- Osteochondrosis is one of a variety of developmental orthopedic diseases that occur in young, fast-growing dogs, typically large and giant breeds. The most common form of osteochondrosis in dogs is osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which can cause angular limb deformities in long bones, and cartilage damage in shoulders, elbows, knees and hocks.
- Inappropriate nutrition has been identified as an important factor in the development of bone disease in big puppies. Free-feeding, overfeeding, and improper feeding of energy-dense diets, excessive calcium and mineral intake, and an imbalance of vitamin D metabolites present significant risks to growing large and giant breed puppies.
- The diets of big puppies should be carefully managed to help prevent developmental orthopedic disease. The problem in today’s young, growing dogs is not one of dietary deficiency, but rather one of “over-nutrition” caused by overfeeding and inappropriate supplementation of certain nutrients.
- To avoid “overgrowing” a large or giant breed puppy, the first step is to feed portion-controlled meals rather than free-feeding. Puppies should be maintained in optimal body condition, not maximal body condition.
- The best diet for a large breed puppy is designed to meet the nutrient requirements for growth in large breeds, contains the proper amount of calories to avoid rapid growth, and also the appropriate levels of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, and the correct calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
By Dr. Becker
Osteochondrosis is one of several developmental orthopedic diseases that occur in young, fast-growing dogs, especially large and giant breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, the Labrador Retriever, Great Danes and Newfoundlands.
The most common form of osteochondrosis in dogs is called osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is a defect in bone development at the extremity of a bone. The problem is thought to be a disruption in the manufacture of bone tissue that results in injury to growth cartilage. These injuries can cause angular limb deformities in long bones, as well as damage to the cartilage in the shoulder, stifle (knee joint), hock (the joint in the rear leg below the knee), and the elbow.
Inflammatory joint disease often follows osteochondrosis, ultimately leading to degenerative joint disease.
Developmental orthopedic diseases occur during the early stages of bone growth, before the growth plates close. This crucial period (the first year of life) is when a puppy’s skeletal system is most vulnerable to physical, nutritional and metabolic damage due to increased metabolic activity. The reason large and giant breeds are at higher risk is because genetics cause their bodies to grow very rapidly. Another predisposing factor is whether a puppy’s parents developed osteochondrosis.
Nutrition Can Be a Significant Risk Factor for Bone Disease
Studies of nutritional risk factors involved in osteochondrosis have identified free-feeding and overfeeding – especially of high-energy foods designed for rapid growth – as contributors. Energy-dense diets can promote increased levels of growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, insulin and thyroid hormones. Other dietary influences include excessive calcium intake, excessive mineral intake, and an imbalance of vitamin D metabolites.
For optimal bone development in puppies, diets must include appropriate and balanced amounts of nutrients. Excessive calcium and energy (calories), plus rapid growth predispose dogs to developing osteochondrosis. When a growing dog — especially a large or giant breed — is overfed and overweight, the bones are stressed by both static and dynamic forces that can cause damage to the skeleton.
In one study, Great Dane puppies that were free-fed a diet high in energy and minerals, or a diet high in calcium, developed osteochondrosis with clearly visible symptoms.
Studies have also shown that large breed puppies fed diets with high calcium content or high calcium and phosphorus content also acquired developmental orthopedic disease.
This is because puppies aren’t able to control or limit absorption of dietary calcium and certain other minerals. Absorption occurs through the intestines, and the higher the calcium and mineral content of the diet, the greater the level of absorption and assimilation into developing bone structure. This can disturb the natural process of bone growth and result in lesions in the skeleton and joints.
Even when highly palatable, energy-dense diets are well-balanced, when free-fed to large and giant breed puppies, the risk of OCD and other orthopedic diseases is increased. This is one of many reasons I don’t recommend free-feeding any pet. Most dogs and cats will overeat if free-fed, and as you can see, this is especially hazardous to the health of growing large and giant breed puppies.
To date, no studies have found protein intake to be a factor in the development of osteochondrosis.
Large Breed Puppy Diets Should Be Carefully Managed
Careful management of the diets of large and giant breed dogs won’t eliminate every instance of developmental bone disease, but it’s a crucial step in decreasing risk factors. The problem in today’s young, growing dogs is not one of dietary deficiency, but rather one of “overnutrition” caused by overfeeding and over-supplementation.
Young large breed dogs are at higher risk of developing skeletal problems than small breed dogs, even when both are fed diets with too little or too much calcium. Even when calcium intake is optimal, big dogs have more growth-related skeletal issues than smaller breeds.
To help prevent disease, we must make every effort to control the rate at which big dogs grow by feeding only the amount of calories needed to keep their bodies lean while they develop. The first step is to feed portion-controlled meals rather than free-feeding. We want to help dogs maintain optimal body condition, not maximal body condition.
Diets should not be extremely high in calories. Many super premium dog foods on the market are highly energy-dense. By contrast, large-breed puppy foods have reduced caloric density, calcium and phosphorus levels compared with other canine growth diets.
Switching a big puppy to an adult diet to try to control growth rate is not recommended. Adult diets don’t have the calories per serving that big puppies require, so they can end up eating more food and taking in excessive levels of other nutrients, which can be risky.
The Right Way to Feed a Large or Giant Breed Puppy
The ideal diet for a large breed puppy is designed to meet the nutrient requirements for growth in large breeds, contains the proper amount of calories to avoid rapid growth, and also the appropriate levels of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, and the correct calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Large and giant breed puppies continue to grow until about 18 months of age, so they should be kept on a specially designed growth diet until they are fully grown.
The goal in feeding a large or giant breed puppy is to keep him lean, with controlled growth. A healthy, large or giant breed puppy will thrive on a portion-controlled, balanced, species-appropriate diet. You can feed an ideally balanced homemade diet or an excellent quality commercially available food.
What about those large breed puppy foods? Traditional puppy foods often provide much higher calorie content than large breed puppies require, causing them to gain too much weight too quickly. This is why pet food manufacturers began producing formulas specifically for large breed puppies.
