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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

pet-friendly-home 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). Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
  • Mushrooms, particularly wild mushrooms.
  • Nutmeg
  • *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. 

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

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!

Cooking real food or feeding a raw diet is generally the best option for most pets, but pet parents need to know the general restrictions as well as those for their particular pet plus make sure that their furkids are getting all the nutrients they need and avoiding too many fats, sugars and of course the no-no food list!  Commercial pet food, including kibble, is a rather new creation along with pre-packaged, processed and restaurant-style junk food for humans, including baby food and baby formula, filled with questionable additives and unrecognizable ingredients; none of which are proving to be the best choices, just read the labels.  All were invented for the consumers’ convenience and the profit for their manufacturers not good health and nutrition. The more fresh and freshly prepared food from good sources, as well as mother’s milk over formula for babies, the healthier we, our children and our pets are and will be!

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

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!!

Cross-posted at True Health Is True Wealth (THITW) and at AskMarion

November 23, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Don’t Let This Organ Ruin Your Pet’s Life

Video: How to Avoid Pet Pancreatitis

Would you recognize the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis in your cat or dog? Dr. Karen Becker explains why this serious health problem is on the rise, and how to address it using natural methods.

Dr. Becker’s Comments:

Pancreatitis is inflammation of your pet’s pancreas that can disrupt its normal functions. This is often a serious issue, as the pancreas has two vital functions: it secretes insulin, which balances blood sugar, and it secretes digestive enzymes — amylase, lipase and proteases.

Fever, lethargy, dehydration, abdominal pain, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhea in both dogs and cats can all have roots in pancreatitis.

What’s even more interesting about pancreatitis is that inflammation of the pancreas can be very, very mild or it can be extremely life-threatening and even fatal in some cases.

Inflammation of the pancreas is becoming more recognized as a problem in veterinary medicine and in fact brand new research states that up to 40 percent of cats that were autopsied had lesions of pancreatitis. Those cats didn’t die of a pancreatic problem, so we’re recognizing that the pancreas is not only a vital organ but one that may be increasingly prone to injury and damage secondary to other disease processes.

I think the increase in diagnosed cases is partly because vets are beginning to check for it more often, but there seem to be other factors contributing as well.

Why Pancreatitis Occurs

As a holistic veterinarian, I don’t think it’s a fluke or happenstance that the pancreas has become more and more attacked as an organ. We know that the high carbohydrate-based diets that most dogs and cats eat are extremely taxing to pets’ insulin levels, which are, in turn, taxing to the pancreas.

In addition, the foods that we feed our dogs and cats are entirely processed and devoid of natural enzymes, which help supplement your pet’s diet and reduce pancreatic stress. So, the pancreas really may live in a state of chronic inflammation and stress because the average American pet diet is dead (processed at high temperatures to create an extensive shelf life) and is therefore devoid of any naturally occurring amylase, lipase and protease enzymes that would naturally be found in raw foods. The canned or kibble (dry food) diet that you feed your pet causes the pancreas to have to secrete an abundance of digestive enzymes. If the pancreas fails to perform adequately, pancreatitis results.

There are also some drugs that are well known to incite episodes of pancreatitis. For instance, anti-seizure drugs such as Potassium Bromide or Phenobarbital are well known to predispose pets to pancreatitis.

Prednisone and other catabolic steroids are also well known to cause pancreatitis. Even the diuretic Lasix (Furosemide®), has been implicated in pancreatitis attacks in dogs and cats.

However, diet also plays into recurrent pancreatitis episodes. Many cats and dogs eat a diet that is much too high in fat and we know that fat is also an inciting cause of low-grade, recurrent pancreatitis.

Certain breeds, such as Miniature Schnauzers may also have a genetic predisposition to having recurrent pancreatitis, and German Shepherds can be born with pancreatic insufficiency causing enzyme deficiency symptoms from birth.

Pancreatitis Often Recurs

If you’ve been through the nightmare of pancreatitis, you know all too well that number one, it is very scary, and number two, many animals require hospitalization and very intense medical therapy to pull them through the crisis.

What you may not know is that pancreatitis often recurs. You can easily spend thousands of dollars getting your pet stabilized with each occurrence of pancreatitis, and I wish I could tell you that just putting your pet on a low-residue, low-fat diet will eliminate their future risk. Unfortunately, the fact is that many pets end up with recurrent pancreatitis.

