Why Do Our Pets Need A Raw Diet?
Our Pets Are Dying Too Young!
From the “British Journal of Small Animal Practice”
“Take away that by which I live and you take away my life.”
Your cat’s immune system has the ability to resist and recover from disease and injury. Their immune system regulates production of antibodies that aid in destruction of bacteria and viruses. By feeding a balanced raw diet you can help keep your cat or dogs immune system strong.
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.
“Many of our pets’ disease and suffering can be prevented or cured with nutrition. Processed foods and drugs have seriously depleted the natural vitality and immune systems of our pets. 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”.
Choosing Your Pet’s Diet, Written by Mike Wright D.V.M
Why do we choose the pet food we feed our pets? There are various answers to this question: a Friend or family member recommended a certain food and even a recommendation from the veterinarian. No matter who or what causes us to choose a pet food, the most important reason should be the quality of the food itself and what will keep our pet the healthiest.
Cancer is now the leading cause of death in our pets today. It seems 20 to 25 years ago when I graduated from veterinary school it was not unusual to see cancer in a 13 to 15 year dog or cat. In fact it was accepted as almost normal since an animal at that age was geriatric. Now in the past 10 years we are seeing an epidemic of cancer in our dogs and cats, it is not in those geriatric animals, but in what I call the middle age animals (5 to 10 years old). It seems almost every day in practice, either I or one of the colleagues, I work with, sees one or more cases of cancer. In addition to cancer we are seeing an abundance of the other chronic diseases such as arthritis, skin problems, ear problems and immune mediated diseases. There is a plethora of information in the veterinary literature offering treatments for all these maladies, but I don’t hear much discussion about what is causing all these problems. I believe it a combination of diet, environment and genetics, but I put a heavy emphasis on diet because we all eat everyday. Even if you take the best genetic specimen (animal or human) on the planet and feed them a poor quality diet, genetics can not overcome the effects of poor nutrition. However if you take a pet with poor genetics and feed them a high quality diet the weakness in the animal’s genetics does not get an easy chance to express itself. For that reason I believe the main emphasis needs to be put on nutrition so we will begin our discussion.
It is important to understand what canines (canidae) and felines (felidae) are anatomically. They are classified as carnivores. Carnivores according to Webster’s are animals that eat raw flesh (raw meat). If we were living in a utopian world, allowing our pets to go out and hunt for themselves would be the best. This is not practical, so we must consider our alternatives.
How can one prevent the body from depleting its own supply of enzymes?
Excerpt from Pat McKay:
“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. 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 what 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. 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.
- Commercial foods or home-cooked foods are dead!
- Commercial foods – No Enzymes
- Commercial foods – No Friendly Bacteria
- Over worked pancreas breaks down the immune system
- Fatty Acids arc turned to Fat… Grease (no nutritional value and impossible to digest)
“The Doctor of the future will give no medications, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes of disease.”
Anna Maria Gardner M. A. Vet, MRCVS
Both dogs and cats are members of the class carnivore, which means they are basically carnivorous animals, and evolved to get their nutrition primarily from meat, bones, and organs of the animals they could catch or scavenge. Dogs have been more opportunistic carnivores and can survive as omnivores. They would scavenge other animal’s prey, as well as hunting in packs, though wild dogs in Africa can reach speeds of more than 40 miles an hour, and have been known to chase prey for over an hour. Cats would catch smaller animals and rodents and both species would hunt, eat and then fast until the next hunt. The fact that both cats and dogs are true carnivores can be seen both by their digestive tract and teeth, as well as both cats and dogs having sharp claws for both hunting, and defense, as well as holding their prey for eating after that catch it. The cat cannot sustain its life unless it consumes meat in some form. Dogs, however, are able to survive on plant material alone, and they do not have to consume meat but they are by nature primarily meat-eaters and definitely do best when fed what their bodies have evolved to eat over many thousands of years. Just because by definition they are omnivores (can digest and utilize both plant and animal food sources) does not mean that plant material alone makes a good source of nutrition for the dog. This can be seen by studying their anatomy, physiology and behavior.
For Dr Gardner´s entire article Click Here.
Kymythy R. Schultze is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Animal Health Instructor
As Kymythy Schultze points out “A carnivore’s body has been designed to derive its needed nutrients from raw food.
Cooked food takes longer to digest and therefore requires more of the animal’s energy.
Heat also destroys enzymes and antioxidants, which are very important for good health. In fact, enzymes are needed for every biochemical activity in dog’s or cat’s body.
The body has a limited supply of its own enzymes. It is designed to consume enzymes in raw food.
When the pancreas is called upon to produce enzymes because the ingested cooked food has none, the pancreas must enlarge and work harder than it is designed to.
When stressed, the pancreas sends white blood cell, or leukocytes, to the digestive system to aid in digestion. But when the leukocytes use their enzymatic activity to aid digestion, they are less able to help destroy bacteria and foreign invaders in the body and this impairs the immune system.”
Cooking food also transforms its essential fatty acids into trans fats dangerous toxins that weaken your pet. Heat destroys many vital amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
And why add a little vegetable for a dog’s diet?
In nature, carnivores would get predigested vegetation after capturing an herbivore that had already digested the vegetation. So remember that you are building a prey animal to your pet, which probably has a pretty small stomach, so you must provide raw ground vegetables as well as raw meat, to have a properly balanced meal that is as close to what Mother Nature would provide as possible. Cats don’t have the necessary enzymes to break down raw veggies so steam or cook them when making a recipe that calls for this.
Anything we learn that brings us closer our animal friends enables them to live an optimal quality of life that contributes to the well being of us all.
“Let food be the medicine.” – Hippocrates
What Veterinarians are saying about the raw diet
Do dogs or cats require grains in their diet?
Russell Swift, D.V.M
Carnivores cannot make a large quantity of amylase enzyme necessary to properly digest and utilize the carbohydrates. Amylase is the enzyme that is needed to break down grains.
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.”
Joe Demers D.V.M
“Another 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. 1 also feel vegetables are an excellent source of fiber and moisture as well as sources of natural vitamins and minerals for our pet friends.”
Russell Swift D.V.M
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?
1.) Dogs and cats do not have dietary requirements for complex carbohydrates.
2.) Grains must be cooked or sprouted and thoroughly chewed to be digested. Carnivores do not chew much at all.
3.) 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 stripped 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.
- Short intestinal tracts and not enough amylase enzymes, cannot break down and use, the carbohydrates in the grains.
- The grains containing gluten, in the kibble causes chronic yeast infections.
- The glutens can cause intestinal disorder
- Grains have no Nutritional value.
- Grains are fiber… More stool!
- We feed more grains to our pet than we eat and they are true carnivores.
Dr 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 kept 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.”
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 blood streams. And you know how much some dogs relish something old and really gross! Canines eat not only fresh prey, but also old buried meat that is teeming with bacteria. Your dog and cat adequately defends itself against bacteria daily. Bacteria are not a problem for a pet with a strong immune system, and a strong immune system is encouraged by eating-appropriate raw food. “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.”
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 Digestive 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. Feline Instincts’ add enzymes to all their products. Enzymes are destroyed during the heat processing of your pet’s food, yet are required for proper digestion.
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 bloodstream’s.
Benefits of a raw diet
Using raw meat, organic vegetables and supplements
|1. Allergies||13. Better Skin|
|2. Indigestion||14. Healthy Skin|
|3. Weight Problems||15. Shiny Odorless Coat|
|4. Constipation||16. Cleaner Teeth|
|5. Ear & eye problems||17. Clear Eyes|
|6. Hyperactivity||18. Healthy Gums|
|7. Aggressive Behavior||19. Digestion|
|8. Arthritis||20. Increased Energy|
|9. Flea Problems||21. Small Less Smelly Stools|
|10. Diarrhea||22. Increased Coat Growth|
|11. Irritable Bowel||23. Confidence|
|12. Expensive Vet||24. Alertness|
Things To Know
Most healthy dogs and cats transition without difficulty immediately. Some benefit from a 7 to 10 day transition period. Where you mix their old food with the new raw diet foods, gradually reducing the quantity of old food and increasing the new until your pet is eating all raw food. Cats by their very nature may transition more slowly.
The main thing to remember is having patience!
Up to a month into the raw diet, some dogs and cats bodies are ridding themself of an accumulation of toxins from their former diet. These detoxes can happen periodically throughout the diet but should not last more than several days. After a period of detox you’ll notice that your fur friend looks and feels better than before the detox started. If your pet experiences symptoms similar to detox that last longer than a few days contact your Holistic vet and have them look at your pet to insure that it isn’t something other than a detox. Your vet can also add a remedy to help the detox go easier. Cats may go through a period of detoxification where they may experience loose or mucous stool, their coats may get worse before they get better, their eyes may begin to run or their ears might get gooey. Skin is even more itchy than normal. All of these are positive signs..
90% of All Diseases In Animals Has To Do With Poor Diet.
Once your pet is receiving the proper nutrition, you will see all the difference in the world, even if you thought you already had a healthy animal!
A raw food program will enable you to solve many of your animals’ ailments such as allergies, arthritis, ear and eye problems, heart, liver, kidney and bladder dysfunctions, skin and coat disorders, weight problems, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, fleas, parasites and more that may have plagued your animals for months and years.
Help your Kitty get healthier by changing to a raw diet, supplemented with
“My Natural Cat”