These are typically diets lower in calorie density (the number of calories per cup or gram of food) than a regular puppy diet. They’re also usually lower in calcium on an energy basis.
These are two very important factors for reducing too-rapid growth in big puppies. Some adult foods may also be low calorically, but often they have high calcium content on an energy basis, which is not what you want for a growing large or giant breed pup.
If you’re going to feed kibble to a large breed puppy, I recommend you look for special large breed puppy formulas or a formula (preferably a balanced, raw food diet) that is "Approved for all life stages." This means the food is appropriate for growing puppies or adult dogs.
I do not recommend feeding a traditional (high growth) puppy food to large breed puppies.
June 3, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | big puppies, Doberman Pinschers, dog food, dog nutrition, Dr. Becker, Giant Breed Dogs, Great Danes, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundlands, Osteochondrosis, Puppies, puppy food | Leave a Comment
We petition the Obama administration to: Outlaw For-Profit "High-Kill" Animal Shelters
Outlaw for-profit "High-Kill" animal shelters throughout the U.S.
For-profit “High-Kill” animal shelters across America kill as many animals as possible, lining the pockets of veterinarian’s associated with these inhumane “High-Kill” shelter enterprises and feeding the need for more taxpayer funding; all the while masking their “pay-per-kill” operations with an aura of humanity by establishing 30-day “waiting periods” before euthanization; a period all too brief to save most from certain death.
We seek to eradicate these “High-Kill” Animal Shelters throughout the United States and turn them into “No-Kill” Shelters.
We demand that the U.S. Government immediately outlaw these for-profit “High-Kill” animal shelters across America.
Sponsored by Pet Food Stamps Inc.: www.PetFoodStamps.org
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals … and its weakest members.” …Ghandi
May 23, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | animal advocacy movement, animal advocates, aninal petition, Better Fed Than Dead, Food Assistance for Pets, high kill shelters, No Kill Shelters, no-kill pet movement, Pet Food Stamps | Leave a Comment
- Baby is a female blue-fronted Amazon parrot who is 24 years young. When Dr. Becker met Baby, she had dull feathers, signs of over-grooming, large fat deposits on her breastbone, and several fatty masses called lipomas on both legs.
- Baby was overweight from a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a diet that consisted almost entirely of high fat seeds – her favorite food. Since obesity in birds often leads to hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease), Dr. Becker did some blood tests and determined that indeed, Baby’s liver function was compromised.
- Baby was transitioned from her all-seed diet to a much more nutritious diet of fresh living foods and organic bird pellets. She also began taking milk thistle to support the detoxification and regeneration of liver cells.
- Fortunately, Baby took to her new, healthy diet quite well and relatively quickly. Within six months, her liver function had returned to normal.
- Also in this article, Dr. Becker offers tips for all bird owners on optimizing their pet’s environment and removing environmental stressors.
By Dr. Becker
I met Baby, a 24 year-old blue-fronted Amazon parrot in September 2012. Her dad brought her to see me because he was concerned about some fatty tumors another avian vet had diagnosed three years earlier.
As I examined Baby for the first time, I noticed her feathers were dull. She was over-grooming her lower abdomen, so the feathers there were unkempt and tattered. But more concerning to me were the large fat deposits that were accumulating over her keel (her breastbone), as well as several lipomas, which are benign fatty masses, that I could feel on both her legs.
Parrots Like Baby Are Prone to Overeating
Many pet parrots develop issues as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. For example, Amazon parrots have a tendency to become obese if their guardians don’t make weight management a priority.
Parrots like Baby who have been bred in captivity as pets are smart, vocal and animated. If you’re owned by one of these delightful birds, you know they are foodies with feathers. In other words, they enjoy eating! Consequently, overeating can become a real problem over a 70+ year lifespan.
In addition, these parrots are very popular as pets because they have more of a type “B” personality – they prefer hanging out to the constant activity seen in type “A” parrot personalities. The combination of a love of food and laidback personality can be a recipe for metabolic problems with these birds.
Evaluation of Baby’s diet revealed that like most pet birds, she wasn’t choosing to eat a balanced diet. Given the option to eat either seeds (preferably sunflower and safflower seeds) or fresh food, she would eat only seeds – a very unhealthy diet. And like many people owned by parrots, Baby’s dad fed his pet what she most enjoyed eating: high fat seeds. Although he did occasionally offer fresh foods, Baby preferred her seeds and didn’t regularly consume fresh foods or pellets.
The Dangers of Obesity in Parrots
Many animals, including parrots, store excess calories as fatty masses called lipomas. In addition to being overweight (over fat), Baby had additional fat accumulations that caused her to be “lumpy” in places. My biggest concern about Baby’s weight was that often when an Amazon’s body grows obese, there is also the presence of a secondary and potentially fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease is caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver. The condition is typically a slowly progressive disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with fat. The many tasks the liver performs are eventually compromised, and when overall liver function is poor, birds begin showing symptoms.
These can vary depending on how much liver function remains and include mild to profound lethargy, weight loss, decreasing appetite leading to anorexia, a fluffed appearance, weakness, sitting in the bottom of the cage, labored breathing (tail bobbing), a change in stool color (usually it becomes much more green), diarrhea and a swollen abdomen.
Birds with chronic, low-grade hepatic lipidosis can also have beaks that grow unusually fast or a change in feather pigmentation. Sadly, if the disease is progressed, a bird can appear suddenly ill or even die before the owners have a chance to seek veterinary care.
I suggested to Baby’s owner that we complete some blood work to check her liver function, and as I suspected, her liver enzyme (AST) was elevated (page 1). Thankfully, Baby’s quality of life was not yet impaired by her liver condition.
Switching Baby to a Healthier Diet
I immediately informed Baby’s dad that he would need to feed his bird differently. Baby needed to be weaned off her favorite seed-based diet and switched to a variety of fresh living foods to supply her body with enzymes, phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber. For most birds (and their owners), a change in diet like this can be a wildly difficult undertaking.