Diagnosis of Pancreatitis

Veterinarians diagnose pancreatitis through a blood test called the PLI (Pancreatic Lipase Immunoreactivity) Test. Your veterinarian may suggest that you run a PLI test if he or she suspects your pet may be dealing with pancreatitis.

There are also two pancreatic enzymes, lipase and amylase, that can be elevated on traditional blood work when animals have pancreatitis, but most veterinarians rely on the PLI test for an accurate and quick diagnostic test to determine if your pet has pancreatic inflammation.

What to do if Your Pet Has Pancreatitis

If your pet has failed the PLI, which means the PLI levels are elevated beyond what they should be for your dog or cat, you should seek medical attention — especially if your pet is vomiting, lethargic, dealing with anorexia or has a fever.

After the crisis has passed, the very best “insurance” that you can buy to lower your pet’s chances of having a repeat episode is to supply them with a rich source of digestive enzymes.

We know that dogs’ and cats’ pancreases cannot secrete enough digestive enzymes to adequately process their foods. Dogs and cats were meant to acquire supplemental enzymes from the foods they consumed: living foods that contained abundant enzymes.

Historically dogs and cats consumed parts of their preys’ GI tracts which provided adequate enzymes for them to process their food. Carnivores also consumed their preys’ glands, including pancreatic tissue, which was a rich source of naturally occurring enzymes.

Although we advocate feeding a balanced, raw food diet, we don’t recommend feeding stomach contents of prey species, as this is how parasites can be transmitted to your pets. This means even pets consuming a species appropriate, raw food diet can be enzyme deficient.

By you supplying a source of digestive enzymes in their diet, either by feeding pancreatic tissue (which is unappealing to most pet owners) or a supplement, , you can help reduce the stress and strain the pancreas is under to continually come up with enough enzymes to process t food.

Mercola Healthy Pets is coming out with an excellent pet enzyme that I highly recommend. If you have pets that are dealing with pancreatitis, have dealt with pancreatitis, or if you want to reduce the likelihood of your pet exhibiting symptoms of pancreatitis, adding digestive enzymes to their food at mealtime is a perfect way to help avoid future complications and reduce pancreatic stress.

Related:

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

No-No Foods for Pets

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

October 2, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

Dogs love human food, and most humans have a hard time resisting the pleading face of a dog who wants a bite of what they’re eating. On the other hand, some human foods are not only unhealthy for dogs, but a few can actually kill them. One food some people reward their dog with is nuts, especially almonds. Can dogs eat almonds safely?

By Marion Algier  -  Just One More Pet

Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

The humane society and others publish a list of “no-no” foods or unsafe foods for dogs to eat, and the only two nuts on the list are walnuts and macadamia nuts. Feeding a dog as few as four macadamia nuts, depending upon the dog’s size, can cause neurological symptoms such as muscle weakness, tremors and even paralysis. Walnuts can cause stomach upset in dogs and moldy ones that contain mycotoxins cause tremors in dogs. These two nuts are a definite "no-no" for all dogs.

Does this mean dog scan eat almonds since they’re not on the list? Even though almonds aren’t toxic to dogs, there are some good reasons to avoid giving your dog this nutty treat, or at least give it sparingly. Nuts of all types, including almonds, are on the list of foods that cause stomach upset in dogs.

So, if you do occasionally almonds or other nuts, or something with nuts in it, with your best friend, do so sparingly and watch for any negative reactions.  If you notice a negative change in their behavior, their stool or that they are in pain, cease to share nuts in general and definitely that type of nut with them.

Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis can be fatal to your canine best friend, so it’s best to stay from nuts and fatty human foods. Giving your dog food high in fats may earn you a few tail wags, but it could have bad long-term health consequences.

Another reason not to give your dog almonds or other nuts is they can get caught in their throat or intestines, causing an intestinal obstruction that could require surgery. Who wants to put a dog through that?

Can Dogs Eat Almonds: The Bottom Line?

