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The Daily Vet by petMD

The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets.

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Due to popular feeding trends, veterinarians will soon be experiencing greater numbers of cases involving nutritional deficiencies. In their efforts to avoid certain ingredients deemed harmful or philosophically unacceptable, more and more pet owners are choosing homemade cooked or raw diets over commercial diets.

As most of you know, I agree with the homemade alternative. However, as my last couple of blogs demonstrated, there is more concern over what to leave out than knowledge about what to leave in. The web is rife with recipes for those seeking alternatives to commercial food. Unfortunately, most of these sources offer nutritionally unbalanced diets for pets.

What Do Pet Diets Need?

With the encouragement of President Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Congress granted a charter for the private, nonprofit National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1863. The mission of this group of scientists is to provide research to further science and technology for the general welfare of the American public.

In 1916 the National Research Council (NRC) was organized by the Academy. With the Institute of Medicine, the NRC is the source for both human and animal nutrition research. Periodically, they update the Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has superseded the NRC in setting the standards for the pet food industry.

Although both lists of recommendations differ slightly in quantities of daily nutrients, they are in general agreements as to what is necessary for a healthy pet diet. All commercial foods, whether canned, dry, or raw, must meet these requirements. The rules should be no different for homemade cooked or raw alternatives.

How to Balance Alternative Diets

First, specific food (rather than any generically lumped) sources and quantities (not percentages, guesstimates, etc.) must be established. All meats, carbs, oils, and vegetables are not created equal. Cuts of meats range from as low as 46mg of phosphorus per ounce to 97mg. The amount of the fat and linoleic acid varies, from meat source to meat cut.

Organ meats (liver, kidney) differ in their vitamin content from source to source and in the production method of the animal source. Different carbohydrates have different calorie, vitamin, and mineral content. Vegetables vary extremely in vitamins and minerals based on their plant family and color. This is why specificity is important. Once specified, the ingredients can be analyzed as a group by using the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. The result then must be reconciled to the NRC or AAFCO requirements. Properly feeding a pet is not a by-gosh-and-by golly internet exercise.

Supplements

All alternative diets need supplementation, even the raw diet that includes bone and organ meat. The above analysis allows knowing the quantity to supplement. This creates another problem because not all supplements are created equal. Bone meal is a good example. There are at least five readily available bone meal sources. None are the same. They range in calcium levels of 700mg to 1620mg per teaspoon, and 340 to 500mg of phosphorus per teaspoon. If a recipe does not specify the bone meal brand then the recipe could be deficient or excessive in calcium and phosphorus.

The ratio of those ingredients is also important. It needs to be about 1.2 to 1.5 calcium to phosphorus. Without knowing precisely how much of these ingredients are in the diet, let alone the bone meal supplement, the ratio is completely unknown

Vitamins and minerals are even worse. Every company has its proprietary blend that varies enormously from brand to brand, including children’s supplements. Most homemade recipes suggest supplementing with any vitamin mineral supplement. Again, without knowledge of the recipe and supplement content, the adequacy of the diet for vitamins and minerals is completely unknown.

Don’t Just Take My Word for It

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) found that homemade cooked or raw recipes from popular websites and books (some authored by board certified veterinary nutritionists) did not meet the daily requirements established by the NRC for many ingredients.

The Disaster

Nutritional deficiencies are not acute. They take their toll over time — years to a decade — before their effects are evident. Moreover, the symptoms are not always specific and will not be reflected in the routine blood analysis performed in veterinary hospitals. Many nutrients do not even have specific blood analysis capabilities.

Because all commercial foods are quantitatively nutritionally balanced, most veterinarians do not have nutritional deficiencies on their diagnostic radar. Many clients don’t tell us they feed homemade. Most veterinarians are not well versed in nutrition and are not capable of assessing the nutritional status of these diets. And even if accurately identified, supplementation may not reverse the damage. Combine these factors, and the trend toward unbalanced, homemade cooked or raw diets, and I predict that nutritional deficiencies may become as common as the other malnutrition syndrome, obesity.

