The Very Best Pet Food, Part 2

If your dog has been eating mostly kibble, the easiest way to start them on a raw diet is by using 1 of the 3 methods below. Add digestive enzymes & a probiotic to each meal. Our favorite product is Spark by PetWellbeing; it’s formulated for dogs & has all supplementation needed by dogs including digestive enzymes, probiotic, multi-vitamin/minerals, omega 3 essential fatty acids (http://www.petwellbeing.com/). Next is Great Life Enzyme Pro+ (Amazon & other online sources); it has both digestive enzymes & probiotics & is also formulated for dogs. Another way is to use Mercola Digestive Enzymes for Pets (www.mercola.com) along with their pet probiotic powder. These are 2 different products & you need both if you don’t use Spark or Great Life +. Adding these prevents gastrointestinal problems & diarrhea. You can use human products, but we didn’t have the same success.  If you do use human supplements, be sure it has no sugar or any type of sweetener when giving to animals. Using these products resulted in NO diarrhea for the rescue dogs & they were put on 100% raw food immediately. Adding a heaping teaspoon (regular type, not measuring) of raw goat milk keifer to each meal also helps; stir into the raw meal with the supplement you choose. You can add some raw vegetable to these meals daily as long as they’re in tiny pieces; running through a food processor is the best way – or you can skip veggie until your dog is fully adjusted to the raw meat & bones diet & then start adding them. We give raw veggie to all new dogs & it’s never been a problem as long as we add 1 of the above supplements.

1. Use chicken or rabbit frozen ground raw dog food. These are the easiest to digest. Add the pet digestive enzymes & probiotic to each meal. Give the dose recommended by the product you choose to every meal.  If you use a human supplement instead, give 1/3 of the human dose in every meal. Human doses are based on a 150 lb. adult. Keep the dog on whichever meat you select for 6-8 weeks. If there are no issues, the dog can then be given raw meaty bones of the same meat type without the supplements, if you choose.  Giving these supplements for the rest of their lives is excellent & recommended.  Feed this for 4-6 weeks & then add some organ meat to the diet; giving the digestive enzymes & probiotic with organ meat prevents diarrhea/digestive upset. Start with 1/2 tsp a day of organ meats & work up slowly to 1 tsp per day; this is the correct amount for small dogs (4-7 lbs). Stay on this regime for another 3-4 weeks. Then change to another type of raw meaty bone such as turkey or rabbit. Stay on this meat for 4-6 weeks. After this amount of time, the animal’s digestive system should be able to have different meats on a regular basis. I often feed a different meat at each meal with no problems. Feed & supplement what you can afford. You’ll save money on vet bills with the raw meat/bones diet & natural pet rearing.

2. Feed the dog cooked chicken & a vegetable for 10 days. Add the digestive enzymes/probiotics to each meal. On day 11, make their food 75% cooked food (cooled to room temperature) & stir in 25% raw chicken or ground raw chicken.  You can also use a commercially-made raw chicken dog food instead. Keep them on this for 2-3 days. The next 3 days, make their diet 50% cooled cooked food & 50% raw food. After this, they should get 100% raw chicken dog food or ground raw chicken; give the digestive enzymes/probiotics in each meal & stay on this for the next 4 weeks. If the dog has no digestive problems, you should be able to  discontinue the digestive enzymes/probiotics IF you choose. If you can afford it, it’s best to continue these for the dog’s lifetime.  Continue to feed raw chicken for another 2-3 weeks. If there are no problems, switch to raw meaty chicken bones (neck, thighs, parts of the back with plenty of meat attached – no drumsticks yet). Keep them on this for 2 months. Then start to add a little organ meat & stay on this regime for another month. Start very small with the organ meat – 1/2 tsp per day & work up to 1 tsp a day for small dogs.  Thighs or drumsticks are now ok to feed.  After this amount of time, change to another meat; we recommend rabbit or turkey. Stay with this meat for 4-6 weeks. It should then be fine to give the dog any other type of meat & organ meat, & to change it frequently with no problem.

3. Get some ground raw chicken & give a tiny bit to the dog as a treat twice a day. Keep doing this for 3-4 days, then very slowly increase the amount of raw meat treats every 3 days while decreasing the amount of kibble the dog is eating. If there’s any diarrhea or gastrointestinal issue, be sure to give the digestive enzymes & a probiotic with every raw treat & meal. You can also give the dog canned pumpkin (the type with NO spices added) – 1 tsp to 2 tbspns per meal. It treats both diarrhea & constipation. It should resolve in 1-3 days. NEVER feed raw & kibble at the same time as these digest at different rates & can cause problems for the dog.
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As Dr. Pitcairn (well-known & well-respected homeopathic veterinarian) says, “It’s not people food – it’s real food for real dogs/cats.” We all are what we eat. The better the food/nutrition your animal gets, the better their health will be, the longer their life…& you’ll spend a lot less on vet bills. God put every species on this earth with all they need to sustain life & to thrive. There are no canned dog food trees or kibble bushes. Animals can’t cook & make fire; they don’t have pots/pans. They don’t naturally eat rice, oatmeal, barley, etc. These are NOT their natural, normal foods. We need to feed our pets the food that’s closest to what they eat in nature without human intervention to give them great health. Raw meat, meaty bones, a little veggies/fruits, & some healthy oil are what they need & what’s right for them.

If your dog has a health issue, please consult with a homeopathic vet or animal nutrition expert before you begin raw feeding. I didn’t say “consult with your vet” because conventional vets are NOT experts on nutrition & have only minimal instruction on this subject in veterinary school – about 1 to 3 hours on this utmost important factor for health! Most of them don’t understand that diet is the foundation of good health & that without the right foods, good health isn’t possible. Conventional vets believe that kibble & canned pet foods are good & are nutritionally complete. This isn’t true. Naturally trained nutritionists & veterinarians have hundreds of hours of study on this & are a wealth of knowledge on this vital subject. Vets & veterinary schools are also subsidized by pet food companies so they push those products. See what this honest, independent pet food group has to say about these brands: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/.

Good fat is important in a dog’s diet (for humans, too). Dogs utilize protein & fat as energy sources. Fat is needed for the brain, joints, skin, hair, kidneys & more. Puppies need higher levels of protein & fat than adult dogs. Senior dogs also need a good amount of protein; contrary to what conventional vets are taught. Don’t give a senior dog less protein just because it’s older. The brain utilizes fat the most of any part in the body – 60% of the daily fat needed is for the brain alone. Dogs are carnivores; they need a diet that’s 20 to 30%  good fat for optimal health. Don’t be afraid of good, natural fats. They’re essential for good health for both dogs/cats & humans.

Fish like anchovies, cod, mackrel, salmon, sardines, trout, etc. & raw eggs (with yolks) are super nutritious. These are excellent protein sources & provide the omega 3 fatty acids essential for good health. Feed wild caught fish only, never farm raised. Farm raised fish are high in mercury & don’t provide proper nutrition. They live in artificial environments & don’t eat their natural foods. The best wild cod & salmon is from Central Calif to Alaska – really cold waters. Salmon must be “hard frozen” for 3 weeks before fed raw. This is to be sure any possible parasite sometimes found in salmon is killed. Hard frozen means it’s solidly frozen, hard like a rock. Feed these raw fish 1-2 days per week to provide these nutrients. Food in the whole form is far superior part of the food & supplements. To give our dogs the essential omega fatty acids they need, we mix a raw egg & give 1 tsp daily with their raw meat & bones meal. There’s more on this in Part 1. Store the remainder in a glass container in the fridge.

In the wild, dogs get calcium from the tiny pieces of bone they consume when eating their prey. They chew the meat off the bones & eat the bones/marrow as well. Calcium is needed to balance the phosphorus they consume. If they don’t get enough calcium in relation to the phosphorus they eat, their bodies will take it from their bones. In order to balance the phosphorus & calcium in their diet, the prepared raw diets use either tiny pieces of bone or add powdered calcium. However, the best nutrition is obtained when the dogs eat & chew on the bones – getting the nutritious marrow inside the bones. When the dogs chew on meaty bones, it cleans their teeth, exercises their gums, & strengthens their jaws/necks. All the chewing action also stimulates their saliva, which aides in digestion. Dentals aren’t needed by dogs who eat raw meaty bones on a regular basis. Raw fed dogs also don’t get arthritis, diabetes, or many other health problems. Attached is a photo of my oldest Yorkie eating a raw, organic chicken leg; it takes him 30-40 minutes to finish. If a bone is too big for him (say a joint bone from a drumstick), he’ll just leave it & I throw it in the trash. He LOVES his raw meaty bones; he has sparkling white teeth, luminous hair, beautiful skin & bright eyes.

At meal time, do NOT heat or warm their food before giving it to them. This will destroy enzymes & nutrients. Simply put their food in their dish & allow it to sit on your kitchen counter for 15-20 minutes. It’s then ready to be given to the dog. My friend feeds her dogs frozen raw meaty bones & hasn’t had any problem. I’m not comfortable with this so I give only thawed pieces & also give only room temperature spring water. You want to give them quality filtered water; not tap what that contains chlorine & fluoride.

If pasture-raised, grass-fed or organic meat isn’t affordable, feed what you can afford. All raw meat & bones diets are much better than pet foods, even high-end brands. Smart & Final is an inexpensive source for meats; their brand is “First Street.” They sell a 5 lb. chub of frozen ground turkey that has no additives/seasonings for about $7; that’s $1.25 per lb. Chicken is frequently on sale for $1 per lb or less. Buy meat that has no salt added; a little salt is fine but the amount found in meats that have salt added isn’t good for them. It will tell you on the package if salt has been added. Ground beef at this store is about $2.49 per lb. They have a “must sell” meat bin where everything is reduced by 25 to 50%; this meat is totally fine for the dogs, even if it stays in your fridge for a few days more. We’ve found wild-caught fish from Florida for as low as 60 cents a lb.  Non-organic ground beef may cause the dog to itch because of the antibiotics, & other products given to cows (anti-parasite chemicals, vaccines & more). Mother’s Markets, Sprout’s & Whole Foods Markets also carry many pasture-raised & organic meats. Check with the butcher to see if he has any meat that’s being thrown away, is spoiled or is marked down; these are excellent for the dogs, completely safe for them to eat, & very affordable. Fresh or frozen veggies are easily found for 50-99 cents per lb. Hispanic or ethnic markets are another great source for inexpensive meat. It’s a little more costly to feed this way but it will save you lots of money in vet bills down the road.

You’ll find many videos on raw feeding dogs on YouTube & more info on www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com.

This independently-owned & run website rates many of the frozen raw pet foods that are sold. The 5 star rating is the best: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/raw/.

If your dog makes kidney stones or calcium oxalate stones, this diet is recommended by an Austrailan holistic vet: http://www.vetsallnatural.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=115&Itemid=131. You can also search online for “the Fuzzer diet.” It’s a miracle for these dogs & not only dissolves the stones, it prevents them from ever forming again. This diet saved my friend from having to do an expensive surgery on her 2 dogs who had this problem – saving her over $5,500. Remember – raw is THE only correct diet for dogs.

http://www.darwinspet.com/liver-support-for-dogs/ – liver support, Darwins raw dog food for dogs with liver issues
http://www.darwinspet.com/kidney-support-for-dogs/ – kidney support, Darwins raw dog food for dogs with kidney issues

Here’s to their incredible health & a long quality life, with less vet bills for you.

Jig's chicken leg - yum!
Jig’s chicken leg – yum!

The Very Best Pet Food, Part 1

Because the 2 most important factors in determining both health & lifespan are vaccines & nutrition/diet, what your dog eats is extremely important. The best diet for dogs (cats, too) is a raw meat & bones diet. It’s also called “raw meaty bones,” SARF (species appropriate raw food), or BARF (biologically appropriate raw food).  It’s the only correct diet for both species & is as close to what they eat in nature without human intervention. In raw food, the majority of nutrients, such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, & enzymes, haven’t been altered or destroyed & they’re derived from natural sources. Feeding our dogs correctly is nothing more than plain common sense; it isn’t complex or difficult. Look at the teeth of our dogs & you won’t find omnivore teeth with both grinding molars & canines; you’ll only find teeth designed for ripping, tearing, shredding, & shearing. Looking at wolves who live in the wild, we also learn this is the correct & natural diet for K9s. Knowing this, the simple solution to feeding our dogs the proper diet – one that enables them to thrive, not just survive – is to feed a raw meaty bones diet.

It’s worked wonders for our own dogs & the Rescue dogs. It saved the life of my rescued Yorkie female who was dying from IBD (irritable bowel disease) & pancreatitis. It eliminated repetitive ear infections for others. It resulted in 8 rescue dogs with severe allergies being completely symptom/problem free, it drastically reduced seizures in another rescued dog, & stopped the Chihuahuas from shedding. It completely reversed severe diabetes in a cat in only 6 days. It cured a severe case of demodectic mange in just 1 month. At the time, we had a conventional vet.  He estimated 6 months for the 2 dogs to be completely mange free & he was amazed at the results. These animals had serious health problems & were on medications. Changing to raw, organic food resulted in great health for all of them & they no longer needed any medication. “When the diet is right, medicine is of no need; when the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use” has proven so true.

We agree with homeopathic/natural health veterinarians, & animal nutritionists that raw food is both the very best diet for both dogs/cats, & is the only correct one. It replicates their natural diet & provides the greatest nutrition. We feed & recommend a natural raw diet. There are some different ways to feed your dog or cat a raw diet. The very best method of raw feeding is called “prey feeding” or “raw meaty bones.” This not only provides the animals with proper nutrition, it cleans their teeth as they chew the meat off the bones; makes for healthy gums, & strengthens their jaws & neck muscles. The bones & marrow provide incredible nutrition & the animals really enjoy their food. Animals who eat this way don’t develop arthritis & numerous other health problems. The many benefits from feeding your pets a raw diet are phenomenal.

Conventional veterinarians have NO correct education or knowledge on nutrition. They receive only 1-3 hours of instruction on food/nutrition while in vet school from the very people who make kibble & commercially made pet food. Yet, this is 1 of the most important aspects in determining health. These same companies subsidize their education &amp, give them free food for their own pets, & give them discounts for selling their products. It’s why you find these brands in veterinary offices. Pet food ads are untrue. Holistic animal nutritionists are THE experts in this field with hundreds of hours of instruction/research on this important subject. All of them advise feeding a raw meaty bones, organic diet as the best & correct food for our dogs/cats.

If your animal has any health issue, kidney or liver disease or failure, we recommend you consult with a homeopathic veterinarian – both for homeopathic treatment & before changing to a raw diet.  We recommend homeopathic vets; most are available for phone, Skype or email consultations as well as office appointments. Please see our “Hello, World!” posting for a list of these vets.  More are listed here:  http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/AnimalWellness/Vet-List & here: http://theavh.org/.

Please NEVER feed kibble to your pets. Even if it starts out with the highest quality ingredients, it’s cooked & so overly processed that there’s very little nutrition left in it. It’s why vitamins & minerals must be added back into it. It’s NOT real, whole food. It’s a processed, man-made product. Kibble is pet food the same way potato chips are food for us….it’s junk food. It has no moisture & ends up dehydrating their internal organs. To entice pets to eat it, kibble is sprayed with fat. The natural prey that animals kill & eat is 70% water….the exact amount of water that makes up their own bodies. Water is absolutely essential in their food for good health. Read here to learn why all kibble is bad for your pets, even if made with only organic, human-grade ingredients: http://www.thewholedog.org/artkibble.html. It’s an article written by Dr. Jeannie Thomason, a naturopathic vet. She’s also a Boston Terrier natural rearing breeder.

These links explains the difference between a cooked diet vs.a raw diet for dogs & cats: What Happens to Food When It’s Cooked – http://www.thewholedog.org/artcookedfood.html.  Read about Pottenger’s Cats to see the health & lifespan difference in cats who were fed a raw diet vs. cats fed a cooked diet: http://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/proper-feeding-from-pottengers-cats. Both articles show why today’s pets have so many health problems & birth defects.

Please read below & then research “raw pet food,” “raw meaty bones,” “prey feeding” & “SARF” for your pets. There’s info online & in books on how to feed a raw diet for a lot less money (meat as low as 79 cents a lb). These are the best websites we’ve found:

rawlearning.com
rawfed.com
http://www.rawfed.com/myths/preymodel.html
http://feline-nutrition.org/ (this has great info that helps small dogs)
http://www.skylarzack.com/rawfeeding.htm
http://k9rawdiet.com/FAQ-p-5.html
http://www.rawfeddogs.net/Recipes
http://feline-nutrition.org/answers/answers-raw-diets-and-cats-what-about-eating-bones (for cats but the info is great for small dogs)
http://thewholedog.org/id9.html#nutrition

Other methods of raw feeding are: a) ground raw meat with bones & organs (either grinding it yourself or purchasing frozen raw pet food that has been ground with the meat & bones in it); and b) the Paleopet method. Ground raw meat with bones & organs is the 2nd best way of raw feeding since it contains bones, marrow & organ meat. The Paleopet method is not as good as these first 2 methods since it does not have ground bones & marrow in it. You must add calcium or bone meal to this. Whole natural food is always best & gives the most nutrition. If not feeding raw bones, we recommend using ground eggshells as the calcium source (more about this later). Powdered supplement is next (either calcium or bone meal). Supplements are good, but never equal the nutrients found in whole, natural foods. Marrow has high nutritional value & is necessary for good health. This video explains the Paleopet method: http://paleopet.com/.  Eggs from chickens who are pasture-raised & fed organic, non-GMO feed are best.

Our dogs get a small amount of raw vegetables daily with their raw meat/bones. It should be only 10-15% of their diet. If the veggie must be cooked before eaten (like asparagus), we steam it using low heat. Cool it to room temperature before giving to the dogs or adding to their raw meat/bones meal. Heat from just-cooked veggies will destroy enzymes in the raw meat & you don’t want to do that. Raw foods have more nutrients & also have enzymes that are essential for good health. Enzymes are destroyed by heat/cooking. We run the veggies through a food processor before adding to the raw meat meal. These tiny pieces are very easy for dogs to digest & they get more nutrition from it, too.

The best quality meat & eggs are wild raised, next is pasture-raised or grass-fed, organic (nothing GMO); third best is organic. Feed the best you can afford. Any raw meat/bones diet is far superior to pet foods. Do NOT give dogs meat that’s been injected with sodium. You need to read labels as this is commonly done to fowl (chicken, turkey, etc). We buy most of our pasture-raised, grass-fed, organic meat & ground raw dog food from our local whole food markets & from Creston Valley Meats (http://crestonvalleymeats.com/). They deliver frozen meats & ground raw dog food to both So & No CA every week. Simon & his staff are happy to explain how it all works; their website has their phone number. Their prices are 50-75% less than what pet stores charge for frozen raw dog foods.

You’ll find info on the raw diet & food suppliers for your dogs at the best prices here: http://www.dogaware.com/diet/rawgroups.html. If you live in another area, do an online search to find a “raw fed” group near you. They’re a terrific source of where to find low prices on quality, truly natural meats. There are many Yahoo & Facebook raw feeding groups you can also check out.

Commercially-made raw pet foods are a good way to get started with the raw diet. However, be aware that feeding ground raw meat with bones does not clean their teeth & is not the best way to feed your dog for the rest of it’s life. The prey method or raw meaty bones does an excellent job of this, & once the dogs are accustomed to it, they thoroughly enjoy this way of eating. This method not only cleans their teeth, it strengthens their jaw & neck muscles, & makes for healthy gums.  Commercially-made raw food is more expensive, but it’s still superior to standard “pet foods.”

It’s very easy & not expensive to make raw food for dogs. By feeding your dog a raw meat/bones diet, you’ll save a lot of money in vet expenses. According to the holistic animal nutritionist & natural veterinarians we use, dogs actually do best on a simple diet of 1 meat per meal. Fruits & vegetables are optional. They’re excellent & provide antioxidants, fiber & nutrients, which is why we feed them to our dogs. Fruit MUST be fed alone as a snack – NEVER with meat/protein. Fruit digests in about 15 minutes while meat/protein takes the longest amount of time; this is why they’re not to be eaten together. Veggies are fine to be included with their meat/protein, just keep it at 10-15% of their daily diet. The majority of their diet needs to be raw meat. They’re carnivores who need this type of protein. We give our dogs fruit as an afternoon snack 3-4 days a week…never with any meat/protein.

Dogs/cats need organ meat (kidney, liver, gizzard, spleen, etc) but you don’t have to add it daily if you don’t want to. Organ meat should be 10-15% of their diet; these are nutrient-rich foods & you’ll want to include them about 2 months after your dog has been eating the raw meat diet. You can feed some organ meat 2-3 days a week if you don’t include it daily. This has nutritients that aren’t found in muscle meat & is necessary for good health. Taurine is 1 of these; it’s needed for proper urinary tract function. A small dog (4 to 16 lbs) should get 1 to 3 teaspoons of organ meat per day if given daily.  Heart is muscle meat, not organ.

Raw eggs are best. We feed a little mixed raw egg daily. Cooked eggs are ok, but it’s best to limit cooked foods to only 1 day per week. Eggs are the highest quality protein on earth. Even the shell is edible & provides calcium. Small dogs can have a problem with a whole raw egg & it can give them diarrhea. We crack open a pasture-raised, organic raw egg, mix it up & give each dog 1 tsp (type used to stir coffee, not measure) of the mixed raw egg in their dish along with their daily raw meaty bone meal.  Or, you can stir the raw egg into their tiny pieces of veggie & organ meats. Giving raw egg daily or a few days a week is fine.  It’s safe to keep the raw egg in the fridge for 3-4 days; storing in glass is best. After that time, either toss out whatever is left or cook it.

If you feed ground meat without bones & marrow, you must add calcium to this (900 to 1,000 mg for 1 lb of food; 2 cups = 1 lb). Adding calcium provides a nutritionally complete meal to this type of raw meat meal.  When dogs chew on & eat the raw meaty bones, they get their needed calcium, phosphorus & trace minerals from the pieces of bone/marrow they ingest. Yes, raw bones (chicken, turkey, rabbit, etc) are safe for your dog. They break easily when a dog chews on them. Chicken & turkey sold in stores for human consumption comes from birds who are only 6 to 8 weeks old; their bones are not hard. Bones from bigger animals (beef, lamb, llama, venison, etc) are more dense & harder.  Never give your pets any weight bearing bones (legs) from larger animals.  They could cause problems for the animals, including chipped or broken teeth. Once a week, we give each dog a beef rib with meat attached & take away whatever bones they haven’t consumed within 30-60 minutes of eating them.  Natural calcium, derived from a food source is best as this is what’s proper for the body. Eggshells are the next best source for this, after raw bones. Never use synthetic supplements/vitamins; the body deals with them the same as chemicals since it’s not a natural food. Centrum is an example of a synthetic vitamin. Spark is a new whole food complete supplement that’s great for dogs; we give it daily; http://www.petwellbeing.com/products/spark-daily-nutritional-supplement-for-dogs-and-cats-50g. It has vitamins, minerals, omega 3, probiotics & digestive enzymes. It’s terrific for them.  Our dogs love it & we highly recommend it.

There are a number of prepared raw dog foods available at better specialty pet supply stores, animal feed stores & online. Prepared raw dog food comes in 2 types – frozen/fresh or dehydrated/freeze dried. The dehydrated & freeze dried types are reconstituted by adding water to them & allowing them to sit for awhile. Leaving it overnight in the fridge is best. The longer it sits, the easier it becomes to digest. Some brands of this type of raw food are:  Sojo’s Complete (some quality issues – not always enough meat in the product), Grandma Lucy’s (too much garlic), & The Honest Kitchen. Some PetCo & Pet Smart stores now carry frozen raw pet foods but not all of them. You’ll need to call the stores in your area to find out.

We used the dehydrated/freeze dried for awhile. It’s not as good as the fresh/frozen type & didn’t give the same great results to the dogs as the fresh/frozen. Our dogs tired of these type of dried raw foods quickly, but they love the raw meaty bones. If you’re traveling with your dog, these dried raw foods are an option since they don’t require refrigeration & you can easily feed it, even while traveling in the car. Simply add some pure, filtered water to reconstitute the food, allow it to soak for 20-30 minutes & then give to the dog. Our dogs don’t like & won’t eat “Steve’s Real Food” (frozen raw) but we have a friend who feeds Steve’s & her dogs love it.  It’s a good idea to buy a small amount of a new food to see how your dog reacts to it.  We’re opposted to “Nature’s Variety” because some of their meat is from China; it’s used in their raw, canned & dried foods. We also say NO to Stella & Chewy’s, Bravo, & Natural Instinct brands because they use high-pressure pasteurization. It’s unnecessary & destroys nutrients. There’s also no long-term history yet to know exactly how this effects the animals’ health. It becomes “processed food” – raw, unprocessed is best. The less done to the food, the better. This link gives you info on this:
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/10/22/sterile-raw-pet-food.aspx?e_cid=20121022_PetsNL_art_1

Before feeding the “prey method” of raw food, we used these brands of ground raw dog food & do recommend them: PawNaturaw (866-Raw4Pet), Darwins (http://www.darwinspet.com/), Harmony Farms (http://essentials4all.org/HARMONY_FARMS.html), OC Raw (http://www.ocrawdog.com/), TigerTail Foods (http://tigertailfoods.com/), & Aunt Jeni’s. These are all the best-rated frozen, commercially-made, ground raw dog foods in our area. It’s an easy way to transition to raw feeding if you’re uncomfortable starting right in with the raw meaty bones, prey or Paleopet methods. These raw frozen foods are totally complete & have ground-up bone & marrow in them. This supplies the calcium, phosphorus & trace minerals needed. The down side to these foods is that they have too many ingredients & most of them have fruit – remember, pets do best on a simple 1 meat & 1 veggie diet, & fruit should never be fed with protein. It’s still a better option than standard pet foods, & will give your dog much better health. Aunt Jeni’s brand has a strong garlic odor & it’s not our first choice in commercially-made raw pet foods. Garlic is actually good for dogs, but they shouldn’t eat it every day without a break.  More info on this in another post.

