Friday, September 26, 2008

Saving about 75% on your vet bills with nutrition

Recent stats show us over and over again that most pets these days are obese. Or they suffer from other forms of progressive poor health, long before pet owners realize it, because the typically, the symptoms are often gradual, rather then abrupt, and start from the inside.
Our domesticated dogs and cats are by nature carnivorous animals, which means, they require real meat to survive and stay healthy. Most mass produced commercial pet foods corn, wheat, rice and other grains as one of the main protein source, and use compounds to hold all this grain into bite size pellets and shapes. Animal fat sprayed on the, otherwise flavorless, pellets coaxes the animal to eat it. However, that spray on fat not only fools the pet into believing they are eating real food, it also contributes to unhealthy weight gain. The added weight makes us believe that the pet must be getting enough to eat. That the food must be good for health of our pet. That we have succeeded in finding a good food for our pet.
Wait a second, not so fast. Actually the contrary is the case. The pet is not healthy, and not getting the food it's body was built to digest! Commercial pet food may look and smell like we think it should, but sadly, that is not because it is full of the health improving ingredients available from nature.
It is very common for many vets to prescribe a pet food or diet containing rice. I advise to use caution. This treatment plan can provide deceptive results. High in carbohydrates a sickly animal can appear to be improving as it gains weight. Weight gain, however, is not a true indicator of improved health. Has the pet stopped scratching or loosing its fur? Have any sore spots disappeared and did the fur grow back? Has cat stopped having diarrhea or bloody stools? Has your cat become energetic and full of life?
Try putting out a bowl of raw meat on the floor next to one of any commercial pet food, and your pet will let you know very quickly its instinctive and preferred choice. Your animal makes up its mind immediately. Clearly pro natural meat. A healthy choice too.
Raw meat diets typically replace fat with muscle. Poor health is substituted with optimum health.
Pet owners and care givers are the very people pets depend on for affection, shelter and survival.
It is up to us pet owners to take that first step toward restoring the health and longevity of the pets under our care. It is up to us to learn all that we can about the correct nutrition, the healthiest diets and the nutritional benefits accompanying these choices. Our domesticated animals eat what we give them. Real meat is what dogs and cats must have in their diets in order to be well nourished, strong and healthy.
When an animal is fed unnatural and synthetic ingredients, the malnutrition and allergic reactions that occur can easily open many doors to a wide variety of unwanted health problems. Some send us a signal, like horrible smelling doggy dumpsites and litter boxes, the giant globs of poop, the frequent scratching, pacing or whining, the excessive shedding, big and sad eyes, the snapping and growling when being touched, etc., it is a seemingly never ending list All these problems need to make us have second thoughts about owning a pet. They unfortunately way to often are problems or behaviors that can become the reasons for an unnecessary trip to the pound.
Good eating is preventive health. It will help us preventing minor to very serious medical problems.
What’s the best is that even if your pet is already suffering from any of the conditions I talked about earlier, starting to feed your pet a raw diet now can restore natural health quickly, and maintain it long term. Hence it is never too late. I don’t think you can show me a better way to prevent needless animal suffering and the high cost of Veterinarian treatment programs, medications and supplements.