Dr. Ken Tudor

Learn More

DVM360; Homemade Diets for Cats and Dogs with Kidney Disease: Most Recipes are Wrong

AVMA.org; Policy on Raw or Undercooked Animal-Source Protein in Cat and Dog Diets

Image: Yutilova Elena / via Shutterstock

Comments  29

Leave Comment
  • Comment
    08/23/2012 07:19am

    A simple morning comment so I will receive subsequent comments via email.

  • Pet Nutrition Disaster
    08/23/2012 08:14am

    I am not worried. I have owed dogs for 40 years, and I have been feeding raw/home cooked along with kibble for 20 some years and my dogs are doing fantastic. Teeth are clean and white due to chewing on bones and raw meat, when they were on kibble their teeth looked horrible!
    Ear infections stopped once I made the switch to feeeding a better diet; I feed enough variety to cover most bases, without resorting to difficult analysis of daily intake. These dogs are never sick. And after all- aren't we advised to eat as much fresh and unprocessed foods as possible? Why should it be different for any other living creature?
    My oldest standard poodle is now 12.5 and in great shape, my 8 yr old standard has the energy of a much younger dog, and in March of this year we lost our 14 yr old dachshund due to old age, and last year our 12 yr old standard poodle passed on.Not bad, right?

  • Pet Nutrition Disaster
    08/23/2012 09:07am

    My 13 year old male jack russell, who is a confirmed urate stone former, has gotten to this age eating Hills UD canned and kibble, and recently(the past 3 years) Royal Canin UC-18. two years ago I had UCDavis make up a diet for him which was eggs, macaroni oil and the supplement BalanceIT. I added green beans and pumpkin for fiber. I feed this 2 days a week to give him a break from the kibble. He had a problem in June and had to have a low fat diet for stone formers so he is currently on Royal canin Vegetarian as he got pancreatitis from a surgery. Just had a followup cpl test and awaiting results on that and liver enzymes and then maybe I can add some non fat cottage cheese for him. I trusted the Balance It supplement and it seemed to be fine.
    My 6 year old Aussie eats The Honest kitchen Embarq and Orijen fish. She loves both. I for one do not want to deal with nutritional deficiencies.

  • Conflict of Interest?
    08/23/2012 09:41am

    The article contains no conflict statement. Two of the researchers have had very close financial ties to Hill's Pet Nutrition, according to the UC-Davis website. One is or has been a "Hill’s Fellow in Nutrition", and another is the "principal investigator" under a $510,000 grant from Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc.

    The article's initial hypothesis was that the recipes would fail the NRC guidelines, so there is reason to believe it was goal-directed. All recipes are lumped together and thereby damned together. The authors' standard included this "guaranteed to fail" expectation: "Because not all animals require the same degree and type of modifications, it is recommended that clinicians consider individualized clinical data for each patient." Certainly, ALL commercial pet foods for kidney patients likewise would fail that requirement.

    The authors wrote: ""Many of the recipes were low in protein. Although the requirements of dogs and cats with CKD for protein and other essential nutrients are unknown, there is no reason to assume these are less than the requirements for adult maintenance of dogs and cats." That is very interesting, because consider what Hill's states about its Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Canine Renal Health: "Key Benefits: ... Reduced levels of protein to help reduce kidney workload."

    Speaking of Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Canine Renal Health, take a look at its junk-food ingredients: "Brewers Rice, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Powdered Cellulose, Lactic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Beet Pulp, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, Calcium Sulfate, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Vitamin E Supplement, L-Threonine, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, Magnesium Oxide, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract."

    Why don't these authors research the commercial vendors' so-called kidney diets?

  • 08/23/2012 10:53am

    Hmmmm I looked at the UCDavis site too and it seems they offer homemade diets as one of the major things- the comment above says this too. I assume they charge money for this. If the researchers were really trying to push kibble why would they do that? It seems like they make more money with homemade food than with kibble, so how is there a conflict?