Many birds are actually addicted to seeds, and like cats, they cannot skip meals without endangering their health. Birds can and will starve themselves to death, so the process of transitioning to healthier foods involves some trickery.
The first step with Baby was to start the transition with fresh foods she liked, which included apples, grapes and corn. We would use these three fresh foods as lures to open her mind and taste buds to other fresh foods with a higher nutrient value.
The next step was to finely chop other fresh foods like broccoli, blueberries, pomegranate, pepper, and dark leafy green veggies, and mix them with the three foods she liked so she could experience a bit of nutritional variety.
Some birds are so finicky about trying new foods that it’s necessary to sprout their unhealthy seeds. Ironically, sprouting turns seeds from unhealthy and high fat, to very healthy and low fat. Mixing sprouted seeds with dry seeds, and then slowly increasing the amount of sprouted seeds while decreasing the dry seeds is another good way to transition a super-finicky bird away from an all-seed diet.
For Baby, I also recommended an organic bird pellet made by Harrison’s Bird Foods. I instructed her owner to grind the pellets into a powder and add 1 tablespoon of powder to 1 tablespoon of seeds so that all the seeds were coated with the powder. Birds hull seeds, so as Baby picked up and shelled her seeds, she would roll the seed around in her mouth and acquire the new taste of a nutritionally balanced pellet. I also instructed her dad to add a tablespoon of whole pellets into this mix, since occasionally birds are inquisitive enough to try new foods without hesitation.
I also prescribed milk thistle, an herb that helps hepatocytes (liver cells) regenerate and detoxify, and asked Baby’s dad to recheck her blood work in three months.
Within Three Months, Baby’s Health Was Much Improved
At Baby’s next appointment in December 2012, her dad reported that the diet change was successful. Fortunately, Baby liked the new organic bird pellets right away and he was able to gradually decrease the high fat seeds and ultimately eliminate them altogether. He was offering Baby a nice variety of fruits and veggies and she was eating well.
Baby’s feathers appeared less dull at this visit, and more importantly, her liver enzyme values had improved, but were still too high (page 2).
I suggested Baby’s dad continue the detox protocol and recheck her blood work in another three months. Thankfully, in March, Baby’s liver function was back to normal (page 3). Her owner was able to discontinue her detox protocol, but of course continued with a diet of healthy fresh foods and organic pellets, as well as Sunshine Factor, a supplement to help improve feather health.
Baby’s lean body mass was improving and her lipomas were not continuing to grow — all good signs.
Optimizing Your Pet Bird’s Environment
There are a number of recommendations I offer to all bird owners interested in optimizing their pet’s environment, including:
- Ensure birds get 8 to 10 hours of restful sleep at night in a dark, quiet room (a nightlight is ok, but no additional light should be provided).
- Provide pure water, free from fluoride, chlorine and heavy metals.
- Provide UV light. Birds must have direct sunlight (not through a window) for optimal health. If you can’t take your bird outside, get a bird light and leave it on 6-10 hours a day.
- Provide a variety of natural perches of various sizes for optimal foot health.
- Offer pesticide-free food. Organic fresh fruits and veggies are best. If you can’t buy organic, wash all produce very well before feeding.
- Ensure adequate exercise. Birds were meant to fly. If you don’t let your bird fly, you’ll have to get creative on how to help him “dance” (flap on your hand or a perch), walk or move to maintain muscle tone and optimal weight.
- Birds should be weighed weekly to ensure they are maintaining their weight. Before birds become visibly sick they lose weight.
- Provide coconut oil. Organic, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil is excellent for all birds. It provides lauric acid that supports a healthy immune system.
Eliminating Environmental Stressors
Part of optimizing a bird’s environment is removing stressors. These include:
- Dowel perches and perch covers. Sandpaper covers cause bumblefoot, or open foot sores, so please don’t use them. Trim your bird’s nails if they are too long.
- Grit. Psittacine parrots do not need grit, so please don’t offer it to them.
- Mite and lice cage fumigators. Because these ectoparasites are rare and the fumigation products designed to eliminate them are ineffective, the majority of birds trapped next to these toxic “accessories” derive no benefit from them, and they can be harmful.
- Wrapping or covering birdcages at night. This practice was recommended back when most houses were drafty, prior to the introduction of energy efficient homes. If your house was built in the last 50 years you don’t have to protect your bird from drafts. Covering cages has been linked to increased respiratory disease in birds. If you have a drafty home, cover 3 sides of the cage with a light fabric.
- Cigarette smoke. Birds are tremendously susceptible to the toxins in second hand smoke. They are much more at risk than mammals, because birds have air sacs. There is no question a bird’s health will be compromised if the humans in her home smoke.
- Pellets and seeds containing additives, preservatives, colors and dyes. Any brightly colored commercial diet you purchase for your bird contains dyes that are unnecessary for avian health. Birds are very susceptible to environmental chemicals, so read all labels carefully.
- Teflon. Burning food on Teflon pans creates a toxic gas that is fatal to birds.
- Toys made in China. Birds mouth everything. Make sure your bird’s belongings are toxin free by buying only toys and cage accessories made in the U.S.
- Paint chipping off cages. Most paints and coatings contain heavy metals that birds can ingest as they use their beaks to climb around the cage. If your bird’s cage paint or powder coating is beginning to flake off, purchase a new cage, preferably stainless steel.
May 19, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, responsible pet ownership | Birds, Parrots | Leave a Comment
Pet Food Stamps, a New York-based nonprofit that will give qualifying pet owners throughout the U.S. (who must be receiving government assistance for themselves) funds to buy food for their animals from the website PetFoodDirect. Applications can be filled out here on the –> Pet Food Stamps website
WSJ: If you believe the economy is improving, you’ve likely never met someone who still can’t afford a can of cat food.