You can also make a complete raw diet yourself. The Paleopet link above shows you how to do this & there’s much info about this online. There are online groups that have formed to get fresh, grass-fed & organic foods directly from the farmers at a reduced rate. In addition to vibrant health, lots of energy, no arthritis, glistening hair/coat/eyes, etc, you’ll find that the bowel movements from dogs & cats who eat a raw diet are small & have very little odor. This is because their bodies utilize almost all of the food since it’s what they need & is super high quality…resulting in very little waste. There is no “filler” in this food. You’ll find lots of great info on dog nutrition, brands of prepared raw dog foods, & other doggie stuff at www.dogaware.com – http://vitalanimal.com/, http://dr-jordan.com/, http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/dr-karen-becker.aspx,  www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com, http://www.drdeeblanco.com/about/ & http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/. There’s a wide variation in prices, so check it out. Switch meat/veggie types & brands often to give the dogs a different mix & for good health (variety is best for all of us nutritionally).

For dogs with food allergies, our animal nutritionist & natural veterinarians recommend trying rabbit or venison for their meat/protein. Rabbit is the easiest meat for them to digest. Beef, salmon/fish, buffalo, goat, llama & turkey are also good choices. Steaming is recommended IF you cook the veggies. Again, raw is best. Salmon must either be “hard frozen” for 3 weeks prior to feeding or must be cooked to be safe. The 3 week hard freeze will kill any fluke parasite that’s possibly found in salmon. Canned fish is cooked & safe for dogs & cats but it’s best to limit cooked food to only 1 day per week if you include any in their diet. Remember to keep their diet about 70-80% meat, 10% for bones, 10% veggies, & 10% organ meat. I know people who feed only meat/eggs 5 days a week & add veggies with organ meat only twice a week. Again, do some reading so you’ll understand their nutritional needs & feel comfortable with what you give them.  Good nutrition is achieved over time; not every meal must be “100% balanced & complete.”  That’s not how they eat in the wild.

If your dog appears to have a food allergy, alternate ingredients to find out what your dog is allergic to.  If they have a reaction to anything, keep a list of it so you know not to feed that to them.  The usual allergic reaction to a food item will be scratching & licking themselves – ears, eyes, face, & paws are common spots.  Allergy dogs should be kept on this very simple diet of 1 meat per meal.  When adding a veggie, just 1 per meal.  Dr. Jean Dodds is able to test for food allergies; more info is here on her website:  http://www.nutriscan.org/.  She’s located in Garden Grove (http://www.hemopet.org/).

Check for animal feed stores in your area.  We shop at Anaheim Feed Store in Anaheim, CA.  These stores have a good variety of frozen, raw foods, & their prices are much better than the big chain type pet stores or the pet boutique stores.  Raw food contains enzymes, amino acids & other nutrients that are destroyed in cooking, even if you just warm it up.  Dogs & cats NEED these enzymes/nutrients.  In the wild, they eat raw meat when they kill their prey.  Please do some reading on this.  You’ll be amazed at what you learn & what a tremendous difference raw food has made in the health & lives of the dogs & cats who eat it.  Their digestive systems are different than ours & they are NOT affected by things in raw meat like we are (i.e., salmonella, bacteria).  We can personally attest to the outstanding health & benefits our dogs have from eating a grass-fed, organic, raw diet.  Plus, you’ll save money because there’s a lot fewer vet bills.  We’ve seen raw food work wonders for every health condition, including allergies, repeat ear infections, irritable bowel disease, yeast conditions, seizures, pancreatitis, impacted anal glands, etc – even completely eliminating these problems for some of the dogs.
Continued on Part 2…

How to Give Your Dog Optimal Health

We want to share some vital information with you that’s given our dogs incredible, optimal health & a much longer, quality life. It’s also saved us a ton of money in vet expenses. The 2 biggest factors in determining both are vaccination & food/nutrition. The 3rd factor is toxins; eliminate these, both internally & externally…things like flea/tick/pest products that are applied topically or in shampoos/treatments, flea collars, or oral medications (Bravecto, Comfortis, Capstar, Program, Trifexis, Advantix, Frontline, Revolution, etc), chemicals sprayed in or around the home, chemicals used to clean the environment, etc. This method of raising pets is called “natural pet rearing” & the results it gives are phenomenal.

For those who’ve only ever known conventional dog care methods, the natural approach may at first seem to go against almost everything you know. This is because conventional methods tend to have been developed from the human perspective. It’s been taught to veterinary students by companies who make lots of money by selling their products (vaccines, drugs, chemicals, food), and it’s incorrectly based on the dog eating like a human.

The natural approach looks at & works with “the whole dog” in a natural way that ignites the body’s internal healing force & stimulates its natural abilities to heal itself. Elimination of the symptoms is what conventional medicine is based on. However, just eliminating the symptom or treating only the symptom is NOT the same as elimination of the cause or disease that produced that symptom(s) in the first place. Natural health looks to find the cause of the problem & to use proper nutrition, natural means, & homeopathy to cure or eliminate the cause of the problem(s). Homeopathy is our preferred method of medical care; it works with the body so it can heal itself & uses only natural medicines to do this. It’s been extremely successful for us & has even cleared vaccine damage.

Prior to raising our dogs naturally, we used conventional vets; we did exactly what they told us must be done. Our dogs were fed the best-rated kibble & pet foods; we also gave them some home-cooked food. They were re-vaccinated every 3 years & were given vet approved flea/tick products when needed. All of them developed numerous health problems & lived shorter lives. Over a period of 35 years, we had numerous dogs – usually 4 to 6 at a time. The dogs raised conventionally (kibble, pet food, repeat vaccines, flea products, conventional medical care) all ended up with severe allergies, seizures, liver disease/failure, kidney disease/failure, repeat ear infections, anal gland problems, bad breath, tooth loss, body odor, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, cancer, & more. They all died or had to be put to sleep between 11-12.5 years old. All the conventional vets we used in the past told us to feed our dogs kibble, that this was best for them, that it was “balanced & nutritionally complete” & that it cleaned their teeth. In spite of the dogs all having health problems, these vets insisted the dogs be re-vaccinated every 3 years, with full-dose combination vaccines & the rabies vaccine. Not 1 of them ever advised against re-vaccination or told us that vaccine label instructions state vaccines are only to be given to healthy animals/people.  They never recommended another way to feed our dogs. None ever told us about titer testing either, about doing only 1 vaccine at a time, or about adjusting the size of the vaccine to fit the animal.

Unfortunately, conventional vets have very little education on any of these essential subjects. Most of the info they have on this is incorrect. It’s what they’re taught in veterinary college by the pharmaceutical companies & pet food manufacturers. They receive approximately 1-3 hours of instruction on nutrition & the instructors work for pet food manufacturers. We know this is still true because the daughter of one of our members is presently attending veterinary college. Once she completes this, she’ll go on to attend a natural veterinary college as she wants to practice natural veterinary care instead.

Vaccines are usually 20-30% of a vet’s business. Pet foods are about 10-20%. That’s a substantial sum of money to pass up if you stop re-vaccinating pets & selling certain brands of pet food. They also make less money when there are less animals to treat for health problems. Naturally raised animals rarely need veterinary care; usually only a yearly wellness check-up is all they require.

Since changing to natural rearing practices & homeopathy, our dogs have no dog odor, no bad breath, no fleas/parasites/pests, no ear infections, no tooth loss, anal gland problems, etc. The first 2 dogs who were on this regime since we got them enjoyed good health & had lots of energy. They were both rescue dogs & came to us at age 5 yrs. Both lived to be 19 years old & died in their sleep from natural causes (heart simply stops beating). They were never re-vaccinated & ate only a raw meat/bones diet. The only vet expenses we had was for their routine wellness exams & blood work every year – about $300 per dog per year. Vet bills for just one of our dogs who had kidney disease/failure was over $5,000 for disease management alone.

Small dogs lived to be around 25-27 years of age before commercially made pet food & vaccination protocols came on the scene. Cancer, organ disease/failure (heart, kidneys, liver) & auto-immune diseases were VERY rare. Most pets were fed food from the families’ table & if they were vaccinated, it was only for rabies once or twice in their entire life. Many cite that the oldest dog ever recorded, a 29-year-old Australian cattle dog named Bluey, died in 1939, several years before commercial pet food was invented, & that, of the 2 oldest dogs in recent years, 1 was fed primarily kangaroo & emu meat (from Wikipedia). Today, 50% of dogs are killed by cancer. Obviously something is very, very wrong.

We share this information with you so that your pets can enjoy the same great results. It’s also saved us a ton of money in vet bills & all the heartache that goes with an ill & suffering pet.

Debbie W, Founder & President
Yorkies & Friends Rescue, So. CA – yorkiesandfriendsrescue.org
Never underestimate the healing, life-changing power of food. – “Let food be your medicine & medicine be your food.” Hippocrates
When the diet is right, medicines are of no need, & when the diet is wrong, medicines are of no use. Ayurvedic proverb
Vaccines: Once you’ve administered the needle, you can NEVER change your mind. Study the facts, don’t live to regret it. There is NO safe vaccine, NO wellness after vaccines, & ALL vaccines cause brain inflammation & harm. The BEST protection is optimal nutrition for a healthy, strong immune system.

Disclaimer & More:  Please see “Hello, World!” post.