The food that made the dog

This one I came up with by quoting Steve Brown from his “See Spot live longer”. He basically came up with this interesting thought. I furthermore include passages I found in Landry & Van Kruningen’s “Food habits of feral carnivores: A review of stomach content analysis” and Lorna & Ray Coppinger’s “Dogs: A startling new understanding of canine origin, behavior & evolution”.
“Bones, pieces of carcass, rotten greens and fruit, fish guts, discarded seed and grains, animal guts and heads, some uneaten human food and wastes…”
“The staple diet of carnivores living in a natural setting includes other animals, carrion and occasionally fruits and grasses.”
“What a successful species dogs have been. Dogs evolved from wolves, probably about 14,000 years ago. The prevailing opinion among scientists worldwide is that the wolf is the principal, if not the only ancestor of the dog and has existed for more than 5 million years. Continually adapting to human societies, often living on discarded waste products of humans, dogs have thrived, The fittest dogs, those best able to find food and utilize the nutrients in their diets, reproduced, For almost 14,000 years, the dogs’ bodies, brains, dental structure and digestive system structure evolved to best utilize their ancestral diet. Anatomically, the digestive system of the domestic dog is still very similar to those of feral carnivores.
There is very little debate about this. At one of International Nutrition Symposiums of a major American pet food manufacturer in the mid 90’s a Mississippi State University professor stated: Comparative studies have revealed a close relationship between intestinal characteristics, the evolutionary diet and requirements of energy and nutrients. His paper considered how “intestinal characteristics reflect patterns of gene expression that are related to each species evolutionary diet.” He proceeded to say, “during a species evolution intestinal characteristics adapt to match the natural diet.”
Steve: “Dogs have eaten their natural diet for 14,000 to 5,000,000 years, depending upon how one defines the difference between dogs and wolves. Dogs have eaten mass produced commercial dry foods for less than 100 years. This type of food was first introduced in 1860, but did not become popular until one major US manufacturer developed the extrusion process in 1957. For 99,995 to 99.999% of the canine species existence, dogs have eaten their natural, ancestral diet. For only 0.005% of their history they have eaten mass produced commercial dry food.”
In addition, the Coppingers make mention that “throughout the world there are still millions of non domesticated dogs eating for the most part, discarded human foods and carrion.” The couple also shows that many of our purebred dogs are just a few generations away from the non domesticated village and sheep dogs that thrived on their natural diet.
All together I find this an interesting perspective and thought process. What I would like to add is: How comes, while only for 0.005% of canine species existence being fed mass produced commercial dry food, a vast majority of in certain cases up to 60 to 70% of our dogs is suffering from diseases and specific health problems like allergies, IBD, kidney diseases, urinal tract problems, digestive problems and on and on up to cancer? Something doesn’t quite add up here, or maybe adds up too clearly?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trust me on this one

