The Pet Food Diet Deception

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 27, 2012

Editor’s Note: I am pleased to introduce you to Linda Zurich, author, speaker and overall expert in the holistic care and feeding of our furry little friends!  In the coming weeks, Linda will be writing a series of posts on how to best care and feed our pets so that they enjoy the vibrant health and vitality that those of us on a Traditional Diet enjoy!

By Guest Blogger Linda Zurich

Back in 2005, after many years of living without any pets, a strong hankering began to arise in me for some feline companionship. After multiple visits to my local pet shelter, I ended up adopting two very sweet, lovely little kittens. Little did I know at the time that their presence in my life would be such a profound catalyst for so much learning and discovery!

Right after I brought my kittens home I made a trip to the store to purchase some kitty litter, as well as a collection of various types of canned cat food, along with a bag of that ubiquitous and seemingly obligatory kibble. However I soon began to embark upon what was to become a transformational journey into exploring and gaining as much knowledge as possible on how and why to feed my new furry friends a diet of raw food and care for them holistically.

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I ditched the canned food and kibble, as I began to educate myself in earnest about why it was best not to feed my pets that stuff, and as I learned how and why to feed them a diet of real foods — the kind of deeply nourishing, wholesome, unprocessed raw foods their carnivorous bodies were inherently, naturally and originally designed to eat.

What I found as I progressed further and further along on this path of investigation was that the more information I uncovered, the more it was all starting to blow my mind!

Our Pets Are Victims of Denatured and Devitalized Foods Too!

I began to realize that for virtually my entire life I, along with the majority of people living in the western world, had been nothing less that powerfully duped, misled, deceived and misinformed – dare I say brainwashed – when it comes to how, why and what we should be feeding our cats and dogs, and how we should be caring for their health.

What became increasingly clear to me was a set of dynamics that uncannily parallels the way in which the “diet dictocrats” (as Sally Fallon Morell has so aptly dubbed the misleading and erroneous corporate, commercial, political, economic, and governmental influences that have dominated conventional dietary recommendations during the past decades) have conditioned virtually our entire society into wrongly believing that it’s all well and good for us to eat a diet loaded with nutrient sparse, poor quality junk food.

Similarly, over the course of time a number of mega-corporate pet food diet dictocrats have poured billions upon billions of dollars into creating and widely disseminating powerfully persuasive ad campaigns. These advertisements, with which most of us have grown up and are intimately familiar, are very cleverly designed to convince Joe Public that a steady diet of highly processed, low quality, industrially produced, commodity based, pet food “products” manufactured in factories are what we should be feeding our pets.

Chronic Degenerative Diseases Increasing in Pets

And the correlations between people and pets don’t end there. What is perhaps even more disturbingly evident is that many of the very same kinds of chronic degenerative diseases from which we modern humans are now suffering in ever increasing numbers, are also directly affecting our pets. Just as in people, there has been a growing, veritable pandemic among the domestic pet population of debilitating and even deadly afflictions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, periodontal disease, digestive dysfunctions, arthritis, renal issues, allergies and skin rashes, as well as endocrinological and immunological malfunctions, among others.

Just as the average poor quality SAD (standard American diet) is clearly implicated in the dramatic decline our our collective human health, so too are the substandard junk pet food diets fed to our pet populations undoubtedly a significant factor in the drastic deterioration of their collective health.

The Pharmaceutical Paradigm Dominates Conventional Veterinary Medicine

To take the comparison even a step further, it’s revealing to note that just as there is a massive financial collusion between Big Pharma and the conventional allopathic medical industry, so is there a corresponding connection between Big Junk Pet Food (which by the way, is all tangled and connected up with some of the biggest, most influential manufacturers of industrialized, toxic junk food made for people) and the veterinary industry.

For instance, in the same way that drug companies contribute massive funding to medical schools, pet food companies too make large financial contributions to veterinary schools. In fact, pet food companies often heavily influence the curriculum content at vet schools, and their fallacious dogma is regularly promulgated through various courses on pet nutrition which they teach and/or otherwise oversee, direct or facilitate.

And just as large pharmaceutical firms woo medical students with perks and gifts, pet food companies also provide very similar incentives to vet students to encourage them to come into the fold. As a result of all this, just as most allopathic medical physicians become salespeople for the drug industry, so too do most all veterinarians end up being shills for the junk pet food industry.

Because we’ve been so powerfully and incessantly conditioned by the media not to think too much for ourselves, or to use the power of our minds and discernment to think critically, the vast majority of people simply accept the status quo as it stands. Most rarely ever wonder too terribly seriously about why things are the way they are, and fewer still are much interested at all in attempting to wake up to the larger, more sobering and revelatory truths of this world.

Well I for one have started to wonder mightily, and very much aspire to awaken! And I’ve found many kindred spirits among those who are knowledgeable about Weston A.Price’s teachings and who are active in the Foundation. Therefore like many of you, I feel called to help pull back the curtain, so to speak, so as to shed some light and allow us all to see with clearer eyes what’s really going on. Ironically, my explorations into learning about the health and diets of our beloved animal companions have been instrumental in compelling me on my ever-deepening and ongoing investigations into our own human diets and health.

Our furry friends are so innocent, trusting and so utterly reliant upon us to properly care for and feed them. They give of themselves to us so selflessly and generously, and surely they deserve all the best we can provide for them in return!

Compelled by a passion for both learning as well as sharing about the most effective and natural holistic paths to healing and wellness, Linda Zurich is an ardent independent researcher with a deeply curious mind.

A prodigious writer, herbalist, foodie, educator and perpetual student of health, she is the author of Detoxification: 70 Ways to Cleanse, Clear & Purify Your Body, Space & Life. She has also written an ebook called Raw Fed Cats: Feeding Cats a Diet of Whole Raw Foods Based on Nature’s Model, and is the creator and author of the website http://rawfedcats.org where her ebook is available for sale.

Linda is devoted to empowering people with the knowledge that our bodies are imbued with a profoundly intelligent, natural healing wisdom – a capacity which is actuated by nourishing our bodies deeply and being proactive about detoxification, thereby exponentially strengthening our ability to regain and maintain vibrant health.

Linda’s book along with details on her upcoming speaking engagements can be found by clicking here.  She can be contacted at linzurich (at)yahoo.com

 

Picture Credit

 

Comments (115)

  1. du lịch mỹ tho 1 ngày April 5, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a
    hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution
    and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design
    seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something
    unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to
    ask!
    du lịch mỹ tho 1 ngày\’s last post: du lịch mỹ tho 1 ngày

    Reply
  2. Thank you for sharing, Gwen! I feel thankful that there is someone like you dedicate to sharing the fact about pet diet..such a real eye opening!! I look forward to reading more!! :)
    Benjina\’s last post: Low Carb Diet Overview

    Reply
  3. I’m so excited to see this! Having taught ServSafe classes, I was appalled to find out that typically when meat is recalled as unfit for human consumption it gets recycled into the pet food supply!

    We’ve been struggling to find decent, holistic food for our beloved border collie for four years. We had to stop using one company after getting two bad batches in a matter of months, and Blue Buffalo (the cleanest kibble we’ve found) he flatly refuses to eat unless he’s absolutely starving. I’ve been looking for information on how to make balanced food for him from scratch, so I’ll be watching upcoming articles here carefully!
    Jamie\’s last post: Menu Idea Monday: Chocolate Frosting Shots

    Reply
    • Jamie – I’m glad you’ll be looking out for my future guest blog posts, but there’s no need to wait until then to start learning about feeding your dog raw!

      Please scroll up this page about halfway to see my response dated April 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm to comments made by Linda, Brian and Kathy, which lists about 8 links to some of the best resources I know of that have excellent information on how and why to transition your dog to a diet of whole raw food.

      Reply
  4. Just thought I’d put my experiences in. I have two 13 year old Golden Retreivers and they have been fed predominantly the “BARF” (Bones and raw food) diet their entire life. I do give them the occasional meal of kibble just so they know what it is and in case someone else has to feed them if I can’t. They also have 1 night a week when they don’t get fed at all. Both dogs have been very healthy their entire lives. They are lean and only just starting, this year, to show signs of aging (getting a bit slow and some mild arthritis). They have shiny, glossy coats and minimal plaque on their teeth. WHen they have their annual blood test the vet can’t believe how good all the readings are and yet they still try and talk me into feeding them some expensive dry food instead of what I am giving them. I just say that nothing they say to me can convince me that eating only dry food is better for them than the diet they have thrived on their entire lives. The diet I based my information on is by Dr Ian Billinghurst. He is an Australian vet who has put out several books on the topic.
    Jayne

    Reply
  5. LATTE? Girl, I don’t drink that stuff! I”m sorry, but to pamper an animal while people suffer, is just not right. We can justify our emotions, we can justify our actions, but people are dying on the streets from lack of common human contact while a DOG is being pampered. Old people die in their beds with body sores because no one is there to pamper them, move them, love them. Bottom line, I have animals, they are loved, we care for them, but they are last. We don’t have healthcare and neither do they. We are not rich, but we pay the bills. We buy raw milk and cream with cod liver oil, etc for our grandbaby, who has health issues. He is the reason we look for blogs like this… but to try to find healthy choices and come across this insanity is a rude awakening. Truly, find some people to care for, they need you.

    Reply
    • If you really loved people so much, you wouldn’t be attacking people that you don’t even know, simply because they have a different point of view… It takes all types…

      Reply
      • I think if she really loves people she should euthanize her pets and give the money she spends on them to charity. I’m not sure how she rationalizes that the amount she spends is any more justified than the amount I spend. If human needs must always trump the needs of pets then nobody would ever have a pet.

        Reply
    • Why is it what I choose to spend my money on offensive? Have you ever bought a new car? how about a hand bag more then $20? do you have more then two pairs of shoes? do you have a TV? a computer? why spend your money on these things when you could send it to people who die in their beds with body sores?

      Are you writing to the celebrities who spend 2 million dollars on their weddings or even their wedding rings? do you go to their websites and tell them they are horrible for spending the money on the “wrong’ things? Have you ever done a protest at an animal spa??? or is it just easier to sit behind your computer and try to belittle people who choose to spend their money on things that make them happy.

      Reply
  6. I just happen upon this blog and I am shocked at the time and attention that people spend on animals. Really? What about the people in the world who need time and attention? WOW! This conversation is really a sad testament to the reason there are children still waiting to be adopted, seniors in homes with no one to visit them, homeless with no food. Really!? on the Animal bit, that is just too much. Priorities people! Try finding people to dote on and spend your time and money on… I”m sure they would love to see your smiling face.

    Reply
    • Love is not a zero-sum game. The care I give my pets does not deprive anyone else of care. The reason I haven’t adopted any children has nothing to do with my owning pets.

      I’ll give up my pampered pets when you give up your lattes.

      Reply
    • If your truly a selfless person you can feel love for anyone including pets. My preference for pets does not take away from anyone else, but only brings me joy.

      Reply
  7. Hi, Sarah and Linda:

    I’ve been wondering if I should give my dog FCLO? And if I do, should I combine it with HVBO? I’ve noticed lots of “fish oils” at the pet store, but didn’t really think they were worth purchasing. Thank you! ~Sarah M

    Reply
    • Personally, I wouldn’t spend the money on FCLO for my pet, but if I did want to supplement with something similar I’d stick with regular, less expensive plain CLO instead.

      If your dog is being fed a raw prey model diet consisting of a variety of whole raw foods and some raw liver is included as a regular part of his/her diet, I don’t honestly don’t feel (s)he would need the supplementation of CLO. Otherwise, it’s probably a good idea.

      As for HVBO, I’d skip this for a dog too and keep this expensive supplement exclusively for human use.

      I agree with you about those fish oils you saw at the PFS. If you’re considering supplementing your dog’s diet with fish (body) oil, I’d go with a decent brand for human consumption rather than one made for pets from the pet food store.

      Reply
  8. Pingback: The Pet Food Diet Deception — The Healthy Home Economist « VIP Diet Club

  9. We were at the pet food store yesterday buying our fresh Roo meat and would you believe my boyfriend heard the shop assistant telling a shopper that raw meat makes the dogs body acidic whereas kibble does not…. Are you serious???

    Reply
    • Jade, a microbiologist grad student and I got into a heated discussion because he said my raw fed dogs would die young from liver failure related to acid-something or other! Said grad student worked at a vet office at the time.

      Reply
    • actually that is true. meat does make a body acidic naturally and, in cats at least, that is a good thing. For cats who produce struvite crystals, the treatment is to acidify the urine to keep the crystals from forming as easily (as well as keeping the pet well hydrated) and meat does that naturally while commercial urinary foods add an amino acid methionine.

      Reply
  10. THANK YOU for this article. My 3 dogs eat the Raw Meaty Bones (RMB) diet, since 2008. When we switched to this diet, I also stopped poisoning my dogs every month with spot flea and tick treatments. My 14 year old lab/heeler is like a puppy again and my pit bull has no more skin rashes and eruptions; in the mix is a cairn terrier who also thrives on this diet. I’ve found it to be cheaper than feeding “quality” kibble. I have a co-worker with 5 kibble-fed dogs. My co-worker recently had back surgery and I’ve been helping her care for her dogs, including helping her take her dogs to the vet. I can’t believe how often she has a dog at the vet’s office! (Which, for the record, is chock-full of Hill’s Science Diet products.) My dogs haven’t been sick or needed to visit the vet since we started RMB. They also get a daily serving of food grade diatomaceous earth.

    I saw first-hand the link between the pet food industry and education. I work at a university, and before our vet tech program was phased out, Hill’s was ever-present and crawling over that part of the campus, starting the vet/pet food education early.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing this, Gwen!

      It’s so great to have validation about all the points you bring up from someone like you who’s speaking from personal experience!

      Reply
  11. Hi Sarah,
    We have bullmastiffs and we raise them on a raw diet, lots of vegetables go into the vegetable mash and then they get a roughly ground chicken, rabbit and lamb. The meat includes cartilage, bones, tendons, etc. We also include various chinese herbs and traditional herbs when they need them and also include some keifir to help their digestion. Once you get into the rhythm of using this type of diet, it is easy and you will end up with a very healthy pet. One side note for us, because we feed our animals this way, they are not on the hunt for other food in the house like counter surfing or getting in the trash. They are calm and balanced. We have a bully that is turning 11 this year and still going strong.

    Reply
  12. Hi Sarah,

    How many egg yolks can a baby have a day? My baby adores egg yolk but does not like anything else to date. She saw egg yolk and ended up with applesauce (I ended up ripping the egg yolk 2x and waited until later to do it). The look of disgust and gagging herself have been making me laugh all day on a day when I needed it! I wasn’t trying to though!

    Reply
  13. I’ve tried feeding my dogs raw high quality Roo meat (I’m from Australia). Whilst my Staffy thrives on it, my GSP loses too much weight and passes very hard stools. I tried with him a few years ago, feeding him BARF (Bones and Raw Food) Rolls that I purchased from a vet. They contained meat, bones, veggies and a few other select ingredients. I had the same problem back then. It seems that it doesn’t matter how much I feed him, it has the same result. I’ve tried adding Beef Fat to his meat and this made no difference. I feed them two meals a day – oats in the morning, meat at night. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, for some reason his body does not seem to digest the raw meat properly. When I feed him on a high quality organic grain-free kibble, he thrives. Does anybody know why this would be? Has anybody else ever experienced this?

    Reply
    • I read something one time about a dog that couldn’t eat raw, he didn’t react well to it. I forget exactly how. But it was explained as there was just too much energy in the raw diet for his constitution being that he was older. But he did well on cooked foods. Food for thought.

      Reply
    • Hi Jade,

      Please check out the links in a response to a comment I posted above with resources on raw feeding for dogs.

      My first suggestion would be to feed WHOLE raw foods to your GSP – not the kind of ground up, mushy raw food that comes in those BARF rolls you mentioned. Those kinds of products are unnatural for dogs to eat because they’re highly processed and are not whole raw foods. Another problem with these sorts of pre-fab raw products is that they often contain cheap filler ingredients that are inappropriate for carnivores to eat. Some of them also contain far too much ground bone or bone meal, (again, because these are cheap) which is very binding and constipating for most dogs.

      Check out the photos at http://rawfeddogs.net for a better idea of what I’m talking about when I say it’s best to feed dogs whole (not ground) raw foods.

      Another things is that besides raw muscle meat, dogs also need to consume raw meaty bones as well as some organ meats such as heart, kidney, and especially liver. Increasing the proportions of squidgy organ meats to RMBs and muscle meats usually helps to soften hard and/or difficult to pass stools.

      Reply
      • Thanks so much Linda! I forgot to mention that I do feed them raw meaty bones after their meat each night. But I haven’t been giving them any organs so I might keep my eye out for some at my local butcher. Also, I didn’t realize that minced meat was not as good for them but now that you mention it, it really does make sense. I will try to transition them to whole animal meats now. Ideally I’d love to feed them organic but I can’t afford that so I’ll just look for specials on whole meat items at my supermarket and butcher. Now that I have the information it really does make so much sense to replicate what they would eat in the wild!

        Reply
        • Sounds to me like he’s just getting too much bone. You are right on track getting started on whole meats from the market or butcher! Great job! I would also suggest not feeding the oatmeal. It is my belief that dogs don’t need any kind of grains or veggies. Good luck!

          Reply
        • I agree with Trish – too much bone in a dog’s diet makes for hard, difficult to pass stools.

          I also agree about ditching the oatmeal.

          Dogs are carnivores! One look at their teeth will tell you that.

          They’re basically grey wolves on the inside, and you won’t find many wolf packs spending their hard earned energy hunting down oats for dinner!

          Reply
  14. Pingback: 2 Broke Girls Season 1 Episode 9 And the Really Petty Cash | Ear Disorders

  15. In part because of the information on Linda’s website, I switched all my dogs and cats to raw food about 6 years ago. My raw food journey with my pets is what lead me to Weston A. Price. I’ll forever be grateful to Linda for giving me some of the important first insights that have opened the door to a path to wellness for myself, my family, and my furry companions.
    I’m happy to report that my pest are in such undeniably excellent health that my vet has converted to the cause! He now recommends raw food to all his patients, and even has an informational flyer (that I helped design) to help guide new raw feeders.
    Thanks to both Sarah & Linda!

    Reply
  16. I took my dog to a holistic vet once and he said one of the best things we could do is give our dogs scraps from the table. We eat very well, grass fed meat, milk, eggs, etc. and when we clear the table the dog gets the leftovers. We also buy some grain free dog food as backup incase the scraps are not enough. I know that this is not as good as raw, but I feel it is much better than dog food. It also costs us very little. There are a few foods that dogs should not eat and you can look online if you would like to try this.

    Reply
  17. A friend of mine forwards this blog to me so that I can come to my senses and eat right. I really was enjoying all the information and ideas to get one track, until today.

    Are you all freakin kidding me!? These are animals. Lady, if you can’t have children, adopt children. The money you are spending on animals could go to human beings who are waiting on a home and those human children could enjoy the animals.

    For you all to attack a person for defending people is beyond insane. Yes, I love animals and I enjoy animals. I will come to an animals rescue and I would never allow anyone to abuse an animal. I also would never stand for people like Lanet who seem to think that it is better to take time away from my family to volunteer at an animal shelter if I cannot buy them and feed them people food. Insane! Insane! I would like to interview the animals and ask them if they would rather live on the street or in a grundgy shelter than in a home with people who love and care for them the normal way. I am almost sure you would get a majority vote for human love, period. You people have too much money on your hands and not enough social justice in your heart. Your priorities are wwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off.

    Reply
    • Lucy, Our opinions may not be the same but I managed to maintain a respectful voice in all I shared today. It is a shame you didn’t do the same when you addressed me specifically with your comment regarding me adopting children. That isn’t your place. You don’t know me and it does bother me that you would lash out at me like that. Be mad if you’d like but I think, as one who mentions social justice, that you wouldn’t speak to someone like that who didn’t share one harsh word in these comments. The whole point of this blog post and a lot of the content on this site is eating right. All of us. People and animals. I choose to allocate my budget to feed species appropriate food to my pets. I’m not rich. I just budgeted for it in the lifestyle I chose to lead. We all do the best we can with what we have. Some people say they can’t afford organic or grass fed beef, for example. So they do the best they can. This is just a learning resource and I’m sorry some of you took it as over-spending on our pets at the risk of mankind. So many people just don’t know that Bene-ful, for example, is loaded with horrible ingredients. So it is wonderful that others speak out to share that knowledge. It is just the same when someone may not know that Oreo Cookies are loaded with bad ingredients until someone shares that. That is how this information gets out there and we all become more informed on what we eat. You may not want to take that step with your pets now or ever, but many do. Not because we have money to burn but because we want to keep them healthy…and that DOES save money in the long run because there aren’t all those vet bills. I don’t spend much more on my pets feeding raw than I did feeding commercial pet food that eventually made everyone sick. But, even if I did, I don’t need to justify that to you or anyone else. Just like I don’t need to justify my slightly higher grocery bill because I buy some organic produce or higher quality meats. I wouldn’t want the pets brought into my life to go to another home as I know I’m already giving them great care. I’m grateful for everyone who takes the time to educate through online resources like this because it has helped me on my path to healthier life, for my family and my pets.

      Reply
    • LucyJ,

      I get what you’re saying, and I personally have a lot of social justice in my heart. However, everyone has different interests, and causes that they are passionate about. I personally have supported both animal causes and human causes at the same time, and at different points with my charitable giving budget. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

      I think it’s a huge assumption, and pretty judgemental to say “you people have too much money on your hands and not enough social justice in your heart”. I am a stay at home mom, and we live on my husband’s income. My family defininitely does not have too much money on our hands. However, we prioritize quality foods and nutrition for our family above things like entertainment, electronics, vacations, etc. Just as we prioritized me staying home when our first child was born. I’m willing to sacrifice a little more to feed my cats a species appropriate diet as well.

      I completely understand that not everyone has the funds, education about, or access to quality nutrition for their families or their pets. I know that we are extremely fortunate to be able to do so, and we are thankful. That’s why we give back to causes we believe in when we’re able. In my opinion, industrial agriculture and unethical government agencies are completely to blame for the sad state of nutrition available to American citizens. It’s criminal!

      I don’t think anyone here was attacking anyone else. Some are, however, expressing their different beliefs. Discussion and shared ideas are good things. They lead to education and progress.

      Reply
    • As someone who has no children I find this comment particularly offensive.

      and I can’t seem to write any more then that with out being particularly offensive myself, and I kind of really ashamed of myself for that.
      Connie\’s last post: Frolickin Friday

      Reply
  18. This is wonderful! I am excited to see the other posts. I have a farm animal herbal book by Juliette de Bairacli Levy which has some information on dogs, but she has another book specifically for cats and dogs. That book I’m sure is overflowing with information on this subject. I think that a lot of people have a wrong take on what kind of diet a pet animal should have. Raw is the best, but that doesn’t mean you feed your pet steak tarter three times a day. If you’re making broth, chicken or beef, feed the dog the well cooked leftovers. But, put some whey on it. Cooked grains are also acceptable-with a little raw milk. Mrs. Bairacli also points out that animals can easily be overfed, citing that in the wild, carnivorous animals will go for maybe two weeks without food in fine health. 5lbs of beef could go a long way, couldn’t it?

    Reply
    • With respect to both you and the author of the book you mention, I would submit that both dogs and cats are carnivores.

      Because they are carnivorous animals, there is no place in our pets’ diets for grains in any appreciable amounts.

      A carnivore’s teeth were not designed to masticate grains.

      Their gastrointestinal tracts were designed neither to digest nor assimilate the nutrients contained in grains.

      And feeding grains on a regular basis to these carnivores can contribute to all sorts of health problems – from allergic skin reactions and rashes, to smelly, gunky, yeasty, infected ears, to digestive issues such as IBS and IBD.

      Feeding grains to our carnivores can also be generally very inflammatory for their bodies, which can exacerbate painful and debilitating conditions such as arthritis. And since grains are so high in carbohydrates, feeding them regularly to carnivores like cats and dogs may also very well contribute to the onset of diabetes, not to mention being a significant contributing factor in obesity.

      Please stay tuned for my upcoming guest posts here on Sara’s blog, where I’ll go into more detail about the anatomical and physiological qualities that qualify our domestic cats and dogs as carnivores, including further insights on the many very good reasons why we should avoid ever feeding them any grains whatsoever.

      Reply
  19. Our dog is a poodle-mix and he definitely inherited the dreaded poodle tummy. Any number of things sets him of and he gets the gamut of GI problems. About six months ago we started making him food from “people food” and he has no problems. I haven’t taken him raw, and don’t really intend to, but I do soak and cook oats and rice and mix it with cooked chicken livers, beef liver, different meats and some veg. He loves it and he looks a lot better than when he was on dry food. His favorite is marrow bones which I roast or boil for him. Making him food this way is far cheaper than comparable manufactured dog food and it makes shopping easier, too. I just grab a pack of some offal or another and have another pot going at dinner. I think it may even help him feel more like a ‘part of the pack’ to eat with the family. :)

    Reply
  20. I have been feeding my dogs and cats raw for many years. We raise almost all our own meat, so we have easy access to the balanced diet both need. Rabbit is our meat of choice for them for the most part. They get the heart liver lungs and kidneys along with all the meat and bones and they do GREAT! When a calf pig or chicken gets butchered we share the organs of those with the dogs and cats too.
    For those of you who think this is a more expensive way to feed your pets, I’d like to tell you that my pets have not been to the vet since starting them on a good raw diet. Their teethe do not need cleaning as their food doesn’t build up on them like kibble. I choose not to vaccinate as well for the same reasons I don’t get vaccinations myself. They don’t get yeast infections in their ears like many kibble fed animals do. They don’t have that body odor that kibble fed dogs have either.
    It is also MY personal experience that we don’t have flea infestations like we did before switching to raw. Others will argue that, but that is MY experience.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for sharing this, Trisha!

      It’s become so disturbingly and tragically clear to me, especially after corresponding with people from all over the world who have written to me after finding my website, how incredibly damaging the effects of feeding junk pet food can be to the health of our animal companions over the course of time. It’s also become very clear how much healthier many animals become when they’re either started early in life, and/or are transitioned later on to a diet of whole raw foods.

      Just as there’s a huge cost to our collective human health, and a corresponding financial expenditure in terms of medical bills due at least in part to our mass consumption of cheap but very low quality, highly processed, nutrient sparse food, there’s also an identical dynamic that’s going on with our pets, the quality of their diets and health, and vet bills.

      Many of us are seeing the wisdom of paying more for *real* food for ourselves and our families – food that’s whole, wholesome, nourishing, nutrient dense, and raised by people with conscience. We understand that although it may cost more up front to buy things like organic/biodynamically/locally grown/grass fed/pastured/humanely raised foods than it does to buy cheaper, low quality mass produced food, the overall value of the higher quality food in terms of its long term effects on our health is self evident.

      More and more people are beginning to realize that when it comes to the quality of the food we consume and how it relates to the quality of our health, we’re going to pay – one way or the other. Either we pay now to buy decent food, or else chances are we’ll end up paying anyway later on down the line in the form of medical bills as a result of some sort of chronic degenerative illness that develops due to lack of good nourishment.

      Similarly, when we feed our animals a lifetime of processed, low quality junk pet food, they often end up becoming chronically ill and costing us absurd amounts of money later in life in the form of vet bills. I’ve heard this very sad story time and time again from people who have contacted me via my website looking for help for their beloved but very sick pets.

      Unfortunately, due to the massive industrialization of our food supply, along with huge government subsidies paid to mega-food producers, the cost of mass produced food has become dramatically skewed. Since we’ve all been raised in a system where this distorted cost of inferior quality food has become the norm, it can be a real challenge for us to really grok the value of higher quality food and to really comprehend why it makes so much senses for us to pay what it’s really worth.

      Similarly, because we’ve all been so conditioned by all the pet food commercials, as well as vets who tell us it’s not safe to feed our pets anything BUT such poor quality junk, it can be challenging at times for us to realize the true long term value of paying more now to feed our pets a proper diet of whole raw foods.

      Reply
      • Further, “premium” brands of pet food are a good dollar a pound and you feed far more of that than you would raw whole meats (including bones and organ meats).
        Even poor quality meats are a better choice (in my opinion) than dried processed pet food.

        Reply
  21. The group Cyndi shared is amazing. It helped me when I started raw in 2007 with my cats. Other good sites for cats are catinfo.org and catnutrition.org Also search for a co-op in your area (I found mine through the yahoo groups). We buy our raw food in bulk once a month as well as grind whole chickens, quail, and pheasant. Save a lot that way! You can find different meats by visiting Asian food markets.

    Reply
  22. I tried to transition my 4 cats to raw a few years ago. Two of them loved it, but my two older males (14 years old now) would have none of it. I’m sorry to say that after 2 high risk pregnancies, a 4 year old and 1.5 year old, I fell off the raw wagon. One of my cats desperately needs it though. She is obese, and can have NO kibble at all. She is allergic, and her coat gets dandruffy and matted after just a few days if she gets into any. I find it especially ironic, that she is also highly addicted to kibble… it’s like crack for her!

    Just last week Tropical Traditions had a free shipping code on their frozen products, and I ordered 6 bags of their raw cat food (chicken steaks) to try again. Again, the two younger cats (including the one who desperately needs raw) ate it up. Yay! The older males are not interested. I may try to transition them again, but I’m for sure going to keep the younger two on raw.

    I have ordered raw ground animals (including organs and bones) from Hare Today, Gone tomorrow (hare-today.com) in the past, and have been very happy with their selection and prices. In fact, I still have some in my freezer that I should dig out and mix up into cat food. I think it’s cheaper to make your own this way, than to buy it completely pre-made.

    I’m looking forward to this series, and it is an extremely important topic!

    Reply
  23. Lisa Wallen Logsdon April 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    There are many good forums on raw feeding on the yahoo groups lists. I’ve been feeding my two 5 year old dogs raw from the time they were weaned and they are both healthy. Besides meat and bones, they need organ meat such as liver, heart, spleen, etc. and they love green tripe (never the bleached out store bought stuff). Snacks for my dogs are frozen chicken feet and dried lambs lung. Raw feeding takes getting used to but it’s really not hard or complicated.

    Reply
  24. Well, I’m pretty sure that my 16 yr old dog, Pachi, 5 yr old Dog, Missy and 4 yr old Cats, Lewy and Nona would disagree with you. They may not get people food you all are advocating for, but they are deeply loved. These animals were in a kill animal shelter and up for death in the days we adopted them. I”m sorry, but for you to say that they are better off dead than in a loving home is absolutely offensive. Our animals are loved to the level that we are able and even to the limited level you think is not good enough for an animal, I am 100% sure, they feel it is good enough for them. They are not people.

    Now, how ever you treat your animals is quite ok as well. My only concern is that all of those animals in shelters who are about to be killed may not ever get a home if this type of rhetoric becomes the norm. The majority of people who have real children and limited funds cannot feed their animals the type of food you are advocating. Animals are on this earth to serve people, people are on this earth to be good stewards of the gifts of the earth, but people are not to worship the earth including animals. You may agree, you may disagree, but that’s how I was taught and that’s what I will teach my children. People come first.

    Reply
    • I, too, think that people come first in the event that a choice must be made. If I had to choose between feeding my children and feeding a pet, I would certainly choose my children. The problem is putting yourself in a position where you have to choose. As a responsible pet owner, it is my duty to provide for the physical needs of the animal as well. It is not a “loving home” to feed a pet foods that will make it sick, in pain, foster disease and create suffering. If you cannot afford to care for the needs of a pet, you shouldn’t have one. I know that sounds harsh, but it really isn’t fair to the pet. Taking in a living creature and then not caring for it properly is more about the needs of the person than the needs of the animal: some sort of “rescuing the unloved” need. If you want to rescue animals, volunteer at a shelter so that funds can be diverted from staff expenses to keeping animals longer, donate funds to the spay/neuter initiatives in your area so that fewer unwanted animals are dumped. When our help and heart are truly directed toward taking care of the creature and not our own needs, there are many ways to make a difference. This is not about making animals above humans, it is about taking care of God’s creation.

      Reply
      • I think you have lost your mind. You really would rather see an animal stay in a shelter then go to a loving home- just based on what type of food it is fed??? I think if you spent a week of your life in the environment of a shelter animal you would change your mind, and you would probably be the most loyal and loving pet to whom ever adopted you- no matter what food you were given. I think you need a reality check.

        Reply
        • Wow. Some of this is unbelievable. I’ll preface the rest by saying I give all of our pets raw foods, though my collie is most likely to eat whatever I give him and my tabby would truly rather starve than eat the grass-fed beef scraps and poultry offal I’ve offered him (our lady cat is somewhere in between). I’ve been feeding/trying to feed our three pets real, raw foods for YEARS. So I’m up on the data and information and think it’s the best way to feed pets.

          But do you know what? For all this talk about God’s creatures and stewardship, I seem to recall several verses about people being given things to the best of their ability and even one about people giving alms to those in to the best of their ability (Acts 11:29). We are judged based on what we do with the resources we have and have been given.

          People, and I suspect particularly those commenting here and daring to disagree, do the BEST THEY CAN. If you genuinely think animals are better off being euthanized or stuck in a small shelter cage (and guess what they’re fed there, no matter how great the intentions of the usually beleaguered and cash-strapped volunteers?), you need to take another look at your priorities. You would rather people be alone and without the love of a pet just because they cannot (or don’t know) feed them an optimal diet? Great balls of fire!

          Last year, my mother had cancer. Her dog was a wonderful companion for her, often the only smiling face she saw all day. I’ve been very ill for several years and some days literally need help getting out of bed, then spend the remainder in varying levels of pain. Since one cat won’t eat raw at all and the other is picky, should these beloved pets be removed from my home, and two great joys taken from my life? I suspect you would say “yes”. I think you would say it’s okay to take my pets away from me, despite my best efforts and great love for them. You apparently also think it acceptable to take my parents’ dog from them because he eats kibble, canned dog meat, and scraps from the table because they think this raw food stuff is hokum.

          This is wrong.

          It is not your place to condemn those doing the best they can. Yet you do this, then don’t seem to see why a few have the courage to say they’re a bit bothered. Can’t you see where they are coming from? Those disagreeing with you here clearly love their pets, but here you are accusing them of not taking care of God’s creation–and worse, saying they SHOULD NOT be ALLOWED to have a pet and all the joys that brings.

          Again: This is wrong. And frightening.

          Get off your self-righteous high horse and have a smidgen of compassion for those who would love to provide this sort of diet for their pets but cannot. Gracious.

          Reply
  25. I would love to learn how to feed my dogs raw. What exactly is involved, do they need any additional supplementation, veggies, etc. Or is it just as easy as raw meat & bone? Also, I know it is probably recommened to go grass fed or pasture raised. What if the best I can afford for them is regular meat from the grocery store? Are any supplements needed then?

    Reply
  26. I am glad you are providing good information about pets. Here’s my story. I took in a 10 yr old dog to foster, and ended up keeping her. She had a lot of digestive problems so I ended up preparing her food myself. I had to take her off grains. I have wondered if properly prepared grains would make a difference for her but afraid to try. She used to get diarrhea that would last a couple weeks and all she could eat was eggs. I give her canned mackerel with cooked veggies. I would like to give her raw as well as bones to chew, but still not sure she can handle it.

    She has always had dirty smelly ears. My vet said to give her a probiotic, which I did for a while, but didn’t work. I started giving her milk kefer and homemade yogurt, even whey. I don’t know what will work for her, but I don’t want to deal with diarrhea if I can help it.

    Reply
  27. Pingback: The Pet Food Diet Deception — The Healthy Home Economist | Food News

  28. Candi Fields Scott via Facebook April 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    We started our Esther on raw when she was 4 months old. She is now 3 1/3 yo. Her coat is the softest I have ever felt on a dog. And her teeth are bright and shiny!!

    Reply
  29. Angela Miller via Facebook April 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    My sweet Scarlett FromBoca Raton does so much better on raw food . . . and her coat is absolutely GORGEOUS. Fierce red color of sunset.

    Reply
  30. Lisa Majewski Mazzuca via Facebook April 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    My Aussie’s been on a raw diet since she was 10 weeks old. She’s 9 now and doing great!

    Reply
  31. I tried really hard to transition my
    Cat to a Raw diet. Mixed it with wet food, etc and he just turned his nose up at it for weeks
    He got scary thin. I now buying him a grain free beef liver canned cat food and mix it with raw yolks, occaisional puréed raw mackerel heads (boy do those stink,) or chicken offal. He refuses to go totally raw, though and he tends on the skinny side already so I don’t push it. I totally agree with this author, though and whenever my cat passes on I’ll probably start our next kitten on a home made diet right off the bat.

    Reply
    • As a side note, he used to suffer from constant UTI’s and stomach problems. The UTI’s have totally disappeared without medication, an he rarely spits up anymore. His coat is very shiny and lush. People are surprised when I tell them he’s almost 10 years old. He looks like
      a 3 or 4 year old cat. No weight problems either. I never have to feed him
      On a schedule.

      Reply
      • Ashley, So glad your diet change helped your kitty’s health problems. Did you ever try sprinkling kibble dust (crushed up kibble pieces) onto the raw food? That was the trick that worked for one of my very picky cats who wasn’t accepting of a food change. I read once that cats learn what is appropriate to eat in their first couple of months of life. So, it is a challenge to convince them otherwise when they are older. I know it took me a few months to get everyone used to it. And, still, I sometimes need to stir in just a tad of canned food into their raw mix to keep them happy.

        Reply
        • Great tip, Charry!

          Transitioning some cats to raw (especially those that are older and/or that are very addicted to the carbs in kibble and can be particularly stubborn when asked to give up their ‘fix’) can take some time and dedication. But if their human is determined, has a good strategy and perseveres, it can most definitely be done!

          Part of the solution is figuring out how to outwit those wily cats!

          There are even more hints, tips, tricks, along a comprehensive strategy for switching cats to raw, included in my step by step “Practical Guide” on how to transition your cat to a raw diet. It’s free for the reading here: http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

          There’s also a fantastic online forum where you can get advice and support from thousands of experienced raw feeders. The archives contain a treasure trove of useful information, and the list itself is very active, both with newbies asking questions, as well as veterans generously sharing their time, experience and expertise.

          Here’s the link: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawcat/

          Reply
  32. Octavian @ Full Fat Nutrition April 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Our cat thrives on Royal Canin dry food. He gets cooked fish and meat from our plates regularly, and he loves it. He doesn’t really like raw meat, though I’m sure he would enjoy chewing on a bird’s head if he can catch one. He is an indoor cat though, so that probably won’t happen.
    Octavian @ Full Fat Nutrition\’s last post: Raw milk politics in Canada

    Reply
  33. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama April 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Sourcing this food is hard. I have known this for a few years, but finding reasonably priced healthy cat food ingredients is difficult. I have asked my farmer and butchers before. For awhile I bought the “best” dry cat food (sourced carefully to avoid animal byproducts and really bad stuff) but it didn’t make any difference vs. the cheap stuff. I know, I get it. I working on a better solution because I can see it’s not good for them and they’re not satisfied. One of my cats would eat and eat until he weighed 16 lbs., which is NOT a healthy weight for him! (He has a small frame and 9 – 10 is about right.) The vet’s no help, of course. Someday I will solve this…maybe my new butcher can help.
    Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama\’s last post: Balancing Your Hormones and Eliminating Anxiety with Red Raspberry Leaf

    Reply
  34. As much as I love our pets, Love love love them, we barely have enough to feed ourselves. There is no way I could afford to feed animals this way. It actually bothers me deeply to watch the BLUE commercials where the animals are basically put at the same level of humans in there care and food quality. I’m sorry, animals are so precious, but they cannot be put at the same level as a human being. I would rather not have animals if this is what it’s going to come to…

    Reply
    • Rosalinda, I hope I can express that I do disagree with you and keep it as a respectful dialogue. I know I am guilty of putting my pets at my level. But they ARE my kids in my eyes. We can’t have children so my pets fill that void beautifully. I don’t feel they deserve to be cared for any less than any other creature. So, I care for them as best as I can in a budget. For 15 years, I raised cats eating Science Diet kibble. The food was affordable but the vet bills were not. That food led my cats to have diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, kidney failure, and thyroid disease. Not all in one cat…but a different disease for each. None lived healthy to an older age. Switching to raw, I now have 10 year old cats that my vet says are as healthy as a 3-4 yr old. Raw does cost more but not as much as many “premium foods”. But I save so much on medical bills. When it comes to diet, I don’t see it as putting them on a human level. But, rather, feeding them a species appropriate diet. I know it takes time and I know raw isn’t for everyone. I at least recommend pet owners feeding grain free. I think we all, humans and animals, should be eating as close to what our bodies were intended to consume. I wasn’t designed for processed foods and my cats and dogs weren’t designed for processed foods.

      Reply
    • I couldn’t disagree with you more, and I feel so saddened by your comments. Being good caretakers of our pets is a responsibility we sign on for when we agree to take in a pet. If we are not physically and financially able to care for them properly, we should not be pet owners. Animals in the wild are able to forage for the food that they were biologically created to need for proper nutrition and health. If we are domesticating animals and keeping them from their natural predatory habits, it is absolutely cruel and inhumane to not provide them with the best nutrition possible to keep them healthy. It has nothing to do with putting them on a human level; it’s just basic human decency to care properly for a living creature that we’ve brought into our lives. They didn’t choose to live with us; we chose that for them. Therefore, we should do everything in our power to ensure their optimum health and safety, including feeding them proper nutrition and keeping them away from harmful chemicals. And as Charry pointed out, in the long run it saves us a lot of money in vet bills. I haven’t yet been able to switch my pets to raw food, but we did switch to a much higher-quality commercial food that contains NO GRAIN (which cats and dogs are not biologically designed to digest AT ALL, so Blue isn’t even an appropriate brand) and has real meat as its main ingredients. It definitely costs me more, but only 2 of my 5 pets have even needed to see a vet once in the past 3 years!
      M1ssDiagnosis\’s last post: Wearing Someone Else’s Armour

      Reply
      • Its so annoying when people say that if you can’t afford to properly care for your pet then you shouldn’t have them. You have no idea what Rosalinda’s financial situation is. In my own case, my husband and I were doing quite well when we adopted our 2 dogs. Eighteen months later my husband was in a head-on car collision that left him disabled for a year. When he went back to work, he found out he had been replaced and had no job. As an animal lover, what should we have done? Should we have gotten rid of the animals we came to love and cherish simply because we could barely feed ourselves? Or what about my cancer-stricken friend who lives alone with her cat? Her medical bills are eating her alive, but I would never suggest she shouldn’t keep her cat. He is her only companion on many nights when she is sick, alone and scared. She has told me on many occasions that her cat is the only reason she gets out of bed anymore because she knows he likes to go outside. Please don’t be so quick to judge people’s financial situations. These past few years have been tough on many!

        Reply
    • I agree with you wholeheartedly RosalindaL. Our society holds pets way too high, too often high above children which is a shame. I did feed our dogs raw for about 6 months, but it was too expensive for our budget. I do what I can, but its hard to justify feeding animals that live 10 years better than my children which have a soul and a bigger future.

      Reply
      • My pets absolutely have souls and I will give them the best I can–and they give me so much more in return. I think feeding them a species appropriate diet is the right thing to do nutritionally and not at all connected with the fact that they exist on this planet for less than 20 years. Although, a better diet does generally mean they will thrive longer, just like with humans.

        Reply
    • I know how you feel RosalindaL. I have the same dilemma with my dog. I end up compensating and adding to his diet by feeding him our scraps. While they are not enough to feed him full time, they do supplement his diet in a way that commercial dog food can’t. Things you can feed your pets would include softened bones from making stock, scraps or ends of meat that your family doesn’t consume, rice, veggies, basically anything you would eat yourself. My dog often gets our leftovers. Just start with little things and do the best you can. Given the choice between feeding my children good food or making sure my dog got all raw food- I would choose my kids every time. Feed your pets the scraps and leftovers of the good food your family eats and it will go a long way to ensuring your pet’s good health, even if it’s not ideal. :-)
      Amanda\’s last post: How to GET Get Rid of Pimples

      Reply
      • Since most readers of this blog are familiar with the Weston Price view on nutrition, we all know that Dr. Price came to his conclusions studying people who, basically, ate from the land. They didn’t go to a store to buy their food. At least from what I know in America, many Native American tribes viewed many animals also not as equal to human beings. Actually, they viewed many animals as HIGHER/GREATER than humans, not less than. So when a Native American (or First Nation in Canada) took the life of a deer, there was tremendous respect and gratitude for the animal.

        Also to keep in mind, food isn’t everything. You can feed a dog the best raw meat diet but starve him of love and I’ll bet the farm that dog is going to end up with all sorts of diseases. The movie, “Like Water for Chocolate” is a good story about this (about people, not dogs).

        For years we had fed our animals typical (even natural, “healthy”) store bought dry and canned pet food. When we switched to the raw food for both our cat and dog the change was remarkable. The 17 year old cat came back from the dead (I swore he had only a couple months left in him, he’s almost 20 now and he’s still kicking) and our dog lost weight. Even the grain-free dog kibble was making her fat. Our cat howls for his food now, several times a day, something he NEVER did before. He used to love fresh fruits and veggies (I’m guessing he was missing some nutrition in his kibble and wet food) and he turns his nose up at them now, he only eats the raw chicken/salmon oil/catnip.

        Reply
      • VERY good addition and a BIG thank you to Miss Linda!

        This is a topic I can really sink my (canines) in to. It is a topic near and dear for 25 years. Our business is built with Optimum canine nutrition as its base. It all starts with nutrition, Fitness is a VERY close second. We try to spend as much time as the customer allows us speaking to nutritional needs. We build aerobic conditioning dog carts and handle a part of the dogs fitness needs that way, but it can be done in myriad ways.
        We have always said that attending to nutritional and fitness needs for your dog will, in general, keep more of your coin in your pocket vs. your vets boat or the addition to his house.
        This is a GREAT topic, Thank you Paula and Linda.
        Bb
        CanineCarriages.com

        Reply
      • Please understand that all carnivorous animals are designed to eat their food RAW.

        If we stop to think about it, it becomes immediately obvious that there are no canines or felines on earth created by mother nature that make fires to cook their food, or were ever meant to consume cooked food.

        It’s particularly important to understand that raw bones are completely different, molecular-ly speaking, from cooked bones.

        Raw meaty bones (aka RMBs) have a slight flexibility to them, and it is these raw bones that carnivorous animals such as canines and felines are specifically designed to eat. You can see this flexibility for yourself by taking a raw chicken rib and trying to break it with your hands. What you’ll find is that the bone is rather soft and will bend rather than breaking and snapping.

        However cooking bones radically changes their molecular structure, rendering them very hard and brittle indeed, and extremely prone to splintering.

        Therefore it’s not ever a good idea to feed cooked bones to our pets because they can splinter when consumed, creating sharp shads which can damage them internally.

        Reply
        • Clarification on raw. I would say meat and bones a definite yes. no question. When it comes to vegetables and vegetable matter, cooked is required for the animal to recieve the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. In “general” the classification of carnivore has more to do with the shape of the teeth as opposed to the content of the diet as a whole. Carnivores lack the gut enzyme to break down vegetable matter. Without this enzyme nutrition extraction is severely limited. This needed nutrition is not bio-available to the animal and it pretty well comes out the way it went down with little nutritional gain realized by the animal. In the wild the prey animals gut does this service for the carnivore. In a domestic setting we accomplish the task by cooking the vegetables and especially crucifoerous ones as they will mess with thyroid levels.
          Very good point on bones! When raw, they crumble. when cooked they splinter as there is a chemical/molecular change that occurs with cooking them

          Wow good stuff!.

          Reply
    • I actually spend less money feeding raw than kibble! I do not spend over $1.50/lb on meat as an average. Yes some of it is the not so good chicken and pork from the grocery store but it is far better than the kibble or canned. I am also part of a buying group that gets great deals. This is just in food costs, not the vet bills, drugs or the other things that go along with feeding a kibble diet. And I get the knowledge that I am doing what I can for my carnivores.

      Reply
      • RosalindL may not be able to afford a raw diet for her pets, so you all bash her??? Would you rather her pets live in a shelter (where they will be fed dry kibble as well) or euthanized?

        Reply
    • Personally, I think its perfectly okay to put animals and humans on the same level. Afterall, we humans domesticated them so now we have a responsibility to care for them. My cats can feel pain and suffering and I could never live with myself if I ever knew for a second that they were in pain. Besides pets have their own special way of showing how they appreciate you by sitting in your lap or making purring noises. Truly its a lovely experience I would never miss.

      Would you want to eat processed junkfood? No way! So why feed it to pets who can also become sick from eating processed pseudo-food?

      Reply
  35. This is a very important topic. We need to feed our pets proper nutrition just like ourselves. I actually came around to feeding my pets better in 2007, before I did for my human family. They have been on a raw diet for 5 years. There are so many resources online on how to feed raw correctly, how to transition your pets, and even co-ops to save money…so I hope others look into it. Please know that cats and dogs have different requirements and raw diets MUST be balanced or you will do more harm than good. Pets need meat and bones along with organ meats. Put time into your research and you will soon have your pets on a road to a very healthy life!

    Reply
    • With respect to your opinion on the importance of vaccinations, personally my opinion is that vaccines are NOT important, but rather that they should be avoided at all costs because they do more harm than good.

      As you point out, there is clear evidence of a condition commonly known as vaccine induced sarcoma, which is a cancerous lesion that has been shown to develop in cats at injection sites.

      As a result of this devastating form of vaccinosis, (vaccine damage) many vets started jabbing cats in their extremities instead of their torsos so that if a sarcoma did occur, it could be surgically removed via amputation of the affected limb!

      What insanity…!!

      For more on my perspectives concerning the use of vaccines for pets, please see my page called Vaccinosis: How Vaccines Damage Your Pet’s Health here: http://www.rawfedcats.org/vaccinosis.htm There are also a number of relevant links on this subject about halfway down the page in the links section of my website here: http://www.rawfedcats.org/links.htm

      I’d also like to point out that the links you provide above for learning about feeding cats raw food contain recommendations for feeding cats GROUND raw food. Although this is a very popular option for many people, feeding cats a steady diet of mushy ground raw food is most definitely not in the best interests of these animals health-wise.

      To understand more about the reasoning behind this idea of feeding our carnivorous pets minimally processed WHOLE raw foods, as opposed to more highly processed, ground raw foods, please check out the section on my site called No Grinders! here: http://www.rawfedcats.org/nogrinders.htm

      Reply
      • Linda, glad to have someone with your expertise join this conversation. I agree with all you say about the vaccines and eating whole raw, not just ground. I am one of those who feeds mostly ground. I started my cats on it later in life and their minds were already imprinted with the idea of what they should and shouldn’t eat. I tried so many ways to convince them to eat bones but we just didn’t have any success. Now, I do cut up chicken and quail necks into small bites and a couple of my cats will eat them as a chewy snack each day. But not the others. I wish they took to it as easily as my dogs. But, I’m happy to at least have them on raw and off processed foods, even if it is ground. I do have one who lost his teeth from genetic causes. Bless his heart because he actually wants to eat the neck pieces and can’t.

        Reply
        • Charry, try smashing raw meaty bones like necks with a mallet or hammer before feeding them. This makes them much easier for newbie or reluctant-to-eat-RMB kitties to tackle, so they may be more willing to eat them more often. The more practice they get eating RMBs, the more they’ll begin to increase their jaw strength and develop their techniques for eating these vital foods. As their jaws get stronger and they learn to better maneuver their RMBs for consumption, in time this may well encourage your cats to try eating other RMBs too, such as things like ribs, wings, or even whole quail.

          Reply
          • Tried that mallet trick SOOOO many times. I researched this diet for over a year to make sure I knew what I was doing, doing it right, and learning all the strategies. Hard to convince a cat sometimes.

      • Linda,
        I also respect the work you do, but as someone in the trenches of unwanted kitties (I’ve been fostering for my local shelter for 10 years, and been volunteering there for almost 20 now), I can say vaccines are important and in many communitie the law. I also believe are cats are over vaccinated and as someone who went through VAS with my kitty Ollie, I can’t stress the importance of owners evaluating the risk their cats have and making decisions from there vs just blindly following someone’s advice to vaccinate or not. I think people need to think about it, read about it, and make their own decisions – which is why vaccines are important. Even if they decide not to give them.. it is important.

        Whole raw foods are wonderful, but A) not all cats will eat them especially if they grew up on dry or canned, B) some people are fearful of feeding their pets bones because they have /can / do /could cause harm. Cats who gulp their food down with out properly chewing it can have issues. While I know full well cats were designed (or evolved depending on your world view) to eat rodents and birds that they catch and live in the desert and thus have a very low thirst drive, every cat is different and their humans need to make the decisions on their behalf based on their health, the ideal, and what the pet will or won’t eat and what it can eat. I currently have foster kittens who can’t eat many different things that I’m sure you would consider ideal (including mouse). Just about everything but the raw premade beef I bought them has given them diarrhea, including game hen and chicken. Their mom had a blast eating the entire hen and would occasionally leave me a sliver of chicken bone.

        Your site is very informative, but I would like people to know there are other options for feeding their pets a food superior to commercial highly processed cooked foods. One of the major problems with the real food movement is it can be horribly overwhelming. The same can be said for transitioning a cat to raw food. To expect a cat to eat “WHOLE raw foods” who has been eating dry or canned all it’s life can be exceptionally stressful for the owners and make them feel like a failure when the cat fails to recognize that ‘whole food’ as food. Heck, I’ve seen grown sensible women reduced to tears when their cats wouldn’t even eat canned food (Ive seen too many diabetic cat owners try to change too much at once and the cat’s simply rebel) (I have had one cat become diabetic and two develop struvite crystals while being fed a “premium” commercial diet)

        I offered those websites as MORE reading options, MORE information is never a bad thing. And if a cat ends up on ground whole raw food or even ground frankenprey raw food, even you have to admit that is far superior to any kibble and canned foods.
        Connie\’s last post: Frolickin Friday

        Reply
        • Connie,

          My perspectives on vaccines are laid out in some detail on my website on this page:

          http://www.rawfedcats.org/vaccinosis.htm

          As I said in a previous comment response, in my view vaccines do more harm than good, and as such, should be avoided.

          When I say that I don’t think vaccines are important, what I mean is that the majority of people have been conditioned throughout the course of their lives to believe that it is “important” for themselves, their children and their pets to be vaccinated in order for them to be healthy and resistant to disease. And in my opinion this is absolutely not the case.

          So since you wrote that vaccines are important, I feel compelled to point out that despite all the propaganda and advertising being disseminated to the masses these days touting the importance of vaccinations in maintaining and ensuring human and pet health, this whole idea of vaccinating to prevent disease is simply a massive marketing campaign whose only real purpose is to profit the pharmaceutical industry, and in truth being vaccinated has nothing whatsoever to do with promoting the good health of either animals or people.

          The fact is that good health and resistance to disease come from a well functioning immune system — NOT from vaccines.

          I’m not saying that the ISSUE of vaccinations is not important, or that people should not do their homework in order to make informed decisions about whether or not to vaccinate themselves, their children or their pets. Rather my point is that vaccines’ importance in terms of the need for them to be administered to insure good health is completely unfounded and utterly fallacious.

          Regarding switching cats to raw, despite what you say to the contrary, my best understanding is that all cats, no matter how old or how addicted they might be to junk pet food, CAN indeed be transitioned to a diet of whole raw foods. Now that being said, depending on the cat, such a process very well may take some time, patience and perseverance on the part of the cat’s people. But I’m here to tell you that it can indeed be done.

          This is why I spent so much time writing and designing the Practical Guide section of my website, so as to provide a comprehensive, doable, step by step strategy for transitioning cats to a diet of whole raw foods, and helping them to make the switch at their own pace.

          As for peoples’ fears about feeding their pets raw meaty bones, the truth is that I had these very same fears when I was first learning to feed my young kittens a diet of whole raw foods! So I can tell you, both from hindsight as well as first hand experience, that such fears are simply the result of our own human ignorance.

          Dispelling such ignorance is one of the main reasons why I created my website to begin with. It was designed be an ignorance-buster, and to empower people with information to help them make better, more informed choices on behalf of their animal companions.

          If your current foster kittens get diarrhea from the food they’re eating and you wish to transition them to a diet of whole raw foods, I’d be more than happy to help you help them. Please feel free to contact me via my website.

          And as for feeding cats the way that’s recommended on those sites you posted, with pre-fab ground, manufactured patty-type raw pet foods or home prepared ground raw recipes, the point I’d like to make here is that ultimately, these options are not in the best interest of the animals. Rather they are for the convenience of people.

          Please understand here, I know all too well that my work and advocacy of feeding our carnivorous companions a diet of whole raw foods draws an unusually hard line. I’m also well aware that wrapping one’s head around the concepts I promote – much less putting them into practice – can seem overwhelming for some people. Regardless of all this, what’s most important in my mind is that the fundamentals of my work are built on the premise of taking a stand for and on behalf of the animals themselves, and doing what is best for them — not necessarily what’s easiest or most convenient for us humans.

          My work and my stand on raw feeding are uncompromising, yes it’s true, I know. Nevertheless, the truth is that what some might see as my extreme stand serves a purpose. One aspect of that purpose is to provide a radical counterpoint to the travesty that is unfolding in this day and age as a result of our human failing, due to our own ignorance, to ensure the good health and wellbeing of the pet population as a whole.

          Because we have en mass been erroneously led to feed and care for our pets in ways that have been easy and convenient for us, but lacking in awareness of THEIR true dietary needs, what we have on our hands today in terms of their collective health (and what we ourselves have unwittingly been a party to) is an altogether deplorable abomination.

          It is primarily for these reasons that I have chosen to take a stand on behalf of these innocent animals.

          I hold the hard line for these creatures – creatures that cannot communicate for themselves to tell us the truth about how Mother Nature designed them to be fed. And I will continue to hold the hard line for them, because someone needs to do it, and because precious few are willing.

          It’s not a particularly popular perspective. Believe me, I know! I’ve been attacked and argued with time and time again over the years for taking this stand I do.

          And yet despite the unpopularity of this unconventional stand I take, I see the continuing need to do so.

          Because it helps to raise consciousness and awaken people.

          And because in the long run, holding the hard line and standing up for our pets’ needs plants the kind of seeds of awakening in the hearts and minds of people that eventually foster shifts in their actions, which ultimately benefit the animals.

          After all they’ve done for us, awakening ourselves and endeavoring to do the right thing by these animals feels like the least we can do on their behalf.

          Reply
  36. I recently started making my own dog food- its cheaper than buying the most “healthy” wet or dry dog – if there is such thing.

    Reply
    • I did, too!! She absolutely thrived! Sadly, she passed a couple years back from bloat (even with a raw diet I could not avoid it). If/when I have other animals (I keep trying to convince DH that I want a cat – he’s a dog person) I will definitely do my best to feed raw!!

      Reply
    • We also feed our 3 dogs prey model raw food. We started in 2009 and our Cocker Spaniel, Desiree, who had teeth issues and horrible yeast overgrowth (yucky ears!) had such great results we resolved to only feed our dogs raw from then on (we are working on the 4 cats). Desi’s ears cleared up totally and she never needed medication for yeast in her ears again, and I rarely had to clean them (it was bad!) and her teeth became white and her gums stopped bleeding! The end of her life she had so much more energy, was a healthy weight and was comfortable. The night she died (in her sleep) she played harder than I had ever seen her play! Raw, whole, healthy, species appropriate, live foods is best for everyone!

      Have a peaceful day!

      SamB

      Reply
  37. Thanks for this article and I’m looking forward to future ones, too. I’ve been looking into pet food ingredients for awhile because I think it may explain my cat’s health problems (allergies, rashes, losing fur, sores, foul stool). It can’t be coincidence that disease rates are going up amongst pets as well as humans.

    Reply

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