Marc Okon, who has worked as a stockbroker, entrepreneur and business consultant, has a friend from his old neighborhood in Bayside, Queens, N.Y. He’s known her since age 10. Her parents died. She fell on hard times. And the economy hasn’t come back for her yet.
"She told me she sometimes fed her cat before herself," Mr. Okon said in a telephone interview.
In February, as headlines raged about a strengthening economy, Mr. Okon started a privately funded nonprofit called Pet Food Stamps. People who are already on government assistance can apply for free pet food.
The group has been swamped with more applications than his staff of a dozen people can readily process. Most applicants send letters detailing how they lost their jobs to outsourcing, their homes to foreclosure or their health to disease or accident.
"I just heard from a lady in North Carolina who has an autistic son whose only companion is a Jack Russell Terrier," he said. "It’s cookie-cutter sadness. … Little details change but the gist of each story is the same."
Despite nominal improvements in the unemployment rate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture counts more than 47 million people in its food stamp program—nearly one out of every seven Americans.
Food stamps cannot be used to purchase pet food. But they can be used to buy Coca-Cola.
Last week, the National Center for Public Research complained at Coca-Cola’s annual shareholder meeting in Atlanta that the beverage maker lobbies heavily to keep soda on the list of wholesome things that food stamps can buy.
Taxpayers subsidize about $4 billion worth of soda sales each year, the group groused, even as the sugary drink contributes to an obesity epidemic that drives up government health-care costs.
But you know what they say? Food stamps go better with Coke.
Mr. Okon, 36 years old, said he spent his 20s chasing money, first as a stockbroker, then as the founder of a company that sold pay phones as cellphones displaced them. He also did consulting work that took him into the bowels of many other companies.
He said he briefly worked for a firm that sold dubious medical benefits to seniors in the South. "Their whole corporate philosophy was to manipulate seniors who didn’t have any type of insurance," he said. "I could only do that for about a week and half."
He is a man so disgusted with the lack of ethics he witnessed in private enterprise that he founded a nonprofit to hand out dog food.
"I’ve been around enough shady businesses and surrounded by salesmen-types who were always talking about the deal," he said.
Self-dealing helped destroy the economy—so focused on the bottom line and so unfocused on consequences for everyone else. Dogs and cats don’t know what hit them.
"Millions of pets are surrendered to shelters each year and euthanized because their owners can’t afford to feed them," Mr. Okun said.
And to top it all off, the people in charge of fixing the economy are the same ones who helped destroy it.
"The people in power were put there by fat cats, who have money and control," Mr. Okun said. "I see it getting worse and worse, decade after decade. I don’t know what’s going to change."
See CBS News Video: Non-Profit Provides Food Stamps for Pets
(CBS News) SALEM, Ore. – Tough economic times in recent years have led to heartbreaking decisions for many pet owners. But now, there may be more help on the way.
Marissa Jenkins’ 6-year-old Dachshund, Olivia, is more than a dog.
Marissa Jenkins is thankful for an organization that helps feed her dog.
"She’s been part of our family, she’s definitely not a dog," Jenkins said. "She’s a kid to us."
Recently, the Salem, Ore., family welcomed a new addition – and a new challenge.
"My husband lost his job in February and we just had a baby in December, and so all the costs of having a baby and a dog and a family is adding up," she said.
Now on food stamps, they turned to a non-profit for help to feed their dog because food stamps cannot be used for pet food.
Launched in February, Pet Food Stamps has received over to 160,000 applications from needy families across the country. Marc Okon is the charity’s founder.
"Hundreds of thousands of pets a year are put to sleep, simply because the owners can’t feed them," Okon said.
Okon says dog and cat owners on public assistance are eligible. He’s partnered with a company called Pet Flow to provide free delivery.
" It was a relief for us that we were able to get some help for our dog and because we couldn’t provide for her, somebody else could," Jenkins said, wiping away tears.
While Marissa is grateful for the free pet food, there’s an even more valuable benefit.
"We wanted our child to be able to grow up with animals and our dog is really great with her," she said.
Once back on their feet, the Jenkins say they will donate to the program to help other families in need.
“One can understand a society by how it treats the weakest among them… the sick, the elderly, the children and the animals!”
**If you can donate or perhaps work with this program, Pet Food Stamps, to help all families in need feed their pets, please do so.
May 3, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | animals are family members, Cats, dogs, Food Assistance for Pets, for the love of a pet, Homeless With Pets, nonprofits, Pet Food Stamps, Pet Nutrition, Pets, Pets Are Family, WSJ | Leave a Comment
It’s no secret that Americans love their pets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 39 percent of households own at least one dog 33 percent own at least one cat, and many own multiples and/or other types. And then there are the people and families with working dogs and companion animals who give their human a better shot at a full life. Furry family members bring joy and excitement to a household, relieve stress and actually help people live healthier and longer. Providing the best care possible for your pets helps ensure pets have a long, healthy life… and cuts down on the vet bills.
Unfortunately, with so much information available, it’s easy to become confused about what is really best for them. Dr. Ashley Gallagher, veterinarian at Friendship Hospital For Animals, petMD, Dr. Karen Becker and JOMP shed some light on some of the most common pet myths.
Cats’ curious nature and quick reaction times are likely the basis of the nine lives reputation, but in reality owners need to remember that both cats and dogs only have one life. That is why it’s important to schedule regular veterinary visits to ensure your pet has a long, healthy and happy one. If at all possible, going to the veterinarian shouldn’t only be reserved for times when your pet is sick. Your pet needs annual wellness check-ups, vaccines, dental exams and nutritional consultations, just like humans do.
Myth 2: (All) Table scraps are OK.
Did you know that one ounce of cheddar cheese for a 20-pound dog is like a human eating more than one and a half chocolate bars? That same piece of cheese for a 10-pound cat is like eating almost three full chocolate bars! Table scraps are basically empty calories for cats and dogs, unless they are meat, fish or veggies (that they can and should eat). And definitely make sure that the table scraps and little sneaks never include any of the No-No foods.