Sometimes, every once in a while I wonder. Here I am, calling myself “The Pet Food Examiner”. Granted, some people know that my name is Paul Richey. Others know that I am the General Manager of a pet food store where only healthy pet nutrition is being sold online. I am giving advise to pet owners all over the country. Advise on healthy pet nutrition. I make my opinion known all over the internet, in e-mails to pet owners asking for it and during conversations over the phone. I constantly attempt to crush mass market pet food manufacturers because of the quality of the products they sell. At the same time I support the smaller business in the industry because I say that they have the better products. And I sell exactly those products every day in and out. I repetitively make it known that I am not a vet, nor a nutritionist nor have I ever received a degree or any other certified qualification on and for the particular subject matter pet nutrition. On every thing I write and publish on our store website and any communication I send out I attach at the end a lengthy disclaimer that what I say and make statements about is my personal opinion and should not solely relied upon by pet owners. This disclaimer in many cases exceeds in length the actual answer I am giving in response to an inquiry.
But you want to know something? I am doing this now officially for about almost 2 years. Nobody has ever asked me “What qualifies you to advise me on my pet food? Why do you think your advise is correct when I ask you for alternatives to the vet prescribed food I am feeding my pet?”
Granted, consumers make assumptions. Just like when we visit a dealership to buy a car we assume that the sales person knows her/his product, or our banker advises us on how we should invest our savings. In my case pet owners just assume that I know what I am doing because I am in this business of selling pet food.
Now theoretically there is nothing wrong with that. After all, I do the same, I trust that the people I buy stuff from know what they are talking about and that I’m safe if I listen to their recommendations. Though, I have to say that I am a very skeptical person and it is not quite so easy for someone to convince me. Don’t give me the slightest indication that you maybe really do not know what you are talking about. In that case, trust me, you’re not going to make any progress with me and you’re fighting a lost battle.
So, coming back to my own “qualifications”, where do I get my information from? It’s simply studying, researching, reading, watching, listening and then start studying, researching, etc. all over again. Day in and day out. About at least 50% of my time at work is research. My typical work day is on average about 12 to 15 hours This is after deducting breaks for cooking (I love it and gotta make sure there’s a home cooked dinner on the table every night), eating (I like that too, because of course it’s the food I cooked myself), smoking (yep, after all, I am not that perfect and do have at least one bad habit), spending about 30 to 45 minutes with our 2 dogs and 5 cats (an obligation they take for granted now and will make sure that I don’t forget), watching the history and discovery channels (and from time to the 150th time my favorites The Godfather, James Bond and a few others), and finally even some little time with my wife (I’m sure she believes it’s not enough).
So when I do my research, I come up with a lot of information. The world these days has become so easy, the Internet took away any boundaries we may have had in the past. No more running to the bookstore, spending money on books or if not spending money reading the books right there and pretending I may buy it. No library visits, no endless inquiries with qualified resources. It’s all here at my fingertips on my desktop (and if I get lucky on X-Mas this year maybe Santa turns that desktop into a fancy laptop, you know, one of these new fancy awesome, superfast wireless ones). So much of it, that I will never have the time to study it all. But I am going to put it to use and make something out of it, something what will benefit anybody who is just interested in pet nutrition. I have to be careful though. One has to figure out, which of the information available to us is qualified, i.e. sort of scientifically proven and backed, and what is less qualified and even garbage. Like for example, the other day I was on a forum where the participants were discussing raw bones for their dogs. The discussion was sort of ok, but it really blew my mind when one participant stated that she “heard that Nylabones are good for pets”. Now that’s not the kind of information I want to pass on to the world. It made me laugh though, I just couldn’t help it.
What I want to pass on however is more like for example what I found in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. There in one issue it says: ”Effects of a high protein diet on mineral metabolism and struvite activity product in clinically normal cats: …high protein diets have the potential ability to increase solubility of struvite crystals.” The Veterinary Times in 2004 confirmed, that “cats need at least 50% of the diet to be protein and less than 5% should be carbohydrate, but pet food contains nothing like these levels and may contain up to 50% carbohydrates and far too little protein. Additionally this protein is heat processed, thereby has nothing like the same bio-availability that raw food has. Therefore the lack of protein in pet food is an important factor in causing life threatening struvite in cats.” The VT even mentions a couple brands known from the mass marketer shelves and some (surprise!?) vet waiting room displays.
The latter example is more the kind of information I search for and then base my advise on. And now I can do that with confidence, because the underlying backup is based on documented research.
So after all, maybe I don’t have to wonder that pet owners trust my opinion. It’s not like I’m talking nonsense. And that people trust me is ok with me. What really worries me a lot more is the fact, that a vast majority of pet owners trusts, with similar blinders, the marketing gimmicks of the country’s large pet food manufacturers. I understand this even less, because after all, by now we all should know that this, scientifically proven, causes devastating problems for their pets. How long are they going to trust their vet on his pet food recommendations, despite the fact that he, the vet himself, they, the pet owners and the rest of the world know that this diet falls into the same category as the one mentioned in the Veterinary Research Journal quoted a couple paragraphs earlier?
My almost last question to this people is: Have you ever tried to get a meaningful Nutrient Dry Matter Analysis from your mass market pet food manufacturer? It’s like you’d be pulling their teeth, isn’t it? Ever wondered why? How much longer do pets have to suffer, even die, before their owners take off their blinders? Just remember, at the funerals its too late.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pets & foreclosures – Cruel solution: Abandon them.

