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Ridiculous Pet Weight Loss Products Continue to Flood the Market

Story at-a-glance
  • Pet food manufacturers continue to try convince consumers their too-heavy dogs and cats can lose weight by being stuffed full of grains and fiber-filled pet food.
  • The goal of many pet weight management formulas is to create a temporary feeling of fullness in dogs and cats so they won’t beg for food. This takes the heat off owners who don’t want to say no to a begging pet.
  • One company has even gone so far as to invent a bizarre ingredient that when added to pet food impedes digestion so the animal feels full longer.
  • And the gimmicks being employed! There’s a ‘meal replacement’ drink for cats that contains not a scrap of animal protein. And then there’s the ‘weight management’ dog food loaded with seven different kinds of grains and a special ‘fat-burning’ ingredient.
  • Parents of overweight pets would be wise to steer clear of the ever-evolving gimmicky ‘weight loss’ products appearing on store shelves. Almost without exception, these formulas contain as much if not more of exactly the type of food that is making pets fat in the first place.

By Dr. Becker

As pets keep getting fatter, pet food companies get ever more creative developing ‘weight management’ formulas to peddle to uninformed consumers.

It’s a discouraging trend, since most of these special formulas consist of the same inappropriate, low quality ingredients that contribute to pet obesity in the first place.

And in fact, these foods actually contain more of exactly the wrong type of nutrition for overweight pets … or any pet.

The Goal: Fool Pets into Thinking They’re Full

According to PetfoodIndustry.com, one of the goals of pet food companies is to develop formulas for overweight dogs and cats that create a feeling of fullness or satisfaction.

Per the article, inducing satiety is important because, "… as long as the pet doesn’t act hungry we will be less likely to give in and overindulge begging behavior."

And according to one pet food manufacturer, studies show overweight dogs fed ‘fiber-enhanced’ foods consume fewer calories and appear less hungry.

So if I understand this correctly, the goal is to stuff carnivorous dogs and cats full of species-inappropriate fiber rich food so they won’t act hungry, and in turn, their owners won’t overindulge them.

This thinking is so wrong on so many levels I’m not sure where to begin.

Let’s just say I’m adamantly opposed to intentionally feeding companion animals biologically inappropriate nutrition, so their owners don’t have to deal with begging behavior or the temptation to overfeed their pets.

Certainly if we have an overweight pet we can find the energy and ambition to feed our dog or cat the nutrition she was designed to eat, in reasonable portions?

And certainly we can muster the patience to ignore begging behavior (which is typically temporary when ignored) for the sake of our pet’s health?

But Wait … It Gets Better …

Another pet food company has created a ‘satiety-triggering ingredient’ which they say reduces calorie intake in pets.

This magical ingredient is described by its manufacturer as a "patented emulsion of highly purified palm and oat oils." What this emulsion does is delay digestion of the fat in the food. This leads to the presence of free fatty acids in the small intestine.

When food is ‘delayed’ in the small intestine, it slows down gastric emptying and gut motility. According to the manufacturer of the ‘satiety-triggering ingredient,’ this permits better digestion of gut contents (hogwash) while creating a feeling of fullness and reducing appetite.

So if I understand this correctly, certain oils can be added to certain pet foods that are designed to significantly impede the normal, natural digestive process of dogs and cats.

And this is, again, for the purpose of creating pets that don’t act hungry, and therefore run less risk of being overfed by their owners.

Certainly we don’t need to feed bizarre, unnatural ingredients to our pets that gum up their intestines and interfere with normal digestion in an effort to help them lose weight?

More Gimmickry

The PetfoodIndustry.com article also mentions another company’s ‘meal replacement and food supplement’ to help adult cats maintain a healthy weight.

A meal replacement for cats?

Needless to say, I had to take a look at the ingredients in this meal replacement/food supplement. It’s apparently a powder you mix with warm water. The ingredients:

Maltodextrins, dried milk protein concentrate, dried whey protein concentrate, canola oil, casein, vanilla, fructooligosaccharide, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dicalcium phosphate, disodium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin supplement, copper gluconate, vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement.

