Dogs & Cats are CARNIVORES. Feed them RAW DIETS.
By: Debbie Reynolds, DVM
I'm going to shoot it to you straight from the heart.
I have been a veterinarian for 17 years. I went to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where I graduated in 2001. All throughout that time we were offered small amounts of education in nutrition.
We were, however, offered very large amounts of free food and pizza parties from sponsors such as Purina, Eukanuba and Science Diet. ALL of our pets received free food from these companies for four years. And I am NOT complaining! In debt up to my hair follicles, I was thankful for the food, the pizza, and snacks they provided.
I continued that path of feeding those types of foods for many years. I had an epiphany sometime in 2012 when entertaining the simplest thought. You know how when something so simple is presented to you and it makes you feel so dumb? That's what happened to me!
I had rarely given animal nutrition a thought before that time. There are a plethora of foods to choose from and prescription foods for animals who are sick. My philosophy was simply to choose a bag based on the company's reputation.
Then it occurred to me that cats are obligate carnivores and dogs are scavenger carnivores. They each have carnivorous shearing and stabbing teeth. They also have the shorter length gastrointestinal tract which carnivores need. Not to mention having a highly acidic stomach pH to kill pathogens from raw meat! (Insert light bulb) THEY ARE CARNIVORES! They NEED meat. Protein is life, but not just any protein. They crave muscle meat, organ meat - the good stuff.
Your dog and cat need a species appropriate diet to produce energy to grow correctly, maintain health during adulthood, and live to enjoy a quality old age. The list of ailments that dogs incur from not eating a species appropriate diet is extensive. Dogs simply will not thrive without it. They can have poor immune systems, odd behaviors, chronic skin and/or ear issues, obesity, and so much more.
All kibble has starches and carbohydrates in them to hold them together. You may remember from somewhere back in elementary school that proteins are made of amino acids. When they are heated, they are partially destroyed. All dry and canned commercial dog and cat food is heated in the manufacturing process. So already deficient food is made even more deficient from the process used to make it.
Raw feeding used to be very complicated and expensive. Now, certain dedicated companies have made it as easy as adding water to powder. Literally. The methods used to create this whole, human grade food is all used without heat. There is no denaturation or destruction of the protein. Dogs that eat raw dog food have stronger immune systems and are able to resist disease and parasites by their own forces.
I do not fault anyone for feeding what they like. However, when giving my professional opinion, I am 100% convinced that you will see a healthier and longer quality of life if you feed your dog or cat a species appropriate diet- such as dehydrated raw foods. There are certain other nutrients that must be added to create a complete and balanced diet. Some people learn to do this and prepare a raw meals at home. For some, that can become overwhelming and costly.
The raw foods that we carry at The Blessed Pet Shop are The Honest Kitchen and Primal. We have had personal education with each of these companies and understand the high standards they have for the quality of food they have chosen. These two brands of dehydrated raw foods only require you to add water and feed. It's that easy! It's real, raw, human grade food, and must be eaten within the hour or discarded. Although each batch and every bone is pathogen tested, it should not be left out and must be cleaned up after. Because it is REAL FOOD. Think about that. Do you want your dog eating kibble that is perfectly fine to be left out for days on end in an automated feeder? What kind of preservatives are in that food anyway?
The Blessed Pet Shop offers ONLY healthy treats - some are even one ingredient. Meat. As a Veterinarian, I feel obligated to give your dog what is good for them to lengthen their life, not shorten it.
As soon as I sat through the first nutrition class on raw feeding at the American Holistic Veterinary Conference, the search of better education began. When we know better, we do better. I had to return to my much loved patients and clients and make recommendations, in some cases, that were opposite of things I had told them in the past. The protein source DOES matter. Your cat MUST have a carnivorous diet or they will fall into the obesity epidemic. Be sure to rotate protein sources, alternating between chicken, turkey, fish, venison, beef and so on. Each protein source offers a different benefit!
I would also recommend feeding a raw bone once a week. There are special enzymes in the bone marrow to help break down dental tartar and as your dog chews and cleans the meat from the bone, they will happily be scaling tartar from their teeth! This is the natural way to improve overall dental health that your dog loves! Primal offers raw, frozen, marrow bones that have been pathogen tested and safe! Be sure to get raw bones from a reputable source.
You are one click away from giving your beloved pet the food their body needs and craves! Try Primal or The Honest Kitchen today!