    And, based on their work with homemade, they probably have seen many of those types of problems with recipes before, so the hypothesis makes sense. I dont see the conspiracy theory here, Rod. Even if there was, are you accusing them of altering the numbers? That is a serious charge in scientific circles, and your basis for saying so is weak.

  • 08/23/2012 11:16am

    Science matters on 08/23/2012 10:53am wrote: "...how is there a conflict?"

    If they have financial relationships with a commercial pet food conglomerate, and they write a report slamming only home-prepared diets, they have an obligation to disclose that.

    Science matters on 08/23/2012 10:53am wrote: "I dont see the conspiracy theory here, Rod."

    I'm sure you don't.

    Science matters on 08/23/2012 10:53am wrote: "Even if there was, are you accusing them of altering the numbers? That is a serious charge in scientific circles, and your basis for saying so is weak."

    I suggested they ignored the same problems with the commercial brands of pet foods.

  • 08/23/2012 04:43pm

    "I'm sure you don't."

    What does this mean? Is it an attempt at a straw man argument?

    It's pretty clear you are not interested in discussion, only in asserting your own opinions. That is fine, but you are not changing any minds, nor opening your own, with this single POV approach.

    Please consider that there is plenty of Kool Aide to drink on the anti-pet food side as well. Once in a while, put down your cup and think critically.

    It's an interesting human trait that people are only happy with hearing things they already agree with. It's very common, but not very intellectually enriching.

  • 08/23/2012 05:26pm

    Science matters on 08/23/2012 04:43pm wrote: "'I'm sure you don't.' What does this mean? Is it an attempt at a straw man argument?"

    No, Science matters, it is not. I means that I am sure that you don't see the conspiracy theory here. And neither do I. This is not a matter of a conspiracy, and I never suggested that it was. It is a matter of disclosure of possible conflicts of interest and of equal treatment of home-prepared pet food and commercially sold pet food by the same companies that fund the researchers. I thought I had made my views about that clear in previous comments.

    Your attempt to psychoanalyze me is off the mark, and I suggest that you not waste your time searching for hidden motives. I have none on this subject. All my motives are disclosed in my comments.

  • Pet Nutrition Disaster
    08/23/2012 10:37am

    A couple of things.....
    1- You are complicating the heck out of feeding raw. If you rotate your proteins, carbs,veggies etc....you are unlikely to have an imbalance. Wild dogs and cats have the same digestive tracts as domesticated animals. I doubt they worry about which vitamin provides the most of whatthey need. :-)
    2- The AVMA has proven time and time again that they know next to NOTHING about nutrition. And what little they have learned has been taught by Nutrionists who work for the big companies, Hills, Purina, Royal Canin etc. Their food sources are usually poor and from outside the country.
    3- NRC and AAFCO have been poisoning our animals for years with what they "deem" essential.

  • Rod and Patience
    08/23/2012 11:02am

    The primary author and I believe one of the co-authors is also affiliated with a company that specializes in helping pet owners prepare homemade diets. I am not sure I can legally give the name but it was mentioned in one of the comments. I am surprised that vitamin and mineral supplements are considered junk food. What is the criteria used to label something junk? If the NRC and AAFCO requirements are poisoning our animals, what standard are we supposed to use to evaluate pet diets? Wild dogs and cats have short life spans. In addition to disease, predation and severe environment, malnutrition is a factor in that lifespan. Foraging variety does not ensure balance. The same is true of merely rotating ingredients especially with regards to calcium:phosphorus ratios. Adding bones does still not ensure adequate calcium levels because it is dependent on how much of the bone is exposed to digestive juices and that is dependent on chewing behavior.
    Dr. T

  • 08/23/2012 11:19am

    Dr. Ken Tudor on 08/23/2012 11:02am wrote: "I am surprised that vitamin and mineral supplements are considered junk food. What is the criteria used to label something junk?"

    You neatly skipped over the main ingredients.

