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Written by leading veterinarians to provide you with the information you need to care for your pets.

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.

In commemoration of National Animal Poison Prevention Week, please consider that you may be involuntarily providing a daily dose of toxins in your pet’s "nutritionally complete and balanced" dry or canned food. With this knowledge, will you continue to feed your pet foods and treats made with non human-grade ingredients?

In 2007, an international pet food crisis caused dogs and cats to suffer kidney failure and even death after eating foods containing wheat gluten contaminated with melamine. The foods had been produced in China. This tragedy prompted U.S. pet owners to finally become more observant of the ingredients and nutritional value of commercial foods they had been so faithfully feeding to their companion animals. After all, if meals are built on the foundations of cheaply produced, less than bioavailable ingredients, how will your pet’s physiologic needs be met?

Contained in most commercially available dog and cat foods are a plethora of feed-grade ingredients. Dr. Janice Elenbaas, founder of Lucky Dog Cuisine, clarifies the meaning of feed-grade as being "any ingredient not fit for human consumption, including moldy grains and 'allowable' levels of plastic and Styrofoam. These are not acceptable in my (human) food, so why should they be acceptable in dog’s diet?  It’s no wonder that one in two dogs is being diagnosed with cancer." 

Additionally, the ingredients in feed-grade foods include parts from animals that are dead (not from being slaughtered onsite), diseased, dying, and disabled (the "4Ds").

In Buyer Beware: The Crimes, Lies and Truth About Pet Food, Susan Thixton shares text from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FD&C Act), Section 402. Adulterated Food:

A food shall be deemed to be adulterated — (a) Poisonous, unsanitary, or deleterious ingredients … (5) if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter.

This makes it sound like our pets’ safety as pertains to consumable foods is strictly overseen by the FDA, but that’s not the case. According to the FDA Compliance Policy CPG Sec. 675.400 Rendered Animal Feed Ingredients:

No regulatory action will be considered for animal feed ingredients resulting from the ordinary rendering process of industry, including those animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, provided they are not otherwise in violation of the law.

These laws sound contradictory, and Thixton concurs in stating that "the FDA Compliance Policy is a direct violation of The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act." As a result, companies putting 4D animals into foods do not incur any regulatory or legal repercussion. Such policies do not bode well for the overall health of millions of pets (and some people) eating non-human grade ingredients.

What about the toxic effects of moldy grains?  According to Toxvet.com’s John Tegzes, VMD, Diplomate ABVT (toxicology):

Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin most commonly associated with corn-based pet foods. Even very small amounts of aflatoxin can cause serious illness in dogs, often progressing to death. Aflatoxin primarily affects the cells within the liver and results in overwhelming liver failure. If the dose ingested is very high, pets may also develop sudden kidney failure. Even with treatment, most of these dogs will die. Chronic, low-dose exposures to aflatoxin can suppress the immune system and cause cancer.

Although it is impossible to see mycotoxins in grains, laboratory tests can identify their presence before the grain is incorporated into feeds. The FDA established specific guidelines about the amount of aflatoxin that can be detected in grains and still be used in either animal feeds or human food products. The allowable amounts in animal feeds are consistently higher than that for human-grade foods, therefore using only human-grade grains in pet foods will help reduce the incidence of poisonings in our pets.

With such potential for pet foods to create a toxic effect, why do companion animal owners feel these are the best available nutritional options? Fortunately, companies that produce pet foods made with human grade ingredients are emerging to satisfy the demands of consumers seeking options similar to home-prepared food.

The standards for nutritional content as dictated by Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) create a challenge for pet owners who are interested in feeding home prepared foods, as society has been misled to believe that our pets will suffer detrimental health effects if protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamin, and mineral ratios are not specifically commensurate with industry standards. In extreme cases, or with pets already dealing with illness, this has some validity. Otherwise, feeding a home prepared diet has many nutritional advantages over commercially available feed-grade sources even if the home prepared version is not 100 percent "complete and balanced."