In today’s Letters to the Editor’s of the local paper: There is this woman in one of the neighboring towns down here in the sunny South of Florida. A little while ago, she noticed a little kitten in front of one of the neighbor’s house starring at the door like cats usually do in the hope and with the knowledge that sooner or later that door is going to open up and they can get in. Well, the problem with the neighbor is that he’s no longer there. He became victim of the latest foreclosure wave and abandoned house including his cat. I’d say, not the greatest of neighbors. If he does show that much respect and consideration for his own animals. A just recently appeared “fashion”, which I don’t get anyway. I understand, being foreclosed upon creates a lot of pressure on a house owner, but does that justify how many of these people act with regards to their pets? What’s next, you’re gonna leave your kids on the porch without food, water and shelter and pretend they don’t exist? Anyway, since the woman noticing the problem already has a cat, she’s temporarily feeding her and providing care, but she says she simply can’t afford to take care of another companion cat for various reasons. So she’s trying to place the cat with one of the many rescue/adoption Humane Society operations around here. She wants to make sure that she spares the little creature’s life and it doesn’t end up in one of those places where the solution is: Euthanize them. But she isn’t too successful. So far, and she has contacted quite a few of them, everybody tells her that they have a full house and all have reached their capacity levels to their fullest extent. Now that probably is nothing but the truth, but what’s the woman supposed to do? God bless her she only wants to do the right thing. No wonder she’s totally frustrated and calls her story an eye opener and the entire deal around these Humane Society organizations a mirage. I understand her frustration. I’d take the cat, but I have already 5 and they for me are a hand full enough. I understand these local organizations too. We support many of them all over the country in numerous ways as much as we can. And it is nothing but the truth when they tell us they have a full house. Our local one comes to my mind. They have a capacity for about 50 dogs and about 150 cats. Yet typically at any given time they always have about up to 100 dogs and 200 cats under their care, providing shelter, food and veterinarian care. Quite an accomplishment and I compliment them on their efforts. What I am trying to say is, we have to understand their situation too. It’s not that they don’t want to help. It is just that there are limits as to what they can do and have capacity for. So what should the woman do with the kitten? I’d put an ad in the paper (there are papers which will let you do that at no cost). And honestly, now don’t tell your local Humane Society that I said that, I’d still take the cat to one of them and drop it off. See what they are going to do. I seriously doubt that at that moment they tell you to get lost. Finally, if all your efforts don’t come to fruition, may be it’s time to face the naked reality of our today’s life and society. We can’t always be the kid in the candy store. Don’t get me wrong, you know by now that I love animals as much as I love my family. Just, sometimes we have to make tough decisions in our life. This may be one of them. And it probably at that point may be in the abandoned cat’s best interest.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

About Golden Retrievers, Allergies & Polish Wodka

You know that feeling of getting something accomplished and then being proud of yourself? Well, in my other job at the pet food store I do, as you know help fellow pet owners in their efforts of feeding their pets the right diet. Giving advise to caring dog owners who don’t know anymore what to do because their dog’s condition gets worst as every day goes by. Hopefully as in most cases, the person listens carefully, understands what I am trying to say, makes the corresponding changes and sees the turn to the better, a healthier pet after following my advise for some time. I mean, what can be more rewarding? I made a difference in a pet owner’s and his family’s life and I relieved a pet from its suffering. It doesn’t get better than that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know everything, I’m not a vet, I’m not a famous dog whisperer or other primetime behavioral trainer. I am just myself, a common guy with common sense who just happened to get interested in pet nutrition. Someone who does a little more studying than others on the subject matter pet nutrition.
Anyway, here is what happened to me today: About 9 months ago I met Starek, a Polish immigrant living in my neighborhood just a few blocks away. Starek has a Golden Retriever, his name is Stanislav, he calls him short “Stan”. Stan is 8 years old. When I met Stan the very first time I was shocked. The poor thing was hairless on his face and tail. His legs were covered with large sores. When asked about his condition, Starek reported that the problem had started a couple years ago. Stan back then had occasional hot spots and was itching, had minor skin problems. The problems came and went away on their own, so Starek didn’t think it was anything serious and wasn’t too worried about it. Especially since it didn’t seem to impact Stan’s happiness. Stan didn’t let his condition interfere with his having fun and being his owner’s best buddy. However, as time went on, his condition deteriorated. Starek went to see his vet. They together started a treatment of medicated baths for a few weeks without success. The baths were followed by Prednisone and antihistamines treatments, still no change. Starek, unhappy with the outcome, went to see another vet for a second opinion. He diagnosed the problem as being some kind of cancer, which basically couldn’t be treated and would ultimately end in Stan leaving this world because of it. Starek was devastated. That was when we met. He told me his story and I suggested to maybe start looking at Stan’s food first. He had Stan for many years on a grocery store brand, then when he started seeing the vets, changed over to some prescription food. He looked at me in disbelieve. “What can be better than the food the doctor ordered to feed?” I told him that I believe (and know) a whole lot can be better. I suggested a raw diet. I still remember his expression in his face, he wasn’t too excited about the idea. After all, his Stan was a “house” dog and not some wild animal. I said: “Look Starek, what do you have to loose? The worst case scenario is that the dog doesn’t like it, then you switch him back to the vet stuff. Just trust me on this one,get your dog off the grain and give it a try.” And Starek did. Initially he had a lot of questions, like he thought the formula he was feeding was all meat based, he just was worried to do the right thing, making sure the dog was safe. Then I didn’t hear from him for a few days until after about 3 weeks he came back to the store. With Stan. And guess what? Stan, while still looking pretty rough around the edges, or face, legs and tail, definitely showed small signs of improvement. Starek reported that his dog loved the food and said: “He better does, ‘cause I threw the other stuff (in his very own way he had a different word for it though) in the garbage.” Starek stayed with the raw until today. Today he came to see me. With a smile I’ve never seen in his face since I first met him. “So much for the cancer” (followed by some half Polish, half English comments I can’t print here). “Get me some of the raw food and put me down for a case every 3 weeks. I don’t know how to thank you. Whatever you want, just tell me, I owe you. I also want to invite you and your wife for a home made dinner at my house on Saturday night.” And he handed me a bottle of his home made Wodka, you know the kind which tastes like moon shine and knocks you off your socks after one shot. As to Stan: He’s doing just great. He’s a different dog now. Looks better and better, I give him another 3 to 4 months and no one will probably be able to tell that this little poor guy almost was put to sleep for the wrong reasons. According to Starek, they together have more fun than ever before, Stan has an energy like a puppy. If you ask me, I think they both have together many more years to have fun together.
Now I want you to remember that some dogs with allergies might experience a similar spectacular healing. Sometimes their immune systems are not able to recover completely. Or the healing may take years. Whatever the outcome is, complete, slow or partial healing, I consider any improvement as being worth it.
How about you? Let us hear about your stories and experience with allergies. Sound off, that’s what this blog is for. And don’t worry, you can talk about any experiences you made even if they were not based on my input. I feel great tonight (No, I didn’t have any of that Wodka - yet). Now you see what I was talking about in my today’s intro.

Monday, September 22, 2008

St. Bernard's Barking Habits causing sleepless nights

I don’t know but I am pretty sure you are reading your daily paper’s pet corner with great interest like I do. Have you ever noticed that the guys who answer the reader’s questions have exactly the same kind of dog as the reader? Like for instance if your question is related to a Rottweiler, part of the answer will include that the specialist answering has a Rottweiler too. Or the Great Dane who has cancer, well the vet answering, has one of those too (cancer free though). I am going to have some fun with this. I am going to send in a question saying I have a “xyz”. The “xyz” will be a fantasy breed which doesn’t exist. Just want to see if the vet who’s answering me has one of those as well. And if it’s working, then I am going to apply that rule to my own business. Because there must be something to it.
Anyway, while studying all the inquiries I learn that the most talked about topics are basically food, my favorite subject, then medical issues, my next favorite one since it most likely has to do with the wrong food fed, and finally before all the other more or less minor problems, behavioral issues.
Like today. The owner of a 10-year old Saint Bernard has the bad habit of starting to bark when she goes to sleep upstairs. And he will not quit until she comes back downstairs and lays down on her couch to rest. To me, a simple problem. The cause: You! You started it by paying attention to his bark. He, smart as St. Bernards or as a matter of fact any breeds of dogs or even cats are, realized in the early beginnings that this was the way he would get attention. It is that simple. Now I don’t know if that behavior can be changed at this point and after so many years anymore. I realize that you have tried everything from ignoring, cajoling, petting, rewarding, leaving lights on, leaving music on (though I am a little disappointed that you couldn’t figure out whether he likes country more than classical). And I understand that he didn’t like the TV, I feel most of the times the same way.
What you did is reacting to his bark. That’s all he was looking for: Your attention.
I understand that you have tried the Bark Buster’s behaviorists (it surprises me over and over again how creative some entrepreneurs are, I never heard of this one, however, I find it clever). Good for you that you at least got your money back.
Aromatherapy didn’t work. Sorry to hear that, but I don’t think that justifies trying Valium, Prozac, Acepromazine and that even combined with Benadryl?
Changing the diet gave him diarrhea? Well, it takes sometimes up to 4 weeks for a pet to get used to new, and I hope it was the right, healthy food.
And boy, I really appreciate the fact that you are medicating him with Deramax in the hopes that this will enable him, the from arthritis suffering poor dog come upstairs into your sleeping quarters.
Now I don’t agree with the vet’s recommendation. By the way, did we ever find out if he has a St. Bernard? He didn’t mention anything. Maybe he is not the advisor best suited for answering the problem. I have to tell you, I feel that his advise to euthanize the dog was a little drastic.
I wouldn’t go that far. I would stick with what I said before. Ignore the dog’s bark, he’ll stop and if it takes strong nerves and 10 days, he’ll stop. Trust me, I know, I practiced it many times in my relationships with dogs. It works. Even my wife, who was against it because she has a hughe heart and just cannot see the pet “suffering”, has finally adopted the strategy and what a surprise: It works for her too. I still remember the first night when we brought home our German Shepherd girl Roxy. How she was whining in a fashion that nobody in the house could sleep. Because she missed her mom and siblings. I caved in the 1st night and went to lay down with her to comfort her. The 2nd night I insisted for the entire family to ignore the whining and in the 3rd night Roxy slept like puppies sleep: Like a baby. If I would have left it up to my wife, today we would sleep with a 70 lbs black Shepherd girl between us in our bed, or better, I probably would sleep on the floor due to missing bed space. But then again: As you may or may not know: I am not a vet. I also recommend food brands, which only a very few vets recommend. I am just not a “follow the majority” guy. So don’t listen to me. Remember, your vet is always right. Maybe you want to get a second opinion. Because as I understood from your inquiry, you don’t want to loose your dog.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cancer in Golden Retrievers

In today’s pet corner of my newspaper I found out that Golden Retrievers are having a lot more cancers than other dogs. A reader asked this question and the answer was given by a board certified medical oncologist and graduate from a University of a State College of Veterinary Medicine. First this sounded very impressive to me, like an authority seriously answering a serious question. Then I read the answer. And then, I googled “oncologist” because, I have to admit, after reading the answer I wasn’t 100% sure anymore as to what they are doing for a living. For those of you who too want to admit that they are not quite sure what these guys are about, here is what Wikipedia says: “Oncology is the branch of medicine that studies tumors (cancer) and seeks to understand their development, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. A medical professional who practices oncology is an oncologist. The term originates from the Greek onkos (ογκος), meaning bulk, mass, or tumor and the suffix “ology”, meaning "study of".
Ok, now since we made sure that an expert was answering the Retriever owner’s question, let’s take a look at the answer, or shall I say lack thereof? Here it is:
“You made a very interesting observation. The answer to your question is “Yes”. Golden Retrievers do have a higher risk of developing cancer than other breeds. They tend to have a higher rate of mast cell cancer, lymphosarcoma, osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma. If you have a Golden Retriever it is recommended to take him/her to the family vet every six months. And finally, (Comment: What a relieve), it is not guaranteed that it will be diagnosed with cancer. The oncologist has a Golden too. They are wonderful dogs.”
I only have to say this: If I would answer my customer’s questions like this I’d be out of business by now. I have not learned anything but a few new fancy Latin words for some disease, which I now have to look up in the dictionary. I have not learned why they exist, why the dog is more receptive to them than other breeds and what can be done about the disease. And my final question is: What do you mean by “not guaranteed…” Does that mean Goldens usually come with cancer? Is there something wrong with mine because he doesn’t have it?
I personally would add: Is it ok that I keep feeding my dog the cancer causing food I am buying off the supermarket shelves for $30 per 50 lbs.?

