When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet
- A newly adopted 5-month old Sphinx kitten was taken to the vet by his owner because he was showing signs of rear leg lameness.
- X-rays revealed the kitten had below normal bone density (osteopenia), a growth plate problem in the right back leg and a fracture in the left back leg. In addition, the kitty was diagnosed with central retinal degeneration resulting from a taurine deficiency.
- Fortunately, with several weeks of cage rest and a balanced diet, the kitten made a full recovery. But his story is a cautionary tale for pet owners who think feeding a species-appropriate diet to a dog or cat is as simple as offering hunks of raw muscle meat.
- Strange as it may sound, feeding your pet an AAFCO approved commercially available processed diet is better than feeding unbalanced homemade meals. It’s crucially important your dog or cat gets all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients his body needs.
- Meat, including organs
- Veggie and fruit puree
- Homemade vitamin and mineral mix
- Beneficial additions like probiotics, digestive enzymes, and super green foods (these aren’t required to balance the diet, but can be beneficial for vitality)
By Dr. Becker
At a 2011 American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN) symposium, three researchers affiliated with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine presented the case of a kitten with metabolic bone disease and central retinal degeneration.
This case is an excellent illustration of what can happen when a dog or cat is fed an unbalanced raw diet.
I talk often here at Mercola Healthy Pets about the importance not only of species-appropriate nutrition, but of balanced nutrition.
In fact, an unbalanced raw diet of high quality fresh meat is in my professional opinion a greater risk to your dog or cat than cheap processed pet food.
Newly Adopted Kitten Develops Lameness and Eye Problems
A 5-month old male Sphinx kitten, adopted from a breeder 11 days earlier, was taken to the vet by his new owner because he suddenly had no use of his rear legs.
X-rays showed the kitty had generalized osteopenia.
Osteopenia is a condition that often precedes osteoporosis.
It means the bones of the body have lower than normal mineral density – they aren’t as thick or strong as they should be.
When formation of new bone isn’t sufficient to make up for normal bone loss, osteopenia is the result.
The x-rays also showed a widening of the growth plate of the femur in the right hind leg, and a tibiofibular fracture of the left hind leg.
As if all that wasn’t disturbing enough, the poor little guy also had lesions in the left eye commonly seen in cases of a gradually degenerating retina caused by taurine deficiency.
The kitten was diagnosed with metabolic bone disease, central retinal degeneration, and past or current taurine deficiency.
The left rear leg was splinted and fortunately, the kitty fully recovered after a couple of months of cage rest and a balanced diet.
How This Kitten’s Health Was Compromised
The breeder of the Sphinx kitten fed him only raw chicken from the time he was weaned until he was adopted at the age of 5 months. So for 3 to 4 of his first months of life, during a very rapid growth period for kittens, this little guy was fed an unbalanced raw diet of exclusively chicken muscle meat. He quickly became seriously deficient in several crucially important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
His new owner switched him to store-bought kitten food, but by that time the damage was done. Less than 2 weeks into life with his new family, the kitten had rear leg lameness, eye lesions, a condition called microphthalmia which means the eyes are smaller in size than normal, and an opaque right cornea.
Commercially available pet food must meet AAFCO standards for nutritional completeness. And while it’s true many commercial pet food ingredients are not high quality or even species-appropriate, they do provide balanced nutrition for the growth and maintenance of your pet’s body.
Why Feeding Raw Meat Alone Causes Problems
Unfortunately, a growing number of well-meaning pet owners are confusing balanced, species-appropriate nutrition with feeding hunks of raw muscle meat to their dog or cat. Although fresh meat is a good source of protein and some minerals, it doesn’t represent a balanced diet.
In my practice, I’m seeing an increasing number of pets with skeletal problems, organ failure and endocrine abnormalities caused by dietary deficiencies of essential nutrients.
Wild canines and felines eat nearly all the parts of their prey, including small bones, internal organs, blood, brain, eyes, tongue and other tasty treats. Many of these parts of prey animals provide important nutrients for dogs and cats. This is how carnivores in the wild nutritionally balance their diets.
An exclusive diet of raw chicken muscle meat is lacking the minimum requirements for a number of vital nutrients as established by AAFCO. These include potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, and vitamins A, D, E, B-12 and choline, the essential fatty acid ratio (omega 6s to omega 3s) is unbalanced, and there’s a complete lack of phytonutrients, antioxidants and enzymes.