Almonds aren’t directly toxic to dogs like walnuts and macadamia nuts are, but they do increase the risk of pancreatitis and intestinal obstruction. Almonds are a heart-healthy snack for humans, but if your dog loves them too, buy some organic peanut butter flavored dog cookies to satisfy your dogs need for a treat. It’s a safer option.

Related: 

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis 

Pancreatitis in Dogs

No-No Foods for Pets

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

July 15, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Non-Profit Provides Food Stamps for Pets

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.

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.

Related:

Pet Food Stamps

Struggling families can now apply for nonprofit’s Pet Food Stamps

Homeless Shelters that Allow Pets

How to Help Pets of Homeless People

A Patchwork of Food Assistance for Pets

Help Feed Hungry Pets

Humane Society list of pet financial aid-related organizations

No-No Foods for Pets

Homeless With Pets – Choosing Pets Over Shelter

“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 | 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 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Cancer Prevention Foods

Story at-a-glance
  • The study of the relationship between nutrition and cancer in companion animals is in its infancy. However, it is assumed there is a link between obesity and cancer in dogs and cats – just as there is a link between the two in humans.
  • Fat doesn’t just sit on your pet’s body harmlessly. It produces inflammation that can promote tumor development. In fact, cancer is actually a chronic inflammatory disease.
  • Another cancer-promoting factor in the lives of many pets is the poor quality, highly processed, pro-inflammatory diet they are fed. Two primary factors in this type of diet are an excessive amount of omega-6 fatty acids coupled with a deficiency of omega-3s, along with an abundance of carbs and starches.
  • A healthy, species-appropriate diet for dogs and cats – one that is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer – consists of real, whole, fresh foods, preferably served raw.
  • Healthy immune system function is also crucial in preventing cancer, and there are several things you can do to promote a balanced, resilient immune system in your pet.

By Dr. Becker

I recently ran across an article about the link between nutrition and cancer in dogs and cats. According to PetfoodIndustry.com:

"Despite significant advancements in companion animal cancer treatment over the last decade, the relationships between nutrition and veterinary cancer control and prevention remain in their infancy. Developing dietary strategies for reducing companion animal cancer incidence and mortality—overall and for specific cancers—will be an exciting and challenging endeavor that will take extensive research coordination using evidence-based designs."

Since this article — though written by a professor at the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University – was published in a trade journal for the pet food industry, I think we can assume there will be pet food companies heavily involved in developing dietary strategies to address the growing problem of cancer in pets.

And I doubt very seriously those pet food manufacturers will develop strategies that encourage pet owners to feed real, whole, fresh food and not the processed stuff they sell.

Expect to see "cancer prevention" processed pet diets coming soon to a store and/or veterinary office near you. It’s just a matter of time.

Obesity Increases Cancer Risk

The PetfoodIndustry.com article also points out that, "Caloric restriction has demonstrated the most consistent delay in the progression and prevention of tumor development across species."

Fewer calories, it has been shown, cause the cells of the body to block tumor growth.

Too many calories, on the other hand, lead to obesity – and obesity is strongly linked to increased cancer risk in humans. There is a connection between too much glucose, increased insulin sensitivity, inflammation and oxidative stress – all factors in obesity – and cancer. And while there’s been no direct link made yet to obesity and cancer in dogs and cats, it is assumed a link exists.

So in addition to the clearly established connections between obesity and other health problems like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, reduced quality of life and shortened lifespan, there is also increased risk that an overweight pet will develop cancer.

And what is the biggest health problem for pets today? Overweight and obesity. Certainly the increase in cancer rates among dogs and cats is in part attributable to the obesity epidemic.

Overfeeding your pet is not a loving thing to do. Food is no substitute for quality time spent with your dog or cat. And keep in mind that fat doesn’t just sit on your pet’s body harmlessly. It produces inflammation that can promote tumor development.

In order to be the best guardian you can be for your pet, you must insure she stays at a healthy weight. Parents of too-heavy and obese pets need to understand the tremendous harm they are doing to their companion animal’s health and quality of life … before it’s too late.

Inflammation Leads to Cancer

Anything that creates or promotes inflammation in the body increases the risk for serious diseases, including cancer.

Recent research points to cancer as a chronic inflammatory disease. Inflammation kills the cells of the body. It also surrounds cells with toxic inflammatory by-products that inhibit the flow of oxygen, nutrients and waste products between cells and blood. This creates an environment in which abnormal cells proliferate.