  • 08/23/2012 12:31pm

    Dr. T.; You put it very succinctly. I can't remember which area of science has been digging up bones and fossils, (probably more than one discipline), and showing that wildlife has been breaking teeth on bones and dying at unnaturally young ages at times due to nutritional challenges. Also, since about 2006 there have been a number of papers released showing how "gonadectomies" alter the hormones in our pets to the degree that we need to focus upon different proportions with nutrition than was believed a decade or so ago when feeding in our homes.

    Clearly you also understand that how a food is or isn't processed doesn't contribute to or detract from a food if all nutrients are adequately covered in that food. The responses you often get on these posts are from people who don't seem to know how to use nutritiondata.com correctly. Also, Pottenger himself, who tends to be the 'bible' author for raw feeding, did not prove that raw was better than cooked ingredients. The discovery of taurine deficiencies in cats was not discovered until a year after his death:
    http://felinenutritionalnotes.blogspot.ca/2008/01/keeping-perspective.html

    While I haven't been following one area of study as closely, I have noted that in recent years we finally have options that include good fermentable fibers and some healthy probiotics to assist gut bacteria so that they can break down food into nutrients as well. The only layman's site I know of that is fairly easy to follow is here: http://www.felineconstipation.org/ and in this respect dogs are not much different than cats according to study results.

    The detractors of books like the NRC's continually updated works don't seem to understand that there are pages and pages of research listed that owners can purchase, and/or read for themselves online, to assess the value of what is written, after each subject is covered in the book.

    The only negative comment I have made recently about these reference materials is that they, and veterinarians tend to ignore the fact that just a decade or so ago we were encouraged to feed our pets "high fiber" foods for diabetes/weight loss, and when the "high protein" trend came along, fiber was thrown out with the bathwater, so to speak. IMHO, fiber is still important for diabetes and weight control, but our carnivores do need more protein in their diets. Protein should not be replacing the moderately fermentable, low solubility fiber ingredients that were performing better than other choices previous to the high protein change.

    Good luck with all the snipers on here who are so vituperous but lacking in credibility. Luckily I have managed to block all their responses in my email. (-:

  • Nutrition disaster
    08/23/2012 02:27pm

    Good luck with all the snipers on here who are so vituperous but lacking in credibility. Luckily I have managed to block all their responses in my email. (-:
    Westcoastsyrincs,
    I am aware from your other posts that you hold Dr Tudor in the highest esteem and always rise to his defense- but I am just politely suggesting to you that if he throws out an incendiary topic such as this one- he’s bound to get spirited, opinionated responses back- but I think he can hold his own?
    Not everyone accords vets, or doctors, the rubriquet of infallible gods, because not everything they advocate is based on pure science- to wit- how many years ago did vets insist on multiple vaccinations, delivered in single doses, before science showed that this was wrong and harmful to our animals?
    If vets aren’t taught good nutrition in Veterinary school, then why should we think that what they are teaching is gospel?
    Also, not every vet is anti raw feeding- so is it a matter of ‘opinion’ or science as to what is the correct way to feed?How were dogs fed before kibble became the norm?
    BTW- I am awaiting my next puppy from a champion poodle breeder of 30 years, who ONLY feeds raw, and who won’t sell her dogs to anyone who feeds only kibble.Her dogs are gorgeous, long lived,and the picture of health.
    Would you want to eat nothing but dried nuggets of dead food all your life? My dogs are treated better than that

  • 08/23/2012 07:44pm

    @papoodles, there is no need to write in such a condescending manner, particularly as your writing reflects that you don't have the nutritional education to understand what I say, anyway.

    All these denigrating comments about how veterinarians don't have training in nutrition are taken from very old websites, or information that uses very old websites for reference material. Not only do veterinarians have many opportunities do do post graduate courses on nutrition, now, but also there are some institutions that do provide good quality nutrition courses to students as electives in regular veterinary training, if that is their interest. To say otherwise is to be dishonest. If you aren't aware of this, don't claim knowledge you don't have.

    You may not like my posts in response to those who are sniping at Dr. T., but then there are a lot of us who don't like his posts being hijacked for the "raw foods" agenda. You disguised your response quite well, but it was still the same old tune WITHOUT reference material, and condescension is poor netiquette. Why do people pushing raw feeding always write like rabid dogs?

