Identifying causes of Weight Gains in Pets
Do Dogs and Cats Need Grains?
A highly processed, grain-based diet fed to an animal designed to thrive
on a meat-based, fresh food diet is very likely to produce Overweight pets with symptoms of ill health
over time. Diets to address disease most frequently deal with the symptoms that
are the result of a lifetime of inappropriate food, not the true
cause of their symptoms. The optimum diet for a dog or a cat should closely
resemble their natural diet.
A diet balanced heavily toward grain promotes insulin
production and the production of inflammatory chemicals. Over-production of
insulin makes it hard for the body to maintain its correct weight, and can lead
to diabetes and other problems. An overabundance of inflammatory chemicals means
more aches and pains. What do farmers feed hogs and cattle to fatten them up
for market? Carbohydrates!!! Grains and Corn. That is what most pet food consists
of. Carbs just make you hungry because they all turn to sugar in our systems.
"The growing popularity of raw diets for companion carnivores, and a growing
mainstream acceptance of the idea that high carbohydrate (grain-based)
diets for carnivores may not be species appropriate, have made many people
look to the natural diet of the wild wolf for guidance in feeding dogs and captive
canids. Wolves and modern dogs have an extremely close genetic DNA relationship,
so wolf nutrition is probably a useful model for domestic canine nutrition.
Life is often feast or famine for a wolf and its pack.
Wolves must hunt all
of their food, and each time they need to hunt, they risk serious injury by
getting kicked or trampled. Sometimes food is scarce or unavailable and they
may have to go days - or even weeks - without any nourishment.
Ideally a wolf needs about 5 pounds of food per day to stay healthy and reproduce. When necessary,
they can also survive well on 2-1/2 pounds of food a day. Amazingly, if their
food supply is in abundance, they can also consume as much as 22-1/2 pounds
of food at one time!" Wolf Conservation Center
Dr. Joe Demers, D.V.M - "A reason for overweight
pets is what we feed our pet friends. Commercial pet food is anywhere between
45 percent to 65 percent carbohydrates (grains). Grains are the least expensive
part of pet food and can fill the animal quickly. Dogs and cats are more carnivores
than we humans are, and we are feeding them almost as much grain (or more) than
we humans eat. I feel that this high-carbohydrate commercial pet food is the
worst food we can feed our pet friends. Our pet friends need fresh meats, not
dehydrated meat by-products. There are many good
books explaining the reasons why many veterinarians are recommending whole fresh
meat diets, or recommending supporting commercial food with whole fresh
meats. I also feel vegetables are an excellent source of fiber and moisture
as well as sources of natural vitamins and minerals for our pet friends."
Dr. T.J. Dunn D.V.M. - "The biggest and most common misconception
of all... the promotion of some low priced, grain-based foods as being a Complete
and Balanced diet for dogs and cats! Having done physical exams on tens of thousands
of dogs and cats and learning from their owners
what these pets are being fed has taught me that dogs and cats look, feel,
and perform better if they are fed a meat-based diet rather than if fed a corn,
wheat, soy or rice-based diet. This does not mean that grains are bad for dogs
and cats; they surely can contribute certain limited nutrients to a good diet
(mainly calories in the form of carbohydrates). Nevertheless, many veterinarians
believe that grains should not be the foundation of a diet intended for a dog
If some pet food "expert" tells you that eating animal fat is bad for
dogs and cats and that a plant source of fatty acids is much better, your common
sense should tell you that dogs and cats successfully evolved over the eons
by consuming animal fat in their diets. So does it make sense to say that
animal fat is bad for dogs and cats? Another example is
the common notion that lots of protein in a pet's diet will cause kidney damage.
Again, looking at the nature of the dog and cat as primarily a meat-eating animal
and having evolved by capturing and consuming other animals, we know their diets
have always been high in protein. Think about what makes sense IN NATURE. If
you hear about a nutritional product that "just doesn't make sense"... be cautious
about it's factual basis."
Dr. 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 type
such as raw food."
Dr. Rebecca Remillard, DVM - "Canines are in the order Carnivora,
but I think their feeding behaviors are best described as omnivorous. The term
carnivore applies to their taxonomic classification, not their feeding behavior.
Taxonomically, dogs are members of the order Carnivora, a very diverse group,
that includes 12 families of more than 260 species, some of which are herbivorous
mammals (the panda). There are three types of feeding behavior (omnivorous,
herbivorous and carnivorous) all of which can be found among different members
of the order Carnivora."
Overweight Dog with Under-active Thyroid
Daisy is a 13 year old Golden Retriever. She lives with an under-active thyroid
condition she acquired shortly after a rabies vaccine.
She was taking traditional thyroid medication that was doing her no good whatsoever
and gained 40 pounds even though I was feeding her a diet meant for dogs with
She started having trouble getting up and walking on her own.
She also lives with cataracts to the point she was completely blind but could
distinguish shadows. She was no longer able to go down the porch stairs on her
own to go outside. I had to carry the extra weight. She was unable to keep herself
upright without assistance to go anywhere.
She was completely winded going to
the water bowl and back to her cushion. A mere 15 feet, round trip. I started
her on w/holistic program while boosting her immune system. She is doing so
well now she makes it to the door to go outside much faster than I can if I
am not paying attention. She has no trouble at all going outside in the yard.