I would rather feed my dog a combination of moist, human grade, muscle meat protein, whole grains, and fresh vegetable and fruit options having a somewhat varying or unknown cumulative nutrient content rather than any commercially available dry or canned option made with feed-grade ingredients. This perspective is controversial in the veterinary profession, but my beliefs are based on clinical experience and common sense. 

In my practice, if a client seeks to feed home prepared foods, I suggest a diet specific to my patient’s needs as formulated by veterinary nutritionists at the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Nutrition Support Service, or recommend using a reputable service like Balance IT.

Make every day a reflection of National Animal Poison Prevention Week Pet by providing the best cat and dog food available. Your furry companion deserves it.

 

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

 

Image: Cardiff’s Good Eating by Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Comments  41

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  • Thank you
    03/13/2012 04:31am

    Excellent article.

  • 03/13/2012 09:32pm

    Thank you,
    I appreciate your readership.
    Please check back with my petMD The Daily Vet page for future articles from a holistic veterinary perspective.
    Dr PM
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney

  • Pet Grade Ingredients
    03/13/2012 07:40am

    "eliminating 'Pet Grade' foods from your dog or cat’s diet."

    Excellent suggestion.

    I don't know about dogs, but cats have nutritional requirements that include things such as taurine. I assume that would have to be a supplement added to any home-cooked diet.

    If I remember correctly, Hill's used to publish their recipes which included all the things that would be necessary for a balanced diet for cats. Was there something about crushed shells of some kind?

  • 03/13/2012 09:38pm

    Ahh....my friend "TheOldBroad". Thank you for your comments.
    The amino acids that cats require can be consumed through eating whole food sources (especially meat), or a supplement can provide addition support.
    The "Crushed shells" as you mention may be as a calcium source, but such sources are not necessarily as bioavailable as vegetable (dark green veggies) or dairy sources.
    My favorite supplement for cats is Standard Process Feline Whole Body Support, which includes L-Carnitine among other whole food based phytonutrients and glandular extracts (basically, what is often cooked out of, removed from, replaced with synthetic forms, or deficient in commercially amiable foods).
    See you soon!
    Dr PM

  • How Refreshing!
    03/13/2012 08:29am

    How refreshing to read such a reasoned perspective from a veterinarian, rather than the "Party Line"! So many veterinarians think that commercial dog food is the best, and only way to go, and that owners who make other choices are usually endangering their dog's health, particularly if their home prepared diet includes raw meat and raw bones.

    I am so glad to feel some support from a veterinarian!

    I do include some commercial food in my dogs' diets, purely for my own convenience, as I feed nine very large dogs and I am already spending lots of time running around rounding up their cases of tripe, and chicken and hauling home food forom the grocery store for them. However, your article inspires me to feed as little commercial food as possible, and make sure it uses human grade ingredients, and I prefer it to be grain free as well.

    The tripe I buy is frozen and shredded in tubes, and is not human grade, come to think of it. The dogs seem to do well on it but now I wonder if it is the best thing for them.....

  • 03/13/2012 09:21am

    In my opinion (I've been feeding my dogs a homemade diet for 12 years now) green tripe is THE exception to the rule of feeding only human grade ingredients. Since green tripe has not been bleached, it is not considered safe for human consumption - the bleached tripe you find in grocery stores IS safe for human consumption, but the washing/bleaching process also robs it of most of its nutritional value. As long as the green tripe you feed has come from animals that were themselves graded fit for human consumption you are fine.