Preventing inflammation is crucial to the prevention of cancer.

One major contributor to inflammatory conditions is a diet too high in omega-6 fatty acids and too low in omega-3s. Omega-6s increase inflammation, cell proliferation and blood clotting, while the omega-3s do the reverse.

Unfortunately, the typical processed western diet – for both humans and their pets – is loaded down with omega-6 fatty acids and deficient in omega-3s.

Nutrition for Cancer Prevention

The best diet for cancer prevention is a diet that provides the nutritional components required to maintain healthy cells and repair unhealthy ones.

Cancer cells need the glucose in carbohydrates to grow and proliferate. If you limit or eliminate that energy source, you do the same with the cancer’s growth. That’s one of the reasons I always discourage feeding diets high in carbohydrates. Carbs are pro-inflammatory nutrients that also feed cancer cells.

Carbs you want to keep out of your pet’s diet include processed grains, fruits with fructose, and starchy veggies like potatoes. All dry pet food contains some form of starch (it’s not possible to create kibble without it), which is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of dry pet food.

Cancer cells generally can’t use dietary fats for energy, so appropriate amounts of good quality fats are nutritionally healthy for dogs and cats.

A healthy, species-appropriate diet for dogs and cats – one that is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer – consists of real, whole foods, preferably served raw. It looks something like this:

High in high-quality protein, including muscle meat, organs and bone (protein should make up 75 percent of a healthy dog’s diet, and 88 percent of a cat’s diet)
A few beneficial additions like probiotics, digestive enzymes and super green foods

Moderate levels of animal fat
A vitamin/mineral supplement

High levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids)
High moisture content

A few fresh cut veggies and a bit of fruit, pureed
No grains; no starches

Immune System Support for Cancer Prevention

The health of your pet’s immune system is vital to her ability to defend against disease. Balanced, species-appropriate nutrition is the foundation for a healthy immune system. You can also help keep your dog’s or cat’s immune system balanced and resilient by:

Also:

Just like your own, your pet’s optimal health depends on ubiquinol, or the reduced, active form of CoQ10Ubiquinol can potentially help boost energy, support cardiovascular health and immune system function, and even support brain and nervous system health. And it tackles the damaging free radicals that can make your pet grow old before his time.

High in high-quality protein, including muscle meat, organs and bone (protein should make up 75 percent of a healthy dog’s diet, and 88 percent of a cat’s diet) should be protein, moderate fats and a few beneficial additions like probiotics, digestive enzymes, CoQ10 and super green foods is recommended

Related:

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

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.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

August 1, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Recipes, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Feeding Homemade Dog Food

Real meat is the best food for your dog….nothing else even comes close.

The best food for your dog is . . .

Real food. Fresh food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish. Fresh vegetables. Yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese.

No, this is not “people food.” Calling real food “people food” makes it sound as though people are the only living creatures entitled to eat real food. That’s not true.

ALL living creatures deserve real, fresh food.

“You can boost your pet’s health profoundly by making one simple decision. All you have to do is change his diet from commercial-brand fare to something you may never have imagined giving him – real food. The fresh food you buy at the market for yourself is the food you should give your pet, too.”

Generations of dogs lived to ripe old ages on fresh foods…before the pet food corporations came along and changed (ruined) everything.

Dog food corporations. “Just say no.”

Dogs have been domesticated for about 15,000 years (that’s amazing, isn’t it?) and up until the 1930s, they were NEVER fed “kibble” or “canned” brands from a store. Dogs were fed real meat and vegetables, and a little homemade bread. On this diet they thrived, frequently living into their late teens.

Dogs didn’t eat kibble until the 1930s when the grain and meat industries needed a market for their rejects.

That all changed in the 1930s, when cereal and grain manufacturers were looking for something profitable to do with their rejected cereals and grain – their wheat and corn that failed USDA inspection because of mold, rancidity, and other contaminants.

These companies discovered that hey, the meat industry faced the same dilemma – meat that failed USDA inspection because it had spoiled or because the livestock was diseased.

The ingenious idea of mixing the rejects together and calling it “dog food” was born.