Fail to Give Good Fats to your Pets is Inviting Trouble
Dr. Thomas Londale, D.V.M - "Fat is crucial to carnivores,
in maintaining and creating energy, and to produce glycerol. While humans require
some carbohydrates for energy and endurance, carnivores need fats, both animal
and plant, for creating glucose and developing stamina. Most of the fat used
in processed foods can easily go rancid, and need preservatives to help maintain
their integrity. Many of these preservatives have been found to be detrimental
to the dogs health and immune systems, most commonly ethoxiquin, BHA and BHT.
These can inhibit the production of white blood cells, lower the immune system
and block the absorption of glucose. Also lacking in processed foods are the
Omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for good coat and skin health. These fats cannot
withstand the long shelf life of processed foods."
Is a Reduced Fat Diet a Good or Bad Idea?
Many pet owners are resorting to feed low fat pet food to their overweight
dogs or cats instead of reducing or eliminating the grains. Raw, uncooked fats
plays an important role in the digestion process and in maintaining an animal's
health. Fats supply important cell, enzyme and hormone material and are powerful
sources of energy.
A groundswell of nutrition conscious veterinarians are beginning
to recommend to their clients that they supplement their animals diet with a daily dose of
fish oil or flaxseed oil, poured right over the food. Mixing chia seeds with the dog's food also provide
valuable essential fatty acids (omega 3 oil) and other valuable nutrients. The
vets are finding remarkable results in clearing up
skin conditions and allergies, relieving arthritic and inflammatory pain, as well as improved
over all pet health. When the diets of animals were fortified with flax or fish
oil, within three weeks their coats developed a beautiful sheen, and dandruff
was greatly diminished.
Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, DVM - "Contrary to popular belief,
not all dietary fats cause obesity in your pet. Just as in humans, the “good”
fats (omega-3 fats) enhance energy production in your dog or cat, so they actually
create less fat. Because most pets consume an abundance of high carbohydrate,
empty calorie dry foods (kibble), the pet obesity issue is quickly rivaling
the human obesity epidemic. Omega-3’s encourage the production of prostaglandins
and leukotrienes, compounds that help regulate inflammation, immune system response
and blood clotting activity in your dog or cat. They help to reduce the inflammation
associated with hip and joint pain (including rheumatoid arthritis) and conditions of
the bowel such as ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Research
indicates omega-3 fats may also prevent pet heart problems like arrhythmia and
high blood pressure, as well as decrease triglyceride and blood cholesterol
levels. Omega-3 fats are also being
researched for their potential to slow the development and spread of certain
cancers in pets, as well as for their ability to prevent or alleviate auto-immune
disorders, allergies, and some skin conditions. A deficiency of omega-3 fats
in your cat or dog can result in stunted growth, eye problems, muscle weakness
and lack of motor coordination, as well as immune system dysfunction."
To Feed or Not to Feed...Grains
by Russell Swift, DVM
At the recent American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Conference,
I discovered that I am not the only one questioning the use of grains in commercial
and home-prepared pet foods. Grains, such as oats, wheat, rice, barley, etc,
are composed mostly of complex carbohydrates. They also contain some protein,
fiber, B-vitamins and trace minerals.
However, they are NOT part of the natural diet of wild dogs and cats. In
the true natural setting, grains hardly exist at all. Wild grains are much smaller
than our hybridized domestic varieties. This means that even a mouse or other
prey animal is not going to find much of its nutrition from grains.
Therefore, the argument that "dogs and cats eat animals that have grains
in their digestive tracts" doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Prey animals that live
near farms or other "civilized" areas are likely to have access to grains. This
is not a truly wild diet.
What other clues do we have that grains are not necessary for carnivores?
- Dogs and cats do not have dietary requirements for complex carbohydrates.
- Grains must be cooked or sprouted and thoroughly chewed to be digested
Carnivores do not chew much at all.
- The other nutrients in grains are readily available from other dietary
ingredients. For example, B-vitamins are found in organ meats and trace
minerals come from bones and vegetables. (Unfortunately, modern farming
has striped many trace minerals from produce and supplementation is usually best.)
Why have grains become so "ingrained" in pet feeding? To the best of my knowledge,
grains were mainly introduced by the pet food industry. The high carbohydrate
content provides CHEAP calories. In addition, grains assist in binding ingredients.
We have become so used to feeding grains to dogs and cats that most of us get
nervous when we decide not to use them. I know people who have been "grain-free"
feeding and doing very well. My own cat is one example.
What are the negative effects? I believe that carnivores cannot maintain
long term production of the quantity of amylase enzyme necessary to properly
digest and utilize the carbohydrates. In addition, the proteins in grains are
less digestive than animal proteins. As a result, the immune system becomes
irritated and weakened by the invasion of foreign, non-nutritive protein and
carbohydrate particles. Allergies and other chronic immune problems may develop.
The pet’s pancreas will do its best to keep up with the demand for amylase.
What does this pancreatic stress do over a long time? I don’t know, but it cannot
be good. I suspect that dental calculus may be another problem promoted by grain
Currently, I am making grains optional in my general feeding recipes. I am
going "grainless" in more pets as I explore this area. I recommend trying to
feed without grains if your pet is not improving on your current protocol.
"Carbohydrates from grain are simply not needed. Our pets get their energy
from fats and protein. Grains break down into sugar which can grow yeast, produce
mucous and may contribute to a multitude of problems including skin allergies,
cancer, digestive upsets and skeletal disorders to name just a few."