So this is a ‘meal replacement’ intended for obligate carnivores that contains not a speck of animal protein. How is that not an absolutely terrible idea?

And then we have a ‘weight management’ food for dogs being promoted for its L-carnitine ingredient, which is touted as a "proven fat-burner that helps dogs naturally burn fat instead of storing it."

L-carnitine may help burn fat, but when the food it’s added to has seven different grains listed in the first dozen ingredients, making the formula wildly inappropriate nutrition for dogs at any weight, the addition of the L-carnitine isn’t going to matter one iota.

Parents of Overweight Pets Beware

For the sake of your beloved, overfed four-legged companion, I recommend the following:

  • Beware any pet food marketing ploy aimed at making you believe the newest grain and fiber-filled bag of pet food is the answer to your dog’s or cat’s obesity. It isn’t.
  • Beware any pet food marketing gimmick that names a specific ingredient (example: L-carnitine) as being the secret key to your pet’s weight loss. It won’t be.
  • Beware any pet food marketing scheme that uses human diet buzz words (‘meal replacement’) to convince you the same nutritional principles apply to your pet. They don’t.
  • Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet to your pet. Regardless of her weight, your dog or cat still needs the right nutrition for her species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with low or no grain content.
  • Practice portion control — usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A high protein, low carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog or cat. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats.
  • Regularly exercise your pet. An overweight body gets back in shape by taking in fewer calories and expending more energy. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone.

The key to getting and keeping your pet lean and healthy can’t be found in the latest bag or can of inferior quality, species-inappropriate pet food, no matter how slick and convincing the marketing campaign.

The key to keeping your dog or cat nutritionally fit at the cellular level is with a high protein, moisture rich diet fed in controlled portions, and augmented with plenty of physical activity.

Source: PetfoodIndustry.com December 5, 2011  -  Cross-posted at Dr. Mercola.com

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February 24, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cat & Dog Owners Not Considering Age When Selecting Food

A new survey has revealed that only 11% of dog and cat owners consider their pet’s age as important when they are selecting a type of food.

A new survey has revealed that only 11% of dog and cat owners consider their pet’s age as important when they are selecting a type of food.

Cat & Dog Owners Not Considering Age When Selecting Food

A national survey commissioned by Iams® has revealed that only 11% of pet owners in the United States consider the age of their dog or cat as the most important factor when selecting a type of food for their pet. The survey also found that most respondents (36%) considered expert opinion – such as from a veterinarian – as the most important factor when choosing a food to feed their pets. Another 30% of respondents consider the ingredients as the most important consideration. The remaining 25% described the price as being their main concern when choosing their pet’s food.

Iams® did not say which of the four answers it considered to be the most important, but think that the results of this survey suggest pet owners should consider their pet’s age more when choosing food. "When choosing a food for your cat or dog it is important to select a diet that has the right ingredients for that stage of your pet’s life," said Dr. Nelson,  a member of the Iams Pet Wellness Council. "Diet requirements – including protein levels, calories and vitamins and minerals – vary over the life of a pet and, in turn, an animal’s needs change as he grows from a puppy or kitten, to an adult into a senior. I always tell my patients that healthy checkups start on the inside. Feeding a high-quality diet specific to an animal’s age, like Iams Premium Protection, which offers specially formulated life-stage specific diets, is one of the most important ways to ensure four-legged family members lead healthy, happy lives." said Nelson.

The company says that as a result of not considering age, pets might not be receiving the right nutrients at the levels which are optimal for their health at their stage of life. Iams® quotes three life stages as being general guidelines as a way to select a food type for your pet:

  • One to 12 months: Kitten and Puppy formula includes DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) for brain and vision development
  • One to seven years: Adult formula includes HMP (sodium hexametaphosphate) to keep teeth clean during and after meals, as well as balanced omega 6:3 ratio for healthy skin and coat
  • Seven years and older: Senior formula with L-carnitine helps burn fat and keep muscles lean

This news story is independently sourced and PetPeoplesPlace.com does not specifically endorse products or services offered by any company referenced in this article, or benefit from any association with any companies referenced.