When your dog or cat is fed only muscle meat, he’s missing out on a variety of essential nutrients and sooner or later, he’ll develop serious health problems as a result. Some conditions brought on by nutritional deficiencies can be corrected through diet, others cannot.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking all you need to do is throw a few fresh veggies in the bowl to make up the difference. Balancing your pet’s food to provide optimal nutrition is a bit more complex.
How to Make Sure You’re Feeding Balanced Nutrition to Your Cat or Dog
There should be four primary components in a nutritional program for your dog or cat, including:
A healthy dog’s diet should contain about 75 percent meat/organs/bones and 25 percent veggies/fruit (this mimics the GI contents of prey, providing fiber and antioxidants as well). For healthy kitties, the mix should be about 88 percent meat/organs/bones and 12 percent veggies.
Fresh, whole food provides the majority of nutrients pets need, and a micronutrient vitamin/mineral mix takes care of the deficiencies that do exist, namely iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, vitamin D, folic acid, taurine and Biotin (for cats).
Keep in mind that just because nutritional deficiencies aren’t obvious in your pet doesn’t mean they don’t exist. A considerable amount of research has gone into determining what nutrients dogs and cats need to survive. At a minimum, you do a disservice to your pet by taking a casual approach to insuring he receives all the nutrients he requires for good health. The kitten who is the subject of this article is a good example of a pet whose breeder meant well and didn’t see any immediate damage to the animal, yet the kitten became acutely ill on the raw chicken-only diet.
If you’re preparing homemade food for your pet, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of insuring the diet you feed is nutritionally balanced. It doesn’t matter whose recipe you follow, but it does matter that it’s balanced. You can accomplish this by using balanced pet food recipes you prepare at home, or by feeding commercially available pet food that meets the minimum standards set forth by NRC, AAFCO and/or the ancestral diet analysis.
A Word about AAFCO
Although I don’t agree with many of the positions AAFCO takes on nutrition-related topics, and I feel there is room for significant improvement within this organization, at least they have identified the minimum level of critical nutrients needed to sustain life in dogs and cats. Sadly, some pet owners are unaware of these basic requirements, and pets suffer because of it.
It would be excellent if AAFCO continued to work on their recommendations, including digestibility and bioavailability of the ingredients in pet food, as well as optimal levels of nutrients and ceilings for recommended supplementation.
So while AAFCO leaves much to be desired in terms of establishing the ideal nutrient levels required for pets to thrive, I am thankful that in the U.S. there is an agency tasked with identifying the basic nutrients required for animals to survive. Many countries have no such advisory board, and too many animals succumb to unnecessary nutritional deficiencies.
Ensure Holiday Fun For Your Whole Family Including the Furry and Feathered Members – By Staying Away from the No-No Foods
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.
June 6, 2012 - Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets
16 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
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
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!
Recent and Seasonal Shots
As I have been fighting Cancer… A battle I am gratefully winning, my furkids have not left my side. They have been a large part of my recovery!! Ask Marion
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.