Pets need balanced nutrition for their specific life stage and special needs to remain healthy. A good food like Hill’s Science Diet or Royal Canin is great as a staple because it gives them nutrients that they might be missing and it is always good for emergencies if your pets well-rounded eaters. But the best regular diet is either a raw-food diet (not right for all pets) or home-cooked balanced meals for your pets. And make sure that your dogs are getting some bones in their diet.
Remember… in the wild they would be eating raw foods and up until a couple decades ago, when some big companies realized they could make money from making and selling commercial pet food, regardless of their nutritional value… commercial pet food, like commercial baby food and formula and convenience foods for humans, was born… none of which are best choice for animals, babies or humans. There are also some great natural supplements, like StemPet and StemEquine around for pets.
Dogs wag their tail for many reasons; the most common is that they are either happy or nervous. Cats will also wag or flick their tail when they are upset or thinking. Pets communicate via complex body language rather than vocal expression like humans. Learning to read what your pet is telling you will go a long way in helping to build a fulfilling relationship. Ask your veterinarian for advice if you feel stuck learning your pet’s body language cues.
Myth 4: Letting my dog out in the yard is enough exercise.
Dogs and cats both need plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation to stay healthy. If you just leave your dog out in the yard alone they might not get much of either. It’s important to take them for walks, play fetch or simply run around together. Not only will it make for a happier, healthier dog, but it will also help to strengthen your relationship. Cats should be kept indoors for their safety, but there are plenty of toys that work their brains and their bodies at the same time. Some people even take their cats for a walk on a leash. Visit your local pet store to find some toys that fit the bill.
Each pet is unique, so ongoing care, including precisely balanced nutrition, regular wellness visits to the vet and daily play periods are all good things that keep your pet healthy and living well for many years to come.
h/t to the Press Enterprise – Lifestyles page
May 1, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Cats, chemicals, dogs and cats, pet myths, toxins | Leave a Comment
The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List
The following foods are not safe for dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or guinea pigs. Never give the following foods or beverages to your pets:
- *Alcohol of any kind (a no-no for all animals)
- *Anything with Caffeine (a no-no for all animals)
- Avocados – especially for birds and cats
- Baby food if it contains onion powder
- Bones from Ham, Chicken, Turkey or Cooked Bones that can splinter
- * (Raw) Bread or Yeast Dough
- Candied Yams
- Casseroles (unless you absolutely know that none of the no-no foods are in them)
- *Chocolate and Cocoa (this includes things like brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and dark chocolate is the worst
- Raw cookie dough can also kill dogs and small children.
- *Grapes or raisins
- Jell-O Molds
- (Raw) Liver
- *Macadamia Nuts (this includes things like cookies and pies) and go easy on nuts in general (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
- Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
- Mushrooms, particularly wild mushrooms.
- *Onions, including onion powder (garlic should be fed in moderation)
- Pecans, including Pecan Pie (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
- Potato Skins and Green Potatoes (potatoes in general are not digestible by dogs).
- Pork Products because of the nitrates
- Stuffing (it usually contains onions, which are very harmful to pets)
- Large amounts of Grains (often a main ingredient in cheap commercial pet foods)
- *Raisins and grapes
- Raw eggs (raw egg whites) – (According to the ASPCA, raw egg whites contain avidin, which damages a dog’s metabolism and creates a biotin deficiency, so they recommend owners should discard the white if feeding a dog raw eggs. Others disagree.)
- Tomatoes (plant and fruit) – All parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans
- Vitamin A in large amounts causes toxicity
- Walnuts (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems, for humans as well, because of mold issues).
- *Xylitol and anything with it in it.
Depending on the amount consumed and the size, breed, species and age of the animal many of the items above can cause death, but they definitely can and usually cause discomfort for the pet/animal, more and expensive vet bills for you, butt scooting and stress in your pets and for you. Distention of the abdomen, vomiting, muscle tremors, paralysis bloody stool, depression, stress, jaundice, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, abnormal fluid accumulation, drooling, restlessness, anemia and seizures are among the symptoms and conditions that can be caused by the aforementioned foods.
The range of diseases and conditions caused or intensified by the No-No Foods for pets include: coma, heart arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, paralysis, pancreatitis, inflammation throughout the body, seizures and tremors, gastric-dilitation volvulus (twisted stomach) and death.
*Causing the most severe health problems and the most incidents of death.
Tobacco products and many plants and herbs are also bad for pets. Poinsettias, tomato plants and the Sago Palm are among the common plants that are toxic to dogs/pets.
More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal – Drugs, unless prescribed or are specifically made and approved for animals, are a No-No!
Every species, breed or type of animal has its own requirements and no-no’s. As a pet parent or the parent of a learning pet parent, it is your job to find out what those requirements and no-no’s are and meet those needs. A pet is a living creature that adds joy to our lives. We are all God’s creatures and any animal is a gift that has been given to you to cherish and take care of properly!!
April 15, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | dangerous foods for pets, dangerous pet foods, no no pet foods, no-no foods for pets, Pet Food, pets and toxic plants, toxic plants | Leave a Comment
- According to recent studies of cats and dogs with osteoarthritis (OA), both species can benefit from a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish.
- The University of Montreal conducted a study of 30 dogs with OA and concluded a diet supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids resulted in significant improvement in movement problems and performance of daily activities.
- In addition to supplementing your dog’s diet with a high quality omega-3 like krill oil, there are many other things you can do to prevent or manage your pet’s arthritic condition, including providing chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and acupuncture. We also recommend talking with your holistic vet about natural supplements that promote cartilage repair and maintenance.
- In addition to improving OA symptoms, omega-3 fatty acids can benefit your pet in a number of other ways, including improving the condition of the skin and coat, alleviating symptoms of an overactive immune system, and supporting heart health.
By Dr. Becker
In February I wrote about a study done in the Netherlands on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for cats with osteoarthritis (OA).