*** We at JOMP cook for our pets whenever possible, supplement with breed specific pet food… like Royal Canine plus high end nutritionals and probiotics.  A healthy pet, like a healthy child, is worth the effort and the money!  It extends their lives, improves the quality of their lives as well as yours, and is the right thing to do. ***

January 26, 2011 Posted by | Animal Related Education, animals, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , | 5 Comments

Getalife Petrescue: Vaccinations & Plenty of Good TIPS!

Vaccinations & Plenty of Good TIPS!

Vaccinations: What you Need to Know

The most important thing for you to know is that annual revaccination of your pet is unnecessary! This information is based on scientific studies conducted by Dr. Ron Schultz, a very well respected veterinary immunologist. What continues to amaze me, is how few people know about this important information. The studies I am speaking of were done over 10 years ago. This is not new information. The truth is that the majority of veterinary practices continue to not only offer annual revaccination, they insist upon it.

We have become a nation of over-vaccinated and over-medicated people and animals!!! Time to educate ourselves and to use common sense!!

Over vaccination can be hazardous to your pets health. Vaccines have been linked to a number of autoimmune diseases: interstitial nephritis in cats, pancreatitis in both dogs and cats, Addisons, Cushings and thyroid disease. Other diseases that can be triggered or worsened by vaccines are: seizure disorder, allergies and cancer.

To protect your pet:

1. Vaccine selection should be based on risk assessment. There are a variety of vaccines on the market for dogs and cats and not all of them should be given to every pet. The AVMA has set guidelines for the core vaccines (what they feel every animal should have).
a. Core vaccines in dogs are: Distemper, Parvo and Rabies.
b. Core vaccines in Cats are: FVRCP and Rabies
c. Core vaccines in both dogs and cats have been scientifically proven to provide immunity for 3-7 years.

2. 3 year vaccines are readily available for the core vaccines in dogs.

3. Non-adjuvanted vaccines (those that are supposed to be less likely to cause Feline Sarcomas in cats are currently only labeled for 1 year. This does not mean that they don’t provide immunity for a much longer period. It just means that the manufacturer has not done studies to prove duration of immunity.

4. Titer tests are available for both dogs and cats. These tests will show if the pet has antibodies to the diseases tested for which is one indication that the pet remains protected. Titer testing costs more than vaccinating but is the safer alternative.

5. Vaccines are labeled for use in healthy animals only. If your pet is sick with either an acute or chronic illness, he/she should not be vaccinated. This means that animals diagnosed with seizures, cancer, cushings, addisons, thyroid disease, allergies just to name a few should be deemed too sick to vaccinate. As we mentioned above, the fact is they probably don’t need to be revaccinated anyway!
I have to say that this is probably the hill I will chose to die on. Why? My practice consists mainly of the treatment of chronically/terminally ill animals and I continue to see other veterinarians vaccinating these pets prior to their coming to me for treatment.

If you are not my client, I want you to know that as the advocate for your pet’s health, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE VACCINATIONS, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR A 3 YEAR VACCINE OR TITER TESTING. Just learn to say NO! Your pet will thank you.
The photo at right is a picture of an injection site sarcoma in a dog, that was taken by my good friend and colleague, Dr. Patricia Jordan, while researching her book, “Mark of the Beast”, on vaccine damage. To see more of her photos, click this link: http://www.jordanmarkofthebeast.com/gallery.htm

Renal Disease in Cats linked to FVRCP Vaccination

I have attached a research study that clearly shows a link between vaccination with FVRCP vaccination and interstitial nephritis in cats. Kidney disease is one of the most common problems facing our feline animal companions and vaccination with a common feline vaccine can cause or worsen that condition. I have been telling my clients about the dangers of over vaccination for years and I am still trying to spread the word that this routine procedure carries risks when done too frequently. Scientific studies are available that clearly show most vaccines given to small animals provide effective immunity for up to 7 years.