Pet nutrition problems uncovered in 1942. 2008: We have learned nothing

Did you ever hear of Francis M. Pottenger, Jr.? This gentleman lived from 1901 to 1967 and was the son of a physician who co-founded the Pottenger Sanatorium for treatment of tuberculosis in Califormia. He completed his residency at Los Angeles County Hospital in 1930 and became a full time assistant at the Sanatorium. Between 1932 and1942, he conducted what became known as the Pottenger Cat Study. One particular question that he addressed in this study was about the nutritive value of heat liable elements, nutrients destroyed by heat and available only in raw foods.
He used donated lab cats to test the potency of the adrenal extract hormones he was making. For the experiments he removed adrenal glands of these cats and noted that most of the cats died during or following the operation. He was feeding the cats a supposedly nutritive diet consisting of raw milk, cod liver oil and cooked meat scraps of liver, tripe, sweetbread, brains, heart and muscle. When the number of donated cats exceeded the supply of food available, Pottenger began ordering raw meat scraps from a local meat packing plant, including organs, meat, and bone; and fed a separate group of cats from this supply. Within months this separate group appeared in better health than the cooked meat group. Their kittens were more energetic and, most interestingly, their post operative death rate was lower.
At a certain point, he began conducting a controlled scientific study involving approximately 900 cats over a period of ten years. During this decade three generations of cats were observed. In one study, the so called "Milk Study," he reviewed the effects of five different diets on cats: The first 4 all included one third of raw meat and cod liver oil. Then in the first one he added 2/3 of raw milk, the 2nd one 2/3 of pasteurized milk, the 3rd one was completed with 2/3 of evaporated milk, and the 4th one with 2/3 of sweetened condensed milk. The 5th diet was made up of 100% raw, metabolized Vitamin D milk.
Pottenger’s findings were: Diet A, consisting exclusively of raw milk and raw meat was the only adequate intake which insured the maintenance of optimal health for the cats. The findings on the cats being fed the remaining diets, all included processed milk, were as follows: Common heart problems, vision abnormalities, arthritis, infections, inflammations, paralysis, meningitis, hypothyroid, abnormal respiratory tissue, inferior fur, generations with various sizes, malformation of face, jaws and teeth, steady decline in calcium content resulting in cats becoming what he called “spongy” by the 3rd generation, affected by various parasites, females became irritable and violent, males docile and sexually passive, increased fertility problems, frequent spontaneous abortions, as a matter of fact jumping from 25% in the first generation to 70% in the 2nd one, many mothers including their kittens died (while raw milk fed cats had only a few miscarriages), kittens weighed 20% less than the raw milk fed ones, after about 14 months cats weighed 40% less than the raw milk cats, and the list goes on and on.
What’s my point? Cooking, whether it is frying, baking, boiling or heating in any matter, severely alters food. We know that heat is as a matter of fact a food killer in that it destroys valuable enzymes. During heating vitamins and minerals, amino and essential fatty acids and other important micronutrients are either altered, depleted or lost completely. Even worse, heat by initiating chemical reactions can turn perfectly fine food into toxins. I learned that from Dr. Wysong, DVM..
How is commercial dry food manufactured? By heat processing perfectly fine ingredients.
What’s wrong with Pottenger’s studies? Nothing when it comes to the results related to cats. Only when we relate those results 100% to humans. Because we need to realize that we are dealing with two significantly different metabolic mechanisms: Cats are carnivores whereas humans are omnivores.
What’s wrong with commercial dry food? In some cases a lot, in others not so much. That depends on the motives of the manufacturer, i.e. pure profit driven vs. other, for our companion animals beneficial basic believes and inspirations. Depending on some circumstances it may be even beneficial. It only shouldn’t be relied upon as a single food source.