Recently I came across a Canadian study1 also published last year that indicates the same is true for dogs with naturally occurring OA. The dogs were fed a veterinary prescription diet containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish, and showed significant improvement in locomotor disability (problems moving around) and performance of daily activities.
Dogs Fed a Diet High in Omega-3s Showed Significant Improvement in Gait and Activity Scores
The University of Montreal’s Department of Veterinary Biomedicine conducted a 13-week study with 30 pet dogs suffering with arthritis. Half the dogs were fed a commercial dog food containing omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish oil. The remaining dogs were fed a similar food, but with a different fat source.
The dogs were evaluated with force plates to analyze their gait, veterinary orthopedic exams, and activity scores assessed by their owners. Force plate measurements were taken at the start of the trial and again at weeks 7 and 13. The gait of dogs on the omega-3 supplemented diet was markedly improved, as were their activity scores. The dogs fed the other diet showed no significant improvement in either area.
Other Ways to Help Prevent or Alleviate Arthritis Symptoms in Your Dog
In addition to a high quality omega-3 supplement (I recommend offering krill oil; I do not recommend processed pet foods with added omega-3s), there are several other natural supplements and therapies that can help alleviate arthritis symptoms in your pet, including:
- Veterinary chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatments are affordable and can be very effective in alleviating pain and reducing joint degeneration.
- Massage, therapeutic exercises and physiotherapy can reduce inflammation and pain in damaged tissues.
- Acupuncture can be tremendously beneficial for dogs with degenerative joint disease.
- Adequan injections can stimulate joint fluid very rapidly in pets with arthritis.
- Adding certain supplements to your pet’s diet can provide the raw materials for cartilage repair and maintenance, among them:
- Glucosamine sulfate, MSM and Egg Shell Membrane supplements
- Homeopathic Rhus Tox, Arnica and others that fit the animal’s symptoms
- Ubiquinol and turmeric
- Supergreen foods, such as Spirulina and Astaxanthin
- Natural anti-inflammatory formulas (herbs, proteolytic enzymes, such as Wobenzym® and nutraceuticals)
- EFAC complex
Other extremely important factors in preventing or alleviating the symptoms of OA include keeping your dog at a lean, healthy weight; feeding a balanced, species-appropriate diet; discontinuing annual vaccines (titer instead); and giving your dog plenty of opportunities to be physically active throughout her life.
Additional Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
The omega-3s include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaneoic acid (EPA).
Omega-3s, play a huge role in your pet’s health in many ways, among them:
- Improving the health of your pet’s skin and coat. Poor skin condition puts your dog or cat at risk for itching, irritation, skin allergies and bacterial infections.
- Alleviating the harmful effects of allergies and other conditions that result from an over reactive immune system response.
- Slowing the growth of common yeast infections in dogs and cats.
- Aiding proper development of the retina and visual cortex.
- Preventing certain heart problems in your pet.
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure and decreasing triglyceride and blood cholesterol levels.
- Regulating blood-clotting activity.
- Slowing the development and spread of certain pet cancers.
April 13, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | cats and dogs, dogs and cats, Dr. Becker, omega 3-s, osteoarthritis, Pet Arthritis, Pet Health, salmon | 1 Comment
- As we predicted in November of last year, dry dog foods containing corn and corn products harvested from last summer’s crop could present a significant risk of aflatoxin contamination.
- The summer of 2012 across the Midwest was very dry and very hot, creating an environment in which certain types of plant mold proliferate. These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins, which are mycotoxins known to cause acute lethal illness in both animals and humans.
- Voluntary recalls of dry dog food due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination have already begun across states in the Midwest. Unfortunately, because of the behavior of the molds involved, it has proved difficult to control, minimize or even accurately assess levels of contamination.
- If you feed dry dog food to your pet, we are repeating our recommendations to transition to another type of diet and/or carefully avoid any pet food containing corn or corn products
By Dr. Becker
In an article last November, I reported on the very real danger of future widespread aflatoxin contamination of commercial pet food, primarily dry dog food. Thanks to the very hot, dry summer of 2012, experts predicted U.S. corn crops would be heavily infested with two types of mold — Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.
These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins cause acute lethal illness and cancer in animals and humans, and are among the most carcinogenic substances on earth. Aflatoxins poison the liver, and their carcinogenic properties can lead to tumor formation.
Recalls of Aflatoxin-Contaminated Dog Food Have Begun
Reuters reports high levels of aflatoxins have been discovered in bags of dog food on store shelves in Iowa. And according to Michael Wright, the CEO of Pro-Pet, a pet food company in Ohio that recently learned some of its product was contaminated with aflatoxins, “Last year’s corn crop – it’s a huge issue. We test every load coming in. And we reject a lot of loads.”
During the last week of February, the Hy-Vee Inc. grocery chain was forced to recall five different products in its private dog food line due to high levels of aflatoxins in the corn used in the formulas. The dog food was produced at a Kansas City Pro-Pet plant and distributed across eight Midwestern states.
As I explained back in November, the behavior of the A. flavus and A. parasiticus molds makes it very difficult to control or minimize aflatoxin contamination, or to accurately assess the extent of the problem. There can be pockets of plants that are heavily contaminated, while the rest of the crop is relatively mold-free, so analyzing occasional random samples of corn plants can give misleading results.
The corn used in the recalled Hy-Vee formulas had been tested before it was added to the dog food, and the finished product was reportedly tested as well. But the contamination wasn’t discovered until a random bag was pulled from a store shelf in Iowa by an inspector for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
According to PetfoodIndustry.com, Hy-Vee officials say the recall is only a precautionary measure and no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products were distributed to Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin between October 26, 2012, and January 11, 2013. Specific details of recalled products can be found here.
If you happen to have a bag of recalled product, you should stop feeding it to your pet. You can also return the food, opened or unopened, to a Hy-Vee store for a full refund.