  • 03/13/2012 09:47pm

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge on Green Tripe. I just learned something new today!
    Dr PM

  • 03/13/2012 09:45pm

    Houndhill,
    Thank you for sharing your perspective on how you combine a more whole food based diet with commercially available dry foods.
    Especially with such a large number of dogs, the convenience of feeding commercially available foods can certainly supersede your desire and time to cook for them.
    Is there a source of human grade tripe (perhaps from a butcher, kosher meat shop, other) that could provide a non-pet grade source for your pooches?
    I am just concerned about the non-human grade discards having potential toxins, poorer quality protein, etc.
    I hope to see you back again on my petMD The Daily Vet page.
    Dr PM
    www.PatrickMahaney.com
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney

  • Pet Grade Food
    03/13/2012 09:06am

    Thank you so much for getting this out to people. It is SO hard for me to watch people buy "grocery store" food for their beloved pets. I understand that a lot of people are just getting by financially and that cheaper food allows them to feed their pets....better than having them languish in shelters...but for those that are capable of spending a little more on human grade food, this is a great article to move them in the right direction. One question..have you found any correlation between "doggy smell" and the quality of food that the dogs are fed? Just a thought...
    Thanks again for the article!

  • 03/13/2012 09:51pm

    Kayteenm,
    Thank you for your comments.
    For people who are in a financial pinch and may not be able to afford feeding a human grade dog food, I suggest they purchase a small volume of such a type of "dog food" and strive to emulate the food with home prepared human grade foods.
    Additionally, the value of partaking in the UC Davis Nutritional service is worth the long term health benefits.
    I do see dogs that eat a human grade/whole food based diet have less "dog smell", as their skin is typically healthier and less prone to bacteria/yeast infection and allergies. Plus, then skin is a true reflection of internal organ health.
    I hope to see you back on my petMD The Daily Vet page
    Dr PM
    www.PatrickMahaney.com
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney

  • Good information
    03/13/2012 09:11am

    I have a 13 year old jack russell who is a confirmed urate stone former.(he participated in a UCDavis study and had two genes for urates formation) He has had 2 bladder surgeries for urates and then 2 urohydropropulsions for overmedication of allopurinol. He grew up on Hills UD which I kept wondering about their preservative(bht and bha) After his last urohydropropulsion in 2009 he was taken off of allopurinol and switched to Royal Canin UC 18.(I found this interesting as the RC was intended to inhibit xanthine formation from allopurinol but they took him off of allopurinol). Anyway, he has been stone free for 3 years now. I recently had a diet made up from UCDavis for him using the Balance IT which is just macaroni and eggs and added supplements. He loves it. I supplement with apple and carrots for treats. So he is on RC 3 days, and 2 days on the UC diet.
    The prescription diet ingredients sometimes are iffy and so I switched to part homemade. High recommendation to the UC Davis. A lot of information in Mickeys pamphlet that came back for analysis. Also have used Dr. Strombecks book diets for healthy dogs which was a rice and cottage cheese.

  • 03/13/2012 09:54pm

    Jilbert57,
    Thank you for contributing such valuable perspective about your pet's battle with cystic calculi (bladder stones) and your use of UC Davis Nutritional Service as a means of dealing with it.
    I'm eager to see how things work out as pertains to ongoing urinalysis/other diagnostics to evaluate for crystals, stones, etc.
    I'll pass your comment on to my vet associates at UC Davis.
    I hope to see you back again on my petMD The Daily Vet page.
    Dr PM
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney
    www.PatrickMahaney.com

  • Thank you!
    03/13/2012 09:24am

    Thank you Dr Mahaney for a very sensible article! It is sad to me how many vets have bought the idea that you must have a nutritional degree AND chemical analysis equipment in your kitchen in order to feed a dog or cat! :-)
    And yet it's OK to feed our human children without those same requirements...hmmmmm :-)

  • 03/13/2012 09:42pm

    BBristol,
    Thank you for your comments and support.
    I feel it is valuable to compare the way we feed our human children to the means by which we treat our pets.
    As permitting pets to eat commercially available pet grade foods is akin to feeding human children a diet of exclusively convenience/processed foods, both species benefit from eating a more whole food based diets.
    I wish more vets would take the time to educate themselves and their clients as to the variety of means of feeding patients from a more whole food perspective.
    Dr PM
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney
    www.PatrickMahaney.com