    While I know better than most that the length of time one has been feeding companion animals has nothing to do with their expertise, I can honestly say I have been feeding pets and wildlife for over *fifty* years, so along with my training I do have a bit of experience under my own belt, too. Please take your rudeness and lack of substance in your posts elsewhere? Some of us really are interested in what Dr. T. has to say without your input, and you aren't going to be changing our minds so don't waste your time.

  • 08/23/2012 08:00pm

    Westcoastsyrinx on 08/23/2012 07:44pm wrote to papoodles:

    "there is no need to write in such a condescending manner, particularly as your writing reflects that you don't have the nutritional education to understand what I say, anyway. ... Please take your rudeness and lack of substance in your posts elsewhere? Some of us really are interested in what Dr. T. has to say without your input, and you aren't going to be changing our minds so don't waste your time."

    Yeah, papoodles! Don't you get it? Only those cretins from the "raw food agenda" can be condescending, rude, and lack substance. The other side, the pro-kibble, Dr. T sycophants, are incapable of being condescending, rude, or subtance-less, because THEY know it all.

    Nevertheless, I gotta wonder what hidden benefits these "raw food agenda" cretins get out of feeding raw foods to their pets. Tell me, Westcoastsyrinx, with your infinite and ageless wisdom, what do you think is in it for the "raw food" types? Do they enjoy poisoning their dogs and want everybody else to do the same? Or what?

  • I get mixed messages
    08/23/2012 05:17pm

    While the author insists he believes in home cooked meals for pets, everything else he says comes across as a warning against trying to prepare pet food at home.

    Under "Learn More" instead of providing information on how to do it right, there are two links about how home-cooked and raw pet foods are dangerously inadequate.

    It does sound like a very delicate balance to maintain complete nutrition, in fact I'm thinking of switching to kibble for myself as well as my pets - I'm sure my nutritional needs are as complicated as theirs are!

    Joking aside, I do feed commercially prepared foods to my pets, including prescription food for my cat. And they also go out in the yard and eat grass, which has not been tested for mineral balance but they throw it up anyway.

  • Combo of Vegetarian/home
    08/23/2012 05:36pm

    One of the reasons I looked into having UCDavis devise a diet for my jack was I was aghast at the ingredients in the hills UD canned and kibble. Similar to the ingredients in the kd mentioned above. Alot of the ingredients they tell us we should not feed our dogs. Sure it prevented stones but he was constantly hungry.
    I chose to use the supplement I mentioned in the afore comment (sorry if I wasn't supposed to use the brand name)because it was easier for me at the time than getting the individual supplements and combining them. The homemade diet is something he loves. And yes they charge for the special diets but they take into consideration the dogs blood workup,weight, or medical conditions just to mention a few.

  • 08/23/2012 05:44pm

    jilbert57 on 08/23/2012 05:36pm wrote: "... And yes they charge for the special diets but they take into consideration the dogs blood workup,weight, or medical conditions just to mention a few."

    That sounds like the way it ought to be done, and what veterinary nutritionists ought to be doing, instead of just carrying water for truly indefensible commercial diets.

  • combo Veg/homecook
    08/23/2012 07:10pm

    Yes, UCDavis was very thorough. I just looked at it again and they took into account his history or urate and xanthine stones, osteoarthritis, serum chemistry, complete blood count, urinalysis, and the genetic testing he was part of that came out two genes for hyperuricosuria. I was happy with it and better yet, my dog loves it.

  • On-line dog food "debate"
    08/23/2012 07:37pm

    1. These on-line squabbles are better than the soaps my grandmother used to watch. Please keep it up.

    2. I have lived with and raised and trained dogs since I was 5 years old, living on a ranch in the Napa Valley (that's 63 years of dog living and loving--441 dog years I guess, which is how old I feel) and I have fed all my dogs a variety of dry and canned foods, mostly Nutro for the past 30 years. All my dogs lived happy, healthy, long lives, especially considering they were all large breed dogs.