How to Avoid Aflatoxin-Contaminated Pet Food
Aflatoxin-related illness is seen much more often in dogs than cats because more commercial dog foods than cat foods contain corn products.
To be very safe, I recommend you transition your pet away from all dry food. Replace it with a high quality canned food, a commercially prepared raw diet, dehydrated raw, a balanced home cooked diet, or a combination.
If you want to continue to offer dry food to your dog, I recommend you study the ingredients carefully and avoid products containing corn in any form, including corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, corn flour, etc. Corn is not only highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, it is also allergenic and difficult for most pets to digest.
Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.
The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!
Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.
WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.
Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.
Keep your pets healthy and help extend their lives with:
April 8, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | aflatoxins, commercial pet food, dog food, Dr. Becker, Pet Food | 1 Comment
Marijuana laced food products, or stash left out, is making more and more dogs (pets) sick.
Who would have thought that making marijuana or even medical marijuana legal would affect the canine or pet population?
It seems that is exactly what is happening as more and more dogs are becoming sick from ingesting marijuana in states where marijuana has become legalized.
The NY Daily News reports that Colorado has seen a mass increase in the harmful ingestion of marijuana by dogs. This can be a deadly process and often occurs when dogs eat a marijuana-laced food product.
While in many cases, dogs will feel sick for a day or so, vets have seen dogs die from it and incidents of emergency vet visits has increased by a third.
Veterinarian Dr. Debbie Van Pelt, who works at the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, says she has witnessed the increase on the rise:
“There are huge spikes in the frequency of marijuana ingestion [among pets] in places where it’s become legal. When dogs get into their owner’s stash, they can get sick, staggering and vomiting. They basically [lose] a lot of their fine motor control, they have a wide-based stance and they are not sure on their feet.”
An additional growing concern is weight gain. Many pets are gaining huge amounts of weight because of the munchies which pets are also getting when they ingest marijuana.
Veterinarians warn owners to keep marijuana (any drugs and alcohol) out of your dog’s reach as you would any other drug, especially when it is contained in food, which dogs will be more inclined to eat.
April 7, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Unusual Stories | common sense, Pet Health, pets and drugs, pets and marijuana | 2 Comments
- In part 1 of a 3-part series on raw food diets for pets, Dr. Becker begins the discussion by reviewing the ancestral origins of today’s dogs and cats.
- From a genetic standpoint, domesticated canines and felines are essentially the same as their wild counterparts, who are carnivores.
- Dogs and cats have not evolved from meat-eaters to vegetarians, but you wouldn’t know it from the ingredients used in the vast majority of commercial pet foods on the market.
- Fortunately, dogs and cats are adaptable, resilient animals. Otherwise, the biologically inappropriate convenience pet foods they’ve been fed for the last century would wreak even greater havoc on their health.
- High-carbohydrate, low-moisture commercial pet foods have created significant metabolic and physiologic stress in our pets and have become the root cause of most of the inflammatory processes and degenerative disease we see in veterinary medicine today.
By Dr. Becker
Today and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be discussing my favorite topic, raw food diets for pets. I want to talk about some of the myths and truths surrounding raw food diets, but before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to have a foundation of understanding about basic nutrition.
One point that no one argues is that for optimal health to occur, animals must consume the foods they were designed to eat. I call this a species-appropriate diet. So vegetarian animals must eat vegetation for optimal health. And carnivorous animals must eat fresh whole prey for optimal health.
Origins of Dogs and Cats
A good place to start a discussion of our carnivorous pets is to go back to the roots of the dog and the cat prior to domestication. The domestic dog, whose taxonomic name is Canis lupus familiaris, is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, which is a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora.
Most scientists believe dogs were domesticated from gray wolves about 15,000 years ago. But DNA analysis published in 1997 suggests that the transformation from wolves to domestic dogs occurred more like 130,000 years ago.
Data suggests dogs first diverged from wolves in East Asia, and these domesticated dogs quickly migrated throughout the world. Of course, humans began selectively breeding dogs to create animals that suited their needs and their likes.
The earliest evidence of cat domestication is a kitten that was found buried alongside a human approximately 9,500 years ago in Cyprus. Researchers have gained major insights through DNA testing into the evolution of cats by showing how they migrated to new continents and developed new species as the sea levels rose and fell.
A 2008 study revealed that lines of descent for all house cats, of the species Felis catus, probably came from self-domesticating African wild cats up to 10,000 years ago. And as happened with the domesticated dog, humans began breeding cats to suit their fancy. Today, over 80 breeds of cats are recognized by one registry or another.
Today’s Cats and Dogs are Carnivores Just Like Their Wild Ancestors
Despite humans’ desire to create certain physical characteristics in dogs and cats – this is called their phenotype or how animals look externally – their genetic makeup remains essentially the same as their wild ancestors, which should tell you something about the foods they should still be consuming.
Of course, all animals are biologically equipped to assimilate and digest foods they were designed to eat. For example, earthworms are naturally designed to process dirt. The entire GI tract of worms, from the mouth to the other end where waste is excreted, was designed for this purpose.
Cows are designed to eat grass, and their GI tracts are set up perfectly for this. They have big, round, flat teeth used to grind grasses and an unbelievable range of motion in their mandibles, allowing them to chew, chew, chew, and chew. Cows have a lot of range of motion laterally in their jaws.
Dogs and cats do not have this range of motion in their jaws. Their jaws move up and down only, like a trap door or a hinge, because dogs and cats are gulpers, not chewers. They don’t have chewing teeth. Dogs and cats have incredibly sharp interlocking teeth designed to rip and tear flesh.
They also have very short GI tracts compared to vegetarian animals that need to ferment foods, as carnivorous animals consume foods with potentially very heavy pathogen loads. The bodies of carnivores are designed to get foods in and back out very quickly.
The ancestral lifestyle of a carnivore includes lots of variety and seasonal variability, meaning certain prey was more prevalent at certain times of the year. They thrived consuming fresh, living, whole animals. But carnivorous animals do not eat clean foods. Dogs and cats did not evolve to consume sterile foods. They have digestive tracts that are designed to be resilient and handle the loads of naturally occurring bacteria that are present in the foods they eat. Their food in the wild was moisture-dense, meaning the prey they consumed was primarily water.
The carnivorous lifestyle required a tremendous amount of exercise and exertion. Food was not served to them, so they had to stealthily catch it. This provided intense stimulation of all the senses, plus nervous, skeletal, endocrine, and circulatory system involvement. Carnivorous animals had daily rigorous workouts in an attempt to catch enough food to stay alive.
Most Pet Food is Biologically Inappropriate for Dogs and Cats
What’s very important for pet owners to know is that “pet food” is a relatively new concept. So, “dog food” and “cat food” you buy from the supermarket has only been around a little over a hundred years.
However, animals have hunted prey or, in the case of dogs, scavenged — for millions of years. And although recent research suggests domesticated carnivores were able to adapt to some degree to starch in the diet as humans became planters and farmers of grains, dogs and cats have most definitely not evolved into vegetarians over time.
Over the last hundred years, major pet food companies have produced most of their products using a base of corn, wheat, rice, or potato. However, our carnivorous pets have not evolved to be able to process those foreign foods.
The good news is dogs and cats are adaptable and resilient unlike other species, for example, snakes. If we suddenly forced snakes to eat grains or consume vegetation, they would simply die, demonstrating rather visibly and quickly that they were not provided the correct food source.
Dogs and cats are among the most resilient animals on the planet. They are able to withstand really significant nutritional abuse, in my opinion, without dying. Degeneration does occur as the result of an inappropriate diet, but sudden death does not.
So one of the reasons we’ve been able to deceive ourselves into believing convenience pet foods are good for dogs and cats is because they don’t die immediately of acute starvation. For a hundred years our pets have been fed inappropriate diets that have kept them alive, but far from thriving like their wild relatives. Instead, we’ve created dozens of generations of nutritionally weakened animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies – a link the traditional veterinary community has not acknowledged.
The Pottenger cat study is one example of how our current system of nourishing pets creates chronic disease.
The truth is that our pet population provides a place for recycling waste from the human food industry. Grains that fail inspection, uninspected pieces and parts of waste from the seafood industry, leftover restaurant grease, deceased livestock, and even roadkill is collected and disposed of through rendering — a process that converts all sorts of human food industry waste into raw materials for the pet food industry.
These raw materials are purchased by huge pet food manufacturers – makers of the big name brands your parents and friends have probably used for the last 50 years. These manufacturers blend the rendered fat and meat with a large amount of starch fillers. They add bulk vitamin and mineral supplements, and then they extrude the mix at high temperatures, creating all sorts of toxic reactions including advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines. They call this “pet food” and sell it to customers at an unbelievable profit.
Is the entire system flawed? Yes. But pet food industry giants are realizing that pet owners are becoming more educated about their flawed system, and they are trying to clean up their image. We are beginning to see words like “natural” and “no byproducts” on labels. We’re beginning to see “grain-free” and “naturally preserved” on labels as well. Manufacturers are hearing the grumbles of educated pet owners and are changing their marketing to try to regain lost customers.
Common Pet Food Myths Many People Actually Believe
I find it amazing that pet parents buy into marketing gimmicks that human parents would never fall for. For instance, how often have you heard a pediatrician say, “Never feed your baby anything but X brand of baby food, because feeding a homemade diet could be dangerous to your child’s health?” Never. But you do hear it often in the veterinary world.
Or how about this one: “Switching your brand of baby food could lead to GI problems, so feed only one brand or type of baby food to your children for the rest of their lives to avoid GI problems.” You would never hear this, either, from a competent pediatrician. And yet, you hear this type of advice all the time in the veterinary industry. It’s startling to me to know that entire generations of people actually believe pets must have “pet food” to be healthy.
And there’s a host of other myths you’ve probably heard. For example, pets can derive all the nutrients they need for vibrant health from a dry nugget that can be fed day after day, year after year. Or that if you don’t feed crunchy foods to your pet, his or her teeth won’t be clean. Or canned food is too rich, and raw food is just a recent trendy craze that could be risky.
A lot of people also believe their veterinarian wouldn’t recommend X brand of food if wasn’t good for their pet… that all cats should eat fish and drink milk… that veterinarians are the people to trust for the most up-to-date information pertaining to nutrition… or that disease, degeneration, and poor vitality have nothing to do with day to day nourishment. All myths.
So… What are the Facts?
Number one, carbohydrates are not a necessary component of a carnivore’s diet. Cats have no taste receptors for sweet flavors and have low rates of glucose uptake in the intestine. They should not be fed any type of grain that metabolizes into sugar.
Cats have no salivary amylase to break down starches, either, and dogs have very low amylase secretion.
Also, cats never hunted fish from the ocean – fish is not an evolutionary food source for them.
The intense heat used to process commercial pet foods diminishes or destroys the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in food. Processed pet foods require supplementation to replace lost nutrients.
The heating process also significantly reduces the digestibility of amino acids in pet food.
And digestibility of meat-based protein is proven to be superior to plant-based protein – the type used in most inexpensive commercial pet foods — for dogs and cats.
So in a nutshell, for 99.99 percent of their time on earth, dogs and cats have consumed a natural diet. For .01 percent of the time, they have consumed an extruded, processed diet. Dogs and cats evolved to consume a low-carbohydrate diet. But for the last century, the majority of pet owners have fed pets a high-carbohydrate, low-moisture diet. This has created significant metabolic and physiologic stress, and convenience pet foods have become the root cause of most of the inflammatory processes and degenerative disease that plague today’s dogs and cats.
April 1, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Cats, commercial pet food, dogs, Dr. Becker, Homemade pet food, meat-eaters, Pets, raw food diet for pets, raw food pet diet | 2 Comments
Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
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Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!