“I’ve been feeding a species-appropriate raw diet to my dogs and cats for over 30 years, and I’m extremely selective about the ingredients that go into their meals. I don’t usually use meats that are packaged specifically for pets, as sometimes the quality is not up to my standards. When I came across the “Love Your Pet” company, I talked at length with the owner, Valarie. I was pleased to hear about the high quality of the meat and how it’s sourced and processed. So, I took the plunge and ordered some of the elk, venison, and bison. It arrived promptly and in good shape. My dogs LOVE it! And because it’s grass-fed and finished, they utilize it extremely well, and their stools are smaller than ever. Recently I ran out and prepared their meals using a good quality turkey that they’ve had before. I could have sworn they paused before eating and gave me a look that said, “Hey, where’s the good stuff?!”. Needless to say, they were very happy when the next shipment of “Love Your Pet” meat was delivered! Keep up the good work, Valarie! And keep that “Love Your Pet” meat coming!”
– Kymythy R. Schultze, CN, AHI
Clinical Nutritionist, teacher, and author of “Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet” and other nutrition books for pets and their people.
Raw Food Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
Article by Dr. Doug Knueven. Used with permission.
Hills, Purina, and Iams are ingrained into the consciousnesses of every veterinarian from their professional infancy to their grave. Processed food is in our blood – Yuck. How can you expect a veterinarian to be open to the idea that real, raw food is anything but dangerous for pets?
Veterinary college programs include nutrition training which would seem to be a great thing. The basis of well-being is a healthy diet. We cannot expect our pets to build strong bodies with powerful immune systems without the needed raw materials.
Additionally, we now know that nutrients turn on and off genes and often control the genesis and progression of the disease. Unfortunately, nutrition education in veterinary schools is heavily influenced by pet food manufacturers. This gives veterinarians a skewed view of nutrition.
Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO’s definition of natural is:
“A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal, or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.”
I don’t know about you, but that does not sound very natural. Besides, AAFCO only addresses the naturalness of ingredient processing. The statement says nothing about how natural it is for a pet to consume specific ingredients.
For example, it is totally unnatural for dogs and cats to consume grains. However, if the grains are processed according to AAFCO’s definition of natural, pet food containing them can call itself natural.
My definition of natural nutrition is:
“A diet consisting of ingredients that a particular species has evolutionarily adapted to eat with the macronutrient (protein, fat, and carbs) and micronutrient (vitamins and phytonutrients) balance that is ideal for their health.”
Such a diet is, by definition, a balanced, raw food diet. No dog or cat evolved eating kibble or canned food.
The concept of “holistic” pet food makes no sense whatsoever. The term holistic means that it addresses body, mind, and spirit. All pet foods address the body. I suppose some might have ingredients that affect the brain and thus could be said to address the mind. However, no pet food addresses spirit.
AAFCO has no definition for the word holistic, so any pet food company can use it as they wish. Basically, if you see a pet food labeled as holistic, it means that the pet food manufacturer thinks that they can sell more food by slapping that word on the label.
Don’t be fooled by pet food labels with their trendy words. Now that holistic medicine is starting to catch on, everyone is trying to cash in. The only natural pet food is a balanced, raw diet.