    3. One year wine is bad for you; 5 years later it helps your heart. One year olive oil is verboten; 5 years later it's the oil du jour for heart health. Give me a break! I know about politically correct food fetishes: I'm a Native Son of California, first in great food and exercise fads and first in retracting them.

    4. My uncle lived 81 years smoking 3 packs of Camels a day. A good non-smoking friend died of lung cancer at 49. Go figure.

    Love your dogs, take a deep breath, then take your best pal and go watch the sun set. You'll both live a lot longer.

  • 08/24/2012 01:56am

    Thanks for the smile. I love what you wrote.

  • To Our Readers
    08/24/2012 11:20am

    As promised in our community rules, we have been monitoring the comments, making sure they don’t stray too far off course or became verbally abusive. It will be specified here that monitoring is done entirely by a group of content editors at petMD, and not by our veterinarian writers.

    This has been an enlightening discussion for us, as apparently it has been for many of our members here, and we appreciate the passion our community members feel over the health of their companion animals.

    While some members have clearly used our pages to further their views, most are not, in our opinion, abusive.

    We have observed that our involved community is well-educated and generally willing to consider other ideas. As long as the language does not get abusive, we allow you all to call each other out. With that in mind, if you feel that a member of the petMD discussion community is being intentionally provocative, you have the right to ignore that person entirely, in addition to sending an abuse report to petMD’s customer service.

    Please keep the comments constructive.

    And we know we don’t say it as often as we feel it - we appreciate and thank you for being a part of our community.

  • 08/24/2012 08:39pm

    I found this very interesting reading, and even though I don't have a science background, I can easily understand that what he's saying is that there's a ways to go before the kibble manufacturing process is scientifically'perfected'
    This abstract comes from Dr Aldrich, PhD president of Pet Food& Ingredient Technology, who gave a talk on the following subject:
    “The formulator’s dilemma: how processing affects pet nutrition”.

    “While thermal processing of petfoods provides a number of benefits, extensive processing can increase variability, destroy essential nutrients and create unwholesome by-products.Today, we support nutritional adequacy by super-fortification before and nutrient analysis after the fact. Generally, this has proven effective, but occasional toxicities and deficiencies resulting in recalls occur. This would suggest that we still need more comprehensive evaluation of the nutritional effects of thermal processing of petfoods with better models to support fortification needs. “

    http://www.petfoodindustry.com/Sub_Level_-_News/45708.html#sharehing but kibble:

  • Ho, hum...
    08/25/2012 01:11am

    Just another article throwing out the standard biased, erroneous and deliberately inflammatory anti-raw "facts". *sigh*

    Case in point, the referenced "study" (which was published in JAVMA in March of 2001), titled “Evaluation of raw food diets for dogs.” This supposed study’s methodology was fundamentally flawed, as the authors had made mathematical errors in creating their data tables. Some of those tables were off by a factor of 10 (as in a moved decimal place).

    In a later issue, the JAVMA printed a corrected data table that clearly showed the nutrients measured all fell into normal ranges. They did not, however, POINT OUT that the true numbers were within normal ranges, and, in fact, included a statement from the authors of the study that they continued to stand by their conclusions.

    Sad how this propaganda just keeps making the rounds.

    If anyone would like to know just how easy it is to feed a balanced raw diet to their cats, pop over to www.CatCentric.org.

  • 08/25/2012 11:30am

    Does anyone know how one can unsubscribe to specific postings without losing the great articles being written by the very knowledgable veterinarians, here?

    I have better things to do with my time than wading through posts written by rabid raw fanatics who can't support a single post with good scientific data.

    Most of this garbage is just blatant promotion of raw feeding sites or books, none of which can validate what is written, at least to my satisfaction, because continued well being of our companion animals is uppermost, and I would like to turn it OFF!

  • 08/25/2012 11:41am

    Westcoastsyrinx on 08/25/2012 11:30am wrote: "I have better things to do with my time than wading through posts written by rabid raw fanatics who can't support a single post with good scientific data."

    Westcoastsyrinx, "good scientific data" written by veterinary nutitrionists is an oxymoron. The studies are funded by commercial pet food conglomerates, so the studies are laden with conflicts of interest.

  • 08/30/2012 07:22pm

    I am not promoting anything at all, except, perhaps, the health and well-being of our beloved cats.

    Evolutionary requirements are - or should be - common sense. Cats, like snakes, sharks and birds of prey, are obligate carnivores. They are wholly, beautifully and distinctly designed to do one thing - hunt down and eat other animals. Their digestive physiology is specifically fine-tuned to process those animals at an extraordinary rate of efficiency to obtain the nutrients they need to grow, maintain and repair every system in their bodies.

    That's nothing more than scientific fact.

    Anyone with a car (and many without) know that if you throw the wrong fuel in a high-performance engine long enough, you *will* compromise the performance of that engine. Precisely the same concept applies to obligate carnivores.

    Kibble feeding has been linked, through studies as well as thousands of anecdotal cases, to a long list of diseases that include urinary tract issues, kidney failure, cancers, and IBD.

    The benefits of putting the right fuel in a biological engine that has the capacity to heal itself should also be common sense, but there are studies backing that up as well.

    Since every single study available online is, by definition, hosted on a website (as is this very conversation), I'm not sure what your issue is with websites in general, but whatever... here is the location of just a very tiny percentage of the many studies, analysis and publications available: http://catcentric.org/resource-center/scientific-studies/

    Open your eyes. Look at the studies and review the publications, if simple evolutionary fact isn't enough for you. For over a decade, the overall health status and life expectancy of cats has been *declining*, and the correlation between the increase of today's most prevalent feline diseases and the increased popularity of kibble feeding is stark.

    Raw feeders *are*, by and large, passionate about this practice. Did you ever stop to think what could so deeply galvanize such a large, diverse group of individuals?

    It's the profoundly inescapable and dramatic leap in vitality and health our beloved pets exhibited when they were finally fed the fresh, wholesome diet nature built them to eat.

  • 08/27/2012 10:02am

    I am not a “rabid raw food” advocate by any means as I feed half Wellness Core( grain free) and the rest raw/cooked foods. I follow the recipes by Dr Karen Becker and Steve Brown but before that- I used common sense and fed my dogs as much variety as possible. Eventually, I’d want to switch to al raw/home cooked.
    One reason that I made the switch is that I read that dogs that are raw fed rarely bloat, and bloating is a major killer of standard poodles if it strikes, so that many breeders now advocate a surgical procedure that tacks the stomach so that it can’t torsion. Also, be aware that if fat appears in the first four ingredients of a kibble the risk increases.
    “Dogs fed dry food only or fed one large daily meal where at a higher risk for bloat. The theory is that the stomach is weighed down and maximally stretched during the one large meal.”

    “Dogs fed foods in which an oil or fat ingredient, such as sunflower oil or animal fat, were listed among the first four ingredients. This was associated with a 2.4-fold increased risk of GDV.”

    http://www.berner.org/pages/gastro_intestinal/bloat_and_diet.php


    There’s room for different opinions, and here’s one well expressed by another great Vet Pet vet, Dr Patrick Mahaney.
    http://www.patrickmahaney.com/animal-treatment/why-dry-food-is-not-a-healthy-diet-for-cats-and-dogs/

    And, btw-I also like what Dr Tudor had to say about commercial foods..and his true feelings on pet nutrition:
    “This blog is not intended as a defense of commercial pet foods. In fact, I formulate homemade diets for dogs. “
    http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ktudor/2012/aug/commercial_pet_food_quality_of_life

  • 08/27/2012 10:14am

    We feed our pets raw food, because our vets highly recommend feeding raw meats and vegetables, and because of the results we have obtained from feeding raw food to our dogs and cats over the past fifteen years.

    As for "rabid"? Well, that is a term used by Westcoastsyrinx in a comment hereinabove, and I am sure that she has reams of scientific support for that accusation.

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