Ed Frawley, owner of Leerrburg Kennels,
Anastasia Milne Parkes writes: "...in
the wild the first thing a wild dog will do is to rip open a grazing animal's
stomach and eat the predigested grains therein. Juliette
de Bairacli Levy DVM , teaches to soak all grains overnight in water or
buttermilk to reach this ideal state."
T.J. Dunn DVM - "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 meet 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."
Pat McKay, an animal nutritionist, says "If your dog chooses to eat horse or cow manure
or cow manure, let him / her do so. Those are wonderfully predigested grains;
grains in their best form. Cooked grains cannot compare to predigested grains,
so our animals are better off with no grains, rather than cooked.
Note from Shirley: Soaking raw grains in water for a couple of days
at room temperature will ferment them, rendering them digestible and dramatically
increase the enzyme content. A small amount of soaked or fermented grain in
a carnivore's diet is fine. Dr. Chambreau, DVM writes: "Raw
diet is designed to mimmic the natural diet of dogs or cats. In nature the meat,
roots and vegetables (greens) are consumed raw. Upon killing the prey the stomach
contents is usually consumed first, this consists of
partially digested (partially "cooked") grains, greens, roots,
and whatever else the animal has eaten."
Food Intolerance- Man and Animal versus Gluten, Casein,
Soy and Corn
My Boxer lost 5 pounds Effortlessly and Rapidly!
A testimonial from John Booth, Florida
"I am writing this testimonial about my female boxer, Jessica Angeline Booth.
I got her in Paradise, California when I was living outside Sacramento. Thus
the name "Angeline" as she really is an angel! However, old man time has a way
of catching up to all of us. She is now 12 years old, and like most dogs eventually
do, she has arthritis and until about three months ago had some extra weight
she had gained over the last few years.
Since my wife and I had been taking the
marine phytoplankton (Frequensea) product along with smaller portions and
eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and had lost so much weight, we
thought "Why not try giving the Frequensea to our dog?''. Well, we did and Jessica
has been on Frequensea now for about 2 months. Though her chest is still large
like most boxers her abdominal area is now sleek. She also has way more energy
and has started to chase the numerous squirrels that gather around our feeders
in the back yard with her younger sister Josie. It is just such a joyful site
to see her play like she used to. She really loves going out on our boat and
swimming in the shallow waters on the gulf and the inland river ways.
When I took Jessica again to her veterinarian to get a routine wellness check, we learned
that she had lost about 5 pounds! The first thing Dr.Zetteler
said was, "Boy, she looks great! Look how sleek she is in the rear!". Now that's
high praise for a 12 year old dog! I give Jessica about a half ounce of Frequensea a day and I also give
it to my younger female, Josie, as I want her to live a fuller, longer life."
Deficiency In Essential Nutrients can Cause your pet to be overweight
Are You Really Meeting Your Animal´s Nutrient Needs? Our soil, plants,
and especially commercial foods are woefully deficient in key nutrients. Scientists theorize that
mineral deficiency subjects us, and our animals, to more diseases, aging, sickness
and destruction of our physical well-being than any other factor in personal health.
A happy pet is an active and healthy pet "I adopted
my dog Jojo a few years ago. He was 13 at the time and about to go to the pound
because his previous owner was moving and couldn't keep him. When he came to
me he was showing signs of age. He had a hard time walking and his eyesight
and hearing were a bit impaired. Eventually, he came to a point where he would
no longer eat. This went on for seven days. He would find a secluded corner
and sleep most of the time. I felt like he was just miserable, hardly alive
and going downhill fast. As each day passedI would watch him get a little worse.
I finally made the heartbreaking decision to take him to the vet and have him
put to sleep. Someone told me about the Marine PhytoPlankton and I decided to
try it on Jojo as a last resort. I started giving him a small amount of a marine
phytoplankton tonic with his evening meal. In two months, Jojo made a complete
recovery. I used to have to wake him up when I got home from work. Now Jojo
greets me at the door barking and wagging his tail' His eyesight and hearing
have also improved - he seems more aware of his surroundings and is playful and
attentive. I don't think he would be in such good health if it weren't for adding
marine phytoplankton tonic to his diet. It has literally made the difference
for him. My son has dubbed it Jojo's go-go juice. I am grateful for this product
for bringing our family pet back to health." Dan R.
Feeding marine phytoplankton and other edible
sea plantsto your pet promotes: Shiny hair coat and supple skin -
Improved metabolism - Healthier and stronger newborns - Improved milk production
in lactating bitches and queens - Improved reproductive performance both for
male and female - Aids in the healing process by offering the vitamins and minerals
necessary for tissue repair - Better utilization and absorption of nutrients
from foods ingested.
Healthy Pet Food for Overweight Dogs
Based on Dr. Barry Sears, weight loss expert and author of the popular "Zone" Diet Books. Obesity among
dogs and cats is one of the leading nutritional diseases. Many veterinarians
believe it is the greatest health issue facing American’s pets. Millions of
people all over the world have improved their health and lost weight on Dr.
Barry Sears' Zone Diet. Now You Can Get Your Dog in THE ZONE. Canine Zone is
based on the Zone’s 30-30-40 ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates. This revolutionary
new food will help your dog achieve a balance so the body can operate at its
maximum efficiency and shed unwanted extra pounds.
Canine Zone contains L-Carnitine, an ingredient in human weight loss products,
Vitamin E for the immune system and several antioxidants. What distinguishes
Canine Zone from many other weight loss foods is that it doesn't compromise
the necessary carbohydrates, fat, protein and nutrients that your dog still
needs to maintain good, balanced health. Even though your dog may be overweight,
he still needs fat in his diet for the immune system. Because protein is the
building block of the body, Canine zone contains real fish, chicken and eggs.