Cats already suffering from renal disease should never be vaccinated.
If you know someone who is still vaccinating their cat annually, please share this article and help save a life.

This is a new program for me. If for some reason the attachment is not present and you would like a copy, email me directly at drmarcia@creatingwellbeings.com and I will send you one.

Feline House Soiling: No Easy Solution

One of the most difficult problems I face as a veterinarian is the issue of house soiling. I think this is probably the number one reason that people re-home or euthanise their companions.

I would like to say there is an easy answer to the problem, but I would be lying. House soiling generally requires a multidisciplinary approach.

1. Rule out physical causes of the condition: at minimum I would want to run a urinalysis, a urine culture and an abdominal radiograph. The few tests will rule out: bladder infection, diabetes, crystalluria and bladder stones as the underlying cause. In an older cat, I would want to add a CBC, chem profile and a T4, to rule out renal insufficiency or other metabolic illness and hyperthyroid disease.

2. Address diet: cats fed a dry food diet are much more likely to have crystalluria and associated cystitis. A raw food diet is the most species appropriate diet for all cats. If this is not an option, then a high quality grain free canned would be the second choice. For more information on feeding cats: http://www.felinefuture.com/

3. Address litter box issues: My friend and feline homeopathic vet, Andrea Tasi has addressed this very well, click the link to see the full article: http://kingstreetcats.org/Dr.%20Tasi’s%20General%20Litter%20Box%20Suggestions.pdf

4. Emotional issues: House soiling is often triggered by emotional upset and stress. Try and identify any household stress: personality clashes between cats, new human household members, death of either an animal or human friend, move to a new home, construction. Bach flower remedies and felaway spray and plug ins can be helpful.

5. Boredom: all animals need mental stimulation. Cats in the wild spend a great deal of time hunting. Toys and activities that simulate stalking and capturing prey can be very helpful in alleviating boredom.

6. Treatment: The conventional veterinary treatment if the changes mentioned above fail to help, is the use of sedatives and other psychotropic drugs. Classical homeopathy can also be very effective in treating these animals.

Homeopathy: The Best Treatment Choice for Your Entire Family!

As most of you already know, I consider homeopathy to be the most amazing form of medicine available for the treatment of humans and animals.

Dana Ullman is one of the world’s premier homeopaths and homeopathic educator. Follow this link to listen to him explain how homeopathy works: http://www.youtube.com/user/HomeopathicDana#p/a/u/2/xedLd9djgyg.
Dana’s book “Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines”. Is an excellent reference for you to have for treating ACUTE illnesses in your family members. Remember that acute illnesses are those that are naturally self-limiting: the flu, food poisoning, minor injuries, etc. These are quite readily treated at home with a minimum of homeopathic knowledge. However, chronic illnesses such as: allergies, cancer, thyroid disease, etc., should only be treated by an experienced and well trained homeopath. In the near future, I plan to offer a course in homeopathic first aid to help you feel more confident in this treatment modality.

If your pet has an acute illness, remember you can also call me for a phone consultation ($15/5min + 20/5 min case analysis and remedy selection) and I can prescribe for your pet over the phone and hopefully save you a trip to the veterinary emergency room. If I feel that your pet is too sick to be treated without diagnostics or hospital care, I will refer you to a veterinary clinic or emergency room. Avoiding ER visits is also the new wave in human medical care with telemedicine consults becoming more available.

Homeopathy has always offered this service as it is a modality that lends itself easily to phone consultation.

I also recommend that everyone read “Beyond Flat Earth Medicine” http://www.beyondflatearth.com/ which is available as a free online read. It is a fun book that does a great job of explaining homeopathic theory and will really help you become a true advocate for your family’s health.

For More Information!
Visit my website and my blog:
http://www.creatingwellbeings.com
http://www.drmarcia.wordpress.com

Min-Pin LOVE @ GALPR♥

Homeopathy Beyond Flat Earth Medicine, Second Edition

February 12, 2010 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment