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Dog and Cat Nutrition: The Optimum Natural Healthy Diet

A growing number of vets are stating that processed pet food is the main cause of illness and premature death in the modern dog and cat. In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food suppresses the immune system and leads to liver, kidney, heart, and other diseases. This research, initially conducted by Dr Tom Lonsdale, was researched
further by the Australian Veterinary Association and proven to be correct.

Do you have a question about
holistic health or need assistance?

Phone: 323-522-4521 or

Animal Health and Wellness

Nutramin Clay Supplement for all animals Montmorillonite clay products available at:

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Work from home and make an excellent income while contributing to helping people and pets naturally. Shirley will show you how to get started and will personally give you a free consultation.

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Dr. Steven Slagle, DVM Transfer factors have turned out to be the most effective and versatile large animal family products I have ever used in my 32-year veterinary practice. A cat with leukemia, an oral tumor, and posterior paralysis due to a spinal tumor, was very ill and emaciated. One month after transfer factors there was some regression of the oral tumor, restored appetite with some weight gain, and increased sociability. Five months later, she continues to improve, regaining normal weight, 80% regression of her oral tumor, and regaining use of hind legs and tail."

dog with sign "Are you feeding me contaminated food? Pet deaths prompt recall of pet food The number of cases of kidney failure among dogs and cats that ate poisoned pet food could total in the tens of thousands says Dr. Paul Pion, president of the Veterinary Information Network. Shop for Safe, All Natural Human Ingredients Healthy Pet Food

Life's abundance petfood Do You Really Know What's In Your
Pet's Food?
by Dr. Jane Bicks DVM

Puppy face with paws up "You take healthy animals and often very quickly after you vaccinate, you can see simple things like itching of the skin or excessive licking of the paws, sometimes even with no eruptions and licking of the air. We see a lot of epilepsy, often after a rabies vaccination. Or dogs or cats can become aggressive for several days. Frequently you'll see urinary tract infections in cats, often within three months after their [annual] vaccination. If you step back, open your mind and heart, you'll start to see patterns of illness
post-vaccination." - Dr. Blanco D.V.M

NuVet Labs Thousands of the nation’s top breeders, Groomers and veterinarians use this revolutionary Natural product on their own dogs and cats...

The Complete Guide to Chronic Kidney
Disease in Dogs and Cats

Chronic Renal Failure

Instinctive Choice for felines contains fresh, highly digestible, human-quality proteins from organic chicken, turkey, chicken liver and shrimp. Instinctive Choice contains nutrient rich water or “biological water,” which contains nutritional components found in meats and chicken broth. This allows your cat to obtain moisture closer to the way a cat in the wild would get it.

flea control 100% all natural and organic flea and tick control products
New safe and effective biotechnology product is now available for full prevention and eradication of flea, tick, lice, mite, mange, bedbug, etc.

Warning: Spot-On Pesticides such as Frontline, Zodiac, Defend, Bio Spot, Adams and Advantage trigger adverse reactions in dogs and cats, shorten life spans, cause terminal illness, and premature death.

Domestic pets huddled together Overview of Natural, Holistic
Veterinary Medicine

Horses Face Natural Methods For Equine Health Horses, just like any other animal benefit from natural veterinary care and prevention.

Life's Abundance pet food Natural Dog and Cat Food
Quality pet food with only natural, wholesome ingredients and nutrient dense with vitamins, minerals, fats and fatty acids which are essential for the optimal health of your dog or cat. learn more..

Deadly, Contagious Dog Flu Virus

Dr. Cynda Crawford, an immunologist at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine who is studying the virus, said that it spread most easily where dogs were housed together but that it could also be passed on the street, in dog runs or even by a human transferring it from one dog to another. Kennel workers have carried the virus home with them. Learn what Dr. Falconer D.V.M. recommends to protect your pet from the Canine Flu disease

Dogs love the VelociTea Holy Detox Tea too!

Dog drinking glass Dogs enjoy drinking the VelociTea Holy Detox Tea because it helps improve their digestion, thus eliminate bad breath and body odors. The tea also helps flush toxins and assists in cleansing waste and compacted fecal matter from the colon.

sick dog Dr. Jerry Tennant, M.D. says that marine phytoplankton contains almost everything one needs to sustain life and to restore health by providing the raw materials to make new cells that function normally. Learn how phytoplankton saved a dog's Life

Barbara, Meadowsweet and dog Sadie question mark Do you have a question about holistic animal health or need assistance? Barbara is an animal lover and wellness coach who donates her time to help visitors of Shirley's Wellness Cafe website. She'll be happy to answer your question and offers guidance. 970-731-0883 (CO). You may also contact Shirley or call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

Stem Cell Nutrition in
Pets and Horses


The first natural plant-based stem cell enhancers have shown to trigger the release of millions of adult stem cells from the bone marrow very quickly. These stem cells can then migrate and attach to any cells, tissue, bone, muscle, cartilage, organ anywhere in the body needing repair. Visit the StemPets and StemEquine store.

shopping dog,cat cart
pets shopping
Shop for all natural, non-toxic, safe products for your pet's health and well being

Natural Remedies for Stressed Pets
Stressed Cat with hair on end and arched back Animals respond as well to non-toxic anti-stress natural remedies.
shy stressed dog
Animals too, have an active mental and emotional life. and can manifest behavioral and physical problems that have their roots in emotional trauma.

library graphic Library
Books: Natural Animal Health

Heart warming testimonials People share their success of healing their animals without drugs, surgery or radiation.

Nutitional Supplements Advanced Daily Supplement with Phytonutrient Power for Dogs and Puppies or Cats and Kittens. Why should you give your animal a nutritional supplement? A deficiency in one vitamin or mineral may leave your dog vulnerable to disease. This daily nutritional supplement provides your dog with the essential nutrients ? the defense system support it needs to live a long ? healthy life. Most of us take supplements and eat right to get all the nutrients necessary to avoid disease and ensure good health. The same is true for the four-legged member of your family … your precious pup or kitten.

animal radio talk graphic

Dogs, Cats, Ferrets, and other Animals: Optimum Nutrition - The Raw Food Diet

Dr. Francis M. Pottenger's nutritional studies have shown that a regular diet of cooked or canned foods causes the development of chronic degenerative diseases and premature mortality.

Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM- "My own cats eat ONLY raw meat. It is a very good way to provide some of the natural, unprocessed nutrition the cat evolved to utilize best."

Dr. T.J. Dunn D.V.M."There is ample proof that today's pet dogs and cats do not thrive on cheap, packaged, corn-based pet foods. Dogs and cats are primarily meat eaters; to fill them up with grain-based processed dry foods that barely meet minimum daily nutrient requirements has proven to be a mistake."

Dr. Kollath, of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, headed a study done on animals. When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods they initially appeared to be healthy. However, as the animals reached adulthood, they began to age more quickly than normal and also developed chronic degenerative disease symptoms. A control group of animals raised on raw foods aged less quickly and were free of degenerative disease. In nature, we see another example of wild animals eating entirely enzyme-rich raw foods being free of the degenerativeThe B.A.R.F. Dog Food Diet Will Make Your Dog Healthier, Happier - Get This Step-By-Step Guide On How You Can Start Your Puppy or Your Dog On A Raw Food Diet.diseases that afflict humans.

Make the BARF (Bones and Raw Foods) Switch easy on you and your dog with this ebook guideline and instructions. The dangers associated with a commercial dog food diet is overwhelming – from immediate effects like a dull coat and foul smelling dog;s breath, to longer term effects like increasing the risk for canine cancers and a shorter life span. And that;s the sad truth that the commercial pet food companies don;t want you to know. The amount of processing and additives that go into the preparation of the commercial dog food contain chemicals that are not optimal for your dog and may even make them sickly and die early. Meet Your Dog's Nutritional Needs The Natural Way with the B.A.R.F Diet Ebook

Dr. Alfred Plechner, D.V.M "The most common and most visible symptoms of nutritionally caused deficiencies are allergies of one kind or another. Because many commercial foods are woefully deficient in key nutrients, the long-term effect of these foods makes the dog hypersensitive to its environment. . . . [It's a dinosaur effect. Animals are being programmed for disaster, for extinction. Many of them are biochemical cripples with defective adrenal glands unable to manufacture adequate Cortisol, a hormone vital for health and resistance to disease." Allergies can be, and often are, unrecognized deficiency diseases.

Dr. William Pollak D.V.M. "Recent studies have shown processed foods to be a factor in increasing the numbers of pets suffering from cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease, and heart disease. Dull or unhealthy coats are a common problem with cats and dogs, and poor diet is usually the cause, according to many veterinarians and breeders. "Dogs, cats, and other animals live for years on foods that come out of bags, cans and boxes. But do these foods promote health? If they did, our companion animals would enjoy long, happy lives free of arthritis, hip dysplasia, eye problems, ear problems, fleas and other parasites, gum disease, lick granulomas, thyroid imbalances, skin and coat problems, personality disorders, birth defects, breeding problems, diabetes, cancer and other major and minor illnesses. Before World War II, most North Americans fed their pets raw bones and table scraps. Today, everyone uses convenience foods, and pet food companies are industry giants. Diet isn't the only thing that has changed. So has life expectancy, with the life span of many breeds now less than half what it was two or three decades ago. Skin and coat problems are so common that we accept them as unavoidable, and today's vets routinely treat conditions that used to be unusual or even rare."

Contaminated Pet Food Affected 39,000 Cats And Dogs Nationwide, Report Says. According to the latest reports released by one of the nation's largest chains of veterinary hospitals, nearly 39,000 cats and dogs were sickened or killed nationwide following the recent reports of pet food-contamination with an industrial chemical.May, 07 The number of cases of kidney failure among dogs and cats that ate poisoned pet food could total in the tens of thousands says Dr. Paul Pion, president of the Veterinary Information Network. He said the final number for pets suffering from kidney failure could be in the tens of thousands. more on the recall --- Listen to holistic veterinarian Dr. Jane Bicks D.V.M." Do You Really Know What's In Your Pet's Food?"

A Fresh Look at the Optimum Diet for Animals

The best diet for dogs and puppies is the raw food diet, as they eat in the wild"The food your animal eats should provide all of the nutritional components which are necessary for all organs and systems of a healthy body to perform in harmonious unison. A properly functioning body does an amazing job at preventing disease and healing itself, and to do this it requires the energies and nutrients of a well-balanced diet.

"Finding the proper diet for our companions means learning to look beyond our own needs, opinions, and agendas to address the natural needs of the animals that we caretake. The business of selling pet food at times seems to be focused more on what appeals to animal guardians than on the dietary needs of pets. The market success of most commercial foods is judged by how convenient it they are, and how good they looks, smell, feel, or even taste to pet owners. The natural reality is this: what is good for our animals may be appalling to us, but if we really wish to provide them with the nutrition they truly need, we must learn to look beyond standards of human acceptance to consider what our pets might eat if we weren't around.

"Dogs, for instance, wouldn't be eating sirloin-like chunks of meat with a rich gravy , or seafood buffet from a can--- they would be eating berries, grasses, rodents, and the rotting flesh of dead animals. This of course, doesn't appeal to us, so most dogs and cats eat dried kibbles or sterilized canned foods which lack live enzymes and dozens of other important nutrients that were destroyed by cooking." Mary L. Wulff-Tilford author of All You Ever Wanted To Know About Herbs For Pets. More

William Pollak D.V.M. - "In the wild, no one cooks for the coyote or wolf; no one brushes their teeth. Their foods are raw and unprocessed."

"Processed foods and drugs have seriously depleted the natural vitality and immune systems of many pets. Whereas large amounts of red meat can cause cancer in humans, a lack of RAW red meat in an animal's diet can lead to serious health problems. Animals require the enzymes, amino acids and other nutrients in the raw meat in order to stay healthy.

"Many skin and coat problems are a direct result of a lack of raw animal fat in the diet - fat which humans often believe is bad for their pet. Animals need at least 30% raw fat, and their systems are not designed to handle cooked meat or cooked fat. Restaurant grease has become a major component of feed-grade animal fat over the last 15 years. Often held in 50-gallon drums for weeks or months in extreme temperatures, this grease is usually kelp outside with no regard for its safety or further use. The rancid grease is then picked up by fat blenders who mix the animal and vegetable fats together, stabilize them with powerful antioxidants to prevent further spoilage, and then sell the blended products to pet food companies.

Rancid, heavily preserved fats are extremely difficult to digest and can lead to a host of animal health problems, including digestive upsets, diarrhea, gas, and bad breath. In the wild, a panther or jackal does not barbecue, grill or smoke its prey. It definitely does not walk to the local supermarket to buy dry food either. Yet most pet owners recoil at the thought of feeding raw meat to their dog or cat, concerned about bacteria or parasites. Dog and cat digestive systems have evolved over millions of years to consume a raw diet, and they can tolerate foods containing a wide range of naturally occurring bacteria. You've probably seen your dog enjoy eating something you consider disgusting and wondered why he doesn't get sick.
Raw - Ready-To-Eat Safe, Healthy RAW Pet Food

Concerned about salmonella and other bugs?

The digestive systems of dogs and cats are short, acidic, and handle bacteria well. This is why they are not susceptible to salmonella, parasites, or e-coli from tainted meat as humans are. Humans have very long digestive tracks which allow food to 'linger' for 24 hours or more, thus allowing more time for parasites to get into their bloodstreams. Zoonosis

Dr. Marty Goldstein DVM, author of The Nature of Animal Healing : The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat talks about making the healthiest food and lifestyle choices for our furry friends.To listen click here (it may take 20 seconds to download)

I add Fulvic acids to Shasta's raw food diet. According to research, Fulvic neutralizes toxins and can eliminate food poisoning within minutes. When it encounters free radicals with unpaired positive or negative electrons, and it supplies an equal and opposite charge to neutralize the free radical. fulvic acid acts as a refiner and transporter of organic materials and cell nutrients. According to A. Szalay, fulvic acid has the ability to dramatically detoxify herbicides, pesticides, and other poisons that it interacts with – this includes many radioactive elements. This detoxification process may extend to animals and humans. Dr. Cohen also uses Calcium Montmorillonite Clay as a potent detoxifier. Shirley

Do you have a question about holistic animal health or need assistance? contact Shirley or call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

William Pollak D.V.M. - "The results of a clinical trial suggest that 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be eliminated without medical intervention over a period of one year with proper diet modifications and an understanding of the healing process as exhibited through healing episodes. Approaching disease from the perspective of health is the most powerful means of eliminating disease." (clinical trial)

Read what animal nutrition expert Pat McKay says about cooked/processed/commercial pet food:
Reigning Cats and Dogs : Good Nutrition Healthy Happy Animals

"Cooked food is dead. Everything in a can or a bag is cooked. All processed foods for people or animals have been cooked, sterilized, or pasteurized, which means all the enzymes that are needed to digest and utilize the food are destroyed. The saying "We are what we eat" is not exactly correct. We are what we utilize.

Dogs love to eat raw meat and bonesCats love to eat raw meat and bones"Live food is essential for health. It is the ultimate source of life. There is no other way to be disease free. No matter who tells you that a certain brand of commercial food or home-cooked food is healthy, it is not. It is dead – no enzymes, no friendly bacteria. Veterinarians, animal nutritionists, pet store owners, store clerks, authors of nutrition books, or anyone else suggesting cooked foods are not familiar with which foods and supplements are necessary for health. If they were, they would not be prescribing, suggesting, and selling cooked foods for carnivores. ALL canines and felines were designed to eat RAW food.

Raw Feeding Calculator and Video

Dr. Alicia McWatters, Ph.D. - "Fresh, raw foods contain the highest level of enzymes, and these enzymes assist in digestion. Cooked foods and dry convenient diets have been denatured and are devoid of enzymes: life-promoting elements. While they may maintain life, they do not promote optimum health or longevity!"Hilarious two-minute video of a dog protecting his bone. It will make your day!

Concerned about Zoonosis? Zoonosis is an infectious or parasitic disease, which is naturally passed from vertebrate animals to humans, and vice versa, e.g. tuberculosis, rabies, or brucellosis. "Dogs and especially cats can shed Salmonella organisms in both their feces and saliva, meaning that transmission can occur via licking." More. - A pet dog or cat licking your hand is a very common occurrence. Sometimes a pet may lick the face of a child, helping germs spread more easily. Animal saliva contains many pathogenic agents. If you have these concerns, learn about the healthy alternatives to feeding raw food, you can feed your pet healthy kibbles with all natural ingredients.

"My own cats eat ONLY raw meat and, while this is not mandatory for good results in the diabetic cat, it is a very good way to provide some of the natural, unprocessed nutrition the cat evolved to utilize best." Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM

The closer we can approximate the raw diet that Nature has designed felines to eat - a diet they have been eating successfully for eons - the more natural, digestible and appropriate their diet will be. And the closer we can come to modeling our cats; diets this way, upon Nature;s ideal, the more the natural benefits of eating this way will impact their overall health and well being. A whole raw foods, or prey model, diet for cats can be comprised of a combination of a variety of whole, raw, small carcasses, (for example small game hens, chickens, duck, quail, rabbits, mice, rats and/or fish) along with a variety of different parts of other, larger carcasses, (such as things like turkey, lamb, goat, pork, ostrich, emu, elk, venison and/or beef) which are fed over time in the relative proportions that are found in the average prey animal. The idea is that the overall diet be comprised of a similar ratio of body parts that Nature uses to make up whole carcasses. learn more

"The key to health is keeping live foods in the body. Live foods have enzymes; little protein molecules, which are essential for digesting food, for stimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy, for repairing all tissues, organs, and cells, and functions so diverse that it is impossible to name them all.

"Animals and people cannot exist without enzymes. It is a myth that you can take supplements and make up for enzymes. Supplemental enzymes,vitamins, and minerals can be very helpful, but they do not make up for RAW food."

"Pat tells us why our pets need wholesome, raw foods. The book is large type, simple to read and includes a simple raw food diet that can be easily prepared. As a 'health food store for pets' owner, I highly recommend this book to all interested in a more natural, healthier way of life for their companion animals." -- An Amazon.com reviewer on Reigning Cats and Dogs : Good Nutrition Healthy Happy Animals by Pat McKay

"The best diet is a raw food diet" -- Dr. Charles E Loops D.V.M

The best diet for dogs, cats, and ferrets is the natural raw food diet as they eat in the wildNatural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Pet Diet by Kymythy R. Schultze

This book will help pet-lovers enable their dogs and cats to enjoy an ideal quality of life though a species-appropriate diet of raw, natural foods. "My Golden Retriever has suffered from allergies most of her life. She has been on the diet in this book for six months. After a detox period (explained in this book) which lasted 6-8 weeks, her overall health has improved tremendously. My dog is off all of her previous medication of antibiotics and Prednisone, her skin is clear, her coat is soft and thick, and her attitude is great. I would definitely recommend this book. I would also recommend seeking help from a homeopathic vet when switching to the diet."
Pauli Reading from Charlotte, NC, United States - Amazon.com book reviewer.

Raw Food Recipes - For those of you who would like to make your own raw food diet, this booklet will give you some answers and ideas.

More books on Feeding Raw Food to Pets

Raw - Ready-To-Eat Safe, Healthy RAW Pet Food

How I Saved My Dog's Life with Raw Foods (and with homeopathy)
A testimonial by Shirley, author of this website.

In 1990, the veterinarian suggested to euthanize my 2 year old German Shepherd dog because "nothing could be done to stop her suffering and to cure her". Years later she remains the perfect picture of health and vitality. Learn how I used nutrition and holistic methods of healing to save her life. more

Additional Testimonials: Feeding Raw Pet Food

Don E. Lundholm, D.V.M. - "We are seeing disease conditions in animals that we did not see years ago. Many of these may be traced to nutrition as the source."

William Pollak D.V.M - "Eating supermarket pet foods is like eating cardboard. Our pets just get by on them and the foods lack any real vitality for the flourishing of health. Life is designed to be lived in vitality; surviving is living a slow death even before departure from the body"

Dr. Pitcairn D.V.M.- "...When I began to suggest the feeding of raw meat, I found animals becoming more healthy even without other treatment. Indeed, I have frequently had the report that people find their animals become healthy when they make this change and diseases for which they were hoping to have treatment (on a waiting list) have disappeared. Since that time, other veterinarians have told me similar things about the use of raw meat. I do not have numbers but I think the veterinarians recommending raw meat in the U.S. are in the hundreds. My experience, albeit clinical and not based on studies, is that my patients have improved health on a raw diet. Furthermore, I have not seen significant parasite problems. Dogs and cats, being carnivores by nature, are meant to eat raw meat and do not have a problem doing so."


Vaccines can cause harm to animals Dr. Pat Bradley, DVM, Conway, USA - "The most common problems I see that are directly >related to vaccines on a day to day basis are ear or skin conditions, such as chronic discharges and itching. I also see behaviour problems such as fearfulness or aggression. Often guardians will report that these begin shortly after vaccination, and are exacerbated with every vaccine. In a more general and frightening context, I see the overall health and longevity of animals deteriorating. The bodies of most animals have a tremendous capacity to detoxify poisons, but they do have a limit. I think we often exceed that limit and over-whelm the body's immune system function with toxins from vaccines and poor quality foods, insecticides, environmental toxins, etc. This is why we've seen such a dramatic increase in allergies, organ failures, and behaviour problems."

(NOTE: a growing number of holistic veterinarians use Transfer Factor before and after vaccination to support the immune system and help the animal recover)

Do you have a question about holistic animal health or need assistance? contact Shirley or call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

Raw Food and Enzymes

The tiny and enormous difference between raw and cooked foods Edward Howell MD - "Among the many thousands of species of creatures living on this earth, only humans and some of their domesticated animals try to live without enzymes. And only these transgressors of nature;s law are penalized with defective health. It is not surprising that dogs (and cats) have many human diseases since they are given only canned or packaged, heat-treated, enzyme-free food."
Dr. Edward Howell, author of Enzyme Nutrition

"Each of us receives a supply of enzymes at birth. The supply is not limitless; it must supply the organism with life-sustaining enzymes for the duration of its existence. When the enzyme supply is exhausted, it signals the breakdown of the organism (the animal). Enzymes are needed to run all body systems. Metabolic enzymes are used by the heart, lungs, kidneys, immune system, and for brain functions; digestive enzymes convert protein, carbohydrates, and fat into fuel to maintain the organism. Over-taxing the body to supply digestive enzymes can reduce the supply of metabolic enzymes. Eventually, the body becomes enzyme-deficient, making it vulnerable to disease. Not suprisingly, glands and major organs suffer most from enzyme deficiency."

How can one prevent the body from depleting its own supply of enzymes?
Nature solved the problem for us by providing those enzymes in RAW FOODS. Food enzymes begin the process of digestion in the stomach. If there are no food enzymes, the body must produce additional digestive enzymes resulting in fewer metabolic enzymes. If you feed your dog a diet containing at least 70% raw foods, you're providing these vital enzymes. Congratulations! Cooking or processing food above 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys all food enzymes. If your dog's diet consists mainly of cooked or processed foods, the animals store of metabolic enzymes will be converted into digestive enzymes. The lack of food enzymes puts a heavier burden on the body to generate adequate enzymes to complete digestion.

In nature, animals know to seek out those foods that satisfy their nutritional needs. For example; free-roaming wolves hunt grazing animals whenever possible. Before eating muscle or bone, the wolves feast on stomach contents, the liver, pancreas, and intestines -- in other words, they are gorging on enzyme-laden tissues. Wolf pups are weaned and maintained on regurgitated food, also heavily laced with digestive enzymes. Unless we provide the same food a wolf enjoys in the wild, adding a digestive enzyme supplement to each meal may be essential for optimum digestion and overall good health. A multiple digestive enzyme should contain pancreatin, lipase, oxbile, pepsin, betain, hydrochloric acid (HCL), bromelain, papain, amylase, and protease.

Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics helps promote a healthy balance of bacteria and protect the body against harmful invading microorganisms.
More about nature's enzyme therapy

William Pollak D.V.M. - "Malnutrition and the toxic condition of the animal fed commercial diets can result in the inability to digest and assimilate basic food components of the fresher, more wholesome types of food such as raw food."

If you are transitioning your pet to a raw-food diet, or if raw food is not the way you choose to feed your pet, you may want to consider adding enzymes to your pet's diet. When pet foods are heat processed, as most are, enzyme concentration is significantly reduced. For this reason, adding digestive enzymes to your pet's food will enhance absorption of nutrients. Enzymes are destroyed during the heat processing of your pet's food, yet are required for proper digestion. Shake'N'Zyme from Dancing Paws ensures optimum digestion, assimilation, and absorption of nutrients. Some breeders and trainers prefer to feed their dog twice a day to avoid stressing their digestive system. I have been feeding Shasta strictly raw foods once a day to give her digestive tract a chance to rest, which kept her healthy and never overweight. No two dogs are alike or have the same feeding requirement.

It is entirely up to the dog's owner to decide what is best for their dog. Some people claim that is is best to feed raw food, first and wait six hours before feeding kibbles to prevent fermentation in the stomach which may cause some dogs to have gas. My friend, Pat Hartman, who is a German Shepherd expert, recommends to never feed dry kibbles to German Shepherd dogs but to soak the kibbles first. Personally, I have not found this to be true. My new dog, Kuuma, eats dry kibbles (healthy kibbles) and raw meat/veggies at the same time without any bad effects. (He does not tolerates 100% raw.) Shirley
Do You Really Know What's In Your Pet's Food? Listen to holistic veterinarian Dr. Jane Bicks' twelve-minute FREE audio presentation to learn more about how you can improve the health, well-being, and longevity of your cherished pet.

Improving Your Animal's Immune System and Overall Health with Nutritional Support

A groundswell of nutrition-conscious veterinarians are beginning to recommend to their clients that they supplement their animals' diets with a daily dose of flaxseed oil and other important nutrients. When the diets of animals were fortified with flax, within three weeks their coats developed a beautiful sheen, and dandruff was greatly diminished.

Charles W. Brown D.V.M. "My colleagues and I have found this product (Transfer Factor) to be very effective in modulating the immune system. Transfer Factor is a "soup" of immune-modulating factors, and contains a leukocyte-type molecule that can passively transfer immunity from one mammal to another by stimulating cell-mediated immunity and is antigen specific. Richard Bennett, Ph.D., an Infectious Disease Microbiologist and Immunologist from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, believes this could be the most significant development in animal healthcare in decades. We have a great number of veterinarians and clients who are experiencing very positive results in a broad area of disorders, including periodontal."

Do you have a question about holistic animal health or need assistance? contact Shirley or call:
323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

Most Popular Natural Pet Products...

Raw Meaty Bones - Tom Lonsdale, a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College in London, admits he was slow to recognize problems associated with feeding canned and dry pet foods. 'The truth is rarely pure, and never simple' said Oscar Wilde, but this book lets the truth speak for itself as it lifts the lid on the pet food industry/veterinary profession alliance. You owe it to your pet to read this book to find out what happens to dogs and cats if their diet is inadequate. Some topics covered:

* Mouth rot and dog breath.
* Raw vs. cooked food.
* What's in the can?
* The right diet.
* The bite on veterinary dentistry.

More books listed at Shirley's Wellness Cafe Animal Health Library

Raw- Ready-To-Eat Safe, Healthy RAW Pet Food

The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking Recent research shows that microwave oven-cooked food suffers severe molecular damage. When eaten, it causes abnormal changes in human blood and immune systems. Not surprisingly, the public has been denied details on these significant health dangers.

Do Dogs or Cats Require Grains in Their Diet?

To Feed or Not to Feed...Grains

T.J. Dunn D.V.M. "Modern man has modified a number of characteristics of the canine. But there's one thing man has not altered... the basic nutrient requirements of the dog. Dogs need today essentially the same nutrients that their predecessors required eons ago. That is precisely why there has been so much notice given to the practice of feeding dogs (and cats, too!) raw meat and other unprocessed foods. There is ample proof that today's pet dogs and cats DO NOT thrive on cheap, packaged, corn-based pet foods.

"Dogs and cats are primarily meat eaters; to fill them up with grain-based processed dry foods that barely meets minimum daily nutrient requirements has proven to be a mistake. And the fact that some pet foods have artificial colors and flavors added simply reveals the trickery needed to coax dogs and cats into consuming such material."

Russell Swift, D.V.M. "Grains are NOT part of the natural diet of wild dogs and cats. Carnivores cannot maintain long term production of the quantity of amylase enzyme necessary to properly digest and utilize the carbohydrates." read on

Raw Bones versus Cooked Bones

Puppies love to eat raw meaty bonesWild carnivores have always consumed the raw bones of their prey. Their teeth are adapted for this function, and their short, acidic digestive tract quickly dissolves and digests these bones, which are packed with essential nutrients. Our domesticated companions have teeth and digestive systems that are nearly identical to those of their wild counterparts. While it is possible for dogs or humans, to choke on whatever they are eating or drinking, consuming a fresh, raw diet greatly reduces the risk of choking in dogs or cats. Cooking bones makes them brittle and prone to splintering, as well as more difficult to digest.

Dr. Billinghurst, an Australian vet, recommends raw bones as the foundation of a balanced diet. His book "Give Your Dog a Bone" describes the rapidly deteriorating health of Australian dogs and cats after the nation adopted commercial pet foods in mid-1960s. The canine mouth has sharp pointed teeth and strong jaws designed to tear flesh and crush bones. The stomach acid of the canine has strong acids to digest bones and flesh. Raw bones have been a part of canines' diets for as long as they have been tracking, attacking, and killing their prey.

Many holistic veterinarians say that raw bones are NOT harmful to carnivores. Only cooked bones can splinter and pose a threat. I have seen documentaries of tiny white foxes catching doves and swallowing the birds whole, with feathers, claws, beak, and all. Their stomach juices are very acidic and and loaded with natural enzymes that dissolve and digest bone material. Chewing on raw bones helps to strengthen the jaw bones, massage the gums while stimulating the salivary and digestive glands, help reduce plaques and calculus accumulation on the tooth surfaces, clean teeth, and reduce occurrence of gingivitis. Bones are a good source of calcium and other important minerals.

"The common practice of feeding meat without bones (or bone meal) is nutritionally disastrous for dogs and cats. There are far too many people giving eggs and meat to their pets without providing a balance to all the phosphorus they contain. Meat contains no calcium, and lots of phosphorus; bones contain lots of calcium. Eggs contain lots of phosphorus; the shells contain calcium. That is nature's balance. If we feed meat without bones or eggs without shells, or aren't sure of the correct ratios of those things to feed, we must use something to replace them. It is a common and tragic mistake to give a diet far too high in phosphorus to cats and dogs." Christie Keith from Natural Diet.... What is it?

Give your Dog a Bone and See Your Vet bills Fall!
by Ian Billinghurst B.V.Sc(Hons), B.Sc.Agr.,Dip.Ed.

Give Your Dog a Bone is about feeding dogs using the Bones and Raw Food (BARF) diet. Dr. Ian Billinghurst has spent 18 years as a practicing veterinarian in Australia. "Most of the disease problems we vets see are caused by only one thing - poor nutrition. Most modern dog owners are taught to believe that feeding dogs is such a difficult task. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you can get hold of a regular supply of raw meaty bones, you will have no problems whatsoever."
Click here to read an excerpt from Dr. Ian Billinghurst's book

BARF FAQ (BARF = Bones and Raw Food) Ready-To-Eat HealthyRaw Pet Food
If you don't have the time or the inclination to prepare homemade RAW meals for your animal, you can purchase ready-to-eat frozen or freeze dried RAW meals.

Do you have a question about holistic animal health or need assistance? contact Shirley or call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

Hilarious two-minute video of a dog protecting his bone. It will make your day!

Raw Bones and Canine Dental Hygiene
Can RAW bones help reduce plaques, calculus accumulation on the tooth surfaces, clean teeth, and reduce the occurrence of gingivitis?

If you choose not to feed your dog raw bones, here's an alternative: All Natural and Healthy Edible Dog Bones They look just like real bones and are made from a wholesome blend of rice, flour, vegetable fiber, and chicken liver. Plus, their rounded ends and crunchy texture work together to help promote healthy teeth and gums. They are a healthy and safe way to satisfy a canine's desire to chew.

Sample recipe of what I feed my dog
by Shirley, author of this website

At 11 years of age, Shasta is remains in good health. She did suffer from illnesses (including a stroke), which I treated with homeopathy and herbal extracts. I also help boost her immune system with Transfer Factor. She eats raw eggs, raw organically grown veggies, kelp, flaxseeds, raw whole fish, raw bones, all sorts of raw meats including organ meats, and I make sure that all meats I purchase for her at the market are NON-IRRADIATED. I fast her on water every other day for optimum health. Learn more...

Our pets are prone to suffer from mineral and trace-mineral deficiency. For optimum health, I supplement my animal's diet (and my diet too) with the following: fulvic minerals and/or marine phytoplankton (consisting of an immense arsenal and array of naturally occurring powerful phytochemicals, biochemicals, supercharged antioxidants, free-radical scavengers, super oxide dismutases, nutrients, enzymes, hormones, amino acids, antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals), bee pollen (rich in naturally occurring vitamins), kelp (marine plants), the right kind of salt (notcommon table salt), and clay (to promote healing and to detoxify), and with flaxoil (also knows as linseed oil -- a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids). Shasta does not drink tap water. I give her only filtered water which is free from toxic chlorine and fluoride. I support my immune system and that of my animals with Transfer Factor and by raising our Glutathione level. . I never cook or warm up food in a microwave oven. Please read about the Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking.

Raw Feeding Calculator and Video As a general rule, a normal active dog require about 2% of its body weight per day. A highly active dog may require about 3% of its body weight per day. No two dogs are identical in their metabolic rates, age, or activity levels Puppies can use up to 10% of their growing body weight. Use this online calculator to calculate the amount of food needed by body weight.

Ready-To-Eat Healthy Pet Food If you don't have the time or the inclination to prepare homemade RAW meals for your animal, you can purchase ready-to-eat frozen or freeze dried RAW meals

Books on Feeding Raw Food to Pets

Concerned about Zoonosis? Zoonosis is an infectious or parasitic disease, which is naturally passed from vertebrate animals to humans, and vice versa, e.g. tuberculosis, rabies, or brucellosis. "Dogs and especially cats can shed Salmonella organisms in both their feces and saliva, meaning that transmission can occur via licking." More. - A pet dog or cat licking your hand is a very common occurrence. Sometimes a pet may lick the face of a child, helping germs spread more easily. Animal saliva contains many pathogenic agents. More

If you have these concerns, learn about the healthy alternatives to feeding raw food, you can feed your pet healthy kibbles with all natural ingredients.

Alert! Tainted pet food deaths up sharply - At least 100 dogs in the United States have been killed in recent weeks by toxic pet food, contaminated with aflatoxins, despite a recall of the products. Some 19 brands of Diamond, Country Value, and Professional dog foods have been recalled. But many pet owners are not aware of the recall, researchers at Cornell University said Friday. Dogs have refused to eat the food and, in some cases, their owners have enticed them with gravy and other lures without knowing they were killing the animals. "Entire kennels have been wiped out, and becauseLife's Abundance Puppy Pak Get your precious puppy off to a healthy start. Dr. Jane Bicks, Healthy Pet;s veterinarian formulator, chose each product in our Puppy Pak for a specific reason. Each Pak contains Life;s Abundance Premium Health Food to provide a good nutritional foundation and Advanced Daily Supplement to provide the additional nutrients puppies need to thrive.of the holiday these past few weeks, the dispersal of recall information was disrupted," says Sharon Center, a professor of veterinary medicine who specializes in liver function and disease at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. The dog food is tainted with deadly aflatoxins that waste the liver away. Learn about quality, safe and nutritious pet food, guaranteed to be free of aflatoxins. learn more

Healthy Alternatives to Feeding Raw Food
Natural dog and cat foods with only natural, wholesome ingredients and nutrient-dense with vitamins, minerals, fats, and fatty acids which are essential for the optimal health of your dog or cat. No harmful chemicals are used in these pet foods! They are made from the highest-quality ingredients with all-natural preservatives and do not contain meat or grain by-products, color additives, or chemical preservatives. Learn more about these natural pet foods.

Transitioning to a New Diet William Pollak D.V.M.
Upon switching to a more nutritious diet, physical and behavioral improvements can be dramatic or gradual depending on the state of the animal;s health. Severe nutritional deficiencies and toxic states have been known to mimic almost every known disease in veterinary medicine. In chronic conditions, some developing over several generations, improvement in health can take months or years. Feline transitioning to a raw diet

Malnutrition and the toxic condition of the animal fed commercial diets can result in the inability to digest and assimilate basic food components of the fresher, more wholesome type we are describing here. The body will sometimes expel these accumulated poisons during periods of diarrhea, hair loss, scaling of skin. These periods are known as Healing Episodes/Healing Crisis. Though these situations are not necessary, they are not uncommon. The body will cleanse itself of these toxic agents before it can assimilate more healthful nutrients to regain a higher state of balanced health. more on healing crisis

THE HEALTHY PATH -- FOR EVERY ANIMAL Dr. Christina Chambreau offers guidelines for nutrition, quality of ingredients in your pet food, supplements, and general healthcare guidelines.
Diarrhea Usually Not Disease -- Just Cleaning House

Diarrhea can be a normal part of transitioning to a healthier diet. Changing the food to the natural raw meat diet can sometimes cause diarrhea as the energy content is too rich for the current digestive ability of the animal. With slow transitioning on to the new diet, the pet's digestive system can acclimate to the higher flow of nourishment.

To ease the diarrhea, I mix a little therapeutic clay and paunch manure into my dog's food. It works wonders! Shirley

Dr. Cohen - "In addition to the role it plays as a potent detoxifier, Calcium Montmorillonite Clay has also been used extensively in the treatment of pain, open wounds, colitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, intestinal problems, acne, anemia, and a variety of other health issues. Clay not only cures minor problems, such as diarrhea and constipation through local application; it acts on all the organs—on the whole organism. Everything unhealthy that emits negative radiation is irresistibly attracted to clay and becomes subject to immediate elimination." Do you have a question about holistic animal health or need assistance? contact Shirley or call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

Fasting for Health in Holistic Veterinary Medicine
A powerful healing practice

William Pollak, D.V.M,. on fasting: "Many experts on canine nutrition recommend occasional fasting, such as one day without solid food per week or month, to simulate the natural conditions in which these animals evolved. Fasting gives the digestive organs an opportunity to rest and helps the body repair itself. In the wild, predators alternate between gorging themselves and going for one or several days without food, so a once-a-week or once-a-month fast is both beneficial and easy for most dogs to adjust to."

Bill Winter D.V.M on fasting: "To this day I do not believe that I have ever discovered a healing technique quite as powerful. I have recommended fasting for 10,000 to 20,000 animals, and have seen true miracles over these years of practice. Juliette de Bairacli Levy says that the two most important aspects of natural animal rearing are: fasting and a raw diet." More on fasting your animal for health

If for some reason your dog or cat is unable to tolerate all or part of the raw food diet, you can join the Alternative2rawfeeding forum to discuss the alternative methods of feeding your companions.

F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. - "Every function inside the body is regulated by and depends on water. Water must be available to carry vital elements, oxygen, hormones, and chemical messengers to all parts of the body. Without sufficient water to wet all parts equally, some more remote parts of the body will not receive the vital elements that water supplies. Water is also needed to carry toxic waste away from the cells. In fact, there are at least 50 reasons why the body needs sufficient water on a regular, everyday basis. Without sufficient water to constantly wet all parts, your body's drought-management system kicks into action. The histamine-directed chemical messenger systems are activated to arrange a new, lower quota of water for the drought-stricken areas. When histamine and its subordinate "drought managers" come across pain-sensing nerves, they cause pain. This is what I discovered in my research that I mentioned earlier." More on hydrotherapy (water therapy)

Microwater machines generate alkaline living, energized water. This healing water is regarded by a growing number of health care professionals as the best water to drink. In fact the Microwater ionizer water filter is listed as a medical device in Japan and is used in the treatment of several degenerative diseases. Ionized water has several health promoting qualities. Acid/alkaline balance is important in keeping the body strong, healthy, and free of stress. Drinking alkaline water is the simplest and most effective way to remove (flush out) acidic wastes from our body. Removing acid waste has also been attributed to reversing the aging process. (Read more on this from the book Reverse Aging by Sang Whang.) Dr. Hidemitsu Hayashi, M.D. wrote an important article on the healing power of water. (Dr.Hayashi is the director of the Water Institute of Japan.) The alkaline water ionizer machine do more than simply purify tap water. It transform tap water into a living, energized, alkaline water. For more information visit theIonMicrowater website or contact Shirley: 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372 -

Sodium-Deficient Diet

Wild Health: How Animals Keep Themselves Well and What We Can Learn From Them
For millennia, humans have observed animals in the wild eating plants and minerals and applying naturally occurring topical antitoxins from the same sources to combat infectious wounds, parasites, and internal disorders. Herds of elephants risk injury and death in a perilous journey to hidden salt caves where they supplement their sodium-deficient diet.

Learn more about real salt for human and animal health

Overweight Pet: Weight Management for Dogs and Cats

Obesity is a significant health problem in many pets, and can contribute to major disease. There are many easily identifiable causes of weight gain in pets.

Irradiated pet food endangering pets health, killing pets
The Australian government in late May ordered an immediate stop to sterilizing cat food via irradiation after reviewing scientific studies pointing to food irradiation as the culprit behind illnesses characterized by ataxia or paralysis of the limbs, especially the hind limbs. Symptoms in the Australian cats first appeared three to six months after they were exposed to the dry food, Child said. Some had eaten the food for as few as three weeks; others for more than six months. The problem affected 90 cats in Australia, of which 30 died, mostly by euthanasia after they became paraplegic or tetraplegic, according to Dr. Georgina Child, a neurologist at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital and University of Sydney Teaching Hospital. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also allows animal feed, including pet food and treats, to be irradiated up to 50 kGy

Rearing Healthy Pups and Kittens

Pet owners often complaint that their new puppies are sick with diarrhea, vomiting, running eyes, and ear infections. A lot of money is spent on veterinary care and medication, often with poor results. Learn how to wean your pup or kitten to a natural raw food diet. Learn about alternate method of vaccination. You will see all symptoms of ill health clear up in a few weeks and your animal will thrive.

Breeders who have changed their animal's diets and used alternative methods of health care and vaccination have observed dramatic health improvement in the young and adult alike, including larger litters and less complication of prenancies and birth such as premature birth, smaller litters, C-sections, tiny or weak puppies; sick pups, and puppy mortality.

Feline Natural Diet

Dr. Pottenger discovered quite by accident that cats degenerated unless they were fed raw food. In his 10-year study of 900 cats, he found the optimal diet for his cats was 2/3 raw meat and 1/3 raw milk plus a little cod liver oil. If either the meat or the milk was cooked, the cats degenerated. And if both were cooked, the degeneration was much worse, and the cats could no longer reproduce by the third generation.

Some of the problems Pottenger found in the cats fed cooked food were: heart problems; nearsightedness and farsightedness; underactivity and inflammation of the thyroid; infections of the kidney, liver, testes, ovaries and bladder; arthritis and inflammation of the joints; inflammation of the nervous system with paralysis and meningitis. And in the third generation, some of the cats' bones became as soft as rubber. Lung problems, and bronchitis and pneumonia were also frequent. Moreover, the females became irritable and even dangerous, and the males became passive and lacked sex interest.

United Kingdom Raw Meaty Bones

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons: Letters have been written to the RCVS, outlining our concerns over the continued promotion and sale of processed pet food by the majority of veterinary surgeons. We have expressed our concern about the influence of pet food manufacturers within the veterinary colleges. We have pointed out the huge inadequacies of manufactured pet food, and the harm it does to our pet carnivores. We have told them of the huge health improvements that we have seen in our own pets, since changing them to a raw meaty bone diet, and explained that this is seen around the world by other dog, cat and ferret owners when they change their pets to a natural diet. More

Natural Diet for Pet Birds
Bird owners are beginning to question the value of commercial diets, realizing that they are a far cry from resembling anything our birds are accustomed to eating in the wild.
Nutrition in Small Mammals
by Susan A. Brown, D.V.M

A variety of small mammals such as hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rats, rabbits, chinchillas, and ferrets are commonly kept as household pets for adults and children alike. These pets have been bred in captivity for years and are ideal for a variety of pet owners because of their small space requirements, quiet nature, ease of handling, and relatively simple husbandry requirements. Diet is an important part of the care of these pets, and each species should have its own specific nutritional needs met. A rabbit is not a rodent is not a ferret, and so on.

In Veterinary Partner.com's Small Mammal Health Series, renowned exotic animal veterinarian Dr. Susan Brown covers general husbandry and proper diets -- as well as specific common (and not so common) medical disorders in rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, etc.

Nutrition and Care for Ferret, Reptiles and Rodents

Read the heart warming testimonials about animals who fully recovered from cancer and other illnesses with holistic/nutritional therapies. This is a collection of emails I received over the years and for which I received the permission to publish on my site. With almost each testimonial you will find an email address to facilitate correspondence, feedback, and support. Shirley

Natural Animal Health Library
Books and video on Natural Health Care for Animals -- Obedience Dog Training (and behavior problem-solving), and Solving Cat Behavior Problems.

Need help/support?

  • Sample Recipes of Homemade Rawfood Diet for Animals
  • Get inspiration from breeders and pet owners who share their ideas, experiences, and recipes about RAW homemade meals.
  • This is a group of like-minded souls who have come together for the well being of their pets. They are a support group for people who have chosen to feed their cats and dogs a Species-Specific Raw Diet and to care for them as much as possible in a holistic way. Many of them have fed a raw diet for many years, some only more recently. How did they get here? Some came here through recommendations by friends, but many of us were struggling alone after reading books by Pitcairn, Volhard, and Billinghurst. They were looking for that "bit extra" and for others who shared our beliefs and could give us support. They have found that support with Raw Recruits.
  • There is also an email list you can join. Find support, help, feedback, motivation, etc. about all issues related to the BARF diet (BARF = Bones and Raw Food - it refers to a type of diet fed to dogs and cats, which totally excludes all commercial dog foods. Also check out the (BARF = Bones and Raw Food)

Routine Vaccination: Is it Really Safe and Effective?

"...Lack of scientific evidence to support the current practice of annual vaccination, and increasing documentation showing that over-vaccinating has been associated with harmful side effects. Of particular note in this regard has been the association of autoimmune hemolytic anemia with vaccination in dogs and vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats -- both of which are often fatal.* With boosters (except for rabies vaccine), the annual re-vaccination recommendation on the vaccine label is just that -- a recommendation without the backing of long-term duration of immunity studies, and is not a legal requirement."

* Testimonial of a dog's full recovery from Auto Immune Haemolytic Anaemia