Prescription diets for pets - another view

I hear it every day and to me it is amazing how many people ask and listen to their vet when they want to find out what they should feed their pets. Now, don’t get me wrong, the vet to us pet owners is regarded as highly as our own doctor. We just pretty much assume our doctor knows what is good for us and respectively our vet will tell us what, including the food keeps our pet healthy. Once a long time ago I read an article on this subject. But, I believe I didn’t even have a pet at that time, I wasn’t as critical about pet food back in those days. What inspired me and made me recall the article was today’s mail. In it I found again one of those reminder post cards from my (by now) previous vets, asking me to bring in my dog for its vaccination. By now this must be the 5th or 6th reminder I am getting. My vet doesn’t know yet that he isn’t my vet anymore. But I wonder, does he mail these cards because of his veterinarian conscience and “professional obligation” to worry about my pet or are his relentless mailing efforts more driven by a more business oriented desire to generate profits? If the first applies, maybe I need to reconsider the switch I made to the new vet, because then it sounds to me like he does indeed care about my dog.
Could the second one be the case? After all, a vaccination is pretty lucrative: There is first of all the actual shot, not cheap, but that is what it costs. I don’t have any options here. Then there are so many add-ons, every vaccination visit makes you feel like you are buying a car, there are so many options to buy and how often do we end up buying those whether we need them or not? For my pet it is a ridiculously overpriced flea & tick collar (I found the exact same collar on the Internet for half of what my vet charges) and many other “great things and services”, all for the sake of health. For the sake of my wallet too, I just ended up spending $200 for a visit which should have been $35.
If my vet’s persistent mailing is business oriented, then I have to wonder, where else does he use his great business sense to run his successful vet business? No, I am not accusing anyone of any wrong doing, I couldn’t substantiate that anyway. It’s just my mind playing games with me. However, there are many reasons why that could be the case. Like the many rumors we hear every day. Like for example how comes our vet gets so many favors from pet food manufacturers? I think this would be a justified question. After all by now we know these big commercial pet food manufacturers are Wall Street driven and profit oriented. They wouldn’t waste a penny on golf outings or trips to some sunny islands for the vet community if it wouldn’t make any business sense. After all, remember they are so profit driven, they don’t mind selling killer pet food in order to make a nickel (or Millions of them) without thinking twice about the well being of our pets. So, there you go, something somehow doesn’t add up. But once more, let me make clear, it is a rumor, and I guess we never will be able to find out the whole story on this so apparently lucrative business relationship between our vets and them. Hence, I give my previous vet the benefit of a doubt.
But here is another reason, which I would say is more fact driven rather than rumor based. We continue to learn that the number of pets suffering all kinds of medical conditions like allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney breakdown, hip dysplasia and now even cancer, to name just a few, is increasing. One of the reasons is definitely commercial nutrition. This is a fact, because any medical condition that reaches epidemic levels, crosses breed lines, and is seen all over the country must be of nutritional origin. Even veterinarians appear to be in agreement with this theory. Isn’t that the reason why they order you to put your pet on a veterinary prescription diet? I would think so. They know, that commercially mass produced pet food is based on profound errors in its concept itself, which is affecting dogs and cats. They know that in nature, dogs and cats have survived for thousands of years on natural prey being their nutrition without the need for veterinary intervention. They know that commercial nutrition is omnivore directed. Even the guys who make it admit that. Now, why should we presume that prescription diets are formulated around different premises as commercial nutrition? Ask any veterinarian, he shouldn’t have a problem to confirm that. Why does the industry ignore the fact that our pets are carnivores? Omnivore directed nutrition, when fed to carnivores, results in profound deficiencies of vital nutrients. Additionally, omnivore-directed nutrition may include dangerous plant poisons that no carnivore would encounter on a daily basis in the wild.
Now back to the original question: What is the real motivation for a vet to prescribe a diet based on a totally wrong concept? One of which he knows is going to cause problems? Why do pet owners come to me daily looking for alternatives to the food their pets have been prescribed by their vets? Why do their pets, while one problem seems to get cured now after a while of being fed the prescription diet all the sudden show symptoms of other ill conditions? Wasn’t their vet aware of what we just talked about? What made him prescribe a wrong medicine?
Every time I am waiting at any vet’s office they are selling prescription and vet recommended food in quantities which make any retail pet food store owner jealous. So why are they selling a product of which they know it is going to make a pet sick? Is it like the “one hand washes the other” kind of principle? Like, ok, I sell your pet food, the pets get sick and then I cure them. A smart vet indeed, he cashes in twice, on the sickness causing food and later on his actual profession.
And now tell me, do you wonder that I am getting suspicious? I for my part sure hope I am totally wrong and would certainly prefer to trust my vet unconditionally. Because if I can’t trust him, that would mean I can’t trust my doctor neither. But whom am I going to listen to at times when I don’t know how to help my pet or myself?