  • 03/13/2012 11:44pm

    Exactly!! The difference as I see it is, parents are not told by pediatricians that they "should" feed their children only processed food, and they are being irresponsible if they try to feed them a variety of whole foods! :-)

  • 03/17/2012 12:16pm

    It's unfortunate that Americans are so driven by convenience and impressionable by advertising.
    If only pet owners thought more about the basic ingredients going into their dog/cat food and would take the perspective that "if I won't eat it, neither will my pet".
    Dr PM

  • Royal Canin and Hill's
    03/13/2012 12:31pm

    For those who have opted to feed their dogs Royal Canin and Hill's products (vet food or otherwise), I urge you to read the ingredients.

    Most have corn, wheat and by-products in them, which as stated in the article can cause problems.

  • 03/13/2012 09:57pm

    Pam McInnes,
    Thank you for your comments.
    I heartily agree to your suggestion as to reading food labels. One of my tenets is is that I won't feed my dog anything I won't eat myself (hence my propensity to taste dog [and cat] food and treats).
    We vets tend to default to what is available/convenient for treating our patient's conditions without more deeply considering the quality of the ingredients that make up such diets.
    I hope to see you back again on my petMD The Daily Vet page.
    Dr PM
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney
    www.PatrickMahaney.com

  • 06/06/2012 06:57am

    our michy 12years'old have liver failure ,after his gallbladder operation our vet recommend us give him Hill's w/d. he eat it for more than 2years.He always looks good but Alp data goes more and more worse.actually W/D based on corn,I wonder we should change his diet?I ask our Vet ,he says 'Hill's is one of world's most believable company!It 's impossible'
    I think to consult him about dog food is no mean,,,.

  • Re:Royal Canin and Hills
    03/13/2012 09:26pm

    Thank you for the reply on the Hills prescription food. I am trying to get a schedule down for my JR so the first thing is 1)prevent the stones. I would eventually like to just be feeding him the UCDavis homemade diet for him which is the white macaroni and white eggs with the Balance IT and fish oil. We travel alot and hence the Royal Canin will probably be kept for on the road food.
    I was glad to see that Hills now uses a natural preservative for their UD.

  • 03/13/2012 10:00pm

    You are welcome.
    Yes, traveling with your pet does make taking home prepared food more challenging (as compared to the canned/dry U/D).
    Have you tried making the food, freezing it in individual portions, and defrosting each serving (and adding supplements) at each feeding?
    Such is what I did when I exclusively made my dog's food.
    Thank you,
    Dr PM

  • 03/13/2012 11:40pm

    If you don't mind me jumping in here too... we show our dogs and spend a LOT of weekends in hotels every year! The #1 easiest way to travel with homemade dog food is to stay in a hotel with a fridge and freezer, even if it's a tiny one - in many parts of the country that's not that hard to find, nor expensive but sometimes you do have to ask. The next best is to take a cooler a little bigger than you might normally use, and use a lot of ice!
    It takes a little more effort, but boy is it worth it!

  • 03/14/2012 10:01am

    There are so many other alternatives than a kibble with corn and by-products to help with bladder stones.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but stones can be dealt with through a protein-restricted diet, supplements to reduce the acidity in urine (cranberry supplements as an example), and lots of water (moisture).

    There are freeze-dried products on the market that contain no meat and they are easy to travel with. Just add water.

  • 03/14/2012 04:37pm

    Pam, thank you for your information. Cranberry produces an acidic urine which in my dogs case promotes a healthy environment for the urates. I moniter his urine twice a day to make sure it remains alkaline, but if it is too alkaline too long it will promote growth of a different stone. So he is treated with potassium citrate, but not with any brewers yeast as that is bad for his problem also. You are right, this is an easy problem, just the proper protein in the right amount with the proper supplements and a lot of water to promote a dilute urine. Thanks for your help! I will surely keep away from corn byproducts, and by products of any kind. And moniter twice a day.

  • Good Information
    03/13/2012 10:26pm


    Yes, keep your collegues up to date how he is doing. I will let you know, he has his next ultrasound in May.
    The UCDavis Diet is nice. Mickey eats his meals and is satisfied, unlike when he eats the kibble. He seems constantly hungry on kibble. In the time before I was very internet savvy I bought Dr. Strombecks book on dog and cat homemade diet and it had a section in it for urate stone forming dogs. It used white rice and low fat cottage cheese and then supplements I would grind up and add. I did that quite a bit when he was on UD. He LOVED that one. On the macaroni/egg diet he gets 2.5 eggs a day, seems like a lot of eggs for a 19lb dog. I wonder if I could do something like 3 days macaroni/egg, 4 days rice/cottage cheese. sounds tasty. As long as the stones remain gone!

  • Re: Royal Canin and Hills
    03/14/2012 08:48am

    Thank you to Dr. PM and Bristol for the hint to freeze the macaroni/egg diet. I will try that at home and see how it works. I also have an Aussie/heeler who is 5 and she alternates between Honest kitchen and Birkdale Petmix, which I do freeze. I just didn't think of the macaroni/egg as freezing very well! Love the website

  • 03/14/2012 06:54pm

    It will freeze just fine. I have not found any ingredient for dog food that doesn't freeze safely... the texture may not be the same after freezing but your dog won't care. Many things - lettuce for example - that we never think of freezing can be frozen for dog food. In the case of many veggies, freezing actually INCREASES the bioavailabilty of nutrients because the cell walls rupture and release the nutrients. Dogs and cats can't digest cellulose (which provides the structure of most plants) - it has to be broken down by cooking, freezing or juicing.
    Some things may thaw out like mush, but it's healthy mush :-)

  • 03/15/2012 08:29am

    That is great information. My dog loves lettuce, especially romaine. Carrots and green beans too. So I will try freezing some of his meal and like you say, it won't matter to him the texture. He will love it. Thank you!

  • Unhealthy Cat Food
    03/18/2012 01:49am

    Thank you for this excellent site. Please advise frankly: WHY do vets recommend/prescribe cat food that clearly is NOT healthy for cats due to high grain content? ALL the different vets I've spoken to have said that corn is healthy, safe & good source of protein for CATS! This is very deceptive is it not? Even prescription cat food has it as one of the first ingredients (corn, corn gluten meal, etc.) & protein as "by products." It appears that they're trying to recommend a diet that will insure return business (as much as I hate to say that.) I'm not a confrontational person & very polite so I'm uncomfortable writing this. But since I discovered that cats are obligate carnivores I've been shocked at how dismissive vets are when I bring this up. (Years ago a vet prescribed Rx food with corn as top ingredient to my diabetic cat & did not monitor insulin levels. I was so ignorant & naive back then.) Only until I acquired a computer did I learn the importance of grain free diet for cats. Please, please confirm. Thank you so much.

  • 03/18/2012 11:17pm

    Thank you for your comments.
    Veterinary prescription diets and the science behind their formulations as an option for feeding certain does bring up a variety of controversial questions.
    Until I went through further veterinary training in Chinese medicine as part of my acupuncture course, I was not as aware as I should be as to the detriments of feeding processed foods.
    I don't feel as though just because a food is labeled as "nutritionally complete and balanced" or is marketed specifically to treat a particular condition that it is the "right" choice.
    I think many veterinarians default to a food option that is convenient. Additionally, vets may not have been trained or be aware as to the finer points of nutrition. So often, it seems as though lack of consideration is given to the quality of the ingredients as compared to the overall value of the formulation.
    Oh, and YES, I think cats should eat primarily a human grade, real meat diet.
    Dr PM

  • Thank you Dr PM
    03/19/2012 11:38pm

    So glad to finally read a vet who promotes home cooked. Several years ago I was completely disheartened after spending over $2000 at the specialty IM vet only to have him tell me I should start my 14 year old poodle with heart problems on a Purina diet. I will be asking my vet to consult UC Davis for my little 15 year old CHF fella.
    I have concerns about following generic home cooked diets with the complex issues Tay-Tay is having with kidney, seizure and CHF problems. Sounds grave, but he is still happy, interactive, dancing for his food and laughing when he meets me at the door! Home cooked diet and home sub q fluids off and on have saved his little life!
    *And of course, I did not follow that expensive advice regarding the Purina diet!

