Feed Your Carnivore a Species Appropriate Diet!
The Nutritional Ladder-Top to Bottom
Four vital nutrient categories
Dogs and cats are carnivores and digest meat protein better than plant protein. Conventional veterinarians believe wheat is a common food allergen which often stimulates dermatitis. Holistic veterinarians consider highly processed grain diets to be inflammatory or contribute to Damp Accumulations, from the Eastern perspective. Excessive processed carbohydrates contribute to the obesity and diabetic epidemic in people and their pets! Therefore, we are supportive of the raw meat diet or at least natural diets, especially canned diets with less processed grain, more moisture, more meat based, and no artificial preservatives such as BHT, BHA, or ethoxyquin. Research shows these may be carcinogenic.
Nature’s Variety, Merrick, Lotus, Acana and Now!, are some of the quality, natural kibble diets we stock. these are considered to be among the best according to top holistic vets, herbalists, and The Whole Dog Journal. So we promote these in addition to commercial raw brands. Also, remember grain free does not mean starch free.
It is helpful to learn to read an ingredient label. The wording on the front of a bag can be very misleading.
Regardless of what you’re feeding, it is important to change diets very gradually. Use a probiotic to aid transition. Natural diets should be stored in original packaging, in a dry cool area since they have fewer preservatives. Raw diets are stored frozen and thawed in the refrigerator before feeding (may be best stored in Pyrex to prevent leakage and bacterial accumulation). Raw meat diets are intended to mimic the carcass concept, and therefore should contain all the nutrients required for good health. Commercial products can be very convenient and should be fed from stainless steel or ceramic bowls. Also, remember prey is raw but not cold. Never feed cold food. Add hot water and no microwaving! Very little supplementation is necessary when feeding a complete raw diet, but supplements are necessary additions to ANY commercially heat-processed diet (kibble/dry or canned).
Add the following 4 nutrients to processed foods:
Good bacteria, i.e. Acidophilus (contained in yogurt, gels or capsules)
Restores healthy intestinal flora, used to prevent and treat diarrhea
We stock several pet probiotics.
Present in raw foods, destroyed by heat processing
Important that it is microencapsulated, enteric coated, or “special strain”
Aid in proper food breakdown, used as an adjunct to prevent and treat coprophagy, flatulence, allergies and pancreatic insufficiency
Present in raw foods, destroyed by heat processing
Additional source: blended greens
3) FATTY ACIDS:
Omega 3 Source from quality fish oil or krill – choose mercury free oils (Nordic Naturals)
Must provide an effective form: gel cap or liquid (refrigerate), use within 3 months
Important for the skin, heart and joint health
Used to treat excessive shedding, itching and arthritis
4) WHOLE FOOD SOURCE VITAMINS AND MINERALS (not synthetic):
From whole herbs, fruits and vegetables should be broken down to mimic ingesta from the gut of the prey
Blend your leftover green veggies.
In the wild, carnivores eat plants to aid digestion, stimulate the immune system and even to treat illness
Glandular Theory- Eating a body tissue to heal that tissue. (Ex. Standard Process Renal Support for kidney disease, Ligaplex for cruciate tear)
Organic Green Alternative, Preference, Spirugreen and wheat grass are examples of quality “green” supplements
Introduce gradually, like a spice
BASIC FOOD ENERGETICS
|Hot = chicken, lamb, venison||Damp = duck|
|Cold = duck, most fish||Cooling and damp draining = celery|
|Neutral = bison, beef, possibly rabbit, turkey|
Points to ponder:
- Diet is the forefront of the holistic approach- You are what you absorb
- Whole foods contain medicinal components and constituents which balance their effects. This property is what makes most Western herbal remedies, Chinese herbal formulations and Standard Process safer than conventional drugs.
- Nutraceutical and herbal products vary greatly in quality, potency, efficacy and safety. Therefore guidance by an experienced practitioner can be invaluable!
Feeding raw can be easy and yummy. Commercial diets are balanced, safe and convenient. Nice little patties, neat tubs or chubs. Raw bones can be safe if selected properly. Cooked bones are less digestible, can become brittle and are therefore dangerous. Bones can be very effective at removing and preventing dental tartar. They are also a great tool to decrease the need for anesthesia and dental prophylaxis during your pet's lifespan. They are useful for emotional stability as well. Dogs love to chew!
Veggies can be added to any carnivore diet, however to be utilizable they must be blended. Primates chew and mix their food with saliva to begin digestive breakdown. Herbivores possess an enzyme called cellulase which we and our dogs and cats do not. So the rabbit can digest and absorb vitamin A from a carrot. Your dog must ingest the rabbit who predigested the carrot to release the vitamin A for utilization by your dog. Blending the veggies attempts to mimic this process. Dark, leafy greens are best, especially in increased amounts for pets with kidney disease or cancer.