Marketing firms spent an enormous amount of money planting this lamentable idea in the public’s mind, and today commercial diets are promoted by multi-billion dollar pet food corporations and the veterinary industry, both of whom have a huge financial stake in getting you to feed these products.

But processed kibble and canned products were not then – nor are they now – “dog food.”

Real dog food was, is, and always will be real food.  That’s what your dog should be eating.

“The whole concept of Insta-Meal for humans is repulsive. Most people would soon be climbing the walls in frustration, desperate for a salad or some fruit – anything whole and fresh, or just different. Perhaps the thought of eating kibbles for the rest of your own life helps make the point that pets forced to do so are being shortchanged. All of us – humans and animals – should have fresh, wholesome, unprocessed food in our daily diet.

The awful ingredients in commercial “dog food”

THE GRAIN

Virtually all dog food brands are heavily based on fibrous grains and cereals. But dogs do not have the long, winding digestive tract required to digest fibrous grains and cereals. Dogs have a short straight digestive tract designed to digest meat.

Many dogs who eat corn, soybeans, or wheat develop health problems.Excessive shedding or dandruff. Loose stools. Gassiness and flatulence. Itchy skin, where your dog licks his feet or rubs his face against the carpet, trying to ease the itch. You might never think to associate these problems with the grain in your dog’s diet, but that is often the case.

To make matters worse, GOOD grain is reserved for the human market. What goes into the pet food bin is deemed unfit for human consumption because of mold, rancidity, or contaminants – yuck!

THE MEAT

Unless a dog food brand says its meat passed USDA inspection…it didn’t.

Contrary to what the dog food companies show you on TV commercials, your dog doesn’t get sirloin from a healthy cow who spent its life cropping grass, nor does he get white chicken breast from a hen who spent its life pecking happily around the barnyard.

No, your dog gets the meat that didn’t make the cut for the human market – 4D meat from livestock that was Diseased,Disabled, Dying, or already Dead when it arrived at the slaughterhouse. It won’t pass USDA inspection, so into the pet food bin it goes….

….along with the growth hormones that were fed to the livestock to make them grow faster…and with the antibiotics fed to the livestock to prevent massive outbreaks of disease in their crowded living conditions. These hormones and antibiotics trickle through to your dog.

THE GREASY FAT

You know that pungent smell that wafts up from a freshly opened bag of kibble? That’s greasy fat sprayed onto the hard little pebbles to tempt your dog to eat it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be recognizable to him as food. So dogs gobble up their kibble for the same reason kids gobble up french fries. But we don’t let our kids eat only french fries just because they love the smell or taste, do we?

Bags of kibble can sit on a shelf for so long because of the chemical preservatives.

THE PRESERVATIVES

Preservatives make the bags and cans last longer That’s convenient for the dog food company, which can leave it sitting in their warehouse for a long time. Convenient for the retailer who can leave it sitting on his shelf for a long time. Convenient for the owner who can leave it in the pantry for a long time, then pour it into his dog’s bowl and leave it sitting there all day if necessary.

But what is this stuff that keeps ingredients from spoiling?

The most common dog food preservatives are BHA and BHT (both of which are associated with liver and kidney dysfunction, and bladder and stomach cancer) and ethoxyquin, which is manufactured by that giant chemical corporation Monsanto as a rubber preservative. The Department of Agriculture lists it as a pesticide. OSHA lists it as a hazardous chemical. The containers are marked POISON.

All 3 chemicals are banned in Europe, but because their manufacturers have so much legislative clout here in the U.S., they’re still tolerated here. Sad, but true.

“Good news!” you say. “None of those preservatives are in MY dog food brand.” Well, not so fast. Even when it’s not listed, it can be in there, anyway. A legal loophole, you see, allows dog food companies to only list what they themselves put into the bag. If they buy some of their ingredients from a supplier who has already added the chemical, the dog food company doesn’t have to disclose that on the bag.

Isn’t that nice?

THE UNRECOGNIZABLE INGREDIENTS

Brewer’s rice? Wheat bran? Beet pulp? Corn gluten? Do you know what any of that stuff is? Can you see yourself picking up a bag of corn gluten or a carton of beet pulp for your dog’s supper?