  • 03/20/2012 03:12pm

    Thank you for your comments.
    I'm so glad to hear that your pet has improved by feeding non-pet grade foods.
    In terms of formulation of a 'nutritionally complete and balanced' home prepared diet for a pet, working with UC Davis Nutritional Support Service is definitely the way to go when managing your pet's diet in correlation to current illness.
    I hope to see you back again on my Daily Vet page.
    Dr PM
    www.PatrickMahaney.com
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney

  • 12/18/2012 09:09pm

    I have had some interesting correspondence with people over another subject on PetMD. They do not trust the advice of their vets. After hearing about the 2 thousand dollar advice to go to a Purina Diet on an aged dog, I see where some of that distrust comes from. Did they discuss the need to remediate the diet on a dog that is likely close to the end? Did this person have reasonable expectations about how this was going to go? While I wouldn't do anything to make this dog suffer, or hasten it's end, 2,000 dollars is enough to start a relationship with a new rescued friend. Our IM saw one coming and did nothing for the reputation of the profession.

  • 03/22/2012 02:26am

    Thank you for speaking up on behalf of our pets, Dr. Mahaney! I have shared this to the CatCentric.org Facebook page and Twitter accounts! :-}

    My only negative point on this article is that despite the fact cats outnumber dogs in American households, there's nary a word written here for the felines.

    I have six cats, five ex-ferals and a rescue; all raw-fed. I was looking into feline nutrition back in 2007 when I lost one of them to poisoned food. That put a burning motivation behind my studies and I have since dedicated all my spare time to educating cat owners on the perils of commercial foods as well as the benefits of feeding a species-appropriate diet. Cat owners are not as easy to get to as canine guardians, however, so any reaching out you do to both canine AND feline on this topic is a deed well done. ;-}

    Tracy Dion
    www.CatCentric.org

  • 03/24/2012 12:58am

    Tracy,
    Thank you for your comments.
    The same whole food theory that in my article may seem to be more emphasized for dogs really applies to all pets that eat pet grade food. Dog, cat, other: they are all included if they are eating a non-human grade food diet.
    I am definitely a fan of cats eating primarily human grade, meat based diets versus grain heavy, commercially processed dry or canned cat foods. Wether it is raw or cooked depends on the individual patient, their overall state of health, the particular illness with which they are dealing, owner interest, owner health, etc. There is no one right answer for all cats.
    In future articles, I'll try to slant more towards felines. After all, Jackson Galaxy featured my holistic veterinary practice on two of Season Two's episodes of My Cat From Hell (Polly and Stella). Were you watching? :-)
    Dr PM
    www.PatrickMahaney.com
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney

    BTW, I'll definitely check out your CatCentric Fb and Twitter sites!

  • 03/24/2012 01:20am

    That's great, thank you, Dr. Mahaney! I know the raw-feeding concept is the same for both canine and feline, but so many (too many!) cat owners see what seems to be a dog-related article and either move on or just don't make the connection between the two. It amazes me how many multi-species owners have their dogs on a raw meat-based diet while still feeding their cats whatever kibble they've been feeding all along. :-{

    Thank you so much for your openness to my suggestion!

    I love Jackson Galaxy - and I did, indeed see those two episodes. I did not, however, put them together with you, here on PetMD. If I catch them again, it will be with fresh eyes. :-}

    Best regards! I look forward to seeing your comments reference CatCentric.org!