Many diet dog foods on the market today are choked with fiber. Although fiber
is indeed necessary in one's diet, unfortunately, a diet consisting mostly of
fiber does not nourish the body properly. If your dog is eating a poorly balanced
diet food, he will lose weight the hard way and unnecessary way--eternally hungry.
- Obesity is defined as a condition in which body weight exceeds the optimal
weight by 20% or more. This means, for example, a dog that weighs 36 pounds
when it should weigh 30 pounds is considered obese.
- Overweight pets are at a higher risk of developing some major health
problems including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, liver disease and
- Obesity is a significant health problem in many pets, and can contribute
to major disease. Learn more about the causes, diagnosis, associated risks, treatment and prevention of obesity in pets.
Optimum Pet Nutrition to Prevent Obesity
Many of our pets' disease and suffering can be prevented or cured with optimum nutrition
A growing number of veterinarians state 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 supresses the immune system and leads to liver, kidney,
heart and other diseases. 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. For a return to health,
pets require a diet which strengthens the immune system and most closely resembles
that which they would get in the wild. It's really easy to do.
Testimonial: how I feed my
dog Shasta with raw food, lots of raw fat and flaxoil for optimum health
SAMPLES RAW FOOD DIET RECIPES
List of breeders, kennels and trainers who use rawfood diet. (great ideas and recipes)
What is the best diet for our carnivore pets?
Excerpt from the Airdale Terrier Jubilee Diet
According to Marion Patricia Connolly, Executive Director/Curator, Price-Pottenger
Nutrition Foundation, "Providing species-appropriate nutrition for our companion
animals through raw carnivore foods helps them flourish as nature intended,
even in modern households. The books mentioned below provide a helpful how-to
guide for pet owners and a valuable compendium of important nutritional information,
including the seminal principles of Dr. Francis Pottenger's startling research
on the benefits of raw versus cooked food for animals . As
Dr. Pottenger demonstrated in the 1930's, the response from pets manifested
in health, vitality, personality, intelligence and companionship, is a rich
reward for the small amount of time and effort needed to provide them a natural
diet that meets their complete nutritional needs. [A raw carnivore diet] offers
pet owners and their treasured companion animals the opportunity to realize these benefits."
Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Pet Diet
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(antibiotics and prednisone), and
her skin is clear, her coat is soft and thick, and her attitude is great. I
would definetly 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.
Kymythy Schultze has been a trailblazer in the field of animal nutrition
for over a decade. Her professional experience with animals includes being a
trainer, a breeder, a groomer, a veterinary assistant for multiple doctors,
and a wildlife rehabilitator licensed with the federal government. She has studied
canine nutrition at Cornell University. Kymythy is certified by the state of
California as an Animal Health Instructor and teaches classes in Holistic Care
for dogs and Cats at a local college in San Diego and worldwide. Her nutritional
recommendations are endorsed by both holistic and allopathic veterinarians.
She has fed her dogs and cats a species-appropriate diet of raw foods
for many years with proven results.
Raw Food and Enzymes
"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!"
Dr. Alicia McWatters, Ph.D., C.N.C
"Among the many thousands of species of creatures living on this earth, only
humans and some of their domesticated animals try to live withoutenzymes.
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
When dead (cooked) food is consumed it puts a burden on one of the most important
organs in the body, the pancreas. If there are no enzymes to stimulate the digestive
processes, the pancreas has to come into action and produce extra enzymes, burdening
it with yet another job. It already has enough to do producing insulin and pancreatic
enzymes. No wonder there are so many animals suffering from pancreatitis,
irritable bowel syndrome and obesity, to name a few.
Enzymes for your animal's optimum health
"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. Professor Jackson of the Dept. of Anatomy,
University of Minnesota, has shown that rats fed for 135 days on an 80 percent
cooked food diet resulted in an increase pancreatic weight of 20 to 30 percent.
What this means is that the pancreas is forced to work harder with a cooked
food diet. "Although the body can manufacture enzymes, the more you use your
enzyme potential, the faster it is going to run out..." wrote Dr. Edward Howell,
who pioneered research in the benefits of food enzymes.
Alicia McWatters, Ph.D., C.N.C - "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! Food enzymes are very sensitive and are easily destroyed by low moist
heat (105-118 degrees F). Dry heat around 150 degrees F. Internal enzymes are
damaged by factors, such as chlorine in drinking water, certain medicines, air
pollution and chemical additives."
tiny and enormous difference between RAW and COOKED foods (for humans and
Learn more about the healing power of
If you are transitioning your pet to a raw food diet, or if rawfood is
not the way you choose to feed your pet, you may want to consider adding
enzymes/probiotics to ease the transition
Bee Pollen and Weight Control
Bee pollen works wonders in a weight-control or weight-stabilization regimen
by correcting a possible chemical imbalance in body metabolism that may
be involved in either abnormal weight gain or loss. The normalizing and
stabilizing effects of this perfect food from the bees are phenomenal. In
weight-loss programs, bee pollen stimulates the metabolic processes. It
speeds caloric burn by lighting and stoking the metabolic fires. Honeybee
pollen is coming to be recognized as Nature's true weight-loss food.
Advanced Daily Supplement with Phytonutrients,Glucosamine and MSM for Pets
- MSM supplements are beneficial for helping the body form new joint and muscle tissue while lowering inflammatory responses that contribute to swelling and stiffness. 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 and the defense system support
it needs to live a long and healthy life.