What about animal digest? This ingredient is officially described as “material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue.” Doesn’t that sound tasty? It’s actually a boiled concoction from the rendering plant, and the “animal tissue” can include anything from cattle to rats to roadkill to dogs and cats euthanized at the animal shelter. Yes, the FDA has found sodium pentobarbital – the chemical used to euthanize animals – in some brands of dog food.

Australian veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst says:

“If you look at the ingredient list on a can or a bag of pet food – with understanding – you will realize that what is being listed is a heap of rubbish. Definitely not the wholesome nutritious food you would want to feed to a valued member of your family!”

Artificial diets are causing health problems in dogs.

How commercial dog food affects your dog’s health

Every day, unhappy dogs parade through veterinary offices. They suffer from:

  • itching
  • hot spots
  • dandruff
  • excessive shedding
  • foot-licking
  • face-rubbing
  • loose stools
  • gassiness

What are these dogs eating? Virtually every one of them is eating an artificial diet.

“Since I graduated from veterinary school in 1965, I’ve noticed a general deterioration in pet health. We now see very young animals with diseases that we used to see only in older animals. Without the perspective of several decades, vets just coming out of veterinary school think these degenerative conditions in younger animals are “normal.” They do not realize what has happened over the passage of time.

I believe, along with poor quality nutrients, the chemical additives in pet food play a major part in that decline. Pet foods contain slaughterhouse wastes, toxic products from spoiled foodstuffs, non-nutritive fillers, heavy-metal contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, drug residues, sugar, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.”

Dr. Martin Goldstein D.V.M. sums it up:

“When I tell an owner that a change of diet can affect her pet’s health in a matter of days, the first reaction is usually delight, sometimes even exhilaration.”

Dr. Richard Pitcairn D.V.M.  Packaged and canned dog food like packaged and jarred baby food and insta-meals or artificial diets for people are not only not better but are generally bad for those who eat them. Insta-meals, commercial baby food and commercial pet food are industries dreamed up for profits by entrepreneurs that only get worse as the companies and their focus on profits gets bigger.

Without a doubt pets who eat real healthy food live longer and healthier lives… and it saves on the vet bills! 

And cooking for your pets does not have to be a chore.  They can eat many of the same things you eat and there are some great recipes for meats, stews, etc that you can fix for both you and your pet!

h/t to my great friend and vet Dr. Susan for sending this article~

Resources

The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats

Everything Cooking for Dogs Book: 150 Quick and Easy Healthy Recipes Your Dog Will Bark For (Everything: Cooking)

Keep Your Dog Healthy the Natural Way

Your Purebred Puppy, Second Edition: A Buyer’s Guide, Completely Revised and Updated

Cooking for Your Dog

Bone Appetit!: Gourmet Cooking for Your Dog

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

And after dinner how about a nice massage?

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Dry Pet Food Storage

Warm weather and humidity can wreak havoc on a good bag of pet food! 

 Dry dog and cat foods usually have a one-year “shelf life.” That means the food is “good” for up to one year after the manufacturing date. Many dry foods stamp a “best if used by” date on the package. This applies only to unopened bags.   High-quality dog food companies use bags that provide protection from oxygen and moisture. If the bag is intact, not enough oxygen and moisture can migrate into the food in one year to cause significant oxidation or microbial growth problems. Though problems can occur between the manufacture of food and the customer opening the bag, it’s what happens after the bag is opened that we are most concerned with in this article.  

What happens after you open the bag of dog food?  As soon as you open a bag of food, oxygen, moisture, light, mold spores, storage mites, and other potential spoilers enter the bag.  

Oxidation of fats

Oxidized fats may cause cancer and contribute to many chronic health problems in humans. The same is true for dogs.
 
Dog food companies use antioxidants (sometimes vitamin E and other natural sources) to forestall oxidation. Every time the bag is opened, oxygen enters. Eventually the antioxidants are all oxidized (used up) and some of the fats are damaged, starting with the more fragile omega -3 fatty acids.
 
Degradation of all micronutrients

Vitamins particularly susceptible to oxidation and damage due to long term room temperature storage include vitamin A, thiamin, most forms of folate, some forms of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal),vitamin C, and pantothenic acid. The nutrition in the food at the bottom of a bag left open 39 days will be considerably less than the nutrition in the top of the bag. Fresh is best.