Help Make a Difference
Protect Your Pet From Tarter and Gum DiseasePlaque Attack Triple Care Dental Spray Amazon.com Widgets
Adopt Just One More Pet All Animals All Pets animal abuse animal advocacy animal advocates animal cruelty animals ASPCA Bears be part of the solution Birds California cancer canines Cats cats and dogs Chihuahuas China Chiweenies Christmas cute dog Doggies dogs dogs and cats Dr. Becker elephants Fido fish for the love of a pet German Shepherd Halloween holidays holidays with pets horses HSUS Humane Society Humane Society of the United States JOMP Just One More Pet JustOneMorePet kittens kitties livestock Love man's best friend military dogs monkeys New York Pet Abuse Pet Adoption Pet costumes Pet Food pet fun Pet Health Pet Parents Pets pet safety pets and holidays Pets Are Family Pet Therapy Puppies puppy mills pups rabbits Rainbow Bridge reptiles responsible pet ownership responsible pet parents service dogs Stop Animal Cruelty Texas There Is Always Room For One More Pet we are their voice
- In Memory of Rocky – Until We Meet Again on Rainbow Bridge August 30, 2015By JoAnn, Marion, and Tim Algier This past week, we lost our dear family member Rocky who had just outlived his “huep – na-napbdad”, Tom, by just a few months. His perspective would have been interesting!! Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been […]justonemorepet
- In Memory of Rocky – Until We Meet Again on Rainbow Bridge August 29, 2015By JoAnn, Marion, and Tim Algier This past week, we lost a dear family member, Rocky, who had just outlived his “human pet-dad”, Tom, by just a few months. It certainly would have been interesting to know what they thought and what experiences they had had in common!! Just this side of heaven is a […]justonemorepet
- Panda Accused of Faking Pregnancy To Get Better Food, Air Conditioning August 1, 2015Expectant pandas are moved to air-conditioned rooms and showered with more buns, fruit and bamboo. By Dominique Mosbergen – News Editor, The Huffington Post – Posted: 07/30/2015 12:57 AM EDT | Edited: 07/31/2015 02:07 PM EDT Pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, names together mean "reunion", eat bamboo at a panda base in Ya’an, southwest […]justonemorepet
- Dachshund Family Photo | Picture Furrfect July 20, 2015Video: Dachshund Family Photo | Picture Furrfectjustonemorepet
- They Were Dead Puppy Parts Instead of Dead Baby July 16, 2015Bristol Palin: Fellow SixSeeds blogger Zeke Pipher has a great question: If they were dead puppy parts, or parts from homosexual babies, or babies that self-identified as adults, it’d be a different story. Meaning, it would be a story. But as it is, the fact that these fetuses don’t look like puppies, and their sexual […]justonemorepet
- Bob’s Full House July 13, 2015Photo: Cute Overload - Full Housejustonemorepet
- Keep Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July June 30, 2015Family and friends of G.R. Gordon-Ross watch his private fireworks show at the Youth Sports Complex in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Mercury News – Originally posted on July 02, 2013: The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Hot dogs, potato salad and, of course, fireworks. But Independence […]justonemorepet
- JOMP Salutes Doggie Dads Both Two and Four Legged June 21, 2015Very few dogs have the experience of being parents these days and especially seeing their litters through the process of weaning and then actually being able to remain part of a pack with at least part of their family. Apachi is our Doggie Dad. He is a Chiweenie and here he is is watching his […]justonemorepet
- Smartest Dog In the World, Chaser – 60 Minutes With Anderson Cooper June 15, 2015By Marion Algier – Just One More Pet (JOMP) – Cross-Posted at AskMarion Anderson Cooper met Chaser, a dog who can identify over a thousand toys, and because of whom, scientists are now studying the brain of man’s best friend. Chaser is also the subject of a book: Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog […]justonemorepet
- Quebec bill changes animals from "property" to sentient beings and includes jail time for cruelty June 14, 2015By Tamara – Dog Heirs – Cross-Posted at JOMP Quebec, Canada – Animals will be considered “sentient beings” instead of property in a bill tabled in the Canadian province of Quebec. The legislation states that "animals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs." Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis proposed the bill and […] […]justonemorepet
- In Memory of Rocky – Until We Meet Again on Rainbow Bridge August 30, 2015
Find Pet Friendly Hotels
- RT @thehill: State Dept probe reportedly finds that agency improperly overpaid Clinton aide Huma Abedin: hill.cm/tw6hjyd http://t.co…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 2 months ago
- RT @alvedaking: Alveda King: God harvests souls. The devil harvests baby body parts. Read my blog @ bit.ly/1M1nQFi. Comment and sha…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 2 months ago
- RT @NoBelfastTorch: SUPER URGENT, PLEASE SHARE THE 20 INNOCENT CATS AND KITTENS ON TOMORROW'S NYC ACC KILL LIST!! You can view the... http…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 2 months ago
- RT @RNRKentucky: .@SenAlexander Infanticide not enough! PP now butchers aborted babies for PARTS! #DefundPP #PJNET #RedNationRising http://…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 2 months ago
- RT @ullikemike: “@USABillOfRights: Judge Who Blocked PP Videos RAISED $230k For OBAMA therightscoop.com/judge-who-bloc… #PPSellsBabyParts http://t.co/…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 2 months ago
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.
~~ 2000+ Dog Books And All Things Dog ~~
Buy Now: A Must Have For Every Pet Owner
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
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!