Skin and Coat Formula for Dogs and Cats - For dry, flaky or odorous
skin, dull, brittle coats, excessive shedding and sores from frequent
scratching and biting. Contains skin and coat support nutrients such
as vitamins, A, D, E and fish oils (omega fatty acids) for a thick,
glossy coat and healthy skin.
Agility - A holistic multi-action formula
that contains glucosamine, MSM, sea mussels, special herbs and fish
oils, which support the biochemical functions necessary for healthy
bones and joints. An all natural and safe alternative.
Too Frequent Feedings Can Weaken the Balance of Life
William Pollak D.V.M.
Adult dogs and cats usually need to eat once a day. A small portion in
the evening might help an animal settle down for the evening. Generally
speaking the best time to feed is late morning, right before the sun is
at its highest in the sky. Animals that are nervous or in need of weight
can be fed food with some warm water to help digestion. Growing animals
can be fed two or three times daily (especially if they are quite small).
The amount I feed
Ed Frawley, owner of Leerrburg GSD Kennels
Before I talk about the amounts that I feed I will say that it is also
not very critical for the dogs to be fed exactly the same amount and type
of food every day. In nature wild dogs do not eat exactly 5 cups of food
So with this in mind I will begin the process of determining the amount
to feed each dog by looking at the condition of the respected dog. Overweight
dogs obviously get less food than very thin dogs which need more food. In
addition, the amount of exercise a dog gets will determine the amount of
food it needs. For example, a dog that lives in an outside yard and runs
the fence all day is obviously going to require more food than a 10 year
old couch potato who seldom goes out for a walk. So it’s almost impossible
to say that you feed a 6 month old dog this much food or an adult male GSD
this amount of food.
As a rule, Americans overfeed their dogs and keep them too fat. A thin
dog is a healthy dog. A thin dog has less skeletal problems (i.e. dysplasia)
than an overweight dog.
The Poisons in Pet Food
By John Anderson
110 Million Sick Pets?—There are an estimated 55 million dogs and 63
million cats living in American households. Given the appalling condition
of most commercial pet foods, it’s a wonder there are any healthy pets walking
around anymore. "Nature never designed canine or feline kidneys to handle
the volume of impurities that come their way," states veterinarian Al Plechner,
DVM, author of Pet Allergies. "The result is fatigued, irritated, damaged
and deteriorated kidneys after several years of life. Left untreated, the
toxic buildup leads to vomiting, loss of appetite, uremic poisoning and death."
Recent studies have shown processed foods to be a factor in increasing
numbers of pets suffering from cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease
and heart disease, comments Dr Wysong. 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. The AAFCO nutrient profiles may play
a role here, in the "balanced" nutritional levels they recommend may be
inadequate for an individual animal.
It is estimated that up to two million companion animals suffer from
food allergies. Dr Plechner believes that the commercial pet foods are a
primary cause and can contribute to a host of health problems. "Among pets,
there is a widespread intolerance of commercial foods," he states. "This
rejection can show up either as violent sickness or chronic health problems
It often triggers a hypersensitivity and overreaction to flea and insect
bites, pollens, soaps, sprays and environmental contaminants."
Feline urological syndrome, a chronic condition similar to cystitis in
humans (characterized by frequent urination with blood in the urine), is
an increasingly common and potentially fatal illness in cats. It has been
linked to elevated levels of ash and phosphorus, two substances commonly
found in commercial pet foods. High iodine levels are seen as a contributing
factor for thyroid tumors in cats. "New diseases are being discovered that
are linked to ‘100% complete’ diets," states Dr Wysong. These include "polymyopathy(a
muscle disorder) from low potassium levels, dilated cardiomyopathy (heart
muscle disorder) from low taurine levels, arthritic and skin diseases from
acid/base and zinc malnutrition and chronic eczema from essential fatty
acid malnutrition," he reports. Given the high possibility that your favorite
pet foods may be slowly poisoning your cat or dog, it’s crucial that you
find brands you can trust to be animal friendly.
Dogs and cats have the genetic potential to live into their 20s but most die younger. Why?
Listen to Dr. Jane Bicks
holistic veterinarian 12 minute audio presentation
to learn more about how you can improve the health, well-being and longevity of your cherished pet.
The pet nutrition industry is a multi-billion dollar industry full of
hype and false claims. Consumers are being duped into believing that they
are feeding their pets healthy foods, when in actuality they are feeding
nothing more than Dangerous Toxic Contaminated inferior food, cheap grains (including corn and
soy), fillers, by-products, pesticides, preservatives and toxins. Never before has the pet-food industry
been rocked by widespread contamination and rampant recalls. In all, more
than 5,600 products by dozens of pet food makers have been recalled, from
chain supermarket brands to prescription-only foods. This is a staggering
number of products, and is unprecedented in this business. Thousands of
deaths are due to the contamination, and many thousands more have suffered
illnesses. We shudder to think of the long-term impacts of the compromised
liver and kidney function and how this will affect thousands of companion
animals in America. Leading experts believe that the severe reactions experienced
by some cats and dogs were the result of an interaction of chemicals, between
the melamine and a list of other culprits, including cyuranic acid. Read
the latest about the pet food recall.
Thousands of Cats and dogs suffered kidney failure, and many died after
eating the affected pet food. Class
Action Lawsuit Filed Against Pet Food Companies
Gluten Intolerance and Your Pet
John B. Symes, DVM.
For forty-something years, I suffered like most other celiacs of a myriad
of symptoms, including allergies, heart burn and intestinal problems, depression/chronic
fatigue, memory and balance difficulties, Hip and joint pain, and even fibromyalgia.
I was taking at least four drugs twice daily; caffeine addicted, and was
quite frankly not having any fun anymore. I am now two and a half years
gluten AND casein-free, off all drugs, symptom-free, and feeling better
than I did when I was twelve. This miraculous recovery got my attention
as a patient and as a doctor. How could this be? How could I be suffering
from what millions of people and pets were experiencing but be well in such
a short period of time? How could all of these conditions be linked together?
Well, "Fido" is about to teach you something. The fact is that the celiac
is a "who's who" of what is wrong with human beings but the conditions that
we suffer from are not limited to those who walk upright. When I read the
list of conditions that we as gluten intolerants experience, my first thought
was that "This is me. This describes me to a T." My second thought was "...but
this describes everything that is wrong with everyone, including their dogs
and cats." And it does. Suddenly, medicine through the eyes of celiac disease
(and other similar food intolerances) made sense. I tell everyone that it
was like someone had finally put the right program into a stalled computer
and it began operating at lightning speed. All of the idiopathic conditions
that are so poorly understood in medicine became "open season" for this
And, the answers did come one after another. I launched into two years
of intensive research while applying the newly unveiled principles to my
patients as well as myself. Miracles started happening around me. Allergies
abated, intestinal problems cleared up, older pets became less painful and
more active, and yes, even their epilepsy stopped. "Wait a second! Epileptic
seizures stopped?", you may be asking. Yes, 100% of my epileptics have stopped
having seizures, just like many celiac children that were placed on gluten-free
diets have responded.
....So, the ultimate question is whether pets suffer from celiac disease?
My answer is that it doesn't really matter. In the pet, every bite of the
average commercial food has "glue" in it, whether it is of wheat, barley,
soy, corn, or rice origin. Yes, there are better glues" than others and
they are in line with what we see as the principle allergens in the pet,
just as one would expect. Wheat and soy are the worst (now that dairy has
been eliminated from pet foods) while oats and rice are the best...the least
sticky. Corn is in the middle. This is exactly what we see as the main sources
of food allergies in the pet, a problem of huge importance in dogs and cats.
Now people can understand why lamb and rice foods have become so popular.
Rice is the least of the adhesives and thereby less allergenic and lamb
is (or at least used to be) an unusual protein source compared to beef and
others, which have become the main secondary allergens in the pet.
....Suddenly, conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow and shoulder problems,
intervertebral disc syndrome, cruciate ligament ruptures, and even heart
valve failure all have better explanations. All of these problems are caused
by failing cartilage and connective tissue, both of which are structured
similarly and made up of calcium and collagen. Collagen is the building
block of most of your skeletal support structures. The principle component
of collagen is vitamin C. Therefore, when it is understood that calcium
and vitamin C are absorbed by the duodenum, then it is easily seen that
inadequate amounts of these in the diet or failure of their absorption will
compromise the integrity of these structures...all of them.
Imagine that a German shepherd puppy begins eating a wheat, barley, corn,
or soy-based diet from the moment it is weaned. If inadequate levels of
calcium and vitamin C are absorbed, what are the chances that its hips,
elbows, spine, and other cartilaginous structures are going to form properly?
I would say "Not good". Most people familiar with dogs know that this breed
has a reputation for horrible hip dysplasia. But, they also have serious
allergies and other immune-related disorders. This, of course, is no coincidence.
Once it is understood that the allergies form in the area of the gut that
is being damaged or coated by the "glue", it is easy to see why the trouble
breeds like the German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel, Shih Tzu, and others have
their "genetic" tendencies such as allergic skin and ear problems, orthopedic
abnormalities, intervertebral disc ruptures, and cancers.
Fasting for Pet Health
William Winter DVM 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 raw diet."
"It is a good idea to fast a dog that is over a year
old once a week. I do not do this with puppies, lactating bitches or pregnant
bitches. Fasting dogs helps them clean out their system.
It’s actually a very healthy thing to get in the habit of doing.
Fasting is a normal occurrence for carnivores. Fasting enables the
energy used to digest food to be used for other things in the body.
It’s very important to remember to make sure your pet has plenty
of fresh water on fast day."
Occasional fasting by cats and dogs is a normal, natural phenomenon,
especially when natural raw, fresh foods are fed. As long as your pet appears
strong with good energy and clear responsiveness, self imposed fasting oftentimes
ends by itself with a renewed gusto for life. The system requires periodic
rest and purification and so it is taken naturally. Occasional fasting is
natural in the cat and dog; it is the behavior of rest and purification.
Cleaning the bowl of all the commercial food every day, day in and day out
is unnatural and is the harbinger of most chronic disease seen in our pet
population. When nutritional depletions have been satiated on the natural raw
food diet , overeating does not take place. Overeating is a behavior encouraged
by feeding commercial food, overeating does not occur in the natural setting.
Overeating deprives the system of rest and purification, for in a nutritionally
deficient state the body continues to crave; making the mind confused. The
mind then can only satiate itself through the dullness of further overeating.
This is not living; it is survival mode.
Small Mammal Health and Nutrition
by Anna Maria Gardner MA Vet.MB MRCVS Holistic Veterinarian, Certified in Veterinary Homeopathy
Many rabbit owners and lovers are not aware that natural care and holistic
health treatments are available for their pet, and that it can be extremely
effective in a variety of conditions. Rabbits have a rapid metabolism and
respond well to treatment modalities such as acupuncture, homeopathy and
flower remedies. The other benefit of using such therapies is that there
are very few, if any side effects, unlike a lot of drugs such as antibiotics,
which rabbits tend to be very sensitive to. Of course we can still use those
conventional treatments if we need to, but they are often best reserved
for serious and life-threatening situations. Even in such cases holistic
treatments such as vitamins and homeopathic remedies can be used as a follow
up therapy or as an adjunct to the conventional treatments, to speed up
healing and help with such problems as shock and trauma. There are a number
of homeopathic remedies and flower essences that are useful to keep at home
to help in emergencies immediately before visiting the vet, or even to decrease
fear and anxiety for regular veterinary visits. These can be used to calm
your pet and give symptomatic relief and are invaluable aids to caring for
your rabbit. Acupuncture can be used to treat an extensive list of ailments,
but is particularly useful in orthopedic conditions. Homepathy also treats
a lot of problems from infectious diseases to broken bones - after they
are stabilized with either splints or surgery. The main common denominator
of holistic care is that it treats the whole animal, it does not just remove
symptoms which tend to come back in the same or different form, sometime
in the future.
Although a lot of the supplements which are used are readily available
in the health food store it is still best to consult a licensed veterinarian
about treating your pet, as it is still of paramount importance to have
a correct diagnosis, and also have the correct dosage for the individual
animal, this applies especially to herbs and certain vitamins. There are
a growing number of veterinarians trained and certified in holistic treatments,
most commonly acupuncture, homeopathy and chiropractic. If you are interested
in keeping your rabbit as healthy as possible and free from disease it is
well worth thinking about these different types of care. In addition many
people do not realize that complementary medicine can even offer hope when
conventional treatment has failed or is unable to offer any chance of a
cure. Of course this depends on the individual animal and the disease or
condition that is present, but at best a cure may be achieved or if not
at least some form of relief or palliation may be available in addition
or instead of the conventional drugs or surgery. Some telephone numbers
are given at the end of the article to help you locate a holistic veterinarian
in your area who you could talk to and see if they can help your rabbits,
and some of them also do telephone consultations if there is no-one in your
area to consult with directly.
Nutrition for Guinea pigs, Hamsters, and Rabbits
by Christina Chambreau D.V.M
herbivores (guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, etc) should have fresh raw
vegetables and raw grains appropriate to them rather than pellets.
The best is to let them graze for themselves when possible. They can be
fed mostly fresh cut grass and crimped grains, with vitamin C added. (See
Pottinger's book for a GP diet study.) Avoid chemicals and processing just
like you do for yourself. Commercial FERRET breeders have found that fresh
home-prepared food is the best . Ferret Natural Health
Care and raw food diet
Do not feed your guinea pig rhubarb, beans, or potatoes with green spots.
These are all poisonous to your guinea pig!
Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Rats, and other rodents naturally chew on wild greens,
but as pets are commonly fed pelleted alfalfa. Pet Grass supplements this
diet of processed foods with fresh, organically grown leafy greens. You'll
find they love Pet Grass and devour it pretty quickly. We recommend chopping
Pet Grass in your pets' food, or clipping and hand feeding as a special
treat to provide the fresh, raw greens they need for good health. We recommend
that you feed small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents, reptiles,
and turtles, small amounts of Pet Grass per serving. Do not let your small
animals eat an entire container of Pet Grass at one time. Be sure to monitor
their feeding and give small clippings per serving.
Helen Sharp, DVM - "Recently I used
a natural immune enhancing supplement on a litter of guinea pigs that
I delivered via c-section. The mom didn't make it but the babies did. Since
they couldn't have their mom's colostrum I opened the immune foundation supplement capsules
and mixed it with the milk supplement that they were being bottle fed. I
did this for every bottle feeding for their first week of life. Happily
they are doing very well. They are very robust and strong. I believe that
this natural immune enhancing supplement helped support their immune systems in a precarious time."
"Other than trauma, almost 90 percent of the emergencies that befall rodents
are related to nutrition. Malnutrition, and contaminated, polluted feed
and water with pesticides, and heavy metals.
- Why NEVER give your pet drinking
water from the tap. more info
- Environmental Illness- they produce chronic degenerative diseases
of all organs of the body as well as tumors and cancer. I have seen
developing hindlimb paralysis in animals related to various pesticides.
Guinea pigs, especially, are chemically sensitive. I once had a guinea
pig that was poisoned by breathing rug cleaner fumes in the room 24
hours after the rugs had been cleaned."- Gloria
- Rat Planet The online news
and reviews site for rats and their terrestrial friends
Question: My rabbit had uterine cancer removed 2 years
ago. Was ok for 2 years. And recently had another tumor removed which had
broken through the skin. The vet told me he had the tumor tested, and that
the cancer had reached the outer edges. And so has probably begun to form
in other areas, of the rabbits body. So this seems like the best time. To
try this product. But- rabbits are really delicate digestive systems.
What is your Opinion on this?
Dr. Falconer DVM: You are very right about this species
having it's digestive issues. We learned that antibiotics can really harm
these creatures. The beauty of this natural immune enhancing supplement products is that they
do not upset balance anywhere in the body, but greatly aid in the restoration
of same, especially in the immune system.
"Gruba" the rabbit - Natural healing of malignant adenoma
By Alicja (from Poland)
Gruba developed addenocarcinoma (malignant adenoma). She had 2 surgeries,
but every time after each surgery tumour was growing back exceeding it's
previous size. About 2 months ago, after these 2 surgeries and a very short
chemotherapy epizode that was abandoned, tumour was about 8 cm in diameter
and it protruded ca 2 cm above the skin. My husband convinced my friends
that some natural therapies might help. The truth is that animals usually
react much better for natural therapies then people do. We started the following
treatment (rabbit has quite different metabolism then dog has and thus we
couldn't use dr Budwig's mixture of flaxseed oil and lowfat cottage cheese):-changes
in the diet: lots of green leaves, vegetables from health food stores, no
raisins that she used to eat and no "pet junk" food
Gruba started eat flaxseed first, then after 4 days flaxseed oil was
applied. Rabbit used to lick it up each time after application. After about
10 days natural immune enhancing substances was added. After a week a healing crizis started:
rabbit got diarrhoea, lost energy, became depressed. We calmed our friends
saying it is a normal natural process an organism must experience to overcome
And we were right: after about 2 days, Gruba got back strength again.
Tumour started to suppurate, secreted brownish, clod-like excretion. Skin
around the tumour lost hair. After 2 weeks, vet observed disappearing of
skin diffused tumour but the tumour's core was visible. After another 2-3
weeks another vet examination revealed that the tumours core is not visible
but can be detectable, yet with difficulty because it was ca 1,5 cm in diameter
and hidden deep in the abdomen.
And we were right: after about 2 days, Gruba got back strenght again.
Tumour started to suppurate, secreted brownish, clod-like excretion. Skin
around the tumour lost hair. After 2 weeks, vet observed disappearing of
skin diffused tumour but the tumour's core was visible. After another 2-3
weeks another vet examination revealed that the tumours core is not visible
but can be detectable, yet with difficulty because it was ca 1,5 cm in diameter
and hidden deep in the abdomen.
The Pet Skunk
Skunks are not domesticated animals and cannot be handled, treated or
disciplined as such. Learn proper skunk handling!
Diet is critical. The number one long-term problem with this species
is obesity often leading to fatty liver disease and a shortened life span.
Lack of exercise, improper diets and overeating are to blame. Some "Skunkie
diets" and some raw diets have proven to be inadequate causing anemias,
deformities (like rickets in people) electrolyte imbalances and poor hair
coats. A proven and inexpensive diet is Mazuri omnivore Zoo feed A, which
is a Purina zoo line. Add vegetables, small amounts of fruit, cottage cheese,
gut loaded crickets and king meal worms and you're in business. This diet
is proven to satisfy the natural instincts of these omnivore/insectivores.
Direct sunlight via short play or walks is necessary a few times a week
or use a UVB bulb 3 to 6 hours daily. This is important to metabolize calcium
through natural vitamin D even though skunks are primarily nocturnal.
SkunkHaven is our Domestic
Skunk Care and Rescue site They are dedicated to collecting
and distributing information on proper dietary health, medical treatments,
and traditional and non-traditional recuperative processes.
Nutrition in Small Mammals
Susan A. Brown, DVM
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.
Improving Your Animal's Immune System and Overall Health with Nutritional Support
Charles W. Brown, DVM - A groundswell of nutrition
conscious veterinarians are beginning to recommend
to their clients that they supplement their animals diet 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. There are amazing testimonials about animals recovering
from cancer, diabetes and other severe degenerative illnesses with a nutritional product.
"My colleagues and I have found this product to be very effective in modulating the immune system.
How do I Determine if my Dog is Overweight?
Veterinarians often use a 9 point scoring system to evaluate the body
condition of pets. A point value of 1 means the dog or cat is extremely
thin to the point of emaciation. A score of 9 means the pet is grossly overweight.
And like Goldilocks and the three bears, a score of 5 is 'just right'. To
determine body score, there are several specific areas of the dog or cat
we look at. Remember these are guidelines. A greyhound with a score of 5
is still going to be thinner than a bulldog with the same score.
To perform the rating, we first feel the pet's ribs. We should be able
to quite easily feel the ribs. There should be a slight amount of fat over
them, but each rib should be distinct. If you can see the ribs, the pet
is too thin. If you can't feel them at all, the pet is very overweight.
Second, check the area near the base of the tail. There should be a slight
fat covering over this area and it should feel smooth. If the bones protrude,
the pet is too thin; if you can't feel any bones at all, the pet is very
Third, feel other bony prominences on the pet's body such as the spine,
shoulder and hips. Again, you should be able to feel a small amount of fat
over these areas. If these bones are easily felt or visible, the dog or
cat is too thin. If you can't feel the bones beneath the layer of fat, the
animal is obviously overweight.
Fourth, look at your pet from above. The animal should have a definite
waist behind the ribs. If the waist is extreme, or again, bony prominences
are visible, the animal is too thin. If there is no waist, or worse yet,
the area between the ribs and hips is wider than the hips or ribs, the cat
or dog is grossly overweight.
Fifth, look at the pet from the side. Dogs and cats should have an abdominal
tuck, i.e., the area behind the ribs should be smaller in diameter than
the chest. This can vary a lot between breeds. Irish setters and Greyhounds,
for instance, appear to have a much more distinct abdominal tuck since they
are so deep-chested. An animal who is too thin will have a very severe abdominal
tuck. Overweight animals will have no abdominal tuck.