Molds and mycotoxins

Storing open bags of dry dog food for 39 days in warm, humid areas (most kitchens) promotes the growth of molds. Some of the waste products of these molds (mycotoxins) are increasingly being implicated as long-term causes of cancer and other health problems in humans, poultry, pigs and other animals. Dogs are particularly susceptible to these toxins.
 
When dry dog foods absorb moisture from the surrounding air, the antimicrobials used by most manufacturers to delay mold growth can be overwhelmed, and mold can grow. The molds that consume dry pet foods include the Aspergillus flavus mold, which produces Aflatoxin B1, the most potent naturally occurring carcinogenic substance known.
 
You can’t see low levels of mold, and most dogs can’t taste it.  While many dogs have died shortly after eating mycotoxin-contaminated foods, mycotoxins kill most dogs slowly by suppressing the immune system and creating long-term health problems in all organs of the body.
 
Infestation

Bugs, storage mites, mice, and other unpleasant invaders thrive on dry dog food.  Recent research has shown that allergic dogs are frequently allergic to the carcasses of storage mites, which may infest grains, especially those grains used in low cost dry dog foods. So, daily, allergic dogs ingest a substance to which their immune system reacts negatively.
 
Keep food fresh!
 
1. Keep food in its original bag, even if you use a container. Plastics can leach vitamin C out of the food. The components of the plastics themselves may leach into the food. Rancid fat, which lodges in the pores of plastics that are not food-grade, will contaminate new batches of food.
2. Buy small, fresh bags of food; only enough to last 7 days. Look for manufacturing or “best if used by” dates on the bag. If you don’t see one, or can’t understand the code, write the manufacturer and ask where it is or how to interpret their codes.
3. Keep food dry. If the food looks moist, throw it away.
4. Keep larger bags in the freezer. This is the only way we think large quantities of food may be kept safely.
5. If the food has off color, throw it away.
6. If the food smells rancid or like paint, throw the food away.
7. If your dog says no, do not force her to eat.
8. Don’t buy bags that are torn.  

Consider the value vs the risk of buying bags of food that are too large for your pet(s) to finish before the expiration date.  Sometime paying a little more to buy smaller bags as you need them can save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run!
 
Follow these simple recommendations to radically reduce the deadly toxins your dog or cat encounters. 



 For those of you that are relocating with your pet; ship some of your pet’s food ahead so you have it when you get there.  Not all brands are available everywhere.  This will save on an upset stomach in a new country or town.  

One of my favorite books on the right way to feed pets is “See Spot Live Longer” by Steve Brown and Beth Taylor.  Below is an excerpt from Ms. Taylor’s website that I thought was important to share with companion pet owners.

 

2000+ Dog Books And All Things Dog 

Monthly Feature: BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS IN DOGS

March 27, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quickie Homemade Dog Treats

1-3/4 CUPS WHOLE-WHEAT FLOUR
2, 4.5-OUNCH JARS MEAT FLAVORED BABY FOOD
1/2 CUP BEEF/CHICKEN/VEG. BROTH OR SUFFICIENT FOR PROCESSING

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. LIGHTLY OIL BOTTOM OF COOKIE SHEET.

IN LARGE BOWL, USING FORK, COMBINE FLOUR & BABY FOOD, MIXING WELL BLENDED & FORM INTO VERY SOFT DOUGH.

IF MIXTURE IS A LITTLE DRY, ADD BEEF BROTH 1/4 CUP AT A TIME UNTIL DOUGH PULLS AWAY FROM BOWL.

PINCH OFF SMALL PIECES OF DOUGH AND BETWEEN FLOURED HANDS, ROOL INTO SMALL BALLS.

PLACE BALLS ON OILED BAKING PAN 1/2 INCH APART & FLATTTEN WITH BACK OF FORK TO 1/4-INCH THICK.

BAKE @ 350 DEGREES IN CENTER OF OVEN FOR 18 TO 20 MINUTES (OR UNTIL TOPS ARE GOLDEN BROWN).

REMOVE COOKIE SHEET FROM OVEN & LET REST A FEW MINUTES. REMOVE COOKIES FROM PAN. ALLOW TO COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE. STORE IN NON-AIRTIGHT CONTAINER

January 16, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment