to look like peas or carrots)
Do not feed any food products that are not stored in a freezer or refrigerator.
Do not feed any food products that have ingredients a 5th grader could not pronounce.
Avoid foods sold in a bag or a can and placed on a shelf.
Do not feed food produced in manufacturing plant.
Buy food made by humans not machines.
Avoid buying food from big box stores.
Feed food that will rot if left out for more than three days.
Avoid all food that claim to be completely nutritious and balance for all pets. Avoid any product produce by a company that suggests your pet should eat like it were another type of animal. (wolf or tiger)
20. Once you have determined what your pets native food source was during the development of it breed or breeds, feed a rotation of all of those foods.
By now you should know that commercially make kibble is the fast food for pets. (premium kibble included) What do the pet health experts say...