    Tracy Dion
    http://catcentric.org/

  • Thank you so very much!
    04/15/2012 09:58am

    This article is so helpful & has addressed a serious concern of mine for the past few years. Especially, since my little rat terrier was diagnosed with epilepsy & must take phenobarb twice per day (which may become toxic to his liver). Also since my precious 15+ year old kitty ages. I have tried almost every brand from the shelves & am becoming more suspicious of ingredients on the labels (ie garlic, onion powder, gluten, by-products, & various mystery items). Needless to say, natural foods prepared at home has become a major consideration for me. Unfortunately, when I proposed this idea to their (otherwise well-intentioned) veterinarian, he actually refuted me & suggested I stick with commercial grade foods to make sure they get "balanced nutition".

    My suggestion to you Dr. PM is, as you share your knowledge & wisdom with us, the pet owners, I sincerely hope you are also reaching out to share this valuable information with the vast number of misinformed veterinarians across our country. Thanks again for sharing your findings & concern for our pets' wellbeing.

  • 04/15/2012 02:42pm

    Gee Ess,
    Thank you for your comments.
    I am sorry to hear of your rat terrier's epilepsy. In working with patients having neurologic disease, it is vitally important to reduce toxins that enter the body. The best place to start is by feeding an appropriately crafted (under veterinary guidance) human grade, whole food diet.
    I have seen dogs having seizures have reduced frequency, severity, and need for medication once "toxic foods" (i.e. most processed commercial canned and dry foods) are removed from their diet.
    Check out my blog on using Chinese medicine food energy. For seizures, I'd stick to cooling and neutral foods.
    http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/pmahaney/2012/apr/yin_yang_first_on_food_energy_list
    I will continue to use my platform to educate consumers and promote awareness in the veterinary community.
    I hope to see you back again on my The Daiy Vet page.
    Dr PM
    www.PatrickMahaney.com
    Twitter @patrickmahaney

  • Home made food
    09/15/2012 06:03pm

    I love this article and I liked so much that I posted into my status of Facebook. I've been doing a lot of research on proper and healthy feeding of my dogs. I've made some chicken with carrots and the I added cooked rice. I would first add some kibbles (Iams) and the add what I cooked for them. Is this Okay? It is important for me to properly feed my babies. I am a single woman with no children. They are my children and I want them to live a long healthy life. They are both rescues but actually they rescued me. How truth it is to add apple cider vinegar to their water to help with digestion? Thanks doctor.I love this article since every time I buy some dog food or treats I have an anxiety attack just wondering if I am doing the right thing.

  • 09/18/2012 10:16pm

    Thank you for your comments.
    As there is no one right or wrong way to feed your pet, I cannot specifically advise you on how exactly to feed your pooch.
    My suggestion is to focus on feeding a more whole food-based diet instead of processed foods.
    This may be in a home prepared diet or a commercially available diet that is plentiful in whole foods instead of processed dry and canned pet foods.
    Provided your pet has some variety in his/her diet, I wouldn't be overly concerned about there being over to nutritional deficiencies. Consider that the number one nutrition disease and pets is obesity the majority of pets are eating processed foods, one has to consider the real value in seating commercially available dried and canned foods instead of home prepared or small batch-prepared whole food based foods.
    I hope to see you back again on my Daily Vet page.
    Dr PM
    www.PatrickMahaney.com
    Twitter @PatrickMahaney

  • Commercial Animal Food
    01/01/2013 03:00pm

    Thank you Dr. Mahaney for a perspective from a professional. I have read too many articles to list from the 'Pros' who swear by (I swear at) the commercial pet food industry.

    My dogs eat Honest Kitchen and get raw bones weekly. They are both in great shape: weight, teeth, skin, energy, etc. My cats...... well, we are constantly introducing HK to them but so far no go. They eat canned Wellness chicken or turkey and I provide fresh chicken to them often. I do serve them human grade tuna every now and then.

    Thank you again for sharing your knowledge and thanks for referencing Susan Thixton. She is relentless in her search for the WHY and HOW so much of our pet "food" passes as nutritious.

    Happy New Year and thanks so much for keeping us knowledgeable re animal nutrition.

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